I didn’t fall down a ravine, die of exposure on the moors or get sucked into a bog. Unfortunately I had already purchased and worn in the walking boots. The art and craft weekend at Halsey was great, but the nearest we got to the great outdoors was the front lawn. Grandad’s COPD was outclassed by the gentleman who arrived atop his happy shopper scooter and I soon realised that there would be no yomping and that I should have just spent the boot money on another handbag.
At Pod’s Cottage Grandad dabbles with painting, when he disappears off to paint he tells us he is off to ’emote’. He makes a lot of mess doing this so is encouraged to emote in the shed, the garden or some else’s house. The tutor at Halsway soon had him sussed out ( he has lots of focus on small details) and instead of watercolours of the house and grounds, got him working on a larger scale. At one point he was working on a large piece in charcoals using the charcoal tied to the end of a long stick. I was just happy that someone was encouraging me to make mess, there was lots of rubbing in and the session culminated with me doing a fine impression of a Victorian chimney sweep (albeit a very affluent, rotund sweep so not suitable for sweeping at all). Apparently there is lots of charcoaling happening at Pod’s Cottage; there is also lots of Mum going around with a damp cloth, wiping off handprints.
I think Halsway Manor suited Gramps as meals were announced with a gong and the tea urn arrived at regular intervals. There were also no limits on the number of biscuits he could have with his tea (unlike at home). The staff at the Manor were lovely, the atmosphere great and the catering somewhere between a holiday camp, school dinners and the quiet seaside hotels of my childhood. We were entertained by the folks on the Nyckelharpa course. The first day of painting was difficult on the ears as the beginners were only repeating the same three or four notes, but by Sunday we didn’t mind them joining us on the grass. The musicians came from as far afield as Germany and Chile.
On Friday night, Fightclub (Knit Club) celebrated it’s eight anniversary and moved to a new venue at the Friends Meeting House. This venue isn’t strictly new as it is where the club first started. Unfortunately an addictions group also met on the same evening and some of the older ladies were offended and shocked by having to step over bodies on the floor, so the venue was switched. I’m made of sterner stuff, I have teenagers and therefore am quite used to stepping over bodies.