crEAting, sEAsons, sketching

Ne’er cast a clout till May be out…

 

I cannot believe it is May already and I have only just found time to get back to my blog – this must be my longest gap ever.  There is so much going on in my life at the moment but the main reason for my absence is the office move.  It is taking forever to get sorted out and I am finding it is well after 6pm every night before I leave work and by the time tea is over I have completely run out of steam.  I really dislike being caught up in someone else’s agenda – I certainly would not have added this amount of stress to my life at this moment!

On the good side at last we can put the cold wintery days behind us and look forward to summer.  This year Spring has been a long time coming and I am not very prepared as my current wardrobe is still in winter mode and my summer outfits are packed neatly away in the spare room.  It is so long ago that I cannot even remember what I wore during the summer last year.  As usual I will start off the month with a look back at one of my old Art Journals and this excerpt is taken from Celebrating the Year 2009 and the pencil and watercolour sketch dated May 2003 from my sketchbook.

Winter is many months of the year
But now at last Maytime is here;
And birds sing from a leafy screen
In the trees and hedgerow freshly green;
And the wood-anemone is out in the shade,
With its blushing petals which too soon fade;
Once more the bracken is unfurling there,
And bluebells gently perfume the damp air.” 

 Veronica Ann Twells, Maytime

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Whilst wandering around the gardens at Tatton Park one glorious day in May I came across this unfurling clump of fern along the edge of a pond and stopped to make a quick sketch.  They looked so majestic – about to burst open and produce their feather like plumes.  At this moment the heads were tightly wrapped into little balls as if hiding away until the moment is right to spring into action.

May itself, like the unfurling fern, reminds me of little surprise packages.  All around us nature is surprising us with its secrets.  Bare trees become laden in blossom, buds burst open to produce a green leafy canopy, and everything springs to life once again. 

May is also the month that the Well Dressings begin in Derbyshire.  The true origins of Well Dressing are lost in the mists of time. According to many sources, it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water. Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for His gift to us of water.

From May until September in villages across the whole of Derbyshire there will be a different well dressing week.  Look on welldressing.com for more information if you live near enough to visit.

Ashford in the Water Well DressingDSC01117

Ashford in the Water Well Dressing

 We go more or less every year and have never been disappointed.  It is a time when the villagers get together and design and make these decorative boards from flower petals and foliage.  They often have a carnival or similar event to mark the start of the week and most places offer cream teas in the local village hall. 

I can’t promise that I will get to my blog every day or even every week until things at work calm down a bit – but I am missing you all and am trying to keep up with your blogs here and there.  Have a good Bank Holiday weekend to everyone in the UK.

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7 thoughts on “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out…”

  1. Hi Viv
    So glad you popped by. What an amazing job you must have had at New Look. Although I love to sew I don’t think I would ever have been able to be an actual designer! I have always wanted to learn proper pattern cutting, and have taught myself a few alteration techniques over the years but that is as far as it goes. Hope your office moves and late nights end soon and that you can get back into some sort of routine. Jenny

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  2. Hi Viv
    Your tales of work at New Look are fascinating (sure beats working out people’s taxes!). It must have been great. As for that skirt pattern, my friend and I must have made the different versions up at least two dozen times for ourselves and various friends and family, and I am delighted to report that having lost two stone in the last year, I can now make up the original size 12 again! So I have had to take the chartreuse one apart and almost start again. It has always been one of my favourites.
    Your cottage sounds delightful, lots of work, but I bet well worth it in the end. And those views..stunning.

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