If You Signed up for Films or Books..

 

Reading “Simple Blogging” alerted me to the un-niche-ness of my blog. Folk who want to read about “Justified” aren’t necessarily folk who want to see my baby blue, hand dyed alpaca bobble yarn. There’s an overlap, but it’s minimal. So henceforth I am Lydia-two-blogs.

Judah’s blanket: the haven of domesticity it always was.

*What Would Sherlock Do?: all the stuff you’d find in The Times Culture magazine, but in an inferior writing style.

Some of you followers may be leaving us to sample these new pastures. I’ll miss you, when your name popped up as a subscriber I got a little jolt of fatheaded joy.

*Garry suggested “Bludah’s Janket”

 

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I Know a Four Year Old Could Have Done it But I Couldn’t be Prouder

Sue and I were welcomed into the conservatory which serves as Lydia Haines‘ studio. It was a hot day so the temperature inside was bikini appropriate. Around us hung her giant silk paintings and her prints on fabric and paper. She gave us both screens to paint on, encouraging us to experiment, not worrying about trying to make them look perfect, advice Sue ignored as she thoughtfully dabbed away for twenty minutes. When the screens had dried we flipped them over onto paper. Lydia brought out some special seaweed gunk she herself had knocked up that morning, it looked like wallpaper paste. We plopped some into the frames and immediately the paint colours were drawn up into it. We spread the gunk all over the screen, squeegeeing it back and forth, lastly sweeping it off. Then the reveal. We lifted up the screen, peeling back the paper and ta dah! Mine is the brown stripy one, Sue’s is the green and blue one that looks like a tree.

I love the separation between artist and composition that printing provides. The final result is hidden even from the creator until the last moment. It feels magical, surprising.

Before my Emergency Transfer to Hospital for a Combined Cesarean/Hysterectomy/Kidney Transplant

My due date is two weeks away and although my previous four were all complication free home births, nothing is guaranteed. So I will reminisce before anything has time to go pear shaped. Apart from me. I’ve gone pear shaped.

Expecting Connie I was frightened of pain and embarrassment, now I know it’s the psychological battle which is toughest. Labouring lying down I feel assaulted, hopeless, a desperate victim of endless blows. Standing up I feel better, in control and on top. Even then, near the end, the contractions are a vice not just on my stomach but my mind. It cranks up anxiety and if I don’t take time to soothe myself the fear builds towards panic. Thankfully Garry is very good at counting down the time “Your nearly done, just 20 seconds to go “. But in the end it’s battle no one can fight for you. You have to keep telling yourself that you’re doing great, you’re getting through it, it will soon be over, you will soon meet your baby.

 

The Surprising Upside

The benefits of learning to read early are effortlessly apparent. It’s a powerful thing to be able to edify and entertain yourself. The merits of late learning are less obvious, perhaps invisible if you are in a literacy heavy school system.

Patience is eight, she has a good grasp of how reading works but she is far from fluent. To compensate she has developed heightened focus and discernment. Sometimes she sits still with her gaze fixed on the speaker, sometimes her eyes are down as her hands fiddle in her lap. A question is asked and she springs up with a pertinent phrase plucked from the reading or a reflection on how she sees the subject in her own life. The ideas are complex, her comments mature.

I asked her how she does it. She says as she listens she picks out words she thinks there might be questions on and she tries to remember them.

By comparison my brain seems sluggish, slumped on the print, never having to stand on it’s own.

Drop This Charade!

Back from France and over six months pregnant, I feel now is the time to give up our secret identities.

I am Lydia (months off 40)

Married to Garry (weeks off 44)

Parents of Connie (days off 12) Patience (8) Salvador (6) Judah (4)

And blimp unborn. We welcome name suggestions. The more outlandish the better. Take “Tigerberry Leafbalm the Third” as your starting point.