It is trying, oh so hard, to be spring here - we have bluebells carpeting the woods with a gentle blue haze -
There is Cuckoo Pint, leering suggestively from the verge -
Country folk have always had fun with the nick-naming of this plant and it is variously known as 'Lords and Ladies' 'Parson in the Pulpit' 'Sweethearts', ''Devils and Angels, 'Cows and Bulls' and even (more modernly) 'Willy Lily'. But it's proper name is the Arum Lily. It is now classified as poisonous, though in Elizabethan times its roots were dried and used as starch or as an arrow root substitute. Apparently - in its dried form - it loses its poisonous properties and was also used in love potions- but please don't try this at home.
The swallows are back, diving joyously around the farms, gorging on mosquitoes, though they can't be enjoying the cold wet weather we are enduring at the moment.
And, whatever the weather, it is the start of the village cricket season again and time for aching limbs and muddy whites.
Happy discovery; my needle felting basket fits perfectly into my rucksack, and thus can travel with me on the bike to cricket matches. As most matches last for at least 6 hours, this is valuable work time and with any luck I get to sit in the sun. Or else freeze my fingers off in an easterly wind. Much interest in what I was doing and a steady trickle of people coming over to enquire what I was doing. Not one had heard of needle felting, and were intrigued by the progress; more often they were amazed at how long it took - eight hours minimum or in the case of Lanky Lil, a total of fifteen. The most rewarding enquiry was from a very intelligent young girl who asked me what I was doing and got the full lecture, from how felt used to be made, to the construction of a toy and how I also paint them as artworks. Not only was she polite, genuinely interested and actually listened, she made more intelligent observations than many adults. And - oh blessed 21st century child - I didn't have to explain what a blog was!
Lil enjoyed the fresh air and the sun, and I was so absorbed in working on her that the afternoon flew by; Andy reported that I missed the courting butterflies cavorting past and the kestrel hovering overhead. She turned out larger than expected, and instead of felting her wings to her torso, I added moveable ones, so that she can march - kind of.
I have a mega-apology to make to a lot of people...a few days ago, while trying to add one friend to my Stumble page, I added my entire Yahoo address book...all 269 of them. This was a complete mistake on my part; I pressed the send button before unchecking everyone. Doh! And so they will all have received e-mails on my behalf, pointing them to the site. It's a good little tool for spot-finding sites and blogs you might be interested in, but I really did not intend to bother everyone, especially not the various clients and art directors...though it is nice that some people have linked up to me and found it useful. Others probably did not; I'm sorry. It was a genuine accident, I hate being bothered by that kind of thing myself, which makes it worse. I would fall on my needle felting needle in remorse, but it would almost certainly break.