At the end of any intensive period of work, I need to reconnect with our home, and usually have a mammoth housework blitz. In the midst of this domestic blissness, I finally sorted out my sewing baskets. They have been in a pickle since we moved here, six years ago and I haven't sewn properly for roughly ten years. It was a cheerful (if dusty) medley of bits and bobs. (Do I need three darning eggs?) I happily rootled through it all, wiping away the odd tear: my sewing baskets are repositories of 25 years of my life. Even a tiny button can bring a long forgotten memory of the girl I used to be, full of artistic dreams, but totally lacking the grit and self discipline I would have to acquire to make a real career out of my aspirations. And my mother's humble nickle silver thimble can reduce me to a quivering pulp. After a couple of hours everything was ship-shape, and although I had one basket crammed with antique sewing ephemera and another full of supplies overflow, the 'working' oval basket is strangely empty and austere, as it waits to be filled with new - and this time finished - projects.
I have been revelling in not having to paint for hours at a time and relaxing into the quiet anarchy of pottering. Tuesday I re-arranged my studio. Yesterday we tackled the kitchen. Today is clean the bathroom/stairs day, with Andy painting over the various mouldy bits our landlord can't be bothered to sort out. (At least it is white for a while). But I am taking it easy. There is time to needle felt and watch day time antiques shows - yes, at the same time, it can be done without stabbing yourself if you don't get too involved in the TV. A knock at the door brought a familiar delivery man. He is used to bringing all kinds of parcels to our address, and I always tell him what they are. A sack of merino wool, army boots, watercolour paper, and this time - oh blessed day that I should live to see it - a Gocco. I gave a cry of joy, and took it reverently from his arms.
On my last birthday, after much hinting on my part, ("look dear, at THIS Gocco on THIS website, and LOOK at what you can do with it, isn't it FUN???") Andy generously gave me enough money to buy my own. Last year was a terrible year work-wise for me, and I simply could not, with a clear conscience, spend this windfall on an indulgence - it got spent on food instead. Oh, tedious maturity and sensibleness. But at last, I have got my chubby mitts on a B6, via a certain popular auction site. Second hand, but in great condition, and with a generous amount of inks to get me going. All the way from Japan, in three days. It cost about one hundred pounds, a third of which was express shipping. I would like to say that after stroking it, unable to believe that I had finally entered the happy kingdom of Gocco-dom, I set to printing then and there. But - oh tedious maturity and sensibleness again - I have a toilet to finish cleaning, books to dust and laundry to fold. I have waited a long time for my baby, and I can wait a little longer.
Before I forget my manners, a big thank you, to Caroline who alerted me to the fact that my toys were featured on the illustrious Penguin and Fish blog! And many many thanks to Alyssa, for being so kind. As well as reviewing artists, she makes stylish and simply gorgeous cats. Check 'em out.
Now, the toilet awaits, where did I leave my rubber gloves..?