On hot, sunny Friday the 5th of July, I set off from my front door at 9am to travel 350 miles to a place I had no idea what part of England it was in. My geography and sense of direction are sadly lacking. Because of these little quirks I could tell my husband was a little anxious about me travelling so far on my own, as he waited for me to leave before going of f to work himself. I was quite glad really as I could not remember where to plug the Tom -Tom in!
My next challenge was to navigate to Biggar without much help from Tom! Initially I ignored it’s advice when it told me to head west towards Glasgow. Eventually after turning left when I should have turned right etc and going round in circles I decided I would listen to Tom and head west, however it must have ‘got’ what I was trying to do and we travelled in harmony to and through Biggar towards my destination.
After a couple of hours I had a quick toilet/coffee stop and headed off on my merry way again without any problems. (None that I will admit to except perhaps to say I should have been in a truck to park where I did!).
Tom worked hard at keeping me on track although he had to shout at me a few times and kept repeating himself every few yards especially approaching roundabouts and slip roads. (is Tom a he or a she? A male name with a female voice? I will stick to he for the moment!)
I drove at a sedate 70 mph on the motorway for a while and watched others fly by. Some would applaud my sense but they don’t know me very well! I was getting a bit bored with this so decided to put the foot down. Hitting another speed, I’m not specifying what, I also hit a speed trap. I then hit the brakes. I have not had a notice through the door so perhaps I will hold on to my clean licence for a little longer.
Returning to being a law-abiding driver, I continued on an uneventful journey. It is hard work driving on unfamiliar roads even with a Tom-Tom for company so I felt it was time for another pit stop and stretch my legs. I was many, many miles away from my destination and about ninety from Birmingham.
Legs stretched, some coffee slurped and stored in the in-car fancy cup holder for drinking when it got cooler, soft ,melting, gooey Rocky Road biscuit consumed, I switched the engine on and fired up my trusty companion. He wasn’t playing the game! “No Route Planned” was his stubborn answer every time I shut him down and rebooted him because it was the wrong answer!!
What was I to do? Not quite ready to panic or head north, I did my ET impersonation and phoned home, or near home. Norrie knows everything about gadgets that I don’t. He really is the next best thing to a Tom-Tom!
After following instructions and trying a variety of combinations of button pressing I was literally getting no where. My instructions from the gadget guru was “You will just have to use the paper copy of instructions!”
I left Tom on hopping it would feel sorry for me and get with the program as it did earlier. I read the written directions and wrote out a series of post-its, placed them in order either on the seat beside me or the dashboard according to what I would need. The plan was to discard and replace them as I passed each target.
(I know, I hear you asking why did I have post-its with me anyway!? There is no rhyme or reason to what I keep in my bag!)
I tentatively made my way back on to the motorway feeling like a baby who had lost her security blanket.
The post-its kept falling off.
I will not take cheap post-its on a long journey again , also I will consider the shape of the dash the next time I buy a car as I think this was also a contributing factor to the failure of my ingenious plan!
Anyway I digress! I should have known Norrie would come to the rescue. He researched what the problem was and phoned me with the solution. My saviour! I managed to get Tom back on track just as the traffic came to a halt!
Heading towards Birmingham on Friday afternoon is not a good idea. The traffic was moving at a snail’s pace… 1 mph, 10 mph followed by a spurt of 45 mph, down to zero mph and on it went for ever! Mph should be a word in the dictionary as far as I am concerned, it sounds like the sounds I was making.
I was hot and bored! I had a slurp of cold coffee as I slowly drove along. (not my favourite way to drink coffee but I was not stopping at another service station given the earlier trauma). I spilt it on my new shirt. Damn! I quickly threw water over myself! The flippy lid on the bottle wouldn’t let out very much water so I frantically squeezed it. Driving and directing water over a coffee stain on your chest is not a good idea as the engine pleads for a higher gear and the traffic thins out and reaches silly speeds past me!
Eventually I left the motorway and headed towards Farncombe Estate. According to my instructions (or was it my imagination?) I had 5 roundabouts to cross and I had reached my destination. 15 roundabouts later Tom decided to dump me on a long ,winding road. Apparently I had reached my destination. An hour later I found Farncombe Estate. Travelling on another long and winding road I reached a barrier and intercom. There was a car in fornt of me. I pulled up behind it thinking I could just follow it through the barrier, but no! I had to press the button on the ntercom to speak to someone to lift the barrier. I could not reach! Three times I reversed and edged closer to it before finally I hit the button. (I could just imagine a wee man sitting spying on my predicament having a good laugh!). I truly had reached my destination. One last thing to do before meeting the group of stitchers I was about to spend a lovely weekend with…. have a Gin and Tonic!
Sian asked if I had a good journey, “Yes!” I lied!
It was all worth it and I would do it again in a minute. It was all over too quickly as things you are enjoying tend to be!
A weekend’s work.
Here is an introduction to some of the work Sue Dove’s group did. It was great fun and I learned a lot about mark making especially on fabric and keeping a ‘sketch book’ full of ideas and how to develop them mixing mediums. Translating them into stitch is something I will work more on.
This is some of my work from the workshop with Sue.
This is a selection of everyone’s efforts from both classes. It was great so see everyones efforts and share our thoughts on each others work and experiences I did not edit any af these photographs because there were so many but I think they should all be blur free. I have not commented on any of the work as it speaks for its self. We really are a multi-talented bunch. I hope no one objects to having their work displayed on my blog. If you want your work credited to yourself leave a message!
Finally here is a selection of work I have been working on since returning home, I hope you enjoyed sharing this journey with me.