My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

Farncombe Summer School

My Journey.

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.


Comments on: "Farncombe Summer School" (7)

  1. I loved reading your witty story Elaine. Your work is beautiful – I can’t believe how much work you have done since going home! It was great to meet you at Farncombe. Your lovely post brought back all the happy memories for me.

  2. Viv Estill said:

    Excellent – your account of the journey is very amusing and rings true! Well done and great to see you at Summer School.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Viv, it was great to meet yourself and everyone else too. Hopefully we can meet again next year.

  3. Lovely story Elaine. Well written and very entertaining! I love the work that you have developed since getting back home.

  4. Quite an event! The Summer School looks like it was worth it, though!

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