We often ask the question on a Monday: is it a holiday? In England the bank holidays are fixed and well-known to all. In England they also think that Scotland has fixed-but-different-from-England holidays. This is not true. Here each local authority has its own ideas about which days are holidays; within that authority individual towns and villages may also express their own opinions, as do the banks and the Post Offices. Actually, the Royal Mail are pretty canny and take just about every holiday going, so post on a Monday is a rare thing. But it all adds up to a kind of Monday lottery: just because your employer says that today is a working day, it doesn’t mean that the bins will be emptied or that the roofers will show up for work… (for instance).
I’ve been known to miss my own holidays, since I am often working from home, but (even in the absence of roofers) I do happen to know that today is a working day. A shame, really, as I’ve had a lovely weekend and I wouldn’t have minded prolonging it. Instead I am just reliving it over lunch.
On Saturday Stuart & I went to an all-day tai chi workshop, which was exhausting but very good. I’ve been going to a weekly class for about a year, but the teacher is now organising monthly workshops which will fit more easily into my timetable and also offer a better grounding in the principles. Stuart has been watching my antics with interest and I was really pleased that he decided he’d like to come to the workshops too. We don’t get much opportunity for shared activities, other than loom maintenance and tidying the house!
On Sunday, though, Stuart had to go back to marking assignments so my treats were just for me. In the morning I had a long chat with Meg thanks to the wonders of skype. We’ve never spoken before, which made me quite nervous, but we talked for over an hour about weaving, craft and the state-of-the-world with regard to them. It was interesting to reflect on where Scotland and New Zealand are the same and where they differ. We are similar-sized countries (with lots of sheep) but with such different histories. And yet the place we are in now — losing textile industries to the far east (well, I suppose that would be the far north from NZ), college departments closing down and selling off their looms — is common to many other countries too, driven in part by unreflective consumption of fashion. That makes our conversation sound gloomy but it wasn’t at all. We did have to stop eventually, though, because it was bedtime down under and lunchtime up here, plus I had a date to go and see some art in the woods with my mother.
This week is Perthshire’s Open Studios event and Mum & I had decided we wanted to see Heartwood, a collaborative project where the artists create an exhibition trail through a small piece of woodland. We both loved it, and if you are in the area I do recommend it: it’s open until the 11th.
Having said to Meg, “I will definitely take my camera”, I promptly went out leaving the camera on top of the loom. I did take a few pictures on my phone, though, and you can see more on the Heartwood website.
We went on to visit some other venues as well, and I bought these snazzy gloves from Sheila Martin. Other items were purchased from Sheila and from Jean Calder, but cannot be mentioned here as they are Future Gifts.
And finally, the Google animation is a lovely tribute, but here’s a taste of the real thing: the divine Freddie.