Do you remember that game? You take it in turns to tell a story round a group of people, and each contributor has to begin (alternately) with ‘Fortunately…’ or ‘Unfortunately…’ The story rapidly becomes quite surreal as our hero lurches from catastrophe to rescue to disaster to triumph to failure to intervention and on and on.
These days, whenever someone asks me how I’m doing, I struggle to frame an answer that doesn’t sound like a round of Fortunately Unfortunately. On the one hand, I am acutely aware of all the good fortune I enjoy: a safe and comfortable home; my favourite human and feline companions as my lockdown buddies; a loom and a project to work on; ability to connect with friends and family around the world. But hot on the heels of the fortunately, comes the unfortunately: all the things that are unravelling, both for me personally and in the bigger picture.
Lately, for instance – as if they are feeling the pressure too – random household appliances have started breaking down, just as repairing them has become a wild game of chance. Even in easier times, I am not a person who likes to buy a new thing (other than a new loom, of course) when I already have an old one. Indeed, I consider anything under twenty years old to be the ‘new’ whatever-it-is, and was startled to realise that my Kenwood mixer (RIP) did not in fact fall into that category. The jury is still out on what will happen re the mixer. In the meantime we have established a way of holding the oven door shut with a stick, but we did draw a deep breath and order a new printer to replace the inert lump of plastic that was sitting next to the computer, because neither of us could get our work done without it. My hope is that we can get the older ‘new printer’ repaired later for use in the studio – if I still have a studio, in the post-covid world.
Under the ‘Fortunately’ heading, I can at least file my current weaving project. When I last posted about it, I was still working out the details of the design. It took me a long while to pin down exactly how to proceed, so finally getting started at the loom was a big relief. I don’t know about you, but I find I think much more clearly about weaving when I am weaving.
The knotted pile makes this a slow weave: I’m giving myself the routine of weaving about 18 cm a day. The pile doesn’t cover the whole piece, but tracks across the fabric in long lines. It looks a bit mad, but it’s madness with method in’t. You can trust me on that or not as you choose!