This pandemic has brought out the creativity in many of us, including Ieva – a London friend who has turned a hobby into a micro business, selling beautiful handmade knitted accessories.
I treated myself to a lovely ochre coloured band and am so happy with it. Hats give me a headache so this is a compromise to keep my ears warm. As a bonus it also keeps my hair out of my face when I’m taking photos – no more ruined shots courtesy of stray locks. It’s one of those items that I wasn’t sure I needed but now find indispensable.
The band is made from lovely soft wool and it just feels so nice to have bought something natural, with minimal packaging, and without the discomfort of wondering if someone has been exploited somewhere in the process of making it.
Another bonus of buying direct from an artist is that you also get the personal touch – in this case a lovely handmade note from Ieva thanking me for supporting her creativity. Whether this is a stop gap until the world corrects itself or a new direction for Ieva, I think she deserves as many customers as her hands are fast enough to knit for.
Here’s the link to the Yarn craft Etsy shop – so you too can get a warm fuzzy feeling, from your soft and cosy knitwear and also from buying with a conscience and supporting a fledging business in the process: Yarncraft4u
The colours in Thanet change so much, sometimes hourly – from indigo blue, to silver, turquoise and then grey. Today it looked like a Rothko painting in the morning and a Manet in the afternoon. Practically the first thing I do upon rising is look out the window to see what mood the sea and sky is in today. It feels weird to think the for some people their view is always the same – I’m not sure I could go back to that now. I think it has made lockdown a lot easier having the daily performance of the clouds and the reflections on the sea to entertain me. The days have been so clear of late that I can clearly see the wind turbines turning in the distance. I love them when they look small and delicate, like they have been sketched onto the horizon in charcoal. When a seagull or two swoops past the theatre intensifies and I can almost taste the thrill of their freedom. I sometimes think that they are putting on a show for us – either to entertain us, or to remind us that we can never be as free as them, especially not now.
It was a beautiful day in Kent today, and somebody made the most of it by taking a little blue rowing boat out onto the most beautiful tranquil waters. But first I watched somebody wheel it across Margate Sands to drop it off before a woman jumped into the boat and rowed slowly out to explore the calm, gentle waters. I felt rather envious watching her make the most of Lockdown, at one with nature on a lovely clear day.
Later we all heard confirmation that the lockdown will be ending on 3rd December. I wonder how many people will be sad to see the end of days like this, when free time meets perfect weather and tranquil waters.
In recognition of the stay of execution for ‘Another Time’ – the statue by Gormley installed near the Turner Contemporary – of no less than 10 years, here’s a photograph of the stoic and solid figure that gets engulfed by the sea twice daily. There is something incredibly moving about watching the figure standing firm in spite of being overwhelmed by the sea. Although I’m happy about the extension, as I would miss looking out for him every time the tide is out, I do pity him having to endure 10 more years of it. I can’t help but wonder what he will look like in 2030, and what this country will look like too.
This was taken in Cliftonville (Margate), but it reminds me of Whitstable. It’s lovely seeing the dog walkers on the beaches. It makes me laugh the way I hear the owners talk to their dogs. The joy in the dogs at running on the beach and swimming in the sea is addictive and seems to rub off on the owners too, and me as well. My favourite today was an ecstatically happy dog called Elvis, who just couldn’t get enough of the sea.
This photo obviously wasn’t taken today, but I’ve been working on a new batch of greetings cards and am thinking of including this one. There’s something very English about it, in a Martin Parr kind of way. It’s that sense of determination in the people frogmarching along the side of the bathing pool – that they will enjoy themselves and simply ignore the cargo tankers moored menacingly nearby. I just love the colours of the photos too, especially the inflatable rings, which just happen to match the girls’ bathing suits (though I’m sure that was deliberate on the wearers’ part). And there’s just something about people walking in a line that I like!
I forgot to post anything yesterday so I will have to post a bonus picture at some time. Anyway, here’s today’s post – showing a slightly bleak but beautiful shoreline. Every time I go to photograph the Gormley statue ‘Another Time’ in Margate the heavens open and I find myself being battered by wind and rain cursing my life as a photographer. It happened again today and I wasn’t entirely happy with the photos – if it wasn’t my hair blowing against the lens it was rain battering against it. Still I quite like this slightly blurred picture, thanks to the rain, which gives it the painted quality that I like. Sometimes bad weather can be your friend, even if it soaks through your shoes and down your neck.