We made pom-poms. I managed 14 today. I explored a method I found on the internet – using a fork to wrap the wool round. I hope these photos explain it. It’s tricky getting it tied tight enough and fitting the scissors in, but it seems to work OK for producing small pom-poms.
A fork with longer tines may have been better (as would sharper scissors) and I’m just wondering how much wool you’d need to wrap a garden fork…
Birth of a pom-pom
Wind it round – a longer fork might have been better
Tie it off
Then we played indoor balloon volleyball/tennis. It’s a game we invented last year using a large balloon. The rules are not fixed, the umpiring is abysmal and the scoring is random, but it seems to work. So far nobody has died playing, we’ve had no tears, and we haven’t damaged the building (though as we’re under notice to quit I’m not sure I’m bothered).
Indoor Balloonball – just look at the speed of that serve!
As we told the group – only boring people get bored.
I finished reading The Moonstone yesterday, I’ve been eating birthday cake and I’m in the middle of a massive pom-pom production session, so at least the the title was easy today.
Julia and Vicki have birthdays on successive days (though the years of birth are not quite so close) so we always have a surfeit of birthday cake at this time of year. I like the word surfeit. King John was said, in some reports, to have died of a surfeit of peaches at Newark in 1216 (they have been commemorating the 800th anniversary of his death recently), though it is more likely he died of dysentery. Henry I died of a surfeit of lampreys.
Lampreys have always seemed an unlikely thing to surfeit on, but it seems they were popular in the middle ages, and still are in some parts of the world. King John fined the City of Gloucester the equivalent of £250,000 for failing to provide his traditional lamprey pie one Christmas. In more recent times Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation pie was a lamprey pie provided by the RAF, and her Diamond Jubilee was marked by the gift of a lamprey pie from the City of Gloucester. Sadly, from a historical point of view, the latter pie was made with lampreys from the Great lakes in North America, as we don’t have many lampreys left, and they are now a protected species.
However, back to The Moonstone. It’s an irritating title because the Moonstone of the title is a yellow diamond, and not actually a moonstone. T. S. Eliot called it “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.” While some of this praise might be open to argument, it’s certainly long. Similarly, it introduces many classic elements of the modern detective novel, including a country house setting, red herrings, a quirky policeman and a twist at the end. It’s just a shame that the twist in the end is such a long way from the crime.
You may be getting the idea by now that I think it’s a little longer than it needs to be. It is. So are many classic novels. Moby Dick, for instance, could do with being reduced in length and a spot of energetic abridgement would definitely improve Don Quixote. I may have touched on this before, but the book, in my hand, would open with the body of Don Quixote lying on the library floor (probably beaten to death with a big book of heraldry), as the crumpled Detective Sergeant Sancho Panza looks for clues. I don’t know what my ending would be, but I do know it would be a lot closer to the beginning than Cervantes managed – about 300,000 words closer to the beginning in fact.
Varnished frames – almost ready
Pitifully paltry pile of pom-poms…
Yes, despite all setting to work in the middle of the day, we managed just these 16, well 15¾ really, as one is still to be cut and tied. That’s enough for one wreath. Of course, the process isn’t quite as linear as wrap, tie, trim.
It’s more in the region of wrap, stop and help someone, wrap, stop and help someone else, wrap, stop and try to rescue one, sweep away a pile of woolly scraps as the attempt fails, wrap, tie, swear, find the scissors, hack, look for a decent pair of scissors, stop and help someone, trim, try not to look too disappointed, start again…
As Julia pointed out, as I moaned my way through the afternoon, the best days of my life are like a pantomime villain.
“How’s that?” I asked, in my role as perennial straight man.
“A friend of mine used to say, ‘You cannot change the past, but every moment is an opportunity to change your future.”
― F.E. Higgins, The Eyeball Collector
We are having an indoor sort of day today. It’s grey and drizzly outside, with a moderate wind and temperature down around 4° C, so you can see why indoors seems good.
They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, but on a day like this I’d dispute that. The right clothes will keep you warm and dry, but it won’t necessarily cheer you up, and it’s cheerfulness that’s lacking on a day like this.
Inside we have a plentiful supply of good humour. We have been planning for December, making party invitations for the Christmas Party, practising belly dancing (not me!), rehearsing songs and making picture frames (by covering plain frames in pieces torn from paper napkins).
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One of the group, who I will allow to remain anonymous, wrote some song lyrics on flip chart paper whilst it was on the floor. You know how permanent marker goes right through cheap paper and stains what is underneath? Well, it’s not a great problem when it goes through to another sheet of paper behind the first one. But if you are resting on the floor you end up with a hieroglyphic design on the floor, and that can be a problem. Julia has managed to remove most of it, but we now have a patch of very clean floor…
This afternoon we will be making pom-poms ready for wreath making.
I used to work for a market-leading company you know. Suit, briefcase, company car, expenses. I even had a Filofax once…