Friday, 24 May 2013

Scaling the giddy heights

Nothing says glamour like an office shot
My career can now officially be measured in centimetres – scaling the giddy heights of an HR career, I was today assigned the woeful task of measuring the company’s sunflowers for a competition.  Would you believe that someone was actually doping theirs?  It’s lawyers, right so they’re obviously pretty crazy.  Judge rules?  Miracle Gro is not sporting so... Disqualified.  We were each given six seeds, and I shared mine with two people in the team who were the epitome of detachment parenting – which is apparently pretty hot stuff right now – where I spent a lot of time fussing around mine which might explain why they were fairly stunted.   A metaphor perhaps for the perils of overbearing parenting?  Perhaps I’m getting to that age.

Last week there were a lot of tears and tantrums in the office – not mine, I just supply the message and the tissues – and I’m fairly sure the resultant high levels of carbon dioxide prevented heady growth.  Over the course of the weekend, and away from my hovering presence, the sunflowers bloomed (not literally) and were widely deemed as the likely winners.  Well, it certainly helps to make us popular when we win stuff.  The person responsible for measuring lost interest, went on holiday, I don’t know and I was nomintold that I was in charge.  In a weird way, I had too much power for that limited time.  No idea what to do with the results, but Philip and Roger, my two sunflowers, are very happy office companions for me.  Does anything else look quite as sad as a candid shot of an office though?  There’s a bit more oomph in here generally day-to-day, honest.

So on this grand note, I have news about the future of my crafting work life.  From the beginning of June I am going to start working three days a week in the glamour of HR, and the rest of the week will be spent endeavouring to build some kind of something from the knitting, sewing, embroidering side of life.  I don’t really know what it looks like yet, but I’m excited to find out; and for the first time in my life enjoying not knowing what the end point looks like or trying to control what it looks like.  My sense is that trying to hold it too tightly can only be a bad thing and so I’m very lucky that I’m able to just see what happens.

As part of that, I will be planning to move my blog and will update with more details of that in due course.  I’m determined to figure out taking proper photographs. 

In the meantime, I’m beavering away on my knitwear design course, and have been using manhole covers – not very original I know – as a source of inspiration for my first module homework.  If you’ve never looked at them much before, there is a plethora of different types of doorway into the world under the pavements and each company seems to have made an art form of them.  From paving stones, utility company covers and manhole covers, someone somewhere wanted to make these mundane bits of the world beautiful and I found that very inspiring.  No, I don't think I'm unique or original in thinking that; if anything I should be ashamed that it has taken me this long to think it.  It's probably scuttled across my mind before, but taking the photographs has made me ponder on it properly.  Here are a selection. 

Fleet Street maholes

To quote Tom Hanks in Turner & Hooch "this is not my shoe" - someone scampered past quick as a flash while I was taking the picture (they looked perplexed about why I was taking the picture too)

Crossing bobbles - utilitarian and oddly lovely (sore on the feet though)

Commemorative and functional and older than me, hooray - not that I'm anxious about my birthday just gone and advancing years

Water - simple grid but striking

The South Bank - I loved the way the straight line pavement markers ran up to meet the grid of the cover

Clifford's Inn - a window to the basement

Old Inns of Court door

Is it the same Hope Foundry Co - formed in the 19th century and still adorning our streets

Cobblestone fans outside St Pauls Cathedral
Having charted them – which really made my head ache, having to try and think in reverse (I think this is where the dyslexia can sometimes be apparent) – they are looking quite nice actually and photographs of those will follow shortly.  I’ve become obsessed though with cobble stones and brickwork and all sorts of crazy things.  Having gone from a very slow start to the course – post-wedding lack of motivation as Husband moved into my flat one spoon at a time – now I’ve started I think I’m addicted.  The living room is buried under balls of yarn and random needles as I try new things, and there are samples blocking e.very.where.  Fun. 

Have you seen Truly Myrtle’s Skeppe Hat pattern?  I was lucky enough to be a test knitter and was smitten with the finished result.  It’s a lovely hat, very warm and toasty which in these lovely London summer days is pretty handy; and several people have commented on what a stylish topper it is.  Libby's blog is also a gratuitously good read and very inspiring - it's one of those that I look forward to dropping into my inbox each time. 

The view from my bicycle
This weekend I suspect I shall be dragged back out on the mean streets of SE London.  I say dragged; it's great fun being out on the bicycle although people openly laugh at me with my SS tank commander cycle hat (albeit in Cranberry) and on the Pashley while Husband rides a perfectly sensible and modern bicycle.  Mine weighs 3.5 stone or thereabouts, I can barely get the thing up and down the pavements without help and my pathetically low athleticism means that I spend quite a bit of time huffing and puffing up the hills while Husband bounds up, back down to meet me, up again, back down.  You get the idea.  Much like when we run together - he probably covers twice the distance as I bouncy walk along behind him.  I'm not built for running - I've got a runners lean upper body, and the classic legs of the English pear.  I feel sad for me too.  It presents several challenges with dress making, and more of that in June too ...

I'm trying to work out a bit of image styling for a brand new, pimped out, vamped up blog and loved the colours of this Koigu merino.  An introduction to photograph course starts soon at the City Lit and I am signed up - couldn't come soon enough as I've got to stop being frightened of the technological future, especially as the future I'm fearing is already the past and I'm on the verge of being obsolete.

Bought from The Village Haberdashery, rubbish photograph by me

Finally, I saw Kaffe Fassett at SOAS on Monday evening and this image (excuse the stair rail in the foreground - I was trying to snap quickly while Brandon Mably flew through the slides) really struck a chord.  I love the colours and vibrancy and it got my already quite motivated self even more motivated to get working harder on the knit/stitch/sewn design side. 

Kaffe Fassett - photograph of slides at SOAS presentation 20 May 2013
Anyway, more information on the new beginnings side of things in due course.  I’m excited to see what part-time work brings, and there will be much to share soon – probably a list or two (I do love a list).  Stay tuned for that ...

Have lovely bank holiday weekends in the meantime – lots of good stitching if the rotten weather holds

1 comment:

  1. Hi CJ,
    Bit of nightmare, Libby has had a bad allergic reaction to something and may not be able to come tomorrow. Pauline is also unable to make it. That left seven people. We will rearrange for a later date, but if you would like to come tomorrow (3.30pm was the kick-off) you are still welcome. I will pop to Tesco and get a cake though I'm afraid it won't be up to Libby's standard! Anwen would like to come provided a few people join her, and she has wonderfully volunteered to make scones. I don't have your email address. So far, we have two people still coming if another two come, one who won't and a couple of people not yet replied. If a couple of others come will you still be coming?