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There always seems to be something interesting going on here, whether involving weaving, work on the house, cultural activities in the area or simply watching nature.

Firstly, there was a wonderful Complex Weavers Study Day in London, organised by the UK’s efficient CW Liaison Officer, Lesley Willcock.  I was honoured to give a half-day presentation on Honeycomb Hybrids to weavers from Britain, Europe and the US, followed by Cally Booker (Scotland) who was talking on double-huck lace (I took copious notes!!).  Then Alice van Duijnen (Holland) shared with us her passion and research into some of Anni Albers‘ works including some recreations of a couple of pieces.  This tied in brilliantly with a lecture and visit to the amazing exhibition of Anni Albers’ (German) work at the Tate Modern.  Wow!  What an exhibition (and several books in the bookstore, including this one!!).  A wealth of information and woven pieces were there, as you would imagine, but also printing that Anni did later on in her life, and a fabulous collection of indigenous woven pieces from across South America which had inspired Anni in her own weaving.  My first visit to the exhibition lasted 3 hours until my brain couldn’t take any more, and then my repeat visit enabled me to capture some of the pieces on film (how old fashioned is that?!!) – well, digital anyway.  It is amazing that we are allowed to take photos for personal use.  The image at the top of the page is from the cover of the book accompanying the exhibition (triple warp, double weft hanging).

At our shared meal on the evening after the presentations, we did a quick round-the-table addition of how many years weaving we had between us.  There were 17 of us there at the meal, and a rough total of 460 years, which averaged out at 27 years apiece!!  The most was 55 years (followed by 47 years), and the least was 5 years.  Staggering, isn’t it?!  I wonder what the total would have been with all the attendees?

I got back to France to receive an update of our amazing mother hen.  Josephine (Graham will insist on naming them!!) had been sitting on a brood of 17 eggs!  She managed to hatch 11 of them about a week before I left, and was doing a fabulous job shepherding them around the garden and teaching them the do’s and don’ts of being a chick.   I fully expected there to be a few casualties on my return, but she was only missing one.  Our very loud and proud main cockerel, Percy, had recently taken up with a new hen (poor Fiona got a bit upset!) but disappeared during broad daylight along with his new paramour a few days before I went to the UK.  Two teenage cockerels who had been banished from the garden by Percy, and who we had called Hot Pot and Casserole (say no more!!) took advantage of the feathers blowing in the wind and took on Percy’s harem.  Now we have 3 cockerels and three hens plus an adolescent hen.

Then two nights ago, there was a kerfuffle outside around 11.30pm.  I had locked up and was in bed, and by the time I had got the door unlocked and the shutters open, there was nothing to be seen.  But alas and alack, in the morning there was another pile of feathers, no Josephine and 9 of her 10 chicks were also gone.

So now we have a little solitary chick who is doing ok, so far.  He/she must have managed to hide in a wood pile (of which we have several) and keep safe.  I have been throwing chicken feed into 3 piles of wood so that it has food wherever it is hiding, and I have seen it dashing between wood piles.  When the other hens are around its area, it sticks with them, but won’t follow them round the garden – a good thing, I think.  I managed to shut it up last night and hope that it will soon learn to climb the ladder into the tree, like the other hens.

As the saying goes – “Nature, red in tooth and claw”.  Sad but true.

Next time, I hope to show you our new gates!  I love that gates can get me excited!!

Until then, Happy Weaving!!