Tag Archives: fabric

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lxxiv


lxxiv : Wear your dressing gown back to front

It’s surprisingly efficient when sitting up in bed to read in the cold cold small very small hours.


Mostly horticultural


On any list of Silly Things To Do, potting on dozens of plants while wearing a white dress must be fairly high up.  But it is my loosest and airiest dress, and at eight this morning it was already hot.  Smears might come out in the wash – maybe.

Meantime, the tide of plant pots rose and rose, filling the garden tables, obstructing the paving, covering the coal bin, overflowing down the steps, and lapping at the doors.  Plant after plant, knocked out of its small pot, was tucked briskly into the new litre pot with nice fresh compost; I was amused to detect in myself the manner of an old-fashioned nurse doing her hospital corners.  If I can fend the slugs off, I trust most of my patients will survive.

This is a table.  I haven’t seen it for several years as it has been covered with guinea pigs and seedlings in trays and plants in pots.  Look:  still shiny!

Essential equipment


These are the reading trousers.


Their virtues are legion:  they do not bite, itch, ride up, expose the ankles to drafts, generate electric shocks, or work themselves into vicious little wrinkles which dig in.  They enable much intellectual endeavour (also sleep), and accommodate not only legs, but any size of lunch.  Social graces should not be expected of the reading trousers when appearing outside the home, as they are not interested in public opinion.  Indeed, at formal gatherings they may spontaneously fall down.

Every reader should have some.



This is why you never throw anything away:

so that when you want a giant sandbag a yard long, you can cut up the recycled fabric from the worn-out cushions of twenty years ago;

turn the clinging velvet sausage right side out over the giant knitting needles used for an unsuccessful project fifteen years ago;


and fill the narrow aperture with rice using a jam funnel bought ten years ago to stop you spilling hot jam – which made jam spills even worse.


And we spuddlers know that we might need a yard long velvet sandbag at any time, day or night.  Don’t we?

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lxiv


lxiv : Teeny little stitches

Collect up the patches

1 patched

and start sewing.  Always looks a horrible mess, full of tacking and paper.

2 papered

It’s hard on the fingers.  I went to my sewing box and an old sewing box to find a good fit.  Something for generations of stitchers, with swollen hands or slim:  Britannia metal, celluloid, aluminium, plastic.

3 fingers

The tiny child’s thimble is heavily worn; all that sewing practice and pricking of small fingers. Pretty sure she is dead now.

4 practising

Sewing different fabrics together is always tricky – different thicknesses, nap, and stretch. And I’m not the world’s neatest seamstress.

5 cat's teeth

Looks as if it might work.

Standards are slipping


Demoralised failures:

Ordered TWO batches of knitting yarn before breakfast.  Extravagance, and it’s once more becoming a challenge to ram home the cupboard doors on the stash.

Found some ground rice with a use by of 2013.  Not auditing kitchen stores – another black mark.  But as I wanted to cook shortbread, I merely inspected it for crawlers trying to make an exit, then tipped it in.

magnificationGreed.  Ate a lot of shortbread.

shortbreadThe standard of shortbread remains unslipped.