Sunday, 23 October 2011

Big day - quick post

I'm dashing about today as I'm leaving this evening for my new job (here). However, yesterday was such a big day that I need to write a quick post about it now, so that it doesn't get lost in all the new job/new home palaver.

The day started with a parade in the centre of town where my dad's army unit got freedom of the city of Manchester. There was a lot of standing about, but it was still quite an impressive event. Here's a picture from the BBC website (taken by Ed Swinden with an amazing lens that I really want).

Then after that I went to a Manchester Literary Festival event, Words on Asylum and Refuge, organised by the beautiful girl for Amnesty International. It was a fantastic event, very moving and interesting. The best part for me was the talk given by Mende Nazer, who you may know a bit about if you saw the film I Am Slave last year (staring my fellow MGCer Wunmi Mosaku). I don't think anything can compete with the effect of seeing her talk about her experiences in person, but I do want to find out more about her, so I will definitely be reading her book, Slave, soon.

Some of mine and the beautiful girl's other friends came to the event, so we went for lunch afterwards, which was lovely. But then I had to dash off to go to the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. Apparently it's been going on for a few years, but I'd never heard of it before recently. My very thoughtful brother got me a ticket for my birthday, as I'd asked for experiences not objects.

There were lots of amazing things there, which will keep me inspired for a good while. It was quite nice to see that all of the stuff there was out of my price range. Everything was well priced for the work that had gone into it, which I was pleased about. I quite often see crafters pricing their work very cheaply in order to make a sale. But at the fair, there were lots of sales being made, and lots of interest. I've taken a few cards for future birthday requests. The hats in particular were wonderful. I loved these by Sarah Cant, and these by H'atelier, who actually has a shop in Manchester that I have somehow never seen.

It was a very lovely day, and a nice way to round off my very quick trip back home in between jobs. Hopefully, I will have time on the farm to keep up with this blog, and I'll be taking my camera with me in order to capture my time there. Wish me luck.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Adventures in the wild

This weekend I went on a Rustic Furniture Making course. It's something I'd asked my dad to pay for as my birthday present, due to the fact that I don't want to accumulate more posessions, but I do want to acquire more skills.

It was really good - even just the weekend away in the woods was wonderful, and the other people there were really interesting, but also the chair making was really good. I picked the course because it's something that I had no idea how to do; I had originally thought that I'd go on a craft course, but they were all really pricey for something that I could learn to do myself. This furniture making course was great though, I think I'll be able to use the skills elsewhere.

I've not seated the chair yet, so I'll post a picture once that's done (I'm just ordering the materials now!). You can see some more info on the course here, and these are some of the chairs that are made in a similar fashion to mine:

I will also be looking to do some other courses run through LILI in the future, they're really good value and a great learning environment.

One other interesting thing about the course was that somebody mentioned the Incredible Edible movement, which sounded good, and on looking into it, there's been a group set up in Wilmslow, which is not too far from here. I know that a few local people read this blog, so even though I'll be leaving town next week (heading to a new job at Church Farm) I thought it was worth a mention. The Incredible Edible Wilmslow site also had a link to this amazing tree identifying factsheet, which I will be using in future.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Decisions, decisions

I want to record today, as it's the moment of a big decision for me.

I'm not 100% certain that I'm doing the right thing, but I was faced with two very different options about how I wanted my life to go from now on, and today is the day that I have to give an answer.

It's been very difficult to come to this decision...well, no, I think that I made the decision quite a while ago, but it's taken me some time to come to accept it.

There will be times when I doubt myself, and I want to be able to look back on this blog entry and try and hold within it some small glint of this feeling, like a diamond chip secreted within tightly cupped hands.

The real moment of clarity came last night, when I was having yet another session of tossing and turning within sheets. I realised that if I took one of the options (what seems like the most sensible option) then I would be taking the road where I would never love what I do. The other option is not nearly as sensible, and it cuts me off from certain future achievements that I think I will miss. However, I think that it leads me down a road where I could end up in a place that I love.

Last night, I also remembered something that I hadn't really understood properly before. There have been many times when I've been doing things and I've not worried even the tiniest bit about the future or where I was going. Those times were when I was doing something that I loved. At those times, it didn't matter where the thing was going, because the present had been so fulfilling. But where I've been recently has been the opposite of that - I've thought about nothing but how to get on and get out.

The sensible option I'm faced with at the moment would be another step on a very similar road, and I'd always be looking around me for something better, and not appreciating even the good things. But with the other option, I think that it might be more difficult and challenging overall, but I can envision long swathes of future where I feel comfortable and happy with where I am in the moment.

Beautiful Photo

“Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, 1932″ by Henri Cartier-Bresson.