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This is me in the Place De la Concorde knitting in the place of the guillotine ( a previous version invented in Scotland and called The Maiden ). Crossing to the middle of the Place is well like taking your life in your own hands. My mother was questioning my sanity… but it is rare that a knitter and a political knitter gets a bit of cultural space so I was determined to get photographed in that spot back in October.  Then all hell broke loose. I’ve been wondering how to explain my absence and some bloggy + real life friends say just leap back in and ‘don’t explain’ but it feels odd. I mean I used to post nearly every day. I am online but mostly on instagram (@fatblackcatspaw) Somehow breaking the habit when I went into hospital twice for pneumonia in December and well being very very ill and the months recovering in my parents spare bedroom it feels hard to take it up again. Tonight I was going to post a pic of a visit to the Royal Scottish Academy on Friday to view a picture which I now own but was displayed there however… my bloody computer doesn’t seem to be able to accept photos from my camera… sigh. So I went back to this old pic. Of course with the dramatic events last year I’ve been trying to process them. When you lie in bed thinking about how you nearly died your thoughts turn to what is important. To me the people around me. I try and enjoy my life as much as possible. And am planning more travel. And in the midst of it all I unexpectedly and delightedly get a new job (full time!) so I feel in the midst of huge change. But we have to stand in the middle of it knitting away at life.

I used to lie in wait to see the clover open
Or close,
But never saw it.
I was too impatient,
Or the movement is too subtle,
And more than momentary.
My five-year-old self would tire of waiting
And when I looked again
– All closed for the night!
I missed it
Once more.

I have registered the opening of escholtzia
On an early summer morning.
It gave me a sharp awareness of time passing,
Of exact qualities and values in the light,
But I didn’t see the movement
As movement.
I didn’t with my own direct perception see the petals 
Later, on the film, they seemed to open swiftly,
But, at the time,
Although I stared
And felt time not so much moving as being moved in
And felt 
A unity of time and place with other times and places
I didn’t see the petals moving.
I didn’t see them opening.
They were closed,
And later they were open,
And in between I noted many phases,
But I didn’t see them moving open.
My timing and my rhythm could not observe the
	rhythm of their opening.

The thing about poetry is you have to keep doing it.
People have to keep making it.
The old stuff is no use
Once it’s old.
It comes out of the instant 
And lasts for an instant.
	Take it now
	Without water.

	Tomorrow they’ll be something else.
Margaret Tait

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I’ve been so thrown by the terrible news from Paris I stopped posting my holiday pics – it seemed to frivolous. Yesterday I went up to the French Consulate in Edinburgh where there were many tributes left by local people and left my own. I hear from a friend with a French ma-in-law that the people in France are taking great comfort from expressions of solidarity across the world.

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But if it wasn’t photographed – did it really happen? In that in the past few days have been incredibly busy. I’ve been beetling all around town but keep forgetting to take the memory card for my camera – so no photos. I’ve had one trip to the beach – sitting and crocheting while the waves crashed around me and been walking all around the city in between teaching. I went on Wed to Stockbridge and met a friend for birthday pastries at Patiesserie Madeline. Oh the colours ! simply gorgeous ! and a tiny Madeline with our tea. I borrowed my friends camera to take some photographs. She being a much better knitter than I is knitting up the striped yarn I dyed and to my amazement  it is NOT pooling! The measuring worked! (Pattern is Jaywalker).

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So on my first day in London I went to the very good Shirley Baker exhibition at The Photographers Gallery then set out to find the fabric shops of Soho. This is after buying an umbrella at M&S as it was monsooning it down. I chanced on The Cloth House and stepped in. I had peaked in the window before but didn’t realise there was another room at the back and a basement. I was in search of black linen to copy a beloved but worth through skirt I got from Hobbs some years back. I’m tired of traipsing around shops being faced with horrible fabrics and even worse designs. So am opting out of it all my making my own. This means reacquainting myself with my hand sewing machine. I’ll keep you updated.  The assistant was very helpful and I bought some black cotton for lining as well. It was beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and in a cloth bag, then a plastic bag to protect it from the rain. Just as well as it was quite pricey.