War, Peace, Salami, Bread

I recommend reading and following Shaindel and George and you will find out why I have put them together with the book about peace (also worthy of a read). Please explore.

George’s tales of Langoustine are an absolute delight – witty and beautifully written thoughts and noodlings. George left Hungary in the 1950’s with his family and resides in the UK, writing and translating. He is currently working on a book about his mother who survived a concentration camp in the Second World War.

Shaindel’s book is a collection of poetry based on survivor children’s drawings about the wars they were subjected to. It also includes further poetry about war in its many contexts. Thoughtful, clever and touching. Delivered with dignity. Shaindel is a professor of English in the USA.

The short pocket book on Peace Studies is ideal if a quick look in to the subject is all you would like. It’s quick and easy to flick through.

 

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I have also indulged in Hungarian salamis, Ukrainian (Kolos Bakery, Bradford) rye bread, and poppy seed bread (Hungarian) having finally located the deli in town which has these fine products.

A long chat was had about Slavia Stores and Krakus jams, long gone now. It would have been a perfect slavic shopping experience had there been some of their plum spread or rose hip jam. Oh and full fat cream cheese – the real stuff – that too is no longer around. Hungarian salami stands between me and vegetarianism! Thankfully it is rare and costly!

After some experimenting I can now make my own rye and caraway bread. Perhaps I will have to try making plum spread too.

 

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Epic Japanese Quilt Show

Stunning quilting from Japan!

Jonelle Patrick's Only In Japan

"Flowers Of The Cosmos" by Fumiko Nakayama “Flowers Of The Cosmos” by Fumiko Nakayama

Let me just say right up front that this quilt show exceeded expectations in every way. Something I really love about Japan is that Art-With-A-Captial-A is defined so generously, and artists whose work requires many years of mastering the technical parts of making it are not dismissed as “craftsmen” but given full respect. And when that happens, you get this level of mind-boggling!

So, first of all, it’s no surprise that any showcase of Japanese quilts is going to feature insanely fractal levels of piecing and stitching perfection.

I do not want to know how many hours this took. ("???" by ?? Tanaka) I do not want to know how many hours this took. (“Countless Flowers Blooming” by Kazuko Tanaka)

And this. Uh, yeah. ("Jack In The Box" by Keiko Ike) And this. Yeah. (“Jack In The Box” by Keiko Ike)

And did I mention this? ("???" by ?? Tanaka) And did I mention this? (“Mother’s Favorite Winter Peonies” by Mineko Miyashita)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few I thought you might enjoy, because they were especially Only…

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The Knitting Sutra

I finished reading it the other day and a fair bit of the book resonated with me, particularly the journey of knitting, being involved with all kinds of people through creating and making, being welcomed by many in to their ways of doing things.The Knitting Sutra

All this has made my life a rich experience without having to travel far, all these people have been on my doorstep and in groups I have been a part of or got involved with. It dawned on me that I have travelled without travelling. It’s a fundamental need of mine and a part of my heritage – to travel.

What also resonated is just how far I am from my own knitting heritage. Even though I was taught by my mother – all kinds of things to make and the geometric patterns and roses of Bosnia – there’s a part of me deep inside that wants to indulge in the patterns of Serbian tribes and regions. I have avoided them – partly because of complexity and partly because, well – that’s for another time to share.

Rowan Knitting Magazine 44

What I am working on now – from Rowan Magazine 44

But like when I picked up the fiddle to play Scottish tunes, the ‘click’ happens with knitting. I was told that I knew instinctively, the tunes, the patterns were in me. I got patterning. The rhythm is in everything because it is in us constantly.

Intricacy, sitting and doing is also mentioned in the book. The process –  and I know this – is often more important than the end result. I am spending my time knitting things ‘because I can’ make them. Who knows, maybe I’ll move on to the more tricky, inner soul stuff at some point. But a journey calls me – I will have to go and do a perusing of the scene soon, to connect again, with the root. The root of me.

Ravelry.com

What I aim to achieve in the future. Can be found on Ravelry.com

 

A Vegan Experiment

I feel the need to try something out and see if my body likes it. For a while I’ve been veggie on and off and I think my bod has reacted in interesting ways to the changes.

For the next six weeks I’m going vegan and wheat/gluten free – all is ready – things are being made right now. It’s not that difficult – so much is available and unless you are nut-intolerant, there are many possibilities and one or two international cuisines that can enable. But mostly, vegetables and fruit are the main ingredients. It’s difficult to get vegan and wheat-free ready-made things like sausages – so they are a treat. DSCF0340

I make my own bread, mostly, and will be doing entirely for this period of time. There are pittas in the freezer, Japanese crackers and  oatcakes for immediate take-out and lunch breaks -and yes, they are all without wheat and gluten.

My cottage bread today is  spelt/no gluten/oatmeal and smells wonderful, even as I knead it. There’s an aubergine and black-eyed bean casserole (topped up with onion, garlic, celery, carrot, courgette, green beans, tomato puree, marjoram, bay leaf, chilli flakes, seasoning), to be served with a dollop of soy yoghurt. DSCF0337

An experimental fruit n root loaf of sorts is in the oven made of grated apple, carrot, parsnip, dried apricots, pomegranate seeds, orange pith, walnuts and  binding ingredients including flax seeds gluten-free flour, almond milk, rolled oats. Will see how that turns out – it has risen, which is a good sign! DSCF0339

A weekend at Haworth SteamPunk – 20th -22nd November 2015

If I was to be asked where home was, I would say Haworth. I’m sure many people know about the village  and what its connections are to the literary world.  I also love me a bit of SteamPunk – again the literature – Nine Novels that defined SteamPunk, and the scene of event-making around the whole genre and era of Victorian steam. DSCF0296

It would of course be right to catch the steam train in to Haworth. ( The journey from Keighley to Haworth used to be my  meditative ride home from a difficult day’s work in crisis intervention in the 1990’s).  The carriages are warm and there was a bar offering local beers and hot drinks on board. Even better. A slow chug along the line is just enough time to forget the twenty-first century and to head back to another time and place.

I arrived at  my destination in time for performances by Roses (all women group of steampunkery gypsy cross-cultural belly-dancing) and the photo shoot of the weekend’s dressed up SteamPunkers outside the station doors.

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There was a tiny bit of snow around, enough to generate the perfect magical atmosphere of the cobbled village tucked away in the Pennines. I hung around the station watching, observing, chatting and taking photos. They’re a friendly bunch of folk. Jovial. Polite. Clearly having plenty of fun, as was I.

 

DSCF0312DSCF0320The walk up to the top of Haworth from the station is a vertical one! A steep-sided valley that was once the hub of the wool industry has evolved in to a visitors centre with some delightful places to walk to and stop off at. I took a break in The Fleece with my favourite local beer – Golden Best by Taylor’s.  Main Street was busyDSCF0323 of course. Shopkeepers, cafe and pub staff entering in to the spirit of the weekend.

I meandered through the crowd and in to halls where everything SteamPunk was available to try on, take home and put on your mantel piece or just peruse and have a cuppa and slice of cake with the WI.

The weekend event is organised by a team of volunteers headed by Michael Young. It’s a fundraiser for the local hospice, Manorlands.

DSCF0316Events include a masquerade ball, local bands on in great venues, a fashion show and more. Ancient machinery is displayed courtesy of local manufacturers. All that is missing is the Time Machine! But if you go along, be sure to know, that you will be transported back in time and will be greeted by friendly faces and happy people.

As for the outfits. Some very dapper folk strutting the cobbles!

Haworth SteamPunk

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