Don’t you just love these Terracotta horses? We visited the Sanskrit Centre today. It is a museum and arts centre with three museums. The museums are dedicated to Terracotta (or pottery) Everyday art and Textiles. Sadly we could not take pictures of the inside and their beautiful textile display. Also they did not have post cards or photographs of the displays as it would not be in keeping with their philosophy of no commercialism.
There were artists in residence with accommodation available. We saw a potter making these clay horses and I met a photographer who was on a seven week sabbatical. A lovely place to retreat into crafts.
The exhibition of textiles was amazing and inspiring. Another Forget me not sort of a day.
This Textile Treasure Hunt here in Varanasi India just keeps on giving. Today we visited silk weaving. This is carried out in the homes of local people in rural areas. I
am in a permanent state of shock, both culturally and dietary. The people are lovely and regard us as odd because many rural communities have not seen “white”faces before, especially the children.
The silk weaving is the main occupation and carried out by the men. It is a patriarchal society.
The silk produced is beautiful, colourful and hand woven. It is mainly produced for Saris, scarves and for dressmaking.
This morning we visited a Hindu village where the looms are hand driven just as they have been for hundreds of years. During the afternoon we went to a Muslim area of Varanasi where the looms are motor driven . We had the inevitable shopping opportunity where a beautiful silk scarf found its way into my bag!
just an example of some of the intricate weaving.
No words can describe the ceremony that I was privileged to witness last night. It is a ceremony to pay respect to the holy Mother river The Ganges. There was multiple thousands of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Shiva and the river. Numbers were swelled last night as pilgrims had come from another ceremony about 100 kilometres away. Varanasi is a once in a lifetime holy place for Hindu people to visit. It felt like the whole nation came last night.
We traveled down to the river on a ramshackle cycle driven Tuc Tuc A hairy and thrilling ride through chaotic hooting traffic. I held on for my life and kept my eyes shut much of the time !We viewed the ceremony from a boat on the river along with hundreds of other boats juggling for positions
We did also witness cremation on the river banks Many Hindus come to Varanasi to die. This was a public celebration but nevertheless felt intrusive. We were very close and witnessed the whole cremation whilst on the river wrapped in clouds of smoke and Incense . This was a once in a lifetime experience for me and certainly one that will remain with me forever.
Tuc Tuc ride down to The Ganges
What an awesome,exciting, historic place! I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to visit this wonder of the World!
The cruise ship docked in Aqaba Jordan and I joined a day tour to the interesting Historic remains of Petra. The coach journey was in itself very interesting, made better by our brilliant guide. On the two hour journey we saw something of Jordan. A peaceful, hot, desert country. We drove along the main highway of Jordan which is a very busy and ancient trade route. Interestingly this original route was built with the profits from the transportation of Myrrh and Frankincense.
We saw Bedouin people living their centuries old life style in Bedouin tents and herding goats. We drove past Wadi Rum, an amazing rock formation in the desert where “Laurence of Arabia” was filmed. On the way back we saw a wonderful desert sunset.
Petra was a magic place completed around 100 BC. It is worthy of the title “seventh New wonder of the World”
The Treasury is the main archeological structure of the park and is displayed in all of its 3000 year old glory. If you look closely to either side of the facia you will see square holes carved into the stone. These holes were carved in order to support the wooden scaffolding to enable the original carving of the facia?
A great day out and a wonderful opportunity.
I haven’t yet mentioned the beautiful crafts that we worked on board the cruise ship so watch this space!
Cruising along the coast of Norway we had a total of seven craft classes. One very popular class is using our Textile Inspiration Packs. We make these packs up using a variety of textiles, colours and buttons and bows. The idea is that during the class the ladies( it’s usually women) choose a pack and let the fabrics inspire what they make. We guide, suggest and help the ladies with what they make. In one case we actually made it!
The ladies enjoy this project and often make a rosette or flower brooch.
One day I went on an excursion to The Troll Mountains. The scenery was awesome. This picture of the mountains is jaw dropping. This is where adventurers BASE jump from the top! Now a banned sport following many accidents. Apparently (mad) some still attempt the BASE jump in secret. I won’t be joining them, it’s one ” thrill” that I shall forgo.
Because we were in Norway the home of Trolls I was on high alert to see a real Troll. They are notoriously shy, mischievous and cheeky. But guess what! I found one willing to pose for a photograph!
Good bye dear reader, see you soon.
I suspected that there might be a problem when I threw out
all most of my clothes! Now I’ve nothing to wear! Surprise! I reckon it’s a reaction to loosing Mum, well I have to blame someone. I needed to cheer myself up so I’ve booked a party for my birthday in a few weeks. I just wanted a happy party! Now I haven’t anything to wear so I’ve temporarily cheered myself up with a new hair cut, manicure and new lipstick. Oh and I’ve booked a holiday next week with a friend. I’ve still nothing to wear so next week may or indeed will, include a large dose of retail therapy. Sounds like good therapy to me!
I forgot to mention that I have also joined a gym, I love swimming. I’ve bought a new Fit bit and I’m going to the Arctic Circle in January. How mad is that? Life is an adventure.
Remember “Adventure before Dementure”
Here’s Henry Worsley – @shackletonsolo – as I’ll always remember him: stoic, humble, kind-hearted, my friend and someone I looked up more than I ever had the chance to let him know. This is a tribute and photograph by Ben Saunders on Facebook.
He showed me this cushion a few years ago and his eyes lit up as he told me the story. It had been given to him by an inmate at Wandsworth Prison, where Henry volunteered to teach needlework. He was a serving officer in the Special Air Service at the time, and told me that learning to sew had helped calm his nerves when he first spent time in a war zone, and that he loved teaching it now, decades after his first deployment.
Henry was a hard man of the rarest kind. There’s a superficial toughness a lot of men like to portray – all strut and swagger and aggression; men holding ugly masks up to conceal their fear. And then there’s the serene equanimity that radiated from Henry: a steadfast, resolute solidity that came from not from fear but from love, from a positive human spirt, and from a heart that shone.
Henry usually signed off his messages with a single word.
Today I read the tribute above, to Henry Worsley, adventurer, soldier and all round REAL man. This man SEWED. From now on I will carry out my craft classes with that little bit more pride and determination.
He had raised over £100,000 to help injured service men and women. His latest adventure was an attempt to complete Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to the South Pole, solo. Sadly he failed just 30 miles from his target.
THIS MAN SEWED,
RIP Henry Worsley
Now I know that I said we had put Damnvan away for the winter but the weather was such a good forecast! The Lake District beckoned! We had a window of opportunity! We needed to get away!! So we took Damnvan out of her early hibernation and drove into the sunset. Well, not exactly but you get the gist.
This is the view of Derwentwater from our van last evening, making life worthwhile.
Staying close to us is this delightful van. I want one of these!
Sensible son suggested that we just sell up, buy a “Bad Boy” and travel the World. Now that’s a thought for the day……..
We have finally put Damnvan to bed after spending seventy nights away this Summer. It has been so good.
We visited Devon and Cornwall
There was a trip to Scaborough Sea Life centre with Gorgeous Grand daughter
There was a break with Darling Daughter and Grandson to the Isle of Anglesey
We walked up mountains
And along coasts
We flew kites and paddled in the sea. There was the Lovely Lake District, interesting Buxton and fabulous Yarndale. All in all a great summer. As the nights get longer and the days colder we tuck Damnvan up for the Winter and make plans for next year. Let’s hope that we can beat the seventy night record!