Monday, 29 August 2016

Steamer on the Lake

Yesterday (Sunday) we went on a steamer trip from Menaggio round the central bit of the lake. It was not until the boat arrived that I realised we are talking paddle steamers here. I was so excited.

You can see in the above photo how fat it is with the two paddle wheels, one either side.

They have made a feature of the mechanism amidships.

What we saw were lots of elegant villas on the lakeside

And a summerhouse.
This is the Villa Carlotta which we visited earlier in the week.

Today I am staying at home. I am halfway through creating a draft based on a tablecloth I saw. All twill but lots of shafts, I think. It does resemble the original - a bit!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Cooking and Milan

On Friday we went to a cookery class which ended up with us returning home, slightly drunk at four o'clock having started at 1030. We ate what had been prepared and cooked. The restaurant was across the lake (used a ferry) and up a very steep hill (used a taxi). There were 11 in the class and mostly it was demos but did get o help make tortellini.

Derek, Anne, the restaurant ear and an Australian stuffing tortellini with ricotta and herbs. It was served with a tomato sauce.

The highlight was a veal loin which he carefully did not give us the recipe for. Fortunately I have taken lots of notes and photos so I aim to write this up in the next few days. Probably Monday because I aim to stay in that day.

today we went to Milan.

The cathedral with twiddly bits.

The galleria, posh shopping at its most decadent, Prada, Gucci, Versace.

Milan central station built in 1931, suffers from a severe case of gigantism.

Nice trains but then the Italians are very good engineers.











Thursday, 25 August 2016

Zinnias again


I have had a restful day.

Another zinnia photo

Added later
The iPad has eaten the zinnia photo. Oh well. Have this one instead.
One of my own Morning Glories

Bellagio

Yesterday was spent lounging about in the morning and in the afternoon we took a ferry boat from Menaggio to Bellagio by way of Varenna. It was a drive on, drive off car ferry so much bustling about at the ferry ports. 
Later I sat by Bellagio ferry port and there are all sorts and sizes of ferry boats including a hovercraft at speed. Bellagio is noted for its many silk mills and there are shops selling silk scarves and ties. They are all printed designs and definitely in the class of bling. In other words, not for me thank you very much. It was very hot in BEllagio and it is built on a steep hill so has flights of steps in place of streets. I wilted what with the heat and the steps which is why I ended up sitting in the shade of a plane tree watching the ferry boats.

More views of the lake

And a nice house by Bellagio.

Spent the evening with Madi eating out and discussing Universities, LSE and how to choose a degree course. It would help, I pointed out, if she had an ambition for a particular profession. I think she would be better off with a gap year but that is her choice. Things were much easier when I was that age. Mind you I had a burning desire to be a radio astronomer - which I did achieve.  But then discovered in my early thirties that I loathed academia - and academics so morphed into an industrial engineer and loved it until I retired at 74. Mind you the last two years I was bored. I am a problem solver and no one was bringing new problems only old ones I could do easily.

It took me years to realise I was a problem solver - which, I think, is why I am weaver. I see something and think Would that translate into a weave?  I must admit that the most exciting bit of weaving for me is weaving the first 6 to 12 inches when I can see if  I have got it right. After that there is the boring bit of weaving the rest of the five yard warp! It also explains why I hop around from weave type to weave type.

Today is grey and overcast and a bit cooler. Nice!


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta is a large house? Built in 1590. It ended up being totally redone in about 1830 at which time the gardens were laid. The sere what you go to see and they are quite something. Although it is a right hodge-pudge as far as design is concerne bamboo garden with Japanese bamboo fences


A close up of one species
And  a sort of parterre

But not enough of them in my view. And talking of views, the garden was full of them

From the terrace in front of the house.

There was a great deal of walking about in the sunshine and an abortive attempt to find the local village. And although we have hunted high and low, we have not yet found any bread. Rolls yes, bread no.

I am getting browner. This morning I am allowed off. Anne and Madi have gone wake boarding again and the rest of us are lounging about. I shall do a little work in my design book. I have been reminding myself of how to operate on iWeaveit although it is limited to 24 shafts. I have an idea for a good draft but it will need 32 shafts.


Monday, 22 August 2016

Lake Como 22nd August

We went up to the top of the lake and I took a lot of photos. There are mountains and trees and then there are more mountains and trees.

And there are things going on on the lake.

Like three small boys being taught to wind surf. All the windsurfers are tied together with rope one behind the other and instructions are yelled out m in Italian.
Telephoto lens in operation. Across the lake.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Villa at Santa Maria

The plane was very late getting to Milan and it wS twilight when we set driving north. Not helped by heavy rain. The villains spectacular with good views down to the lake. It was so late we feared that we go hungry to bed but no. The local hotel took us in, cosseted us and fed us with an extraordinary supper. This morning, the rain had stopped and the clouds were clearing.

View from my bedroom at 0730 am.
View at 1900 hours. Note there is not a cloud to be seen. 

The morning was spent tracking down a supermarket and in the afternoon we visited Menaggio which is the nearest (small) town. It is on the lake. There seemed to be a street music festival, leastways there were small groups of musicians performing under too small awnings.

There were also stalls on the lakeside selling tourist bling and nic-nacs and  about six selling food which we patronised, cheese and crystallised fruit.

Lots of sunshine and I shall sleep tonight. Tomorrow Anne and Madi are water boarding and I am going along as official photographer. Should be interesting.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.