Monday, 12 November 2018


LAPC stands for Loughborough Antenna and Propagation Conference and I am attending this year.  In the old days, twenty years ago, I used to run them. I am an invited guest this year because of getting a presentation. The organisation was very anxious that I should attend a few of the sessions. The one just finished was all about mobile propagation , not an inspiring topic but I was pleased that I still understood what the speakers were on about. I wondered if I would. And the modelling software for sale has definitely moved on a bit. I was surprised that the people on that stand knew who I was.

I took the train rather than driving which worked fine. The trains went from St Pancras which is the Eurotunnel terminus and the station is very grand. Branches of Harrods and Tiffany’s and other such very expensive shops.

And this is the chunk of glass I was awarded—- lifetime achievement in engineering. A bit shattering. They seemed to know an awful lot about me

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The warp is done

I threaded up and sleyedat 12epi which is what my wraps told me but it was clearly wrong and needed increasing. The difficulty was to what. Eventually I dragged out my accurate scales, and weighed out 5 metres which were 1.1gm. And from that I worked out the yards per lb.  which corresponded to cotton 5/2 and needed 16 epi. And that looks a lot better. So I have collected together everything I need to take to the Retreat and made a pile. 

I spent the morning feeling rotten as usual but I am okay in the afternoon. I have a nasty week next week which requires rathe a lot of trains and driving. I am looking forward to next Fridaywhen it will all be over. Dorothy is away painting the following week and the dogs are going on holiday to their dog sitter who adores them. I am going to stay at home and catch up.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Bad vibes

I have still not recovered from Uzbekistan and spennd most of my life sleeping Lots of tests have been done but nothing has been found. The doctor thinks I had a particularly nasty bug and am just enfeebled. Complex Weavers UK is having a two day do in London and I am anxious to attend but apart from not being strong enough, Am I uninfectious? 

Next weekend the Guild is having Melanie Venes to teach and I need to warp up. I have tried five times, four of which were disasters. I am just too stupid. I do seem to have made every elementary mistake. This time, I am half way through threading and it looks okay.  At last.

And that is what life has been like. 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Back to Weaving

I have managed to quite a lot of weaving on the Schacht and am getting along nicely. Jerry has given up sitting on the treadles which does complicate weaving. Also the Guild is gearing up for a weekend with Melanie Venes and I have found some nice yarn in my stash. The warp  is wound and needs mounting. I am doing deflected double weave. Never done it before. I have put on a five metre warp with the aim of doing two scarves on what is left after the weekend.

I also found a book on photography that I cannot remember buying, it is called Wabi, after the Japanese simplicity thinking. The photos are all taken in.a nature reserve in North Germany with a macro lens. (Gerhardt Dibudda). I may have found the solution to my angst over photography.  They are really abstract

Sunday, 7 October 2018


It is one in the morning and I am wide awake - thinking. Woe is me. Or maybe just a scream of rage. Basically I am unhappy about photography. When I was doing the OCA course, at least I had projects to complete. They may not have been wonderful photos but they were photos and usually not of something I would have dreamt of taking.

My current problem is the trip to Uzbekistan. I took close on a thousand photos. Lots of blue tiled domes, beautiful minarets, none of which are more than picture postcards. I went to a meeting a few days ago where photos were critiqued and asked the question about these photos, what should I have done? And the consensus was take photos of the patterns. No, no, no. What I like best were the ones shot in the markets or people working. I am not much good at street photography because I think it is intrusive but I got several shots where the people did not realise they were being photographed. This is in fact just as intrusive but how do you ask for permission to photograph when you do not speak the language.

I have some photos from the market which are just sacks - of spices or rice or lentils. Sort of pattern , actually nicer that the minarets. Still not satisfactory. Composition is not my strong point. There are 'rules' in photography about composition. Not satisfactory either. The trouble is that I hope that I will turn into a Cartier-Bresson or Ansel Adams all of a sudden. And that is not going to happen. What is happening is that I am so dissatisfied that I am not taking photographs. I reckon I haven take 10,000 photos this year and I have not even taken ten that I think are good. Lots in Iceland, lots at the Goodwood races, some good portraits at Tom's wedding but there everyone knew who I was, I asked for permission weeks before hand.

Looking back over 2018, it seems to me that the best body of work was the posters showing people doing things. Otherwise everything is just a record.

And talking of records, I had five plants of squash, 'Sweet Dumpling', one of the best. I thought I would get one squash per plant. Instead, here are a few of the crop. I have given several away as well. And the freezer is filling up with tomato soup and tomato puree.

And the lord and master of this house (so he thinks).

So tomorrow I will take the camera and sally forth and just see what I can find.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Woe is me

You will have noticed a long period of silence. I brought home a bug from Uzbekistan and have been so ill that I have lost 6 kg. Dorothy had it too and has also lost weight. She is rather pleased about that. I am not. My trousers do not fit. Anyway last Friday I was definitely on the mend but Monday it struck again. This time I had had enough and visited the doctor who listened to my tale of woe and prescribed powerful antibiotics. The result is that I feel better already and quite hungry.

The result of all this is that I have not done much. We are having a two day workshop with Melanie Venes and I have wound the warp for the new Voyager. I also got to the linocuts class last week and cut a new block, not a cracking plant this time but a chemical plant in East Germany.  Nevertheless I am so feeble that I had to come home early.

Not much in the way of photos taken though the trees are turning autumn colours and I ought to get out. An interesting piece of info is that the new small Canon is very good indeed. The focal length is limited of course but it does a better job of macro than the Nikon.

 One piece of news. I have decided to replace my laptop which I use to drive the Megado. The existing one is nearly ten years old and I am worried about it packing life in. So I am having the existing hard drive cloned. It should be with me this week.

So I think I am on the mend. Jerry is his usual energetic self and needs more walks than we are well enough to give him. I have discovered that he much prefers pavements to woods because he gets people and dogs there. So he comes shopping. He loves the world and is startled when someone does not love him back. I took him to the vet for his monthly check up on Monday and the nurse gave it as her opinion that he would probably be 7 kg when full grown. I was expecting him to be bigger than that. Still I can tuck him under one arm.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

On the Way Home

Yesterday (Monday) I walked down to Registan Square early (before 0800). One or two other tourists with cameras and everyone else was local and cleaning the place. Ladies with witches brooms sweeping up the leaves, men with scissors deadheading roses, a man with a sort of hoover/polisher doing all the steps. And me. More interested in the people than the architecture.

But the architecture is still outstanding.

Later in the day we visited yet more blue domed tombs. They are all merged into one now. At 1840, we were on a train to Tashkent.

Four of us plus luggage shoehorned into a teeny closed space. That was first class. I wonder what the nonfirst class was like. 

This morning I had my favourite grapes for breakfast.

These are used to dry and make the very best sultanas. Definitely my favourites. 

At 1230 today we are going to set off home. Plane out at three, in Heathrow at 2000 hours. So what did I think? It is a very clean country. Only saw one beggar. Never saw a ragged, hungry child. Children spotlessly clean. I get the impression they love children. Our guide is always telling us about his four year old daughter. They are also very keen on preserving their ancient buildings and are spending a lot on conservation. The people are friendly and English is compulsory in schools. The hotels were good. The downside? The food is boring and a bit tasteless. Both of us have lost about two kilos in twelve days. Unusual on holiday!!!


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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.