You know we had really noisy neighbours who did a very noisy midnight flit about 3 months ago because they hadn't paid their rent and thus incurred the wrath of their landlord? And we breathed a sigh of relief, and the noisy neighbours were replaced by two seemingly quiet chaps who went about their business with barely a squeak?
Well, the two seemingly quiet chaps have since been joined by a couple of other not so quiet people, and thus the peace of the past two Saturday nights/ Sunday mornings have been RUINED by shrieking and shouting, banging and crashing, and the racket of things being thrown. I don't know what the fighting has been about because these people are yelling in Polish or Romanian or Latvian, I don't know which because I speak none of these, but I also suspect alcohol has played a big part in these altercations. Also, I have, once again, found cigarette butts in our back garden by the fence next to our 'conservatory' and a foot from where the new noisy neighbours sit chain-smoking when the weather is nice. Call me suspicious but I reckon it's pretty conclusive evidence where THEY came from. I could be wrong (it does happen) and maybe the local gnomes have taken up the evil weed but I think not. Anyway, I relocate these vile items (the cigarette butts, not the gnomes) from whence they came via the media of 'projectile lift' i.e I chuck 'em back over the fence.
Last night, between the hours of 11p.m and approximately 2 a.m (I didn't look at the precise time because I knew it would make me angry) Andy and I were treated (that's irony, by the way) to random crashes and loud tappings which kept us from sleeping properly and made my heart pound and fists clench. And at 6.15 a.m there was a mini-fight outside and sounds of things being thrown.
The only thing we can think of that would cause random DIY knockings in the wee small hours is the setting up of an illicit marijuana farm. 'Tis becoming a common self-sufficiency thing round these parts. We reserve judgement on this theory until we see ultra-violet glows emanating from the windows, but if any police officers are reading this, then they are more than welcome to come and check out the theory for us and maybe have a word about the anti-social behaviour whilst they're about it.
Anyway, the upshot is that Andy and I are extremely bleary-eyed this morning and I am wishing I played the trumpet because I can tell you I'd have been practising my scales and arpeggios VERY badly at the crack of dawn if I did. I had to content myself instead with singing loudly to the Overtones CD (it's very good) - to keep myself awake, you understand, and definitely NOT as any act of revenge AT ALL, nor attempt to make myself feel better. Well, it did make me feel better - singing at the top of one's voice does, doesn't it? Most cathartic.
I also did some sewing. I made these cushions for the kitchen chairs from a VERY old curtain...
...and I completed my two experimental pumpkin cushions...
I am toying with substituting the word 'pumpkin' with 'elbow-shattering' because it was a mini-nightmare getting the buttons sewn into the centres. I put buttons on both sides which was a challenge and a half, and in order to do this effectively i.e without causing myself any mortal wounding, I used these...
Have you ever used these? They are needles that are designed specifically for the purpose of sewing pouffey 3-D things like soft toys, cushions and upholstery in general. Basically, two bits of fabric that will not sit together to form a nice flat surface upon which one can use a normal size straight needle, because some kind of padding or stuffing is distorting the flatness.
And I wanted to attach a flat surface (button) to a bumpy surface so a curved needle was called for. The very long needle was used to push embroidery floss through the centre of the cushion to pull it tightly into shape á la pumpkin. Flora, as you can imagine, liked this part of the pumpkining process enormously! Large, sharp and dangerous needle + curious cat = extreme sport. She's such an idiot.
Anyway, using a curved needle is an art in itself and kudos to anyone who uses them on a regular basis. I was wholly confused by the process; it felt very awkward, and weirdly made my elbows ache. But the buttons are one! I am pleased with the results.
And I also completed my stumpwork tree!
It is only 5 inches square, to give you an idea of size. I need to think now how to finish it into a nice little picture. I am thinking some grass at the base and maybe a few daisies? Or a cat sitting to one side? A chicken or two? I don't know. But again, it is something I have loved making and am definitely going to improve my stumpwork repertoire.
Right, lunchtime! Hope your Bank Holiday is proving to be a good 'un!