I am preparing to leave for the journey, 750 miles north, to attend a conference and masterclass at Northlands Glass near Wick. Much time has gone into preparing an “inspirational suitcase”, (as requested by Michael Rogers my workshop leader) to take with me. This consists of ideas, writing, poems, quotes, maps and sketchbooks, metaphorical, as well as practical, things I might need to make glass in this remote place, and some small objects I can use to cast in glass. The process of preparing has been inspirational in itself. At times I feel totally out of my depth with glass, but I came across a Korean Proverb “The turtle only travels when it sticks its neck out”, which made me feel a whole lot better! It is so good to take the time to reflect on my process and to consider what I need to take with me along the road.
Yesterday I took some time out from that to walk Alfie with my good friend, Anne. We walked
up into the Preseli Hills behind my house and marvelled at the changing season – the heather is amazing throwing a purple haze over the landscape, and I was reminded of that September 18 years ago when I moved here.
We have been harvesting our garden produce – a wonderful crop of vegetables and soft fruit this year, this is supplemented by foraging mushrooms and wild fruit. Den is becoming quite an expert at finding and identifying mushrooms (you really need to be!) and I have made fruit jams and vodkas which are laid up for the winter. It feels good to be seasonal and besides it is all insulation against the recession and the uncommercial way we live in this remote place with one bus a week.