Friday, 18 October 2013

Letter from Dubai

Once again I am in Dubai airport. Though I am not convinced that I have ever been through the same terminal or gate in all of the times I have passed through. It is less of an airport, more of a town! Fortunately the flight was pretty light on the passenger front and I had 4 seats all to myself to stretch out and sleep for the night, though it was s good job that I wasn’t hungry as, unusually for Emirates, the evening meal was inedible. Starbucks have supplied a welcome caffeine supplement and I am waiting on the connection to Birmingham in a hour or so.

I have left my eldest son with orders to be the ‘house husband’ whilst I am away and already he is talking about changing the cooking and the rota – I foresee chaos with a collection of three determined  young personalities, and Brian cowering in the corner trying to keep out of it all! (Though Alex with a chainsaw in his hands could be quite persuasive!)Understandably it is hard for Alex, having lived at Uni for 3 years, being independent and having loads of friends all interested in the same activities as he is, to move continent, have no income, no friends and being further away from his beloved mountains and have to take the role of domestic goddess for a few weeks. We are doing all we can to get his job application for the police force underway and making connections for him, but it feels like a slow business as life and work has to go on for the rest of us as well.

We have been spending quite a bit of time getting the university applications made for Bryony. She is applying for Medicine in both NZ and the UK, which makes for interesting logistical issues as well as extra costs. Cutting a long story short, she has a secure place in NZ now but still hopes to get an offer from her preferred choice of Nottingham (UK). At least she can gain confidence that she has been accepted at Otago for the course of her choice, and, to Bryony, more importantly, she has a place in the only halls with ensuites in the student accommodation! The application system for NZ universities is completely different to that in the UK and we have spent many hours trying to work out what is going on – thank goodness that is all over, and by the time Amber is ready to apply we will be expert in the proceedings!

Travelling this time from spring in NZ which is just starting to benefit from the summer sunshine to a UK in which I have been warned to bring clothes fit for snow, plus samples for workshops and an exhibition of work for the Knitting and stitching show has proved interesting; 3 days of packing, sorting, unpacking, rearranging, discarding and repacking have been a little frustrating  - I am sure that all travellers have to get used to this, I am just not quite there yet and still spend far too much time working out what to take and not, then attempting to keep within the weight limit! Thank goodness I have a sister who is not much smaller than me in clothes sizing and if I choose some of her looser fitting items, I should be able to supplement my wardrobe to manage the coming 7 weeks. 

I have l once again had to leave Brian in charge of installing work at an exhibition which has to happen this weekend or next and I am sorry that I have to miss the preview event on 3rd November.

If you are reading this in NZ and want to see the pieces, they are at the Kiapara Sculpture Garden from 3rd Nov 2013 for a year. If you can't get or want a preview, see my blog. These pieces are a whole new set of work using  metal, wires and huge yummy glass beads from India and recycled glass beads from Ghana.  The idea is that they emerge from the planting and will move and sway slightly on flexible fibre glass rods when there are breezes. 
I will ask Brian to send me pictures of them once in situ., then probably have to go and rearrange them when I get back to NZ!! (not that I don’t trust Brian’s creative instincts, but  ... I just like to have the control!)

I was really sorry to hear that one of the first appointments I will have in the UK is to attend the funeral of Norma Bean, a colleague on the East Midlands Regional Committee for the Embroiderers guild. For those who knew Norma, an enthusiastic member of Lincolnshire Branch for many years, she will be remembered for her superb organisation of many inspirational Summer Schools over several years, and her unstinting involvement with the "Bonnets" Project.

During this visit I will be at the Beetroot Tree often, please link to the newsletter to keep up to date, in particular we have a special event on 26th October  based on my 100 day project. .... please drop in to join me. (No link on the website just yet - sorry!)

Let’s hope that the snow holds off in the UK and that I don’t miss too much time in the sun at the beach in NZ, and that you all keep supporting artists and being creative.



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