Friday, 18 May 2012

The Colours of Happiness

I am lucky enough to have four jobs and one of the happiest is being organiser of a local Day Centre or The Hudson Road Friendship Club, as we prefer to be called. Trying to keep our days filled with activities that are enjoyable for all is one of my greatest challenges. This week, however, it was easy!
Alex Grant of Toozalii Art, is running an amazing venture - The Sunshine Project, where he plans to fill the Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral with huge Batik banners painted by hundreds of older people in Wiltshire.

He is an inspirational artist and soon managed to convince us all that we could create a thing of beauty.

Because of the use of raised wax in batik even our blind members could feel the lines and paint between them.

My wonderful volunteers had as much fun as the guests! I certainly did...

We decided to paint two banners, filled with the things that make us happy. One is a house in in the countryside, beneath the bright sun

The other tea, cakes and... champagne!

Please be impressed by the bottle, my own particular addition!
 Once we got over the fear of making mistakes and the strange nervousness that overtakes adults when faced with painting, it was such an exhilerating feeling-

The air of concentration was palpable

In a very short time the banners were done

They look truly beautiful when hung up, with the silk rippling in the breeze. I can't wait for September, when the whole collection is shown together.
It taught me once again, that you are never too old to learn something new. Making the banners brought us all together and lifted our spirits and our hearts.

I think the smile on Phyllis's face sums it all up.
Thank you Alex.

ps. Apologies for my lack of visits to my blog-friends' posts. I miss your thoughts, stories and photographs. Its just that life has been more than ususally hectic...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Take a newly laid egg...

In the manner of all traditions, this one has grown until it has become a vital part of our Spring celebrations. We usually combine it with an Easter Tea Party but the weather and the general muddle of life delayed things a little.
To explain...
Every year we ask a strong, lusty man to throw a fresh egg over our three storey terraced house to ensure good luck and safe keeping for all who live beneath its roof.
The second part needs two women who stand face to face. They each take a step back and throw a newly laid egg to each other, then take a further step and throw again. Each step and successful egg-catch ensures a happy, lucky month.
We had gathered and eaten the all important sandwiches, cakes and cream tea which prepare us for the rituals that lay ahead.

I explained the rules-

The Egg was chosen and approved

It was a serious business

It was the first year that Teddy was deemed old enough to take part- what a test of man-hood!

It was a great throw

 an anxious moment

Not quite over the top this year but a noble first try!

Then Jonathan tried...

Mikol tried...
David really entered into the spirit ...

with a worthy throw

But to no avail....

It was finally Ian who took the honours this year-

with a magnificent effort

There was great rejoicing all round

 Emily and Freya were the chosen women this year.

They had skillfully managed to bring us 11 months of good luck when....

disaster struck!

Eggy hands are just the price you have to pay for a happy home!

It was an afternoon  full of laughter, teasing and good humour.
Thank you to all my friends and neighbours and especially to Sam, who took all the stylish photographs.