159: you can’t go wrong with a good omelette

Last week’s bug continues fine, and is still rampaging merrily through my immune system. Having started with a sore throat it moved to my right ear and is causing raging tinnitus, a cold sore the size of Belgium on my face, and a migraine of mammoth proportions followed by severe post-migraine hangover yesterday. Next time I have the temerity to say how healthy I am, someone ssshhhh me. Please. It’s prevented me from going swimming today, that’s how miserable it is.

I am sure it was not helped by the persistence of couriers in making my life difficult on Tuesday, when I spent several parts of my day standing in the rain awaiting vans of various descriptions. The first company was an hour late as a driver had called in sick and no cover had been arranged, so we were an hour late to the museum. The second company arrived in a Luton complete with hoist and all our kit from the storage unit but first attempted to unload outside the museum gates, then reversed just inside, and then we finally got exasperated and ordered them to reverse up to the loading doors where they proceeded to unload a unit’s worth of kit at hoist height rather than making things easy for any of us.

By the time the Addison Lee courier started causing me grief my language had become…. Anglo-Saxon, to say the least. Despite being given an address he parked a ten minute walk away in a different street, didn’t phone the pick-up contact, and when he had finally picked up the boxes after she’d been standing in the rain for twenty minutes we watched him drive the weirdest route possible to Bethnal Green, then drive round the block five or six times (hurray for the tracking system). Finally I went outside next time he came round and shouted at him. Apparently he couldn’t find the gate. Yes, the gate. The gate with ‘Young V&A’ on it. And a phone number to call for access. I queried why he didn’t, perhaps, phone me for guidance as he had my phone number as the drop-off contact. This stumped him. Fortunately for his ears and my continued account with Addison Lee I decided to relieve him of the boxes (which he had unloaded into the road instead of onto the pavement where the dolly was) and refrain from further conversation. If they have the temerity to charge waiting time there will be words. They are rapidly sinking down my bottom ten courier list, creeping up behind Hermes/Evri and DPD.

We did go for a team lunch at The Full Monty on Globe Road, which made the world a sunnier place despite the rain. If you find yourself in East London in need of a big, reasonably priced lunch, try here. Especially try the omelettes.

Wednesday was a much better day, as I got to spend it out at my favourite secondary school in Ilford again, testing the last of the KS3 sessions for the Design gallery. Working once again with the very lovely Scott Ramsay Kyle on the ‘Design makes things last longer’ case study, we looked at different techniques for mending and embellishing fabrics using a range of materials. Starting with denim (not that we’re obsessed or anything) and encouraging them to work in threes, we encouraged them to think about how things could be added to make something different. All the Year 7s wanted to make bags (individually or as a group) and all the Year 9s wanted to annex the embroidery threads to make friendship bracelets, which wasn’t what we’d asked for but at least there was a lot of skill sharing going on! They were banned from wearing them in school but the teacher suspected that they were all going to say ‘we made them in DT sir!’ if challenged.

It was very clear which of the girls had previous experience with any kind of hand or machine sewing, but it was also evident that the others were mostly keen to learn. One thing that came across in the evaluations was that they valued just having time to sit and make, and wanted more lessons like that.

Scott had brought along a range of different embellishments like key tags, stickers and badges, cords and scraps of lace, and there was a very retro vibe about some of the outcomes, especially in Year 7. Lots of joining with big safety pins or acid house smiley faces, and tied on lace – you can see one of the bags above right. I also really liked the weave on the above left, which she joined with lots of pins and badges rather than sewing (below centre). Many of the girls (it’s a single-sex school) wanted to come back at lunch time and carry on working on their pieces, which I think I’ll take as a win! Although we’d planned this session as a 90-minute one, I think it’s going to end up as a full day option with lots of time for exploring and being inspired by the gallery collections.

Other things making me happy this week:

  • Progress on my Visit Tokorozawa cross stitch
  • Frogging half a sock as it wasn’t making me happy. Also deciding not to finish a book for the same reason. Life is too short.
  • Finding a hole in the foot of my woolly tights – now I can practise all those mending techniques!
  • Scoring eggs in the Co-op yesterday
  • Indira Varma narrating the latest audiobooks of the Discworld Witches series.

I am off to do useful things with my day! Till next week, then, when I’d quite like my ear to be working again.

Kirsty x

What I’ve been reading:

The Truth/Equal Rites/Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett (Audible)

Paper and Blood – Kevin Hearne

Asterix volume 1 – Goscinny & Uderzo

The Vesuvius Club – Mark Gatiss. (Gave up about a third in. Dreadful. Arch. Don’t.)

The Bridgerton series – Julia Quinn. To remove the previous listing from my brain.

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