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Hello I’m back!

Well it is ages since I have been at East Lodge and I have missed it! My walk in today was like putting on familiar comfy slippers, although wellies might be a better analogy today as the rain was insistent. My first sight of the swans really brought home to me just how long it is since I’ve walked that stretch of canal as the cygnets are nearly as big as the parent birds, but still grey and fluffy.



As I was walking I was wondering if the weather reflected my mood or whether my mood was heightened by the weather? It feels like the Summer is finished already, my holiday over and the feel of an Autumn term approaching is always another chance to reflect on the year and take on new challenges. The promise of things to come seem a little jaded to me as I set out, with so much to do to recover from the holiday and to get back into step with East Lodge. The blackberries that were almost ready to pick when I left are now blackened, shrivelled and sad, the elderberries that should be ripe and ready look spoiled and heavy with water as the weight of the fruit bends down the branches, the cygnets are no longer cute, the rain making the undergrowth dark and dank, and even the Weeping Willow trees in Victoria Park are spilling tears into the river as the rain cascades down and drips off their leaves.

However, I see glimpses of promise! Along the railway line, through the bushes I can see a vivid pink mixed up with a frothy white haze and realise the Rosebay Willowherb is growing its Old Man’s Beard and life continues into a new phase. I can see rising above the dead seed heads of the summer some strong new Teasles looking proud and ready for action. I remember my father receiving a surprise packet of seeds in an order of plants to a grower once. We planted them with some trepidation and excitement at what they might be and we were somewhat taken aback when they turned out to be Teasles! In fact they brought great joy as the anticipation watching them grow was interesting, the Teasles themselves attracted birds to the garden for the seeds and my mother and I used them indoors with flowers in vases and finally sprayed them silver and gold for Christmas decorations. On my recent travels I found myself in Otterburn Mill where they have on display the weaving, combing machines etc for making cloth. One of these machines was fitted with Teasle heads to tease out the wool and help to smooth out the raw wool for weaving, so it was fun to see them pushing ahead this morning.

Other berries seem to stand the rain better and the Hawthorn was very bright and cheerful with the pigeons taking full advantage of the cover the leaves provide and a ready made snack too! The rain on the grasses looked pretty and as I neared East Lodge I began to feel a little more positive.


So LSA what have you to offer? The Veronica Pock exhibition is still on for a few more days and helped to lift my spirits when I opened up East Lodge. What a joy her work is with such detail, beautiful use of colour and salient snippets of poetry to challenge the mind and encourage philosophical thought. There is another issue of ArtSpace in the offing and I have volunteered to guest edit this issue until our new editor returns from studying with Warwick University History of Art in Venice. I look forward to hearing about the experience in an article or two perhaps.

The next exhibition is the  Member’s Exhibition 6th September- 1st October please check out the relevant page on the LSA website for further details.

That’s enough from me today suffice to say that I had a great holiday, Imogen’s show at the Edinburgh Fringe was a great success and thank you to those who did go to see the previews in Stratford! So…Autumn I am ready to continue the year feeling refreshed and energised!

Karen Parker

(All thoughts my own!)

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