Denise > Here’s a scarf that I finished making today. The handspun warp is made with wool from Masham sheep – which are native to a certain district in northern England. The weft, too, is handspun, with wool from Merino sheep (dyed purple and lavendar), white Shetland sheep, and just a few grams of Angelina – a synthetic fibre that sparkles with the colours of the fibres it is spun together with. Used sparingly, it adds a touch of magic to a winter wardrobe.
J > This year my time in Navarra has been much cloudier and wet than last year : in fact it’s been exceptionally wet. But yesterday was a cheerful day of clear skies, warming sunshine, and – if barely above freezing, it was defnitely dry. Perfect for a day out exploring : I’ve scarcely more than a week left before I must return to Scotland. I headed to the Basque far north east of Navarra, about an hour’s drive away, a land of jagged sierras, soaring viaducts, dry barancos, narrow twisting gorges, vultures, circling overhead, roads switching sides across roaring mountain rivers …
I’ve been making two new designs of cushions in Harris Tweed weaves.
They differ only in the colour/pattern of pure new wool tweed fabric. In both designs, a plain tweed in the centre third of the front is also used for the back. A quality cushion pad, sewn-in, is filled with goose feather and down.
Textbook Spanish only gets you so far. ¡Hola! ¡Adiós! ¡Buenos Tardes! ??? Hereabouts, in the Zona Media of Navarra (Estella – Tafalla/Olite – Sangüesa, roughly) – and northwards, the universal hello/goodbye seems to be … Well, until a few days ago, I just couldn’t make out what word or words were being said, by almost everyone, so casually and at any occasion. But then I was in Estella …
Napal is a tiny hamlet at the head of a very narrow valley hemmed in on both sides by steep wooded slopes and cliffs. Above the hamlet there is a remarkable rock formation – a slab of limestone half a kilometre long, fifty metres wide, and perhaps twenty to thirty metres high. The south face is impossibly hot in summer, so now that temperatures are milder, that’s where Catherine and Ion would be climbing today.
In Uist, roofs are kept low, simple and solid : anything else will result in disaster. TV antennae are installed within the roof void. As for Navarra, well anything goes, from higgeldy-piggeldy ancient, to the self-conscious contemporary.
J > It’s already two weeks since I travelled here to San Martín de Unx, Navarra, from the Outer Hebrides. I’ve travelled on my own this time. This year, no-one was availabe to the boots of us both. There’s building work to our house here in Navarra that needs my supervision ; so D has stayed home to look after all the animals (and lots of other things, besides, I hasten to add – before D does!).
J > Here’s Lur with our grandson Enaut (now nearly two years old), waiting for Catherine and I to finish fiddling with phones and set off for our walk up round the old castle ground up at the top of the hill, here in San Martín de Unx. But first we need to put shoes on Enaut!