Monday, March 5, 2012

Embroidery Heaven and Clatterford

In reverse order, Clatterford, three seasons, has been my ROTFL DVD watching the last few days. Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, need I say more. It's about a women's guild (pretty clearly the WI, but not specified) in a small village in Devon, and the personality collisions and effin growth experiences therein. And it is very very good, if you can live with missing a lot of the English throwaway lines, unless you live there now and are still au fait (or as one of the characters says, oy vey!) with the current language. The bits I could get were still wonderful.

Such as the village Guild show, with various categories of flower arrangements, cakes, and novelty challenges such as my favorite: Global Warming in a Biscuit Tin. Or the self proclaimed Chair, always looking out for likely speakers, so any casual remark could be taken up with, oh that would make a lovely talk, why not work it up, dear? and the lady dragooned into talking on Sex Traffic, reluctantly agrees and sets up her slideshow, announcing, Yes, Sex Traffic. Well, first let's talk about the traffic. here's a wonderful view of the new bridge across the Tey (or some such river) and the resulting traffic flow. She also has a riveting series on behind the scenes at the supermarket, with the exciting loading dock in action.

And, with these hilarious characters, easily recognizable in any women's group you've ever been in, still firmly in mind, I went to my first meeting of the local Embroiderers' Guild. A great choice for a first meeting for me, since it was a field trip to a private house of a collector of antique stitchery, many samplers, stitching on silk paintings, all kinds of treasures, in a house crammed with American antique furniture and porcelain and oh well, it was like being in heaven for an afternoon. No pix, no, because it was a private tour, of a private house, and I thought his security and general sense of safety with the group precluded anything like that. And I noticed none of the group whipped out her phone to take pix,either, all very civilized of us! But these wonderful works, many created here where we live, with recognizable place names and family names in them, were amazing, particularly since the collector did his research and could tell us many back stories.

That said, watching the group, a wonderful and very disparate bunch, arguing and chatting and observing each other and generally being a very benevolent form of Clatterford Guild, was a quiet joy in itself. I'm definitely going to join this group, just have to get my Guild fix! A new group of kindred spirits.

Meanwhile,the pictures are of a nice winter-into-spring walk,with the sky brightening as spring gets nearer, the moon showing in the daytime, the wild flowers starting to come up despite the black walnuts around, and my favorite little stone bunny, now a bit battered, but still upright.


  1. Love Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Such great British humour. Your afternoon of heaven sounds wonderful.

  2. I know what you mean about Guilds. In one of ours, we even have a self proclaimed Chair, with little subversive subgroups silently working behind her back. Fascinating these women..I love them all ! one of our knitting groups which includes 2 men (!) one is far far right politically and the other a retired school teacher with a very loud voice. OK this particular meeting, while a loud but friendly political discussion was going on..we egg them on a of our members started to play a tune on her harp. She'd given a concert earlier at the local nursing home and brought her harp in out of the freezing cold. You can
    imagine what Dawn French would have made of the situation, but here everyone just continued on with what they were knitting.

  3. liz, thanks for the recommendation re: clatterford. i watched the first episode saturday evening and laughed out loud.


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