I’m sitting on the mounting block outside of the hall waiting for a lift home after a busy day. The wind is rustling through the trees and the sky is greying turning everything around me emerald-green and bringing out the sweet damp scent from the ground. To my right the new ducklings nervously follow their parents around the pond, and to the left are the ruins of the Starkie wing, and the odd-shaped alcoves in a wall that once housed falcons and dogs. Come June and the finishing of the tapestry, I hope it won’t be the end of my connection here. I love it too much, the house and the people.
Progress this week has been good, but the fell is too high for me to reach when seated so I’m now on my feet. It has changed my relationship with the tapestry, it seems a more intimate process, I don’t know if it is because I am parallel to the surface of the tapestry, or if it is because without the blocks I used to sit on, there are no barriers between me and the wool. It is also easier to jump to one area of the tapestry to another when weaving. But although I do like it, there will be a limit to the amount of time I can spend on my feet, not least because I managed to break them many moons ago during undergrad antics and an altercation with a wall, a ten-foot drop and a pavement that wasn’t supposed to be there.
Apparently an attempt is going to be made to try to raise funds to buy the tapestry for the hall. There is absolutely no guarantee of success so I am not getting my hopes high, but it would of course mean so much. I don’t have children and the thought that there would be something left on the earth once I am gone and which will be looked after gives me a sense of security and comfort that is hard to explain. It would also be a huge affirmation regarding the pretty drastic changes I’ve made to my life these last few years and of course it would mean I’ll have the financial space to weave the next project. I’m just going to remind myself here, that I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if everyone wouldn’t mind crossing their fingers and toes, I’d be very grateful.
When the house was closed over the winter the Flemish tapestry hanging in the Great Hall was cleaned, basically hoovering it through a special membrane. The conservation team, one of whom I’m waiting for now to take me home, saved the several centuries worth of gunk and today they put it on display next to the tapestry. In the yellow porch chamber they have also set up a USB microscope so visitors will be able to see it close up. It is beyond mind-blowing to think that in a few hundred years someone might be cleaning my tapestry, long after my cremated remains have disintegrated into the soil and my name forgotten. And on that lovely cheery note I’ll say ta ta for now, and see you next week xxx