Last weekend was a long weekend here. We do have some very strange public holidays here in Oz and this one is about a horse race. I feel about as excited by the Adelaide Cup as I do by the Queen of England’s birthday (we celebrate that as a nation too). But I love a public holiday. I spent mine (and Friday night and a good portion of the rest of the weekend…) at WOMAD. It takes place in the wonderful Botanic Park, which adjoins the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens at the edge of the city.
On the way in, the grey-headed fruit fox colony were all a-chatter. Who could blame them? No peace for their daytime sleep for a few days. I felt sorry for them… they may never have experienced Korean punk or Canadian bluegrass before… and who knows whether these things were to their taste? They seemed very disconcerted during a performance by the wonderful FourPlay (who are not your average string quartet)–especially when they covered a well known song by Rage Against the Machine. If that sounds less than gentle–you’re right. Some fruit foxes felt the need to choose new sleeping spots during that piece–but I am sure they were every bit as noisy.
I had finally identified the perfect concept for this sock yarn. I have had it for years–since I went to London for the first time. Too precious to knit with, evidently. I was overwhelmed by being in England and decided in my jetlagged state almost as soon as I arrived that I had to get out into the city. I identified a couple of yarn shops and adventured around London by public transport in an attempt to find them. I succeeded and was made very welcome by knitters at both. In fact, at IKnitLondon I met a man who was knitting knee high socks for a friend of his from sock yarn he had dyed with Kool Aid (well, of course!) and two women who had come in for chocolate crackles and a film helped me with the crochet I had tried on the plane since knitting was banned. Pretty soon I realised I was surrounded by people who could inform me about Pride London (a couple of days later), which they cheerfully did. And in the end I sat knitting with the assembled, watched most of a film and managed to find my way back to my hotel and a very profound sleep.
This yarn came from a shop that has since closed down. I had a hilarious conversation with the woman working there as she was about to shut the shop. She was from rural Victoria–so we were two Australians in a wool shop in London for a happy half hour.
It’s too much to expect I would stick to one thing. I already had this sock happening. I tried it on the intended recipient early in the weekend and a decision was made about the toe. Done! Sock two cast on.
I do love the banners at WOMAD. They ripple in the slightest breeze. The red sock grew a cuff. Here it is in an arbutus while I am queueing for dinner. Ask not what passersby were thinking. There was a man in a top hat, skirt and impressive dreadlocks nearby. They may have been looking at him and not me.
The trees in Botanic Park are truly massive in some cases…
Here I am with my friend, waiting for The Gloaming to begin in some deep shade, among all kinds of conifers, knitting.
The sock is a Jaywalker. Inelastic, but once on, it stays put and… awesomely good for a yarn like this one full of colour.
Here I am listening to The Gloaming and thinking about how much I love trees and how amazing the atmosphere of the Earth is. And how endangered. There were many opportunities to think about climate change and Indigenous solidarity at WOMAD. It heartened me to be in the presence of artists and musicians who are also trying to figure out what they can do and what they can communicate on these questions.
Next day, I think…
My trusty bag got a little coloured powder on it during the Colour of Time–a rather amazing dance spectacular. There is a good image with an odd caption (no spray paint, trust me) here if you scroll down.
Pine needles after dark… in the presence of Neneh Cherry.
A fellow beloved tree hugger.
Eventually, we gathered ourselves up and wandered off into the night to find our bicycles and pedal home to our beds. Wonderful.