Friday, 2 April 2021

photo of Doris

Joined Ancestry for a month and found Doris Hardy instantly and was astonished to look into her eyes. 

I will tidy her grave and plant insect friendly plants. I also plan on hand spinning flax tow by her graveside, in celebration of her spinster status and to hang out with Doris and see what thoughts and feelings emerge.  

Doris Hardy 1894-1967

Thursday, 11 March 2021


Spinster hunting/haunting in Wirksworth Cemetery. I'd like to find out more about Doris. Her memorial is added to the side of a tall obelisk type headstone with a stone urn on top. 

I'm always struck by wife/mother/grandmother and husband/father/grandfather text (understandably) on headstones... but what if someone is none of those things? I've seen sister/brother, daughter/son, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew and once (heart swelling and wonderfully), friend.

Pondering those without family behind or in front of them. Who will remember them and who decides the text on their headstones in a pronatalist world?

I'm intrigued by the labelling of Doris as spinster in 1967. Was she one of the generation of women who lost their potential partner in the First World War? Will do some digging.

Wirksworth Cemetery, Derbyshire

Sister, Aunt, Friend
St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, East Finchley, London

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

thread stick - 3

Completed the third Thread Stick in mid February. It has two part used reels of black thread at the base with the rest wrapped in a huge reel of brown. The thread belonged to my aunt Jess and I've still got brown, grey and white threads in her sewing tin. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

thread stick

Back in 2016 I made Thread Stick using a cherry branch and reels of thread that belonged to my aunt Jess. I've always known I'd make another/others and have begun wrapping a (taller than me) hazel stick with my mum's threads. Precious.

I've got an old Quality Street tin full of black, brown, grey and white thread that belonged to Jess - so that's the fork ended sticks destiny decided.

Friday, 13 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 13th november - day 5

Today was the final day of the Haarlem Artspace Residency.

We had a Zoom check-in at 9.30am and a deeper sharing/closing of the residency at 1pm. I decided to share the image of the leftover pulp from the rosehips and hawthorn berries gathered yesterday. I wonder at the pulp of our week, what nutrients will nourish, what might be discarded? I've been surprised by how my week started and how it ended. A huge shift. By doing the same walk again and again veils fell from my eyes and I LOOKED with a deeper consciousness (the bellowing calf and cow helped). The listening circle drawings were a great companion too, helping me to tune in and the hedge flail provided an insistent nudge.

Straining simmered rosehips and hawthorn berries

Heart's ease syrup

Pulp and muslin

Thursday, 12 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 12th november - day 4

Walk encircling Haarlem Artspace and Hob Wood.

A strange day. I'd thought I'd be uplifted by daily walking, I like the idea of walking as ritual, that a protective 'spirit' might linger within the circle walked. But nope, today I felt out of sorts, cold, irritable and sad about splintered hedgerows, tumble down stone walls, animals as units of protein and TOO MUCH GRASS. Towards the end of the walk I watched as a calf was rounded up and separated from its mother, to the distress of both animals and felt overwhelmed with grief.

There is so much caught up in all this, I can't even begin to untangle but I'm glad I'm not walking tomorrow.

Trusty stick

Flailed hedge with old pleacher - evidence of past hedgelaying