Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Gardening For Bio-Diversity March 27, 2017

Filed under: Airfield,Art works,Artists,Claude Monet,Flowers,Images,Nature — Janet @ 1:48 pm

Poppies MonetGardening for Bio-Diversity Love this image from Rubalcava Horticultural Services in County Wicklow Ireland.  It reminds me also of a field of wildflowers at Airfield, an urban farm near my former home in Dublin.  Or Monet’s famous painting of a field of Poppies.


Airfield for Sketching September 24, 2011

Filed under: Airfield,Gardening — Janet @ 1:29 am

I understand that one of my favourite places in Dundrum in Dublin Ireland is going to be closed for major renovations.  For several years while I was in Dublin I worked in the archive at Airfield and then was involved in the campaign to “save Airfield”.  Save Airfield meaning save this unique urban farm from the developers.  That battle was won several times and I would imagine that in today’s economic climate the would-be developers have disappeared.  But somehow now Airfield seems to have the money for a major overhaul from within and therefore will be closing its doors and gates for about a year and a half. 

I get news each week of a Sunday sketching group which moves around Dublin.  This Sunday they are meeting at Airfield, just in time before it closes.  Over the years I did several art classes at Airfield and I have numerous photographs and a few sketches to show my impressions.  Following is one of my efforts.

  This sketch was done some years ago.  I think this bench is long gone.  It will be interesting to see what this Sunday’s sketchers will come up with.  I never managed to join them while we were in Dublin and now I will be with them in virtual space on Sunday.  6000 miles away.  I hope they have the weather we are having here today in Seattle – a real Indian Summer day, it’s boiling.

I also get news of Hedgebrook Gardens in Blessington, County Wicklow  south of Dublin.  The head gardener there, Jimi Blake, used to be the head gardener at Airfield.  Jimi was on the RTE programme Nationwide back in July and now I find out that he will be coming to Seattle next March.  I will circle the date.


I Am Reminded of Willa Cather March 11, 2010

Filed under: Airfield,Authors,Books,Social history — Janet @ 4:18 am

Willa Cather is an author I read many years ago and would happily reread now.  In looking her up on Wikipedia I see that we share the same birthday (not the same year!).  O Pioneers! and My Antonia are two of her more famous works.  She was born in 1873 in Virginia but in 1883 her family moved to Nebraska and she is famous for her writing based on her experiences there.  She attended the University of Nebraska.  Remember, this was at a time when not many women went to university.  She died in 1947 and is buried in Jaffrey New Hampshire.  She had many honours during her lifetime and is known as the novelist of the frontier.  The frontier being the Great Plains. 

As mentioned in my last blog, the book I am reading now is In Their Own Words, Letters from Norwegian Immigrants, edited, translated and introduced by Solveig Zempel and published by the University of Minnesota Press in cooperation with The Norwegian-American Historical Association.  The book consists of letters from 9 pioneers who emigrated from Norway in the latter part of the 19th century to take up new lives in America.    So far I have read 3 sets of letters.  The first set of letters were written by A Peripatetic Schoolteacher, Andreas Hjerpeland, whose letters span the years 1871-1893.  The 2nd chapter is titled A Single Woman in Illinois, Berta Serina Kingestad, letters written 1885-1893.   And the third chapter is An Urban Norwegian in the Red River Valley, Gunnar Host, letters written 1883-1905.  The experiences of these people are just fascinating.  And although the letters were written many years ago now, there is so much in them that one can relate to in today’s world in the 21st century.

I think that the Nordic Heritage Museum has an archive project going on involving letters written by Scandinavians who came to the Seattle area, and specifically to Ballard where we are now living.  I am hoping to link up with this project.  A few years ago in Dublin I worked in the archive at Airfield Farm and catalogued the material.  I look forward to maybe doing that again.

  Willa Cather in 1936, credit Wikipedia


Snippets From A Day in Dundrum, Dublin Ireland December 3, 2009

Excerpts from my diary for a night and day in early December:

  Moonlight, evening of December 2

  approx. 8:30 a.m., a view of the full moon in the western sky, as daylight comes, December 3 – the moon is that white circle seen through the upper branches of the tree

an email informs me that our belongings are well on their way to Seattle on the SS Rotterdam, due in Seattle on January 4th

10:15 a.m. – a man arrives to fit a carpet, just as I am going off to my final Irish class for this term.  Husband Ian left in charge.  On the way to my class I discover that my handwoven curtains are now buried in a skip.

  a stop for coffee at Starbucks in the Dundrum Town Centre.  I think about my curtains.

Irish class as enjoyable as ever

  Lunch at Harvey Nichols in the Dundrum Town Centre

a bit of shopping

and a walk to Airfield in the mid-afternoon to see how the piglets are doing

  Mama sow having a drink of water

the 10 five day old piglets are doing fine

 and two new goats have moved in next door to the piglets

a bit of Christmas shopping in the shop at Airfield and then coffee and tea with friends  – including 4 year old Alannah who was uneasy about seeing the piglets – Mama sow’s snorts were a bit frightening!

evening – knitting and the latest episode of Ros na Rún – a long running Irish soap


WWSIP Day September 15, 2009

Filed under: Airfield,Sheep,Spinning — Janet @ 8:18 am

wwsipbtn from worldwide spin in public day


WWSIP – World Wide Spin in Public Day is happening on this coming Saturday,  September 19.  Events are being organised all over the world to celebrate the craft of spinning.  I am in the midst of organising a spinning “party” here in Dublin at Airfield Farm.  A number of members and friends of the Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers will be spinning out of doors (weather permitting) or inside a big tent put up for the purpose.  Here are a few pictures from previous events. 

Airfield Woolapalooza 018  Spinning at Airfield


Sheep shearing at Airfield 1  Sheep shearing at Airfield


Airfield Woolapalooza 021  Spinning demonstration


Lambs at Airfield 023  Lambs at Airfield