Virginia Creeper and Ways to Process Grief

When the world looks troubled, go find a Virginia Creeper, a slow firework to calm the mind. Over summer, while apple trees were fainting in the heat, the creeper was busy, going all out to engulf the greenhouse, vegetables and whatever else it could get its leaves on. Now it is queen of the month.

Virginia Creeper in autumn

It is a symbol of grief. A process that follows loss and begins with Stuff.

At first there is lots of Stuff. Left behind by who, or what, you have lost. Grief declares that Nothing Is Ever Thrown Away. Common sense suggests that you might not need it all. Grief starts squirrelling it away, common sense gets annoyed and stuff gets sorted in one way or another.

That happened when our dad died. Out went his clothes, except his furry hat, because it had the right smell of lawnmower petrol. Out went books and boots but his laptop crawled quietly under a shelf, silently pointing out that it ‘has photos’. Wedding china, engraved cutlery, assorted ornaments, including a fake pistol for no reason, leapt into his wooden chest and shut the door resolutely.

As former keeper of the garden our dad also managed to leave a dodgy hedge. The hedge I climbed to cut the creeper back. No problem there. Hedges and walls around this place are generally medieval and built by people who knew what they were doing.

When my boot crunched on glass I got the idea that I might not be standing on a hedge built by a medieval stonemason.  Research revealed that it had actually been constructed by piling up the contents of a neighbour’s skip. This must have happened in olden days when I had little interest in hedge construction.

Not sure where this analogy is going. Maybe sometimes grief is like a hedge full of broken glass. Slightly dodgy underneath and not something you want to stand on. Sometimes it is like a Virginia creeper, looking better on the surface as each year passes. Who knows, it is different for everybody.

Storm Alex has forced indoor living. Time to stay in and ‘get on with things’ or ‘take up crafting’.

I did both, tidied cupboard, found a long forgotten present and moved on to felting.

The instruction book is full of words, methods, tales of different size needles and instructions for making things, including a post box.  I can understand needing a felt robin or a penguin but why anybody would want a felt post box?

Felting kit

The point is, get some felt, make a shape. Stab it repeatedly until it magically stays in that shape, nobody knows how that happens, make appendages arms legs, eyes, wheels, whatever and stab them into the original shape to fix them together, magic.  Sell for a fortune on Etsy.

The following creations are currently available. 

The government have announced a warmer homes scheme. To qualify you need: A home, £5,000 to pay your share and a degree in form filling. In the absence of the money or the degree I have experimented in another way to insulate a home.

Take an old metal framed door that is designed to conduct cold air into the room and a sort of mouldy around the edges. Get Velcro, cardboard, tape etc and attempt to halt the cold air in its tracks. 

When I have sold enough felt animals this kind of experiment won’t be necessary, but for now I am glad that our dad taught us what fun it is to try and do things on the cheap.

Outside the garden, and house, notable news items this week are that wealth for billionaires has increased by over a quarter between April and July and that the UK is still the second biggest arms exporter in the world, so we can all be proud about that. But at least Trump is happily busy digging his own grave on Twitter.

Here are the chickens posing amongst leaves in autumn sunshine.

Chickens in autumn sunshine

8 thoughts on “Virginia Creeper and Ways to Process Grief”

  1. Love it, 2 stroke petrol is the smell of kings.
    If the felt creatures don’t sell you could always stuff them into the drafty gaps ha ha

  2. This is the best blog yet. Grief. It is just like a pile of broken glass covered by a hedge. Best left alone until it really does need trimming…. be prepared for getting cut.

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