In case of emergency do not collect personal belongings

Yesterday was spent drying things, and hitting things.

Once it became apparent the leaking had stopped and there was little I could do till the landlord got here I needed to get into the workshop and work out some frustration. At college you can always tell when the forge is shut, the blacksmiths roam about the halls looking frustrated and a little bit like caged animals. They love the physicality of steel and the ways they work the metal to create beautiful objects. I've always found stillness in hand embroidery and knitting, the feeling of the yarn or silks as they pass over my fingers and the concentration which blocks out all other niggling conscious thoughts. I've never really understood the cathartic nature of bashing hot metal with a hammer. To me it is hot and noisy and you can't listen to radio 4 or drink a cup of tea while you do it. But yesterday I released my inner blacksmith and beat out my frustration at the farcical litany of disasters which my life has become. And boy was it good. Turns out the clanging, ear trembling noise of the anvil being hit by a hammer was much more distracting than Jenny Murray's dulcet Woman's Hour tones. By the end of my day I had made five copper bookmarks to add to my depleted stock for the pop-up shop:

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. Each one has a different phrase on it and I love the texture I got on the metal. I'm hoping to make a few more of these and add them to the shop in the next week or so. 

In the evening the repair man finally turned up and after much investigation he can find no reason why we had a leak. The only thing we can do is carry on as normal, keep an eye on the ceiling and hope for the best. Just in case I decided I better move the things that I care most about losing from that side of the studio. We don't have room in the house for me to pack everything up and I need my space to work in, so I spent some time last night deciding what I would 'save'. I've often had idle conversations about what it would be terrible to lose - usually when we are renewing insurance - but when it came down to it I was a little surprised what my boxes were filled with, and what was left on the shelf. There were the obvious things like camera's, laptop, sewing machines (yes, machines I have four including an over-locker) stuff that would be expensive to replace.
 There were books but not as many as I thought. These are mostly vintage craft books that we have found at car boot sales, charity shops or inherited from family members who no longer care how to make macramé; imported american Craft magazines; my small collection of art books mainly given to me by BS; and one novel - a water damaged book called 'Soon I will be Invincible' which I got at a book swap several years ago and I love it. But there are still a couple of shelves of books left that I thought were important enough to take up precious shelf space, but when it comes down to it, I certainly wont lose any sleep over them if they get trashed in another leak. 

The rest of the 'saved' pile is made up of my collection of prints and original pieces of art that I have collected over the last few years. It is a collection which moves with me everywhere I live, and they are the things which make a place mine. And that is what I realised, if it had come down to it and the ceiling had been falling in and I had only time to save a few things it wouldn't have been the practical things, the expensive things, it would have been the little things - the framed beer mat on which BS first designed my Rats logo; the Black Apple prints, the wire lamp drawing and all the other things which hang on my wall. 

Do you ever think about this? What would be in your saved pile?

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