Hearts stitch journal, 21 January 2018

We have been without power, probably EDF repairing the line, as we were down two and a half hours this time rather than the in-out flickering of last night. This morning saw a pale grey sky (it’s got darker since!), with a light drizzle as I walked the dog down the lane. But the birds were singing cheerfully. I could hear the dog’s feet pattering in the wet orchard – waterlogged for the first time that I can remember. As I was putting the barrow away after getting the logs in, I heard a distress cry. I thought at first the dog had got a rabbit (he normally takes care to veer off at the last minute) but it was coming from the tree tops – two squirrels were chasing each other and one had slipped and was hanging on for dear life, screeching his little head off. I could see his white belly as he struggled to right himself, and then he was up and they were off, running from walnut to willow and up the fir tree and gone. Today’s threads are a dark brown vintage cotton sewing thread, a rust modern stranded embroidery cotton and a vintage cream embroidery floss. The outline is double laced running stitch, to convey the animals running around each other and the infill is fly stitch, mainly because I like fly stitch but also because they’re a bit like bushy tails. At the risk of stating the obvious, French squirrels are red, like Tufty, not grey.

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