I didn’t write last week and my feeble excuse is that I’m still recovering from an exhausting cold; we’ve been in the loft rooting around for stuff of Joanna’s that can now be shifted to her larger accommodation; and I’ve been sewing curtains for her to a deadline when Lawrence came down to receive it.

You have mixed feelings when you enter your loft. It’s so full of stuff? Who put all this stuff here? Once it goes into your loft, it can never be found (if it is remembered) again, so you may as well throw it out in the first place. There’s some stuff that you look at and think, why ever did I not throw out this old tat rather than cart it up here? There are things that you’ve forgotten all about and are pleased to see again. There are things that you remembered and are pleased to rediscover. And then there are things that you have absolutely no recollection of; you never used them; you never bought them. Then you realise the answer to the riddle – someone else is putting stiff into your loft! (If only…)

Then you have to manoeuvre the stuff out of the loft, past the loft ladder, haul it all out of its container, examine it, decide what to do with it, put it in an appropriate heap, resisting the urge to return it to the loft…

So I’ve been doing that, and my head is full of important issues like whether anyone would like a moth-eaten rug, only very slightly stained; or a coffee table with a wonky leg (perfectly OK if propped against a wall and you walk gently past it.) You do come across some things that are lovely and desirable, but even then you still have to decide to whom you will first offer it.

Apart from that I’ve been sewing soft furnishings for Joanna’s new house. My head is full of measurements. We went to a warehouse of Remnant Kings on the outskirts of Glasgow where there were beautiful materials at prices sometimes as much as two thirds lower than the retail price but of course you can only buy what there is – it can’t be reordered. I make a pair of pale blue cotton curtains for the girls’ room, with red puppies on it and have enough left over to make one large or two small cushions. For the master bedroom Joanna has  chosen a lovely beige silky material with a climbing leaf pattern, like Jack and the beanstalk but without Jack. The pattern has a 19” repeat, so we buy enough for 3 drops. But when I measure it out, the pattern works out exactly, so I don’t lose the 20” and this makes just enough, but not quite enough for 4 drops which would look more luxurious and be easier. I put a false hem on one drop, which doesn’t show, and there we have a 4 drop curtain.

There is a turquoise and cream rug from the loft. My mother had embroidered a beautiful hydrangea embroidery that I had bought in Liberty’s. There is a wide but not long blue flowered curtain that was once in my livingroom, quite rich in colour. Joanna would like a curtain for her front door, which has glass in it. Her hall is large and has a chair in it. With judicious piecing, I alter the short, wide curtain into a long, narrower one, and I mount my mother’s embroidery on cream material, edge it with the blue rich blue, back it with the same, and there’s rather an expensive looking cushion.

This all goes North with Lawrence (apart from the cushion). I have some further projects to undertake. Make the puppy dog cushions. Make cream cushions that go with the Beanstalk without Jack curtains. Finish a black/red/white quilt with birds, for Joanna’s sitting room.

In the loft I found a black and gold velvet material (no idea where it came from) which will make 2 cushions for Elisabeth, plus some gold silk which will make another one. (Milo shows great taste so far as textiles are concerned, his favourite cushions to destroy being made of either silk or Harris tweed.) I found some material that goes in the caravan and can cover pillows with it. Alexandra would like another cape. I have some gorgeous cream cotton with boats embroidered on it to make a baby quilt. No-one is in any way pressing for these, of course.

But you will understand why I can’t offer wise thoughts of chairman annie, or write insightful political analysis – because my head if fully taken up with sundry speculations of Woman with a Loft.

PS Actually Woman with a Loft and a Sewing Machine. Since I bought my new sewing machine a year ago, I have made 1 quilt, l cot quilt, 2 bags, 1 nightdress, 3 pyjama bottoms, 7 pairs of curtains, 4 aprons, 9 cushions, 2 dresses, 2 throws, l floor mat, l child’s kilt, l pair of trousers, 2 tops, l skirt and l tunic. Of these the only abject failure was the dog blanket dress.

I think on that note I’ll retire to my sofa!