On Monday we went through to the west to visit friends, who took us to Greenbank House in Clarkston, where there was a little Embroiderers' Guild exhibition. My friend B is a member of her local branch. Some of the items were for sale, but not this one, which is just as well since a) it would have had to be sold for about £10,000, considering the length of time it must have taken to make and b) B and I both wanted it. My phone photos of it are seriously poor, but it comprises 48 squares of about four inches, all different, in black and grey embroidery with black sashing. It looks as if it's done on faintly patterned fabric but if you look closely, you can see that all the background pattern, like these paisley shapes above, is actually embroidered. (Though I didn't photograph the whole thing (why not? I ask myself) I know there are 48 squares because I said, "There must be about 50 of them," and Mr L said sternly, "No, there are 48" - which in my view is "about 50", but I suppose if you marry an accountant you have to expect him to audit you.)
Anyway, it was seriously impressive and I can see why the maker wouldn't want to sell it.
The house, which now belongs to the National Trust, looks very attractive (it wasn't open) and as B remarked, you could just about imagine yourself living there - it's not a vast super-stately home. And the gardens were lovely. It was built in the 1760s by a chap who traded in tobacco and slaves, but his business was disrupted by the American War of Independence (well disrupted, Americans) and he went bankrupt and had to sell it.
It had rained heavily the previous day - unlike in Edinburgh, where it hasn't rained apart from the odd spot for weeks now - so the grass was slightly muddy.
B's husband D suggested that this was a statue of me doing my Zumba class. Yes, there's a striking resemblance... though I wear more clothes.
Look at that! A grandchild-free post!