I often think about what I’m going to be writing here when I am doing something else; I see something, hear something, get inspired by something, and then ponder on what I’m actually going to write. I was thinking a bout material – fabric, for some reason (I’ve forgotten why now) and looking at the woven pattern, I thought how like creating a story it is, and I decided when I got home I would write a piece about weaving…

I got home and came here… and found that three years ago, I wrote something along the same lines, even titled ‘Weaving’!

Here it is:

When I was at junior school I was lucky to be in the education system at a time when it seemed important to educate the whole child as a complete person, not to narrowly channel them into a career before they even knew what they were really good at or had any aptitude for. I have friends who struggled academically in their early life, but were given this broad background, learning how to learn, strong foundations for whatever future might present themselves… and a couple who had struggled at junior school, not only went on to university but went on to Oxford and Cambridge Universities…
Not only did my junior school education arm me with a wide general knowledge so useful in pub quizzes, but it taught skills and crafts too… and country dancing! We had craft lessons… knitting, sewing, making things out of balsa wood… and I’m sure we all did it, boys and girls. I made a skirt… good heavens I remember struggling over the placket… what a complicated thing for an eleven year old to have to do! We did embroidery, and I still have the needle case I made… typical me, I didn’t have roses or a pretty pattern, I had an elephant on one side and a blue whale on the other, the largest land and marine animals…
I think we had a student teacher come in and teach us weaving… I though this was exciting and different, and in the stories and fairy tales I read there were often weavers so I was very interested. I made a little mat, using purples and pinks and white and black I remember… I was very pleased with the effect and I think it was put under a plant pot on the sideboard…
My woven mat has disappeared but I thought about it today as I was writing, because now I do a different sort of weaving; I have a main plot and in this story it is my main character Thomas Radwinter trying to find out what happened between the two people who brought him up, Edward ‘Raddy’ Radwinter and Sylvia Magick, which led to such a catastrophic and difficult childhood for him… difficulties which went back to when the got married and maybe before, and only ended when Raddy left home. On her own, Sylvia descended into alcoholism and died prematurely…. Thomas wants to find out what happened and why.
So the story of Sylvia and Raddy is the main thread, but running along side it is Thomas’s story of his marriage to his second wife, adoption of her son and the prospects of his own child being born in the spring. Then there are other stories, which I have to weave through, the woman accused of trying to steal a baby who is not believed when she says a friend of hers has disappeared, a client of Thomas who is an elderly lady who seems to be under the influence of a mysterious Moroccan called Badruddin, an Armenian cookery book that Thomas is helping his friend to write, difficulties his nephew Otis is having with his relationships… and more…
Just as in our real lives different strands weave through, so I want these other story-lines to be threaded through the main story, not as a distraction, but because sometimes what happens in one area of life affects or enlightens something somewhere else… and also I want to intrigue and entertain without readers feeling that there are great chunks of sub-plot dumped carelessly into the body of the story…
I must get weaving…

Since I wrote this, there have been more Thomas Radwinter stories – you can find them, and my other books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alois+elsden&keywords=lois+elsden&ie=UTF8&qid=1495315918

One thought on “More weaving

  1. Pingback: Lavender Turquois

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