No sooner was Volume I of the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection published than work started up again on Volume II so that we shall be ready for next year. And those who have emailed asking how things are going have had somewhat wistful replies from the mole who is picture-editing in a darkened room while the sun shines beautifully outside. (Marie-Louise tells me the French for mole is taupe - so that is where that word comes from.) Don't get me wrong, I am the luckiest person to be spending time with images of the world's most fabulous needlework. But, I decided, enough wist - I could at least play hooky for one sunny afternoon. That's not a typo - though I do love playing hockey and still have the scars to show from that long ago match with Morley Girls' Grammar when I was promoted to forward (or did everyone else step back?) So, this afternoon, I lay on my back on the back lawn watching the buzzard from the hill wing into the wind down the valley and then return in a series of loops as if working a row of detached buttonhole. The raven scattered raucous edicts in all directions from the top of the conifer the children here call the Nu-Nu tree on account of its transformation by lightening some years back. Apples are blushing and burgeoning, and blackberries in the hedge are less mouth-puckering than last week. Down in the valley, the corn is being harvested and two deer leapt from their shallow cover through the dusty golden air - moments of magic - and like Dennis Potter said once, I was pierced by the wondrous nowness of everything. And not now, but sometime next week, Haslemere Educational Museum will be releasing a PDF chart of this lovely sampler stitched by Mary Gibson in 1824 when she was 11 years old. So, do look out for that next week, won't you?