Drawstring Pouch.

I put Walnuts in it

I’ve been sewing for longer than five minutes; approximately two days in fact, though it’s not entirely my fault. I never set out to stitch and fabricate, but my mother gave me a sewing machine. What’s a man to do?

I have vague recollections of sewing classes at school, 25 years ago. A drawstring bag (not the one in the photo) and a pillowcase resulted. The pillowcase was made from an ugly striped material. The first night I used it, I drooled on it and had nightmares. I never used it again.

Back to the present. Behold! – My new sewing machine has an instruction manual that actually makes sense (I didn’t know they existed). It also came with an instructional DVD containing printable patterns and instructions for two simple projects: a drawstring bag and tote bag.

It’s never that simple though, is it? First you need to practice using the machine, but that’s the least of your worries. Before you make anything, you need to spend money on materials.

Fabric is the first hurdle, and is far more complicated than necessary. Not only is it available in more than one colour, there are different types, and not all types play the same way. It doesn’t stop there either. Fabric has a right side, and a wrong side. Consider yourself warned. If you are a heterosexual male however, there is a silver lining; your local fabric store is full of women (just don’t get on their wrong side or rub against their nap).

You need to stock up on a variety of weapons, mostly in the form of blades (VERY sharp scissors and seam-rippers) and spikes (pins and needles). That’s the fun part, but you will prick yourself later.

Ok, we’re all set. Making the drawstring pouch (the one in the photo – this time) really was straightforward. All I had to do was follow the instructions. I used cotton fabric, but in the good-old-days they used to make pouches from the scrotum of a bull. Thought you should know that.

I didn’t know what to do with the bag at first, so I put walnuts in it and took a photo. Now I’m using it to store my sewing weapons.  Next project will be cushion covers.


It’s raining … finally. It’s not much rain. Just a fine sprinkle. But water is water, and water is what we need. We’ve been waiting a long while. What little grass remains here is brown, brown, brown. People have been selling their livestock. Summer refused to end.


Update: This is an early draft.  An expanded version of this story can be found here

Julia took another bite of her Moro bar, spat it out, and burst into tears again. Five kilos in two months. She just kept getting fatter. It wasn’t fair. Cindy had quit smoking without gaining all that weight – so why couldn’t she? Chocolate tasted good though. It was one thing that made Julia feel better. She was getting fatter, but at least she wasn’t smoking. As for her prick of a (now ex) boyfriend – He’d simply said he’d prefer a smoker to a lard-ass before dumping her. Wasn’t she suffering enough already? Her ex was a total dick.

Across the street, Julia noticed a plump young mother screaming at her young child outside the supermarket. The child, maybe five years old, was also plump and screaming – throwing a classic tantrum. The exasperated and shaking young mother lit herself a cigarette and then comforted the child with a bag of sweets from her handbag. Julia’s emotions were riding a rollercoaster now, as the scene playing out before her smashed through the fog of her depression. Both child and mother were quiet now, but were either of them happy? Suddenly, Julia’s Moro bar was an illusory pleasure, just a drug, no more a pleasure than the cigarettes she had given up. The child, already overweight, was being trained to consume sugar as a solution to every problem. Julia was doing the very same.

For the first time in two months, Julia laughed out loud. She stood up, squashing the remainder of the chocolate under her shoe with a grim satisfaction, as if it were some disgusting bug. She didn’t need the comfort foods. She was free to be herself, by herself. She forgot her ex. Cindy’s house was nearby. They hadn’t seen each other for a while. Smiling, Julia set off on a gentle run.


Well, now it just gets silly …

The cat couldn’t care less. She has been sleeping in an undisclosed location. All I know is that she’s inside – which means she can come wake me up when she determines that it is time for her breakfast. She doesn’t like cuddles but she does enjoy sitting on my lap – especially if I’m watching TV, or trying to read. She chirps and meows at me. I talk back in English. We enjoy a mutual incomprehension. If only we both spoke common Latin.