May 2020 News

Dear Friends,

Another month has gone by and here we are in the middle of May enjoying some lovely weather again.


What some of us have been up to!


Thank you to those people who accepted my invitation to show us what they have been up to whilst staying at home -  and here they are.


Jeni has been growing plants for her small but beautiful garden and knitting! Her little dog Missy wanted to get in the picture...

Shirley says she has been spring cleaning, gardening and has at last found time to go back to her hobby of one-twelfth scale dolls house miniatures and have made a new garden box.

Gill has been very productive too...improving the wardrobe of her grand-daughter Molly’s dollies and growing tomatoes and lettuce on her window sill amongst, many other creative activities.

I have been decorating and recovering cushions, gardening and I took up Grayson Perry’s challenge to paint a portrait without worrying about likeness... so you have to guess who it is!

Derek has made a dovecote - probably for jackdaws!


Here too is a photo of Helen’s gate to replace the small timber gate into the Farmhouse Garden. Helen created and drew this wonderful design and arranged for it to be laser cut by just before lockdown.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stanton Park

Now Boris has revamped his strapline – ‘Stay ‘ to ‘Stay Alert’ -  and has proposed we can all take unlimited exercise with social distancing this may mean that Stanton Park will be re-opened to cars shortly. I will let you all know if and as soon as this happens. 


I have popped over a couple of times to inspect of our buildings for insurance purposes and to check for wildlife (the unwelcome, squeaking sort) in the Farmhouse and it is certainly very quiet all over the park and the wildflowers have invaded our garden rather beautifully.










The Future

It may be a while before things can get back to normal at Stanton because our accommodation doesn’t really offer the opportunity for social distancing, in the Farmhouse or print studio...so apologies to all those members who are programmed to lead workshops and/or have work being unseen in the shop and gallery. We may be able to arrange some informal gardening sessions for those with an interest, 2 or 3 people at a time; possibly facilitate the small, weekly Art Group in the garden, if the weather is fine; and we can all take part in Swindon Open Studios which has been put back to the first 2 weekends of October – so time to start planning what you might like to exhibit!. As the end of Every Cloud’s financial year is coming up soon on July 31st, I have taken a look at our finances in order to reassure everyone that we won’t be disappearing soon as a project.


At the moment, our in-year expenditure exceeds our income by £2,000 but there is no need to worry because we have such a good reserve due to the success of the tea-room last summer. However, if we are unable to open the tea-room again in 2020, it will be this time next year that we may need to start looking for support through grant aid.


In the meantime, if you know anyone who might like to support us via the Swindon

Community Lottery, this would be good.









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Secretary's column

I was reading the Saturday Times on Monday and came across a headline that caught my attention:


“Why staying at home has given you brain fog- and how to fix it”


This was a must-read for me!  And 'if you are not getting much done, there is a there is a good reason for this'


It was a serious article written by a neuroscientist who explained that lots of small daily stressors that make up our normal day to day lives are much better than exposure to a constant stressor. It seemed to make sense and they suggested ways to help us fix this:

  1. Make sure you exercise in the morning to set yourself up positively for the day and give yourself a small reward at the end. (Not sure if they meant a chocolate croissant though?)     

  2. Your hobbies should give you a sense of control and competence – detachment from the crisis and your brain perceives there is no need to be so frightened. (So art and crafts are good but baking might mean you eat large quantities of cake!)

  3. Force yourself to start a project. Don’t do too much chilling or worrying or both. Start a project and motivation will follow. (This may be true but I do have problems with decision making on which project to try and finish?)

  4. Write a list in which to set yourself 2 small daily tasks for the following day and tick them off for a sense of achievement. Apparently it can be as banal as mopping the floor or tidying a drawer out, on the basis that bringing order to your immediate world can offset the wider disorder. (Moving Every Cloud paperwork from the floor of my office into the filing cabinet helps me feel much better!)

  5. Try to reframe your negative thoughts. Challenge any negative thoughts you are having. Eg If you can’t stand not being able to meet friends for coffee, say to yourself  -“ I don’t like not meeting friends for coffee - but I can stand it . I’ve already done 8 weeks and things will get better”. And in the meantime stay in contact by phone.

  6. Don’t wake up to the news or watch it just before going to bed! Anxiety and fear are very draining and energy sapping.( I have to confess I have switched from Radio 4 to Radio 2 at 8am to avoid the news and I bop around the kitchen whilst eating my breakfast of buttered toast with peanut butter)

If these coping strategies aren’t already in your daily schedule it may help to give them a go?


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And the final word from Edward Thomas 1878 - 1917

I don’t know why I have been drawn to poetry in the lockdown but this poem is one of my favourites that transports me to beautiful Cotswold hamlet on a hot sunny day, written as it was by a young man who died in WW1 in 1917. It makes me feel very calm – and just a day after I rediscovered this poem, John Snow the BBC veteran war correspondent, chose the same poem to read on the radio because he explained how the poem helped reduced the terror he was experiencing immediately after the massacre of Tiananmen Square when he nearly died alongside the students.

Even when he made it back to his hotel, covered in his own and others blood and the hotel was being fired upon, his calm returned when he remembered this poem.


Enjoy and we can all go to Adlestrop when the current crisis is all over.


We wish everyone the best, stay well and look forward to seeing everyone soon again, back in the park for a walk, a cuppa and a chat.or similar. We are here to help and support you and your families receive the services you need, so don't hesitate to get in touch with me on 07796 530 560 or email anne.billingham2@btinternet.com With all best wishes

Anne on behalf of everyone at Every Cloud Arts & Crafts

Stanton Farmhouse,

Stanton Country Park

Stanton Fitzwarren,

Swindon SN6 7SF, UK

Tea Rooms Closed Until Further Notice

 

07796 530 560