My inspiration for the patchwork was a backyard picnic we had at their place when we visited last July. We got the family together with a bottle of champagne to toast Paul's brand new self-designed-self-built chook house. Paul was pretty chuffed with his new structure and he hoped to enter it into an architectural competition as a small free-standing building. He is not shy of big ideas, my brother.
After that, I wanted to contribute something to their future backyard entertaining and I thought a new picnic blanket would do the trick. I wanted to recreate the setting - their cosy, wooden, plant-filled house in Dutton Park. Sort of old and dark and pleasantly connected with the leafy close surrounding trees, with back stairs down to a classic inner-city Brisbane backyard - long and grassy and stretching away downhill. I wanted to include a little of the muck of the chook house and the view we had from the backyard up into the earthy, undeveloped space under their house (Brisbane folk know what I'm talking about). There are brighter greens there too, mainly for Millicent who I think is going to add a dash of dramatic style to our family.
But do you know where you DON'T need a patch of dappled shade? Sitting in your shady back yard under a beautiful tree. That first bunch of photos I took told me that. Where you most want to be reminded of dappled shade is in your bright white lounge room in the middle of a Townsville summer. Our window faces east, and on the hottest mornings through the hottest months it lets in the most disgustingly harsh bright light, and heat that sets our place to bake for the rest of the day. A while ago I covered it with the 'dappled shade' blanket, and it does the trick completely. (Yes, perhaps wooden shutters outside would also work well, but so far our landlord is saying No to that.) Now the blanket's a fixture and I can't imagine taking it down before the weather turns nice again in April. Sorry guys.
But don't worry, we did get you another wedding present.