Sunday, 7 July 2013

Turtles: An Explanation

Yesterday the postman arrived with the package sent from Sam. I tore it open and discovered this.

Turtle!

How AMAZING is he?! I'm completely in love with it and will shortly be buying a frame. He will be the first picture we hang in our apartment and we've been here 18 months! I love how the colours compliment each other and I can see him gracefully gilding through the ocean. 

There has been a lot of talk about turtles recently and many people have asked me about why I chose the name for my blog. Let's be honest, the online sewing community is vast (yay!) and I needed something memorable, plus all of the names I came up with have been taken by bloggers who got there before me! After sewing, crafting and football the next thing I get excited about are turtles. To me, it just seemed natural to follow this. 

Lonesome George
Lonesome George - I couldn't resist sharing this
My fascination with turtles really began when I went to the Galapagos Islands following three months of volunteering in Ecuador in 2006. We saw many amazing things there: Blue Footed Boobies, bachelor Sea Lions (who are terrifyingly huge), bull sharks and Lonesome George before he died (I do feel honoured to have seen him) to name a few. However, one moment stands above all of them. We were walking down a beach back to the boat and we saw a female turtle at the top of the beach in broad daylight - we're talking midday. This is really unusual for turtles, they normally come ashore at night during high tide. She was laying her eggs. We stood for 30 minutes and watched her, it was absolutely memorising. It looked like hard work though, these creatures are streamlined for a life in the ocean and she looked exhausted as she scooped up sand to cover her eggs. I can't say this is an efficient method as her flippers sent sand everywhere increasingly the length of time it took to cover them. Once that was done, she had to start the long shuffle back to the ocean. We're only talking 20m but it took her 5 minutes at least as swimming in sand is a lot harder than in the ocean. 

Beginning to cover her eggs

Later that week I saw one in the ocean as we were snorkelling and that experience was just as thrilling. Turtles are such graceful creatures. They have survived many changes in the world and I'm in awe at how long they live. When we went to Australia last year to visit my brother who was working in a town near the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, the main question I kept asking was whether we could go snorkelling to see a turtle. We did, and we were lucky enough to see one in the distance. I couldn't believe it and couldn't contain my excitement! 

Covering her eggs

I've been asked whether I see similarities in myself to turtles. I'm assuming this question is around my preferences and behaviour rather than whether I have a shell and flippers. I guess you could say there are a few. I'm not as solitary as turtles but I do enjoy time on my own, I can happily fill a couple of days where it is just me - any more than that and I start to feel a little cabin fever. I was asked whether it is because I like being in my own shell. I think the answer is yes but in the way that I have become more comfortable and confident being me rather than staying within my comfort zones. This is something that has been on my mind for the last year or so. 

Turtle returning to the sea

Anyway, enough of the deep talk. This is a sewing blog after all. I'm off to see if I can make the second toile of my Thurlow shorts before watching the Wimbledon final. It is interesting using a pattern designed for the pear shape when you have narrow hips. My hip measurements are four sizes down from my waist! But before I do, here is a quick video that I took showing how hard it is for a turtle to move through sand. 


video

12 comments:

  1. Your gift from Sam is so pretty! I'm amazed at the stitching she did on the flippers (?) - it looks exactly like turtle skin!

    Thanks for the turtle explanation too - I always wondered, and I figured it was because you love turtles!

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    1. I agree, it does look like turtle skin!

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  2. Oh, I love turtles too! Such awesome creatures. Thanks for sharing your stories.

    I always wondered about your name as well. I figured it was a play on the tortoise and hare fable. I always thought you wanted to slow down and take your time with sewing.......or maybe that was just the lesson I was learning since I have a bit of a lead foot when it comes to sewing. :-) How fun to learn it was a completely different reason!

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    1. That fable is such a good one for sewing!

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  3. Your turtle is absolutely amazing! Yes definitely frame it. You should use it as your banner one day as well. Thanks for the stories about your name as well. They really are amazing.

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  4. I'm so pleased you like him Claire! It's lovely to hear your stories about where your love of turtles originated. It sounds like you have had some amazing experiences with them.

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    1. I know I have said it before but thanks so much for offering the giveaway! I can't wait to put him on the wall.

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  5. What a lovely picture and thoughtful gift! It's so nice to have something personal like that!

    Thanks for sharing! I always love to know more about people, so it's great to see another side of your personality!

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    1. I was so lucky to win it! I'm glad you enjoyed the stories - you never know how they will be received!

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  6. That's very interesting! I've seen turtles while swimming too, and they are so graceful and fast in the water :)

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  7. You are so lucky that Sam made you a turtle - and thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us.

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