May Your Embers Still Glow in the Morning..

I have started off the day firstly pleased, because the flu seems to have shifted itself and then secondly saddened after reading of the suicide of Elspeth Thompson.    I didn’t know of her at all, although I may have read one or two of her Observer articles without realising.

However, reading her obituary, I was struck by how much I wanted to have had her life.  The great education, the travel, fashion sense , creativity, the writing of books and articles for major newspapers, lots of wonderful things to have had in a life, in fact to me, it sounded like the perfect life – and then I read how she had died, a year older than me.  Feck..

For any of you out there who still think that depression is  ‘all in the mind’, something imaginary – that we have power over and is all about self-pity, that it can’t cause physical symptoms, or that it is something to be ashamed of – think on..

Depression thrives in the dark, in the secret, on shame and self-hatred, it likes you to be ashamed of it and try to cover it up.  It likes to be alone and silent, a huge, yellow, invisible bruise that covers your body and soul. It also likes anger and irritation, sarcasm and hatred and pain. It will try to remove you from every person who you have loved or who loves you.  It likes to hide and lurk in your body, showing itself in symptoms similar to other diseases, fatigue, sleeplessness, aching limbs, wearing you down like a great vulture on your back.  It will lift off for a while, just giving you time enough to think yourself free, before settling once more and taking itself another strip of flesh..

What it doesn’t like is openness and understanding.  It hates mindfulness – it wants you to dwell on the past and worry about the future.  It hates love, self-love, self understanding, thankfulness, tenderness, kindness, fresh air, people moving, talking, caring, companions, laughter, optimism, patience,  hope..

If you are out there reading this and haven’t got it already – please seek help.

A poem from Elspeth’s blog..


  1. by Thomas Clark

    May the best hour of the day be yours.
    May luck go with you from hill to sea.
    May you stand against the prevailing wind.
    May no forest intimidate you.
    May you look out from your own eyes.
    May near and far attend you.
    May you bathe your face in the sun’s rays.
    May you have milk, cream, substance.
    May your actions be effective.
    May your thoughts be affective.
    May you will both the wild and the mild.
    May you sing the lark from the sky.
    May you place yourself in circumstance.
    May you be surrounded by goldfinches.
    May you pause among alders.
    May your desire be infinite.
    May what you touch be touched.
    May the company be less for your leaving.
    May you walk alone beneath the stars.
    May your embers still glow in the morning.

Managed to make it to the craft group this morning but was feeling so crappy with this flu that I only lasted an hour and then buzzed off home again.  Pleased I went though, cos I was able to show off new scarf and Japanese craft book as well as welcoming my birth mother Phillipa and nephews partner Leela to the group.  They had been saying they would come along for ages so I was glad I made the effort and I could introduce them to everybody, not individually however, as our group has got pretty big now, must have been eighteen or so woman today, all making different stuff – I love it.

So, home now and back in lovely, cozy nightie and robe, on the sofa and soon to crochet and watch some t.v.  I would love this flu to be over – I have plans and it is getting in the way.

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think..

Not really a hope that I would be well enough to host a birthday lunch today.  Woke in the night with sore chest and coughing, had to sleep elevated on pillows to breathe properly, so our little get together has been postponed until further notice.

However – in v good mood, not for any particular reason.   Several thing have happened, or come together, which perked me up.

  • Japanese Crochet book arrived and is lovely as promised.  It is, of course, in Japanese but has diagrams in it and after a quick shifty and a google browse I reckon I can work out what to do.
  • Whilst searching for diagrams, I came across a brilliant knitting/crochet site that has tons of free pattern and also sells the yarn Garn Studio .  Has a fun pattern for crocheting slippers by sewing granny squares together and felting them.
  • Finished my scarf and I love it.  I am actually wearing it as I write.  It has some of my very first crocheted squares in it which are a bit wonky and will forever remind me of the learning curve  😉  And it has pom poms..
  • I have just been on the phone arranging with my Mum for a visit down to see her this Easter weekend, and incorporated into that visit we will be attending my good friend Kate’s wedding on Saturday at Karori Wild Life Sanctuary, YAY!!
  • Then on Easter Monday we are having a ‘family lunch’ with my birth family.  My Granny is coming down from Palmerston North for it.
  • I have an episode of QI to watch
  • Having the flu now means that it will all be over with by Easter.
  • We will be having 10 o’clock Cookie Company hot cross buns and Queen Ann chocolate for Easter.  Greed always overcomes any reservations this pagan feels about celebrating other religions festivals, lol!  Enjoy the best bits – chuck the rest, is my motto.  But yes –  how weird is it celebrating spring, in the middle of our antipodean autumn?
  • We have tons of harvest veg and are giving some away.
  • My dog has lovely, spotty legs.

Enough – I think you get the picture, full of the joys of autumn.  Now for some photos..

My new scarf
Cucumber anyone?

Blokes scarf finished


Well – it turned out to be nether old age or hormones that put me in such a mood yesterday.  I am officially sick, as in heavy cold, sore throat sort of sick.  😦    Mind I haven’t been ill for so long now I can hardly remember the last time, so mustn’t grumble 😉

It means that I am parked up on the sofa with the hound, watching t.v. and trying to crochet.  My multitasking ability appears to have been compromised as well however and I might just have to stick to one thing.

Yesterday I sewed my grannies together for the scarf but then decided it was not long enough and I have had to make a few more.  Also, in my flu befuddled brain I kept crocheting them together the wrong way so it took quite a long time and much grumpy muttering of bollocks, before it got done.

I am meant to be hosting a birthday lunch tomorrow so am hoping that I will be feeling a box of birds, you never know your luck..

Hooky, Hooky..

I am in a mood..  it’s a funny saying, reminds me of childhood as in ‘don’t go near Mum she’s in a mood!.

Not sure why I am in a mood, probably hormones again.  Anyway, I have two parties to go to tonight and don’t want to go to either, would rather stay home and crochet in front of the telly.  Does this mean I am getting old? Probably, or it is hormones.

I have finished the big, chunky scarf I am going to give to my Uncle for his birthday.  As my first effort it is a bit wonky but not too bad.  It was made with a size 10 hook and four strands of different coloured wools and sits solid on the neck.  I am a little proud of it.  I also love it because I started it on Thursday and finished it Friday so it gives that instant gratification buzz. However, the effort of making the chunky scarf has meant that I still haven’t sewn my granny square scarf together, so must get on to it.

My seventies crochet book has been a laugh.  It’s like the design ‘powers that be’, experienced a collective style lobotomy.  Godawfull colour and pattern combinations and the fibre used in almost every pattern is horrible, shiny, plasticy, acrylic  –   shudder.

It is interesting being a newbie at crochet and finding all these wonderful patterns and examples of work such as Attic 24s spiral cushion and Mrs Jones granny square cushion, and then finding  exactly the same thing in the seventies crochet book but in horrendous colours and made of enough nylon to make your hair stand on end and give you a nasty static shock.

Attic 24
Mrs Jones - has also done another lovely one but with white background
Mrs Jones - I am going to make one of these.
Mrs Jone's white version of the above (nearly finished)

Horrible crochet..

Sofa cover - enough said..
Exactly what sort of person makes these? Answers on the back of a postcard please..
Mmmm - I'd be hard pressed to stop my husband from weeing on that!

And last – but no where near least..

Oh yeah - stick some pom poms on it, that might help.. I'm a huge fan of the staw matting and plastic lamp too.

As the Light Fades..

So – right then..  Back again with photos this time. . Several things..

  • The tuis are back on the gum tree, yay!  When we first moved into this house back in April last year, the gum was flowering and loaded with tuis  supping the nectar.   They were noisy and fun to have around and I missed them when they flew off in summer to find new food.  This morning, while cleaning my teeth, I heard the familiar warble, and sure enough they are back.
Tui in a Gum
  • My granny squares are ready to be sewn together, I just need to make a couple more pompoms for the ends, I love pompoms.
Ready to sew

I have worn my charity shop green cardi once already – it has pockets, I love pockets.  I think my new scarf will go well with it.

Pockets, mmm

Japanese Anemones are going mad in my garden – everything is, tomatoes and cucumbers growing furiously, some of the roses having another burst.  The autumn is quite obviously here now, with acorns crunching under foot when Poll and I walk in the park and a proper, old-fashioned nip in the air.  Won’t be long now till we get our first frost.


It was, of course, the Autumn Equinox in this part of the world on the 20th of March.  That means you people over there in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating spring. And much welcome it is by the sound of it.

I would be hard pressed to say which is my favourite season – Autumn or Spring.  Both have a lot going for them.  Mr T says winter is his – he likes extreme weather, storms, torrential rain, snow – so do I, but there is something about the in between seasons, the smells and the colours that appeal more to me.

I roasted garlic and a butternut pumpkin this morning so I will be getting all seasonal and making soup for dinner tonight.  But for now it is back to the crocheting.

Happy Mabon/Ostara to you all.

art by Jane Brideson

Sleep needed – apply within..

For some reason last night my body decided that it did not want to go to sleep – for many hours. Consequently, I am knackered and have been so all day, WTF?  I am not used to this, normally I am a ‘head hits the pillow pass out’  kind of girl.  Possibly hormonal – I blame most everything on hormones, they are bastards after all.

So anyway – that’s my excuse for a list, finding it hard to put words together..

  • Thirteen squares made for scarf now – the end is in sight, and it’s going to have pompoms on it.
  • Craft group today was a blast, one of those days when everyone is funny and everyone laughing.  Also I sold one of my necklaces while I was there.
  • T is making me potato curry for dinner tonight. He is a good boy.
  • I am revamping my felt necklaces to sell on Etsy, about time.  Also a necessity as I am in need of a few more sheckles in the Pay Pal account to assuage my appetite for Japanese craft books.
  • The charity shop fairy tapped me with the wand today with the find of a Nicole Farhi bright green knitted cardy – with pockets!  So cool and coming to the UK with me.
  • Dug out a old crochet book from the seventies, bloody hell is all I have to say about it’s stylings – photos from that and my new cardy tomorrow.  I know you all can’t wait..
  • I’m off – QI is on the telly..

Fry, Squares, Bread and a Laugh..

As some of you may know, I make my own bread.  Well, I have been taking a few weeks off the bread making lately and eating the shop type and what a load of blah it is.  Sorry – but it’s true, I have paid for my laziness.

I got back into it yesterday and made a couple of loaves consisting of whole meal, oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.   OMGoddess – how good it was.  I had it today for lunch –  toasted bread, a fat, warm tomato straight from the plant, with a garlic and avocado dressing, sheeit!  A little bit of heaven.. (if I say so myself :-))

It feels like time is starting to speed up now, probably because Mr T is so busy doing lots of chimneys and I am doing the usual, except now I am office person as well, the weeks are starting to flick by. The start of packing looms..

I have seven squares done for my scarf and am frustrated that I haven’t done more.  There is so much I want to make, and so many free patterns on the net to choose from.  I am getting ahead of myself a bit..

Another wonderful discovery this week – the British programme Q.I. has started on Prime.  It is probably my most favourite programme in the world and has one of my most favourite humans on it – Stephan Fry.  Knowledge stuff, comedy stuff and rude stuff all in one go – what’s not to like?

Talking about comedy, thought you might enjoy this little video.  Like the man says, it is very much a British thing the old Out Out.  And I am looking forward to doing it.

In Which I am Entoothed and Crocheted..

Well, I am toothed again.

Yesterday was lovely – apart from having to go to the dentist.  I had been invited to my birth mother Phillipa’s  for lunch along with our friend Yvonne.  That part was lovely, good company, yummy quiche and caramalised onions to go with it.  The part that I had to get my tooth fixed was not so good, but Yvonne came along to support me and surprisingly it made me feel a lot better to have her out in the waiting room.

Anyway – the dentist says he won’t stick my tooth in a third time so I don’t know what I will do if it falls out again.  Will worry about it when it happens and in the mean time eat gingerly!

I have crocheted three squares now towards my long, thin scarf and am hoping to do some more as soon as I have finished typing this.  Last night T was so tired he went to bed really early – leaving me to listen to BBC Radio 4 programmes off the web and crochet quietly into the night  🙂  Tonight will probably be the same.

Popped into the charity shop on my way home from craft group this morn and couldn’t resist a few items – I do know I am not meant to be collecting, I know, I know – but you know how it is!

Beginnings of scarf
About two metres of mad vintage fabric - smells vintage too, as if it has been stored in a wardrobe for forty years!
Sweet little tapa cloth