This evening a nearly full moon rides serenely in the sky with a pale, petrol slick coloured halo glowing as the slow clouds pass.

I’m feeling pretty serene as well which I am curious about.. Most of the day has been spent in tired despair, brain fogged and irritated  at myself, continuously forgetting what it was I was about to do, dropping things, knocking things over, snagging my clothes, dribbling my scarf in the washing up, remembering just what an utter arse of a person I am then getting cross for calling myself names – and generally getting in my own way, and then suddenly, about four in the afternoon, and for no earthly reason  that I can think of,  I find I am completely and utterly fine..

I watch myself in wonder as with returned energy I walk Toastie and Charlie through the grave yard, calmly spending time reading the grave stones and allowing the dogs to sniff to their hearts content.  I feed my friends cats, stopping to sit and talk to them and stroke their lovely fur.  I sort the recycling and actually don’t hate doing it.  I think of something for tea without effort and cook it well, sausages and onion gravy, potato and swede mashed with warm milk, garlic butter and loads of parsley, steamed carrots and brussels sprouts.  And then I eat it at the table, enjoying that I have made myself good food, appreciating it, thinking that Mr T will enjoy it too when he gets home from his chess club later tonight.

And then I step outside and watch the moon and think it may be the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life.

 

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it’s great being back..

One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at our new home in Hay-on-Wye, just over two months ago, was this stone doorstop covered in a crochet cozy by my dear friend Em who had found us this flat in the first place.

It is always a bit worrying when you rent a place sight unseen and although the flat has a few small downsides it has turned out to be a great, little bolt hole.

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And it is wonderful to be back in Hay!  Really so good.  We arrived back to a spectacular autumn, warm and beautiful.  Our house lacks a garden so we have to walk our dogs a lot and we have visited quite a few of our old haunts, up on the Begwns (where it is possible to see all of the Brecon Beacons National Park from the roundabout at the top), Cusop Dingle where I was happy to greet my favourite, majestic Copper Beech, and the castle at Clun on the way up to Montgomery.We live close to the Wye River so that is the default walk of the day.

 

Two months has been enough for the weather to slide into winter and so far we have had one furious storm and yesterday and today the temperatures have dropped to well below zero and even though the sky is clear blue and sunny  the frost stays on the ground all day.

Our flat is in an old, stone building that used to be the work house, it has massive thick walls and is amazingly warm so that even though it is minus 5 outside I don’t need to have the heating on.  I was not best pleased to hear of the buildings horrible history when I got here but I like to think that we will be adding some happier atmosphere to it, besides Em tells me she smudged the place before we moved in to clear any negative energy and whether the smoke helped or not it’s the intention that matters.

Mr T is working back in his old job and has found a welcoming chess club based in a pub in Presteigne, not far from his work.  I am back making things to sell and consciously working on keeping the Black Slug of depression at bay, which is made easier by good friends, beautiful surroundings, our lovely dogs who need lots of walks in the fresh air and it’s nearly Yule!!

This weekend the Christmas lights were turned on on Friday night and that plus the Hay Winter Festival, Food Festival on Saturday, Vintage Market on Sunday meant that the town was full of happy wanderers even more so that usual.

It is lovely living here, we are so very lucky..

 

off again..

We are moving again..

Only this time it’s not a little move, it’s a great big journey across the briny and back to beloved Wales.

We arrive on the 21st September and are being picked up by our good, kind friends Kath and Jules, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary that day, the wedding that six years ago in Swansea, I acted as best woman..  What a fantastic day that was.  And I had forgotten, I have enough problems remembering our own anniversary without remembering anybody else’s – yes I know that’s bad.  In my minds eye I think of their wedding as being in high summer, it was such a hot, sunny, beautiful day.

I have been having a hard time of it lately and I know that because now the hard time has stopped I can look back and see what it was through clear eyes and shudder.  Mostly I think it’s been to do with my thyroid medication.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile will know that I have Hashimotos disease.  It’s an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and causes fatigue, depression, weight gain etc.  To treat it most people take a synthetic thyroid hormone called Thyroxine, usually it works and people return to normal, for some the symptoms can last for a long time.  I’ve been taking it for years, but in the last six months, since I have been living in Carterton, the pharmacist has be giving me a different, generic form of the drug.  And when I asked about it they told me that it was the same thing – no problems and they wouldn’t consider giving me anything else.  So I took it and for months I have been feeling bad, crashing fatigue, depression (more than normal) , anxiety – constant tight ‘butterflies’ in the stomach and occasionally suicidal – oh yes..  I put it all down to ‘The Change’  good old menopause adding to my misery.

So about ten days ago I found a sheet of my old Thyoxine in the bathroom cupboard and thought – what the hell, let’s experiment. Five days in and I was feeling better and the last five days have felt like a major gift.  No depression, no anxiety, normal energy all day, and happy.

I cannot begin to tell you how good that is.. Moving is always a stressful time, especially when you are going such a long way – packing, selling, sorting the dogs for their health checks, rabies vaccinations and flight.  Trying to deal with everything with constant anxiety was awful – and now it has stopped.

I rang the medical centre yesterday for a new prescription which I will have filled in a pharmacy where they will give me the real deal.  I spoke to the nurse and told her of my concerns about the generic drug – and she was tripping over herself to tell me how right my concerns were, how many patients say they have had the exact same experience as me – honestly WTF?!!

I never thought we would be going back to Britain,  I just thought that this was it, we were here for good and tried very hard to just enjoy being here, and for the most part that worked.  I think that if Mr T wasn’t so home sick I would be happy to stay right here, but he is not happy and we are going and now I am feeling better I am getting so excited I could pop!  To think that in five weeks time we will be driving that beautiful drive from Swansea to Brecon and to our new home near Hay-on-Wye is just mind blowing, let alone seeing and hugging all our lovely friends who I thought we would never see again – it still feels really unreal.

I thought I would leave you with a photo of a visitor we found on our doorstep the other day – Australia may have way more fearsome critters than us but only we have The Weta!

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Sunday morning blessings..

Once you start counting blessings it’s easy to keep going…

Yesterday we walked the dogs in the rain around Henley Lake and on returning to the car found a damp business card under the wiper. “Please ring me.  I have your purse” in pen, on the back.  Yes I had dropped my purse out of my pocket while letting the dogs out of the car and this kind man had spotted it by the car wheel and returned it (and all of my eight dollars in change, plus debit card and library card, how tempting it must have been for him)  How’s that for blessings?  Two lovely people in as many days, doing something for others that they didn’t need to.

Mr T is going back to work tomorrow (not that his flu is completely better, but I can’t dissuade him), so the dogs and I are going back down with him and staying with my Mum for a few days.  I will sort her bills out and do any other jobs that need doing and I can cook dinner for us all so Mr T doesn’t have to.

For any of you reading who do not know our situation,  Mr T works down in Wellington (about an hour and a half away from where we live in Masterton) and stays down there during the week with my Mum in her home.  Mum is elderly now and likes the company and he cooks for her in the evenings and they watch silly British comedies together.

Then he comes home and sees me and the fur children for the weekend.  This is not ideal but it’s the way it has to be for now.  I feel happier now I am within walking distance to town and my friends.  My mental health seems to be better when I am not so isolated..

Talking of mental health – I have finished reading Matt Haig’s wonderful book Reasons to Stay Alive and cannot recommend it highly enough – especially if you are looking for reasons to stay alive.  I particularly like the chapter ‘How to live (forty pieces of advice I feel to be helpful but which I don’t always follow)’ and number 27 “Listen to what Hamlet – literature’s most famous depressive – told Rosencrantz and Guildensten. ‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.'”

Matt talks about his book and depression here

Other blessings from this morning – rainbows, tuis warbling in the garden, the BBC’s The Now Show which Mr T has put on and which is preventing me from continuing this blog post because I can’t concentrate and I would rather listen to that than write, be thankful people 🙂

still counting them..

We have had a couple of days of dry spring weather, enough for me to have got all our washing done with one lot still on the line which hopefully will dry before the forecast rain sets in.  House cleaned as well today with MrT perched in bed still while I vacuumed and the dogs shut out of the house because they delight in fighting the vacuum cleaner.

I have just got back from walking the dogs down at the river where I met a lovely older lady also walking her dog and carrying a big bag full of rubbish that she had picked up along the way – apparently she does it every day, doesn’t like visitors to the town to get a bad impression.  The rubbish situation isn’t helped by the total absence of any bins along the path.   People like her are a blessing and I have promised to try to do my bit as well..

I have finished and blocked another shawl, made with a simple pattern to show off the lovely colours of the Lang Mille Colori Sock yarn.

P1030944P1030942My idea is that eventually I will try to sell my shawls on either the NZ craft website Felt or list them on Trade Me (the NZ equivalent of ebay) and I need to get on with it because I want to wear them myself so I figure at least if no one wants to buy them I will be able to claim them.

Because shawls take such a long time to make (especially using fine yarn) I sometimes feel a great urge to break out and make something quick with lovely chunky yarn and I found myself in that mood on Wednesday night.  Searching Ravelry for a hat pattern I came across The Alpaca Slouch Hat by A Creative Being.  Now as some of you crocheters out there may know Marinke (or Wink as she liked to be called) and who rang the blog ‘A Creative Being’  terminated her life in June.  This was a hell of a awful shock to everyone and certainly to me.   I had been thinking of making one of Wink’s patterns in memory of her and so large hook in hand I had that sucker made and ready to wear the next day.  And it’s a beauty – I love it, as did my two friends at Stitch and Bitch on Thursday evening who put in orders.  What I don’t love however is that I am not able to show it to Wink as she requested at the end of the pattern.

Me in my new Wink hat
Me in my new Wink hat

Finally I thought I would just like to pop in a gratuitous photo of Charlie in a dolls pram. This was not my idea but Mr Ts who seems to very much enjoy putting small dogs in baskets, bags and prams – i’m not sure how Charlie felt about it but he did hop out fairly quickly..

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Poor Charles, he has a lot to put up with..

finding that my head is likely buried in yarn..

First post for March, yay!

I have been very unwell again but I think I may be ironing myself out, thanks to a visit with my head doctor and upped medication, which is good because we are leaving tomorrow for a very long weekend in New Plymouth at the WOMAD festival.  Tickets ever so kindly gifted to us by our very good friends Sue and Mike – how cool is that.

I have been worrying that I would be unwell and that would spoil it all, but to be frank – you can be depressed anywhere really and I have a lovely camp bed to curl up in if things turn to cactus head wise.  I love camping, I love sleeping in tents, it is such a treat.  There is going to be masses of different kinds of music and I am just about completely ignorant of most of it so it will be a musical adventure as well.

Crochet wise I have been very busy, having as usual, several projects on the go.  I found one that had been resting since last year when I finally got it together to sort out my yarn stash – no mean feat believe me, .

I found this pattern on Ravelry and used the link with the English translation.  The original is called Schultertuch/Dreieckstuch if you are interested.  It is probably my favourite shawl pattern at the moment, it seems to look good in any yarn and that really is amazing.  Here is mine – nearly finished, oh and the wool is Drops Delight 4 ply and I am on my second ball.

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So after such a structured pattern I had to go and do this little wild beauty, crocheted with scraps including  silk sari yarn, remnants of Noro and fabric strips.  It looks surprisingly good on..

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I have also sold one of my flower square bags and have nearly finished another. This is the one I sold..

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and this little beauty is waiting for it’s lining and to have it’s ends woven in, then it can go out to it’s forever home..P1030877

In addition to this I have started on another granny square bag, pretty much like my one that you can see in this photo.  It is two years old now and in need of a de-bobbling but is still my main stay particularly in summer.  I love it because although it holds a heap when you dump it on the table it can just open out and it is easy to find everything.

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I have other projects on the horizon as well, so the hooks will be burning with all the friction I’ll be treating them to.  I have ordered some Lang Mille Colori Sock and Lace Luxe yarn to make a shawl out of.  Sometimes it is difficult to source certain yarn in New Zealand and this yarn in particular was hard to find, and when I did find it very expensive.  But good old internet to the rescue, I found a British site that not only sold Lang at a cheaper price but gave me 10% off for the first order and also free postage!  So Loveknitting.com I take my hat off to you.  I have the joy of a parcel of yarny goodness winging its way across the world to me soon.

Enough already, I am off to get ready for the festival.  I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to.  See you soon..

tangled tomatos – amongst other things…

P1030833One of the jobs that Mr T was tasked with last weekend was untangling and tying up our tomato plants, left to lie and fraternize amongst themselves, that had begun to topple over with their own weight, and had my Mum tut-tutting at our laissez-faire approach to gardening- where were the neat, upright rows that she was so enamored of?  I don’t know, the young people these days..

The hot weather has dried and cracked the ground and for miles around the grass is straw coloured and tinder dry.  The lucky amongst us find a cool, shady tree to lie under.  Preferably on a swing seat they got for Christmas 😉

P1030839It has to be said that the first part of this week has been wasted by the black slug of depression and I was fearful of it lasting longer but this morning I woke a little better and was even more improved by the sound of the courier dropping off a parcel.  The long awaited (not so long – I am just impatient)  Flow Book for Paper Lovers had arrived and it was out of bed to fetch coffee and toast and back with Toastie and Charlie to help me unwrap the book.  Oh it is so lovely – containing all manner of papery goodness, stickers and tags and labels and writing paper, satisfyingly weighty and stuffed full.

P1030824If you are looking it would make a great present for someone.  I will show you a few pages..

P1030831 P1030830 P1030827 P1030826My crochet cardigan is coming along slowly, very slowly the pile grows.

P1030822I have bought another ten skeins of wool which will be enough to finish it, so now all I need is a clear head to do the work.  I am hoping that is not too much to ask?