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..
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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..

TWENTY BLESSINGS

  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.

..and maybe you don’t need that skin anymore

I love Kris Delmhorst. She just really does it for me. Summer Breeze is my fave song of hers – and I used to listen to it over and over. Must have been the space I was in at the time. It’s funny how you find certain songs that just seem to fit the circumstances , the words relate – or sometimes not,  many years ago I had a friend who killed himself and now every time I hear Neil Young’s  Harvest Moon, I think of David. And Harvest Moon has NOTHING AT ALL to do with suicide. Weird.

There are a couple of things about this song I love in particular.  The image of building your own shell to hide in, I can get with that. But then of course – if you don’t feel the bad you also can’t feel the good, and there is sooo much good out there. And then there is the bit about safety, it is totally an illusion that can stifle us if we let it.

summer breeze

Once you’ve been bitten
You get a little bit shy
Start looking round for any place that you can hide
Once you’ve been naked
You get a thick thick skin
Build it up layer by layer and you climb on in

And then you’re wrapped up oh so tightly
That I don’t think you feel a thing
No sting of snowflakes, no kiss of angel’s wings
And maybe you don’t need that skin anymore
Maybe if you took it off you would not have to breathe
Maybe air would just flow in and out of you as it pleased

Look at all the heaviness
And the weight in this world
Put an old lady backbone in a little baby girl
Left no room for no lover
Left no time for no friend
Just a little voice saying never never never again

But if there’s no such thing as safety
And if there ain’t no guarantee
Maybe the coast is just as clear as it is ever gonna be
And maybe you don’t need that skin anymore
Maybe if you took it off you would not even have to breathe
Maybe air would just flow in and out of you as it pleased

Like a summer breeze
Don’t you want to feel the breeze
Don’t you want to feel it now
Sweet summer breeze

lyrics & music by kris delmhorst © 1998 big bean music/ASCAP

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