Sunday, November 30, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

Several years ago I wished I lived somewhere there was a group of people I could knit with on a regular basis. I wished I could find a workshop/class locally where I could learn to spin.

Well now four years later thanks to Ravelry I have a group of friends who I sit and knit with all the time. Take last week for example we were sit in front of a woodburning stove, drinking red wine, eating gooey chocolate cake straight out of the oven, chatting, laughing and knitting.

This weekend I hosted a spindle spinning workshop. There were eleven of us, two teachers, three husbands and an adorable toddler. We sat in my lounge and tired with various amounts of success to spin. Some had a go and decided pretty quickly spinning wasn't for them, some decided they are definitely wheel spinners, spindle spinners or both. There was a yummy pot luck lunch - I love that somehow when everyone brings something you never have too many deserts or too many quiches - it always seems to work out right.

Just be careful what you wish for you never know where you'll end up.
I like rituals - not routine but ritual. I think there is a significant difference. Having a cup of tea at 10.30am every day may be routine but if done mindfully with purpose I think it's a ritual.

When I warm the pot and pour the tea at 10.30am everyday I think of Dalesman who is doing the same wherever he's working that day. I think of Dalesboy stuck in a school lesson 'not allowed' to have a drink. I think of my friends and the visitors at Findhorn where the whole community stops at 10.30am for tea and biscuits. I think of people all over the world not able to have the luxuary of choosing to take a break. I drink my tea and think of peace, pray for forgiveness and mindfulness.

I am not alone at work with my 10.30 ritual. Matilda makes a pot of real coffee every morning - it is also a ritual for her. I find that ritual is even more significant with nice things - a china tea pot and handthrown mug, a handknitted cozy...............

I hope Matilda likes it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Barter Time

With my first wage 20 years ago I bought this..................

In the past 20 years it's survived 10 house moves, had three remote controls, consolled me when my heart was broken, kept me distracted when in early labour, coped with the introduction of Channel 5, played endless episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine when Dalesboy was recovering from (numerious) operations. Lately it's got a little forgetful. I think it's down to age as it keeps forgetting where the channels are and needs frequent retuning.

This week Dalesman did a little bartering - hanging two doors for a brand new unused TV. I've had my old TV longer than I've had Dalesman (and therefore Dalesboy) we've been through a lot together. I know it's only a TV but the memories are very real....................farewell little black box.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sometimes life is kind

This week has been kind.

Once I'd got over my maudlin moment (and thank you to everyone for their kind words) last week I had a birthday. It was a lovely day spent with family and friends. Dalesman and Dalesboy treated me to a book and a CD........

Dalesman also found this beautiful cantilever wooden sewing box from a charity shop. Isn't she gorgeous - really old and well used. It needs a small repair but that's no problem for Dalesman.

In the evening we went to a saxophone concert and then on to a party given by some of the musicians. A really nice way to end a special day.

I know some really creative and gifted people. People who share their creativity with lucky, lucky people. My beautiful friend Colly came to visit for on Sunday and look what she has made for me..................

Isn't it gorgeous? A perfect match in my lounge its perfect for days like this - cold and chilly, sat in my chair with my knitting. I'm still gobsmacked that Colly made this for me - I know we shall share many snuggly hours together.

Monday I had a first appointment with a medical herbalist. That was lovely also and left me feeling very positive and upbeat.

I found out when I got home on Tuesday that I had been invited to an interview for a job I'd applied for a couple of weeks ago. Slightly short notice as the interview was on Wednesday morning. Lovely people, lovely location and lovley job and now it's mine all mine.

I am very fortunate to live in North Yorkshire in Nidderdale. It's a beautiful place almost untouched by much of the madness that you see in towns and cities in the UK these days. There are 15,500 people and 200,000 sheep - perfect. I feel a huge sense of belonging to the Dale and try to coexist in harmony with the rhythm of nature and pull of the seasons. Now I will be working for the Dale.

Nidderdale is a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' which means that it is protected from over development and other activities that would damage the geographical and historical significance of the Dale. However, there is a danger that such protection may lead to economic and social deprivation as landowners, famers, business, homeowners etc struggle to maintain a viable livihood within the confines of the regulations. In order to support economic and social development there is an ANOB office that does all sorts of wonderful work to support all these people and keep the Dale 'alive'. I have been offered a job as the Admin Officer for the ANOB office and I am thrilled.

More beautiful presents came my way during the week. Look how cute these are................

Made by nlpgirl they are filled with Lavender and are just the cutest thing. The last of the pressies arrived Saturday morning from my Mother-in-Law.........

Also the oven is finally mended it took three weeks and three oven engineers to decide that it wasn't the fan or the microchip but the lightbulb had blown - I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere ; )

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Mummy

I was wondering today if it's hard for you? Do you have to decide every day not to call me? Do you walk past the telephone and make a conscious effort not to dial my number.

By going away you made it easy for me. I don't know where you are. I can't make the decision to call you. I don't get the opportunity to regret putting a letter in the box or to drive past your house in case I see you.

I've tried to understand I really have. But you know what I don't think I ever will. My child is the most important thing in my life. I hate it when he goes away without me - or if I go away without him. He comes first. That's before me. Before my husband. Before anything or anybody. I'll always be there for him.

You know what that's like. Your Mother was an angel here on earth. She was always there for you. It didn't matter what you did she was just there. That's the kind of Mother I want to be.

This week I've been thinking about you a lot. Partly because of my courageous and wonderful friend Anne. For the first time in my life I feel as if somebody understands how I feel. Partly because it's 39 years since we first met - mother and daughter.

You taught me to knit and as I sit tonight knitting the tears rolling down my cheeks I wonder if we shall knit together again - daughter and mother.

Lots of Love

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Made by hand

Hand made socks in hand made shoes - I have happy, happy feet.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Simply Easier

I read a great book a couple of years ago called the Lilypad List: Seven Steps to the Simple Life: Seven Steps to Simplicity.

There was one thing in that book that really resonated with me. Leading a simple life is not about wearing a hair shirt. The example she gave was her ipod. At the touch of a button she had immediate access to thousands of records, audiobooks and podcasts on a device that would slip in her bag or pocket - simple.

I like to invest or spend as Dalesman calls it in things that make live simpler - I'm typing on a MacBook cos for me that's easy (I did have to save up for a few years though), I have a set of Knit Picks Options for my knitting and a Moleskine notebook for notes - these are things that make me happy and I justify them on the basis that they make my life easier - until yesterday an uproved theory.

In August I cast on for a baby blanket - a cute blanket which has cables and different stitch patterns. There's no memorable pattern repeat and the pattern is written up in a really confuddling way that involes the continual turning of pages. Each of the first 7 rows was ripped out at least once and eventually it was thrown in a corner to hibernate.

Yesterday the Nutty Knitters end of year KAL challenge was thrown down - to finish UFOs/WIPs. I recklessly put the baby blanket into the challenge and picked it up, found my place on the pattern (miracles do happen) and started knitting. After an hour my hands hurt, I'd ripped back each of the rows at least once and I had opened the red wine.

I know I think I'll use my beautiful esty stitch markers that were a gift from Tina to mark each pattern. Duh that's better I can see immediately that I'm at the right point much easier but my hand still hurts and it's getting heavy on the needles. I know I'll use my Knit Picks Options rather than the wooden needles. Duh that's better - easier to hold, easier to move the yarn. So now it's simply easier.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday Kitchen 10am

I love Saturday mornings. Today I was up at 6am and spent a quiet couple of hours drinking tea, knitting and catching up on my favourite blogs and podcasts.

Then it's into the kitchen. 'Throw it all in' soup for lunch on the go and a quick shake of the sloe gin.

Normally I'd get the bread for lunch on the go but I broke the oven yesterday. After baking hob nobs, a loaf of bread and slow roasting elderberries in cider vinegar for 5 hours it 'exploded'. Good job there's some bread left from yesterday.

The elderberries are turning into Pontack Sauce in the preserving pan on the hob.

There's laundry in the machine and in a minute I'm going to do a big pot of chilie for supper tonight - only I would have guests for supper the day after the oven blows up!!!!!