Sunday, July 11, 2010


I had an epiphany today.

I have spent a good deal of my adult life being busy. And thats ok, because I am quite good at time management, and on my best day I can walk down the street and chew gum at the same time, no problem.I raised a child on my own and worked and studied, simultaneously.I have decent organizational skills and robust good health. I consider myself fortunate.

But about 6 years ago I had a job that just sucked me dry. Not only was I expected to work harder than any person should have to, but the harder I worked, the less support I was given. I was, however, given all the responsibility, no authority whatsoever, I was underpaid and , often, outright bullied. Physically it took its toll- I have foot and ankle issues that will be-devil me to my grave. What I didn't realize was the psychological toll it had taken.

I had been there about 18 months when my son became ill, and I had to quit work all together to care for him. It's only in the last year (some 4 years later) that I have started working again, just casually and in a completely different field. And its been fine, not too stressful, going along at my own pace, gradually learning new skills and finding my way in a new career. Until this last month.

In order to get a particular qualification I need I have to do a whole crapload of work placement hours. This is basically working for free, as a student. But it requires full time work. I started my work placement about 3 weeks ago, and I found it really, really really stressful.
Not because of the work, but because all of a sudden I was having flashbacks to the last time I worked full time. The exhaustion, the fear, the helplessness, the bitter, black hearted resentfulness of knowing I was being taken seriously advantage of and not being able to do anything about it.

And this is where the epiphany came into it. I used to have a friend who said 'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got'. I believe its from a self help book of some sort, but I always thought of that saying as distinctly hers. The thing is, if I respond to full time work the same way as I did the last time (i.e. with fear and anxiety and frantic activity), then I shall end up as resentful and broken as I became all those years ago. But if I take it easy, and don't rush, and remember that this is a completely different job in a different area, with different expectations.....then I feel better.
If I need to take a day off to take The Kid to a medical appointment, the world will not fall apart.
If I do not have the dishes done, the beds made, and dinner ready to go in the oven when I get back at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. I can just wash the dishes I need and order pizza.
I dont have to be the best, the brightest, the funniest, the most charming. I can just do the best I can on any given day and go at my own pace.

So this is me, today, embracing my imperfections, doing what needs to be done, but doing it at my own pace. Not feeling panicky and resentful. Just going about my business.

And on another topic altogether, look at my pretty new shawl.

Withybush Shawl

Details on my Rav page for anyone who is interested.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Me 'n' GrannyG.

I've spent ages pondering on this post. Thinking about clever things to say and funny ways to say them. Wondering if it was strictly ethical to blow the dust off my much neglected blog just because some loot was in the offing.
The aforementioned Granny G says its fine, so who am I to argue........

I am a dedicated podcast listener. I actually let out a squeal of distress when someone on Ravelry shared the distressing information that my iPod has a finite life span. Life without my iPod- unthinkable!!!!!! And amongst the dozens of podcasts I listen to religiously, one of my faves is Crafternoon Tea with grannyg. Y'know, I think it will just be easier if I list the reasons why. Plus, I love a dot-point.
  • It's nice to listen to something from the southern hemisphere. Grannyg is New Zealand based, and despite ferocious denial from various quarters, New Zealand is very like Australia. There are many differences, of course, but there are also a bloody lot of similarities, too. Through sites like Ravelry knitters all over the world have come together in fibery communion, but, Ravelry being American based, means there is a huge American and Canadian contingent in terms of members and subsequent knitting podcasts. This is excellent, and I enjoy all of it a great deal.
    But I do like listening to something a bit closer to home. It's..well..homey.
  • The inimitable grannyg is warm and funny, and, on a personal level, by some quirk of fate she has exactly the same speech patterns as my oldest friend (apart from the Kiwi accent). The rhythms of her voice are so like Sandi's it's uncanny. I sometimes wonder if she has the same small, square handwriting as Sandi, too (how bout a photo, Gen, just to satisfy my curiosity?).
  • It's a cold, tough world sometimes. The invitation to 'put your feet up' while someone makes me a cuppa and puts home baked treats in front of me is unbelievably comforting, even if it is cyber-comfort. Hey, I'll take it.
  • Which leads into my next thought- it's comforting because it's familiar. I grew up in a small Victorian country town in the 1970's. The whole 'dropping in on neighbours for a cuppa and a chat' was the predominant form of female social interaction . It doesn't happen that much anymore- although I have to admit that, for the first time since I was a kid, amongst my friends and neighbours it still happens quite a lot. But that has more to do with the fact that I live in the Suburb That Time Forgot.
  • I am always inspired by the amount that grannyg gets done in terms of crafting. With a full time job and a family and everything. And the fact that she recognizes the importance of creativity in her life and gives it respect and as much time as she can, while still being charmingly self effacing and down to earth. I like that a lot. I've had a lot of life changes in the last decade, and I have come to recognize how deeply important creativity and beauty is to me. I am unapologetic about it, and neither is Gen, and I like that a lot, too.
  • The 'In The Tin's' sessions with Jasmine just crack me up.
  • I like the interviews. They always start off business-like, but there is no telling, once the interviewee warms to their subject and often, I think, forgets they are being recorded, where they will end up. There are some absolute gems of philsophizing that happen. I think a lot of this happens because of Genny's warm and hunourous interview style. Who could possibly resist someone being so interested in what you have to say?
So thats it. Thats why I like Crafternoon tea with grannyg. And whenever I hear her invitation to put up my feet and have a cuppa, well.....I really do :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yes, yes, I know.....

It's been a while, I know. For a long time I thought that all I wanted in the whole world was a little bloggie to call my own. Then, when I finally put one together, I kinda lost interest. Apparently I have the stick-to-it-iveness of a 2 year old.
But hey, I've been missing it a little. So I figured I'd say hi, and see if the love was re-ignited.

Topic number one for today is allergies. I haz dem. I never used to haz dem, but apparently something in my respiratory system broke about 6 months ago and now I am allergic to AIR!!! I spend a huge amount of time blowing my nose noisily. My gp did eventually find something that works for me, but, of course, it is horribly expensive and causes blocked Eustacian tubes (don't even ask- I lost the will to live over that one) if I use it too much. Plus, I am stubborn. Right now it is autumn here, and I am still snuffling. I vacuum regularly, I don't go near the cat (poor thing), I have cut out dairy products....and still I am snuffling!!!! It is pissing me off, and somehow I have it in my mind that if I don't give in to it amd start medicating myself to within an inch of my life, like I did during spring and summer, then it will all go away.
Thus far....not so much. So I snuffle.

Topic number two for today is the fact that my tolerance for this hick, backwoods suburb has reached an all time low. I announced to The Kid the other day that we are officially Getting Out Of Dodge. He was overjoyed. We both agreed that we are urban dwellers, rather than semi-rural dwellers. I just want to be somewhere where I can get a decent soy latte and wear a capelet and fingerless mitts without the neighbours coming onto their porches to point and stare and phone their relatives. I am sick of the bored, violent teenagers driving terrifyingly modified cars up and down my street. I am sick of the lack of art galleries and bookshops. I am sick of waiting for public transport that never arrives. I am sick of the racism, both blatant and implied. I was telling this to my GP the other day, and to my complete suprise she totally agreed with me. She said she put off buying a house for 7 extra years just so she could get something in a suburb that wasn't like this one. I will probably have to live in a kennel, but at least it will be a kennel that has a decent coffeeshop near by.

Topic number 3 for today (and the last, I think) is my yarn love. It's getting out of control. For ages I was the sort of knitter who only bought the yarn I was about to use, or needed for a particular project. Buying yarn I didn't have any immediate plans for just caused me too much stress- I felt it ticking away, just waiting for me to use it. But then something happened. I think I started loving yarn for yarns sake. Now I can't stop buying it. Don't misunderstand me, I don't feel guilty. I am just running out of space.
Thats my problem. it's not yarn, it's storage space.

Look at one of my most recent purchases.

Woolhunters everyday Sock Yarn "Butternut Squash"
Woolhunter's Everday Sock Yarn "Butternut Squash"

It's a fingering weight sock yarn called Butternut Squash by Woolhunter. I really think it does look just like pumpkin blossoms, too. Haven't made anything with it yet. For now, it just sits on my coffee table looking pretty.

Soon, verra, verra soon.......

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rain, wattle blossom and sweater clips....

Typical Melbourne winter day.

Rainy day, Melbourne, july 2009
Rainy day, Melbourne, july 2009
Although, after the horrific summer we just survived, it's not like I'd complain about the rain. And, in any case, when it's not raining there is always the wattle blossom to admire.
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)
Cootamundra Wattel (acacia baileyana)

It's lovely, isn't it? Like frothy sunshine. That particular wattle is called Coottamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana). Believe it or not, in this part of the country it's considered an environmental weed because it seeds so easily. Still pretty though.

Anyhoo....I got a gorgeous little parcel in the mail today- my latest ebay acquisition. I haven't posted about jewelry for ages, so I thought I'd showcase my little collection of sweater clips.
Sweater clips were a 1950's thing- 2 clips joined by a chain were used to keep a cardigan carelessly, yet stylishly, flung over ones shoulders without slipping off. I remember my mother wearing them, althou sadly, I never inherited any of hers. They can be as plain or as gaudy as it pleased the wearer, and I rather like them.

Sweater clips- classy
Sweater clips- classy
Sweater clips- classy

Sweater clips- Daisies
Sweater clips- Daisies
Sweater clip- Daisies

Fluffy (these are the ones I got today- they were advertised as being made with tufts of mink, but I have no way of knowing if thats true.)
DSweater clips- minkySCF1048(1)
Sweater clips- minky
Sweater clips- minky

Happy Wednesday!!

ps- predictable the stranded work socks did not go well, although it was more about my yarn choice than anything else. I think I may have my knitting/crocheting mojo back, so new projects soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have a terrible cold.......

....and I'm being a complete baby about it. But really, it's a nasty one. Going through tissues at an alarming rate, sneezing attacks, can't taste anything (except chocolate or chilli- hey, at least thats one positive), and am subject to sudden nap attacks every hour or so. I feel like 8 different types of revolting, and feeling very sorry for myself indeed.

So, you'd think I would be getting a fair amount of knitting done, right? Well, sort of. After the unexpected triumph that was my Aestlight Shawl (Rav link) I decided to give my rather neglected Kingscot Cardigan some love. Sadly my ability to concentrate for more than 10 seconds has been compromised quite considerably. Usually I start at the beginning of a pattern and just work my way through as written. This time.....

Kingscot Cardigan
I got half way up the back and decided that I didn't like the way I did the decreases after the ribbing. Messy. But I lack the constitutional fortitude to rip back and re- do right now. So I slung it on some scrap yarn to be dealt with later. Then I did the ribbing for both the fronts. Cos, hey, its just ribbing, right? Then I thought, well maybe I'll just give one of the fronts a red hot go, and 3 days later I am up to the armhole. Now I'm thinking about doing the other side up to the same point, but seeing as I'm only managing a row or two at a time before I need a nap....I give up. To my Kingscot Cardigan I say- I'll deal with you later!

So instead, I've been working on my Ten Stitch Blanket. Easy, mindless, soothing, and its now big enough that it keeps me warm while I'm doing it. Bonus!
Ten Stitch Blanket
This morning, however, as I was snuffling my way through today's first box of tissues, I came across this lovely pattern. And I'm thinking, this might be an excellent pattern to indulge my love of red and light blue together.
The red and white would be the main colours, with a stripe of pale blue up near the cuff.
Alternatively, I could go with this combo...
.....but on second thought I might burn someone's retinas.
I must be insane- I can barely remember where the bathroom is and I'm contemplating stranded work socks.

This wont end well.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Things that are making me displeased.

  1. I have a stomachache. I don't know why. Really, no idea. Unless my slatternly housekeeping ways have finally come back to bite me.
  2. I've made a decision about my son's education that his school is not going to be very pleased about. I've talked it over with quite a few people who are giving me very positive feedback, but the time has come to inform the people who will be slightly horrified. I am not looking forward to this.
  3. I keep forgetting that some people are just downright crooks. I'm not so naive that there are any recepts for Nigerian bridges on my credit card, but when people are charming, friendly and agree to do what I ask them, I usually believe them. This is becoming a serious character flaw. I need to toughen up a bit, but I really resent the necessity to do so.
  4. Friends are falling like flies from various accidents and injuries. I feel helpless when all I can do is hold their hands and make sympathetic noises.
  5. Mainstream media treats the public like idiots. I really, really resent this. Not just on my behalf, but on everyone else's, too.
  6. I hate doing laundry, and I am really behind. Every time I turn a corner in my house I trip over a pile of dirty clothes. You'd think this would spur me on to get it done, but noooooo...

Things that please me.

  1. My son is delighted about the decisions I have made about his education. He thinks I've given in, but what he doesn't seem to realize is that I believe in his instincts. Teenagers are not always wrong when they want something. I think he deserves a chance to make his own life decisions. I love my son to the moon and back and I want him to be happy.
  2. I made a new pair of fingerless mitts. I love fingerless mitts, but especially when they are made of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino . I get a little frisson of pleasure every time I pull them on.
Friendship fingerless mitts
Friendship fingerless mitts
They are a lovely simple little pattern, and they are sinfully soft and lush.
3. My latest ebay purchase.
Faux ivory brooch
Today I'm wearing it with navy blue.
Faux ivory brooch
4. Today could be the day that my parcel from Canada arrives. I've been saying that for weeks now, but statistically, it must be getting truer by the minute. Beautiful handyed sockyarn from my dear friend Jodi, and the new issue of Interweave Crochet. Sigh. Can't wait. My nose is pressed to the window in anticipation.
5. In honour of Mother's Day over the weekend I took myself yarn shopping. Oh yes. Photos another time, but suffice for now to say that I staggered in my front door laden with purchases. Then I sat and played with it whilst eating Roses chocolates. Bliss! Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

So, ok, these lists were a good idea. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, but really, there are some lovely things in my life at the moment. It's not all bad. Think I'll go knit a bit now and think about counting my blessings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Autumn In Melbourne.

I went for a walk this morning and remembered to take my camera. Autumn in Melbourne is lovely- a slight chill, but often sunny (although it was actually quite dark and gloomy this morning). I got some rather strange looks from people as I walked round and round trees trying to get good shots. At least, I think it was because I was taking photos. It may have been the luminous orange and pink bag that I have become so fond of.
Anyways, this is what I saw......

Snow Gum

And some foliage just starting to turn.

Turning leaves (3)
Tuning leaves (2)
Turning Leaves

A warning about the dangers of surburbia...
Beware Of The Magpies!
Some natives plants in flower..
Flowering Gum
Pincushion Hakea
My favourite native plant, the Pincushion Hakea (Hakea laurina).

So then, because I was digging this photography lark so much, I had a little stroll around my garden. Not that much happening, but a few little treasures.
The salvia is starting to come back after being all crispy and sad looking for months.

The ubiquitous daisy.
The Ubiquitous Daisy

A really pretty Ivy Geranium.
Ivy Geranium

The ever faithful red geranium that sits by my front door.
Red Geranium

And Chrysanthemums!! Just in time for Mother's Day!!!!!