Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Just completed this lovely hat, using a gorgeous silk/merino handspun which I bought in Skye. A great quick knit, which I actually finished in a single evening!
Because, you know, I am not renowned for my speedy knitting, or crocheting skills. Witness the Bullseye blanket, begun at the beginning of summer - the pile of circles has grown v e r y s l o w l y. Still, I am almost ready to start squaring them off in dark brown now, I have run out of some of the colours, and I want to make 4 of each, so need to order those. Not sure about the fawny/grey colour though. Might change that - decisions, decisions. Meanwhile the Ripple blanket is still unfinished, the odd stripe or two being added when the notion takes me, and a summer shawl languishes in a basket for another season..
Never mind. I have, this very day, cast on the Annabel cardigan, using the grey Rowan Purelife aran, that I bought specifically for this project. Well - it's what we do... :)
I've no books currently on the go right now - other than Stuart Little, which I am reading to James at bedtime, and various magazines, but I am listening to We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. I do like her writing, and this is a good one.
Lots of little bits this week - joining in with Ginny forYarn Along.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
It has been a long time - a lost time, really. So much happening, and yet nothing much has changed. The sun still rises and sets and the rain falls - sometimes even at the same time!
The tide rises and falls, and the waves crash in - each one leaving its own unique, elusive pattern, yet the eternal rhythm beats on.
There is such a comfort in the constancy of nature - the reassuring optimism of each new day - of every new wave breaking on the shore. Such relentless hope...
There have been a few setbacks. An emergency admission to hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy, and a subsequent pulmonary embolism meant that John's chemotherapy regime was delayed. Thankfully he has now recovered and is back on track with his treatment - one more cycle to go. A preliminary scan shows that the spinal tumour has shrunk, the lung lesion has not grown, and the disease appears to be "stable". Rain followed by sunshine ... and flowers still bloom in the garden.
Tomatoes grow and ripen, despite my neglectful stewardship. Sungold cherry is a clear winner - little bombs of pure sweetness lighten up this dark time.
My trusty travelling companion - another constant feature in my life. Funny how animals just know... and he certainly does. I am glad he is here, with that unconditional gaze.
We didn't get Independence. Such a disappointment. I was genuinely shocked at how grief stricken I was after the result. All those hopes - dashed. Forty-five percent of us voted for Scotland to become an independent nation - so close. I am still upset, but I believe we will get there one day - soon.
So - it may be low tide right now, but, you know, soon enough the surf will come sweeping up over the beach, obliterating our footprints, creating the shoreline anew. There is such hope in that thought - solace in the constancy of change. xx
Thursday, September 4, 2014
I've been absent from here for almost two weeks now. To be honest I am pretty much taken up with caring, and working for a Yes victory in the Referendum on Scottish Independence. Polling day is18th September, and the vote is going to be very close. It's exciting, nerve racking stuff, but I am so enjoying it. To see my country wholly engaged in the debate in such a positive way is truly inspiring.
John is still going through his chemotherapy - 2 cycles to go. Its leaving him really quite washed out, but we are focussing on the healing aspects of the treatment. We have been hugely buoyed by your thoughts and prayers.
I am not sure if I will be popping back here before the big day, if not - see you on the other side!
Friday, August 22, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The heather is blooming now, turning the hillsides into a haze of purple. It's a lovely sight, but a sure sign that Autumn is on the horizon.
The school holidays are over again, although we enjoyed the very last evening on our favourite beach.
We also managed to pick some of the brambles growing down by the shore, before the birds finished them off - so we have some tiny jars of blackberry jelly!
We've been eating fresh salad from the polytunnel every day...
I've been developing a herb plot near the house, and I am pleased with how it is turning out. The hens also like to hang out under the trees here, so some protection is needed from foraging chooks.
In other news - we have sold the cattle. It was a hard decision, as they have been such a well-loved part of our lives here. But looking ahead, realistically, it is unlikely John will be able to get back to active crofting, and looking after them involves a lot of work - particularly in the Winter. With a heavy heart, I put them up for sale, and within the week a deal was done. Happily, they are going to be part of a new Dexter herd in another part of Scotland, where the grass is lush and the Winters are kinder.
So - our focus is on the cancer treatment - the next cycle of chemotherapy is in a few days time. We don't know what the eventual outcome will be, and whether livestock will feature again in our lives, but - its not a bad place to be while we wait... xx
Sunday, August 3, 2014
It's a bit of an uphill struggle right now, to be honest. John has started his chemotherapy, and while the nursing staff in the unit are just wonderful, the treatment itself is harsh - a strange paradox of killing and healing. The side effects are beginning to kick in and are pretty unpleasant for him. We'll get there, and of course we are trying to focus on the healing element ...
Thanks again for all you wishes and prayers for us. It seems such an inadequate phrase, but please know it comes from the heart. xx
Friday, July 25, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Quick post to share my knitting and reading habits of late. I finished the Alpinia - yay! I am really pleased with it too - a very sweet cardigan indeed. Today I crocheted a wee bag to hold my iPhone when I am walking the dog in this warm weather. For some reason, most of my summer clothes don't have pockets, and I am using the phone to take all my pictures just now, so I wanted a cross-shoulder bag so I can be hands-free. I just made up a rough pattern, which you can see on my Ravelry page. I tested it out tonight and it did the job perfectly.
My next project will be a hat for John, using this lovely blue Rowan merino silk. He starts his chemotherapy next week... better cast on soon.
I am re-reading Bone by Marion Woodman. It is a diary of her own cancer journey and it is a beautifully written reflection, quotes from poetry and literature - lots of Jungian imagery, which I love too. I read this many years ago, on holiday in Crete, and I was very taken with it. This time, of course, I have a different perspective, and I am getting so much nourishment from it.
I am joining in with Ginny for Yarn Along - do drop by and see what everyone else is up to. xx
Monday, July 21, 2014
Every morning now, I walk the dog. It is another of the many tasks that have fallen to me these days. I am only beginning to realise just how much John did, as our life begins to unfold into it's new shape. Anyway, I digress - and I am not really complaining, because an early morning walk in Summer is indeed a glorious way to start the day. Just being out there in nature is so - sensual.
As I walk, I see colours all around, and with each step, clouds of little white moths and red admiral butterflies burst up from the grass. I see a yacht moored in the bay, and as I climb up the steep path, a rabbit is sitting perfectly still just on the horizon. The tide is low and I smell the tang of the exposed seaweed as it begins to dry in the already warm sun. There is a slight breeze though, and it blows cool on my arms, sunburned from the previous day. I pass through the stone circle, and stop to touch one - feeling it's ancient worn surface and wondering... A warbler scolds me as I walk on - following me from a distance, chattering away as it flits along the fence posts. I hear gulls wheeling over the sea-loch, and the village cockerels trying to out-crow one another. I head home for breakfast - its going to be another lovely day. x