So, my cunning plan, before I decide to pick up my ball/blog and stomp off home, is to reintroduce some of the routine and structure I had in my working life (many, many, many moons ago it seems) onto the wondrous creative free time I have recently found myself paddling in.
I want to write my blog, I have just never really known what I want to write about on it, but I have recently re-read one of Montaigne’s essays (the one about cannibals) and in it he says that he wishes people would only write about the stuff they know, because when people bang on about things they only think they know it leads to all sorts of ‘inconveniences’ (I may be paraphrasing slightly…) and that feels like a mightily apt message coming from the 16th century.
I am about three and a half years through a five year diary, yes, I started writing it in a September. My plan is to finish Sept-Dec of 2022 on post-it notes then begin the next five year diary on 1st Jan 2023…like a normal person, but the point is that I do this every evening, and I have found it incredibly helpful for seeing life’s progress and remembering when things happened (as opposed to thinking things were five minutes or five years ago with nothing in-between). So my actual cunning plan is to use this blog as a weekly journal, having my evenings musings to refer back to, in the hope that discussing all the wool I bought and who annoyed me the most that week will also enable me to get out all the stuff that’s in my head, which someone else might find vaguely amusing.
Wish me luck.
Week One (beginning Monday 19th July)
Monday: HEATWAVE! The MET office is issuing the first ever weather warning for heat in the UK. Obviously we’ve had some hot weather before here, but this warning feels like a sensible step. I do believe my first memory is that of having very sunburnt shoulders in the summer of 1976. Actually that memory is really about my gratitude for the fashion of off the shoulder, elasticated neckline tops that year (my shoulders were too painful for clothes to touch them). I hope we know better now than to let 6 year olds out in the blazing sun without sunscreen, but a MET office warning might remind a few people and save a few shoulders. I had the place to myself today so I binge-watched Loki as I knitted new phone cases for Etsy.
I have some real issues with Marvel films, mostly about how mass destruction and loss of life is consequence-free and glossed over, particularly if it is being caused by one of the ‘heroes’, and all of the subtle and not so subtle propoganda they include, but I do enjoy seeing the good guys win in stylish visuals and cutting edge CGI. I liked Loki, not quite as much as WandaVision, but the last episode felt like it had a lot of filler and dragging in it and it all ended on a cliffhanger, which is slightly irritating. All-in-all I’d say…Monday was too bloody hot but phone socks got knitted.
Tuesday: HEATWAVE…ok, yes, it’s funny to boil the grumpy Brits but enough is enough now. Today I sold two boobs and a phone sock on Etsy, which means I have to venture out into the Sahara-like temperatures to get to the post office, but it is worth it to ensure we do not die underneath an avalanche of my knitting. I started making these knitted breasts as a request from my daughter’s friend who was beginning mid-wife training. Apparently they can be used when training new mothers on lactation/breastfeeding…who knew?! Anyway, I made boobs of many hues for her but she kept telling The Kid that I should be selling them. I decided to do it my way, of course, so I sell them individually in different flesh tones but also as a set with a cartoon character to choose from (She-Hulk green, Smurfette Blue and Marge Simpson yellow) because…why not?
The boobs I sold today though were two of the same colour. Now, rumour has it that some people who have had mastectomies find knitted breasts more comfortable than other available prosthetics. With this in mind, and having the sort of mind I have, I decided to knit two new boobs so that they would be as similar as possible. Hoping that knitting them on the same day, using the exact same needles, sitting in the same position on the sofa would result in two boobs that could conceivably be attached to the same person. I have no idea what the purchaser of those boobs wants them for, but they were as close to a match as I could get. I did end up emailing about them because, in order to save on postage, they were vacuum sealed when I sent them, and I wanted to forewarn their new owner that they looked very odd, squashed painfully flat like that, but that they would plump right back up again when the bag was opened. It’s a strange world I’m currently living in.
Wednesday: HEATWAVE. I am so grateful that I live in a time and place that allows for cool showers whenever I want one. Today I was clued into an offer on Udemy for a range of courses that were free for a while. I ended up signing up for courses on Zen (because even though I am not religious I do enjoy learning about the philosophies behind things and I usually find something useful or interesting in there) Photography (because I have always been interested but never motivated enough to pay for some training) and Astrobiology (because even though I get VERY ANNOYED at people who misunderstand or wilfully misinform about aliens and possible life out there in the rest of the universe – including the scientists who pander to the misinformed by exaggerating how likely it is we will ever know the truth or ‘make contact’ – I really do find astrophysics fascinating and want to know as much as my brain can handle about the subject). I have done a few courses this year, but only ones I’ve found for free. I suspect I am still too reluctant to commit to any one subject and as I am also on a budget now I would seriously begrudge paying for a course I didn’t enjoy. I don’t think this is a problem though, I have got some really interesting facts and skills from those courses, which will probably come up in conversation here one day 🙂
Thursday: HEATWAVE…sigh. I really dislike getting up sluggish and slow in the morning, but the heat at night is not helping my sleep. I know it’s bad when it takes 3 cups of coffee before I start to feel human. I think I am going to stop moaning about this now though, other people are having it a great deal worse than me and I am fortunate enough to live in a place where having all the windows open all day results in nothing worse than unwanted visits from the neighbours cat.
I started the online course on Zen today and even though the first few minutes made me want to stop and find something with a bit more substance to digest it does seem to be getting a little deeper so I shall stick with it a bit longer I think.
Spent the day knitting boobs to get my stock back up and do my future self a favour.
Friday: Feels a little cooler this morning, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet. A while ago, for some reason I don’t quite know, I used the words ‘destash’ and ‘joblot’ to search in the Craft category on eBay. Now my home is even more full of wool and crafting supplies. I can justify this by saying that I am supporting individuals, rather than big corporations, and I will definitely find a use for it all. Nope, I don’t go around kidding myself all day and yes, I can stop any time I like.
Saturday: Finished the course on Zen and I do not recommend it. These are very short courses, which could easily be finished in half a day if you wanted, but it is in no way worth paying for. I did get through it all and found some new analogies that reinforce the stuff that is already in my head, which I love, but there is no history, context or information about how the subject has developed in there. This course is not as thorough or indepth as much of the stuff you can find online for free and I was highly sceptical about many of the numbers he banded about completely context-free (80% of your development is…95% of your thoughts are…Hmmm, No) I also did not need to know that he had slept with 37 women before he met his wife…WTF?! Onwards and upwards I suppose.
Thankfully the weather is cool enough to think today so, for those of you in the know, yes, it is possible to restore your own alloy wheels without annoying the neighbours, particularly if you remove the entire wheel and play about with it on your own porch instead of on the residents car park.
Sunday: The title of today was going to be ‘Finish What You’ve Started (before starting something else)’ but that went completely to pot when I realised it might be possible to knit a ghost from the the tweaked pattern for a lacy collar. That idea was just to tempting to ignore.
Cars were messed about with (not by me), new music was listened to (St Vincent, but only once so I haven’t formed an opinion yet) and there was rhubarb and custard for tea (homegrown and homemade) so a pretty good day, even if I did flub the title.
I’m not sure whether I will be able to keep this up, but it has felt a lot more purposeful writing this week and I think that’s probably a good thing when attempting to form a new habit.
For those keeping score: I (think I) have decided to not learn to crochet just yet. Getting more proficient at what I already know is the most appealing option right now (Deeper not Wider). I am also on a mission to convert every ‘in the round’ knitting patterning into one that can be done on two needles because even though I can knit in the round it is fiddly, annoying and I DON’T WANNA.
More next week…hopefully. Stay Cool.