You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Life’ tag.
Dreamt about packing for craft camp last night. Dream me is more organised than real me. On the plus side, it was nice to have decided what fabric to bring without having to take time out of my day.
I realised the other day that Sewjourn is my happy place. Specifically the driveway. Ok, that sounds weird, let me explain. I can picture myself here:
It’s a liminal space – in between, a gateway, a crossroads. There’s not much going on, so I can create it well in my mind’s eye. It’s quiet, and clean, and bright. And whichever way I’m going, I’m on the way both to and from something lovely. I’m heading back from the studio after a morning of making and chatting and laughing, to a delicious meal, or a quiet contemplative bath. Or maybe I’ve been reading in the house and I’m heading back to be with my crafty family. There is joy and love and comfort waiting for me. Probably I am still chuckling about something someone said as a parting shot as I slipped out of the studio, or I have my head down thinking about what I am going to make when I get back there.
If I am in my real life, and I need a breath of fresh air or a moment of calm, that is what I picture. This view:
Or this one:
I’ve needed it this week, too, that dose of calm, that deeper breath. There have been several infuriating meetings and the like. Good thing I’ll be back there soon, to restock my supply of calm.
I also dreamt that I went to the fat fashion swap in Melbourne. When I found out about it, I seriously considered flying in for the day to go to it. I am not going to do that, but maybe some of you would be interested. Here is the facebook page with the information.
In less literal dreams, I finished Abby’s blanket that I was knitting for my bestie’s child.
I did, of course, make an error in the lace. I got off by a few stitches, for a few rows, and didn’t notice for a while. I set my chin and refused to tink back, because I was on a deadline, and my bestie is of the ‘that’s how you know it was handmade with love’ school of thought. I kind of wish I’d fixed it. Or at least taken close ups of a different part of the blanket.
It’s actually quite hard to spot in real life – I’m not fooling myself either. While it was blocking I looked for it so I could fret over it, as you probe a sore tooth. It took me a good minute to locate it.
Blanket ravelry details here.
Said baby was due on Sunday, as I was blocking the blanket. It’s still not here, and I’d appreciate it holding out a little while longer. I finished a matching Puerperium cardigan on the bus this morning. I brought needles and buttons to work and I’m going to finish the finishing at lunch, and then drop the two of them over tonight.
I requested that the baby not come this weekend, while I am away. On reflection, though, that would be fine – the respective families are going to descend and wouldn’t get a chance to smuggle the much awaited brie into the hospital for a while, anyway. So this weekend is fine, just… wait a few more hours, baby. The knitting is not ready yet.
Here are most of the things I’ve knit this year. A few things weren’t big enough to photograph – mostly a huge stack of dishcloths.
It looks small, in that little mosaic. And the fox stole seems over represented. Only one (adult) jumper. I knit about three more, in ripped ones, though. Oh, well. Two on the needles at the moment, but I’m trying to churn out that baby blanket (it’s huuuuuge).
I’d love to show you some of the sewing I’ve been doing, but don’t have photos. Might have to have a shoot. Not today, it’s yet another 40 degree day out there. Yeesh. Only 35 tomorrow. ONLY THIRTY FIVE.
On the plus side, I did get the drip watering system in, in time to save my poor drooping plants and also to squeak in under the cut off for the State Government rebate. I win that one.
I wrote out this whole post about how I haven’t been around because I’m tired, and then wordpress ate it. (And also this one, which I’d cleverly written in Word, first. It seems it didn’t like photos being included?)
Probably for the best – it got a bit maudlin. Well, it is Monday morning, after all. Only three weeks till holidays, though. I am looking forward to them.
I sort of accidentally volunteered to organise the family Christmas. I’m not hosting, it’s at Grandmas, but I’m doing the running around and
herding cats organising family members. Mostly just telling who to bring what. But it’s good, I’ve been trying to involve myself more with my family. There were a few thing this year that I felt left out of, and while part of it probably was certain family members not thinking of me, a good part of it was that with most of my cousins interstate or overseas, my contact with the general family is limited. So I am trying to rectify that.
I anticipate that family Christmas will be painful but good. We had a big family birthday/reunion type thing a few months ago, after which I was really upset for no particular reason. I think I need to do some more processing – which is good, because it means I am in a place where I can actually do that. Progress, emotional continence, etc. In the mean time, though, it’s leaving me a bit limp and faded. I was just describing it to a friend as it feeling like my emotional bones are aching. I feel physically fine, but keep catching myself walking carefully, and holding myself as if I hurt. Keep having vivid, confusing, emotional dreams, too, that I can’t remember but mean I wake up completely un-rested. Only to be expected, really, as we head in to December. I’m fine, though. Taking it easy on myself, and I could be better, but all in all, totally fine.
As frustrating as this time of year business is, it does mean it has a time limit. Three weeks till holidays, when I can sleep all day. Then trauma week. Then festivities, then one more week of holiday to enjoy the summer. Not so long, really.
Anyway, long story short, I’m around, although some days even logging in to leave a comment just seems like too much effort. I am looking forward to being less tired, so I can sit outside in the twilight, having drinks with friends. And I am grateful for all the company and metaphorical cups of tea and cocktails that you internet people provide me with.
At the risk of jinxing myself, I am going great guns at the moment. The last few after-work evenings have been very productive. I’ve been out in the garden, weeding and sorting. The three cornered jacks are back, but in smaller numbers, and I reckon I’ll have them cleared out by the end of the week – it would have been earlier but I was waiting for them to be big enough to weed easily. I went to Bunnings the other day for miscellaneous supplies (why is it that I always remember something ELSE I needed, as soon as I’ve gotten home form a Bunnings trip…) and they had a whole bunch of sad-looking seedlings selling for $1 a punnet. I whacked up some dodgy temporary fences around extra garden beds, so that the chickens couldn’t maul them, and whacked them in. Now they’ve perked up and I’m sort of hoping some of them won’t make it. Because I have seeds I planted in pots coming in, and if all of the Bunnings seedlings I got thrive, I won’t have anywhere to put them!
Well, maybe I’ll get the front yard mulched and then I can put some out there. It is to laugh, I think I’ve been getting ready to mulch the front yard for about 6 months. I even got halfway through before I ran out of mulch and oomph. Still, I have something like 5 cubic metres sitting in my back yard, and if I do’t get a wriggle on, it’ll all turn to compost.
No photos of all this productivity, I’m afraid. I feel like a post is so boring without photos, but I haven’t cracked my camera out for ages. Might try to do that tonight. I had a peep at my rav projects, too, and decided that some of the photos are inadequate. Don’t you hate it when there are no good project pictures for something, despite 100 people having finished one? So I’ll have to have a photo shoot session, perhaps.
Speaking of knitting, also going great guns. I finished the FBS – barring one seam and the buttons. S was over on Saturday and feeling poorly, so we basically spent the whole day on the couch. I took the opportunity to power through, and I knit all of it from the sleeves down in one day. For some reason I felt like this project took forever, but I only started it on the 2nd, so it took me just under 2 weeks to knit, including time where I didn’t touch it because it was making me feel pouty. I think because the top bit with the yoke and the sleeves took so much mental energy to figure out, I felt like I was over halfway done. So when it PURPOSEFULLY CONTINUED not to be finished, I lost patience. I am feeling quite pleased with it, and it would already be seamed etc except after two hours of weeding an evening I somehow don’t feel like I can come at mattress stitching, even if it is only for an inch. But I think there will be more of these – at a family do on Sunday my grandma gave me some leftover Luxury in a lovely purple. It’s not enough to make an adult sized thing, and I don’t really wear purple, but it’s PERFECT for FBS or other baby things.
I am knitting Riding to Avalon like crazy, too. I’m almost done the increases, almost up to the shaping for the sleeves. Zooming along. I’m sure it will slow down when it’s too big to be bus knitting. I’m also making progress on Phyllo, but it’s a bit slower, because it’s knit back and forth and I am slower purling. Plus, I just don’t like it as much. Purling, that is. I did consider knitting this in the round, and I wish I had. But now I’m 9 inches in, I don’t feel like ripping it. Given that that 9 inches has happened in about 10 days of intermittent bus knitting (only when it has been too hot for wool), I think this will go fast enough that I don’t get too annoyed. But from now on, I think I’m going to knit in the round whenever it’s not too hard to convert. It’s just faster, and funner.
I am considering doing something like that 12 jumpers in a year challenge that some people did last year. I feel like I maybe said something like this last year (or maybe the year before?) and it never happened, (or was that sewing) but… I was thinking that baby stuff would count. Given that I already have one thing off the needles and another one halfway there, I don’t feel that it’s too over ambitious. I’d like to be more deliberate in enhancing my wardrobe, this year. I want to knit to the gaps in my wardrobe, and knit things that make me feel eager to wear them. Or perhaps I could make it a 12-wearable-things. I’m not making any solid resolutions because you know how these things go. But maybe an unofficial challenge to myself? I’d like to have enough FOs to make a lovely mosaic at the end of the year, at least!
One of the phrases that is used alot in the feminist blogosphere is ‘performing femininity’. Or gender, or sexuality, or anything. It’s one of those phrases that can start to sound pat and meaningless, but it’s one that sticks with me, that I think about all the time. Performing rather than experiencing. When is performing good and fun, and when are we obliged to do it for society’s sake, making it often tiring and oppressive?
Don’t get me wrong. I love to femme it up. And butch it up, frankly, as my weekend’s experience with power tools showed. It’s just that, more often than not, I cannot be bothered. I do not naturally fit the modern day requirements for femininity – as most people don’t. Well, I have shapely eyebrows that don’t require plucking. But that’s about it. I have dark hair, I have a shadow moustache and my legs look prickly an hour after I shave, my hair is naturally limp and uninteresting and if I wear eyeshadow my eyelids itch and I rub it all over my fave in ten minutes anyway. And while I am enjoying longer hair and the opportunity to do interesting things with it, I am also constantly cheesed off with it – at how much time and effort it is to make it do what I want it to. And then I can’t, like… move my head quickly or whatever. Which is boring. So it does, more often than not, end up in a ponytail. That’s a compromise I’m happy with. I now own both a hair dryer and a curling iron, although I have admitted that they will be used once a month at most. When I want to perform. Which is not every day. I think that’s part of the reason I like having blue hair – it always looks like I’ve put some effort in, however minimal. And it takes me out of one performance category and into another.
I haven’t shaved my legs in about a month, though. Today I am wearing knee socks, and you can see my heairy knees peeking over the top. I wore shorts all weekend (with birkenstocks, no less, hello new stereotype). I didn’t do this on purpose – it was winter and I couldn’t be bothered, and then I got some eczema on my legs so I thought I’d better not. And before I got around to doing anything about it, I read this post from definatalie. And I started to think about it. Why do I shave my legs? Lots of reasons. I think I have decided not to shave my armpits or nair off my moustache anymore. But the legs? It’s confronting.
The week after I read Definatalie’s post, I said to S ‘I think I might stop shaving my legs’. He said ‘ok’. Like you might say if someone told you they thought their favourite colour was now blue instead of green. I mean, that was pretty much the reaction I expected, and I don’t need permission anyway. But it’s nice to be validated, I guess. His response, when pressed was ‘well, you’re a mammal’. Which I think is an excellent phrase that I might need stitched onto a cushion. (You’re a mammal. Get over it.) His other contribution, when I said I wasn’t sure if this was a Thing for me, was that I don’t have to decide. I mean, obviously. But I feel like I have to. Like I am required to pick which team I belong to, or something. But I am not sure, yet, whether this is a ‘I NEVER shave my legs’ stance, or a ‘I don’t, unless I have a reason to do so’ or even ‘I do it whenever I feel like it’. Fine distinctions, maybe. But somehow I feel like they’re important.
I think it’s because I feel like people make certain assumptions, if your legs are not shaved. Not all of those assumptions would be wrong about me, but I am not sure I wish to place myself so heavily in whatever camp that puts me in. On the other hand, who cares? They’re legs, I’m a mammal, people can either get to know me and work out which assumptions are right and wrong, or not. It’s not like I’m not going to get a job because I have hairy legs, or people will refurse to serve me at shops. And, anyway, I already have blue hair. I am CLEARLY a freak (I love my blue hair). Then again, and this is more relevant, I feel a bit… ungroomed. Scruffy. I pretty much live in skirts, although not recently since I got too fat for them – but then my jeans have all worn out in the thighs, so I am back to skirts. And skirt mean exposed legs. And to me, exposed legs mean smooth, clean shaven legs. I have yet to work out if this is because that is what I have been taught, or because it’s what I like, for myself. I almost shaved this weekend, when I knew it was going to be warm and I’d be in shorts. And then I decided to wait and see. Because maybe I am just unused to looking at it.
I feel a bit daft, writing an angsty post about my leg hair. Like, welcome to the party, young one. Also, get over yourself. But I think it’s not too frivolous (almost, though) because my main sticking point is what it makes me look like. To others, and also to myself. I’m waiting to figure out what that is, and how I feel about it. Meanwhile, my temperature is better regulated, and I have more time in the mornings, so I’m sort of happy with that. Also, no stubble! That bit is great.
In a semi-related note, you should go read Frances’ post about her bikini. And look at her fabulous, kick arse photos. I want to give her a big hug because of that last photo. Fabulous! I am determined to buy myself a bikini this summer. I have a sensible swimming one piece, that is thick proper material and holds all the bits in appropriate places. But I was a bikini so I can go to the beach and just hang out. S burns in about 30 seconds (seriously, we went out yesteray and I could SMELL his head burning. It was pretty gross), so I forsee many twilight swimming sessions. So I’m not worried about skin exposure and cancer, in my bikini. And I REFUSE to have any body hang ups about this. So there. Do you hear me? REFUSE. The last time I had a two piece (actually, the first time, too) I would have been 13. And about five adults told me ‘well, good for YOU’. Which I found confusing, because I hadn’t realised it was a Thing, yet. Anyway. The point is, I am going to get my belly out this summer. I just have to deal with the expense. Oh, nice things. Why do you cost so much, always?
I was readings someone’s blog and they did a meme which started with ’10 years ago, I was…’
Ten years ago, I was 16. I know, right? I was, exactly 10 years ago, right in the middle of my exchange to China. I was living in a forieng country, eating with chopsticks, trying to do maths WAY above my level (after a certain point I just sort of stopped bothering to go to class) and, for the first time, I wasn’t living with my mother.
I have such vivid memories of that time. Not complete, but vivid. Smells and sounds and sights. Sitting at the hot pot restaraunt eating good food with the foriegn teachers and drinking pepsi or beer. Going into the city to the japanese supermarket and getting crepes (which I will still make myself sick on, for nostalgia’s sake). The dorm room (I stayed at a boarding school) and going home to stay with my dorm mates on weekends. Their crazy rich parents. The boy who asked me to be his ‘Australian girlfriend’ and how completely disinterested I was. The impassioned farewells and greetings and letters and emails from my friends at home.
It seems so close and so far away at the same time. It definitely happened to someone else, someone who isn’t me anymore. And yet, at the same time, I recognise myself so fully in some of those memories. It was a weird moment of vertigo, especially when I realised that I am wearing a jumper today that I bought on that exchange trip.
All I can really say, to sum it up, is that I am so, so glad to be where I am now. That the 16 year old me couldn’t have dreamt of this life I live now – one in which I am, most days, happy. She didn’t know that it was an option.
And I am sad when I think about her, and so pleased to be able to tell her, the bits of her that still make me up, that we did it. We made an awesome life, with the help of some lovely wonderful people we met along the way, and a whole lot of luck.
Gosh, I’m deep this week, aren’t I!
I was chatting to a friend and to demonstrate a point which I can’t remember anymore I showed her this.
It’s Sweet Honey in the Rock singing verses from Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. Those two things have a whole bunch of associations for me, but the base line is, I love this song a whole, whole lot for so many reasons.
Anyway, later in the day I was thinking about it as regards me and my own mother, and whether it’s still relevant (conclusion: yes). And I had a moment where I just intensely missed my dad. The first one without grief all tied in. The kind of missing you might do if someone were overseas, or you just hadn’t had a chance to catch up for a while.
And then of course I was even sadder afterwards. Because I am sort of used, now, to the emotion of missing my dad with anger and grief mixed in, or for feeling bad for missing my dad because he made dealing with my mother easier, or any of those things. But I am not used to missing my dad in a way that makes me think ‘I should call him’.
Clearly, I cannot call him.
And I am angry that, because of the way he chose to leave us, and because of my mother, it has taken me TWO YEARS to be able to just miss him. To just want to hear his voice and share a joke with him, without any other emotional meaning behind that impulse.
There we go. Anger AND grief. That’s more familiar…
I am holding onto that thought. Because, you know. I’m not ready for September. I mean, I have no problem with September as such. In fact, I am pretty pro-September, in general. Just not NOW, I’m not done with August! Heck, I’m not done with JUNE, who stole June and replaced it with Septmeber. This isn’t funny guys! I’m onto you! Bring June back right now, and I won’t even ask where it’s been, ok? Guys?
Well, anyway. Here are some photos of my chickens.
They are lovely. Their tentative names are Dorothy S. Layer (Dot for short of course, although I would never call the real Dorothy L. Sayers that, it would be disrespectful), Agatha and Harriet. Except I can’t decide who should be who and in fact I can’t really tell them apart yet. Except for the youngest one, who looks smaller, obviously, as she is about 2 months more youthful than the others. She was the first to get comfortable enough to lay an egg:
Why yes, I was very excited about it, why do you ask? This is not my hand, btw, it’s the manpanions. The better to make it look teeny and also take an in-focus photo. They’ve been churning out the teeny eggs, actually. Here is a not very good or useful photo that I took of my fridge this morning, showing the eggs from my chooks in comparison with commercial eggs – the two up the back.
They seem to be pretty peacable and there’s not been too much pecking etc. They all came from the same place, so probably that was already settled. They do kick up a fuss before laying, but who can blame them, really.
Let’s all take a moment to think of that poor chicken’s cloaca
Otherwise, I find the clucking and bokking to be a very soothing garden noise, and I am very pleased to have them. I seem to have acquired many animals to feed, it’s nice to have some that feed me back. Given that I am not really an animal-person. As in, I quite like having a cat, but not as much as I like NOT scooping cat litter. If you see what I mean.
The other thing happening in my garden is that the tulips are blooming. I planted the raised bed FULL of bulbs, and the tulips have been up for a while, and are now pumping out flowers:
I planted rows of particular… breeds? Species? Whatever. Ones with names, like ‘queen of the night’, and in between I chucked in random bulbs from a big bag. Looks like some of the randoms are first up, all the orange ones. Although I was very excited to see this morning that there are some red, yellow and white ones now coming in. Yes, I am easily excited by things happening in my garden WHAT OF IT??
Some of the edging grape hyacinths are having a go too, but something been nibbling them, much to my displeasure. There are enough tulips up that I have felt ok about picking them, which was the whole point of planting them in the first place, so that’s good. Also, given that I don’t really get to see them in the garden, I have started picking what there is on Sunday afternoon so I can see them during the week.
Luverly. I am partial to tulips.