In which I gloat and whinge

Happy new year, my crafty peeps.  I hope it’s a good one.  Not that it’s off to a great start, on a national level, what with the flooding.  The news and photos coming down from Qld are truly terrifying.  It’s horrible that it takes something like that to make us (me?) more thankful for what and who we have in our lives, and for how safe we are most of the time.  I feel crass saying this here, but it would be worse to ignore it and chat happily away (although I will do just that in a second).  It’s times like this I wish I could pray, because I am under no illusions that my thoughts and well wishes will do any good to those people struggling with the reality of it.

Here comes the thoughtless chattering bit.

Thanks so much for all your lovely messages in reply to my last post, and over the holidays.  They were so nice, and every one of them made me smile.  I did start several replies to people, and then just… didn’t finish them.  I figure that was all covered under my December free pass that I gave myself.

December was pretty good, really.  I think mostly because I was geared for it to be rocky.  So I just slobbed around and didn’t do too much and didn’t feel guilty.  Celebrations were scattered and low key.  On my last day of work before holidays S took me out for dinner to celebrate my birthday, since it clashes with solstice.  It was lovely, and it would have been lovelier if I hadn’t been tired and in bed by 9.  Am old lady.  I spent Solstice with S and his kids, and had Christmas Eve dinner with my family, who were all remarkably well behaved.  I had Grandma in the Kris Kringle and I bought her the fireman calendar and she LOVED it and made the cousins all pick out which one they liked the best.  One of my cousins had me and got me a tshirt I have been eyeing off for… oh, 5 years now?  Which totally makes up for the last two years where I got, respectively,  a burnt CD of a computer game I already had, and a packet of bowl-cover things (plastic with elastic around the edge) ‘so that I didn’t have to buy gladwrap’.  Christmas day I did NOTHING, and then we went to the beach in the evening.  Bliss.  NYE we went to the beach and then were in bed by 9:30 because I am an old lady and I am tired.  And then we had another family meal on NY day, where my mother brought her boyfriend – gasp!  Which is fine by me because I like John (more than I like my mother) and also she behaves around him.  And also he gave me a spinning wheel for my birthday.

See how I slipped that in there?  Here’s the story.

Early December, S and I went for lunch with my mother and John at my childhood home.  Which was weird and also surprisingly good – seriously she behaves when John is around.  There were a couple of super awkward moments, but all in all, a surprisingly good time.  I left thinking ‘huh.  Maybe we can make baby steps towards having a functional relationship’  Of course, I neglected to remember that my mother doesn’t understand boundaries, so she immediately thought that we were best buddies again, and called me every day for the next week, which meant I started having panic attacks every time she called, which I haven’t done for a year or so.

Gosh, I’m bitter, aren’t I?  I’ve been emailing my sister about this, providing some moral support, and it’s made me feel… vulnerable, I guess.  And mad.  As much as I really am reconciled with not having a mother, as such, it still makes me so mad that I will never ever be able to trust her enough to have a real relationship with her.  And sad.  Very, very sad, if I let myself think about that.  Most of the time it’s fine, but you know… sometimes you just want to be able to relax, to have the comforting and that familiar.  Most of the time I feel pretty strong and independent but… sometimes it would be nice not to have to be.  I have been remembering when it was fine, and I had access to that comfort and love.  When the best thing when I was sick was a mum-hug.  When I enjoyed the chance to tell her about my day.  When I didn’t have to fight her off and I didn’t have panic attacks.

Hmm, I appear to have forgotten how to tell a narrative.

So, I was SAYING, we were at dinner and I said something about knitting and John said ‘oh!  Do you want a fleece?’  And I was like… yes?  He had one black lamb out of thousands of white ones this year, and so he couldn’t sell the fleece.  I said, yes, please!  I will have it!  Now all I have to do is learn to spin it.  And John said ‘Oh!  Do you want a spinning wheel?’

…. Um, YES.

The catch was, it was his wife’s.  She is in a nursing home with dementia.  My mother stepped in and suggested that perhaps his girls wouldn’t want him giving their mother’s wheel away.  He said they never showed any interest, and my mother said that perhaps he could loan it to me, and ask them later.  His kids are apparently not ok with him having a new relationship, which I think is fair enough but also kind of… harsh.  However, it’s not my family so I don’t get an opinion.  I found that moment interesting, though.  I was surprised by how mature and careful my mother was about it.  Although, on reflection, in my whingey mood, it does show that she CAN respect boundaries and be aware of other’s potential feelings.  Which makes the fact that she can’t seem to do that with me or my sister a tad more upsetting.


Story, right.  So, they came down the next weekend to drop off the fleece and pick up my sister’s old mattress because I had nowhere to store it.  And John sheepishly (ha!) said that he had looked for the wheel and couldn’t find it, and he thinks he gave/lent it to someone else only he can’t remember who.  I said, oh that’s alright!  I’ll get one eventually, it’s not like I know how to use it.  And he said no, he promised me a wheel and he would get me one.  I told him not to be silly.

The weekend after that was my birthday.  My mother called me that week, my last week at work, saying she wanted to see me before my birthday and give me presents.  I said, was pretty busy that weekend, because I had to finish work, do house stuff, finish off gifts, meet up with two people, and get ready to head to S’ for solstice.  But I could commit to coffee on Sunday.  She said, oh, well, you think about it and let me know what you have time for.

I have time for coffee.  On Sunday.

Oh, well, I’ll call you on Saturday and you can tell me if you have time for lunch.

I won’t have time for lunch, I’m meeting someone else for lunch, let’s have coffee.

Well, let me know on Saturday, and then we can decide.

I’m deciding now.  I want to have coffee.

Well, think about it.


This literally went on for five minutes.  I timed it.  It was frustrating.  Then I realised that Sunday was the anniversary of my dad’s death, and I didn’t really want to see my mother on that day, thankyou very much.  And I also didn’t want her to call me on Saturday (see earlier comment re: panic attacks.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but they are not fun).  Anyway, I called her back and said actually, I will not have any time then.  And it turned out that I didn’t, and I didn’t get all the stuff done that I needed to, anyway. (S got some material and a pattern instead of a wearable gift.  And I still haven’t sewn it.  Whoops).

I think she was pushing it so hard because she wanted to get the emotional reward when I got the spinning wheel.  As it was, she ended up leaving them at my place while I was being taken out to dinner and spoiled by S.  So I came home to a pile of things to unwrap, which was quite nice.  Gosh, I sound heartless, don’t I?  Anyway, obviously the wheel was the highlight.  Apparently it was bought in some gift shop in Moonta.  I have yet to play with it yet – the day after that an old friend asked for his cupboard back.  He made it himself and I was borrowing it while he rented out his house, and it had all my fabric in it.  Of course I said he could have it back, but it did make my craft room pretty unusable.  The chaos is semi-contained now, and the wheel unburied, but I am… sort of afraid to touch it.  I don’t know how to use a spinning wheel!  I don’t even know if all the bits are there for heaven’s sake!  However.  I shall, and soon.

I also scored big at my grandma’s on New Year’s Day.  She pulled me to one side and told me that she’d bought this cover stitch machine a few years ago, it was quite expensive, a couple thousand, but she’d never used it, and did I want it?


I did make sure she really didn’t want it.  Her sister is really sick at the moment, she’s gone into hospital and I don’t think she’s coming out.  So I think she’s sort of sorting stuff – she said she’s left me her babylock in her will.  On the one hand, talking about mortality is fine, on the other hand, I will be devastated when grandma dies.  I almost had trouble typing that.  The thought of it is upsetting.

So I have that, too, and when I restored order to my craft room I set it up and I even read the manual, all the way through.  But… I’m a bit scared to touch it, too.  However!  I have vowed that I shall!  I am not one for resolutions, really (although I seem to dimly remember making some last year – too scared to check) but here are some things that I want to do in the next two months:

  1. At least look at my spinning wheel and see if I can work it out.  Baby steps.
  2. Finish the pj pants I said I would make S for solstice.  Use the cover stitch machine in the process.
  3. Cut out and sew a dress pattern I bought last year.  Wear it to work once.
  4. Sew a few skirts.  I am going in to Spotlight tonight to buy some of the fabric I saw on sale in the holidays.  And some zips.
  5. Make an effort to go to see Grandma a couple of times for lunch or dinner or whatever.

That’s it.  Not too hard, no?  We shall see how we go.  I really would like to get some clothes sewing going.  I’ve been saying that for years now.  But really, no one who doesn’t sew clothes has an excuse to have as much fabric as I do, besides having three different machines for sewing.  It’s ridiculous.

I was going to end this off with photos of my FOsfrom the year, but there are embarrassingly few.  Although, I suppose if I included walls painted and plants planted, it would go up.  I knit one baby blanket, three mini shawls, a pair of gloves, some fingerless gloves and a scarf/hat for others.  For myself, I finished two jumpers: cinnabar and emily.  I wear cinnabar at least twice a week, I love it so much.  Emily, not so much.  It’s still too short, if I’m honest, and the line through the middle where I ‘fixed’ it is just annoying.  Perhaps I will ‘fix’ it better, this year.  Or maybe rip it.  I think it might be the year of ripping.  And sewing?  Too optimistic?  We’ll see…


4 thoughts on “In which I gloat and whinge

  1. Wow, sounds like you have had a full on time (with your mum at least). The ‘let me know when we can meet’ conversation would have driven me nuttier than I already am! The spinning wheel sounds awesome though! I relate to being too scared to use it, I got a studio lighting set for my photography and I have yet to set it up and use it because I am too anxious about it. I need to get past that and use the damn thing…

  2. Nothing to be afraid about with the spinning wheel! There are lots of videos online, definitely look at anything by Abby Franquemont on youtube – she is a spinning goddess.

  3. It seems wrong to say that I enjoyed reading this post, considering all the Mum stuff in it, but I really did.

    (I also hope I don’t drive my kids nuts when they grow up and have their own lives…)

Whadya reckon?

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