Friday, October 29, 2010



Until I read the article I linked to in the previous post I had no idea that I felt shame about my illness.  Realising this makes sense of some of how I feel particularly when I get angry and frustrated.

I hate it when people ask me what is wrong with me.  I don’t mean that I am offended by them asking. It is a natural thing to ask. I just find it triggered shame for some reason.

Take today for example.  I am buggered as they say.  It has been an hour since I took my medication and I don’t feel any better so my plans to today will not come to fruition.  I will manage to put the socks in the machine as today is sock washing day but that is probably it.

I get embarrassed when people comment about how often they see me on Facebook. I have an active mind.  I spend a lot of time sitting down.  The laptop is right next to me.  I check it regularly and if I feel like it I comment.

Some people seem to think I do a lot each day.  I don’t.  I am not lying when I say that I spend most of my time sitting down.  I may well go for a swim each morning, or at least I tried to, but I force myself to do this because it is really important in helping to keep me mobile and to keep my weight down.  Everything else I do after that is very dependent on how I am on any given day or at any given hour.

Someone recently asked me how many kilos of yarn I dyed a week! There is no way I could dye kilos of yarn a week! I dyed half a kilo on Tuesday the but not without a lot of medication.

Like the woman in the article everything I do need a lot of preparation and a lot of planning.  Even if we just go to the mall on a Saturday or Sunday, that does me in even though I am in my wheelchair.

I am thinking about why all of this should make me feel shame.  I know my father would see my condition as a weakness and me as a sissy for letting it interfere with my life.  However that is how my father always saw me.  He detested me from birth I think and if not from birth certainly by the time I was five or six when it was obvious to him I suppose that I was not going to be a macho soldier man like he was. (I am indeed very grateful that I’m not like my father as he was a bully, a judgemental hypocrite and extremely self-centred.)

Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water!  The gaining of self-knowledge really never ends.  I am surprised, and also not surprised, to find so much shame wrapped up with my disease.  I don’t think it is just that it prevents me functioning.  I think that I feel somewhat responsible for it.I am well aware that modern research has shown that adults who had extremely stressful childhoods, as I did, are very prone to inflammatory disease as adults due to the constant production of cortisol in their childhoods.It is also known that the brain gets hot wired into reacting in a certain way to stress because of this prolonged exposure to it while the brain is developing.  Of us as an adult the body’s stress triggers are ultra sensitive. On top of this, I was actively anorexic/bulimic from 15 to 30. It is not surprising to me therefore that I now need medication for my gut to work properly and that I have so much trouble with my joints and spine bones.

However, most importantly for me I am no longer in the mental and emotional distress that I lived with for many years.In fact I lived with it all of my life until three years ago.  This physical stuff I deal with now is much easier and far preferable.

Now that I know that I have shame in the mix with my disease I am sure it won’t be long before that is no longer the case. Experience tells me that once I recognise a problem it is not long before it is either lessened  or eliminated.

Pay no attention to the girl behind the smile -what I wish people knew about me.

Pay no attention to the girl behind the smile -what I wish people knew about me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


It could of course just be me.

Recently, meaning the last few years, many new dramas seem to lack any empathetic characters or likeable characters.  Have the creators of such dramas forgotten that the viewer needs to feel involved and the only way that we can do this is if we like the character or feel empathy for them? I am talking here about both film and TV drama.

I watched just the first probably three or four episodes of Madmen and quit because I found all of the characters to be obnoxious.  I gave it as long as I did in the hope that somebody vaguely likeable and self-centred would appear.

We recently started to watch a film called Cracks. it looked as though it was going to be a good drama about a private educational establishment in the 1930s.  After 20 minutes the we found no one likeable and realised we didn’t really care what happened.

I disliked Sex And The City because I found all of the characters incredibly self-centred.  The oldest one whose name escapes me right now who had all the sex was the least amusing.

In  Desperate Housewives, the dynamic is different.  Yes all of the characters are self-centred but they are also amusing and designed to be.  They are not drawn or portrayed as self-centred in the extreme so therefore they have likeable qualities and are human enough for one to identify with. Much to my surprise my favourite character is Bree!!! Yes, I am afraid that is so.  Susan is the most extremely self-centred of all of them.  Lynette is probably the most normal and Gaby is a stark mix of virtue and vice.  The whole program works because it is not meant to be taken seriously and it clearly does not take itself seriously and they have the mix of likeability and unlikeability down well.

When it comes down to it, a film, a TV program, or a book, has to have characters that we care about in them.  Perhaps I am wrong and the majority of people much more enjoy reading or watching obnoxious twats.

Monday, October 25, 2010


It was a very sunny and frosty morning.  I discovered that my new car does something else that is really good – it defrosts within seconds! I just pressed the button and the ice on the windscreen started to melt and we were soon on our way to the train station so John was not late.

After dropping John off at the station I drove to the swimming pool where I did my swim.  It went well but I felt like I was trying to move through treacle when I stopped and tried to get out of the pool.  By the time I got home I was feeling very weak and was not even up to knitting.  It seems my spoons just disappeared.  I had a two-hour nap and have fed the dogs now and am about to bath Whitney.

I have not been to a dog show since Leeds back in July and am now quite itching to go to one.  It is still a few more weeks before I have a show to go to.  I needed the rest.

John and I both go for our flu jabs this coming Saturday. We were supposed to go on October 16 but I completely forgot!

I have ordered some new yarn all Blue Faced Leicester-based yarns, with nylon, which silk and cashmere, with silk, with bamboo. I am looking forward to dyeing these.

Both of my Passap machines with motors have now gone.  Although my knitting room is not yet ready there is now plenty of room in it.  I still have setup with their motors a Brother 940 and a Silver Read fine gauge.  I had to make a decision about which machines to keep and I reluctantly came to the realisation that the Passaps were just too much for me to use now.  I also realise that I tend to prefer single bed sweaters nowadays and if I want to do Double Jacquard I can do it on the machines that I have. Along with this machinery has gone 25 sacks of yarn.  I still have loads left.

I am feeling much better about it all now that it is done and I am looking forward to getting to work on some knitting on the two machines I have left.

I have been reading about the Paleo Diet, how our ancestors used to eat.  I already eat this way but it was interesting to have an explanation for why I cannot handle grains, beans and potatoes. And why I was so ill and fat when I was a vegetarian for all of those years! Simply put, there are proteins in all of these which the body has trouble in breaking down and they irritate the stomach and gut lining causing inflammation.  Very probably I have not explained it properly but that was the general gist.

Years ago, I mentioned on the latest I was on which had absolutely nothing to do with food, how I felt all the time, how I was hungry all the time, how I had the shits all the time, and how lethargic I was.  I  had four responses and all for suggested the exact same thing; a low carb diet.  NO WAY!  I was vegetarian.  I ignored the advice until I really decided I had to do something or die.  I stopped being a vegetarian.  I cut out all grains and beans and potatoes.  I started to eat only fish and poultry and meat and vegetables.  As I was warned I felt terrible for the first few days.  I had not told John what I was doing and when I went to pick him up at the station that Friday after I had been on the diet for seven days, the first thing he said to me was ’you look really well what have you been up to?’ I told him.I lost 100lbs in weight and even though I do not always stick to it I have managed to keep it off.  My big temptations are ice cream and bread.  Bread really does my gut in.

This way of eating is not hard at all at home.  Preparing food is quick.  It is fast food! one can cook a really nutritious and healthy meal very quickly like within 10 minutes.  However, it is not quite so easy when away from home as all food suppliers seem to think that we all want pasta! Try buying a ready-made salad that is not stuffed full of pasta or potato! It really pisses me off. often one can find cooked chicken and if one is really pushed then just buy a Whopper or two and just eat the inside and throw the bun away. Nuts are a reasonable option as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I wrote the following on the Brothers and Sisters Facebook page:

I have just finished watching season four on DVD. I feel that the show has gone downhill. The first three seasons were excellent. This season had the Schmaltz laid on far too thick and what is with the loud music playing over dialogue? During what would have been some rather moving scenes, like the one between Nora and Kevin in the kitchen on his birthday, were completely ruined by a schmaltzy song playing over their speaking. We are not stupid we don't need a sad song to tell us that this was a moving scene! I am a sucker for a moving scene and tearjerkers but honestly this was just laid on with a trowel. It felt patronising. I will still watch season five but am not surprised to read that season five is likely to be the last. Let's hope that in season five they cut back on the schmaltz the loud music over the dialogue and cut the patronising of the viewer.

I was disappointed with this fourth series. Obviously I had really enjoyed the first three. I have no idea why they decided to over-egg the pudding for series 4.

The other thing that really has made me annoyed is the fact that Kevin and Scotty get yearly HIV tests. Does no one believe that gay couples can be and are monogamous? John and I have been together for 30 years next July. Not only do we not practice safe sex we also do not take HIV tests. We have no need to. HIV tests are necessary for those men and women who have unprotected sex with other men and women that they are not in long-term monogamous relationships with. Note I said men and women. Their sexuality is unimportant in this regard. Anyone who practices unsafe sex outside of long-term monogamous relationships are at risk. (It is my understanding that the only people with a high degree of safety in this regard are homosexual women.)

I also object to the decision to make 70-year-old Saul HIV positive. Yet another gay character who can’t possibly be healthy and happy! Grrr! I am not at all sure that I would consider the fact that shows now have openly gay characters in them to be a positive thing when such characters are never allowed to be happy healthy and fortunate!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I think I may have finally understood something important about my body this evening.  When I have severe pain in my legs or my joints all the spasms in the thoracic region, this pain is obvious.  It is also not so easily dealt with but it is not constant.

John and friends wonder how I can allow pain to grow to the point where I am grey and dull looking to them without my being aware of it.

I think I found out the reason for this.  I was not feeling at all well earlier and I realised that I needed to take my pills mainly because I am on a new one which requires me to take every eight hours.  I took the 12 pills I need to take and within 45 min I was feeling fine, just tired.  It was then that I realised that it is when the pain is all over from head to toe that I don’t recognise it as pain.  I just start to feel terrible.  It is not until I have taken the drugs and the pain stops that I realised I was in pain.  This may not make sense to anybody else but it makes sense to me.

  One of the drawbacks of 24/7 pain is that one gets used to it and to a greater or lesser degree one pushes it into the background.  It is a bit like the sound of a buzzer going on for hours on end that you do not hear until it stops.

This sort of pain has to be treated by regular dosing to keep it at bay and using heavier drugs on top of regular dosing when needed.  The reason this is important is because pain causes damage to nerve endings and the longer it is untreated the more difficult it is to get on top of.  I used to only take drugs when the pain got to a certain pitch.  As a result of this, I had to take a large dose in order for it to work.  Whereas now the tide take a lower dose on a regular basis, I do not need to take much larger doses, with only smaller additions when needed.  For example when I swim.  Any sort of strain, like dog shows, require more drugs.  However even dog shows now are dealt with with less drugs in a dose than I used to take when I waited until I was really in a lot of pain.

Anyway, the whole point is I realise this evening that what I interpret this feeling unwell is actually un-centred pain, pain that is all over the body, specifically my muscles and joints all of which is connected to my crumbling spine. 

I still find it difficult to take drugs when I am not in agony but I have learned that it is necessary and the reasons for it are quite logical. However, I am stubborn and I often do not take my midday dose because I am going to have a nap and I think it can wait.  Then I wonder why I awake from my nap feeling crap!


Monday, October 18, 2010


Look how bad this scam is:


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Pelase, make sure that all inforamtion you have submtited is crorect and refer to Code R21 to find out the inofrmation about comapny pamyent. Plaese conatct this page if you have any questions:

Reutrn Reason Code R21 - The identifiaction nmuber you entreed in the Copmany Idenitfication Feild is not functional. Try sedning infomration to your accounatnt adivser using other opitons.

EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

You are uisng an Ofifcial United States Government System, which may be used only for authorzied purposes. Unauthorized modification of any information stored on this sytsem may result in criminal prosecution. The Govrenment may monitor and audit the usage of system, and all pesrons are hereby notified that the use of this system consttiutes cnosent to such monitoring and auditing. Unauthorized attempts to upload inforamtion and/or change information on this web site are stirctly prohibited and are subject to prosectuion under theComupter Farud and Abuse Act of 1986 and Title 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1001 and 1030.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I mentioned on a knitting machine list and on Facebook that I am dumping a whole load of yarn and I really regret doing so.  Despite the fact of some people already knowing, and  me reminding others that I have a physical problem and therefore cannot use this, I am still getting horrified comments.

I am too ill to use this stuff.  I am never going to get better.  In fact I am going to get worse.  I do not need a mountain of yarn taunting me everyday and clogging up my house. 

I tried to sell this stuff I no one was interested. Now it seems everyone wants it. It is too late.

I am glad to be free of this and I have not even finished yet.  The car is loaded and is off to the tip very soon.  Then it will be loaded again.  And again.  And maybe even again.

I am keeping my  cashmere and llama and silk mixes.  All the luxurious stuff and the four ply wool. All the very fine (thin) stuff is being dumped.  As lovely as this yarn is by the time I will have wound it suitable for knitting I will be too knackered to actually knit.

I may look all right but I am not.  It is obvious that I use sticks to walk. I can’t even do that very long so when I go out shopping I use an electric wheelchair, of which I have two.  Perhaps it is not obvious that every single thing that I do hurts and tires me.  Whether it be making a coffee, grooming a dog, getting dressed or undressed (which is why I am mainly seen in my “loungewear”), knitting at a knitting machine even with a motor. I don’t like to go on about my disease but it seems the drawback to this is that people do not have a clue and make remarks that I find hurtful.

Do you really think that dumping this yarn is easy for me?  Surely any serious knitter and yarn connoisseur doesn’t need to be told that this is a painful and sad thing for me to be doing.  It is as difficult for me as it was to have Nechung put to sleep last Monday.

Doing this is me accepting my physical degeneration after years of keeping my yarn mountain kidding myself that one day I was going to find a way of getting back into full-time designing knitting and selling. 

My mind and my desire have not degenerated and in fact I am more creative now than I ever was and as I sorted through my yarn mountain I had to keep the ideas at bay, close my mind to it and just dump.

I am also going to rid myself of a couple of machines in my knitting room itself.  Probably the Passap E6000 and Duo 80, both with motors.  I find these the most challenging machines to use with my condition.  They also take up the most room.  Once I have more room I am sure that I will spend more time with the machines that are left.

I am sure, by the way,that no one set out to hurt my feelings.  I know that they did not.  All of this is wrapped up with me just accepting the limitations that my disease has put upon me.  It seems to me that the last few weeks since my holiday has all been about this.  I was watching something on the TV about Peru, a place I want to visit, and I realised that I never will. Many of the places I would like to see are now not possible.  Not even Paris! Nor London! Yes I know that by law they are supposed to be accessible to handicapped people.  The law is not followed.  Anyway the point is that it is not just for now that I can’t visit these places.  It is for ever.  I will NEVER be able to.  In just the same way I will never get back to designing and knitting in the way that I used to.

I do not give up easily.  Having realised on our recent German holiday that Barcelona was out of the question I have since done my research and have discovered that there is indeed a way for us to do Barcelona that will not kill me.  We can get the Eurostar all the way to Avignon where I will hire a car and drive on to Barcelona 260 miles away.  A week later we will get the Eurostar back to England.  Not only that, wheelchair users and their carer, get very cheap tickets! Where there is a will there is a way. Now,it would seem that the train will open up more places for us to be able to visit.

I am an optimistic person and I do not sit around feeling sorry for myself.  However, just like everybody else, I need time to adjust to things.  I am not perfect.  I am not at all happy with my physical degeneration but there is fuck all I can do about it.I am going through an adjustment and mourning period and I really don’t need people to be on my back over it.

Just a few facts: pain is tiring.  The drugs do not get rid of 100% of the pain.  The drugs do not deal with fatigue.  For me to be able to do a dog show, I take a minimum of 24 pills, the combination of several different drugs, for my heart, my gut, my liver, my brain, and pain killers-paracetamol, tramadol, and morphine.  I need a full two days to recover from a dog show.

I neither expect nor want people to fuss over me. I hate that.  If I need help I will ask for it.  I am not too proud to ask for help when I need it.  What I do not need is people on my back over the things I have to do or the things I cannot do.  I may dress well and look well but you will just have to accept the fact that I am not.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have been completely overwhelmed by it all of the kind messages I have received about Nechung.  Quite literally hundreds of them.  It goes to show how many people love dogs. The kind words that people have expressed have been very welcome and I thank all of you.

I have not yet got used to her not being here and the house definitely feels different.  It could be my imagination, but Luque seems to miss her.

On Sunday evening, which is when the we more or less knew that we would have to take her to the vet for the final time, Luque had growled at her, something he has never done before.

When I returned from the vet without her he looked behind me and then had a long sniff of me.  Since then he has been very quiet and he sleeps where she normally slept.  When he comes to bed with me he has not been doing his usual dancing about.

Her granddaughter, Carly, I think is pregnant.  It will be another 10 days before I know for sure.  Judging from her behaviour I think she probably is. She will not leave me alone and always wants to be on my lap.

Mary Grace is also a granddaughter of Nechung but only five months of age.

Monday, October 11, 2010

NECHUNG 06/12/1997 – 11/10/2010

nechungabc Nechung 18 12 09


Nechung came to live with us in December of 2003.  She had been used to living in kennels but she settled into living in our house from the first day.  She did pee on the floor and I yelled no at her which she clearly did not like, and she ran outside into the garden.  She never did anything in the house again.

She produced me to puppies that I kept to show, Tantra’s Moonlight Serenade and her brother Tantra’s Micah.  Both did very well in the show ring although neither were quite up to the champion mark. Micah was the father of Shameless who in turn is the mother of Carly and Mary Grace.  Carly may be pregnant. She produced champions on the continent, at least one of which is a multi-best in show champion male.

Nechung spent each night sleeping on our bed.  I had to start wearing earplugs because she snored very loudly.  In typical Apso fashion she was highly independent and although she was pleased to see me when I came home from being out she was not a very demonstrative dog.  Except with John.  She decided that he was hers and when he wasn’t at home she slept on his armchair until it was time to go up to bed where she slept on his side of the bed.  If she knew that I was going to groom her or bathe her and John was home she would immediately go and lay behind his legs or jump on his lap!

Last December I took her to the vet because I was concerned about her health.  Firstly she had a lump on her shoulder and secondly I wondered if dogs got Alzheimer’s disease because she certainly had started to behave as if she wasn’t quite all there.  I knew that she was not blind or deaf. 

She also got it into her head that we ought to go to bed at 10 o’clock every night.  When 10 o’clock came she would go to the foot of the stairs and do a sort of more moaning sound.  She would then come back into the lounge look at us and moan again and then she would go back to the foot of the stairs.  She would do this until we went to bed.  If we opened the stair gate she would go off up to bed on her own but if we didn’t follow soon afterwards she would come back down and moan.  I kept telling her I did not need another mother!

My vet confirmed that indeed dogs do go senile and that the lump on her shoulder was a tumour and that she could feel smaller ones in her mammaries.  The ones in her mammaries never did grow but the tumour on her shoulder did.  Recently it got very much bigger.

Yesterday I decided was the day that I needed to bathe her and clip her coat off again. I was not looking forward to doing this as the last time I had done it she was not very cooperative.  This time it was a pretty awful experience for us both.  She clearly was distressed by it but I had no choice but continue what she was wet.  It was one she was wet that I noticed that not only was her tumour very much bigger but that it was now black and purple with some scabbing and as I bathed her I noticed some fresh blood.

  I spoke with our vets last evening and I took so long this morning knowing that I would not be bringing home.  My vet confirmed my fear that the tumour, a vascular tumour, was likely to burst and this would be extremely painful for Nechung and she would likely bleed to death.  I could not allow this to happen and so we did what I knew we would do.

I found it a difficult decision to make not because I wanted to keep her with me but because of wondering whether I was doing the right thing or not.  I was very worried that I might be acting too soon and that she still had a good life left in her.  However, I do know that I have made the right decision now.  I could not have borne her suffering had the tumour burst.

Right up until this weekend she seemed a perfectly happy dog and certainly never appeared to be in pain.  She got very excited at mealtimes when she would run to her bed and if I hadn’t followed her with her food she run back and bark at me.  She even did this last night.  True, she often behaved as if she’d had a joint or two and a lot of the time appeared not to be with us at all.  Over this weekend she was very quiet and really didn’t seem to be bothered.

Lhasa Apso the are highly individual dogs.  Over the last 40 years none of those that I have kept have been like each other. They have all been their own characters.  Rumour has it that they house the souls of departed humans who are waiting to be reincarnated.  Having lived with them for this length of time this would not surprise me.

Nechung passed away at 11:25 this morning painlessly and at ease as I stroked her and spoke soothingly to her.  I wish we could all pass the same way and that the law did not insist that we must suffer.

Saturday, October 09, 2010




Derrick Jensen- Education

My whole life has been about battling to be myself despite the opposition.

Derrick Jensen on Pacifism

Friday, October 08, 2010


I had an uncomfortable night with pain but I still got up at 6:30 AM.I took my normal pills and I wondered if I would actually go swimming.  After I had done my banking and e-mails I was still feeling very sore took some more morphine.  This means that I took double the usual amount.

By the time I got to the pool I was feeling okay.  The real surprise came when I got into the pool.  As soon as I started to swim I felt no pain or strain at all.  Only at the end of my 50 min swim did I feel as though I had been doing something though I was still not sore, just a little discomfort in my left thigh and hip.

It seems to me that what I have considered normal, the pain and strain I normally experience when I start to swim which I get used to the longer I swim, is perhaps not normal after all.  I am thinking this because the double dose stopped it.

I do not intend making a habit of taking a double dose.  I can cope quite well with one dose but at least I now know that on really difficult days all I have to do is take double.

John, my friends, and my doctor, all think I have a high pain tolerance.  I do not know if I do or don’t.  I certainly know that it took me an awful long time to take paracetamol and tramadol as a matter of course to stop the pain building up.  I found it very difficult to do because it felt wrong to take painkillers when I wasn’t in serious pain. I learned the logic of it though.  By taking a regular amount of drugs it stops the pain building up. As a result one needs less medication to do the job.  I also found out that constant pain causes nerve damage and makes it much more difficult to treat.

With the morphine I am never sure whether I am just mentally feeling better for taking it or am I mentally feeling better because I am physically feeling better?  As I write this I now remember that on our holiday when we were in Nuremberg I felt really sore and ill late afternoon on the Saturday.I took my morphine and although within half an hour the pain had subsided I actually still felt ill so other than dialling down the pain it did not make me feel any better and we went back to the hotel.  This is one of the benefits of writing – one can often answer one’s own question!

I did some dyeing last night and I have done some this morning.  When they are dry I will photograph them and post them.

I have found a gardener with very reasonable rates.  I cannot do the garden myself and John works all week and is tired at the weekend so he can well do without having to do something like the gardening. The man I asked to come and give me a quote for clearing up the garden also told me that he will come every two weeks to keep it in order and his fee is one we can afford.I was surprised at how low it was.  With the strange weather we have had, whereas normally the weeds and grass will not be growing now, both have overtaken the garden and it is now just too much work and because it is so wet there is little point in spraying poison on the weeds because it has to be dry for a least 12 hours after spraying.  We use a non-toxic to animals and humans spray.

I am thinking of closing my Yahoo group which was set up with the intention of teaching people my sock construction method.  It has 700 members but very little traffic.  It is not being used for the reason it was set up.  It would seem that I am not a good teacher and people do not understand either the method or my responses when I answer questions.  Matters are made worse by people answering questions when they do not know my method themselves which of course just adds confusion and frustration and I am the one who gets blamed for it.  I am very disappointed that it has turned out like this. My method is really very simple (even saying this has led to accusations that I think other people are stupid for not understanding when my intention was to help them stop thinking that they are too stupid to understand! It seems one cannot win no matter what one does or says!) and it produces a very well fitting sock and I really thought others would appreciate this and would jump at the chance of being set free from patterns.

However, it seems that people do not want that because I am constantly asked what the formula is or where is the pattern no matter how many times I explain that this is a method and there is no formula or pattern.

I will think upon this but this is how I feel today. When people ask for toe up patterns on other sock lists they are rarely, if ever, directed toward my method.  I am quite certain that if any of the Knitting Queens had developed this method people would be falling over themselves for it.  I could of course be quite wrong. My experience on knitting lists over the years has been that often my answers to questions have been ignored or contradicted yet when a well-known female knitter has responded with the exact same answer the response is entirely different. A standout example of this is when people ask how to deal with cashmere.  Often my response is completely dismissed with one questioner being very blunt: is there someone else with a more sensible answer?  My 30 years of knitting dismissed in a sentence. (I once had the temerity to point this attitude toward me out on a list which resulted in a very unpleasant response and an accusation of misogyny! The accusation made no sense whatsoever but the response rather showed that I was hardly mistaken in my interpretation!)

Oh dear!  Is this Grumpy Old Man syndrome?

Thursday, October 07, 2010


ada You should have heard her when I was giving her a bath yesterday.  She was not too bad the bath but when I was grooming and blow drying her she turned into a little banshee! You’d have thought I was murdering her.  It was just a tantrum of course and I took no notice and completed the job.  Many people make the mistake of trying to sooth them or stopping or making a fuss of them or screaming at them. I have found that none of that works.  I ignore them completely and just continue with the job.  When it is over I praise them profusely and put them on the floor to play. The only time I will do anything is if they attempt to bite and then I will scruff them by the neck, shake them and scream NO at them.  They normally do not do it again.

I have been feeling pretty good this week.  I even managed to walk the dogs yesterday.  It always amazes me that even though painkillers allow me to walk the dogs on a good day it doesn’t actually stop the physiological response because when the tablets worn off I know that I have been walking!  I also discovered while we were away that although the painkillers will stop pain, if I am feeling particularly bad taking the pills makes no difference.  I will feel less pain but still feel bad.  In other words my smart idea of carrying on as normal but take enough pills was not a smart idea after all. It does not work that way.

A few months ago I joined Facebook. I have been getting so many invitations but eventually I just decided to see what it was like.  I do quite enjoy it.  I do find some of what I read on there offensive.  I am surprised what people will write and what people will click like on.

There is one at the moment which says something like “what goes around comes around and when it comes to you I hope it hits you twice as fucking hard”.  To me this is a really mean-spirited sentiment and I am somewhat surprised at the amount of people who click like.  This sort of vengeful thinking does no one any good and drags us down into the mire.

There is also one calling for a Christian revival “click like if you think Jesus is Lord”.  Oh for God’s sake do these people never give up? We hardly need a revival when the world is crawling with them. I find it an ignorant and offensive ideology and am rather sick and tired of having it shoved in my face the whole time.  (Now watched the hate mail coming in from these Jesus lovers.)

Oops! Do I sound irritated? :-)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sock Blank

Perhaps I ought not to laugh at myself, but every time I watch this my last spoken line and the dropping down the knitting just makes me laugh.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


The following is my response to a question I was asked and I share it here because I know others have similar questions.

Thank you for trusting me.

I am not at all surprised by your mother. The idea that her father is a paedophile is just too much for her to bear and so rather than face this she rejects you.  It is highly unlikely that your mother felt loved by her parents and she cannot admit this.  In order for her to continue living in her fantasy of having good loving parents she must reject you. I would not be at all surprised if your mother was also sexually abused by her father.

This does not mean that your mother is not wrong and nor does it mean that her behaviour is acceptable.  It is understandable.  My two brothers rejected me many years ago and they think of me as evil and twisted.  They do this so that they can live with the fantasy that they have loving kind good parents.  They have not got the courage to feel the pain that I felt in realising that my parents did not love us and that they were not kind and good.  This does not mean that I do not feel anger towards my brothers nor does it mean that I excuse them.  It is what it is.  I cannot change them.  I do not want to change them.  I do not need them to see me differently in order for me to be happy.  I do not need them at all and what they think is not my concern any more.

It is better for us that we do not allow toxic people in our lives no matter who they are.  Just because people are related to us, even if they are our parent, does not mean that we must interact with them.  It also does not mean that we must love them.  Love comes freely and naturally and it does not come via abuse.  Whilst I do not have hatred for my parents or my brothers I do not love them.I do not even like them.However, I love them in the same way that I love you and everybody else on this planet: I want them to be at peace with themselves.  There is nothing I can do to make this happen but it is what I wish for everyone.  Imagine what sort of world we would live in if we were at peace with ourselves!

Please do not beat yourself up for how you feel.  It is natural that you do so.  For me the realisation that my parents did not love me and never would released me.  Not all hope is good and the hope that one day they would love me and treat me well was crushing me.  The day I let that hope go was a real turning point in my recovery.  My parents were never going to be the people I wanted them to be.I thought I needed them to be different in order for me to recover.This was not true.I have recovered.I live a good and happy life.

This does not mean that I am as if it never happened. Of course not.  I still have my struggles but nowhere near to the same extent.  I am rarely troubled by night terrors now and although occasionally I do have PTSD symptoms still they are much less strong and the episodes are further apart.

I do not know if any of this is of any help to you.  Just know that your feelings are normal.What we went through is an abomination and we will never be who we would have been had it not happened. However, I can truly say that I like who I am today and I am who I am because of all that I went through. 

This does NOT mean that I believe I was meant to go through what I went through.  Not at all.  It just means that I have been lucky and I have turned what was very negative into something positive.  The very idea that I was meant to suffer in order for me to be who I am is offensive to me and I think that people who think this have really not thought through. What they are saying, then, is that people who abuse children are carrying out God's will for some higher purpose.  BOLLOCKS!

People make up these things in their attempt to live with evil and make sense of it.  In effect it only causes more damage because when it boils right down, it is just blaming the victim.  Those who really believe that we had childhoods such as ours as retribution for a previous life's actions are sadly distorted. Once again if this was so it means that perpetrators are carrying out some divine plan.  It follows that the millions of people who died in the Holocaust did so as payment for past wrongs and the Nazis were working for God.

You do not need your mother's approval all love to live well.You do not have to have her in your are not the bad person you have been made to believe that you are and it is neither wrong nor sinful to close the door on someone who has not got your best interests at heart.

Just remember that people treat you the way they treat you because of who they are and not because of who you are.


I have just got back from my swim.Normally whenever I come home the dogs bark excitedly.This morning they made not a sound.I fully expected that once I opened the door they would start.No.Luque eventually opened one eye and looked at me as if to say “do you mind?”  Then he seemed to realise who I was and jump down and came to greet me.The others still had not roused themselves until I opened their pens.  They then forced themselves to go out into the garden.

My swim went really well this morning for the second morning running. 

I do not know what sparks off memories but for some reason I started to think about my time in the anorexic unit of the Atkinson Morley Hospital in 1978.  I believe it was very new at the time.  I do not have good memories of my time there at all. We were treated like bad people instead of suffering people.  The arrogance of the psychiatrists and psychologists and nursing staff still astounds me to this day.They had no idea what they were doing and just caused more damage.I was thrown out after a few weeks because I was still actively anorexic despite their punishment of me.I was considered to have a personality disorder because I did not acquiesce to their opinion of me.To them the fact that I had had a childhood steeped in stress and grief and abuse was not at all important and had nothing to do with my state of mind!

I wish I could say that the so-called professionals that I met there were the exception rather than the rule but they were not.It has been my experience that all of them without exception did not have a clue.At their best they were kind and compassionate but ineffectual. At their worst they were arrogant and abusive. The latter were the more numerous.

The trouble with psychiatry is that they have as their premise that when people are suffering mentally and emotionally it is because they have a chemical imbalance.They see it as a biological disorder.As a result of this they do not take into consideration a person’s experience or what they think and believe.A patient who does not acquiesce is written off as beyond help for nothing upsets them more than a patient who will not submit to their will.

I have been having fun with knitting up so called sock blanks on the knitting machine and dying them.  My first pair was Brushstrokes as shown in the previous post.  I am now on my second pair.  This time I used Kool Aid and I painted the knitted blankets completely differently to the previous two. Once again I have not done both blanks identically so the socks will be fraternal.  This does not bother me one bit and I confess I do not understand people wanting their socks to be identical.Some of my socks are identical and some are not I really do not give a toss.I suppose that I prefer fraternal socks.As long as the colours are the same or match I do not care how they display themselves in the sock.

Our new puppy Ada has settled in really well.I like her attitude very much.  She is very full of herself and she has such an arrogant gait yet she is not at all difficult.  In the past I would have found this attitude to be challenging and I am sure others still do.I have learned though how to handle strong willed dogs like this. At 9 1/2 weeks she walked happily on the lead and she now stands still when I stack her. All I do is stack her and as soon as she is still I praise her and let her go again.As a result, she does not struggle at all now when I pick her up and stack are on the table.However, I still only have her stood for a couple of seconds.I still praise her.I will continue to do this on a daily basis and by the time she needs to be shown, if I show her, I will have a dog that will stand for the time that she needs to.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I knitted these from knitted fabric that I painted with a brush and then re-knitted. I wasn't sure what i thought at first but as they grew, I loved it. The yarn is not as I expected, it's better, and it has a natural 'speckled' effect due to the way the dye takes up onknitted fabric. Although I used the same dyes, I did NOT dye these to be a pair. I dyed them differently to see what would happen.

I knitted them on 2mm circs using my own Andersson Construction Method with the MACHII heel(revised) and a 1x1 gusset.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Dresden was a strange place. The atmosphere was depressed. I was stared at a lot, and pointed at, so the feeling of being stared at was not my imagination. Even John was aware of it and was annoyed by it. I do not know if it was the wheelchair all the way that I was dressed although I do not see that there was anything unusual in my dress. We saw very few disabled people and in fact I think we only saw one wheelchair user. When we stopped to eat or have coffee we were immediately approached by staff but once we spoke their attitude seemed to change and we were left waiting for a long time for our order. We had planned to stay in Dresden four days but we only stayed one.

I also had terrible problems with food in Dresden. No matter what I ordered, meat or fish or foul with salad and vegetables it came smothered in a sugary dressing. Even their sauerkraut was sweet. I got very upset about this. However, that evening in the hotel I was able to make myself understood and my salad and vegetables came without any dressing on at all although instead of the rump steak I had ordered they gave me pork filet.

The river that Dresden is on is the Elbe. Also, despite appearances, nothing is old! They did an excellent job of rebuilding to look old as before after the city was flattened in WWII.