I certainly seem to be having some good days recently. I spent yesterday putting every available hank into my online shop www.knitmanskitchen.com I feel really rather pleased with myself because it took quite some doing.
I went to a judging and critique writing seminar on Sunday and whilst I enjoyed it I did feel a little down whilst I was there and during the drive home. By the time I got home I realised that the reason I felt down is because there is little reason for me to be attending these seminars because I am never going to be able to fulfil the requirements that the kennel club in their wisdom have laid down in order for a breed specialist to judge their own breed. My physical limitations would not prevent me judging my breed at championship show level. However, my limitations certainly do make it extremely difficult for me to jump through all the hoops that are required to be passed, which involves many stewarding sessions and travelling all over the country to judge a handful of dogs at open show level.
I need to conserve my energy for showing my dogs. That in itself is a major challenge and I feel that if I push myself to do the judging program as well I may well hasten the coming of the day when I shall not even be able to show my dogs. I am not willing to take that risk. My influence on the breed will have to be through the quality of my dogs.
I am looking forward to a week’s break in Paris. The last time we went to Paris was in 2003 during the heatwave-the one that killed many hundreds of people all over Europe, but especially in France. We were staying in Orlean and we caught the train into Paris. We had a short boat trip on the Seine and then a brief walk on the Champs d’Elysee before taking refuge inside an air-conditioned cinema where we saw Bruce Almighty! We then called the train back to Orlean. The temperature was over 100°F. I was also ill on that trip and kept collapsing in pain and generally feeling terrible. It was to be another year before I was diagnosed, this time when I got stranded in Stockholm!
I love Olga the new car. I did not realise that driving an automatic transmission would be so easy and almost pain-free for me. I have got used to her very quickly. Because of the crane in the back which lifts my wheelchair in and out I am now able to go to Tesco when ever I feel like it.Prior to this we used to do the whole week’s shop on the Friday night or Saturday and if I ran out of anything well I would just have to wait until John got home. Now I have the freedom to go where I please and when I please.
One of the things that I really like about driving Olga is the visibility. I am sitting quite high up and I have my seat set to the highest position. This means that getting in and out of her is not so much of a struggle. It also means that I think I can see better when driving. Speaking of seeing better, my new vari-focals are really excellent. I have had absolutely no trouble at all since the very moment I put them on. My eyes seem to automatically move to see through the right part of the lens whether I am reading, looking at the computer screen or driving or looking into the distance. I had been put off buying these lenses by people who hated them. I cannot imagine why they hate them. My experience is very good. I realised just at the weekend that I am going to have to have another pair made because I now only have one pair of glasses that are suitable for me.
My next championship show is in Bath on the last Monday of this month. And I think the next show is the week after. The shows come thick and fast and now although I am not attending all of them.
One of the positive aspects of my attitude which along with other aspects really enhances the quality of my life is gratitude. I do feel very fortunate to have all that I have in my life. John and my close friends and my dogs. Then there are my gifts that I am able to share with others in various ways. I often see people who are is a far worse physical state than I am. My attitude really does make the difference between having a good life and having a miserable one. It does take work and it certainly did not come easily and it took many years of hard work to overcome the negative attitudes I had been taught. I gave a brief example earlier about how my attitude alters the way that I feel. Although I felt despondent when I realised that I was not going to be able to complete the judging program, upon giving it serious thought I realised that I can still contribute positively to my breed just by doing what I am doing: breeding quality healthy dogs and showing them. In this way I contribute to the breed and to the education of others interested in the breed. In fact this influence will be far far more reaching than being passed to give out a green card.