Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dog Show

I am up at 2.30am to go to a dog show.

Am about to bath dogs now. So will not be answering emails till Friday night or Saturday.


I don't walk my dogs every day. It depends on 1. my pain levels and 2. the weather, rain stops me. When I do walk them it is not at the same time. It is when I can and mostly daily.

I go upstairs and at all sorts of different times. I go and change to go out. The dogs take no notice.

This morning, about 10.30 am I was sitting finishing the Fortissima and I thought to myself;

'I think I will take the dogs out.'

No sooner had I thought it than Nechung woke up, jumped down from her armchair and danced around my feet, making her excited. At the same time joined by Micah, Luna and Shameless.

How do they know? I do not do anything routinely so it isn't that. I only have to think it and they know.

This morning's occurrence isn't a one off. They always do this. They seem to read my mind.

Whatever is going on, it is weird and very clever of them.

Fortissima Socka

This is Fortissima Socka, Cotton Colour, shade 6533. 45% cotton, 42% virgin superwash and 13% nylon.

The handle made this smooth to knit. The sock itself feels really good. I prefer it to Regia Cotton tho to be fair to Regia I did knit that one over 80 sts whereas I knit this one over 72. Still, I prefer the stitches on this yarn.

I did a Continental cast on using 3.25mm, then knit 20 rows of 2 x2 rib using 2mm and the rest was done using 2.25 mm. Magic Loop method ( one long circular needle ).

I bought the yarn here in the UK from THE KNITTING HUT

The heel and gusset. For now this is my favourite. I keep changing my mind. I like the way this fits. It is easy to knit. My previous sock (Opal 1655 Smoke) was knit over more stitches and a Sherman heel and was also knitted to fit, no negative ease. I prefer the fit of this smaller sock.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I did it today at just after midday.

It made me somewhat breathless,
but boy it felt good. I took a puff on my GTN just in case. I felt weightless and for that short time, all my joints seemed to stop hurting. I seemed to stop hurting all over. I did feel my muscles. Not exactly pain but I felt them. My eyes got sore and I felt quite wobbly when I had finished and got out.

I did 10 lengths.

I feel really rather pleased with myself.

Strangely, I was dying for a fag when I left. How odd.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hit By A Lorry (Truck)

Yesterday at Bath, or more precisely in a large field come swamp near Bath, it was rather difficult. Very soggy. At home time, it was extremely difficult to manoeuvre my trolley back to the car.

We got moved out of the tents by request of one of the exhibitors as it had stopped raining and the rings outside looked good. Who was I to object? Even though I was 99% positive that the heavens would open again. And open they did during the class of the woman who made the request....

Micah was placed 4th in his Post Grad class. (Now in the UK we have the TOUGHEST dog show scene anywhere. Whilst in the USA or Europe one my get an entry of 20, we had an entry of 144 yesterday and that is not high.)

Shameless showed her heart out but to no avail and she was thrown out with the rubbish. I knew this was going to happen. No, not because I am psychic but because of this:

Judge: How old is she? 8 months?

Me: Honest and not thinking: no just 6 mths.

Judge pulls face.

As I was walking Shameless for the judge, it dawned on me that he obviously thought her too big, which she aint at 9.75ins. I could have just carried on walking right outside the ring but being a person of integrity(read:cowardly) I did not.

Anyway, of course the judge should never have made such a comment and ranks almost as daft as the stupid stupid stupid judge who bent down and put her face right up to my Micah's nose and kissed it!!!! How completely unprofessional and stupid. Did I say it was stupid? Thankfully Micah is sweet and licked her face but.....

Anyway, it was a fun day, seeing lots of beautiful dogs, and meeting friends and listening quietly to conversations that the people involved in obviously think cannot be heard. Most amusing and often illuminating.

I suppose some might think it odd to spend many hours bathing and grooming, driving long distances in all weather, to stand around for hours in all weather to get 5 mins in the ring in the hopes of getting a card from some person who quite often wouldn't know your breed from any other breed.

So today I feel like I have been run over by a lorry. Rolling out of bed took much longer than usual and I have discovered other parts of my body that hitherto had mercifully kept their presence quiet.

Have to take the litter to be microchipped today.

I am also going to investigate the local swimming pool. I have always adored the water and swimming and it has occurred to me lately that swimming might well do me good. Low impact and feels good. I am concerned about getting in and out of the pool. Actually only out, Getting in will be as easy as falling off a log. Also getting from changing room to pool edge. Floors on such places tend to be slippery.

So I want to go and ask if they have routines or support for cripples. I hope so as I am quite looking forward to swimming again. It only takes a while to get used to the lustful stares and groping once I am in my togs. I can live with it. It has been the bain of my life, as anyone with outstanding looks will confirm.

EDIT: Went to the pool. They have a changing room right next to the pool for the disabled so I only have to walk a couple of feet. They have special stairs for getting out (or in I suppose) and I can use my stick to get there. Also, they have suitable practical times for adults only lane swimming. Might give it a go tomorrow.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


This is Tantra's Shilpa. I am keeping her. She will be 7 weeks old on Monday(28th May).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Life Began At 40

I knew it would happen. I have been pondering it for a while. Every time I picked it up and knitted, I kept looking and wasn't sure. I ought to know that when that happens, I am going to change it.
So I ended up frogging an almost complete front of my Aran. I have designed a different one now and will start it again today. I am fairly certain I like this one!

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I sat and read my dog newspapers in the garden with my coffee, then knitted a while and then hung out my hand knitted socks to dry. I got sunburned yet I wasn't out that long.

Had a rough night because of pain. Normally, laying down and sleeping is okay. Especially as I now have a Memory Foam Mattress Topper. These things really do make a difference. However, last night not. Actually that isn't true, without it I'd have been much worse. As it was the pain was just confined to my lower back and hips. Getting up this morning was a lot of fun.

Last night at my meeting, one man is about to lose his home, a woman is losing her 30 year marriage and another is almost bankrupt. It all goes to remind me how lucky how I am to have the life I have.

I know much of this tiredness and pain is because of my Scottish trip. And this Monday I am off to Bath.

Now the specialist tells me I ought not be doing this sort of thing. I think he expects me to sit in my armchair and behave myself. F**k that!!!!

LIFE IS SHORT! And whilst I can still move about, I am going to do just as I please. So what if it hurts? So does keeping still!

For most of my life I was emotionally and mentally crippled which was far far far worse than this is. That prevented me living. That stopped me doing what I wanted to do. That kept me isolated. There is NO WAY I am letting this damn disease stop me living now after I fought so hard to get myself well.

At first, I did stop doing stuff, like a good patient. It didn't take long for me to know that not doing anything did nothing at all to relieve the pain. That my mood went downhill. That I was miserable and bored.

I am very very surprised that I live with this so well. I really thought that I'd be the type of person who would take to his bed and give up. Feel sorry for myself and live the rest of my days on my pity pot and expect to be nursed 24 / 7!

Far from it. I have found I am not like that at all. Not only that, but am not that good at being taken care of or asking for help! I am learning.

No matter how bad this can be sometimes, it is nothing compared to the emtional / mental pain I endured for years. There are times it hurts less. There are times my mobility is much better. This I get relief from. The emotional/mental pain was always there, no matter what. For year after year after year form being a child right thru till I was 40 when all that poison was finally able to be released thanks to meeting the right therapist who guided me thru the muck and didn't let me go. It took 5 years from 35-40.

Life really did begin at 40 for me.

I think it is plain that I am not about to let my body f**k it up for me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Praise The Lord


Do we really think that the Creator of The Universe and all that is in it needs to be praised?

Does he or she have such low self esteem that s/he needs us to tell him/her how wonderful they are all day long?

Or is it that we have made God in our image?

Human Beings, a despot dictator for example, needs to be praised and obeyed and worshipped. It is the needs of a weak ego that requires thesethings. I doubt very much that the Creator of all needs it!

Perhaps it is our egos that need appeasing? Perhaps we have created a a God that we need to please, fear, placate, obey, worship, praise because these are the things our own ego would like.

Whatever it is, I don't think that the Supreme Being wants us on our knees telling him/her how great they are all day long.

I think maybe that the way to truly 'worhip and praise' is by living good lives and treating others as we would want to be treated - with respect and doing no harm.

To me that is the way to worship and praise.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Smoking Socks

In the time I have stopped smoking, I have done much more hand knitting, especially socks as they are so easy to do and portable.

The phone rings, I pick it up and chat but I also pick up my socks and knit. It used to be a fag,

Now it's a sock.

Trouble is, when I am driving, I think to myself:

I must stop and have a knit.....


Opal Smoke 1655. Knitted using 2mm for the 20rws of 2 x2 ribbing and 2.25 fro the rest. The main leg is done in a 2 x2 garter rib. I use the Magic Loop method.

Below is a close up of the heel. I use my adaptation of the Sherman heel because it is is effective, neat and is the easiest to do.

Scottish Adventure

I am back from the Scottish show. I didn't get back until yesterday, Sunday, midday. I was expecting to be back on the Saturday evening. It was quite an adventure. The trip to Linda's was uneventful except that I did it without a stop and therefore had great difficulty getting out of my car after 3.5 hours! Much to my surprise, I slept fine at her house, even if for only 3 hours after which the alarm woke me. We should have gone to bed earlier. The only other house I have slept well in belongs to my friends' Karen and Kim(male) in Denmark.

We left Linda's at 4am for the drive to Scotland. Now Hartlepool, where Linda lives, was the furthest north, in my country, that I have been. So now I was going still further for the first time. The scenery was beautiful and I even got to see The Angel Of The North up close. I think it is stunning. It was bright and sunny but windy on the drive. Three hours later we arrived at the Showground, right next to the runways of Edinburgh Airport!
Now one of our fellow exhibitors is 81 years old and she flew on her own with her dog from down south. Below is her girl. I truly admire this lady. She has fortitude and determination and tremendous courage. It was very cold and windy and she got sick. An ambulance was called but she refused to go to hospital. Now she was sort of camped with us and we took care of her and her dog until the ambulance came and the we had to stay with her. I say we but in fact it was Linda who did what needed to be done. Linda works with the elderly as her day job. So instead of us leaving by 2pm we didn't get way till 3.5 hours later thus not getting back to Linda's till almost 9pm and there was no way way I was driving 4 hours home then! Besides which, the cold had buggered my legs and I was in a lot of pain and hardly able to walk.This is Linda(right) and her friend Debbie.

The show itself was interesting. If you have read my blurb about going, I was not going for this particular judge as I had seen him judge before and shown under him once and said I never would again. Yet, i wanted to go to Scotland and be with my friends so Micah went and got 5th out of 6 for my trouble ! ;-) Micah was so well behaved. He loves it all. For some reason he gets very horny when he goes to a show. This makes him strut when being shown. He loves it. He slept on the bed with me, the first time for him. Like most of my Apso, he slept near my feet. His choice. Most of this breed do. I used to have an American Cocker and Dax and they prefer to sleep near you head, or on it !

I am glad I went. I have two more shows up that way this year, in August and next month.

I have another show at Bath this coming Monday.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I awoke this morning after a good night's sleep, an early one too, was asleep by 11.5pm.

Let the dogs out, let them in, fed them, then came up here to do my banking and email. With my coffee of course.

Anyway, within a couple of minutes, I had to go to the little room and it seems everything is back to normal. Phew! I was not looking forward to Scotland and this long long trip if I was still having those problems. Especially as I am staying to night at a friends home. I don't know about you, but I prefer my own bed. Even hotels are not the same for me. When we go away, I always have trouble sleeping.


Thursday, May 17, 2007


I have a new pair of socks on the go, this time using Opal Smoke 1655. Yes the colour and pattern are as to be expected! I am using a 2 x2 garter rib for these. I really like the colour very much. Perhaps I'll post a picture by Sunday.

I also have a brown version af the last sweater completed and I am now knitting a beige sweater, same yarn, different textured pattern.

I am off to Scotland tomorow afternoon for the show on Saturday.

To be frank, I feel more like staying in bed. I feel quite washed out since the enteritis and my guts are still not back to normal. I have decided that the runs is much better than being stopped up.

I ate rhubarb and plenty of vegetbles today along with some senekot last night. Hopefully that will get me unstopped. Oh and drinking loads of water.

Thank fully, the arthritis pain has abated somewhat.

It has been a joy though to watch the puppies playing in the garden. They are at that still walking like drunks stage and they are doing plenty of fighting and being fierce with each other. You wouldn't believe the viciousness and noise coming from such sweet looking and small beings!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Than You Wanted To Know

Since I got over my enteritis bug, I have had the opposite problem! So last night I stuck one of those lubricating bullets you know where. You know the type prescribed for piles? Well, it sort of helped.

So am drinking plenty of water and this morning for breakfast I ate lamb rogan josh and spinach. I don't eat cereals, didn't think eggs were a good idea so what the hell.

I have almost finished the second of my Hummel(Bee) socks. The response I got from Opal, via the USA distributor(yes they think everyone lives in the USA) was laughable. It was to remind me of their disclaimer about the yarns being variable.

Yes, we know that. However, this sock did not vary slightly from the published colourway. It was TOTALLY different.

If I could be bothered, I'd pop it along to Trading Standards here in the UK because we are pretty hot on such things and this falls foul of the trades description act, disclaimer or not.

You know, until I got this lame, patronizing, we don't care response, I wasn't really bothered about the damn pattern. Now I am!

To be fair, I was offered a replacement ball(had I lived in the USA).

Anyway, I am eager to start my next sock. I have got very good and finishing one whole pair before starting another. I think I am going to do this one in garter rib. Ordinary 2 x 2 rib will not really work. On the normal amount of sts for me, 76, the ribbing would just stretch too much and look like nothing. I tried last week using 96sts but that was too many. Oh they looked fine when not worn but that is hardly the point.......excuse me I need to go to the little room.....okay I am occurred to me that maybe this is what labour feels like and that finally 26 years of trying has paid off....

On Friday, I leave for Scotland. The Royal Edinburgh Showground in Ingliston to be precise. I have never been to Scotland before. I really ummed and ahhed over entering this show cos I am not all sure I think much of the judge for my breed but then I thought, what the hell, it'll be fun to be with my friends and I have never been to Scotland. At 350 miles it is the furthest show for me. I will be staying Friday night with my friend Linda in Hartlepool which is much closer to the show.

Now, I have driven to Oslo from my house. A driving trip of 1300 miles. I have also driven to Barcelona and to Stockholm. These trips were easy compared to driving this 350 miles to Scotland. UK roads are always busy. The only place I know of that is the same , or maybe even worse, is Belgium. Every time I have been thru that country, and you have to go thru it to visit most places, I have got stuck in traffic.

Monday, May 14, 2007


It seems to me that it is easy to have compassion for those we love and like.

It is easy to have compassion for children and animals.

But is it really compassion that we feel? I don't know.

If we can not feel the same when see people of a different race being blown up as we do when we see our own, is it really compassion that we feel?

If we cannot feel compassion for those we do not like, is what we feel for those we do like compassion at all or something else?

I have grave doubts about some animal rights activists and pro lifers who are willing to kill and maim human beings in the name of compassion for animals and the foetus.

I do not think their feeling is compassion at all. I think that is a lie. I think they have a different agenda entirely. I think compassion is an entirely right reaction toward these people no matter how evil their actions are.

I get mixed feelings too. I find myself with blood boiling when I read of yet another abuser being caught. Yet at the same time, I feel a great sadness and compassion for them.

I generally don't say so out loud anymore. It angers people. They often say 'you wouldn't feel that if you were the victim'. Well, I was and I know others who were and they too feel compassion. It does not mean we want to let them off the hook or do not hold them responsible.

To me suffering is about lack of love, about fear, about hatred. I do not wish to add to these so why would I not react with compassion to evil doers? It doesn't mean I have less to give the victims.

Do not misunderstand.

I am ordinary and along with this compassion feeling I also feel huge anger and have entertained some very violent thoughts! I never pretend to be anything other than what I am - an ordinary human being with ordinary human failings. I recognize them, I don't pretend I don't have them. Yet at the same time, I know it is my responsibility to overcome these failings, not to let them rule me or anyone else.

Growth is not in denying that within us which is challenging but facing it and dealing with it as best we can.

Denying it's existence is dangerous.

I would have said a long time ago that I could not kill. That was before I understood what love for others is and how I feel when those I love are threatened. I knew in that instant that yes indeed I could kill. I imagine most parents understand what I am saying here.

I have no real conclusion on these thoughts. Suffice to say that i doubt the genuineness of compassion if it is not universal.

Which brings to mind Unconditional Love. If there is a God, or a Universal Power that loves, then love must be UNCONDITIONAL or it is worthless. It cannot be given according to one's behavior or one's belief. It must be given freely, with no ifs, ands or buts. None. Just Love freely given to all regardless. Anything less than that is human and therefore not God

Pardon Me?

"Colin, I feel I need to "call" you on what you are doing. Time after
time you post these innocuous invitations to come see a picture related
to sock knitting, posted on your blog, but the paragraphs of political
diatribe one must wade through first belie your true intentions. You are
baiting the list, to get them to read your personal politics. The
picture we were invited to see is always way down on the page, after all
of your writing. This is nothing but dishonest.

I will no longer link to your blog, because I do not appreciate being
made a captive audience to your rants. "

I received this post when I got home from my SNU meeting last night. I had to read it a few times to make sure it was saying what it appears to say!

Now for this poor captive, I think this is a case for Maulder and Scully to investigate. After all, if you go and look at a sock picture but get held captive to political ranting, that really is a supernatural happening that warrants investigation as soon as possible. In the meantime, I hope those shackles are not too tight and you have access to food and water....

This email is a very good example of people reading what they want to read and not what is written. It is also a good example of a person acting out their angst and picking a target, even if there is no logic to it.

It could also be from a victim of abuse of a perpetrator of abuse, possibly both. Or maybe even someone of the fundamentalist persuasion. Whatever, reading my blog obviously pushes their buttons big time. I wonder if they thought of not reading it before now? How long did it take for this to fester before the penny dropped?

This email went to a public list with about 10000 subscribers. Not a good idea really, especially if one wants to give a good impression.

I know that there are many people out who are not into self examination. Such emails make this quite clear. If we took the time to examine our thoughts and feelings, we can often, tho not always(I know!), stop ourselves from acting the fool.

As for political ranting, where is that on my blog? I have mentioned neither of the big B's, the nor the big W, nor AQ, not given my thoughts on left or right or centre.

Mind you, perhaps that is an idea for future posts.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007


My, the voodoo dolls are out already after that last post.

I can feel the dpn in my right hip.

That's what Maulder reckons anyway.

Scully says it's the arthritis.

I play safe. I take the pills and hang garlic around my neck.....


Some very nice ladies I know on a knitting list have got rather miffed. These ladies are expert machine knitters. They joined another knitting list and were met with unfriendly attitudes to say the least.


Due to the fact they machine knitted and therefore were neither talented nor fit to be on the list they chose to join!

This attitude is still common. It is most unfortunate. It is an attitude based upon ignorance and intolerance. Not to mention immaturity. This attitude is rarely displayed by a machine knitter to a hand knitter, possibly because machine knitters are also hand knitters.

Hand Knitting and Machine Knitting are two DIFFERENT crafts.

One is not the slow version of the other.

To be done well, both require talent and skill.

Both require to be thought out in advance. Both need to be swatched for. Both need to be finished.

One can do by machine what cannot be done by hand. One can do by hand that which cannot be done my machine. One can even use both skills in the making of one garment.

For some the prejudice is as simple as 'using a machine' yet these same people would not hesitate to use a sewing machine and are not of the opinion that the great designers of clothing should be sitting there with a needle and thread making their Haute Couture clothing without a sewing machine in sight.

This prejudice is both ignorant and stupid. it makes the holder of the opinion look daft.

There are fantastic talents to be found in both crafts. Each ought to be admired and held up for us all to aspire too. Each can be learned from and each are already a source of education and inspiration to those of us who take our art seriously and who glean our muse from wherever we find it.

We ought not to be dismissing a craft with such disdain when we will be the ones who are detracted from as a result.

OPAL HUMMEL( BEE ) Colour 1613

Look here for how it ought to look. Bottom left corner. I am somewhat disappointed with this knitted out. It is nothing like the ball band shows it to be.

I am pleased with the fit of this sock. I have been experimenting with different widths and lengths and different types of heels. I have found that for me, the Sherman Heel,

my adaptation of it, is the easiest to knit and the most comfortable to wear. Most importantly it looks good and neat. No matter how easy this might have been, if it didn't look good, I wouldn't do it.
I do not decrease that much for the toe as mine are not crushed widthways so it seemed daft to decrease a lot.

I decreased from 76 sts down to 56sts.
I use 2mm needles for the ribbing and 2.25 for the rest. 22 rs of rib 70 st st rows till heel, further 99 rows after heel till cast off.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Whooppee!!! My first normal poo in a week.

I am sure you wanted to know that....;-)

Lying In Front of The TV

Why do people fall asleep in front of the tv and deny it?

'Why don't you go to bed?'

'I'm watching this'

'But you have been snoring for the last half hour'

'No I have not, I was watching this'

'Thru closed eyes?'

'I was listening and resting my eyes'

Oh brother!

So leave them snoring and go to bed.

A little while later you hear:

'Why didn't you wake me?'

'Because you were really engrossed in that film....'

Such is life.

Friday, May 11, 2007

No Show/Wendy Jane

I didn't manage the dog show today. I decided last evening not to go even tho I had not been to the bathroom all day. Just as well cos I awoke in the early hours with stomach cramps and I was off again till about mid-day today when it has calmed down again.

Now a dog show is not the easiest of outings for the disabled anyway, as they are usually outside in fields. On top of that, the loos are normally quite a trek, even though they do provide disabled facilities. Still a long way away, but they do provide them.

Given the shortage of Pampers of adults and the liklihood of me needing to run fast at short notice over quite a distance, I thought it best to stay home.

I am reminded of a little tale for some reason.

When we first moved here, there was a small shop near the railway station named Wendy Jane's. I passed this shop whenever I went that direction, at least twice per week to pick John up from said station.

In the window of Wendy Jane's were always several models wearing nurses uniforms.

I thought to myself 'so this is where nurses get their uniforms' and thought nothing of it. After all, a small country town, I guessed there was no where else to go and why I had not seen a nurse supplies place in the big city.

Now i did notice that the models' shoes didn't seem appropriate for being on one's feet all day/ night but already knew that women wore shoes that were not the most sensible .....

Wendy Jane moved. Wendy Jane's windows got much bigger. Wendy Jane added more to her display-like stilletto boots, handcuffs, whips, and frilly lingerie....

Okay, okay, so I was dim.....


Quite a few people ask me questions thru the comments section. However, they do not leave me an email address or another way of contacting them to give an answer.

I really appreciate your comments and your questions and if I can answer them, I will. However, you need to leave your email address.

Do not write it out in the normal way but like this:

fred AT fred DOT com

This way it will not be picked up by spammers.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

4 weeks and 3 days

Shilpa - my favourite at the moment.
Holly-2nd favourite.


This is my own design, done using the Brother Garter Carriage. The yarn is 50% Merino, 25% Cashmere and 25% Silk, 2/15's used twofold. 375 m per 100gm the way I used it, 750m per 100gm as bought. I used tension 9*. The sweater was soaked in washing soda solution, hot water, the liquid spun out then soaked again in washing soda. Then rinsed in machine. Then it was machine washed and tumble dried on hot. Yes, it shrinks but not a lot. It is now machine washable with no further shrinking. Of course the shrinking was taken into account BEFORE knitting. The swatch received the same treatment before gauge was taken. This yarn, like most, would not shrink if just washed on a 30c delicate cycle. However, by treating it this way the handle is vastly improved, making a nice sweater feel wonderful. It really brings out the softness of the yarn. Oh and the reason for the wahsing soda-this yarn is spun in oil.

The Gory Details

On Saturday, we were out most of the day. Finally found a supermarket that sold real food and had choice of various cheeses and meats and condiments etc. Waitrose. Now when I know I am going out, I drink much less cos otherwise I need to pee all the time. I was tired when I got home as was normal. Later, my stomach started to grumble and I needed to go to the bathroom where I passed water from my bowell. I then felt fine and that was that. I went to sleep.

I awoke the next day feeling okay, just the arthritis hurting like hell. So I took the pills and had a coffee which I didn't finish. I didn't go to the bathroom which was unusual as I am regular as clockwork. I had to drive 100 miles away later that day to give a talk, so I drank very little. The talk went well and at 9pm I began to drive home. I felt very tired, the pain in my joints was bad, I couldn't move my neck much and I had a headache. I got home, ate a small meal, drank a glass of water and went to bed.

I awoke about 3am with stomach cramps. I was also violently shaking, or jerking all over is more apt. I got to the bathroom with great difficulty and passed a load more water. I could not stop jerking about. My teeth were chattering and I felt dreadful. I went back to bed and John woke up and just held me, thinking I was cold I suppose.

By 7.30 am I was not at all with it. I could barely move, was confused and my body really hurt. So a doctor was called. He wanted to hospitalize me. He said I was dehydrated. I refused the hospital but started to drink water. As soon as I did, I needed to go to the loo. This is how it has been until today.

(As an aside the Dr somewhat lacked in bedside manner. He kept asking how come I was so knackerd so young! He was obviously under the impression that arthritis is for old people only.)

The most frightening thing was how quickly I had become dehydrated and how ill and disorientated that had made me. Imagine if this had happened during the week when I am on my own.

This morning I feel much better. I have a dog show tomorrow and I am wondering whether or not I am fit to go. I shall see later. It is a 300 mile round trip. I really want to go but I have to wait and see how my tummy is I guess. I hate the idea of wasting the £25 entry fee and not seeing my friends.

You know there are some very good people to be met thru this medium and I appreciate that. There are some nice loons as well and then there are the sick nasties. Recently, there was a regretful discussion about alapca on a list. Speaking for only my posts at no time did I get personal with anyone, no personal attacks and no rudeness. I cannot say the same for some of those written by others. (oh and I to make sure I was not fooling myself, I re-read every post I sent on the subject in case it slipped me by!). Anyway, insiginificant you'd think, wouldn't you? Well a week later and I am still getting vile personal attacks anonymously about this subject. Seems like some people really don't like others to have an opinion that differs from theirs. One of the great things the net did for me was show me the sickness in others which I had not been aware of before.

One good thing about being able to speed read - you can scan a message and quickly know what sort it is and delete the mean spirited ones without reading it. It only takes a couple of key words and you know the type it is and trash it unread.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I am sick, cna't manage thr relpies i owe for email ect. will be back to normal soon i hoep cos this aint fun

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Meant To Be?

How many times have heard people say when something happens that it was 'Meant To Be' or that it was 'God's Will' really depending on what one's belief system is.

New Age or Religious, the thinking is the same. Magical .

Such sayings are like whistling in the dark, pretending we are not scared.

Now stop and think about it.

A child dies a painful death from cancer. What sort of God do you believe in that requires such a thing to happen? What belief system have you chosen that is so cruel?

The Holocaust, Rwanda, Kosovo. God's Will? Meant to be?

If you think so than I suggest a rethink is in order. What we believe makes all the difference to our lives and to the world we live in. Each of us creates our own world by how we think.

No I don't mean we can think up a grand house and it will magically appear! But we can think up a grand house and then put it on paper and then build it! All such things start as thought.

We each inhabit our worlds. Huh? How is that then?

Simply put, we all think and all of us have beliefs, even if we are unaware of it. We have experience and we all INTERPRET that experience. It is this creation of meaning that creates the individual worlds we inhabit. None of us sees the world in quite the same way as the next person.

Do you believe in God? How can you answer that without knowing what I mean by God?

Anyway, as usual I digress from the original point-God's Will or Meant To Be.

First off, no matter what anyone says, not one person on this planet knows what God is or what God's Will is. No matter how they dress, no matter what their 'position', no matter what their knowledge of 'sacred texts', they do not know. Do not believe the lie that they do.

And the same goes for New Age guru's. They don't know either.

The aim of both these types of people is to keep you in their thrall, to have control over you. To have riches hear on earth. Power and money.

I have come to understand that inside of me, I have what I need to stay standing no matter what life throws at me. I have come to understand that is a power greater than you and I that I can tap into. I can ask this power for help. I can sit still and meditate and allow this power to do it's work. It is really simple. It does not require that I believe any given thought system. It does not require that I believe any 'sacred texts'. It doesn't require that I be anything other than who I am.

This power can be felt, most often when one is in a group of people where that group is there for a common purpose-to heal. I.E. support groups!

I think we can get off track and bogged down by trying to understand what we will never understand-God, the Universe, why we are here, how we are here and where we are going.
These questions will not have an answer for us. At least not here and not now.

So once again getting back to God's Will and things being Meant To Be. We need to think this through.

If we believe in either of these two concepts(basically the same) we logically have to accept that when a child is abducted, raped and murdered that the perp was following God's Will, doing what was Meant To Be.

Now the concept of God's Will and Meant To Be doesn't feel quite so comforting does it?

The Law of Attraction, as being pushed right now by Oprah Winfrey and The Secret, tells us that things happen to us because we attract them to us by our thinking. So back to this abducted child. What did they think that allowed this to happen?

It all boils down to this one sick, damaging idea-that bad things only happen to bad people. It is OUR fault no matter happens. Powerlessness is frightening, really frightening. It is one of the reasons(and only one of them) that children who have been abused feel guilty. One of the paybacks of guilt in this situation is that we can hold onto the belief that we were in control. That we were not powerless. That we were not victims. I do believe this is one reason why 'victim' has become a dirty word and that it has been substituted with a lie - that we were not victims but survivors. It is partly true - as the best and most dangerous lies are.

Now this way of thinking does have it's payback, it's advantage. It gives us the illusion of having control! As long as we think this, we can whistle in the dark and not be afraid. We can tell ourselves, I am a good person so nothing bad will happen to me. We can live with this lie, this fantasy and we might even live our whole lives with it. More often than not though, we are floored along the line because something bad does happen to us or those we love and we are then plummeted into Hell because our belief system, which we created to allay our fears, tells us it was our fault because we must have been bad after all.

In a way we are putting 'other God's Before Me'. We are following guru's, priests, preachers, our own ego and pride and above all FEAR. We worship and glorify fear. And fear is not love. It is the opposite.

Another very damaging idea that we may hold is that another will pay for our 'sins'. This is so clearly not true. If this was so then all of those people who believe that all their sins have been 'paid for' will cease to suffer! Nothing bad will ever happen to them. They will be able to flout the LAWS.

Let me explain. I see sin as error, mistakes. Now if we break a law, even by mistake, the consequences of that will occur. No matter what. It won't matter what you believe. You will suffer the consequence of breaking that law. For example, you stick your hand in the fire. Your hand will burn. It really won't matter what you think. It will burn. You can believe that someone else paid for your sins all you like, your hand will burn.

So all your thoughts of fear, envy, sadness, guilt, shame, anger, pride,-all your experience of any sort of emotional suffering will cease because someone else has paid for your mistakes.

So obviously untrue.

The only person who pays for our mistakes is ourselves. We are each personally responsible. We are rewarded or not by our own thoughts and actions. We are not punished FOR our sins but BY them! Quickly, a woman I knew was suffering badly.She was very sad and depressed. The reason for this, according to her, was her daughter's terrible treatment of her. How awful, you think, naturally. Until you know this: her daughter refused to leave her husband and her children and 'come home' which is what the mother and the rest of the family wanted. Why? The daughter was a wicked woman. She had married a person of a different race, was not the same religion, and had children by him. How wicked!

So you can see how this woman, the mother, was being punished by her own sin. Her suffering would only cease when she realised her mistake and made restitution as far as was possible. However, as far as this woman was concerned her daughter was the wicked one so her suffering would continue.

And then there is the suffering that we can do nothing with but bear the best we can. We have physical bodies. They deteriorate. They dies. they cause pain. This is not our fault. This is the way it is. We can deal with it because we have to. We do not accept the blame for it. That won't help. We don't blame others, or God or fate. It just is and that power that is grater than ourselves can and will help us deal with whatever life throws at us.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Thank You

We went out doing domestic stuff this afternoon. The sun shone and I felt better, remembered to pop my pills so nothing hurt that much.

But I had a nagging feeling in my gut telling I should not have posted my last post(meritocracy). I tend to keep those fthougths to myself! It is really quite easy to write too much on a blog and feel exposed.

Anyhow, I got home and was pleasantly surprised, actually releived and moved by the kind comments you have left.

So thank you. I really appreciate the thought and effort you put in.


I have been very conscious recently of the fact that I am close to 50 years old.

On the one hand, I am amazed to be here and am very aware that I am lucky and many people do not get here.

On the other hand, I can't look at my life and feel like I have achieved anything or been successful at anything.

On a personal level, I have conquered anorexia, bulimia, drink and drug addiction, smoking, OCD, bi polar disorder and changed myself profoundly, managing to undo much of the damage done to my psych/soul by the abuse I suffered. On that level, I have succeeded. I am not the easist of people to like or to love,
that is clear, yet I am loved. I have been in a committted partnership for 26 years.

I have not succeeded at anything else. I have never earned my own living. I have never 'shone' at anything. I am adequate at a few things. I enjoy things and am passionate about them but that is personal and doesn't reach out beyond. I am adequate at my knitting but am no Kaffe or Alice or Debbie. I am not good enough to have made my mark there. I enjoy my dogs but have only in the last few years been able to go where I want with that and given my age, my disability, am not likely to get where I planned.

On a society level, I am invisible, worthless. I do not contribute anything. Meritocracies do not value people such as me. They only value those that can contribute. And even then it doesn' value the 'lowly' like street cleaners, teachers, nurses etc. You may be surprised at the last two but it is clear to me they are not valued-look at their pay!

We are told that we live in lands of opportunity. Yes we do - as long as you are inteligent, physically and emotionally healthy and do not have any disabilites.

I am aware of my luck-how I can pretty much please myself on daily basis. How I am no longer homeless. How I am no longer living in torment. How I more than survive now. How good my life is when i compare it to the lot of others.

It would have been nice to have achieved something. I know it may sound odd, but all of the people I know well are older than me by quite a bit. Assuming I am old when I die, there will be no one to say goodbye. And no one to remember that I was here.

Gosh, I never would have thought I'd ever think those thoughts. Mind you I never would have thought I would ever be this age either.

If life is only to be enjoyed, then I do that - mostly....

huh 2

I ought to have ignored the posts telling me how wrong I was re the alpaca. Of course the posters themselves did nothing wrong, they can't see anything wrong at all in what they wrote or their choice of words

I think it somewhat unrealistic to tell someone that their experience is wrong / mistaken and at the same time expect that they will just roll over and say 'of course, madam, I was wrong'. It really doesn't occur to them at all that their words did of course imply that either was deluded or lying. But they choose not see that.

I made the mistake, one I have avoided for ages, of getting into a discussion about it. I will remember not to in future cos it makes me look stupid and feel bad.

IF I choose to offer up any information in future to a request for it, I shall have to remember to ignore those that will knock it down, or remember to do it privately.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oh Dear

I really must remember on bad pain days to keep out of email discussions..........

Ms Anonymous

If you think you have something of value to say have the courage to do so without being anonymous. Only a coward does that.

Before you condemn someone, look to yourself.


In response to an query on a knitting list, I replied that Alpaca does not shrink in the wash nor in tumble dryer. That is my experience of a 25 year plus knitwear designing / knitting career. Of different brands of Alpaca.

As a result of this, I am told I don't know yarn(your alpaca can't be pure) or that I am lying, though not so bluntly. Why would I lie? I have been patronized and insulted by the back door.

I wonder if this is because some people can't get their head around a man knowing what he is doing in this field? Over the years, I have noticed that female knitters / designers are fawned over. Males get knocked. (Kaffe and Brandon excepted.) How really rather pathetic. I have no wish to be fawned over but I have no wish to be patronized, told I don't know my craft or have it implied that I am a liar.

edit: in answer to questions...the only alpaca I have had that shrinks easily is a wool alpaca mix. None of the pure 100% alpaca has shrunk upon machine washing and tumble drying.

edit number 2: okay so now i am told that this guy's alpaca shrunk when he washed in the machine. He wondered why. it wasn't 100% alpaca, his was 80/20 with wool. Duh! Others are still banging on and on about this. Insisting that they are right and alpaca felts. I didn't at any point say Alpaca did not felt. I said if you machine wash it on a wool cycle and tumble dry it on hot it will not shrink. I was sent a link that showed you how to felt alpaca as proof that it felted. I'd f***ing felt too if you did that to me!
It seems to me these people are being deliberately obtuse. Or they really are thick which I sincerely doubt. They don't seem to realise that 1. this only refers to 100% alpaca fibre and 2. only to normal sweater washing in the machine, not deliberate felting techniques.

5 weeks

It is five weeks today since I had a fag. 5 whole weeks after 33 years of smoking. No aids, no chews, no patches. Just no fags. Cold turkey. (Now where did that saying come from?)

I can hardly beleive it. I want to explain how I got here but i won't until I am sure I am here, if you know what I mean.

A Day At A Time ( or less)

For the first time, I allowed this pain to get to me yesterday. Not one part of me doesn't hurt. All my joints, my groin, my hands, my legs, my hips, my chest. A constant nagging aching sometimes burning pain.

It isn't severe. When it is severe and I can hardly walk I can cope. I take pills, I rest a lot and I know it will pass.

However, this pain does not pass. It hasn't in years. It is there always. Pills don't releive it. It slows me down. It annoys me. Mostly I can and do distract myself-hence all the knitting and dog grooming!

Last night, though, I allowed my thinking to wander way past my usual limit. I started to think about the future. That scared me. I do not think ahead. I learned very quickly when I realised this deisease was here to stay and so was the pain, that I would have to really keep my thinking to within short spans. Why? Because the idea that I might have another 40 years of 24/7 pain is not a happy idea. It is quite horrifying. So I don't think about it.

I remain grateful for the life I have. I do everything I can and want to do, no matter how I am feeling. Dog shows, knitting, grooming -I do what I want to do and do not let my body dictate to me. Okay, I am not totally stupid and do make concessions-like the wheelchair and my sticks. Well, without my sticks I'd fall over anyway!

I still think this pain is so much easier to deal with than the emotional torment I lived with all those years.

I take co-codomol and diclofenac or ibrprofen and codiene on its' own. I only take these when I really really need to and for dog shows. I also have tramadol but to be frank have never taken them as I am scared to do so. They are a more heavy duty pain killer.

I don't really know where I was going with this post. Perhaps I was hoping for some insight to come. Maybe just having a moan will help.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Trekking Sock and John in Sweater!

The yarn is Trekking (XXL) colour 100, 75% New Wool and 25% Nylon. I like this yarn. It is softer than any Opal yarn I have used. I knit it on 2mm for ribbing and 2.25mm for rest. One long circular needle.

This is my best fitting sock so far. I knit it over 80sts. I did a 40 row heel flap, picking up 21 sts either side when it came to the gusset. I also only decreased to 58 for the toe which suits my uncrushed toes better.

For added interest, I purled every 10th row to make the garter ridge.(i.e row 10, row 20, row 30 etc)I really like this heel. Very easy to do neatly. I knit the first 4 sts on either side of flap in garter stitch. I also knit a German 'strap' heel. Now until I knit this I had assumed it was a really different heel. It isn't. It is knitted exactly the same way as a Dutch 'square' heel! Just over a different set of numbers. The result is the same in look but a better fitting heel for me.
John modelling sweater. Variation of the blue one shown on earlier date. Again the yarn is 2 x 2/15's 50% merino, 25% cashmere and 25% silk. Garter rib done using the garter carriage on a Brother 940.
Close up of neck. One of them could be neater.....