Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Knitted on 2.75mm circulars, back and forth using Drops Baby Ull. Still in progress. My own design.

Neck done firstly using 2mm and continued with 1.75mm


Monday, January 28, 2013


My Dr is so good. I am having blood tests on Wednesday and then a double appointment with her. We will find a way to juggle or change my drugs to see if this alters my weight. The blood tests is to see if my thyroid is okay am,ongst other things. 

I have not ever felt so uptight about my health. Pain is easy, I can deal with hat but the need for lots of sleep and the weight gain despite eating little is doing me in. I must get my routine back and I just am not able to. I have been swimming almost daily, which is good, but it is at differentent times of day. I used to be up, no trouble, at 6am every day, and finished swimming and home by 8.30am. This left the rest of the day to rest, do dogs, knit, nap, whateverv. I want that back.

I am NOT depressed. I am juts angry and upset about this inability to get into routine. My Dr understands its a problem and she also understands how my equilibrium is best served by being in a good routine. I can't bear this hodge podge way of doing things. Like this morning I ought to have driven John to the Dr for his appointment and I could not get out of bed. I did not wake again until 11am. I am not dozing, I am not dreaming. I am in deep sleep without waking for anything up to 11 hours and then I think oh shit, i won't sleep tonight and yet i go to bed at the normal time, I start to read and I wake 10 hours later, sitting up, kindle in my lap, on the same page. I don't feel fatigued at all during the day. I am in very much more pain since last Monday and am taking much more pk's but not more than previously able to handle. I don't feel sleepy on them and I do NOT take them with my night drugs becasue morphine gives me nightmares.(common side effect.) 

I've got Cruft's coming up and I am so afraid I won't have an outfit to wear and I'll look like a crippled slob. I HAVE to get rid of this weight, only 10 fucking pounds, but it has stuck like glue. I am eating no more than 1500 cals a day and it hasn't budged an ounce. I don't want to go back to the 'the man  with the sticks'.I LOVE dressing up and it makes me feel real, it makes me exist as COLIN, not ignored and abandoned. I feel helpless. I want it back. I love that man, the one I finally became and now I feel like he is slipping away and I am becoming the man of old, the victim, the miserable fat crippled slob I was for years when I thought everything was my fault. I don't understand this at all. I can feel him slipping thru my fingers each day going further away. I can't let that happen but I don't know how to stop it. I can feel myself drowning.

I can deal with pain. I don't care about pain. I am expert at dealing with and ignoring pain. It's all this other shit with it I can't handle and makes me feel so desperate. 

My idea was to come off all of my drugs and see what happened but Dr has explained that would be crazy and dangerous.

I love being in the water despite it hurting like hell but eyes closed, mind on something importnat to me, likke the puppies, and soon I am away from the pain and moving freely in the water. In the water, once the pk's work and my mind trick works, I feel so free and warm and agiule and weightless. It is truly gorgoues. I do enough of it for iot to be considered a good wrokout. Yet still my weight won't budge. Damn. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Although you would not think so from the poeple appearing ion the tv talking about it, Holocaust memorial Day DOES include gay people, disabled people, gypises etc. Did you know that gay survivors, far from being helped and compensated, were in fact imprisoned and considered to have brought the holocaust upon themselves. Unfortunately, every speaker on this day have so far failed to mention the gay people who suffered and died in the camps, let alone those who survived and whose stories were ignored and suppressed.

The type of hatred that led to the Holocaust is rife today. I red it on here very day. Every time I hear people moaning about the East Europeans, the lies about how Muslims wih 10000 kids egt free houses and benefits, every time I hear about about 'foreigners' getting benefits and housing just by turning up. THIS is what led to the the Holocaust.

Every time I hear ga pople being spoken of as if we are 'less than', every time I hear the disabled referred to as frauds and 'costing too much'. 

THIS is why I am so vocal and adamant about such things. I KNOW where it can lead. Anytime you de-humanise us, the Holocuast is just around the corner. Every time you de-humanise ME, I shudder. I know my history. I don't forget the holocaust. When I was young and learning about it, first hand too as we had friends who were survivors, one Jewish , one gay. I though back than that this was another world they were talking about. I never in a million years thought it would happen again. Yet it has happened agin-in Africa, in Bosnia. And listening to the rhetoric of my fellows on FB, in the newspapers, on Twitter etc I fear very much that it could happen again here. We are in bad economic times. Instead of saving our ire for the rich and the bankers and politicians, we have turned against each other, juts as those in power want, and it is this that can so easily lead to another holocaust.
I feel a shudder of fear whenever I hear our religious leaders condemning me as evil, as the reason society is falling apart, as a danger to children, as the source of all that is evil in our society. What is more they are allowed to! Just swap black, jew, asian, for agy and you just might see the evil in theri words. But, hey, as long as it's not you they are condemning, it's okay isn't it? Seriously, when you read/hear Melanie Phillips, Hitchins, the Pope, the archbishop, Widdicomb speak about us, substitute the word gay for black, jew, woman, asians and you just might get it.

Telling me to ignore it, in other words shut up, doesn't wash. Until the threat to m y life and the lives of others is not threatened on a daily basis by these bigots, I will not shut up.

Friday, January 25, 2013


This yarn is beautiful to work with and to wear. I use two ends knitted on 4mm needles. You can see my previous sweater knitted with this yarn here:  Alpaca
This is going to be another aran. I have knitted one, my very first, in this yarn before. You can see that here:  Alaska
I have not used this yarn before. it is by Peace Fleece and is 75% wool and 25% mohair. This will be an aran type sweater.
I have not used this yarn before either. It is 100% Peruvian wool. This will also be an aran type sweater.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

mary grace

I filmed this today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


John and I were talking but I cannot remember what about. All I can remember is what he said: your trouble is you always think that you don't deserve it.

I know I have touched on this subject before, particularly when  I bought the dream hi-fi system for us both. I still look at it and wonder how I could have done such a thing. However, this does not stop me from using it and appreciating the beautiful sound.

Barely a day goes by that I do not feel grateful for what I have. Perhaps though gratitude is not what I actually feel. It may be much closer to guilt.

 Here I am up late in a fair bit of discomfort. I can only say that I have brought this discomfort upon myself. I have been doing this to myself quite a lot recently. And I find myself sitting and wondering what on earth am I doing.

 I have a somewhat rigid eating regime that I have managed to stick to for many years.  It is vital for my health and my well-being that I do this. Recently, I have been going off the rails. Occasionally at first through most of 2012 until the last two or three months where it has become much more than occasionally. Never mind what this does to me psychologically, it causes me much physical discomfort and pain. In the long run through weight gain it causes too much stress on my already in trouble body and my diseased heart.

As I ponder this, I sit in our beautiful new living room looking at our beautiful TV and the furniture and the hi-fi system. I am also surrounded by my lovely dogs and my new puppies. I think of how the last few years have seen my dreams come true with regard to my dogs and their showing success. I also think of John, this wonderful man who has been at my side for better or for worse for nearly 32 years. It has not been at all easy as life with me has been extremely difficult as I came to terms with my past. He has loved me through out all of this.

What the f*ck am I doing?  Am I really going to let old tapes dictate to me that I am not good enough for all of this? That I don't deserve it?

Or is it really that I am afraid?  Since the day that we got married back on our 31st anniversary, July 7,  the fact that we will be parted because one of us is going to die has weighed heavily upon me.

As I write I begin to see that this has far much more to do with fear than it has to do with guilt. As a child I was used to everything I felt anything for being taken away. We moved constantly. I was always lied to and told that those I was leaving would be there when I returned. We never did return. We did once briefly return and it was clear to me that life had moved on and they barely remembered me. Later it was  the leaving of my dogs that broke my heart because I had by then given up being close to people. I hold my head in my hands in a mixture of sad  resignation and a feeling of shame that I cannot just keep the f*cking past in the past.

 Most certainly I have not worked in the conventional sense but I most certainly have worked my balls off to have what I have today; my 32 year relationship,  my dogs and our home.

It took absolutely everything I had to get to where I am. I cannot imagine any work being harder than the work I have had to put in just to survive. I sometimes wonder whether there is any point at all in trying to convey just how much tenacity, courage and strength  it took to get here. I cannot go back and show you myself at my very worst.  How can I explain how far down I was?

Yet still I allow others to throw me off and have me yet again measuring myself according to the yardstick of others. Maybe I need to try and stop explaining myself. I know and John knows and two of my closest friends know just what surviving took for me. The present state of my body is indeed some indication of the toll surviving took upon me.

It is time for me to put much of this to bed. Yes, I have survived and I have survived well. Whilst I will never deny my good fortune I must also stop denying what I have done to bring about my own good fortune. I also realise that it can be considered ungrateful of me to now not enjoy the life I have built for myself.

 I do not know how many tomorrow's we have left together. None of us knows that. I have not let fear stop me reaching out for the healing of my mind and my spirit and now that I am in this good place I must not let my fear of tomorrow ruin my today.

If I step outside of myself and look over my life and look at what I now have it makes no earthly sense whatsoever to deny myself the enjoyment of it.

 I have worked my balls off for every bit of it. I have earned it. It was not handed to me on a plate. I did not steal it.  I did not take it from anybody. I did not step upon anybody to get it.

No, I earned it and it is time that I straightened my back and enjoyed it.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Friday, January 11, 2013

Megan Moving


Wednesday, January 09, 2013


These were using one of my own Knitmans Kitchen yarns, 80% sw merino 20% bamboo, 400m to 100gm. I used Chiao Goo Red Cable 2mm circulars, both knitted simultaneously. I used my own Andersson Toe Up Method and used the Andersson Heel Mach II.
I am glad I got a pair that pooled for me. A rare occurrence!



  I truly feel for you. here we have professional form fillers. Those who understand the forms and how to answer them. What one has to understand from the outset is that they will do all they can to make sure you do not get the benefit, including lie. So one needs these professional people on our side. The questions are designed to trap you. The very first question about mobility, if answered wrongly, will not score and they will not go any further looking at the claim. They will reject it there and then at the first question. Why? The question asks if one can propel oneself a certain distance (with sticks, a wheelchair). I would have answered yes, in a wheelchair. I would not have thought it necessary to point out that my wheelchair is electric. So I fail. 

Also, people need to say, yes, but with resting time. yes but with a lot of pain. yes with bad gait and balance. yes but then i couldn't go further and I'd need a day to get over it. They also do not take into account that conditions, most, vary day to day and what one can do one day, one cannot the next. 

Then there are those question about how often one needs to toilet and how long does it take? Some adjucicators will think that if one pees into a bucket, you don't need help completely ignoring the fact theat said bucket could not be emptied by the disabled person and the fact that the benefit is supposed to help one live a NORMAL life. My life is not normal. 

One question we were asked is how long does it take me to get up and dressed to go out. I had no clue. John said about 3 hours and I said to him, don't exaggerate, that won't help. Well, the form filler said we should time it. 

From getting out of bed, taking drugs, getting washed, getting dressed, putting shoes on, and being ready to go out. On a good day that took 2hrs and 43 minutes. Shocked? Yes, so was I . 

You see most of us deal with it by adapting. Adaptation is slow and unnoticeable. I had been sick for many years. I refused help for years. I refused drugs. I refused to accept I was disabled. I ended up stranded in Stockholm, in terrible pain, unable to walk and very frightened. I have used sticks and a wheelchair ever since because I realised that without I was limiting my life. I still refused drugs to help me until the end of 2007. As a result, I have nerve damage and it takes more drugs to ease pain than it would have had I medicated 20 years earlier. 

Untreated pain causes nerve damage and means that more drugs are needed to be effective. Anyway, back to the form: I used to say i could shower myself. I can, after a fashion. But that isn't what is meant. You see, being proud and stubborn and tenacious, I would say yes I can shower myself when what that means is I can manage to get my clothes off and then on because I do not wear proper clothes but 'leisure 'wear (fancy word for PJ's) when I know I a need to shower. I can stand under a shower. It is dangerous with out stuff to lean on or hold onto thus I did it only at the pool for years and if I was too sick or too immobile to go to the pool I did not shower, maybe for two weeks. So when I can shower, I dress over a wet body or sit and wait to air dry. That means my answer whould be NO. 

I cannot use heavy pots and pans or handle knives. Thus my veggies are all bought ready done or John has to do them. Mostly I eat chicken cos it is ready cooked and I nuke it to warm it. When I have steaks that need cooking it is done in a pan that is already on the hob and all I have to lift is the meat. 

You see, I look okay to most people unless you see me in my wh/chair or on both sticks. Even then you'd have no idea exactly what I can't do or can do. I cannot write anymore. I am often asked to fill out forms and I always say, 'I am sorry, I can't write'. I also always add, 'I used to be able to write but my illness makes it impossible now' because I do not want people to think I can't write. I know it ought not matter but it does. 

When I go out for day or to a dog show, I overdose on morphine to ensure I do not have a bm. The same when we go shopping for the day or on holiday. Yes, if I am out with John I always could have him help me but really I do not want that. It's bad enough that he has to do all sorts for me. I know he loves me and I know he likes to help me but there are limits for me. 

So with knowing just a small part of what we go through perhaps people will see why we are so upset at the attacks upon us and the thoughtless comments. 

People also need to know that disability is not just about the money. Without the Blue Badge I'd be unable to go most places and holidays would be out of the question. Without a car, I'd not be able to go to the supermarket. Anywhere. I'd not get to my Dr's surgery. 

Those who know me know I can walk. Those who know me well know how I walk and those who are close know the pain it causes. 

 I really have no idea how the fakes manage it. Nor do I understand why they would put themselves through the humiliation and abuse to get a measly sum of money. I also don't see how they can afford to bribe Dr's for a serious diagnosis AND get serious drugs out them. 

You see it is not enough to have the diagnosis. If i also wasn't being given copious amounts of heavy duty drugs, and have prescriptions to prove it, I'd fail. 

I also am expected to see specialist and physios. Even the physio knows that doing serious physio is not possible but we go thru the rigmarole anyway. 

Lucky for me I can swim and I can put my mind elsewhere when i do because although the drugs stop severe pain when swimming, it doesn't stop my left arm going numb, electric shocks travelling down both arms. I am lucky because I am able to think of other things and get lost in that. I know most people cannot do that. I don't think they are fakes or they are lazy. I learned disassociation in a horrid horrid way so I now use it for good. I don't blame others for not being able to. 

 For the last couple of years any meeting with people, no matter how casual, if the conversation lasts, it inevitably turns around onto the economy and I know when it does I am about to be insulted. They will always, ALWAYS, bring up the disabled and how terrible it is how the frauds give the 'real' disabled, like you, God we don't mean you, we know you are genuine, no we mean those frauds who make it bad for those like you. In affect it is THEY who making it bad for people like me because they have swallowed the lie and keep repeating it. 

Now it is foremost in people's minds so that when they see a disabled person or a Blue Badge they think 'fraud'. I have written far more than I intended but it needs to be said and perhaps some will take it on board or they won't. 

We can all think we know someone who is defrauding the system. But we cannot know for sure. That person may seem healthy to you. I have had people say to me'oh i have the same disease as you' as they go off to spend the day walking around the shops. 

 How about this though next time you think you want to blame: what about the workemn you pay in cash? The insurance claims you make that are not kosher? The cheap goods you buy and don't ask where they came from? The cash in hand jobs you do or have done? The cheap tobacco and booze you buy from the man down the road? Now because I know people who do this should I class you all the same? Should I say to you every chance I get'oh I know YOU don't but most people are defrauding th tax man.''. 

 Why do we, the poeple, who have elcted the people in government to govern FOR US behave as if the Govt are all powerful and that those we envy and want to emulate, the rich, are all good and benevolent along with the Govt and yet we save our ire and scorn for ourselves, the majority of whom are not rich and not politicians and bankers and we most certainly did NOT cause this mess and we are NOT the budren. 

The old are not a burden. the sick are not a burden. The disabled are not a burden. The poor are not a burden. Children are not a burden. The rich and the politicians and the bankers are the burden. 

 We need the rich. I have nothing against the rich. Without the rich we wouldn't have jobs. All those people in service industries would be out or work. The designers and factories etc. We need them and not all of them are tax dodgers or immorally rich. Look at the good Bill Gates does with his money and there are very very very many of them who do good and who are philanthropists and are humble about it. 

We need bankers. We need politicians. What we need though is for these rich and these bankers and our politicians to be HONEST, have integrity, and compassion, and who behave in an ethical fashion.

 It is not that they are rich or that thay bank or that they are politicaians that makes them bad. No it is the character flaws. 

 I am very fortunate. I have gone from being very poor to being comfortable. I have never once forgotten being poor. Not once. It is only in recent years I have started to spend on myself and feel okay about it. Prior to 8 years ago, I did not have more than 2 pairs of shoes for example! Gulit prevented me enjoying being comfortable for far too long.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Pussy's pups at 4 days old. 3 girls and 3 boys.


Sleep did not come easily last night.  The puppies were noisy and I had to be up three times to sort them out. There is nothing at all wrong with them they are nice and fat and healthy and that their mother, Pussy, is a little on the  dim side. She can be curled up with most of her letter that there would be one or two puppies on the other side of the whelping box and it is they who scream and she appears to take no notice!

 The other reason was pain. Nothing to say about this boring subject.

I was up at 6:30 AM so that I was able to drive it on to the train station. When I came back I went straight to bed and this time I went to my own bed upstairs instead of the settee next to the puppies.

 I found myself on Ravelry this morning  and this led me to reading posts I have made on this blog. It is really very interesting for me to read what I have written. It is rather clear to me from reading the posts of the last few months of the year that I did indeed have a bipolar episode last year. I may now be wondering whether it is true what my doctor and John and my friends have all said about how stressful last year was to me about reading my blog posts of last year, it is very clear to me that I was certainly not my normal self.

Pussy's  look quite delightful and I'm very pleased to have them. I do think it is very remarkable that there are three pairs. I have a black-and-white boy and the black girl. There is also a red gold girl and the red gold boy.  and then there are two parti colour,  a boy and a girl,  but I'm not certain whether they are red and white or brindle and white.  One could not have designed this better!

Today is going to be a quiet day. I did at least get a good swim yesterday which helps me deal with the fact that today is one of those days where I have more or less completely run out of spoons.  (If you wonder what that is about just Google Spoon Theory.)

Monday, January 07, 2013


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013