Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Love Your Blog - Gratitude, or the second episode

Obviously, I gone an' done it again!
There's a second podcast for you to enjoy or cringe at, whichever, it's a thing that I did.

Again apologies for the sound quality, but my poor time management skills mean that I'm not in  a position to learn a new piece of software with accompanying skillset tonight. Sorry, not sorry.

Some useful links:
#Hapalong by KnitBritish

Aestlight by Gudrun Johnston

Mama Vertebrae by Kelly Brooker

And then of course I remembered, the Book Club Book!

Mayhem by Sarah Pinsborough  was discussed and ended up with a score like most others. We score strategically, helping a book along if we like it. It was generally enjoyed, even if *some* had some issues with the language. I didn't and the setting appeals to me, as well as the detective story part of the storyline. More please!
(Oh, it's using a number of really happened for real murders around the time of Jack the Ripper's A Bit More Than 15 Minutes of Fame. Mix in a bit of the supernatural, an unlikely love interest, a dr. Bond and a bit of opium, and there you have it, a book that I've finished reading!)

I'll keep you informed of the next one, The Godless, by Ben Peek. It has a lot of pages that one....


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Love Your Blog - Mothers Who Stare at Goats, or a short tale of a wonky inner eye

This week's prompt (or last week's, but this one had to percolate for a while) is Ugly. It didn't seem like a subject I wanted to talk out loud about, so you'll have to read this one for yourself. Sorry, not sorry.

So, Ugly. Like beauty, you can find it in the eye of the beholder. I try not to behold a lot of ugly in my eye as beauty is so much easier on it.. Frankly, I reserve the ugly for inward looking* which means it's confession time. 

Hello, my name is J, I'm 36 and I carry around a lot of self-loathing, disappointment and very little hope. I keep all of this in a tightly sealed container, so you don't have to fear contamination (much). Periodically the seal breaks and if other life challenges coincide, the lid flies clean off, carrying me along in a downward spiral**. It's not a pretty sight, in fact, it does get quite ugly. On the inside, of course.*** 

I know I'm not the only one who suffers from a Wonky Inner Eye. Lots of otherwise lovely people have written about it. Some have trouble getting the lid back on, while others are working very hard on emptying the container. 
I'm working on it. When WIE takes over completely****, I stare at Goat Boy***** and start a podcast. 

That's enough for now, I'm not ready nor willing to delve any deeper. You deserve better. I have tea and thoughts of gin that need my full attention. Next week will be better, promise.


*don't try this at home
**nothing at all like a "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE slide" whatsoever. Unfortunately.
***unless you find yourself very close, you might never notice, which is exactly how I'd like it to remain, above all, one must be liked.
****hormones are a bitch. get out of my brain tyvm.
*****not his actual name

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Love Your Blog - Beginnings

This Blog has always been about Beginnings. New adventures, new hobbies, new projects. I begin stuff *all the time* of which my pile of WIP's is really all the proof you need. So for this one, I thought I'd try a new thing altogether.

Oh yes, I did it. I apologize for the questionable quality of the sound. I've just recorded on the phone and not done any editing. Life, short, etc. I do hope you enjoy it, please let me know!

With special thanks to all the ladies (and gents) who went before me, and have been such pleasures to listen to. I can only aspire to stand in your shade.

Links of interest:

Ripples Crafts (also check out her blog for stunning images of Assynt)

Dutch Wool Diva (who just started a vlog, Dutch only, I'm afraid. Good excuse to learn a new language?)

Lattes and Literature (Books, games, coffee and cake. It only needs yarn to be perfect)

Please to enjoy!

Love, J

A Playful Day

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Love Your Blog - A Challenge

I just fell off the limited-carb wagon. I'm doing it right, it's a brownie pudding, with real bits of cookie* because it's just not on to fall off over something insignificant. I'm eating it from the bowl it came in with a teaspoon. I can stop any time I like, but for now, I don't really want to. For one, holding on to that spoon is keeping me from writing a lot which is something I've been avoiding.

So thanks, APlayfulDay, for taking the spoon out of my hand, thanks a lot. Love Your Blog? That is a challenge. Can you love a thing you've been avoiding? We'll have to see. The Spoon is Down**

Interactions and Community

Let's take that subject away from the blog. As much as I love all of you individual readers of this blog, Interaction and Community has never ever been a strong point, or even a point at all to this blog. Starting out as a readalong to my adventures (I went to the USA), musings on what now seems silly and insignificant***

(Dad walked in from dinner out and immediately started "testing" the pudding, repeatedly)

to a record of my crafty adventures, it's those crafty adventures that have lead to Interactions, and Community. And then there was the Bubs, and with him the interrupted nights and the eventual return to 32+ hours at the mind-numbing work and before you know it, 2 years have passed and hardly a peep on the blog. Sorry.

Not sorry. I just erased a long paragraph about exactly why the blog has been so quiet. Being a soloMUM and longdistanceWIFE most of the time, struggling employee for too large a part of every week leaves little room to be wordy about being crafty. So there. I invite you to keep up by medium of Twitter and Instagram, if you so wish. Fewer words, easier postage, doable.

Coincidentally (not really) that's where most of my interactions take place. It even leads to a sense of community, in my own twisted way. Without once buying a thing from Helen, it was through Twitter that I ended up on her retreat, as a last solo-trip**** to Scotland before the arrival of the Bubs. If you've paid lots of attention, you'll know it was her that gave the Bubs its nickname. There's a special bond if ever you went looking for one. It was the desire to hug her in real life that took me on my first, uncomfortable outing, once again to Scotland, by my single lonely self.

By Gods, that's rough, isn't it? Pretty much all of the trip would make a good tragicomedy (from a rebooting phone not playing alarm clock by way of a middle-of-the-night false fire alarm cutting a much needed sleep in a Bubs and Husband-free environment short in its infancy to airport security insanity induced running in knitwear)***** but the worst bit was being away and not being entirely comfortable with that at all. But I did it, and boy did I get a reward!
Not only did I get to give Helen an (almost but not quite awkwardly) long hug, I also got to meet her friends Lizzie and Dorothy and be known as the heavily pregnant lady who climbed up a hill only to announce having a slight fear of heights. It was delightful to re-meet Louise and newly meet her mother, and the other Louise who clearly understands the importance of a large piece of chocolate cake. I watched Shiny and spotted Sparkly, admired Devine doing her thing. I hugged Bookish, who is much further along in being smart and clever and surprised me by even knowing who I am at all to begin with. And then there was tea with Isobel and a chat with Fiona and a second with Kath and one with Stevan. I got a sock knitting tip from Mel whom I only knew from pattern pictures and found out that John loves going to Utrecht where I once went to uni. (edit: Also Suuf and her sister(s) and probably a lot more people I'm currently forgetting)

It was lovely and inclusive and for a good while I wasn't on the outside looking in. And when I wasn't I was Woolly'ing it outside looking out. Or running around awkwardly like an indecisive headless chicken spotting other people's children. It was amazing and awful and next time there will be more gin****** and photographs*******. And possibly a little more yarn-buying. Bugger that exchange rate...

Proof I was there

Interactions and Community? Yes, I can do that for a day. The rest of the days I'm getting more comfortable with not being an actual part part of it. Outside looking out, taking it day by day and grabbing a moment or two when they pop up even if they are few and far between. It's nice to know it's out there though, waiting.


*mmmmMona toetje
**it's in my tea, where it belongs, alright?
***this is encouraging. They appeared big at the time, mayhaps the current struggles will turn into mouse-sized items over time, ha!
****that's no longer true
*****you should've been there. It was "great"
******there was none
*******there are a few