the highspeed weekend

In a funny sort of way, the hardest thing about my new routine is the weekend. It's not that I don't enjoy it or look forward to it; I certainly do, more than ever. Just that there's an increased tension between needing and wanting to get things done, to relax and to have time, quality or otherwise, with Grace. My dad said something to me on Sunday about entering a phase of micromanaging my life. Just thinking about that fills my head with little pinging sensations.

All in all though, it was a great weekend. On Friday I had the huge pleasure of spending some time with some lovely ladies from the blog world. Like Sooz said, it's pretty thrilling to meet new people this way and find that you have more to talk about than you ever imagined. Maybe it's because we're in essence reading each others diaries, hearing and telling our stories over a period of time.  Like an endless soap opera (in a good way). And it' seems almost certain that if I've enjoyed reading someone's blog over time, then I'll enjoy meeting them in person. It's a fascinating method of meeting people. One I'm sure that non-bloggers don't get, as in understand. Actually I'm beyond explaining the complexities of blogging. Anyway, the only thing that marred the day a little was the huge sense of guilt when I left and Grace said, mummy car, I come. And then threw herself on the floor and howled when I said no. She's not stoopid, she knows when I wear my jeans (or rather denim trousers) that I'm not going to work and that it might be the fun sort of outing. The guilt suspended while I was away (because it was really fun), but re-surfaced as the day drew to an end, until I was riddled with it by bedtime. Have to lose the guilt, it's perfectly reasonable that I should do things for my own enjoyment and no-one round here is saying that I shouldn't. Mantra for the month, lose the guilt.

On Saturday, I had plans to meet my sister and our cousin and her baby but it all fell through. Leaving me with a free morning. In which we pulled apart Grace's room, arguing about change table placement and me becoming more and more stressed because I really wanted to take Grace out to get some bread and pop into the opshop for some little baskets for her toys.  And I had washing on et cetera. It just seemed such an unpleasant waste of time to be arguing about where to put a piece of furniture.  In the end though, it all happened and her room is looking much better. And more importantly is much more interesting for Grace. Next up the loungeroom play area. Betty and buby-lee came over in the late afternoon and although that was a relaxing interlude, with much leebuby excitment on Grace's part, I still felt stressed by the end of the day. Perhaps because I had to cook while Dr Who was on. It's hardcore trying to relax when there's so much I feel I need to do, so much I'm thinking about. Again, lose the guilt. Stop trying so hard.

Sunday we took G's computer over to my Dad's. It has stopped working and at first we thought Grace may have shoved something in the drive, and I wouldn't put it past her, but the verdict is something else. Something to do with the raid drives. It appears that he may lose all his data. Sigh. Nonethess, it was a really enjoyable day. G drove, we listened to silverchair in the car, had lunch (including cake), and hung out. Grace was a delight, she's been talking all about Papa and Nina ever since. They've been away and now it's like they're the new flavour of the month. I got to take some pictures, not as many as I would like, but I've been thinking about the light in Dad's house and despite being a dull day, it was pretty good. Kind of inspires me a bit. The feeling from the day carried on for ages, and suddenly we all seem to be getting along better.

Ok, time to go to bed. I thought I'd get to read some blogs tonight, but maybe tomorrow. 

career woman's cookbook and other gems

There's a post brewing about my motherhood stuff. It's in draft form and every couple of nights I open it up and type a few words or a sentence here and there, and then suddenly feel really, really tired and have to aimlessly cruise flickr or go to bed. I think this draft is blocking me from writing about all sorts of other stuff. Like opshopping. Sometimes when I read dear meagan or fiveandtwo and about their fabulous opshop scores, alongside the vicarious pleasure ( a bit like the best kind of make believe/virtual/internet opshopping), I get this feeling oh, I don't go opshopping anymore, boohoo. Which is just not true. Not at all. There is always some opshopping (or trash and treasuring) in my life. Without it, I feel bereft, so lately I've taken to having a longer lunch break and once a week, striding down to one of the oppys near work. Last week I got some fantastic new tea towells and small tableclothes useful for draining glasses in the scullery. This week I found an orange folder of neatly ring bound women's weekly cooking supplements. I can't tell you how much pleasure it's given me, the touch of old paper, the history, the recipes. And this one spoke to me, not that I see myself cooking prawns at home on a weeknight.

I remember my mother making us dresses like this and I think there's some photos somewhere which I might drag out for a flashback friday soon. Except mine wasn't white, but lurid purple. A bit like the dress in Miles Franklin's, My Brilliant Career, you know the moment when she gets out the beautiful dress her mother has slaved over and it's all wrong, it's lurid and gaudy. All the other girls have dresses that are tasteful, pale and understated. And then she digs herself into an even worse hole and says it's the dress of some girl who died.

There is also a book on cooking with potatoes, some racey rice packet pictures, copha cooking (but no White Christmas or Chocolate Crackles which are the only foods occasionally justifying the actual ingestion of copha, in my opinion), spring lamb cooking (yum, yum pigs bum), some cakes and slices, kids cakes and a book of wedding cake designs. Which contained this one, for a young wedding

It's decorated with jasmine, pink rosebuds and the bride and groom design is flooded onto the cake. I don't know what that means exactly, but all the other designs look stuffy and middle aged by comparison. Not hard, I guess, when this couple look like very young children.

in the bath, in my clothes

SpcI took this picture during the weekend G was away in Queensland. In the sun, having a holiday. It wasn't easy holding the camera above the water as I tried to submerge further and further into the bath. Grace was hovering above me, amused by her mother in the bath, in the morning. She was momentarily distracted from the teletubbies video I had put on, hoping for a few moments to indulge my photographic whimsy. Sweet really, that she finds me so hilarious. Anyway, it's a long way from the original image, and uses a gradient meant to mimic being underwater. Quite fitting. I think I may have been influenced by the cover of Drift ,the final of a magical trilogy in which watery themes abound and currently on my bedside table.

The elements theme, as far as self-portrait goes, is one I've been feeling some resistance to. I'm not finding it easy, water being the stuff of feelings and emotions. Sometimes I think I'm too emotional, too ruled by those inner tides and I've spent a great deal of my life working really hard at sweeping all those pesky feelings under the carpet. Only to have them surface again. As they do.  At the moment I'm feeling less than thrilled about my anti-depressants which stop me sleeping and the pills that knock me out. A kind of One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small... type of feeling. Which led to a really interesting talk with my doctor last week. She thinks sleepers are still a good idea, and that it's not like before. We ended up having one of those sessions which I think in old school (but post freudian) psychiatry is called a break through. It had to do with my ideas of motherhood, about how I was mothered, about how my ideas of how to be a good mother conflict deeply with how my life is being played out and the choices I have. Issues which lots of women (and men) face. The guts of this are something for a future post, but the awakening of this in an emotional sense is very new for me. Something I've known about rationally for a long, long time. But to realise it in this way is very different. Freeing. Lightening. Something I can work with.

This is leading me to think about depression as an adaptive strategy, as part of the mechanism of social change. Not that anyone decides or chooses to be depressed, but perhaps as way of asking for help when you don't fit in where you expected you would. This theory (scroll down here until you get to the bit about social navigation or niche change theory) suggests that it is not only the depressed person who needs to adapt. That there are a complex set of social interactions going on. Deep interpersonal bargaining. Well, der..  Again, something to think about in a future post.

So that's me in the bath, with my clothes on. Make of it what you will. I'd best go to bed. Work tommorrow. View more people in their elements here.

another visit

We went to have another look at the tumbly down house. I still loved it and it was still kind of terrible. Perhaps it's because I like the idea of making a sad house into a home again. That's something I'm going to have to lose; we need to think of practical matters, like plumbing and whether it has postwar wiring, and whether the living areas will catch the light. It was good though, G liked it too and the dereliction didn't put him off. Indeed, I think it rather excited him. Although he was very serious about how much he thought the work would cost. And I know that with estimations of time and money, I need to double the money and quadruple the time.

 This time I took photos, but most of them are too sad. It looked there was a woman's touch that stopped somewhere in the sixties, or early seventies. And that from then on not much changed. Including dusting. In the laundry there were piles of socks hanging from a rail. You could see it in the garden too, the remanents of someone's effort and pride. The agent said that the old man's carers were going to come and clean it out, and I wondered why you wouldn't do that before the open for inspections.  The light's wrong in this house, well not unless the floor plan was totally rearranged, so even if we could afford it, this one's not for us. I'm going to have to learn how to detach.

There was also cooking

Well yes, that was a bit of a gushing forth the other day wasn't it? Funny, I had all these plans to sew during Grace's naps and do some bloggy stuff in the evenings, and garden, and cook. As it was, I watched a fair bit of tv at night (first season of the the sopranos on dvd) and raced around during Grace's naps picking things up, getting things ready or staring vacantly out the window wondering if I had time for a nap. I didn't. I now have a much renewed appreciation of how G and I work together so we each get some time to ourselves. He's back, he's rested and I'm enjoying us all being together again. Oh yes, indeed.

So what did I cook? Golden syrup dumplings which we had for afternoon tea on Sunday. Yum, yum, pigs bum (a phrase I'm teaching Grace, probably not a totally great idea, but we both find it funny). There was also cheesecake. Made in a blistering hurry, sort of using the recipe on the cream cheese packet and a little less sweet than I would have liked. Chocolate ripple base, lemon raspberry filling. I didn't whip the philly cheese properly, but all the lumps disappeared magically overnight. It was all eaten after lunch at Betty's on Saturday and pronounced delicious.

We've had lamb chops, sausages and I also roasted a chicken, with pumpkin, parsnip and onions. Most roast vegetable being on the banned list. Then I boiled a stock from the carcass and made soup. But put too many bits in it, so it ended up more like a chicken and barley stew. It was still nice, especially at the end when I strained most of the bits out, and then put the best bits back in. Yum, yum, pigs bum. Despite intially turning up her nose, Grace liked it too, almost as much as porridge. And there's bolognese in the freezer, although after talking with some of the women at work and I think I could improve on that one. Also bought some good bread from Natural Tucker (where they gave Grace a free muffin because she was being absolutely charming in the shop). Haven't bought good bread for ages and so have been eating toast for lunch.

The garden is a boggy, soggy mess of weeds and I haven't been at all tempted to get amongst it. Although there is lots to do. I did however manage to get out and appreciate the geranium leaves for a few moments. I love it how they change colour in the cold.

And we went and had a look at a ramshackle house. Along with every other person looking for a do-er-upperer in Brunswick. It was terrible, the roof had collapsed in places, the floor was wet in places and it was crammed full of stuff. And it stunk. The old guy had been moved out a couple of months ago but it was still awful to think that someone had been living there. Everyone seemed to be saying that it was a knock down, but I thought it had potential. Terrible, and probably more than we could afford, especially as it's a fair way of habitable, but definitely it had huge potential. It will be interesting to see what G thinks. He's the buildery one. I just have concepts. But I think he'd like it. Eventhough it probably isn't the one. I expect looking at houses is going to become one of my topics over the next few months. I wanted to take photos but I don't know whether that's the done thing, definitely not if people are still living there, but what about if the house is empty? 

weekend debrief

Can I start by saying that I breathed an audible sigh of relief as I dropped Grace off at Nana's this morning? That work was EASY compared to four days at home alone with her. Even with huge amounts of family support? I don't know how single parents do it, well not without going absolutely crazy. I guess I would turn into a super-duper-over-organiser-control-freak about some things and Grace would watch even more tv than she already does (finishing breakfast in the lounge room while I have a shower is a new habit). And I would be more tired than I ever believed possible. And some things would slide. Well, they'd have to, because there are only so many hours in the day. But I guess if you have to, for whatever reason, then you just do. 

I've realised a few things this weekend.  Carrying all that responsibility, even temporarily is huge. I felt it drop on to me the day G went away and then again on Sunday night. Just after I fell on a wet patch of lino. Grace had been doing pouring that I hadn't mopped up well enough (obviously) and on the way out to pick some herbs for the soup, I fell on my back. Carrying scissors which I luckily didn't shove up my nose. I started breathing fast with the shock of it; scared to move, scared that I'd really hurt myself, instantly worried about what would happen if I had. Relieved that I hadn't. Grace was watching teletubbies, oblivious. What else? It's lonely. Not that I didn't have lots of people around, I did. More that I missed being part of a couple. Talking about stuff, the domestic minutiae, hanging out, sharing a bed. For so long, I thought marriage like relationships were something other people did. There's probably many reasons for that, but even contemplating a life outside this one makes me feel so incredibly sad. It's so bloody hard sometimes. What with his shit, my shit, our shit. I guess that's what it's like when you've been together for eight, maybe that's the cycle of it.

There have been other thoughts going through my head about work, about being the main income earner. It occurs to me that when I was a feminist rabble rouser back in the early eighties, despite all the hot words, most women with children still had an expectation of staying home. At least for a while. I certainly don't remember there being many working mothers of young children in any of my workplaces. Where I work now, there are quite a few. Most are ten years younger than me and all work part time, but with the expectation of increasing their hours as their children get older. I'm the only one with a stay at home partner. Some of the men have stay at home partners, but not that many (although it's more likely the more children there are). However, there's still something much more acceptable about a woman staying at home full time caring for a child (and doing most of the housework) than a man doing so. And much more in the way of social opportunities (eg mothers group and chats at the park). It's definitely seen as odd to be living off one wage that's not quite full time. I wonder how much what other people think gets to me? And how much harder it must be for G?

There's part of me that's really proud to have this job and all it means. I'm starting to feel whirled up in the world of work again. There's career possibilities down the track and the work I'm doing now is of resume and reference building type. If I want it and work it, that is. And yet... four days with just me and Grace makes me realise anew what I miss when I go for the biggest part of her waking day. It takes me a while to get back into the rythym of where she's at and what she's trying to say; toddler language not always being something you pick up first listen. I miss the little explorations, the funny conversations, the new things that happen and knowing how to defuse the different types of tantrum. By the end of the weekend, she started saying I floor (as in I'm going to lie on the floor for a bit and carry on for a while if that's OK) before a bit of a tanty. Just so I knew, as I pretended not to notice. I miss us being together, even if it's a relief to have a break. Actually, I miss us all being together.

It's hard staying home. It's hard going out to work. I never expected to feel so pulled between the two  worlds. I guess I have a lot of working out to do. And I was going to write about cooking. Sheesh.

the mouse does play

There's nothing like a bit of absence to make the heart grow fonder. G's been away on a holiday since Tuesday. And I'm missing him terribly. Last night after dinner at Mum's, Grace ran up the path to the font door of our house saying hello, hello, hello as is our habit. The house sat cold and damp, unoccupied all day. No friendly light or face in the study window. Still, even over a few days we've built some little routines. Like running in and turning the lights and heater on. Feeding Tony. Grace does the shake, shake, shake of the dry food and I dole out the raw meat and try and stop her from eating cat crunchy bits (yucky) or pestering him as he eats. Then we cook dinner together(except for last night).

I'm taking the opportunity to cook food that I like and G doesn't. Lots of meat. Regressing to childhood comfort food. Lamb chops, sausages, potatoes; plain cooking served with steamed vegetables. The sort of food that goes well with tomato sauce. I think there's a roast chicken in the offing. And golden syrup dumplings, cheesecake maybe (if someone will come and help me eat it, because I looove cheesecake and I shouldn't have a whole one sitting in the fridge). And if I don't get sick of meat, some form of casserole, or bolognese. Or pea and ham soup. By Wednesday, I think I'll be hankering for bean pasta again.

Grace has been quite delightful overall. She loved staying at Nana's the days I worked. Yesterday I was really anxious about whether I'd be able to get us up, breakfasted, showered, dressed, lunch made and in the car by 5 to 8. Not saying it was easy but, it happened and I was even early for work. Which made me feel like I totally rocked. A feeling which carried through the whole day. Indeed I had a great day, with one particular interaction where I felt I did really good work. Even the customer thought so.

Today was harder. I swapped days so I had my one in four thursdays off, sort of like a built in flex. We caught up on some cleaning; putting away, dusting, vacuuming, grocery shopping et cetera. It's not that G doesn't do it*, but it hasn't been done all at once for quite a while. Grace arked up at one point, wanting to go for a walk down the lane. I said I'd take her to the park on the way to shopping but when we got there she wouldn't get out of the car and went all stiff and cried daddy, daddy, daddy park, daddy walk, daddy home. She's not articulate enough yet to say mummy sucks and I want daddy instead but her meaning was pretty clear.

She perked up once we got to the supermarket but was somewhat difficult in the vegetable section. There are several zuccini with teeth marks in the fridge now as a consequence. Grocery shopping with a toddler has the potential to descend into a particular kind of hell. Unfortunately I'd chosen a trolley without a restraint in the seat. We have a firm rule. Grace is allowed to walk, or stand on the back of the trolley until she starts being a clown. Two strikes and she's strapped in. Otherwise it would take me all bloody day and I'd be (more of a) screaming harridan by the end of it. Luckily a lovely safeway lady on her break helped me procure another trolley and change everything over. I nearly cried with gratitude. It got better after that and I ended by going and buying a $20 red. For the lonely nights. 

Over dinner she had a big long phone call with daddy and it was lovely to see her eyes sparkle when she realised it was him. She's been talking to him twice a day but it's really hard to explain to her that he'll be back in next Teusday. I think she's OK. Most of the time she seems pretty happy, she's eating, sleeping, playing all as normal. And we've got a few good things lined up over the next three days. Including going to an open for inspection with mum. The house is a bit derelict and will probably be more than we can afford but it's a house I've fantasised about numerous times. And it's about time I started having a proper look and getting a feel.

No doubt there will also be cooking and sewing, maybe some gardening and a bit of faffing with the blogs. Perhaps some picture hanging too. These are my garage sale scores from last week on the way back from our walk by the river. I have quite a collection of Australian gum tree scenes. They make me feel peaceful. Hopefully I'll be able to find the hammer and four inch nails, oops, I mean picture hooks.

*Added later; he actually does heaps which I'm going a new appreciation of. It's just that he cares more about the bathroom and the dishes and I care more about clean sheets and a tidyup. Dishes neatly stacked, of course. To be done in one big go instead of through the day.

rainy night

SpcI heard on the news last night that this winter is the coldest we've had in seven years. I think it's the wettest in a while too. So much so, that I pretty much take my green raincoat with me every time I go out. It has become my default coat. And I'm really doing my best not to complain because we need the rain. Also in the news, Melbourne's water storages have increased by 2%. A fraction of what we need, but it's good to see the numbers go up for a change.

The July self-portrait challenge is all about the elements; air, fire, earth and water. We're meant to pick one. I'm not sure how I'll go with that, but I guess water is the element I'm most drawn to. Being a scorpio and having a scorpio partner means it gets very watery around here. When it's good, it's like a tropical waterfall on a lovely day with butterflies in the air. At it's worst it's like being deep underwater. Cold, with lots of currents and hidden meaning. Speaking is difficult, but one can see the other gesturing frantically as they sink or rise to the surface. All you can hear are bubbles and nothing much makes sense. Not that I really believe in astrology. Still, I guess from here I could talk about the raincoat keeping me dry, allowing safe (if imperfect) passage through the rain which we need. But I think I won't. Who knows where that would lead?

In any case, this afternoon G flew north for a much needed holiday. Just a week. I miss him already and although Grace keeps saying daddy home, daddy home, she seems to be coping. She's used to one or other of us not being around for little chunks of time (and I did have that craft weekend). Here's hoping we find our way back to the nice, pleasant, warm water.

Take a dip in one or more of the elements here.


eight, eight I forget what eight was for...

Or in other words, eight random facts about me. Which I'm a bit stumped by to tell you the truth. It seems like I've done various versions of this, including the labourious one hundred. Oh, the agony! I think the challenge is going to be to come up with eight things I haven't mentioned yet. And the tagging. Yes, I'm going to tag because to be quite honest, I quite like being tagged, eventhough I find tagging others awkward. There's something friendly about it. I was tagged by Kris when she wrote her eight things.

First the formalities:

A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I have this very clear memory of being in the preps playground one playtime, of the gum trees and the bare hard dirt, and deciding that I wanted to be a writer. Having just written my first ever story book, about finding a lost ring, thinking it was the best thing ever. To make a story and write it in a book with drawings and coloured paper, all stapled together. I hope they still do that in primary school when Grace goes. I still have mine and it's very touching and a complete cack all at the same time.

2. As it's been so cold this year, I've been thinking of going cross country skiing again. Eventhough it's been probably fifteen years since I last went and I'm really not fit enough (although I am now a non-smoker) and I no longer have any of the gear and even if I did, I probably would have forgotten how to stop and turn. Even so, I'm yearning for the drive through the black spur, the smell of mint bush and eucalypt and the white of a snow trail. And then the burst of colour when you come down the mountain again. If we did go, it would probably be in August when the weather improves and there's easy porridge to ski on.

Me skiing at Lake Mountain, probably 1991.

3. Grace often asks to have porridge for dinner and a couple of weeks ago I gave in and let her have it two nights in a row. Then I decided that as she has porridge for breakfast, it's not such a great idea. We're still fighting that battle.

4. I'm a really careful driver. Like a total Nana. I nearly had an accident when I was first driving and it really freaked me out that I could have hurt the people who were passengers. So for years after, when ever I got in my car I would remind myself that it was a metal instrument of death. And would concentrate.

5. That said there, have been plenty of times in the past when I drove home from parties and stoner gatherings when I really shouldn't have. Concentrating like you know, really hard. But definitely a no-no. Now I rule myself out from driving if I'm tired, or have had a panadol. At the drop of a hat really. I prefer being a passenger, especially when G drives. Because he's an even bigger Nana.

6. At work they other day, a customer asked me if I was annoyed because I was tapping the base of my keyboard as I waited for a page to load (like watching bloody paint dry).  No, I said, it's I love rock and roll . He looked puzzled. From the Idol ad, I said, and pointed to the telly in the waiting area, I have no rhythm. He nodded. Yep.

7. We're going to see Bob Dylan in concert in August. The toddler overnight stay at Nana's has been booked. I suppose I'll get excited a bit closer to the night.

8. I'm really looking forward to decorating a new house. Making it home. With really good heating and polished floorboards and storage. And making a new garden. So much work, but it'll be good.

OK, that's eight fairly random bits from my head. I'm going to softly tag Jamila, Sooz, Alina, Penni, h&b, Stomper, Suse and Victoria. No doubt some of you will have been tagged already, but it's late and I  should go to bed. Hyperlinks and comments letting you know about said tagging tommorrow. Please don't feel like you have to, or anything.


I've been making a big effort at lunch this week to put on my coat and go for a walk. There's only so many times I can go to the one or two opshops within walking distance, and I'm really trying to stay away from places that sell sweet, starchy things, so I've been picking a direction and walking. Yesterday I ate my pumpernickel, cheese and tomato sandwich on a bridge looking over towards the city. I stayed a bit longer than I should have and had to powerwalk back to work. As it was all uphill, I puffed and sweated. Charming for my colleagues and clients in the afternoon, I'm sure. But oh so good for me.

I think I might have lunch there again next week. On the way to the river, I discovered a new walking path and some mosaics set in concrete. This one grabbed me. There were some cute sheep too, but there wasn't enough light for any sort of focus.

For some reason, I feel a bit nervous walking round at lunch time taking pictures with my very bashed looking point and shoot camera. As though I'm doing something very weird. You would think I'd be used to that by now. Anyway, I will be soon. I've decided to go out for a walk at lunch instead of just sitting in the tea room reading the paper, gossiping or watching oprah. As often as I can. Even if it's only for ten minutes. Even if it's raining. There's a whole new suburb to explore. And maybe more opshops to find?

The 'putie wrap is finished

Sort of. I learned a very valuable lesson with this project. And it's this; work your ends in as you go. All of them, without fail. That way when you crochet the next row, you anchor the ends in and they stay in. That's what Kay (my mum) said as I tried to work in some strands that had come loose for about the fifth time. And don't cut them off so short, she added. Not to worry, it's done. Even if it will need some ongoing attention.

In case you hadn't guessed, it's a wrap to wear while I'm on the computer and it's cold. In fact I'm wearing it now and I'm feeling rather cosy. The cat likes to sleep on it too. Yes, that's my computer and my side of the study. I haven't changed my screen saver since last time I took a picture in here.

It took a little longer to make than I originally thought, because after I'd pieced it all together and done at least five rows of edging, I decided that it really wasn't big enough to be truly snugly. So I pulled the edging out, re-jigged the squares, made a few more and then re-edged it. I'm glad I did, because as G says once it's finished, you don't think about the extra work it took to get it right. Whereas if it really isn't what you wanted, you would think about that all the time.

The wool is from my oddment pile, which I think might have come from Kay a couple of winters ago when I was going through a hat making phase. It ranges from four ply to eight ply so it's a bit bumpy in places. At one stage I thought I would buy some wool for the joining and edging but that seemed against the spirit of the project, so I used what I had. And as I'm hoping we'll be getting a mortgage later this year, I'm being fairly tight. Not so tight that I'd give up broadband internet but I'm trying not to buy stuff I don't need. It's possible that I could crochet from my Mum's stash for many, many years to come but I do think that one day I'd like to make a rug in planned colours. Next year maybe. I think I have enough projects to keep me going until spring.

if you haven't got anything good to say...

There have been a million and one posts composed in my head over the last week and over the weekend. We've been having a roller coaster old time around here and it's kind of hard to think of anything to say. I have a lot of crafty things to write about but I feel blocked. Blocked by the post I composed while lying on the couch at my mothers place on Saturday afternoon, wrapped in a blanket and a poncho, out of clean hankies, unable to get warm because I didn't know how to turn the heating on and I was unable to get up and suggest it to Lance. Blocked by the post I would have written after I got up and played with Grace when she woke from her nap. And tried to explain to her that Nana wasn't there, that she'd gone out in her car for a while.

Then of course there would be the post that I would have written on Saturday morning as I sat on the wet foam mattress in the backyard, crying, fuming and watching a big black rabbit loll around on the grass and sample bits from our vegetable patch. Grace is frightened of the rabbit, even though she's seen the benign ones on teletubbies (I am so loving teletubbies at the moment, really). Maybe because the rabbit is big and  black. I think it must be an escaped pet because it turns up in our yard every few days or so.

If I was writing fiction instead of a blog, there would be more I could say. I'd make up characters and have them live the truth of what I'm feeling and thinking, without having to put a precise point on anything. It would still upset my family when they read it, but they'd never quite know what was true and what wasn't. Even if the fiction created a bigger, more honest truth; with much more unspoken and unstated. Where conflict hung in the air and the reader brought their imagination and experience to make it live on the page. But blogs aren't like that. Or at least, I don't know how to make them like that.

Still there's a lot I don't want to say because once you start saying stuff, maybe that's what will happen. Which is not what I want at all. And after all the high drama and tension, I do sense that a true turning point may have been reached. That things could get better from here. So I'm going to breathe. I'm going to enjoy my work and revel in the fact that two year olds are too young for true empathy, which is kind of refreshing in a way. I'm going to channel the teletubbies, who have big group hugs and who all love each other. And I'm going to do my best and hope for the best. Which is really all one can do.


ps thirdcat has a really fantastic post on blogging that I think everyone should read, if they haven't already. And these image manipulations, distraction from writing, eventhough I normally get straight to it. I think I may have been inspired by this. Even if I feel clumsy by comparison.

Phew, maybe I can write about craft next time.