Alison Crowther-Smith

Dear Diary: the Christmas edit

Knit Camp week:  time, as always before a BIG THING that I have to do, assumes odd dual-personality and both slows down to snail-pace and also speeds up.  Note that hours drag, but days fly. Wish I had more time to think about and research this finding, but end up in circular and pointless thought loop in which I wish I had more time to think about time, so abandon Important Time-Related Research and pack KC things instead.  Also, I am fully aware, with rational side of brain, that time is completely logical and unchanging in its progress…therefore phenomenon I am noting cannot exist and is entirely a function of being hysterically tired.

However, before Knit Camp, rational side of brain always even less co-operative than usual so have to force myself to focus on wool.  I do this by watching When Calls the Heart on Netflix.  But, as I want to save the new series for after KC, I watch the last series again.  This begins with an epic two-part Christmas special which is appropriate as Knit Camp is Christmas themed.  Have been in Christmas mode all year, because of Knit Camp.  Reflect that this is, even for me, who adores Christmas, too much of a good thing.

The Day Before Knit Camp:  dream-like feelings that I remember vividly from last KC descend on me and I begin  to function on auto-pilot.  Arrive at hotel and dress event room as cross between a small wool shop and Father Christmas’s Cottage. I imagine.  If his cottage was set up for 30 knitters.  Hotel’s preparations for Christmas, and my KC Christmas converge or even collide over following 2.5 days with unexpected results.  Time spent with Knit Campers is divine.  Time spent with hotel is what that sort of interaction is, but am devastated to realise, half-way through a hasty meeting with the Hotel Duty Manager, in order to address a couple of issues, that I am still wearing my Elf Head-Band, bell-pointy-hat combo, as bell tinkles in response to my energetic head shaking.  Decide that this has not in any way undermined my position and leave it on, but only because otherwise it will look like I had forgotten it, which I had.  Muse, in small hours of following morning when sleep evades me, that maybe an elf head-dress for my Grown Up Work might make welcome ice-breaker with some Boards…

Knit Camp Final Day:  decide is folly to lie in bed and also that 3 hours fitful sleep is more than enough, so get up and get ready.  Take iPad and knitting to KC Event Room, at 6.45am.  Turn on all festive lights which takes 15 minutes.  Think maybe Mark/Lily/Kathryn were, after all, right when they said 300 was enough, and wish I had heeded advice.  Room looks perfect.  Close door and, locked in, sit at table which later will be occupied by some Knit Campers, get Netflix on the go and knit for entire and blissful hour.  Watch Shetland.  Have much-needed opportunity to think about how much I love KC and all participants and emerge for hearty breakfast, refreshed and calm, at 8.00am.

Very eventful weekend assumes pace of helter-skelter ride or even Grand Prix as Sunday zooms past me.  Decide not to allow resurgence of thoughts about the variable pace of time-passage, as have to teach some knitting.  By 3.00pm powers of both speech and knitting have deserted me, so just sit down.  Break down Knit Camp for another year and am overcome by feelings of great sadness when room is empty and sorry mess of half-packed stock, lights, etc. Decide is undignified and probably pointless to beg Knit Campers to stay so bid fond farewell with as much dignity as someone who has had 6 hours sleep in over 48 hours of ‘time’ can summon.

Week After Knit Camp:  I have warded off Grown Up Work for a few days so have a few days to unpack KC. (Note, dear reader, still not happened). I teach at lovely Spin a Yarn and luckily this is Moebiuses and not Brioche for which I really do all my brain functions to be present and correct.  Spend ridiculous amount of time un-picking post-KC admin debris.  Discover new game called Candy Crush Saga on my phone (Lily is responsible for this) and play this amazing new game for as long as Free Lives will allow.  Am aware that this game older than Lily but am as ever, late-adopter. Muse on why I like this game.  I never eat sweets.  So it’s not subliminal love of candy.  Conclude that I am regressing and also, do not care one jot. *sticks out tongue*

Force myself to re-enter real world and commence lengthy tour of London and also Midlands to interview very nice company as my grown-up job. Rejoice to find one of the places has ‘dress down Friday’ and they tell us, so I dress down in Converse, ‘smart’ jeans and super-comfy Sweaty Betty sweatshirt.  Colleague loosens tie in mere hat-tip to dress-down of which he disapproves but entire place full of happy staff in jeans and trainers.  Believe I have met My People, but then have to depart after 1.5 hours and am painfully aware that I am transient dot in their corporate lives.  In melancholy mood, retrace drive back to Somerset.

Following 2 weeks:  embark on epic series of journeys all over the country which leads to a number of unpleasant side-effects.  I do almost no knitting.  I develop feeling that I am still sitting in a car on the motor way travelling at 70 MPH even when I am, for example, lying in bed or sitting at a table.  Also, my bum aches a lot.  Become car-phobic.  Express these views to anyone who will listen, which is mainly the dogs.  Vow (to dogs) that I will clear diary of all such travel in 2019.  Feel better.  Then recall that I have to go to Droitwich or somewhere to have Family Christmas Lunch, and feel worse again.

That Sunday.  Lunch is OK mainly because lovely niece and nephew are there and my pre-order is nice fish-in-smoked-cheese-sauce affair.  Experience severe food-envy though as see the roast dinners that other tables are having. Leave 3 tiny people in the pub.  New hobby very rewarding.

Week before Christmas:  begin designs for Knit Camp 2019.  First design swatch (v eleventy-nine) is so hideous I can’t bear to look. Awkward for knitting.  Show Kath.  Kath says:  when things are small they always look worse. Reflect that the Diplomatic Service missed a trick when they failed to hire Kath.  Hurl swatch back into bag.  Wonder if I would hate swatch less if it wasn’t grey, grey, black and cream.  But also know in heart of hearts that if I don’t love it in grey, I will never love it and would, if possible, hate it even more if it was Festival Coloured, if this exists.

Attend gym.  This ceased in days before KC  due to Busy; and an attempt to re-start it in week following failed, due powerful urge towards piratical outbreaks of swearage when asked about KC.  Also, overwhelming urge to cry.  Do not curb either tendency, to alarm/amusement/disapproval of various witnesses so stay away for a bit and sulk moodily as I hurl stock back on shelves. Jump-start gym classes with unusual attendance at a day-time class, being an ‘evening lady’ as a rule.  Observe that ‘morning ladies’ have strikingly different approach to Body Combat than that to which I am accustomed. Lovely teacher remarks on ‘unusual levels of aggressive energy in the room today’.  Cast accusing glance at elderly and perfectly charming and definitely innocent participant at the back, though fully aware that she means me, I think, due to fervour of my kicks and punches, determined expression, and ability to role-play in Street Brawl.  Emerge from ‘day lady’ class feeling 100% better, if fully aware that I have made no friends in the studio that day and some of them probably fear me.

Kath comes over to work here.  Observe her staring with pained expression at the stock-room shelves. May she, she asks, re-arrange it?  I say of course but we have interesting discussion about why I have it arranged so that Kidsilk Haze compartments form T-shape, thus forcing all other qualities to do the same, rather than columns of the same qualities.  Impasse is achieved as I explain that this is how my mind pictures it, as a logical formation, and Kath just fixes gaze upon the Kidsilk Haze.  Kath re-arranges all the stock and the display and it all looks very much better. Wish, as I do every day, for similar logical outlook but Tetrus-mind rudely interrupts with suggestion that it is time for Candy Crush and a Netflix film.

 

 

 

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