What’s Been Occurring?

Monday 3rd June 2019

Hi there, world.

I used to be Little Miss Blog-Alot.  Now I don’t, so much.  Why, Ali? Well, I see site traffic so I know people visit me, but the blog is very quiet and it seems a bit – well, not pointless exactly, but a bit random.  So nowadays I only think about blogging when I have to tell you about something such as a new event.  Or, of course, my beloved films. 

Maybe I need to renew my efforts.  

A couple of things have contributed to recent extra silence.  One, I have not been 100% well. Oh, it’s OK, I can still knit!  Turns out I am rubbish at being unwell and have a newly-acquired respect for people who do this with better grace than me. This has, happily, coincided with a planned but entirely unrelated period of less workshop activity.  Things on the knitting and the other work front are hotting up now so I am pacing myself back into a more normal level of activity.  After some months, I think I will now have to settle for a less hectic pace. Maybe it is better. 

It does mean that Aran 2020 won’t be able to go ahead and I am very sorry about that.  It is not so much that I think the trip itself will be impossible, though I am a bit anxious about long-way-ahead commitments already and may need to cut them back.  It is more that I can’t take a group there if I have not been there in advance, and I can’t go this summer, I know I definitely won’t be able to manage that. This summer is when Kath and I had planned a trip to Aran, testing 2 possible hotels and experiencing the journey.  But I can’t do it.   

One problem I have is acute white-coat phobia.  I am sharing this because I think it is in fact a mental weakness – in me, I mean – and it has made the last weeks much worse than a rational person would experience them.  I have always had high levels of anxiety about doctors, and hospitals, tests and even nurses. But when the girls were small, and of course you spend a lot of time with healthcare professionals then, I was better.  When my parents became very ill and infirm, I spent a lot of time with them in hospital, in other facilities and at home.  This is when it became really bad.  I had to go to hospitals for them, with them and to see them.  But I had to literally force myself.  When my dad died, I used to drive a long detour round Bridgwater in order not to have to drive past a building which was closely associated with his last months.  And slowly, this extended to my own accessing of healthcare, which could be boiled down to:  if I think I may be really ill, I will maybe try and see a practice nurse.  Otherwise, I got so I could not drive past the GP surgery.  

And then, Rupert the old dachshund who is 15-and-a-half, has succumbed to a 4th bout of IVDD.  Nine years after his last spinal operation, and at a time in his life when I was so sure it was in the past I never really thought of it, he went off his back legs about 3 weeks ago.  With his advanced heart failure, and his age, an operation is not something I would contemplate even if Langford’s would.  Which is quite unlikely.  Current IVDD advice for patients who still have sensation and (brace, brace) anal-tone, is to crate rest and medicate. Anal-tone.  Now, that’s a shade name just waiting to be cracked out, as it were, isn’t it?

So I am crate resting this really ancient dog, and this has had an unsettling effect on him, us, and the other dachshund, also old, at 11.  Arthur sleeps next to the crate.  When we have Roo out at night usually, on a big cushion on the sofa, Arthur goes in for maximum Roo-time.  Rupert too, always the pack leader and never as needy as Arthur, clearly misses his brother as they always sleep, rest and amble about together.  

He sleeps a lot.  He also whines a lot.  I am absolutely sure this is not pain.  It’s probably frustration.  I know that these are his last years with us.  I cook him sausages now, and feed him apples and cheese.  Why the hell not?  When I am 90, I sure as hell want to smoke weed, drink – um – whiskey! which is disgusting but I can work on that, and give no shits about Diet.  I just want to make him happy, and safe.  Food makes him very happy.  I have a dog pram, as you know and he liked that if it’s not cold.  And I have a sling-thing that dates from his last op, I think.  But the problem here is my ability to carry him for long. 

Here he is, on Saturday when it was warm and we were doing some Knit Camp shooting:

In good news, the allotment at home is thriving.  I love it and this was certainly one of my better decisions.  I think, these last weeks, had I still been going to the old allotment, I would have given it up.  But as my allotment is now in my garden and all the really hard work was done last year, I have been able to manage it, mostly and now I am feeling better, I am picking up gardening time, too.  My organic approach is very frustrating.  The slugs are winning in some areas.  I have had some fails such as the onions largely bolting, but some amazing, happy-making things too, such as turnips for the first time, which are easy, delicious and fail-safe; and new squash, happily romping away from the new trellis I have put up for them – 8 panels, which they have comprehensively ignored. 

Here is the plot this early summer:

The planning for Knit Camp is almost all done.  I love planning and carrying out this special event.

The autumn workshops are looking good.  And I am about to add 2 WIP Days for 2020.  So, momentum is building. 

I will be back soon, not least because I have some new films!


One response to “What’s Been Occurring?”

  1. Hi Ali! I love reading blog posts, and yours is great. I’ve not been back on facebook or instagram since the knitting hotel as I just don’t feel like it. (I did knitted felting with you there at the beginning of May 2019). So maybe things are changing and people are coming back to blogs. Either way, yours is a pleasure to read.

    I’ve had lots of experience of being in hospitals too, and know the fear, although not to the extent where I don’t like to go past the building. I walked out of a hospital in 2002 and didn’t go back for 10 years although I should have been going every few months (back now, been going to one in london).

    Your allotment looks lovely xx

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