Beginings – a new man as detailed yesterday. So, there has been a name change and Ghillie will now and forever be known as Mungo. Not Jerry (although the joke has already been made) but St Mungo – the patron of Glasgow and animal lover – the Scottish St Francis! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mungo)
In the category of Endings I finished another book – Buried by Prof Alice Roberts. This was an interesting read, archaeology and anthroplogy and the story of a millennium through burials – the skeletons and grave goods left behind. I do like her writings but my one complaint is a personal one – I know she is a humanist – she is clear about that on twitter and in her writing. I respect her beliefs – I just wish it felt a little more like she respected mine. Calling Christianity a successful Levantine cult leaves me a little heart sore.
This was a good read – you just need to clue into her style. I will read the prequel to this – Ancestors – on my kindle (this one was in hardback) and hopefully being in a pre-Christian setting I’ll feel it less pointed.
This is what I am currently knitting (along with a little jumper – obviously). Dualaich by Liz Cooke (https://www.lizcorke.com/product/dualaich/). I am knitting it with a present to myself – King Cole pure merino in the colourway Lapis. Whenever I lose 10 kilo I buy a prize – the last two were yarn I admit!!
Although I love this shawl – what I wanted to write about are the strings of embroidery cotton threaded through the kniting – my lifelines.
I learned to lifeline with the very first lace knitting I ever attempted – quite a while ago now. A lifeline is a thread of narrower cotton or wool threated through all the stitches at regular intervals as you knit – in Dualaich that’s every 12 rows which makes up a repeat. If everything goes wrong, you miscount, drop stitches or just lose the plot entirely you can take the knitting off the needles and ‘frog*’ back to the stitches you have kept safe.
(*Frogging is where you take your knitting apart and ripit ripit)
As I threaded the most recent of these I pondered my reading today in Daily Bread – Luke 15:11-32. The prodigal thought he had cast everything aside but his lifeline was still there… may we all be as fortunate.
I have a close and loving relationship with my family, they are always there for me… in prayer and in aid. I also have friends and the women of my church’s WhatsApp group if I need them. My lifelines are present and strong.
If you ever need them there is a webpage of resources here:
I wasn’t certain what to write about today but I took a snap of my hand and it sparked! The Bloganuary question today was ‘What brings you joy’ and my hand is a part of that.
I have small hands (I am small so no big shock there) and I can use them both – not ambidexterous but crafty! I crochet and knit, write and cook, play musical instruments and play with my niece. I find joy in making things, in crafting and cooking, writing long hand and typing. When I was a teenager my left hand was trapped in a piano lid while I was playing, school wasn’t fun, and I had to have physio to help the healing. Being a hand down still worries me sometimes, I fear losing what I do for relaxation – even reading uses both hands!
For Christmas 2020 my parents bought me a UV lamp and the initial pieces needed to do gel nails – only on myself and mum, no beautician need worry. I pretty much always have my nails painted now, ‘chocolate delight’ by Mylee at the moment as shown above.
When I was at my heaviest I felt disconnected from my body in a way, out of step with how I wanted to see myself. I could however have pretty hands, even if I did not like what I saw in the mirror and ran away from photographers, only rarely caught in the lens.
This is a disjointed splurge of words but I invite you to think on two things; your hands and how you can spark joy (without wanting to throw out all your belongings – no offense meant).
Today I finished a book that I had been enjoying since just before Christmas – on Kindle so read paper books over the holidays.
This was a beautiful book to read, accurate to the period (to the best of my knowledge) and lyrically written. The detail about the household and lives of women were fantastic and the imaginings of Shakespeare’s life were true to what we know. The story concerns the loss of a child, the titular Hamnet, who we know lived but we do not know how he died – only that he did. In this tale he is taken by plague but in the excellent film ‘All is True’ he drowns while playing.
I highly recommend this book, a beautiful read for Shakespeare fanatics, feminist readers and costume lovers alike.
Hi Ho Hi Ho – to work we all go…. Yes, back again and actually in the office today. Lots to do and mostly done.
For those new to me… I used to be a teacher and now I work for the Inclusion Support Service at the County Council – advising schools, families and agencies on children’s behaviour and issues. It can be everything and anything on the phone, from mental health and special needs to truancy and chair throwing. There are meetings and calls and paperwork a plenty but we make a difference and at the end of the day that is what matters.
After work cooked a curry and the knitting came out… yay.
An example of something I’ve made is this scarf, made for my heila for Christmas along with a hat
Good news is she loved it! People with a definite taste are easier to make for… and I do love a skully pattern!
What to remember… lots really. The biggest change happened on April 12. I went into hospital and had a gastric sleeve operation. This means that around three quarters of my stomach were removed and I was left with a narrow tube instead. Since then I have lost 41 kilos (91 pounds or 6 stone and 7 pounds). I’m not sure of the inches overall but I’m several sizes down and have been able to donate clothes several times. My diabetes has reversed and I haven’t felt this good in years. ALL my thanks to Mum and Dad for sponsoring and supporting me.
Crafting has continued apace…. knitting and crocheting in the evening stops the desire for food – mostly! I made things for neighbours, friends and family – especially Astrid my neice. Toddler garments are cute and quick and Mum and I are determined that the child will be warm!
Unfortunately I lost my little Conall in September and I miss him everyday… and the walks
Thinking ahead I have a few resolutions for 2023 and writing them here will remind me….
Use face cream more regularly.
Blogging more regularly.
Read more books and record them.
Move more – this will probably involve a new dog
Keep up the good work
Starting as I mean to go on, today I read Robert Harris’ new book Act of Oblivion. It was a rattling good yarn that had me from page 1 until the end. The Act of Oblivion was the universal pardon issued to all Roundheads when Charles II came to the throne – apart from the regicides who signed his father’s death warrant. The book follows two Commonwealth Colonels who flee to New England and the Royalist determined to find them. Highly recommended.
Well. I’m trying this blog thing again… bloganuary here we go…. This is a bit of a placeholder as I’m in my childhood bedroom on a tablet but wait til tomorrow when I’ll try and actually write something!
For now it is enough to say Happy New Year and here’s to more writing…
There’s been a few changes since I last wrote… got a new job (working in Education for a local council), starting writing a new novel and kept on walking my little friend!
Still… new year and new ideas. I’m trying to write every day this year, even it’s a 100 words then a drabble is an advance on nothing…
I’m also on a programme with the NHS called Weigh Ahead. I am working on losing weight with the aim of getting a gastric band… not about appearance or being slim, just about not having backache and sore joints! It is hard to lose weight with the medication I take for my head… no anti-depressants have a slimming effect! So far so good… I’ve lost 4.5 kilo so far so I’m on track for the programme.
So hopefully this will be a new start; blogging, crafting and writing.
Here’s to the new year ahead and may we all have a good year.
I don’t do Halloween but this time of year means two other things to me…
Number one is that Nanowrimo starts tomorrow! For those who are not aware (or have not heard me go on about it) Nano is the National Write a Novel in a Month challenge. Write 50,000 words in November, or 1667 words per day, and you have the base of a novel…. I’ve only won the once but generally take part. This year however a change, not fan-fiction but original fiction, a murder mystery set in 1847. A feisty Scottish governess in a closed environment of death…. here goes!
Number two for me is the white dog in my blog title. The black dog I borrowed from Churchill, my mental health issues, but the white dog I adopted seven years ago today.
Honestly, I’m not sure why I put him in there either!
This is Conall, it means strong wolf in gaelic and it made me giggle. He is my heart and my little baby.
When he needs a haircut he looks like a womble – a name he now responds to!
I promise this is the same dog.
So, happy seventh anniversary and half birthday….. my little man.