28 March 2010


The shock of the clocks going forward was tempered by a lovely friend bringing breakfast. She's french and everything about her is sophisticated. Sophisticated Sunday breakfast: It's a lovely thing to do for someone and I resolve to pay it forward. She brought me these gorgeous girls!


It started well and got better. Up early, chores done, off to town..

Liberty for stash enhancement. Coffee, chat, gossip and buns.

There was knitting - a new bunny in the most beautiful Rowan grey Baby Alpaca - my fave!

And there was sketching and painting - whilst watching films. Bliss.

27 March 2010

Things not worth keeping.

I finally caved in to the powerful and perfectly poised useless beauty of a Ruth Cross purse. I don't need a purse but then I didn't buy it for its purseness, I bought it because I am a willing participant in the idea that this is an object of purity, simplicity and beautiful otherworldliness.
It is a religious artefact, a votive presence, a thing of authenticity. We are being taught that the way to transcendance is through things. What was life like before we shopped for our identity. Why doesn't my practical everyday purse do the same job for me. And what is the nature of this authenticity as opposed to that authenticity.

I might put it up on the wall in a frame. Or even use it. I will be watching as it's significance pales and the marketing fades to find out what this thing really is.
I have been reading about 'Breakdown' by Michael Landy in which he destroyed all 7227 objects that he owned. It was a big experience for him. I find the fight against objects overwhelming. I am a magpie, alive to beautiful things, things that hold meaning for a short time. But all things go the same way and sooner or later you must 'burn what you love and love what you burn'.

23 March 2010

Getting well

I had an operation this week and I don't mind admitting I was scared as I was wheeled down the corridor with the lights passing overhead. It went well but it isn't something I'd want to make a habit of. Nevertheless I'm wierdly grateful for the suffering because on waking up, I was overwhelmed with empathy and concern for all the people who would be put through the same proceedure in the course of their lives. This was a genuine and surprising upwelling and yet it's also a disagreeable one since I hate the fact that charity begins at home. Surely we should be overwhelmed with empathy and concern for all people undergoing all proceedures regardless of whether we experience them ourselves. We should fight for everyone's rights because your rights are my rights and so in the same way, your suffering is also my suffering. As I shuffled out in my hospital slippers I truly understood this.

Being unwell connected me and I had a brief hotline to insight. I wish I could know these things every day. The nurses were amazing and each of them took time to see past the lump of meat that I undeniably was or at least they didn't mind that I had no distinctive identity - they simply understood that it hurt. In those brief moments the depth of their human beingness was breathtaking. The entire operation in a sense was an act of great compassion, one that we have simply institutionalised. It is a great thing that this is a norm for us humans - helping each other. Connecting. Responding to needs.

Flowers arrived.

Thoughtful people sent me objects to keep me entertained and cooked me food.

My living room is now filled with the smell of Narcissi. My fridge is full. Texts are checking up on me.
And I am grateful.
As soon as I was alone I unconsciously found myself reaching down the bottom of my languishing to do list and signed up to some new charities. I'd been meaning to do that for how long?
I hadn't realised it till now, but having operations can make you nicer.
It can get you well.
Suffering sucks, but I had it coming. And you know what? the good news is that really, when you get right down to it, we're all in it together right up to our necks xxx
Here's what I chose
Oh and I finally joined freecycle http://www.uk.freecycle.org/

14 March 2010

The Knitted Nursery

The book is finally out - 15 months after it was first conceived over a kitchen table. It's had nice reviews so far and we're delighted. The designs are meant to be easy to achieve. With a UFO stash like mine to think of, this is an important consideration.

The bunny for example is only a couple of days of commute time. Done in pieces it's an on-the-go project for public transport knitters like me and easily achievable whilst also holding a conversation at the same time - another important factor in my pattern choices. Multi-task knitting is essential in the metropolis.

Seeing the book become a real thing has inspired me to knit the patterns over again - this time though I'm going to use 4-ply cotton and tiny needles and make a little mini bunny in pink. Yes I'm woman enough to knit a cute pink bunny for myself on the train without feeling threatened by all the sensible commuters reading the paper. Happy knitting.