The season of lethargy

I’ll be glad when Monday is here and we’ve seen the back of another January. Actually, if I’m honest, I’ll be glad when four weeks from Monday is here and we’ve seen the back of the two most miserable months of the year.

I definitely think that nature intended me to be either a hibernating creature or one who should live in a warmer climate. I don’t feel the pull of nature on crisp winter days to get outside, interact with frozen earth andĀ bare, ghostly lookingĀ treesĀ and watch my frozen breath emerge in clouds from my mouth, taking with it all of my inner warmth (not that I had much in the first place). My love affair with nature is definitelyĀ dormant until nature itself wakes up and starts doing interesting things. And even then, being fickle, I want LOTS of interesting things, all at once. Snowdrops are nice, and really do cheer me up. But until I see hordes of smiling daffodils nodding in a mild March zephyr, new leaves forming on trees, daisies growing prolifically in the grass outside my front door and, most importantly, a high enough temperature on the thermometer to warrant leaving my scarf and gloves at home, the only place I want to be is in the corner of my sofa, wrapped in a snuggly blanket with a big mug of steaming tea to my left hand side.

The allotment will force me to go outside, which is good. I know that the fresh air and the occasional drip of vitaminĀ D from the occasional wavering ray of sunshine will be beneficial. And at least I am forced out twice a day to do the school runs. But when Springtime comes, when it’s not actively uncomfortable to be outside, I love to be out.

However, we’ve got a good four or five weeks of making our own happiness before Nature catches up, so on Monday I’m going to start making some mittens. And then another jumper. And then possibly a shawl.

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And this month’s crafting is…

I thought I’d better write a post about my crafting, as I didn’t want people to worry that I’ve stopped now that Christmas is over! Only joking!

I had a few days off after Christmas, but then got straight back in with the two pairs of slipper socks I made over New Year (well, a pair and a half as I gave one completed sock to GG for Christmas with an IOU for the second). After that, I started on something for me! Yay! I’ve been looking forward to making something for myself since the start of October, when I made my fingerless gloves and then jumped straight in to making Christmas presents. So, I’m making myself a jumper. I’ve only made one jumper for myself before, as I usually run out of patience before finishing it (I prefer more instant gratification type projects!). However, there’s a group on Ravelry which I have joined. They think of yarny challenges, and so I’m knitting my jumper as a part of a three month challenge. I’m also knitting a poncho with some stashed yarn, but I’ve not cast on for that yet (determined to do one thing at a time!) so I’ll leave the details of that for later.

The jumper pattern I’ve chosen is called Jojo and it’s from the November issue of Let’s Knit Magazine (a UK publication). It’s quite a simple pattern, with a lacy roll-neck type collar to make it more interesting! So far, I’ve knitted the back and one sleeve, and I’ve not long started on a front piece, but I had to put it on hold earlier in the week when I had a couple of particularly annoying days with my hands.

And then, yesterday, I noticed that Handsome was wearing gloves about three sizes too small for him. Seriously, they looked like they’d shrunk in the wash. I asked if they fitted him, and he replied that they were magic gloves and so they must do. The fact that they don’t reach his wrists doesn’t seem to figure as a problem in his brain! So, being the caring mother I am, and given the amount of wool I have in the hall cupboard*, I offered to make him some new gloves with nice long toasty ribbed wrist cuffs. Of course he accepted, especially when I told him that I have dark red and yellow yarns and so could make him some Gryffindor** themed gloves – although rather than just saying ‘yes please’, he went on to ask if I could knit in a picture of a lion ‘going rarrrr’ (imagine an eight year old boy making clawing motions in the air like an attacking lion!). I look forward to the time when they realise how much work goes into things! Unfortunately, there won’t be enough room on the gloves for a ‘rarrrr’ing lion, but I’m sure he’ll like the fact that his wrists don’t go red and numb any more! Hopefully I’ll finish the gloves later today, so he’ll be able to wear them to school tomorrow.

*I’d like to point out to my husband, GG, that I AM making an effort to use up some of the wool before I go to Wonderwool Wales in April and have the chance to buy lots more so that we have lots more cupboard space in our flat!

**For those of you uninitiated in the world of Harry Potter, Gryffindor is one of the four houses in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is the house to which Harry Potter belongs. Handsome is a couple of chapters away from finishing the final Harry Potter book – The Deathly Hallows – and so is currently making wands out of anything he can lay his hands on, and casting spells enough to turn the air around him crackly with magic.

Carefully staring into space

Why are surgery waiting rooms such awkward places? Is it because people are worried about discovering embarrasing things about their fellow patients? Pretty much anywhere else I’ve been, if I’ve been waiting with a few people for more than a few minutes (e.g. at a bus stop, outside a theatre or cinema, etc), people have struck up conversations with each other. But never in waiting rooms. Maybe that’s why there’s such an over-abundance of posters and leaflets on display; to facilitate the efforts of the patients to ignore everyone else in the room! I can’t count the number of times I’ve read the posters about bowel screening (“Don’t be shy, doctors have seen all shapes and sizes of bottom before!”), Parentline (“Calm/Rage? Call now and speak to other parents who understand”!), STD clinics, travel vaccination clinics, etc etc etc. But what else can you do? Actually, this morning when I went for the latest in the series of blood tests to find out why my immune system is up the swanee, I took some paper and a pen so that I could make notes for my blog post. But the awkwardness of sitting in that waiting room with unwilling co-inhabitants more or less overtook my thinking capabilities and the paper remained blank! Thank goodness I only had to wait for a couple of minutes!

Due to aforementioned knackered immune system, I’ve been feeling especially tired for the last few days as my body has been fighting off the latest cold virus. Yesterday, I struggled to stay awake long enough to get to work on the bus, which is definitely way worse than fighting to stay awake on the way home. Anyway, it was only with the assistance of serious help (Dairy Milk, Bounty bar and Starburst for that pure sugar rush!) that I made it through the day in one piece. Today, I was better prepared, and fuelled up on caffeine before leaving the house. After several cups of tea, at eight thirty I made myself another cup of tea, but in a large insulated cup which I now believe to be the most inspired invention since, umm, chocolate! It stayed hot until I finally finished it in work at ten o’clock, and I can’t believe I’ve not been using the cup every time I’ve gone to work! I genuinely didn’t think that the drink would stay hot for so long – I’m ever so impressed!

Anyway, I don’t know whether I was coming down from my caffeine high, or whether yesterday’s sugar rush finally passed, but I had a couple of hours of feeling extraordinarily spaced out later on this morning, which was alternately very nice (relaxing in a “ooh, what a lovely place and what beautiful people” way) and extremely unsettling (as in “where am I, who are you and where are my slippers?”). Luckily, I only had a short shift to work today, and also no-one’s life depends on the accuracy of my work so I will be able to rest easy tonight that I’ve done noone serious damage with my lack of brainpower.

Of course, having a cold and I think possibly the onset of a chest infection means that with every movement I am coughing more and more, sounding increasingly like an asthmatic old lady who smokes eighty cigarettes a day and should really be on oxygen. I am supposed to be helping Jo dig her new vegetable garden tomorrow, but she has graciously said that I can sit down and supervise. I’m strongly considering whether to take a shawl and lap blanket with me. I think that the insulated cup will be pressed into use once more, for soothing infusions of healing herbs (i.e. cups of Earl Grey tea).

Is one crafty evening really too much to ask?

I have been looking forward to this evening all day, and not because GG has taken himself off to the cinema to see ‘Watchmen’! I had planned a good few hours with my new (old) (well, not really mine, actually!) sewing machine to do some patchwork for an appeal I saw a while back online. I’ve never done any patchwork before, so it took a little longer than I was expecting, especially cutting out the pieces. I’ve completed one square, and I’ve got three more not far off finished, but I am absolutely shattered and so I’ve stopped. My eyes are so tired they’re dry and hurting, so I figured it probably wasn’t the best idea to be using a sewing machine or an iron whilst I was in danger of imminently falling asleep at the ironing board!

I’m chuffing annoyed though, because I’d subconsciously set myself the target of finishing the four squares as well as preparing for my next project before I went to bed, and at ten o’clock I’m desperate to get to bed. And the reason is the onset of yet another cold. I’m really annoyed that I’m picking up everything that’s going round at the moment, and I’m looking forward to my next round of blood tests to try to find out why my immune system is refusing to play nicely.

However, in better news, GG and Handsome’s passports arrived today, which mean that we now all have valid passports and can all go on our holiday in the summer! I’m definitely holding on to the kids’ passports after they’ve expired though; the photos will be priceless when they’ve grown up and are at an age to be easily embarrassed by childhood snaps! The challenge with the photos was getting a seven year old and four year old to stay still, in exactly the right place for their heads to be in the right position for the passport office, with closed mouths and wide open eyes. Handsome leaned right forward and so looks like he has a freakishly large head for his age, while Cheeky, in his efforts to have his face arranged correctly, looks either terrified or as if he is putting on the most false, innocent expression that he can manage. I was so thankful that the photographs were acceptable and I didn’t have to go through the horror of the photobooth all overĀ again!

Also, I have today reached page 711 of ‘War and Peace’, putting me at 74% of my way through! Fabulous! That puts me well on target to finish it by the end of the month. At least I’ll be hitting one target this month!

Apologies for absence

As suggested by the title, apologies for my absence from this blog in recent days. I’ve been dealing with conjunctivitis, head cold, severe sore throat and (new today!) a flare up of the excema in my ears. The woolliness of my brain combined with impaired vision caused by the conjunctivitis have made reading and using the computer a bit challenging. It’s also been quite hard to put together a cohesive sentence (my poor mother will attest to this, the couple of times I’ve tried to carry on aĀ conversation with her recently!) which doesn’t make for good blogging. Anyway, hopefully the doctor will offer me a ‘miracle cure’ later today and normal service will resume soon.

Thank you for all your recent comments; I will do my best to reply to them all when I have achieved a little clarity in my mind!

Minor Niggles and Whinges

The last few weeks have been cold after minor ailment after cold in our house. Just in the last couple of weeks Iā€™ve been to the doctor for a blood test, GG has been with his back and Cheeky has been with conjunctivitis that wouldnā€™t clear up. Iā€™ve now got his conjunctivitis together with a head cold and a very sore throat and cough, and am fed up with all of these things attacking my immune system!

Starting Monday, never mind the weather, I need to get myself some fresh air and exercise. Iā€™m obviously run down in some way for all of these lurgies to be managing to successfully infiltrate my system all at once, and so a good walk might well clear away some cobwebs.

Dad has just agreed to accompany me, given some half decent weather, so letā€™s keep our fingers crossed for some reasonably good weather!

Ā 

*UPDATE* I’ve now found that, for the eye with conjunctivitis, covering it with a patch works well to soothe the irritation and stop me from rubbing it all the time. Unfortunately I’m feeling the downsides in a lack of co-ordination (I went to take a cup of tea from GG earlier and put my fingers straight into it!) and in the feeling that my sight has been compromised more than would be reckoned on by temporarily losing the sight in one eye. Also, I look like a numpty. Ho hum. Lets just hope that the other eye doesn’t get infected, or I don’t know what I’ll do! I really don’t know how Cheeky put up with it so stoically earlier in the week when it was this bad. He must have far higher tolerance levels than me!

*UPDATE 2* Our upstairs neighbours have just started a small party in their flat by the sounds of it (at 10.44pm, as I write this) just as I was about to go to bed. Typical. I hope they shut up soon, or they may well be confronted by a weeping, bepatched woman in a fluffy red dressing gown at their door, begging them to let her sleep!

Return of the Lurgy

So, it appears that my family are having all their winter illnesses in the same few weeks. Nothing like getting it all over and done with!

The latest version of the lurgy is a sickness bug. Handsome had it at the weekend and Husband and Cheeky are miserable with it at the moment. I’m using all of my willpower to talk myself out of being ill – if I get ill, I’ll have to phone for Handsome to come home from school and look after the three of us!

So, what is your opinin? Do you think it’s possible to talk yourself healthy? If it is, I’ll still be not vomiting tomorrow and I’ll bring you an update. If not, I don’t think it’s information you’d like me to share, and I’ll keep the update to myself!

I’m thinking of painting a red cross on my front door and wearing a bell around my neck – what will we be ill with next? Hopefully this will be it for the winter (touch wood, turn round three times and spit!).