Friday, 16 September 2016

September, already?

  The title for this post...a cliche, I realise, but this year has flown by so quickly! There has been A LOT OF DRAMA so far, oh my! Looking back,  it seems months were mere weeks but when I recall events that occurred during the first half of this year, then it seems very far in the past. Time is an odd thing. Personally , this has been a watershed year in so many profound and fundamental ways. Managing our late Parents -in- Laws's estate, renovating our 113-year-old house, inside and out, post-menopause emotional and physical see-sawings, children becoming full-fledged adults who are very much living their lives, sometimes on the edge. Which, understandably has had me pretty weepy, and edgy too! I've mentioned before, my eldest son flying off to his dream job in exotic "Arabia". My imagination, in its multi- tiered outrageousness has not failed me on this one.  Especially in the wee hours, or the witching hours as they say. My daughters, this year, have both disappointed me, deeply. And this from a Mom who has NO EXPECTATIONS, from her children other than that they are decent human beings. Meaning fair-minded, honest and respectful. Their relationship with me is anything but. I know this is deeply personal stuff, but I understand and accept, as women, and especially Mothers, the " deeply personal stuff " is inevitable. There is no such thing as a happy life, or a perfectly happy relationship, which we think if we do all the right stuff, we naturally will find and fall into. The happy life is an inside job, meaning different things to different people too. If my perspective on what "the happy life" is then my view on the situation with my daughters would perhaps be entirely different. I guess then, that I do have expectations, but not the same as many people have. For instance, money, fame, and other superficial glories don't really gel with me. I look for  qualities maybe not instantly visible. Integrity is one of them. There is a back story to all this. Honestly, I have been asked countless times to  "WRITE A BOOK!". My response still is usually " when I cease to weep over the memories".

  Our off-grid tiny house in the country, the beautiful valley of Riebeek-Kasteel has been calling to me, and what a relief it usually is to arrive there after the relentless noise of city- suburban living. The air is indescribable, an aromatic floral mix of Peach blossoms, Jasmine, white Dog Roses and Fynbos.  Here, the valley falls away below us like a very large patchwork picnic blanket ( crocheted of course ) in shades of succulent green and earthy browns. The amphitheatre of mountains sit, eternally patient, like hungry Giants waiting for their sandwiches and flask of tea!

Our neighbours to the left, installed a connecting gate so their Alpacas could eat our grass too! Saves on mowing the lawn, said my happy husband. They are truly comical creatures. The Dogs were confused and couldn't decide whether to chase them or stay a safe distance away. They stayed away, all the while suspiciously eyeing these long-necked sheep.

   However,  this time, we arrived to find our neighbours to our right, in full party swing!! In the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The Rugby Game, of course, fully to blame. And right there, at that moment I had a meltdown of unsurprisingly epic proportions. Being me, you'd hardly notice as I'm generally not a shouty sort of person. But my poor husband had to deal with a river of tears, which became a waterfall. Poor man, he's always at odds to know exactly what to do. Chocolate helps. It's funny how just one little thing can set off a domino effect when for months you've kept all those dominoes from touching  lest the whole lot goes! I cried for my "missing" son, for my rude daughters, for all the animals in slaughter houses, for homeless people, environmental disasters, for Paris, for Syria, for our iconic rock stars who died this year ( Black aka Colin Vearnecombe, WHY!! ), my post-menopausal body, the fact that I cut off my long, long hair. You get the picture. It was the BIG cry, the wobbly, sobby, hiccupy cry! It took me three days to recover and pull myself up onto a less shifty emotional plateau. My crochet , this time, needed no dampening before being blocked!

Of course, for me,  Crochet is an extension of this all. It's where my emotions and mental unravellings carry on , in the yarn. While I Crochet, much like a meditative state, or writing in a journal, the simple act of counting your breaths or  moving pen over paper or in this instance, "yarn over", the repetitive stitches, the natural quest for order, beauty, symmetry, and completion is satisfying in a way that life is not, in it's complete, messy opposite. If I wrote stories where I invent characters along with a fascinating plot, all culminating neatly ( for better or worse ) in the finale... then Crochet is that for me. Literally trying to create order in my sometimes chaotic world and the world at large!

In my tiny workroom in city-suburbia, my view is of our neighbour's panelled concrete wall, the upper third of their house, top of their roof, and a small strip of sky above this. Here, I strive for order ( and beauty ).  In fact ( and maybe it's the Virgo in me? ) there is almost nothing more enjoyable than tidying up yarn, crocheting, drawing, painting, blogging and more often than not daydreaming in this precious space of mine ( all mine! ). Precious, because for so many years having a workspace completely, utterly "just for me ", was a dream. See, daydreams do come true but almost never quite take on the form you imagined! Nevertheless, I am very grateful. Also, and this is a rare and precious thing, my husband is undemanding and deeply understanding of my need for solitude.

And recently, as I've taken to designing afghan patterns ( oh, I am SUCH a novice still! ), my tidy, pretty space has given way to an unholy mess! Perhaps to my mind, the divine mess? Surveying this "divine mess" of course, is Babe, my loyal Crochet companion, and quality checker. I must have at least one hundred images of her on WIP's in various adorable positions. Really, someone should do a formal study on Cats And Their Magnetic Attraction To Crochet WIPS!

I've also attempted a few written out patterns for some of the squares I've designed. The next step is to work out the whole PDF thingy, and the crochet chart software thingy, but my husband assures me it's a piece of cake. I wonder why he uses that phrase? Is it a hint that I should bake more, crochet less? Well, that's definitely not going to happen. :D I'm always going on, waxing lyrical as they say, over Vintage and/or Retro Crochet and I have talked before about my love for olde-worlde crochet, and flower motifs. So this is the route I'm on  with regard to my own designs. Simple, pretty, vintage feely, flowery, feminine. It's not a destination mind you, but rather an eternal quest. I anticipate the sidetracks.  I'm reminded of a quote along similar lines " it's not about getting it right but doing it less wrong". About sums things up for me!

Oh, I hope I haven't bored you to tears with my "sob story"! I do feel lighter for having shared it, though. :)

Hopefully, soon I will be posting proper patterns to my Ravelry account. So, watch this space if you're at all interested. :D

Take care, until next time!
Love, always and happy hooking.