J and I got our lovely quiet day today. When M messaged from London and asked how things were I said, ‘peaceful’. Such a luxury thing. I have only to switch off to find absolute silence and M will sometimes even suggest it but silence goes beyond that, it’s about not having to hear. One thing I’ve come to understand since I met M eleven years ago is that his enthusiasm for life manifests in an abundance of spoken words, both loud and fast. In the beginning I tried to be heard, then I quietly gave up trying and wallowed a bit and now that I’m older and wiser I think I’ve found a balance. This still involves listening more than speaking and also having to find the patience to hear something in two hundred words that could be said in twenty but ultimately it is about being very precise about what I say when I’ve got the floor so that it is heard. It doesn’t always work I must admit.
Having a psychotherapist and relationship expert in the family does help. I was totally wounded when I was faced with the advice that it was me that needed to change. It felt like such a major criticism. It’s really just about not being able to change some things about some people but instead, being in charge of how you deal with them. When I accepted that it was life changing.
I failed to coax J to join me on the dog walk today but he did later finish jet washing our deck and quite a few other things into the bargain. A stone frog that we found in the garden one day and has been used as a door stop ever since used to have a lovely green weathered patina to it… it’s now concrete coloured once more. A bench that I stained with a charcoal colour last summer is now back to bare wood. A patch of concrete that had weathered and blended nicely is now gleaming like newly laid concrete. There are more examples. In fact I was amazed that the charcoal stain came off the bench so at least I know what to use if I ever need anything stripping back to wood! All this jet washing activity and he missed a whole big section of the deck. Words fail me.
The dog walk was just what I needed after round two of nasty viral chest infections. I felt so much better today and the dogs were bouncing with excitement. The countryside changes so much in a short space of time. This hawthorn blossom wasn’t nearly as dense a week ago. The river was low enough for safe swimming today too and it didn’t take the dogs long to realise that. Harvey dropped a suitable stick at my feet and immediately headed down the bank knowing that I’d throw it in the water. In fact when I look at the photo’s it looks cloudy but it felt much sunnier at the time. It was t shirt weather, the schools are on their Easter holidays here and yet not a single soul was out in this nature reserve for the two hours we were there.
Wool looks so nice and arty in skeins doesn’t it? It was tempting to leave them as they are until I need them but even more tempting to play with my new yarn swift again! It was over all too quickly. One tip for anyone trying one out for the first time; it works best if the skein isn’t too taut over the pegs. It is better to have it loosely draped round the square. M made the recycled timber box above and it now holds all the large skeins wound into cakes.
I’ve probably mentioned already that the Wensleydale yarn will probably be made into unisex baby items for the next family addition. It’s so soft and it’s organic so it seems like the ideal use for it. Those are the four small balls at the top of the wool photo, it looks hairy and coarse but it isn’t! The three balls to the front and left are much coarser and I’ve found a bag pattern that I really like which could be made with this quantity. Finally the alpaca/wool mix will have to be a wrap. It’s soft and warm and I just want to wear it!
I’ve also been working on the missing squares for my Last Dance blanket and I managed to join the first two long rows of squares. It’s fiddly and best done on a big table rather than sitting in the floor and moving the whole thing around on a small coffee table (doh!) I’ve only just noticed that the border will be linen stitch which is a current favourite so that’s given me a bit more incentive to get to that stage. I doubt very much whether mine will sit as flat and perfect as some I’ve seen on the internet. I’m not planning on getting the iron out anytime soon either. Life is too short for ironing.
M and I are keen to book some kind of break soon. We’ve got to that awkward stage where the children will probably only be interested if we go somewhere hot with an ocean like bath water. I’d quite like them to see more of the UK, in particular some of the islands like Jersey or Guernsey, the Isle of Wight, or some of the Scottish ones. They don’t seem as enthusiastic about British weather which I suppose is our fault for introducing them to warm seas in the first place!