Monday, 16 May 2016

Wrapped in Wool

My weekends have fallen into a rhythm.
I start early on a Saturday, with a flurry of chores and dog walking and planning.
Gardening is high on the list right now, with the first pass of herb garden weeding.
By late afternoon I am usually windswept and weary and settle down with an audiobook or podcast and my knitting.


I finished listening to Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - and I recommend it to lovers of Jane Austen and /  or intelligent "chic lit".  A cracking tale, with plenty of contemporary details that made me smile, if not actually laugh out loud.

And then I was swept up in a tide of All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead.  You would probably have shouted at me not to listen to it, in my current state of mind, since its subject matter is bereavement. But actually it was helpful to listen to someone else sorting out her thoughts following the death of her partner.
There were lots of cultural connections to be made in my head, familiar scenarios, tropes.  It was helpful to hear about someone else picking up the pieces of the past and re-examining them, because I seem to do little else myself these days.


Sunday is my day for emotional meltdown.  I always start the day with great intentions for heavy-duty crafting... and then sometime around lunchtime,  I succumb to the irresistible pull of The Archive.
I try to stay away from the upstairs study where the diaries are piled, next to teetering heaps of FL's writings, sifted through with old photographs and drawings.  The most innocent-looking restaurant menu is turned over to reveal a whole new layer of Things I Don't Want To Know.

Maybe I should set fire to the whole lot.  But I need to read it first.  To make sense of everything.
I know the answers are in there somewhere.  Because I know this was what he wanted.  Otherwise he would have burned the lot himself, while he still had the ability to climb the stairs.
He could have chosen to protect me from this, but he did not.  He wanted me to sift through the past and draw my own conclusions, for better or for worse.

So Sunday is the day when I sing along to Lauryn Hill and frighten the dog by dancing it out in the kitchen.
And only when I am worn out, I bury myself in wool and get on with my knitting.


I completed Always Amsterdam last week.
These pictures give you a sense of its cosy swoop, if not its glorious shade of blue.
Big DK-weight shawls could be my new obsession.
I love this thing.

16 comments:

  1. While my particular rhythms are different the content of your weekends is very familiar. I completely understand the compulsion to read 'All at Sea'. I'm fascinated by the experiences of others who've lost partners. But I currently lack the focus to read much. I too have an archive - my university teacher never threw anything out and I have a garage full as well as the study - which, although containing fewer surprises (I think), I find compelling. I can spend hours looking at just a few items. It's both totally absorbing and draining. As a consequence my knitting is stuck at plain self striping socks, and I haven't raised the energy to sew. But I do find gardening a solace. Take care

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    1. There's nothing quite so soothing as a self-striping sock! You will soon have an entire drawer full :)

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  2. I hesitate to advise you because you are doing so magnificently well. I only wanted to say that if you burn stuff now because it is too painful and raw at the moment, you will never be able to recover it later when you may feel very differently. Can you not put it somewhere less accessible till you are ready?

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    1. Don't worry Gillian - I am not planning on a bonfire just yet. It is going to take a while to process it all and I know it will help me find "closure". But at the same time I would not want to leave it there for my children to deal with after I am gone!

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  3. I don't really have anything useful to say, my crafting and gardening days seem to have disappeared down the drain along with Mike's dialysis solution. This is more a shout to say "I'm still here!" I think of you often, oh and Hero of course. x x

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  4. Roo, at least I can comment on your shrug, it is lovely! I so wish I knitted. Do take care of yourself.

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  5. Hey Roo.
    I saw some socks today and thought of you, and how I've missed your very individual streak of living the life we have, now it doesn't pop up on myelomablogs. So I was hugely reassured to see you are still quite clearly you. And I hope, should the worst happen, that Mrs B will be able to just get on, and be herself too. Because that would make me happy. So I'm imagining you would make FL happy, if he could see you now.
    Sending you what strength I can muster
    Alex

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    1. Hi Alex,
      My message to those who may leave us is - please make peace with the world before you go. But don't go before your time! Roo

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  6. I think I would have a compulsion to know everything while at the same time being frustrated and quite angry. On the one hand s bonfire could be quite exhilarating but I can see how that might not be a good idea later when you might be up to dealing with it and it would all be gone.

    Can you lock the door on it just now and give yourself breathing space for a while?

    The shawl is grand

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    1. Thanks India. I have stayed away for a couple of weeks now. But I can feel myself building up the energy to have another go at it. So many unanswered questions. Mostly "Why?".

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  7. Don't set fire to anything just yet! It's your story too. You write so beautifully; you've got the material for a book in the palm of your hand..... just a thought.

    I look forward to your posts. I love seeing your lovely crafted items - I'm inspired by your knitting and have even bought sock yarn! Watch this space.

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  8. You don't have to read it now, if you don't want to. You can always read it later if you change your mind.

    You can burn the lot now, if you want. Although then you couldn't read it later.

    You don't have to do what we all suggest.

    OTOH, we all want the best for you. Take things slowly.

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    1. Thanks Penny. It will all be fine eventually.

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  9. I had this image of Jim Broadbent in "Any Human Heart" burning his past in the rundown place at the end of the world (Somewhere, UK) where he ended up. It's heartrending but I understood it. Whatever you decide, remember that burning is healing. xox

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    1. Hi Colleen. I haven't seen that. I am holding fire (ha ha) just now.

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