I think it took me almost four weeks to finish the last row of YoungB’s temperature blanket. Of course, I was doing other crafty things but there were times I wondered if I’d ever – ever! – get a run at wielding a hook to good effect. I managed a row this week. Don’t ask me why or how. Just plugging away at centres while on the bus, then middles in the evenings before joining to the rest, I suppose; one little bit of hooky at a time.
I’ve had a couple of WFH days, but they were too busy for anything other than work. I’ve had more success on buses – despite the bumpiness – because I’ve decided that any bus that gets me to the city will do. I’ve given up on express buses unless I catch them nearby, because they’re often standing room only (SRO). It is true that, nowadays, others will sometimes stand to let me sit if I happen to be part of the SRO cohort. Now that we’re back to something approaching normal in terms of public transport commuters, the express buses are often uncomfortably crowded. If I hop on a bus that stops at all the interchanges, the time it takes is only marginally more but there are generally enough seats to go round and I can have a double one All. To. Myself. Well!
Today I made those three centres on my way to the city. Heavens! I know I’ve said I don’t crochet quickly, which is true; but that’s about one centre per 10 minutes and I’m happy with that. At lunchtime, in the interests of trying to get out of the office and into the fresh air and sunshine, I did just that: left the building and headed out for a walk. I didn’t walk far. Although the sun was shining, the wind was quite strong and it was icy. I turned around very smartly and came back to the office where I pulled out those centres and my little sewing kit and tidied up the ends.
Like the bus trip, the centres are a little bumpy. They’ll settle down once they’re joined into the rest of the blanket. I hope your centres aren’t too bumpy 😀
The BOM forecast a wet, stormy weekend. It sounded likely to be so dire that the Bs’ long-planned and eagerly awaited motorcycle tour of Yorke Peninsula was called off. Has there been any rain? Less than 5 mm, which is hardly the deluge promised. They were disappointed, but agreed that the decision had been the right one, given the information available at the time.
YoungB decided that, if he couldn’t do a motorcycle tour, then he’d compete in today’s Triathlon SA event. Once again, off we went to the wrong side of the Lake. While the promised gale was absent, conditions were certainly colder and rougher than at the previous event. YoungB admitted that he struggled with the swim, despite its being somewhat shorter. It’s the nature of group swims, I suppose, that the water is choppy. You’d reckon visibility at surface level is close to nil, and the turns are clearly awkward, with everyone trying to find the shortest way around the buoy.
Last time, YoungB said he suffered from vertigo after the swim leg. I’d suggested he follow the example of one of the top competitors who always – we’re told; always – sits down to put his shoes on. It wasn’t for very long, but YoungB said it really helped. He was through the transition in good time. I lost him once he was on the bike because his new trisuit is not sufficiently distinctive that I can pick it – and therefore him – at a distance. I cheered him again when he came back through transition, which he exited quickly.
I’m reacquainting myself with the DSLR in sports mode, but I’m slow to shoot because I take too long to ID the competitors. This means I won’t be putting up my hand for any official photography, unlike all those years where I wielded the school camera more often than ours. Even so, I have a few photos to edit for the cause.
I hope your weekend went according to plan but, if it didn’t, then I hope that you were able to come up with an enjoyable replacement.
And may your preparation for Tinsel Time be far smoother than that water 😀
I didn’t go to work yesterday! It wasn’t really hooky, though, because I’d booked the day off in advance. The reason for such indulgence? It was so that Middle Aunt and I could help Youngest Aunt celebrate her birthday. Since COVID, the three of us have had fewer chances to meet up and restrictions around dining have added to the obstacles. We’d been waiting for our chance, and yesterday was it.
I can’t adequately express how weird it felt to simply sit and chat and nibble for hours, and not have to worry about how dreadful my flex balance would look at the end of it, or how strange it was to look out the restaurant window and see the waves crashing on the shore below, all during work hours. I have a wonderful view from my office window, and if I crane my neck in a different direction it’s possible to see the sea. But it’s not the same as being there, right there, with the salt spray and the rain adding to the holiday atmosphere. It was undoubtedly beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.
Also, we wanted to have that celebration before the borders open again. Who knows how long this degree of freedom will last? It’s always possible that we’ll go into another lockdown. So it really was special to be able to forget the clock and simply enjoy spending time with family.
For Girls’ Night In this year, our hostess proposed the theme of Playing a Part. Youngest Aunt suggested the main character/s from Vertigo, particularly referencing either the famous black dress or grey costume as worn by Kim Novak. I could have managed the hair. I’d have been prepared to endure an approximation of the shoes. But the dress, and the figure to match? Hiring the dress might have been the best option, had I decided to go that way. Half the fun of these gatherings is to see what everyone else manages on what is often a minimum-cost model. The more I thought about it, the less readily achievable it seemed.
If not the heroine/bad girl from Vertigo, then what part should I play? Serendipity saw me rereading a few bits and pieces from various books in Garth Nix‘s Old Kingdom series, in readiness for the new title that was released earlier in November. I happened to reread part of Lirael, the second book in the original trilogy. There was a description of Filris, a character who appears only once but at a moment of great importance.
Filris is the Infirmarian at the Clayrs Glacier. She is described as short and slight, with white hair and wrinkled skin that tans readily. She is said to be about 150 years of age. Like others of her clan, she has pale blue eyes. I didn’t need help for most of that, although I’m no longer slight, nor am I naturally tanned. Being the Infirmarian, charged with healing via the use of both Charter Magic and more ordinary means, appealed to me as something readily achievable and surprisingly appropriate. This is not to say that I am possessed of Charter Magic, more that I could come up with all sorts of quick and easy ways to represent Filris AND, as I have spent many years of my life in caring roles, both professional and personal, the fit felt right. Type-cast, you might say.
I wore clean silver jewellery, with the idea that it represented untarnished silver kept bright by Charter Magic. I wasn’t successful in finding anything resembling the moonstones on a silver circlet that denote a fully Awakened Clayr but you could argue that a healer would have as few adornments as possible. As I think you can see in the photo, I had stars on the cape I made. The stars are meant to be seven-pointed, to represent the Clayr, but I could only find the five-pointed variety. Basic clothing was as simple as a white top and leggings, and I made a green-and-silver belt that didn’t hold up as well as I’d have liked but lasted long enough. To suggest the healer’s role, I carried a bag with some herbs of healing – fresh rosemary from our garden, as well as fresh and dried lavender – and put my hair up in a bun to keep it out of the way. Sorted without too much effort. The fur-edged cape is not entirely true to canon. However, I knew it would be cool outdoors and I am notoriously bad at handling cold; almost like a real Clayr living on a glacier.
And, as if all of that were not enough, I grew up in Clare. It was meant.
I wasn’t happy with my representation of a Charter Mark, but the paler zinc almost worked. Of course, nobody else knew who my character was or had heard of the books. Of course, I was equally clueless as to who half of them were meant to be. It was fun swapping yarns about what/whose part we were playing. It was also deeply heartening to find a fellow crocheter with whom I could discuss yarns of other sorts; BWM is our preferred supplier.
If I was tired before all these fancy dress parties started cranking up – yes, I was – then I think I can safely admit that I’m now utterly exhausted, and ready for the working year to be over. However, the latest Old Kingdom title should be awaiting me tomorrow when I come home from work. I can probably keep my eyes open long enough to read a chapter or so of that. I would usually stay up all night reading, but see my earlier comment re exhaustion AND consider that it’s a school night.
I’m sure you’ll appreciate my reluctance to visit the Infirmarian 😀
“We don’t have many meetings,” they told me, early in my time at the present workplace, despite the first week being riddled with them. The louder they said it, the less I believed them. However, things have settled down and it turns out that that was true. There are regular meetings, but they are usually brief. Additionally, we’ve all now become accustomed to online meetings. There are days I don’t know whether that’s good or bad, because the technology doesn’t always meet the demands placed upon it.
Yesterday was definitely an exceptional one in respect of meetings. We had three, with barely time to gasp between them; and the technology worked well. By lunchtime, I’d had it. I was exhausted and could barely think. To help me refocus, I sat with my sandwich and a spot of crochet. The sandwich is standard enough fare, but the crochet was something I don’t usually manage during work hours. It’s rare enough that I get any done during my commute. I don’t think I could call it a win for technology, but it might be a win for the blanket.
All the best with your meetings and technology, whether or not technology meets your meeting needs.
Recently, YoungB and I were discussing group projects and how there’s always one person who does the bare minimum to get the passing grade. For an individual unit where it’s only Pass or Fail, and all you have to do is – say – submit a 250-word commentary every week, and make one comment on one other person’s commentary, that’s all they’d do. They’d still pass. You couldn’t fault it as a technique for successfully completing the pertinent qualification, although you might argue that the wider benefit of true interaction with other students would be sadly lacking.
I was mumbling about a few workmates who fit that mould. YoungB pointed out, very calmly, “They’re still getting paid exactly the same amount of money you are, Mum.” When I replayed that conversation, I decided there had to be a less stressful way to come up with a jockey’s outfit. I managed to find an old blouse that I’d put aside for the scrap basket, but which I hadn’t yet stripped of buttons. OK. Job done. It even had sleeve frills that could be sliced off and used to decorate the jockey’s helmet. Another job done.
My chief partner in crime in all this silliness is a member of our wider team. She made the nose and ears and the hessian bridle, to ensure that our steed was ready for any eventuality. She also stuck the colours on the helmet and plaited my hair for the race today, achieving the Pippi Longstocking look I’m sporting in the photo. I was struggling to do a braid. I hadn’t thought about plaits, or I probably could have managed that myself. Anyhoo, our efforts garnered us the prize for best dressed horse and jockey. That I managed to come second in the race was, well, secondary. We had a great time!
Tomorrow it’s back to the serious business of getting through a huge backlog of reporting, using some new systems that aren’t always as smooth and seamless as you might hope. But I won’t let myself worry about things beyond my control: I’m not paid enough!
Now that the Cup is over, the next Big Event on our horizon is the Pageant. Then, well, you know. Tinsel galore and things of that nature. Eek. All the best with your dash to the finish line, no matter what level of remuneration is involved 😀