Saturday, May 31, 2014

Falling from the horse

Years ago, when I lived in London, I would drive with another friend up to Milton Keynes once a week to go horse riding with a friend who was living there.

I was always given a small, dumpy horse called Hattie who moved slowly and grudgingly, which was fine by me. Hattie and I managed to walk and trot, and once Hattie cantered because she felt like it and I jiggled on top of her until she stopped. 

One day Hattie was out with someone else and I was put onto a RACEHORSE (in comparison). A huge, fine, young, energetic female who was BURSTING with power. I felt out of control from the moment I sat on her. I also felt like I was on top of a skyscraper looking down. Off we all went on our country trek.

This new horse, or perhaps it was I, was skittish from the outset. I'm sure in the hands of an experienced rider she would have been amazing, but we were trotting along a country lane when a man stepped through a gap in the hedge, and my horse just BOLTED. 

Because she had bolted ahead and left, I could feel myself sliding to the right, unable to gain enough control to get myself upright on her. I have a slow motion recollection of realising that if I stayed as I was, I would end up under the horse, tangled and trampled. I pulled my feet out of the stirrups, let go the reins and leap-frogged off, falling face first in the mud.

Apart from having an incredibly painful neck for a few weeks afterwards I was fine. The instructor made me get back on the horse straight away and sign a disclaimer as soon as we got back to the stables. (I think I was in shock.)

I think of this whenever I reach a stage in my life where, try as I might, certain things are out of my control and for sanity and health I have to submit and let things take their own course.

We have a relative who is currently unwell and Hagos and I have put a lot of energy and focus into doing what we can, but ultimately there is a lot we can't control. And then just when I felt I had got my work into the shape I wanted, my upper managers want me to move office. I feel resistant for many reasons. And I know I am in no state to judge because I am so tired. My manager may be right. It might be a great move for me. But at the moment it feels too much on top of our ill relative.

So I am jumping from the horse, and the relative and work can unfold as they will. And I submit.

And concentrate on things that rebuild and regenerate me.
Sewing. And thinking about sewing.

I finally got round to cutting out several skirts I want to make. Above, the Turkey egg fabric. I LOVE it.
The orange tree fabric. I am so drawn to orange-yellow-mustard area of the colour spectrum at the moment. 

The Turkey feather fabric, which my neighbours kindly bought me. The print is the same but in two similar sets of colours, so I decided to make another layer skirt. I can't wait for it to be finished.
I bought this material in John Lewis ages ago because it was in a sale. I think it was half price. I like the colours (purple and green!) but I'm not ecstatic about the print. It will be fine when it's finished though.
And then my wee pal Meg, who ALWAYS cheers me up. She has been such a good friend to me, every day, for around nine years. I love her.
And exciting additions: the chicks have hatched! My neighbours put six eggs under Delphis (the black Orpington who had gone broody) and twelve in an incubator. So far I think we now have six, or seven, live chicks living under/with Delphis. These three are just so cute. There is a fourth, called Penguin (great name), also very cute and just gorgeous.
Delphis was adopted by us when her owners moved from Scotland to Yorkshire last year. She and the other adopted hen, Phyllis, have always been a bit grumpy, but Delphis has been magnificent so far in her role of mother. I love this last photo. The small round yellow patch is the head of a chick peeking out through Delphis's feathers. 

I must go and see them now before they go to bed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Small Progress

I felt yesterday I must make progress on something, and having been ordered by my husband to lie on the couch (to recover) I decided to work on this one jumper. Of course, Meg had other ideas, and sewing it together, and knitting the collar, had to be done around her cuddles.

At one point Hagos went to check on the chickens and brought back this late-lay from Squeaky Cheese! Isn't it perfect?
The almost finished jumper. It is pinned together at the moment. Just have to sew in the arms, then sew up the sides and sleeves and it will be finished.
I like it.

Friday, May 16, 2014


I have had flu for 3 days. On Tuesday night my body had just had enough and refused to put up with its mistreatment any longer. A cumulative effect of various stresses in quick succession. 

There is an amazing luxurious feeling of submission once I succumb to illness and drop out of commitments. My life mostly revolves around forward planning and setting everything up so all is in the right place at the right time. At work and home. I felt so ill on Tuesday night I really felt I could get seriously ill. So I STOPPED. And I have rested and recovered for the past three days. Part of the recovery has included (whilst sleeping/resting) dreaming of sewing projects I plan make once I'm well again. I also looked through baking books and dreamed of cakes I could make. But mostly I've been resting.
This afternoon I felt well enough to get up for an hour to finish off these toiletries bags. I had already cut them out and sewn the individual parts, so all it required was sewing the outer to the lining and threading the cord through. I LOVE this cat fabric. I'm looking forward to making a skirt out of it next.
And I've been meaning to make this for a friend for ages. 
It gave me a feeling of having achieved something, which was good.
I'm also looking forward to making the Coco pattern above. The material is washed and waiting to be cut. I might have a big cutting session over the weekend, if I feel up to it.
Lemsip and tissues with balm have been providing me with some relief.
And for the next week I'm babysitting THE INCUBATOR! I think it's the third time my neighbours have incubated eggs. The last incubation produced the Squeaky Cheese gang. An amazing bunch of great chicks (I still think of them as chicks, though they're about ten months old now, laying eggs, and as big as the other chickens).
I also bought Tilly's first book. I like her style. I'm looking forward to making the Megan dress.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. It's so lovely to have Hagos home though. Much better being ill with a good friend nearby. Being ill when I'm home alone is miserable.