A bit of an explanation for those of you who might have noticed an absence of my usual waffle in the comments section of your blog posts. I have been to the U.K. for a week but not for the usual fish and chips, underwear grab in Marks and Spencer and other frivolities. Unfortunately my Mother is ill and my sisters and I are taking it in turns to keep her company while she receives palliative care at her home. Logistically it’s quite difficult as I am in France, one of my sisters is in Spain and the youngest is in Wales which – though in the U.K., is still a 3.5 hour drive away from where my Mum lives. Still, whilst it is still possible, she wants to stay in her own familiar surroundings so we are doing our best to make sure she has one of us there at all times. I did take my iPad but screen time was sacrificed to quality time and, although I have certainly read most of your posts, I haven’t been commenting. In fact, since I returned home yesterday I had just under 300 emails and had to be ruthless with the delete button – just so you know.
Anyway, despite taking a new crochet project with me and some small sewing bits to keep me occupied, it was all put aside in favour of ‘the Christmas jumper’. This project was entrusted to Mum, just after she received her diagnosis, by my nephew. I think he thought it would give her something to work on and keep her mind occupied. She was actually knitting a rather lovely top for herself at the time but, as the sun shines out of his proverbial, as far as my Mum is concerned, all else was swept aside in her desperation to finish it for him and the boring stocking stitch began.
My nephew knows absolutely nothing about knitting and printed a very basic pattern off the internet and told her that was what he wanted. Despite knitting for years, my Mum has never got the hang of intarsia knitting and the chart left her dumbfounded. My middle sister was with her at that stage and decided to make the Christmas tree in felt and appliqué it on to the front. It was, I am told, a disaster. So, despite not even being a regular knitter herself, she came up with a separate knitted version of the tree, complete with pompoms for the baubles and star, and sewed that on. Mum completed the back before the extreme fatigue she is now suffering from kicked in, the same sister took some of the yarn back to Spain with her and did the sleeves and my task was to pick up the stitches and do the neckband and then sew it all together.
Could this be the weirdest Christmas jumper you see this year? It is like the Frankenstein of woolen wear – being made by different makers at different times and all of different abilities. Unfortunately, my sister was unsupervised when she knitted the sleeves in Spain and so mistook k1, p1 rib for moss stitch so there is absolutely no difference between the width of the cuffs and the width of the sleeves. I didn’t have time to do anything other than to sew it all together but it did occur to me that it might be worth picking up around the ends of the cuffs and knitting a proper ribbed piece on. What do you knitters think? Would that work? I know that the moss stitch piece would have to stay but we could call that a design feature.
He will be delighted to get this for Christmas. No, really!
I am sure of two things however: it will be the only one of its kind and he will never wear it in public.
Did I mention he is 35 years old?
This is my old boy Taz – he turned 12 in September. He is in recovery mode.
The day before I was due to leave for the U.K. I had slept very badly because, not only was I very nervous about my trip not knowing how I would find my Mum and worried about my caregiving abilites but I could hear the dogs marauding about downstairs in a restless manner. I got up to let them out in case they needed to pee and then I noticed that Taz’s stomach was hugely distended and rock hard. I thought it might be the very dangerous condition called ‘bloat’ which happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand causing it to put pressure on the other organs. I wondered about calling out an emergency vet – it was 5.30 in the morning – but suddenly he was incredibly sick and I remembered that I had found the dog food delivery ‘tampered with’ the evening before and a kilo of one of the two 15kg sacks stored downstairs suspiciously missing so I put it down to him gorging himself. So, instead of rushing to the vet, I took my daughter to work at the normal time but, when I got back , I thought I’d take him to the vet anyway as he needed some more pills for his arthritis and let her have a look at his stomach – ‘just in case’. Luckily I did because she did an echogram, saw his spleen was in a bad condition and decided to whip it out on the spot. So, he lives to scent our lives with his gaseous emissions another day – while he was having the echogram the nurse was at the wrong end holding his feet still and had to run and fling open a window. ‘Welcome to my life’ I told her. Luckily, Mr. Tialys was on his way home from the U.K. to cover for me while I went to the U.K. and we picked him up at the end of the day. We put him in one of the girls’ t-shirts instead of a buster collar and, just over a week later, he appears to have recovered well.
Just what I needed before setting off for a week of grappling with multitudinous medications and daytime television but I am now an expert in both.
Not being a daytime t.v. viewer myself I am amazed at what gets discussed, dissected and repeated over and over again between the hours of 08.00 and 17.00. The worst of it is, because the target audience is obviously older the adverts are nearly all for life insurance ‘so your children aren’t burdened with your funeral expenses’, fund raising pleas for cancer charities with images of patients and, as it was Halloween while I was there, numerous coffins and other death related paraphernalia – all very uncomfortable viewing when watching with an elderly, sick loved one It was worse than an unexpected explicit sex scene coming up while watching with all the family round at Christmas time.
Still, there was always the Jeremy Kyle Show on to remind us that perhaps a more rigorous programme of contraception ought to be promoted amongst people who can shout at more than 90 decibels and use one swear word for every two ordinary ones in any given sentence whilst demanding to hear the results of the DNA test to prove who, out of a number of possible candidates, is the father of their unfortunate child.
Anyway, I’m back now.