Sunday, 29 November 2009
Yesterday I helped out at another workshop at the hospice, this time for parents who are using the hospice now for their children, called 'Building Memories.' My biggest fear this time was that I was a bereaved parent rather than a parent of a life-limited child and I was worried that this may seem insensitive. I hope it wasn't.
When Tom first became ill, it felt a bit like we had become public property. That sounds so ungrateful now, but I felt that I owed a lot of people something for the support we received. After the first three months in hospital, Tom was transferred to The Children's Trust in Surrey for rehabilitation on the unit for children with an acquired brain injury. He arrived there in October 1997 and that was when I started writing a diary for him. It had the most unoriginal title of The Secret Diary of Tom D******, aged 4 1/2. Pilfered straight from Adrian Mole! I wrote it in the first person, as though Tom were telling his story and each month I posted it out to all the people who had helped us get through the first few months. I designed a little logo heading and set myself boundaries of 2 sides of A4 paper in a generous pt.14 font.
Little did I know when I started it that I would continue writing it monthly for the next 8 years, sending out over 60 copies around the world. Some of the copies I sent were to people I didn't even know but had somehow got wind of it through other family and friends and showed a genuine interest. It never felt like a burden to write it and the actual writing process was surprisingly cathartic. As I became more experienced with the computer and technology allowed, I began to include photos and so nearly a lifetime was recorded in those pages.
I talked yesterday of Tom's diary and of my plans to maybe self-publish it so that it is more than 5 folders from WHSmith full of memories. I have been looking at Blurb and Lulu and it remains on My List of Things to do.
I also shared my other book with the parents who attended and I hope it will inspire them to do similar things for their children.
Then I got onto the subject of blogging! I suppose had I known about blogging, or had it been around back then, Tom's diary would have been online. How times change. I talked about the sense of community I had found as a result of being a blogger and that the world is there at your fingertips. When you have a disabled child, time is precious and isolation is a real issue and so being able to connect with people who have similar interests or experiences is sometimes difficult. In the early days of my life without Tom, the Internet became my friend: always there and something I didn't have to make an effort for, other than to switch my PC on.
It's all about sharing for me. I shared Tom's life with people through his diary and I am sharing my life and others through blogging. That is what does it for me. Sharing.
Yesterday, my day was rounded off perfectly by sharing a welcome latte with a friend I have made through my blog - Julia. Julia and I have been reading each others blogs for quite a while now and we finally met in person. A last-minute arrangement, hastily made by email on Friday evening! We talked of blogging and how I had covered it during the workshop, and also of all the pros and cons we have both experienced from our own blogs. We talked of sharing. I have a feeling we could have talked for hours.
It was so lovely to meet you Julia, and no, I didn't mind driving an extra 5 miles! I drove back to London with a smile on my face having had a Good Day.
I just noticed that this is my 200th post, and probably my first post without a single photo. Quite a milestone!
ps. have a look at the Christmas cards on the Helen House site, I thought they were really nice and bought all mine from there this year... Or why not have a look at these...
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Check out the malted cupcakes for Fathers Day - YUM!
Friday, 27 November 2009
Well, I just ripped that paper apart! And look what was inside!
An extra piece of fabric from the collection! Thank you so much Kelly! I absolutely love the grey colourways because I am building a quilt for my loft bedroom in greys and greens and so these are fabrics that I will definitely cut in to!
My collection is steadily growing and these also arrived from here.
I am a happy bunny today!
A quick update on my neck for you: I went to see my surgeon yesterday and as it was still quite swollen, he aspirated it for me - yep, needle in the neck again! Thank goodness it's still numb! Anyway, I have managed to massage all of the glue off now and can concentrate on making the scarring fade. It looks much better now, not gory at all, but I suspect I may need it aspirating again... We'll see...
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Now it seems that every new quilting blog I look at is a Flea Market Fancy Freak too! They are doing a giveaway at the moment so this post is dedicated to that. Just click on the picture to see if you'd like to join in too:
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
For the binding, I used a Heather Bailey bright pink print that I spotted on a whim in John Lewis after having already bought something else in Liberty! I always love the way that the binding brings the whole quilt together, frames it.
For the backing I used Amy Butler's Dandelion Field which reminds me of vintage sheeting. I'm sure I had something really similar when I was young on my bed. I hand-quilted around each 8" section of the quilt front which leaves a lovely regular pattern on the back.
So it is neatly folded, awaiting wrapping, alongside Jasmine's one.
Yesterday, the sun didn't really help me out in the photograph department and the wind kept lifting the quilt off the deck, so this is the best I could get of the whole thing in all it's pink and green glory:
Looking a bit darker than it really is, but never mind...
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
I managed to cast on another pair of socks from my (fancy, electric) hospital bed much to the interest of virtually everybody who came into my room! Much more interesting than the surgical stockings I had to wear the whole time!
I'm so glad I made my scarf - I'll be needing it! Look away now if you're squeamish!
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
I had a browse through Ravelry and hit on a pattern that by luck I happened to have and in one of my favourite books. The great thing about Ravelry is that you can find patterns made up in different yarns to that stated in the pattern with amazing results. The scarf in the book was (to me) totally uninspiring and more of a short cravat-type affair. I needed a longer, softer scarf so I used 2 balls instead of 1.
The thing I love about crochet is that with just a few basic stitches used in different combinations you come up with such wonderful patterns. Added together with the most gorgeous multi-coloured yarn and what's not to love?
This scarf hardly took any time to make and was perfect for biding a couple of dark evenings away with a big hook in hand.
It looks so lovely on my weathered garden furniture don't you think?
And goes perfectly with a dress I bought on aforementioned shopping trip!
Scarves are going to be accessory of the season for me as I am going into hospital on Friday (the 13th...I know...don't even go there...) to have a hemi-thyroidectomy which will leave a scar on my neck which I will be doing my best to conceal until it becomes less noticeable. Hopefully, I will be able to come home on Saturday with half a thyroid gland that I am hoping will be able to manage my thyroid hormone production without the need to take a replacement.
It will be my first time in hospital as a patient (other than having the boys) and I am a tad nervous about the anaesthetic as I've never had a general either. For the best part of this year I have been up and down to an endocrinologist about a cyst that has grown in my throat. I had it biopsied (it was benign) and aspirated twice but it is persistently reforming so surgery is my last resort.
Luckily, there is a coffee shop round the corner that I can send my visitors out for a gingerbread latte while I'm lording it up in bed... I am dying for a cup of coffee as I'm off it this week while I'm taking some arnica to help with bruising. I didn't ever consider myself hooked on caffeine but it may be true. Roll on Saturday!
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Saturday, 7 November 2009
It's all looking pink in my conservatory with these lilies too...
Unintentionally, I have managed to keep the colour scheme consistent for the coming spring!
I planted 2 varieties of tulips in the planters to string out the flowering period a bit and made a hasty exit from the garden centre when I was only charged £8 for £24-worth of bulbs!
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
...that I have a little bowl of necessities...