Multiple layers

imageIt’s so cold outside, I might actually catch hyperthermia. Walking, my whole body has gone into shock. Where is the beautiful sunshine of earlier, the brilliant blue sky overhead? I had such a lovely walk this morning, but, somehow, as the day darkened into evening and the light disappeared, the warmth evaporated too, and now it’s nothing short of unbearable. Even in multiple layers; coat, hat, scarf and gloves: I am shivering. And my shoulders have risen so high, they are competing with my neck.

Hiding out in a cafe, I am waiting for the feeling in my fingers to come back, drinking hot tea to fast-track the warming. I have had a good day though, a reward for persevering with a weekly group. There was a large table: full; new people and old, people I knew and people I did not. I talked a lot. I made a friend. I felt at home… It’s such a change to be able to find things to attend, compared to the isolation of Mallorca, and the novelty of that is still to wear off.

However, group aside, I am drifting: my ability to write comes and goes, and with it my sense of wellbeing. Why is my whole sense of self; my identity, my smile, so tightly wrapped around something I can never hold?

As I try to figure out how to get through each day, how to get the most out of everything – being here, the chances, the opportunities… my boat pitches and I feel sick.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Growing the things that have shrunk

imageFinding a quiet place to sit and work is a challenge. London is always full, especially in the center. Walking from cafe to cafe, I spend longer than I would like, waste hours I would rather not lose, attempting to repair what has come apart. And as each day unravels, giving and taking, making and breaking, I become increasingly aware that I am trapped.

Closing my eyes and rewinding; going backwards in order to stop and process before turning around and attempting to go forwards again: I sense I ought to be travelling; ingesting new sensations and experiences, growing the things that have shrunk.

But I don’t know how to get there or where it is I ought to want to go, and every time I experiment with a different route, pick a different path or take an alternate turning, I end up returning to the place where I began.

Attending meditation classes at a local centre; sitting and listening and attempting to do: something, anything, etc… I am learning. But is it enough?

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Spun gold to my inner magpie, artesian chocolate to my inner child


Ok, so I’m a sucker for a descent newsletter and a sap for an intriguing ad. Send me a newsletter containing soft or shiny products and I’m like a kid in a sweetshop, especially when that newsletter is knitting-related and it’s products happen to be wool.

This morning Deramores delivered their monthly instalment, waxing lyrical about their autumn offer – 20% off chunky wool: spun gold to my inner magpie, artesian chocolate to my inner child. I practically flew there.

Diving in, I attempted to explore the Clearance Bin in search of a desirable bargain. But, alas, the link was corrupt, leading to nowhere remotely useful. So I ended up on the adjacent page, which just so happened to be the ‘New’ Section. Hmmmmm…… Was this their cunning plan all along? For, sure enough, I got sucked straight in, spotting a run of alpaca spun lace. How could I resist.imageThree shades later, I am suitably satisfied and a little remorseful. I must stop buying so much wool, it doesn’t suit my sitting room shelves and my hands can’t keep up. I would be better served attempting to finish before launching into over and over again. It would reduce the anxiety and overwhelm accumulating evokes.

I did it previously with books, in the days before my Kindle, collecting from bookshops, supermarkets, car boot sales, flea markets, bargain bins, families and friends, acquiring more pages than I could ever hope to read. When it came to moving abroad, packing up in England and putting into storage for the time being, I was struck by how much I possessed and how much of it I had never had cause to use. Suitably traumatised (anyone who has packed up a residence will be able to relate to this, especially if the time they spent there was long) I vowed never to do it again. And I kept that vow for over two years, proudly.

And then this winter I started nesting, thinking we might stay, and slowly but surely I am the owner of stuff again, stuff that will need packing and shipping and worrying about at some point, stuff that will also require extra cases, extra room. It makes me anxious just to think about it.imageThere’s a part of me that’s tempted to throw it all away. It sounds extreme, like a joke, but I actually did this several months ago, back in May, binning everything that wasn’t vital: jewelery, clothes, cosmetics, books, wool, ribbon, thread…. It felt amazing, liberating. Especially as I re-homed those pieces I deemed worthy: to friends, family and charity.

But then, slowly, I realised I missed some of the things I had shunned and needed others back. It was a lesson in caution and stealth and also in patience, teaching me to look more closely before I leap, think longer before I react, take to bed and sleep on, for a month if needs be. Anything. Many things, so long as I don’t run.
imageToday, I am a little more cautious. I can clear and throw when it comes to the removing. There is no need to act in advance. And in the meantime, it may be a good idea to invest with a little more care and caution: after all, it’s not like the wool is going to go away. Thanks to the internet, one can find most things most of the time, no matter the length of the delay. More sensible to create a Wish List to act as a memory, like I did with my books. My Amazon list is of epic proportions. I doubt I will ever exhaust it, even from here, even without continuing to add to it. I don’t even remember what the most are, so long ago was my initial interest in their insides.

Anyway, this is what I bought this morning when advertising lured me and temptation suckered me and several balls of delightfully delectable wool wrapped my fragile resistance around their rainbow lengths.

Artesano Alpaca Spun Lace

Artesano Alpaca Spun Lace

Daffodil Yellow

Daffodil Yellow (6409)

Baby Pink

Baby Pink (0043)

Minty Green

Minty Green (8361)

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