Before I start to talk about the busy life I lead, I just feel that I have to mention the horror that people of Ukraine are experiencing at the hands of ruthless Putin. I was aware of the build up of Russian military on the border but hoped that they were being truthful when they claimed they were just on training exercises. I was alarmed when the States and various other nations started to become involved with statements of warnings. I listened to a radio show on BBC Radio 2 at lunch times, where people can ring in with their opinions about the situation. On one of these shows British people living in Ukraine rang in and their comments were basically that this build up of the Russian military was nothing unusual, that they regularly did military training and that the rest of the world should back off and stop escalating it into something that it isn’t. When the UK advised its’ citizens to return home, one caller said that his business, wife, children, home and his wife’s family were all based in Ukraine, that they have lives, friends, and were happy there. . .
I think about that gentleman often and wonder how he and his family are.
I watched the news eagerly at first to try to understand what was going on. I admit that I didn’t understand the history of Ukraine and valued it when my hubby Mike and friends discussed it and shared their knowledge and understanding.
Watching the news when everyone was trying to evacuate when they only had the belongings that they could carry was heart breaking. When a report showed a train only allowing women and children on and the father held his hand on the window as his child had his hand on the other side broke me, and I sobbed for all the families who are being torn apart, having to leave their belongings behind, uncertain of the future, uncertain of where they will end up and will they be welcomed.
Come on British Government, get your act together and help these poor people. We are doing what we can, donating to the Red Cross and today took some items that are on their way to Poland for the refugees – but it doesn’t feel enough.
It all came home to Mike and I when we were to see Ellen Kent’s Madam Butterfly at the Regent Theatre in Hanley, Stoke on Trent. We bought a programme as usual and I read through about the production, the origins of Puccini’s opera, and most importantly – the cast. I noticed that they were predominantly from the Ukraine.
The performance was superb, the stage set beautiful, and the singing was exquisite, very emotional. At the end of the performance, the cast took their bows and then stood together, holding the Ukrainian flag and sang their national anthem with their hands on their hearts. The audience stood and clapped showing their absolute support and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. The silence as we all filed out of the theatre was so sad, and the enormity of what the Ukrainian people were experiencing was felt by us all. If you get the chance to see this as it tours around, please do, it is beautiful!
Our prayers and best hopes go out to the poor Ukrainian people, I cannot put into words how concerned I am about their situation.
What can we do when such a terrible situation is present on the news all the time. Mike has a very pragmatic approach to it all, he says that we do what we can when we can, and to carry on as if we are normal. He always says it “tongue in cheek” meaning that we have to carry on carrying on. Life has to continue, we continue to go through the motions, and just pray and hope that things will be resolved. He is very fortunate that he won’t allow himself to worry about things that he has not control over. He watches the news, and we contribute what we can to the effort and then he occupies his mind with other things. Having a career in mental health nursing has demonstrated that not many people are able to do this.
I have found that it helps me personally if I don’t watch the news all the time. I choose when to watch it and preferably not just before going to bed.
We have discussed what resources we can contribute to the cause and although it is nothing dramatic, it will help in some small way.
So what do I do? I knit! I had a very stressful week last week, with various issues all demanding my time and attention (at the same time) and I made a cup of lovely Yorkshire tea, and sat all afternoon one day and knit!
As Elizabeth Zimmerman explains “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either”.
I will now talk about knitting, but please be aware that this is an effective distraction, a way of life to continue to function in these terrible times.
I have finished my second Hairst cardigan and am currently knitting a secret, very challenging gorgeous item that I will share after the recipient has received it. I am taking lots of photographs during the development of it so will share those in my next post. I am really enjoying knitting with shetland wool and in particular doing fairisle. There is something about seeing the different colours contrasting with each other as they form shapes and the pattern that is very rewarding.
My time lately has been very family / carer orientated. I plan periods of time in my diary for making lovely items for the yarn shows that I am looking forward to exhibiting in, but then life happens. Mum is frail and on oxygen, she deteriorated a couple of weeks ago and ended up taking her emergency antibiotics. Our GP service is absolutely brilliant and they sent out the district nurses to check her over. She is now a lot better. I developed a sinus infection following a cold (tested daily for the dreaded lurgy and was negative) and so last week had no energy or interest in doing anything. The timing of these things is always when you least need it isn’t it! I have a number of shows to prepare for, the soonest being next weekend – Spring into Wool. Never mind, Mike is very supportive and won’t mind if I devote my time to sewing rather than housework!
Coming back to Spring into Wool, it is the first show that I ever exhibited at in 2018 and it was absolutely brilliant! I went with my mate Debbie Bough and we stayed in a hotel as it is in Leeds and we made a weekend of it. I loved the venue, free parking for customers and vendors as it is based in a lovely grammar school. Their canteen was open and they do fabulous cooked breakfasts, and all day there were all sorts of refreshments available which were delicious.
I met other vendors who were so warm and friendly and gave me tips and advice for selling. Deb and I had careers in mental health nursing and so were skilled in engaging people in conversation, being warm and friendly! It was great meeting people and talking about their projects. As usual I spent a small fortune on gorgeous yarn, and there was so much on offer that I was dazzled. I looked at the list of exhibitors this year and know which stands will be receiving my attention (again). There are lots of workshops available and a used magazine stand with all the proceeds going to charity. I can’t wait.
This however is a little uncertain as my sister (who I spent the day with on Sunday) developed Covid the following day. I am keeping myself isolated and testing daily. Fingers crossed. I know that that buffoon who is in charge of the country says that we don’t have to isolate if we test positive, but those of us with a conscience and common sense do try to protect others.
I have made new ranges of items to take and am really pleased with some fabrics that I know will be popular. I have also designed and made up some dpn cases. They are done in matching fabrics with the project bags, travel kits, knitting needle and circular needle cases, crochet hook sets too.
I have also made some more of my knitting and crochet themed greeting cards which are always very popular. In addition there are a whole range of jubilee goodies so there will be lots to see! So if you come to see us at Spring into Wool, on the 9th or 10th April, please say hello, it’s lovely to meet people!