I used to work for a number of different schools as what we call here the Clerk to the Governors. When I finished at my last job, days seemed incredibly dark for a variety of reasons I won’t go in to here but as a result my confidence was at an all time low.
Over the last few years I have tried to learn to cope better with John’s illness and the stresses and strains that life has thrown our way, not always successfully. I am learning to be kinder to myself and my quilting and handmade things have given me a new confidence. Going to craft fairs and talking to people about what I do has helped me to understand the value of my abilities in a kinds of different parts of my life.
This week has done that too: an unexpected opportunity from an unlikely (I thought) source has made me see that I do have value to others beyond my front door. I will try to remember this when stress rears its ugly head again.
I will continue to run Love Quilts and to make the things I love,; I haven’t stopped being a carer, the work I do can largely be done from home. I’m sure non of this will increase the frequency with which I update my blog!
In the dim and distant past (or ancient history as my ten year old would have it) otherwise known as my childhood, I grew up in the large village of Mullion on the very specially gorgeous Lizard Peninsula. The specially gorgeousness of this place is a state secret so I may now have to kill you all but I digress…
… The cold mornings we have been having with the wonderful sunny weather have brought to mind an early morning jaunt we took to the nearest town. I think I must have been about five and we must have got up very early for we went into to town on the bus while the morning was still cold and dewy. The nearest town was a place called Helston and at the beginning of May every year it holds a festival called Flora Day (see picture above and google to see more images and videos). The people of the town dance through streets and houses and businesses in a series of different dances all day. They all sport a sprig of Lily of the Valley on the lapels or shirts and I was entranced by the magic of this and it is tangled in my mind with fairy tales and images from the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. When I was my little it was one of my greatest wishes to dance at Flora Day but as I was neither born there, nor went to school there, or married to anyone from there it is never likely to happen.
Whether it is Flora Day or not, Helston is a beautiful little town and is having a hard time at the moment, so I urge you to go there and spend some money in their independent shops – we are off down again at the end of May for a few days.
In other news, I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by a lovely Canadian blogger Life on a Dirt Road and I will be responding to her challenge in my next post.
While I’m in the mood to urge, the Painter is just about to have a new studio delivered, so (more) normal service should shortly be resumed.
This one is called We Dream of Cornwall and can be found with lots of friends in his online gallery, here
Another quilt is finished, pictures next time!
Well after almost a year, here I am again.
The move and its on and offness got a bit much and I decided to stay quietish for a bit. We are now quite settled, John’s gone to look at studio space this morning and I’m working on a commission for a customer.
He’s recently been accepted as an exhibiting artist at Flameworks, so barring any neurological surprise we are now making progress.
I have been busy while I’ve been quiet and below is a selection of the lovely things I’ve managed to create:
Lots of things of wended their way off around the globe, including an enormous crochet blanket. All my stuff is available for sale over in my Etsy shop. So if you know me, stop by and say hello.
I admit it. I have been a little distracted for the last couple of weeks and have not really settled down to writing . The whole business of the previous post discomfited me and the issue of the house I am trying to no-longer think about. This is odd as it has been the one beacon of solace for so long. I should have known better …
Whilst I have not been busy blogging, I have bee busy with other things – meet Pavlova, my latest creation which has kept me occupied along with another two quilts, Trip and Dolly Mixture which should be done later this week.
In other news, I have been out to a Carers’ Ambassadors meeting this morning. Carers Champions are a not for profit organisation representing and helping carers in the Plymouth local authority area.
If you are a carer and live in Plymouth have you heard of them? Have you had any help or assistance in your role? Have you had a Carer’s Assessment by the local authority and if so what has been your experience of the process? Any compliments – any concerns? I am meeting with the local authority on 3 April to provide a carer’s perspective and would welcome local input and even experiences from further afield. Leave me a comment or if you prefer not to leave it here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am attending the Carers Champions drop-in on 5 March in Plympton to ask carers there about their experiences and would love to hear from anyone who has experience of this, good or bad.
I can tick this off today’s to do list and pop over to Handmade Monday to see what Wendy and the gang have been up to.
Disappointment seems to follow swiftly on the heels of disappointment in my little life. Closely followed by a swift kicking . Are you detecting a particular tone to this post? Sorry about that. It seems that despite suggestions from our social landlord that due to our circumstances we may be eligible for an early move it now seems that we are not and that by the time we do move there will be none of the new houses that are suitable and adaptable left.
I know I shouldn’t have
trusted the woman in the office gotten my hopes up but I just wanted something nice to look forward to.
In an attempt to cheer myself up I was playing old TV themes – it’s a game we used to like to play, our own version of Name That Tune, but during the course of this little interlude it emerges that John can no longer remember that Jason King drove a Jensen Interceptor. The only reason I have ever heard of a Jensen Interceptor is because John used to bang on and on
and on and on and …. about Jason bloody King and his Jensen bloody Interceptor. I feel bereft.
I have a lovely report from the lovely psychologist to tell us that actually after all the brain mashing John is still average with some particular difficulties thrown in for good measure but was highly superior before. I had actually worked that one out for myself but ho hum. There are whole chunks of our life and of his own that he can no-longer remember and every time I am confronted with it I feel gutted again. It is almost seven years since this nightmare began.
I now have Carly Simon’s dulcet tones ringing in my head but reflection on what’s gone and what’s yet to come seems to befit this time of year. This time last year I was in a very bleak place emotionally and my confidence was at a low ebb worn away by months of high anxiety. 2011 for all its slings and arrows has been quite healing in many ways. We have had help from a lovely psychologist specialising in brain injury who has helped us to have a better understanding of what’s going on. It doesn’t always help to know why something is happening but it never hurts.
A combination of this and my own craftiness (you can take this as cunning or my incessant need to make things) seems to have had
the desired effect an inspirational effect on John and his initial small decorative efforts have stretched his artistic muscles to the point where, as I write, he is in the shed painting again. Not only that but he has renewed his Minigallery subscription and has done most of the adminny bits he needed to do to get it to go live. These are huge, seven-league-boot steps forward and I don’t think any of them could have been achieved if I was still going out to work.
I am sharing my own personal favourite which I am linking to – not everyone is comfortable with the human form, so if you aren’t don’t click please. This was painted back in 2005 from a drawing done of me back in 2004 or 2003 and it sold very quickly, too quickly to a lady in London. I wanted to look at it for a bit longer; who doesn’t want to see themselves so beautifully depicted?
My photo doesn’t really do it justice because this little picture and the others like it are, to me, little miracles.
I went to meet a new friend on Saturday; a lady I’d never met before and only briefly spoken to on the phone. Somehow we had found each other – we are broadly the same age, broadly similar levels of education but the thing that binds us is both our husbands have had strokes and those “brainquakes” have devastated our lives; we both have small children.
I won’t begin to bore you with the minutiae but if you would like to see how strokes affect younger people and their lives have a look at the Different Strokes website: www.differentstrokes.co.uk.
John has now had four major strokes and there doesn’t really seem to be an end in sight, so it’s a bit like living with a time bomb.
The little miracles are currently being painted by him for my craft stalls – the miracle is that there is enough of him left to achieve this. These can be found (along with equally bad photos) in my etsy shop over here, and examples of his work especially before his strokes can be found over at www.artbyjohnmorris.co.uk.
I’m hoping that Wendy over at Handmade Monday won’t mind me including these. Go and check her things out and all over the other lovely Handmade Monday club items