Driving through life with wool on the backseat

Life has gotten in the way of woolly things for a while now and today I’m grumpy about it.

grumpy sheep

I can’t knit because first I have to design the green Wollmeise shawl in more detail. And for that I need my brain. Which has been out of commission what with the cat stress and all.
I’ve got all the inspirational pages and notes the shawl open on my computer for two weeks now, constantly. Waiting for my brain to get into gear again.

I haven’t spun since last time I talked to you. Those turtles must be in deep wintersleep by now!

sleeping turtles

I cannot grab some sockyarn for mindless knitting because if I put one more project on the needles one of the others is bound to fall of the disc of my mind.
Contrary to modern theories about the world being a sphere, my mind is still a disc with definitive endings. Projects and thoughts that near the edges too close will sail off the cliff majestetically. They’ll fall down in space, all the way down past all the stacked turtles.


Just after the kitty disaster was averted I got a major health scare because that’s how my body likes to do things. As a result I had to cancel some really fun woolly things at the last minute. I’m still moping about them!
For example two weeks ago I was to meet two spindlespinning friends for tea in a lovely shop about handmade things in my city. They’ve just opened a tea salon! We were all looking forward to going and then two hours before we were due to meet my body did flop. (It was scary too because the hydrocortisone took no effect and then you know you’re really exhausted and possibly damaging something in your body. Luckily my brain went flop too and I had no power left to worry about things.)

Then one week ago I was going to meet a herd of sheep to cuddle with for Valentine’s Day. In the east of Holland there’s this sustainable herd of land breed sheep and the shepherd generated publicity for it last year when the council thought it’d be cheaper to mow their meadows mechanically.

With big press the herd became visible and the people of the community and the entrepeneurs of it made known how valuable a local sheeps’ herd is. Because of historical reasons. Because of Slow Quality of Life reasons. Because of embellisment of daily local life reasons.
The whole thing made me cheer for the shepherd and when I saw his invitation for the Valentine Hug a Sheep Day I wanted to visit very much.

“Come and take a picture among the wool with your sweetheart!”:

landschapskudde valentijn 2015

“If you don’t have your sweetheart with you the shepherd may be persuaded to step in.” How fun must that man be! I really wanted to go and say hello.

My alterior motive to go was to see if they had any.. ahum… plans for allll the fleeces once they shear the sheeps? Because… you know… I could give one of them a good home… if need be.

But no. I had to stay at home. Look at the walls. Look at the cat. Get better.

Which I did. I was diligent. I ate the good foods my liver could handle (bland). I took many rests (snoringly). And I was optimistic about the stressful things that now belonged to the past and about all the nice things in the future that was soon going to be here.

I read up about Portugese knitting, what an interesting technique. Might help me to knit more without annoying my right shoulder.
I started to gather some nice blogs to read on Blogloving and if your want you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

I did some sewing:
Bleuet Dress by Deer&Doe

This is from last week. It’s a testament that my brain is catching up.
I had done some sewing before this, with the dark blue wool I showed you on Weird Wool Wednesday. I did that while I was stressed out with the cat and let’s say… it turned out a better cat bed than it is a dress. It’s all wonky!
A wonky, silk lined 100% woolen cat bed… ouch

Yeah, it’s the weirdest thing how my brain just bails when I’m under stress these days. Because in my previous life I used to be the cool cucumber leader in any stress sitution.

But for a week and a half now all the stresses have gone and last week my brain function was returning. The cat’s doing fine. My liver is scrambling out of the pit it had fallen into. And I can sit in a chair for an hour a day again. Yay!
Yes, yes, just a couple of more weeks of rest and we’d all be on track again. Do the things we love. Wooly things!

Cat scetchings

Then last Wednesday came rolling around. There was an email. From the lawyer that is fighting plans for a major manure facility that the county has planned in the adjacent fields.

The email asked me to produce a technical rapport on the smell emissions for that facility. ASAP.

I’d tell you about my education as an urban engineer and my experience as a science journalist but suffices to say that I’m good in understanding a technical research document and I’m good in rewriting it into a language that’s understandable for any audience of my choosing. (or so I used to be, before I got all brain foggy from the illness)

So when the manure factory and the county government that pushes it produced elaborate research to prove that manure in fact smells of roses I was the one who could get down to the knitty gritty and understand how they had come to that conclusion.
And debunk it.

I had written about it a year and a half ago, when I first learned about the plans. It was a babbling, hazy piece.
Last year I rewrote it but it was still a bit rambly. Thanks brain.

By now we are at the highest tier of the judicial system in the Netherlands, the Raad van State. Whatever this judge says goes. Now is the time to strike with a clear, understandable piece of writing.
For which the lawyer mailed me last Wednesday. He needed it NOW.

I didn’t have it. I had been working on it a bit for the last few months but with all the stresses of the past month it had gone right out of the window. I thought I had time.
I didn’t.
It was due Thursday, 15 o’clock.
And I am the only one who can produce it.

Here’s a non-technical picture about how the proposed plant actually compares to the two plants that were used in the research on which the whole permit is based:

The report had to be written. It had to be done by me.
So I did it.
I’ve worked very hard all Wednesday. Went to bed at 19 in the evening with a massive head ache. Worked on it on Thursday.
Send the document to the lawyer two minutes before the deadline. It is good. It’s sufficiently good.

But now I’m done.
Totally done.
I have pushed my body and my brain cells beyond the limits they preferred and pleaded with me.
My liver has gone flop again, everything hurts. I’m hungry and nauseous at the same time, all the time. I have not been outside, have not been walking all week.

So now I need to rest up and heal once again.
I’ll have to cancel my wooly plans for the next four weeks.

And they were such fun plans!
The end of March has a big spinners’ meeting in a city nearby, it was so much fun last year!

This year I was to have a little stand there and sell fun stuff to knitters and spinners and weavers. For example I’ve taken up drawing again and I was thinking of a whole range of mugs and cups with drawings on them for wool loving people.
But I haven’t drawn a thing in all those weeks. Only the 3 drawings I did for you today, at the top of this post. Now the practise and confidence is not there to draw on cups and mugs.

And I had plans for an enamelled spinner’s accessory. I have everything ready to go in the city! But I could’t sit up straight long enough to make them.
And in the coming weeks I should not stress about making things and finishing them before the end of March. Only thinking about it brings on a head ache.
So as soon as I post this post I will be cancelling that little stand. And probably the event too, it’s so big. I’m more happy meeting wooly people in small groups, it’s way more comfortable for my excitable neurons and my frayed attention span.

I was hoping to visit a knitters’ fair (Brei- en Haakdagen) in March too. Forget it.
Or reschedule that Tea with Spindle Spun Friends?
It’s all out of the window.

I shall be sensible and patient and do what’s good. I will spend days in the cabin or in the city, just pottering around a bit. See how Spring arrives. Do some drawing for my own pleasure. Sew another dress hopefully. Do some knitting. Spin some sleepy turtles.

Yes, I will be patient and sensible and get healthy again.
But by golly I will gripe about it every now and then!


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