Monday, February 20, 2006
So why the Blog Title?
Because one of the greatest challenges in my life is living with the frustrations and limitations imposed by chronic ill health when I want to be out and doing. Since November 1988 I have ridden the rocky road of M.E./CFS/whatever you like to call it. In my case, this has involved extreme fatigue, painful muscles, catching all the viruses going and taking a long time to recover from them, sore throats, headaches and limited mobility. The latter is the remnant of an unpleasant episode when I lost the use of my right leg post-virally, and had to learn to walk again. The is still abnormal sensation and periodic twitching in this leg and foot. I drive a car adapted with hand controls and walk with two sticks. I get especially wobbly in crowded places. I had to retire from my social work career on health grounds: not easy for someone with a strong work ethic.
Creativity has been one of the ways I've kept myself occupied and stimulated over the years: starting with knitting and needlepoint (just a few stitches could count as the day's achievement) I got restless, learned bobbin lacemaking and then embarked on the City and Guilds Course in Embroidery (Parts 1 and 2) and then took the first part of the Post 16 Teaching Certificate. It took me a long time, but it got done. I found a wider palette of techniques to use in creating and have since added some bookbinding, feltmaking and rugmaking, patchwork and dollmaking.
A lot of my life is spent in the armchair or on the sofa in my living room, which has a large window overlooking our garden. I enjoy watching the birds going about their business and watching the seasons progress. My most recent excitement was the annual finding of frog spawn in the pond - on 16th February, a week or two later than in recent years. The TV and books are my frequent companions and, as I can't easily explore the world in person, my travels often take place vicariously, in the armchair (or on the sofa). (That's not to say I never get out, because I clearly do, just not as often or as far as I'd sometimes like!) I think there is something magical about being able to do so much from the depths of one's armchair (or sofa): I can get together with friends, research my latest project and go shopping without crossing the threshold of the house, thanks to the internet.
These plants are on the windowsill and their flowers are glorious with the low sunlight shining through them. (Can you tell that someone in this house has been studying Georgia O'Keefe recently?!)