More Yarn Will Do The Trick

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Walk Tall

It's been a difficult time recently in our family. Over the summer and autumn my eldest son's 3-year-old daughter became increasingly sick, she couldn't eat, was reluctant to drink and very disturbingly, walking caused her so much pain that she gave up trying to even stand.

She was duly admitted to hospital and every test was done to determine the cause. Each test came back negative, which was incredibly distressing for her parents as they really needed to have a diagnosis so that something could be done about it. The MMR vaccine, chickenpox and brain and spinal tumours were all considered to be possibilities, then ruled out by MRI scan, lumbar puncture or blood tests, resulting in a scenario of nowhere else to turn. She was discharged from the local hospital and her parents were given the dubiously helpful news from her consultant that most cases of undiagnosed lameness resolve spontaneously within six months to a year.

However, a few weeks passed and she seemed to get no better. Their family were going through a stressful time anyway as they were moving to York due to a change of job for her Mum. The little girl got increasingly worse over a period of a couple of weeks ending up being admitted to York Hospital, as no amount of persuasion could get her to eat, drink or move. She seemed to be shutting everyone out - even her parents. The hospital's priority was to get her rehydrated and to eat something before the walking issue could be addressed.

Four weeks down the line there's better news and she's been discharged, still with no diagnosis, but is a much happier little girl and slowly starting to walk again and hopefully the eating and drinking will get better in time. I'm so happy that she seems to be finding her old self and taking pleasure once more in the things she loves like nature, colours, rainbows and fairies.

The reason I'm now telling you all this is that I wrote a song for her which I'd like to share with you. I found the whole idea of a small child being so vulnerable and poorly incredibly painful and writing a song seemed like I was doing something when nothing else was any good. It's said music heals the soul and I'm sure there's truth in that, so I've played this song every day in the hope that it will somehow find its way to her and help the healing process. So here it is, recorded on my phone, let me know what you think:

Walk tall, you can touch the stars in the sky
If you believe you can do it, you can climb the mountains high
Your tiny legs won’t fail you, they’ll keep you safe from harm
Walk tall, little one, walk tall and keep calm.

Run free, chase the wind around the trees
The world is full of wonder, just waiting for a key
Unlock the door and step on through, with feet as light as air
Run free, little one, and shed your woes and cares.

Your eyes will sparkle once again, your smile will light the room
Walk forward into happiness, the future’s there for you…
If you walk tall.

Step lightly through the rainbow, approach that pot of gold
Imagine some new stories like the fairy tales of old
Life’s mysteries and problems weigh heavy in your head
Step lightly, little one, and learn to trust instead.

Your eyes will sparkle once again, your smile will light the room
Walk forward into happiness, the future’s there for you…

… the future’s waiting for you if you walk tall.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

November news

Well, unfortunately we're still in the throes of home improvements, waiting patiently to be able to enjoy the new wood stove. The novelty of having all the furniture stacked in the hall has worn off, also watching a few fave TV programmes on my laptop isn't exactly hitting the spot either. The time has come to nail this thing and move on!! Completion has seemed forever further and further away, but without wishing to speak too soon, at last I can see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Something seems to be happening.

P has now got our friend Humph to help with the insulation and laying of the oak floor and thankfully things have seemed to motor along since. In fact by the end of next week I'm hoping we'll have got the electrics done and painted the room and can then consider moving the furniture back in! No doubt I'll be pleased with the finished result but at the moment it's all just taking too long.

Last bit of the floor being taken out
Insulation being cut prior to being inserted between the joists
Insulation half finished
However, life isn't without its compensations. We've had a glorious autumn and even now in the middle of November, there's enough in the garden to make me want to be out there. 
Seedheads of Japanese anemones
Abutilons seem to go on forever
Fat buds of the camellias developing for early spring blooms
Little cyclamen poking through the pebbles
Many consider this tiny calendula to be a weed, but it tries very hard and I haven't
the heart to pull them all up...and their starry blue brightens up the garden
when there's little else. 
Potted geraniums are lasting well this year...
... even the less hardy ivy-leaved white ones 
It's been so mild that the birds haven't eaten all the grapes yet
The hydrangeas are putting on a final show before going to sleep for the winter
There's even the odd Japanese anemone in bloom still
Winter jasmine starting to bloom for the holiday season
Had to throw this away last week after forgetting about it in the garden
- thought you'd like to see our Halloween witch and her cat 
So lots of interesting things still happening in the garden. The castor oil tree is flowering too and the fig tree is nurturing lots of embryonic fruits for next year's delectation.
First scarf finished
Meanwhile I've started my gift knitting for Xmas. With everything else going on I haven't been able to think straight recently, so opting for Noro yarn and garter stitch has been a bit of a lifesaver - I can knit scarves and rely on Mr Noro to deal with both the colour and texture. I love Silk Garden  and the wonderful colour combinations he comes up with make me want to always work yet another row, just to see what happens next. Some people say that there's always a colour they don't like in the mix, but I love that that very colour is there, it makes me reassess my colour preferences and frames other colours in different ways.

When Isabella and Ava saw the scarf, they loved it so much that I'm now knitting one each for them. Halfway through the first one I had a lightbulb moment. I realised that in all my years of knitting I've never worked on two identical pieces at the same time. I know some people work on two sleeves at the same time and also socks, but it had never occurred to me to try until now. So... I've got two scarves on my needles right now and enjoying it... eureka, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Yummy handmade birthday macaroons from Annabelle
Finally, thanks again to everyone for your lovely birthday messages. I had a wonderful day, made even more special basking in the warmth of all the cards and messages from friends old and new, actual and virtual - you rock!