There is a point to this.
I heard the expression ‘Prosti-tots’ for the first time two days ago, it fills my heart with sadness.
Well, you’d think someone who has a blog would bother to update it fairly regularly, but clearly that doesn’t happen, not on this site anyway.
Silly really, as I enjoy it.
Four weeks ago, in anticipation of a visit from my mum, who lives in France and I hadn’t seen for over a year, I was tidying the flat. A good many bead makers suffer from houseworkitis, they just cannot do it anymore, (it’s So Dull compared to melting glass) but the reality of anyone actually witnessing the state of one’s home strikes and a last minute panic of resentful tidying and cleaning ensues.
At about 2.45am, my arms being too full of things I was taking upstairs, I decided not to pick the jacket up from the stairs that I had put there earlier to be taken up when I could, and 15 minutes later, when I came back down the stairs to get my phone, which I so rarely forget to have in my pocket, I slipped on said jacket and broke my ankle.
Ow Ow double OW – and Bugger, truth be told.
I clutched at my leg, waiting for the wave of pain which I knew was coming, realised that it wasn’t just a bad sprain, glanced at the foot which was definitely not where it normally was at the end of my leg, and tried not to faint. It was only a couple of steps to where my phone was, but with a shattered limb it might have been a mile. I will spare you the detailed description of bone knocking on bone as I hopped to fetch it for a very different purpose than I had originally intended. It was unfortunate that I was totally alone, my husband being in Amsterdam at the time. I called the ambulance service and told them my address in a robotic voice, assuring them I wasn’t drunk, just trying not to black out. I managed to wake my downstairs neighbours by persistent phone calling till Jane answered. Later she said pleadingly ‘Min, couldn’t you go to bed earlier?’ which still makes me laugh. Somehow I managed to get down a hallway and two flights of stairs to unlock the front door. It was not fun – two things learned the hard way – don’t leave stuff on the stairs and make sure a neighbour has keys to my house.
Excellent people that they are, Jane and Geoff took charge of dogs and cat, and house keys, and off I went to hospital, calling my son on the way, whom I can normally rely on to be awake at similar times to me, night owls that we are. I told him what was happening, ‘It’s OK Mum, as long as you don’t die’ he said, practical boy that he is. I decided not to bother my husband with the news while he was unable to do anything, but that I would tell him in the daylit part of the morning. Lying on the trolley on the way into hospital, I surprised myself by saying, ‘I wish I had my cat’. After a hard day’s work coming to terms with my slovenly house I had been looking forward to cuddles with kitty, who had been sitting on the bed miaowing at me as if to say, ‘and about time too!’ The dogs were in their night time places, all was on track for mum’s visit, trips planned, walks on the beach with the dogs, a bit of gardening…hah! Dashed.
X-rays revealed that I had had a lucky escape and didn’t need to have my bones pinned, the nice men in the masks just manipulated things back into place, added about 50 kilos of plaster of Paris and Jane and Geoff picked me up from hospital and took me home. Husband called frequently, Very Upset. I said he should stay and complete his trip, which he did, although he wasn’t entirely happy about it. Next day my Mum arrived, suffice it to say we muddled through, she saw how unscrupulously I dust, wipe or vacuum (I had four white pets, it really doesn’t help when they throw their hair around indiscriminately) but we managed to make beads, which was good. I was surprised that the pain levels were such that I had to remind myself to take anti-inflammatory tablets, for the first week at least it really wasn’t that painful.
I didn’t know that when one has a plaster cast on, one is not supposed to wear nail polish (to keep an eye on circulation using the nail beds of relevant limb as indicator)…the cast became loose as swelling went down, I thought I’d re-do my nails, and in the attempt my ankle twisted in the cast. I heard and felt it go…result? I had to have it pinned back together a few days later, really very annoying, painful and set me back by three weeks. That was a week ago, and on Monday our oldest dog was so unwell that we had to have her put down. Yes, I did consider what might happen next, as duff stuff traditionally comes in three’s…well, here it is – we have to put the house on the market! In a world of financial crisis, not the best time…but I just keep thinking that it’s OK, my family are well, my pets are well, the old one doesn’t suffer anymore, and in the end the worst thing about moving (should we get an offer) would be the packing up, particularly with a broken leg. It would be miraculous if we have an offer before it has healed, so I’m not stressing out, such a waste of energy.
After the pinning operation I was given a bunch of pain killing tablets to take home, and knowing that I have a fairly low tolerance for drugs, I thought the recommended eight a day would be a bit much for me. As it transpired, two nearly finished me off, if not physically, mentally. Yesterday I decided that I’d rather have a bit of pain than feel so floppy and unable to play, play being a far better distraction from pain than anything else I know. I’m no fun when I can’t knit, sew, embroider, write, update my website, respond to emails, prepare for craft fairs, or make beads. Christmas is around the corner, I have pledged to give only handmade gifts, I need to increase my bead stock, and have a go at felting. I’ve had a lovely selection of brightly coloured Merino tops since I last attended the Alexandra Palace knitting and stitching show a couple of years ago. I treated myself to a book on felting processes yesterday, after a trip to hospital where I got my fourth cast put on (in colour order they have been white, white, green and white again). Note that there is no mention of housework…I love being in a clean and tidy environment, but not more than I love being creative. Cleaning does not make me happy, more than 45 minutes of that activity makes me cross, exasperated, irritable and resentful, unless it is properly shared with someone else of course, teamwork makes the difference. Poor hubby gets to do it all at the moment, he’s even learned how to use the washing machine (fortunately he adores cooking, a peculiar condition with which I have never identified) and the older I become, the more I cannot rise above the feeling that I am wasting my precious time by cleaning. I also have bouts of chronic fatigue syndrome, what energy I have needs to be properly channelled, and that means that creativity must be honoured first, after all the only thing that suffers when I am found out to be a slacker on the housework front, is my Pride…and is not ‘Pride’ one of the Seven Deadly Sins? And does not housework bring up feelings of Wrath? Can’t be good. However, I am not Slothful, now that would be a terrible sin indeed.
The bead fair at Perth Concert Hall this Sunday was such fun, I loved meeting people, and especially those who came with stories of beads bought from me and worn since the last bead fair at that venue. I need money as much as the next person, but the most fulfilment I acheive cannot be measured in financial terms, taking part in something I enjoy and feeling as if I belong and am valued means much more to me. Financially speaking, I will never be rich, I have had depression to such an extent that if someone had come to give me £10million I would have told them to go away and stop bothering me. I am just happy to be in a good mood and to have had an experience that did not leave me exhausted. Riches can be measured in many different ways.
Having said that, I bought a second oxycon from Martin Tuffnell. I hadn’t planned to (truly honestly) but as he was wheeling them out to the van I found myself counting out the cash and handing it over…so, I’m extremely pleased and quite excited at what it will do for me. I like making big beads and boro beckons too…not only that, but it would be so fab to have the facilities for two people to torch at the same time one day…perhaps after I have a shed that does not have a puddle under the table when it has been raining. Either the people who built my shed (it’s a brick building) were so used to the rain that puddles weren’t an issue, or they had a cunning plan when they made sure the floor was 4″ lower than the ground outside. I still haven’t worked out what it might be though…
I have been promised photos from beaders and jewellery designers who intend making items using my beads, I know it can take time while an idea forms and a piece is made, so when pictures turn up out of the blue it will be a nice surprise. Well, that’s my news…I’m conscious that the 1st year anniversary of breaking my ankle is coming up. One of my clearest memories of that alarming event was talking to the ambulance man about bead making as we were on the way to the hospital, I was so glad that despite the calamity I could still make beads. What if I’d broken my arm? Nightmare!
I suppose it might have occurred to those of you who visit my site, that I have very few beads up for sale here. My website mainly shows what I have sold, not what I have for sale, now that is the wrong way round isn’t it? I really want to change that, however, it does mean photographing beads, photo editing, measuring beads, pricing, uploading images, writing descriptions…bead makers know this can be a time consuming task.
I promised (quite a while back now) that I’d show what chains and cords etc I have at the craft fairs, but stock changed, ideas changed, and in a way I’m glad I didn’t commit to items that weren’t exactly right. I’m still hoping to finalise my choices, what I need is to go to a bead fair and do some research, having my own stand means I don’t get to see what’s on offer elsewhere. Hopefully I’ll get to the Perth Bead Fair early this year and do some shopping around. I’m also toying with the idea of making my own silk cords, but that’s quite a job, and really, I’d rather be making beads…there are so many lovely things to do, and only so much energy.
I was very proud of myself today, as I replaced two faulty parts in my kiln without help or anyone standing over my shoulder. I was very upset when it wouldn’t heat up a few days ago, I haven’t made beads for ages, it was disappointing to be thwarted just when free time presented itself. After many phone calls, Robin at Cherryheaven figured out which parts needed changing, posted them immediately and I got to play at kiln engineer, but I wouldn’t have had a clue without his help.
I also saw inside my oxycon for the first time when I changed a small but vital part in it. I’d much rather fiddle inside a kiln with only commonsense as my guide, than do anything with an oxycon except switch it on and off (and make beads of course). My husband took one look at it and said it looked like a bomb. I haven’t seen a real bomb, but I could see what he meant, although I’m sure he’s only seen Hollywood bombs in movies.
We’ve decided that we don’t have to sell the flat, but if someone comes up with a proper offer we’ll consider it. We haven’t done a lot to it since the depressing decision to sell came about, because it didn’t feel like ‘ours’ anymore, and it’s been in a limbo state ever since. Having reversed the decision because The Man has completed his courses and is beginning to earn again, we are now in the very wonderful position of having a choice in the matter of moving home, or not. Only thing is…it also means that we are now free to make positive changes in the property for our own benefit, not just for the purpose of selling, but here’s the crux – we don’t really like DIY (we’d pay to have work done if we could). Were it the only activity on the cards, it would be fine, but we’re both deeply involved with other things that are much more interesting/urgent. So, I’m trying to dig deep, put my preferences to one side and make some changes, but it’s funny how carting the huge flat packed cardboard boxes upstairs to stash in the attic space can suddenly seem a bit daunting on my own, especially when the Big Dog is under my feet and clearly concerned by my sudden activity (brought on by a welcome break in the hot weather and a short thunderstorm, which put an end to any thoughts of going to my shed to make beads) and here I am at my laptop writing this. It’s really really bad! How did that happen? I’ve been thinking for a while now, that if I have a blog, I ought to write something for it. Then I think, ‘yeah, but who really cares anyway?’, but I like writing and as I have a blog…well, I might as well write something. You see how this nonsense can go in circles, and it only really seems very important when I’m doing something uninspiring, like manual labour.
Yes, the rain has stopped, so while the kiln heats up I’ll load the dishwasher, put a clothes wash on, empty the bin and change the cat litter, I’ve got a fair tomorrow, I need to make more cat beads (might try fuming or adding gold leaf…hmm) and I have to pack all the fair gear up. What was I thinking, re-arranging rooms and dragging heavy things around? Ridiculous.