All Things Come to an End

I’ve been teaching guitar for more than 30 years. I teach at home, and was asked to teach at a local school in 2005.

My Guitar. And some tatting.

Pupil numbers do tend to cycle – when money is tight, people cut ‘luxuries’ like music lessons first – but the numbers always picked up again eventually. I’m still quite busy at the school – much better than last year – but I only have one pupil at home and she will be finishing at the end of this term.

I’ve considered advertising, but if my husband’s health deteriorates, I will have to stop anyway. So I’ve decided to just let it go. We’ll just have to see about the school – the long term head of the music department left a year or two ago, and things haven’t been the same. In 2009 the orchestra competed in Vienna and obtained a third place. They were competing against orchestras larger than the entire school!

My husband is going along. He is much better than he was at one stage, but his speech has been affected quite badly. He slurs his words and often can’t remember the name of things, for instance he said the other day he had to go for an injection, when what he meant was a blood test. He speaks softly as well, which compounds the problem. I am getting very good at guessing. We do usually get there in the end!

I’m still busy with knitting and tatting. Hopefully there will be some photos next time. The Iris Neibach doily has been the cause of much cursing! But it is going to be beautiful, and well worth the trouble.

Posted in Challenges, Guitar, Handwork, Health, Knitting, knitting, Life, music, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting, Teaching, work in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

My Name is Ozymandias!

‘My Name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

The Jinxed Jersey is finished! With all the pulling out, I must have knitted the damn thing about three times.

Jinxed Jersey

Those who know the poem, will know that it does not end well… But it’s a great line! 😉

Tatting has also been happening.

Annalisa by Iris Niebach

It doesn’t look like much, but it is one of the more difficult patterns I’ve attempted. I do love the way she designs. Here is an image of the book with the doily on the cover.

My husband went to the specialist again. Even with the improvement, she hasn’t changed her diagnosis, just that perhaps it is not as advanced as she had thought. My sister-in-law rates this as good news. Myself, not so much. I feel we are headed towards a cliff. The fact that the cliff is perhaps a little further down the road isn’t as comforting as it might be.

Be that as it may, things are going better. He is far more independent and I don’t have to watch him so closely. He is also sleeping better, thank heaven. When things were really bad he needed very little sleep, and had to be watched constantly.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

Posted in Challenges, Handwork, humor, Humour, Knitting, knitting, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting, work in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Keeping on…

I’ve had very little internet access over the last couple of weeks. I didn’t really plan to disappear. Nothing serious, just life as it happens.

I finished my game of tatting chicken. Frankendoily Lives! I scrounged every last piece of thread I could find and untatted two errors I had cut away from other pieces (sometimes it pays to be a hoarder…) I made more joins in the last section than I normally do for a whole item. I plan to do a post on my tatting blog about that one. There are some tricks to using up every last scrap of thread. I haven’t cut away the ends or blocked it yet. The final join still needs to be made (lower right corner).

Iris Niebach

Postscript – after I had finished the damn thing, I found another long piece of thread – enough to have seen me comfortably finished. Guess where? I had used it as a lifeline in the Jinxed Jersey.

The aforementioned Jinxed Jersey is almost finished! I test-sewed it together and it actually looks as if it is going to fit. Fingers and toes crossed. I still have the last sleeve to do – in case anyone was wondering if this is a new fashion statement – and the neck rib.

Jinxed to the end

I was knitting along happily on the sleeve, finished the rib, changed needles and carried on, not like the time I forgot to change needles at all. It was about twenty rows further when I realized I had only changed one needle…

Top of the sleeve, strange things happened with the decreases. I had 8 stitches more than I should have. I went over my calculations a dozen times and couldn’t find the problem.

I write down each row number as I knit – it is the only way that I can keep track, particularly since I work out my own patterns. It took me a couple of days to realize what I had done. My calculations were fine. I had counted my rows 167, 168, 169, 178…

I promised my husband this jersey last winter. Fingers crossed he gets it for this one.

He is going along reasonably well. We will be seeing the specialist on the 16th. He’s never been a fan of taking lots of medication, and has always been the healthiest of the three of us. He was looking at all his tablets the other day and said ‘If I got better, how would they know?’ He’s got a point. Look at the side effects of most of them and it’s pretty much what’s going on with him.

There’s an Afrikaans phrase that was a favourite of my mother’s.  ‘Aanhou, Uithou en Bekhou’. Roughly, Keep on, keep going and keep quiet. It works better in Afrikaans. ‘Bekhou’ is literally ‘shut your mouth’, but it is the word used for an animal’s mouth, not a human. Not really polite. But sometimes it’s all you can do.

Posted in Challenges, Gifts, Handwork, Health, Knitting, knitting, Lacemaking, Learning, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting, work in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Wild Bells

I was remembering a poem today. ‘Ring out, Wild Bells’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, although it is actually called ‘In Memoriam’. The link to the full poem is here

It’s about ringing in the new year, although it covers quite a lot more.


Titch making herself cumfy, as usual. Please ignore the clutter…


He’s getting on, as are we all. His head used to be brown, and you can see the cataracts.

Wild Birds

A local bunch of free-loaders. I started putting food down to try and catch a sick bird. Pretty soon there was a horde waiting every morning.

Free Loaders

There are a lot more in the trees.

My husband and I go for walks every day. At one point you can see the power station where he worked for so many years. He still checks to see which units are on load (there are lights on top of the building, and apparently one can tell from the stacks and the cooling towers)

Lethabo Power Station

Best wishes to everyone out there, especially those who have had a rough year. Many thanks to those who commented with positive thoughts and good advice.

It’s been a hell of a year.

“The year is dying in the night,
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.”

Posted in Animals, Birds, Cats, Challenges, Health, Life | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Into the Teeny Tiny

It’s the little things…


tiny 0 Kiyomi /@chiisanashiawase2015

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

When Words Fail…

Random ramblings from the new normal.

The first lot of medication from the neurologist did not help at all. It just seemed to ramp things up to the extent that I contacted her at 9:30 on a Saturday evening to find out if we could stop. The new medication is much better. My husband is calmer, and making more sense, although we still have sessions where I am trying to guess what he is talking about, and then guess what he is trying to say about it.

We go on daily walks. Before the new medication this was challenging. He had three speeds. Slow, Stop and Stop-and-Argue, which can be nerve wracking when there is a car coming. This has improved, although his judgement is still affected. And he keeps wanting to drive again…

Shaving is more complicated than you might think. My husband is beardless for the first time in decades. (I cannot hang a picture straight, and this is worse.)

I can mow a lawn. Sort of. At least it’s shorter.

My son is not coping well. And he won’t hear of therapy, counselling or any version thereof.

My husband and I went for counselling – he does get frustrated, and there were some things I wanted to talk through as well. Unfortunately the counselor seems to have decided she knows what’s best for me. Go to the gym? It makes me exhausted just thinking about it. ‘Getting rid of negative energies’. Riiiiiight. I’ll stick to my knitting and tatting as sanity savers. (Her opinion of these is not high. Around the level of playing hopscotch and pat-a cake) Even if I am engaged in a game of thread chicken with the tatting that is probably going to end up with a dead chicken.

I have a relative who phones occasionally and asks brightly ‘And how are you coping?’ A lot of the time I’m bloody well not coping. But I can’t even begin to explain. I just give up and say equally brightly ‘We’re going along!’

Posted in Challenges, Handicaps, Handwork, Health, Knitting, knitting, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

The Prodigal Returns!

Titch is home!

The Prodigal

Many thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers, and all the helpful advice. It did help when I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. 😉

She came in just a little while ago, seemingly none the worse for wear. Not that she was going to let me check her out. She did head straight for the food dish, so perhaps she was accidentally shut in somewhere.

I have a couple of half finished blog posts hanging around, which I do want to complete. There is the saga of the Jinxed Jersey, and a new (to me) way to correct errors in tatting, although that will probably go up on my tatting blog.

Thanks again to all.

Posted in Animals, Cats, Challenges, Handwork, humor, Humour, Knitting, knitting, Lacemaking, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments