Tag Archives: mental health

to knit or not to knit that is the question?

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because June is bursting out all over – the garden just beckons me and I have to go.  For hours I’m digging and hoeing and sweating and attacking my major enemies Ground Elder and Docks. There are many others like neetles but these actually have very shallow roots and at least the butterflies like them so I just try to come to an understanding about territory so we can live in relative peace.  My potatoes look happy and the broad beans healthy.  Peas will need their supports (which is rather a fag) but I’m pretty sure I have some pea netting I bought a couple of years ago so will hunt that out.  Leeks and cabbages are trying their best and I have every faith in them.  Courgettes have very quickly broken cover throwing out wide  green leaves so I am hopeful for a good crop. Lots of other seeds haven’t emerged yet but as a gardener you must have patience (it has taken me years to realize this). You also need to accept the disappoints of plants looking great then wham, bang turning into a sad, weak, wilted little disasters.  But all in all it is wonderful to be out in the warm fresh air messing about with the soil.

daisies in the lawn and they are very welcome

daisies in the lawn and they are very welcome

So my knitting has now been sidelined.  In fact I am trying to be more organised and not so slap dash.  Ideas need to be noted for future reference.  I have only just realised how much I have been working out with colours and shapes, designs and textures and unless you stop, think and record  you could be wasting all that work and information you have been gathering by not taking note of it.  But pattern writing is quite difficult even if it is your own pattern.  So I am trying to find a compromise where I can write a vague description which gives the jist of how you achieve a certain effect.  BUT the garden is weeding out (!) all my energy at the moment but I am hoping that as I get use to wheeling barrows etc etc etc I will recover quicker and find time for both my loves. Of course walking the dog is always fitted into the equation! And the evening is always a time for handknitting or crochet.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAWell, today I have been clearing around the polytunnel skeleton because we will be re: covering it very soon.  Oh how I miss my polytunnel.  When the weather is nasty you can disappear into the tunnel and find something nice on the radio and be amazingly productive with seed plantings and transplanting young plants and feel warm and dry.  Having greenhouse or polytunnel just makes gardening more creative and nurturing.  I’m sure my plants would tell me to ‘shut up’ if they had the chance – I not only talk to them but sing as well!  Poor dears they are a real captive audience.

 

I finished my very enjoyable Collagraph course.  Just a couple of things I did. Highly recommend the experience to anyone.

this is the block made from sticking mainly paper and threads to thick card

this is the block made from sticking mainly paper and threads to thick card

and this is the print (the block also has to be inked for colour of course)

and this is the print (the block also has to be inked for colour of course)

can't find the block for this  but I like the colours and the profile

can’t find the block for this but I like the colours and the profile

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An inspiring ‘phone call

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which makes a change.

It was from a friend of ours I shall call him John.  He has had such a difficult life.  Father died when he was 5yrs. old, mother becomes an alcoholic, younger brother a nice boy but with emotional problems. John from an early age became the carer of the family.   And I’m afraid our wonderful caring society helped him very, very little.

But he survived plus he gradually carved out a career for himself (he was offered a place for a degree in mathematics but just couldn’t afford to accept) and still cared for his difficult mother and brother.  OK move on a few years he marries and he and his wife produce a beautiful son.  By this time he has his own home and a good job and his mother and brother have moved so they are nearby. Then his mother dies and although after all she has put John through he really grieves his loss.  And by what John has told me she did seem to appreciate what a great son he had been and he always found good things to say about her. But she was still drinking hard to the end. That left his now very confused but likable brother. Grossly overweight and inclined to booze, hadn’t worked for years, lost his identity and any sense of self worth.  And now his mother had died, his sense of reality diminishes even further.

There is now a year to 18 months of confusion, false information, infact lies told to John by his brother and others who were insistent he was in good hands and doing OK.  By this time the brother had moved back to the town the boys and mother had gone to after his father died – this was 300 miles from where John lived (and his brother had previously lived with his mother). John and his wife were also expecting a second child by this time. He was still in contact with his brother but there were other people (friends?) with much more influence over his brother and his meagre income.  Eventually John gets a call saying his brother is in hospital after being found in the river trying to commit suicide after drinking a bottle of bleach. From then on it is all downhill John is backwards and forwards trying to find out what is happening to his poor deluded brother.  John offers to take his brother home many times but he won’t  come.  And in the end he dies from the diet of chemicals prescribed by the doctors who care (?) for him.

John was devastated.   And then very angry.   Because all the time John was trying to get answers to questions about his brothers treatment from the doctors/nurses/carers he was fobbed off and made to feel like an interfering nuisance who had no rights to know about what was happening to this person whom he had loved and cared for all his life.  So John sat down and detailed everything that had happened with dates and times.  It was meticulously written, revised and scrutinised.  It was an obsession.  For ironically although life had given John the hardest most unfair start, he is one of kindest, sweetest, fairest man you could ever meet. And this end to his dear brothers life was wrong and very unfair.  And however hard you try to excuse mistakes and lack of communication etc.etc. there were people in authority who knew what was going on, who could have changed his brothers final years who could have CARED and infact were paid to care and use their expertise to improve a life not kill it.

Over the following months we would talk on the ‘phone and he would tell me about what he was trying to do and all I could do was listen and applaud him for his mission.  The document ended up 21 pages long and he sent it to me to read.   Initially when I saw the length I’m ashamed to say my heart dropped but once I started reading this clear, concise passionate account of the events leading to his brother death I wept. It was so cruelly wrong that anyone should be treated as Johns brother was treated and by normal everyday people supposedly doing there job. John had over the months told me all that had happened to his brother but reading it so clearly and concisely really shocked me.  And this had happened (and I fear is still happening) to the defenseless in our society.  Even though the victim in this tragic story had someone who really cared about him, really loved him, those in authority ignored John and what he could offer.

Then on Thursday night John rang.  His document has not only been acknowledged but been taken seriously as an important statement of FACTS.  A certain politician has picked up on it, the police and the other authorities involved are now taking Johns complaints seriously. And believe me John will not go away. Thank goodness for the Johns of this world who don’t just moan and weep but use all that negative energy to try and right a wrong, to really try and make a difference.

I have just read through this account and it does not do justice to this young mans story. Because through all his struggles and believe me they started from the age of 5yrs. he has survived a wholesome, intelligent, CARING, humorous character. John really is worth listening to. His 21 paged document is honed from real pain, real love and real experience and is just packed with lean, hard and very emotionally charged FACTS. And that is frightening and depressing.