my first attempt at study for many, many years. And I have loved it. I was mentally whisked back to school days where I was a hopeless, defeated student before I even began. Scared of failure, scared of not understanding, scared of what was expected of me – I never understood. So I was the class clown – the most important part of the school day was the spaces between lessons for me. So to find in the last period of my life I am neither stupid nor a reluctant students is quite a bonus. But it just proves we all weave our own life patterns and I regret nothing. In fact what a great time to start learning basic maths and learning how to use a calculator properly (and feeling your brain slowly using parts that have not been exercised for many a long year – I actually felt ‘brain-ache’ and remembered the old adage ‘no gain without pain’ but you also get the high when you realise you do understand and/or you have the right answer). Learning how you can diminish huge numbers into manageable size by describing them as being multiplied by 10 to the power of ? whatever (by the way ANY number multiplied by 10 to the power of 0 is 1 and if that doesn’t bring us all down to size I don’t know what does!). Anyway I now read graphs with interest, question on how the original data was collected and what was the source. I now question averages, those useful statistics that are thrown at us to prove anything and everything, and now ask how were these averages were arrived at!! Yes a little learning can be a dangerous thing but surely allowing you to form judgement based on proper reasoning can’t be a bad thing? Anyway many thanks to Open University it has certainly opened me up. I don’t intend to study during the summer as I am getting fired up to use all this new discipline and belief in working and enjoying my garden using all these wonderful mathematical structures and calculations.
But really I want to encourage anyone who feels they would love to learn something. I will probably go for either science next OR art history. The science bit is because I have absolutely no knowledge at all about the subject. Have never been near a bunsen burner in my life. And after the experience with this lovely, engaging Maths module I am just finishing feel it could open areas of unknown amazement for me. The way the Open University have introduced the maths is making it all relevant to our every day lives which really helped me not being overawed by all the topics and I feel sure the science module would have that same friendly accessibility. The art history would be a labour of love. But believe me folks it is all there for the learning and it is such FUN! And YOU can do it all from the comfort and privacy of your own home – BRILLIANT.
…is Christmas so threatening. This year is the second since my beloved husband Colin died. He was never very keen on the whole circus but we always ate adventurously well and he bought me some quite wonderful presents over the years. It was always fun. So last year was tough. But this year its going to be OK.
And it was. Peaceful and quietly enjoyable. Ate too much, of course and gently tippled the day away. It was absolutely fine. But How Great that its now all over and we are in the second week of January 2014. Feels good to me. I realise I dislike being disrupted by outside forces. Slowly, slowly life is beginning to feel alright. I do not feel stifled by sorrow but am beginning to stretch out and experience new sensations. Its thrilling.
Now these thrills are nothing more than a basic starter module in Maths with the Open University and selling some of my knitting. Both experiences have opened up new horizons for me. The study is quite exhilarating. I love it. I can feel my brain creaking away like any underused muscle but its a pleasurable pain. No pain no gain!! My enthusiasm for is so great I want everybody to enjoy maths. What an extraordinary subject which actually touches and is very revealing about everyday life. Everyday I study I learn something which I can easily apply to my life giving me more confidence in my decisions and more confidence in my views on currant affairs.
As for my knitting,the new designs are rolling out as I type – rather nifty Valentine Day Gloves to Love which includes some felting in the process. My maths has given me a new confidence with designing so everything seems to be working together which is a big bonus.
I see hints of the new season to come on my daily walk and I must say this year I am really looking forward to the long days ahead. And then I turn on the news ………………………
Bankers Bonuses can someone tell me, explain to me why they receive them? I am in my early seventies and am ashamed of being part of the political structure that encouraged these indefensible and immoral earnings. Especially as the banking system is now a system more acquainted with a betting shop than a trusted, safe place to store hard earned cash. I have just spent hours trying to find out more about what is exactly going on in the ‘banking system’ and why the Retail Banks of the high street still seemed to be linked to the Investment Banks. Why do so called ‘code staff’ receive huge salaries and bonuses even when the bank is losing money? I understand the government doesn’t want to upset the ‘fat cats’ of The City of London but surely there must come a time when we stop being bullied by a system which has shown how vulnerable it is to failure on a huge scale. Isn’t it time to call a halt to this worship of money – isn’t it time to step back and really look at our struggling society – isn’t it time to really thank those who quietly toil away for a reasonable wage – isn’t it time to stop exploiting the weak, the sick in our society but give everyone a chance to shine in some way. We all have weaknesses and we all have strengths but nowadays it seems just a very few count for anything and the majority of us must make do (and be threatened if we don’t dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s). I feel so angry and frustrated at the way life is panning out for so many young people. Life is wonderful and does not rely on ‘loads o’ money’ but you do have to pay the bills. I no longer trust politicians they are ‘economical with the truth’ and are good at ‘creative accounting’. I no longer trust the media newspapers or the news on television or the radio – everything I hear I treat as having been manipulated in someway. That makes me sad (and cynical) but thank goodness for the blessings of good friends, family and a dog and cat. And when all else fails I can always go for a walk through the fields and woods surrounded by a backdrop of hills and it costs me nothing except a bit of energy – and I still have more of that than I do money. So I am rich. This blog is such a mess but that is just how it fell on the page.
Yep, lets just see what is going on down there….
I’m banking on my friend Knuckle
I am sitting and writing this on my own MacBook Pro which (with birthday money from my brother) I bought on eBay. So quick and easy to write but the actual doing was a trial of endurance, nervous tension and much research. And it was also quite a buzz. And had a Happy Ending. Thank goodness.
And so this year is drawing to an end and I realise I have been blogging for approximately a year. All started because on sad reflection and facing reality I realised I couldn’t afford to run a car. Pretty scary actually after having borrowed or owned a car for the last 50 years. (I keep writing and thinking in BIG numbers when thinking about memories etc. – I mean 50 years sounds ancient!) But anyway I have managed fine without a four wheeled friend – my little bus pass allows me the travel that I need or fancy and on the days when I vaguely think ‘now if I had a car……..’ I realise that I have slowly developed a different way of thinking. What you can’t have you can’t have so get on with it!!! And I do. But …. how about a motorbike …. anything is possible … maybe ….
It hasn’t been an easy year but like most people I just try to enjoy the good moments and scramble through those grey periods . My wonderful Polytunnel is up and running – the garden is well, mine. In other words I trim and dig, plant and weed, always enjoying myself and when I stop enjoying myself I stop and read a book,listen to music, cook, knit or blog or browse the extraordinary world wide web. The weather this summer and autumn has been quite wonderful in fact to hot for me but as I am retired I can retire under my nice shady tree. Suddenly hot days are no longer a trial. Cold drink, good book, very nice, thank you.
I have been gently knitting away as the days shortened and have put together a little collection of fingerless gloves. My wonderful niece Katie Lynn who has created and developed her business Molten Wonky (I am trying to add a link here but ……she is on Facebook and has a website really lovely bright, original fused glass designs ) Anyway she is selling them for me (hopefully!). And I am excited about it all. I need this little buzz and so enjoy the designing and making. So my workroom is feeling much more positive with some sort of structure developing. Because not only am I knitting but I have started a module with the Open University in Maths. And my course has started and I am a student! Now where this journey will take me I have no idea but I know that two opportunities have opened for me to use as I will and I am strangely nervous and thrilled at the same time………you really are never to old to learn about yourself and your capabilities. And obviously the background to all this is littered with tears and doubts, fears and confusion, disappointment and self-pity. Thank goodness for the kindness of everyday folk and the loving toleration from the special people in our lives (and of course the dog, the cat and 3 chickens!).
This is the first post I’ve written on my wonderful MacBook Pro so I will now try to stick some photos on but time and my patience with my own ineptitude could run out before I manage. Listen I don’t have time for too much ramblings I have THINGS to do! Gloves don’t knit themselves and study needs strict attention and with both if you don’t get the details right you miss the ultimate satisfaction.
First snow – early morning – all gone by the evening.
autumn leaves – inspiring
a gaggle of gloves
wonderful sunflower planted by the birds outside the front porch