Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Almost two weeks ago, my life was completely turned upside down. I have thought long and hard about whether to say something on this blog, whether to take a break, whether to start afresh. I still don't know whether saying anything at all is a good thing or not. I do know though that I don't want to stop writing this blog and I don't want to carry on as though nothing has happened and everything's the same as it was. Because it isn't.
Without going into too much detail, my future has changed completely and I'm having to rebuild my life. The holiday let is on the back burner and when it does happen, I don't know if I'll be involved - I don't know if I'll be able to. Very much out of the blue I'm having to put 10 years of history and what I thought was happiness behind me. I am a strong person and I know I'll get through it, but right now, the confusion, anger and above all the sadness is overwhelming. To have my trust so completely betrayed is a bitter pill to swallow.

Last weekend, I put our two bikes on the back of the car and drove to Felixstowe with 12yo. Like any other 12yo, he loves his electronic gadgets. His iPad, Minecraft, YouTube, headphones, lots of giggles - I'm sure it's a scene familiar to many with a young teenage boy. But 12yo is also always up for going out, specially if it involves physical activity. He loves cycling - definitely some Dutch genes there! Like me, he likes the beach and Felixstowe, and I figured a day by the sea and some exercise would blow some cobwebs away.
We started off at Landguard Point, the most southerly point of Felixstowe where all the cranes are and you see all the big container ships coming in.The plan was to cycle north along the coast towards Felixstowe Ferry where I'd only been once before, with parttime dog. There was a cold wind, but the sun was shining and as soon as I was out on the bike, I felt better for it.


The southerly and northerly point of Felixstowe are very unspoilt. Not touristy pretty, but quietly unassuming, whereas the middle bit is full of arcades and seaside snack stands. We stopped at Felixstowe Ferry by the river Deben and warmed up with a hot chocolate (that in fact, was so hot that I burnt my tongue and mouth!) while watching the seagulls and a little boat being dragged onto a trailer. I let 12yo decide how he wanted to cycle back - retracing our 'steps' or another part of the circular route we were doing. He chose to go back the same way - which was with a strong headwind that had picked up during our ride, and a lot of uphill too.

After another hour we were back at the car park at Landguard Point, by which time we were both ready for a spot of lunch. There is a new-to-us visitor centre with a little cafe doing, by the looks of it, a roaring trade - we were lucky to find a table near the window. Not that 12yo had much time to look out of the window...

Fifteen miles and he was HUNGRY - I just about had time to take a picture because five minutes later his plate was clean!

Although initially I found it hard to pick up the needles again, now I find it brings me some calmness when my thoughts won't stop falling over themselves. It's odd, because I don't need to concentrate on knitting, but the repetitive action seems to be therapeutic.
Back in January, I signed up to take part in a Dutch blanket KAL or knitalong. Dad bought me a book about the history of Dutch fisherman ganseys, a garment I have always liked. Last summer an exhibition was held in the south of the Netherlands to go with publication of the book, but rather than have all the visitors touch all the old and sometimes fragile sweaters, the organisers decided to knit squares with all the different motifs and sew those up into a big blanket. It proved to be a huge hit with visitors and the idea of a knitalong was born. For five months we get sent 5 patterns for 5 different blocks, and you end up with a blanket of 25 different blocks. I'd been given some undyed sheep's wool for my birthday and decided to use that for my blocks, so my blanket will be varying shades of brown. I'm really enjoying taking part - there is a very active Facebook page with 416 members where we all show our progress and exchange hints, advice and lots of laughter. I believe the total number of participants is more than 1000 already...

Anyway, these are my first five blocks:

 And the first block in more detail:

I'm going to knitting group tonight where I'm planning to cast on for the sixth block. I'm not sure my blanket will be finished by the summer, but I love knitting it and I have seen so many different colour combinations, that I suspect I will be knitting a few others when this one is finished. One in traditional fisherman gansey blue for example...