Now, Thimbleanna and Molly Bawn: are you sitting down? Are you sure? Maybe you should hold on tightly to the arms of the chair. Because - I've started knitting! See below: I've done four rows. Well, it's a start.
A while ago, I acquired this book which gives patterns for lots of knitted blocks ranging from so-easy-that-a-baby-could-do-them to slightly-harder to slightly-harder-again. I've started with one of the easy-peasy examples and plan to graduate to the ones for which I'll have to stick out my tongue and frown. I'm going to knit enough to make a patchwork blanket. (Possibly for a doll, if I find it all a bit tedious.) I really have no desire to knit socks or a jumper but I thought that even I might manage a few squares.
I did knit a bit before the children were born. I knitted Mr Life a hat, a cardigan and a waistcoat, with V shapes at the front and everything. But I was never particularly keen. I never got to the point when I could do it without concentrating.
I also used to sew things: I made loose covers for a couple of chairs, lots of curtains and cushion covers, even a patchwork cushion cover in the log cabin pattern with plastic templates to cut out paper shapes. But I can't now quite imagine that I did some of this. I feel deskilled by the passing of the years.
When Anna came to visit, she very kindly brought me a cutting board, a cutting wheel and some lovely material to start me on patchwork. And I will start, Anna (and Molly). Life has just been a bit full of event recently, what with weddings and funerals and rearrangements of the house and visitors and holidays. Not to say Grandson. I need a period of calm and a flat surface and a clear head: none of these is in plentiful supply at the moment.
Especially this particular moment. Tony the Painter arrives tomorrow (I hope) to redecorate our study. This is the smallest of our rooms, which normally contains a LOT of stuff: archives of various sorts, household documents, photograph albums and so on, not to say three desks, a chest of drawers and a bureau. This has now all been moved into what was my mother's bedroom and WE WON'T BE ABLE TO FIND ANYTHING TILL IT'S ALL BACK AGAIN. ARGH.
And we really need to go through it and be ruthless. Do I need to keep every programme of every school concert that the children appeared in? The not-so-nice school photos? All the children's drawings? Every postcard they ever wrote? All the newspapers that ever reported on a momentous event? (I thought they would be interesting to look at when I was old. And so they might be, if I did. But do the offspring want to deal with them when I'm dead?)
And I probably need to admit that though I might polish up one or two languages, it's over-optimistic to hope that I'll really get fluent in Spanish, German, Gaelic, Japanese, Swedish and modern Greek as well as French and Latin. Yes, I have notes, books and / or tapes and dictionaries for all of these languages. Perhaps I have to face the fact that I'll only ever have a smattering of most of these.
And now I must go and practise the piano - now there's another of my unrealistic ambitions!