Things must be bad. In fact, the Apocalypse may be as nigh as a very nigh thing. Today is the Spring Equinox in EBL Towers, and possibly across the whole Northern Hemisphere, which takes its lead from here, and the weather is so cold that even the weather elves on the BBC were complaining about it on the Breakfast News. The BBC Weather team are resolutely of the opinion that all weather is good for something and it isn’t just about being sunny all the time. They will occasionally try to look a little sorry if it has rained for 51 weeks of the year, but only if flooding means they can’t get home for tea. Otherwise they tend to take the meteorological high ground (again, useful if there is flooding), and explain that the weather is not a convenience for humans but a Force of Nature, that farmers need some rain, and that you should just wrap up warm and stop complaining. Obviously no one takes any notice because complaining is compulsory in Britain in order to satisfy the expectations of tourists and generate national income. Once all the visitors go home we relax and party like it’s 1999.
So today when not one, but two, of the elves muttered about the fact that it was unseasonably chilly and you’d never think it was Spring, would you, I got goosebumps and a feeling of Doom. Who were those presenters and what had they done with the actual weather people?
Despite hideous prediction of flood and snow and blizzards anywhere north of France, here in the northern part of England known as God’s Own County we have some cloud and chilliness. The birds are still singing, although we may have to run a soup kitchen for the hedgehogs: apparently the cold Spring may be killing them. They don’t want to get out of bed in the cold, and they don’t have enough snacks to keep them going.
If I may side track for a moment, I have been thinking about how to respond to Kozo’s monthly Bloggers for Peace topic on Flash Forgiveness.
Then I realised that today was a good day to give it a go. Already I have forgiven the grumpy weather elves for being grumpy about weather. Whether or not they care what I think. I have allowed my initial irritation to fade away and turn into material for a blog post. I know you’re all pleased. I can see it in your eyes.
After digesting the news – bloke with red briefcase about to commit daylight robbery on the general population – I forgave the government for being total idiots. Today I am trying to think of government as a kind of scheme for keeping troublesome toffs off the high street.
I turned instead to my knitting projects. Always a great source of calm and balm for the soul are the knitting needles; in extremis I can use them for not being forgiving. The shawl is finished bar the fringe, which I plan to do later today when I am back from the hospital, so I started work on the fair isle yoke of the jumper I am knitting.
Did I mention the hospital already? I’m going back to see the consultant today after various traumas and cancellations and reinstatements. Honestly, the admin at that place is horrendous. Today though I am forgiving flashwise, so let’s just say that the individuals I talked to, and there were very many of them, were all kind and helpful. It’s clear they need me to go in and completely redesign their admin systems from scratch and deliver a few seminars and workshops for management on how to run a piss-up in a brewery, but apart from that they are fantastic. Anyway, today I find out if I am going back for a further operation or not, and if so, whether that is tomorrow.
If I suddenly go quiet for a few days, then the answer to both questions was yes.
Back to the fair isle then. I started the first round of pattern, which is the really important one that sets it up for the whole yoke. I did my 25 stitch pattern of knit 5 in yarn one, knit one in yarn 2. I got to the end of 250 stitches and realised what a seven year old could have told me: 5+1 does not go into 25.
You nit-wit knitter, EBL! The pattern has an extra stitch on the repeat to make it work, so that you have four lots of 5+1 then a final 1.
This is why knitting and maths are the same thing, my dears. This is why you have to know how to count and do your times tables. The lad Gove may care to note: it is probably the only real use of times tables that you have as an adult, so unless he expects the employment crisis to be solved by making everyone knit their housing benefit, he should go back and try again in redesigning the curriculum.
However, today I am being flashy about forgiving, so poor old Govey gets another chance (try harder next time, boy!) and I have to do the hardest thing of all. Can you guess what it is yet? You, at the back? Speak up!
That’s right. Ten points to Hufflepuff. EBL has to forgive herself.
Well, my dears, that was a low blow. Now I also have to forgive Kozo for putting me in this distressing position. I do, my dear, with many hugs!
Forgive myself? How hard can that be? Oh, wait, pretty hard, as it turns out.
It means I have to admit I may occasionally make mistakes, and not just big mistakes that anyone can make, but little, silly, inconsequential ones that are just ridiculous. I do realise that those of you who are not wedded to the Craft may be bemused by all this talk of repeating patterns and so on. Any of you who knit will be aware it’s a relatively common issue. And if EBL, which is to say “I”, had actually just read the pattern instead of diving in with needles blazing, it would have been simplicity itself.
So I undid most of the 250 stitches (the first 24 were fine!) and I had a serious conversation with myself about forgiveness.
The good news is that it seems to have worked. I knit as a thing to do, not because I want the product by a fixed deadline, so taking a little longer to do it right is not a big deal. I know I should read the pattern properly, and as there is no rush, I will allow myself time to do so. Doing and undoing are all art of the same thing; they are about creating the final jumper. The universe does this kind of thing all the time, making rain and rivers and floods and droughts, and life and death, over and over. Today the Great Wheel turns another quarter and we have Equinox. Today, in sympathy, I can turn myself and forgive.
After all, if someone else had done it I would have said “Oops! Let’s just undo it and start again. It’s not a problem.”
So in the end that’s what I said to me.
Now I have done five rows and the pattern is set and looking good.
Of course, in the midst of all that I realised I was late for a meeting which I had agreed to dial into (I have a day off). So I had to forgive myself all over again. As things happen in threes, I am waiting for the next opportunity to practise my new-found skill.
My dears, if forgiving other people is hard, is it easier to forgive yourself? Or is it the other way around?
Other Forgivers for Peace include:
and so many more!