Friday, 26 May 2017


So, I'm not going to lie to you, May has been brutal. This post is, unusually for me, mostly not sewing, and the first two paragraphs are about the recent events here in the UK, just to warn you.

I live in the suburbs of Manchester, which of course has been in the news this week for the absolute worst of reasons. I wasn't directly affected by the bombing at all -- didn't know anyone at the concert, haven't been to that venue for years, don't live or spend time in any of the areas where there has been subsequent police action. It's profoundly shocking that such a terrible thing happened anywhere at all -- it shouldn't be worse just because it happened in my home town or in a place and event of a type that I know intimately. Somehow it is, though. I find myself asking how someone capable of such a callous act could co-exist with me: walk through the same streets as me; go to places -- like the university the bomber attended -- that I am familiar with and that I thought I understood. I've been to so many music events, been a part of the normal aftermath of a show so many times. I've been that teenager in the centre of Manchester at the end of a pop concert, shrieking and clutching at my friends, ears still ringing from the sound system. I keep thinking of all those little girls coming out of the Arena, how elated and joyful they would have been at that moment after seeing their favourite performer live. It is unimaginable to me that someone could move through that crowd of happy children and go through with this act.

The only thing that has comforted me the last few days is reminding myself that it was, it seems, a tiny number of people that planned this and just one man who enacted it. By contrast, literally hundreds of people immediately responded by trying to help the victims, help people caught up in the chaos, help each other make sense of what was happening. They did that for no better reason than that they were there, things were happening, and that seemed like the right thing to do. Thousands more rushed the next day to do small things -- offer to give blood, donate money, leave flowers and attend vigils to mourn strangers. In the end, in my city, like most places, the people whose innate behaviour was to try to do good, helpful and kind things vastly outnumber people who commit terrible acts.

Other than the shock and horror of the last few days, the rest of May has been brutal mainly because of my health situation. On the one hand, the news is actually terrifically good: my new medication is definitely working, and the medium and long-term future is much brighter for me as a result. On the other hand, the short-term experience is grim. The withdrawal from my previous medication is absolutely grueling, much worse than I anticipated. Not only are individual days really hard, but the cumulative effect of so many weeks of withdrawal is that I feel like a wrung-out dishcloth.

As a result, most of May has involved me gradually stopping doing things that I just can't keep up at the moment. I dropped pretty much all my hobbies and even my social media interaction, even the things that I usually more active on like Insta and Twitter. I did next to nothing crafty -- I cut out a t-shirt early in the month but I can't seem to summon up the energy to rethread my overlocker or work on it so it's still in pieces. I didn't knit this month, or start my new cross-stitch kit or really do anything else at all. I didn't even really read or pay that much attention to my sewing magazines this month. Pretty much I am on hiatus from, well, everything.

The good thing is, this is all temporary. I have adjusted my expectations of what I'm going to sew this summer down to "nothing, or maybe one or two items if I am lucky". I'm hoping that I'll start to feel better in time to think about sewing for the autumn.


  1. The world cries with you ! I think it would feel worse happening in the city you love. Last year a man killed several people in Melbourne by running them over in a car . It wasn't terrorism but it did seem worse than other terrorist events overseas because it was so close , things like that don't happen in our beautiful city and I knew several people who witnessed what happened. sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell .

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with Manchester. I live in California, and I cried when I heard the news and when I realized the horror of the attack.

    Rose in SV

  3. I like your comment 'the people whose innate behaviour was to try to do good, helpful and kind things vastly outnumber people who commit terrible acts'.
    True, well expressed and very helpful.
    I am sorry to hear the drug changeover is so sucky. It sounds very grim. I hope you are nearly there and I wish you well.

  4. Now that we have the internet and we feel like we know people all over the world, every terrorist attack feels like it has happened in our home town and country. It hurts. I can't imagine the pain the grieving parents are experiencing.

    I'm very glad to hear that your prognosis is improving. I have been concerned about you as you haven't posted much recently. Take care. ♥♥♥

  5. I hurt my brain trying to understand these random acts of violence. Really; you're going to target a pop concert which is pretty much guaranteed to be full of children. I just don't get it.

    I hope you start the healing side of things soon.

  6. We ache with you having felt the sting here (I live near Chattanooga and frequent both places where the shootings occurred here).

    I hope your health improves and that June brings you healing with a firm good bye to the old meds and their side effects. I wish you a good summer and hope you get some rest and relaxation too.