Friday, July 21, 2006

In my head

Every once in a while, when I’m least expecting it, reality comes along and punches me in the face.

Life is busy here at Bedford-del-Sol. Catching up on all the little jobs around the farm that got neglected during the showing season. Work, work, and work. And planning our trip to France at the end of August.

The rough itinerary has been planned, flights, car hire, insurance and accommodation booked. Everything has been done online and has been pretty hassle free. In the back of my mind I've been thinking that I must brush up on my French. I studied French to A level, and I was very good at it – I’m not claiming any huge intelligence here, I’m just fortunate to be one of those people with an ear for languages and I pick them up very easily. I loved the language with a passion, and not long after I took my A levels I spent a month travelling through France. It was a fantastic opportunity to cement all those years of learning. I spoke no English. I ended up thinking, and dreaming in French. When I came back to the UK it was a huge adjustment to speak English again. We’ve had several holidays in France since then and I’ve always found it pretty easy to slip back into speaking French.

So, I’ve been thinking, it’s all in there, right? I just need to freshen it up. So, I’ve been trying to think in French.


Well, ok, maybe not rien, but certainly only un peu. Where have all those words gone?

When I tried to remember our last holiday to France, I couldn’t be sure of the exact year but I know it was in the early 90s. 10 to 15 years ago. Crap. No wonder I’ve forgotten so much.

Which got me thinking. I took my A levels at 18. That was 24 years ago. Shit. That means I’ve been alive longer since I took my A levels than I had been when I took them. I’m middle aged.

It’s not that I’m mourning my youth, I’m happy being who I am now; it’s just that those years have gone by so quickly. And in my head, I’m not 42, I’m……. well, 21 tops. I know I’m never going to be taken for 21, I’m not stupid, but my mind just hasn’t caught up with my body. I still get a kick out of knowing I can eat ice cream all day, or stay up all night, if I want to.

These days it’s so easy to forget how old you are. Once you reach a certain age people no longer ask you how old you are, so on the rare occasions when I do have to think about my age (like birthdays) I can sometimes find myself subtracting the current year from my birth year to work it out.

These are the kind of thoughts that run through my head when Eddie is away working and the nights are too hot for sleep.

There’s been very little knitting activity chez moi (oh yes, it’s all coming back to me :0 ). A combination of the heat, working two jobs while Eddie’s away, and the learning of the French have left me a sweating, frazzled heap every evening. Picking up the needles just seems like too much effort at the moment.

I did manage to finish another pair of socks last week though.

Not quite identical twins, but not bad. Schaeffer Anne yarn (wool and mohair) in “Parrot”. Knit on 2.5mm circulars. I have just over half of the 100g skein left. Lovely yarn to knit with. Pricey though, so I'm very glad I'll be able to get two pairs out of one skein.

I also have yarn for a new (non-sock) project

Now I’m just waiting for the needles I bought on eBay to arrive from Hong Kong, and for the evenings to cool down a little.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

He did it!!!

The cup awarded to the winner of the Supreme Champion Angora Goat at The Royal Show. And Smiley won it!!

The Royal is the biggest agricultural show in the country, and although our breed society show is a little more prestigious, the best breeders also show at The Royal. I always show Smiley as due to his being slightly small, it's better if I, at 5'2" show him rather than Eddie who's 6'1"! We won our class, Junior Buck, so were put forward for Champion Male. I honestly thought the adult buck would win that, but, no Smiley won. So we were then put forward for the Supreme Champion, against a beautiful doe. Honestly, I couldn't believe it when the judge walked towards me with the Championship rosette. I had a lump in my throat as big as my fist, and it was all I could do to stop from bursting into tears and showing myself up as a complete wuss. As I bent down to Smiley and was telling him what a clever boy he was, there was a voice in the back of my head saying "He's a goat - he hasn't done anything, he just happens to be exceptionally beautiful" but I was soooo proud of him at that moment.

What a wonderful end to the showing season - more than we ever could have dreamed of. Every goat we took was placed, and we were chuffed to bits.

The end of the show season always leaves us feeling a bit deflated, and this year has been slightly worse with the Royal being our last show. It's a long show - we were away for 5 days, and we had such a good time. We only see the other breeders during the showing season - the animals and the distance between us all make meeting up at other times quite difficult. It's amazing that a group of people so different, but with one main thing in common, can spend 20 hours a day in each other's company (not a lot of time was spent sleeping!) and not get sick of the sight of each other. I haven't laughed so much for ages. The weather was wonderful, which helped, and I really feel - in spite of the, it has to be said, basic living conditions - as though I've had a great break.

Little knitting has been done in the last week. But that was ok. Still firmly in sock mode I've been working on some of the patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks, but rapidly coming to the conclusion that the variegated, short colour run sock yarn which appeals to the magpie in me really isn't any good for patterns. So I splurged and bought this

70% merino, 30% cashmere in Crocus from Posh Yarns

It feels wonderfully soft and I'm really looking forward to knitting with it.

I've a million blog entries to catch up on, and haven't been near the Knittyboard for ages so need to immerse myself gently back into the knitting world. Oh, and back to work tomorrow :(

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