Friday, 3 July 2015

A Tragic Twenty-four Hours

Last night, my family and I were greatly saddened to learn that the well-known and well-loved crocheter and blogger Marinke Slump of A Creative Being had lost her battle with depression.

This morning, I woke to the news that Phil Walsh, Adelaide Crows' coach, had died suddenly overnight in tragic circumstances. 

Mandalas for Marinke

Marinke Slump, author of the book Boho Crochet: 30 Hip and Happy Projects, also known fondly as 'Wink', had contributed so much to the crochet world, not just in her generous sharing of beautiful mandala patterns but also by being brave enough to share her experiences with depression.  

Two weeks ago, her blog revealed that she was in a very dark place; despite the multitude of messages of support, it was not enough to save her and this week her sister had written the sad news that Wink had taken her own life.

Many bloggers are posting tributes and I am sure there will be many more to come over the coming days and weeks.

Her family have set up an official memorial site where friends, fans and followers can view a photo gallery and share their memories and stories of Marinke.

Marinke was a contributor to Kathryn Vercillo's book, "Crochet Saved my Life" and my heart goes out to Kathryn today as she has lost a friend with whom she could relate in regards to both crochet and the daily struggles with depression.  My condolences are also felt for Wink's family, friends and everyone who knew her or was touched by her. Kathryn wrote a beautiful tribute and summary of Marinke's contribution to crochet community.

One of the ways the crochet community is coping and showing its respect is by creating mandalas for Marinke.  

There is an online memorial project called #MandalasForWink which wants to cover the world with mandalas to celebrate Marinke's life and spread the beauty around the world. If you have made a mandala, and especially if you have made one from one of Wink's pattern's, take a photo of it and post it on any social media site with the hashtag #MandalasForWink. 

Kathryn Vercillo is also facilitating a #MandalasForMarinke collaborative art project to "celebrate her life and creativity as well as to raise awareness about depression. Kathryn has posted an information page on Crochet Concupiscence for those who would like to get involved.

Annemarie Benthem, contributor to Marinke's book and owner of Dutch blog Annemarie's Haakblog and regular link party host, is inviting crocheters to share their mandalas on this Saturday's "Link Your Stuff" page. My thoughts are with Annemarie today as well.

Refer to the lists at the end of this post for further links to tributes and this project.

Football Family Tragedy Closer to Home

Adelaide is waking up to the news that the Adelaide Football Club's coach Phil Walsh died overnight. 

I first heard a radio report very early in the morning that police had been called to a domestic dispute where the occupants of the home had been stabbed - a horrifying event for anyone. At that point I had no idea of the people involved or the circumstances but it occurred in a part of Adelaide that is close to me; I travel through that area almost daily and was working out my route to avoid trouble and also waiting to find out whether the perpetrator was still at large because I have school children that walk in that area too.

By 7:30 a.m. the news had come through that it was Phil Walsh who had been stabbed by his own son!  The ambulance personnel were unable to resuscitate him and he died from his wounds.  His wife was also wounded and taken to hospital.  Their 26 year old son, who normally lives with his parents, had returned home in the early hours of the morning and that is when the dispute occurred. He is now in hospital under police guard awaiting psychiatric assessment.

The entire city is shocked and stunned.  The entire football community around Australia equally so. Phil Walsh is a highly educated and articulate man, who is well-liked and has contributed a lot to football as a player and coach and has been associated with many clubs over his career. 

As I type, there are meetings all over Australia where officials are deciding whether to cancel this week's round of football.  Other people are suggesting that Phil would have wanted the boys to play in his honour.  I cannot imagine how the boys would be able to play immediately after this loss. Perhaps they should be the ones to make that decision.

Supporters are showing their respects by placing tributes at the Walsh home and also at the gate to Adelaide Oval.  I have wrapped one of my Crows scarves around my letterbox to show my respects as are a lot of Adelaideans. At times like this, people's football rivalries are put aside to support one another.  It is heartening to see messages of condolence from members and fans of other clubs towards the Walsh family and Adelaide Football Club.

This event has heightened public discussion about domestic violence and mental health issues.  The Federal Government reduced funding to many prevention and support services in their most recent budget much to the dismay of many.  

My friends and readers of Lupey Loops would know that I am a loyal supporter and member of the Adelaide Football Club. That is why I am posting about this even though it is not directly related to crochet (apart from the fact that I like to crochet at the footy). 

The game on Sunday between Adelaide and Geelong has been cancelled and both teams will receive 2 points each.  The remaining games of the round will still be played.

I will end this now so I can get it posted. I will leave you to follow news as it unfolds. The links in my list below are starting points to find information.

Are you okay?

I hold a special concern for anyone who is dealing with depression while trying to come to terms with these losses.  Please, be kind to yourself, take special care of yourself, and make an effort to reach out and talk to someone about your feelings.  Depression is a hidden demon. It might be a good day to check in on those you love and ask, "Are you okay today?" for you never know who is also battling on the inside to keep it all together on the outside.  

It is okay to express grief openly - let it out. Better out than in, I say, but if you feel that you cannot lift yourself out of a dark place, or cannot cope, it is important to seek help. I will add some Australian resources to my reference list today.  

Are you okay today?
How are you going?

Post scriptum 6 July 2015

The game between Adelaide and Geelong which had been scheduled for Sunday 5 July, was cancelled. Instead, over 20,000 supporters of all codes and colours congregated at Adelaide Oval to show their respects to Phil Walsh. 

My family travelled into the city for this event but I did not go because I was sick and did not want to go out into the cold.

People filled the southern stand and it overflowed along the side stands of the oval. It was a subdued atmosphere as everybody came together to support each other in grief and shock. 

The scoreboard displayed a slide of Phil Walsh as everyone stopped to observe a minute's silence in his honour.  The sounding of the starting siren broke the silence and with a round of applause and appreciation, people streamed onto the oval to have a kick of the footy because Phil Walsh was passionate about footy. Everybody says that is what he would have wanted–for people to reap the enjoyment of footy as he had done.

The old scoreboard carried the message:

View of Adelaide Oval from the Southern Stand. The oval is filled with football supporters of all codes and colours who have shown their respects to Phil Walsh.In the distance one can see the goal posts, Phil Walsh's photo on the electronic scoreboard, the old scoreboard and the Eastern Stand is on the right hand side.
View of Adelaide Oval from the Southern Stand.

Dianne, of blog Adelaide and Beyond, has posted a beautiful photographic tribute:

Links and References

Are You Okay?

Most of the services and resources listed below are for people in Australia only.

Beyond Blue
Phone support service: 1300 22 4636 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Chat online: 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (AEST*) 7 days a week.
An Australian national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, providing resources for recovery, management and resilience. See also Youth Beyond Blue (below). 

Evans, Kate, "In Memory of Wink", Simply Crochet magazine, online article, UK, 30 June 2015: 
This article has information about how to identify depression plus support services and resources for suicide prevention. 

Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Telephone: 13 11 14
Crisis Support chat 7:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. (AEST*) 7 days a week:
Crisis support. Suicide prevention. 

Tools to start conversations. This not-for-profit organisation works towards suicide prevention.

Youth Beyond Blue: 
Phone support service: 1300 22 4636 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Chat online: 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (AEST*) 7 days a week.
Beyond Blue's dedicated site for youth. Information, resources and support for young people dealing with depression and/or anxiety.

*AEST: Australian Eastern Standard Time

Mandalas for Marinke

ACCROchet, "Remembering Wink" by Julie, blog post, 30 June 2015:
#MandalasForWink online tribute photographic project.

A Creative Being, "Goodbye, Not Farewell" by Tinc, blog post, 29 June 2015:

Annemarie's Haakblog, "Link Your Stuff", 4 July 2015:
InLinkz link party, 4 July 2015: 
You are invited to add a photo and link to your mandala project here. 

Benthem, Annemarie, "Winks Mandala" Annemarie's Haakblog, blog post, 30 June 2015:
Annemarie is inviting participants of the "Link Your Stuff" link party to share their mandalas on this Saturday's "Link Your Stuff".

Evans, Kate, "In Memory of Wink", Simply Crochet magazine, online article, 30 June 2015: 
This article has information about how to identify depression plus support services and resources for suicide prevention. 

"Memorial to Wink: 1984-2015", web site, Much Loved:
This is an official memorial to Wink.

Slump, Marinke, "Mandala (EN)", crochet pattern, A Creative Being: 
This is Marinke's photo tutorial to make a basic mandala. Pattern instructions are in English. 

Slump, Marinke, Boho Crochet: 30 Hip and Happy Projects, paperback, 144 pp, ISBN 9781604685510, ISBN-10 1604685514, Martingale, USA, 17 February 2015:

Slump, Marinke, [contributing Editor], Boho Crochet: 30 Gloriously Colourful Projects Inspired by Traditional Folk Style, paperback, 144 pp, ISBN 9781845435622, ISBN-10 1845435621, Apple Press, Great Britain, 1 June 2015:

Vercillo, Kathryn, "#MandalasForMarinke: Contribute to Raise Awareness re. Depression", Crochet Concupiscence, 2 July 2015:

Vercillo, Kathryn, "Shock, Sadness, Fear ... Thinking About You Wink (A Creative Being)", Crochet Concupiscence, 29 June 2015:

Vercillo, Kathryn, "#MandalasForMarinke: Crochet Project in Memory of Wink from A Creative Being", blog entry, Crochet Concupiscence, 29 June 2015:

Vercillo, Kathryn, Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet, paperback, Kindle, USA, 1 July 2012:

Football Family Tragedy Closer to Home

Adelaide Football Club, "Club Media Statement: Phil Walsh", 3 July 2015:

Adelaide Football Club:
Find all video and updates here.

Australian Football League (AFL):
Find more news, video and tributes to Phil Walsh here.

Dianne, "Adelaide Crows ... a Fitting Tribute", Adelaide and Beyond blog, 5 July 2015:

South Australia Police, "Update: Man Charged with Murder at Somerton Park", 3 July 2015:

Thring, Harry, "Phil Walsh Dead After Domestic Dispute", AFL Media & AAP, 3 July 2015:


  1. So so sad news !!!!! I'm okay and not depressive at all ... I really that it's the last time you're loosing a bloggy friend !!!! I don't know what to think ... I'm gonna crochet a mandala for tomorrow ... Take care ! hugs

  2. I am glad that you are going well Géraldine. Crocheting a mandala is a good thing to do, I am going to do that too this month after I finish the current scarf-in-progress.

  3. Such sad news, and a reminder for those of us dealing with depression to reach out if we can, to cry it out if we can, to remember that depression lies.
    I am so sorry for both these losses.
    I hope you are taking care of yourself too.

    1. Yes, I am taking care of myself - allowing myself to catch up on much needed sleep and taking it easy. Thanks Mary-Anne. x

  4. It has been such a tragic week. I know some people with depression, they are all fine at the moment but I hope, hope, hope that they will speak out when they aren't feeling well!

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds

    1. Me too. I wonder whether the rate of depression is rising or whether we just know so much more about it because it is discussed more openly these days.
      Take it easy and look after yourself.
      Jodie xx