I've always loved the beach. It is one of my favourite places. Sadly, it is not always the best thing or the easiest thing for me to go down to the beach. Nevertheless, I managed to get to the beach twice: to watch sailing and see the sunset.
My lupus traits combined with medication do not allow me to spend much time in the sun because exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light triggers fatigue and the side effects of medication make my skin burn easily.
For years I could not understand how I could do an entire morning of vigorous housework and still have energy to spare, yet I could spend just 20 minutes in the garden only to be absolutely exhausted. I am now certain that the UV exposure is the cause. I'm not sure how it works but it has something to do with liver function and the way my body processes (or has difficulty processing) different forms of vitamin D.
|I love the beach but it isn't easy to enjoy it any more!|
This is a view of the beach at Largs Bay, Adelaide, South Austraila.
My children have been forced to give away some outdoor sports because of my stupid condition. 'Little Athletics' is a good example which involved 3‒4 hours outdoors every Sunday morning. Parents were required to be with their children as they went from one activity to the next such as sprinting, shot put, long jump etc. I couldn't do it but the club rules were the rules.
|Cadet class two-person boat.|
Even without the sunlight and UV issues, it isn't easy to wheel a manual chair across a large oval of thick kikuyu grass to get to the shot put field. As a parent, it is great to be able to watch my children as they learn, develop and have fun. It is important to be there to encourage and support them. It was very frustrating for me to be left alone on the sidelines while my children were so far away on the opposite side of the oval that I couldn't see them or have them hear my cheers. There was no going around it either: the only access was across the playing field.
Despite this, one of my children has taken up sailing after trying it with a friend and is absolutely loving it. Luckily, the friend's family is happy to take my child and doesn't need me to accompany them. It is important to have a sporting interest so I am thrilled that my child has found 'her thing'. It makes me sad though that I cannot go out and enjoy it with her.
It is usually a half‒whole day activity and I don't have the stamina for such a long outing or for travelling the distances involved to get to the regattas etc. Being out in the elements really takes its toll on my body but when the sailing was relatively close to home and all the other factors were amenable, my friends took me with them; I sat on the jetty and (when the weather was too much) in the clubhouse to watch the children carry out their sailing manoeuvres. I absolutely loved it and I am so proud of the children's capabilities on the water. It was a joy. I am so grateful to have lovely friends around me who are tolerant of my limits and are willing to make allowances.
Designed by Priscilla Hewett.
Crocheted by Jodiebodie
I hosted a birthday gathering at home. It is very taxing to put on a big luncheon these days so I prefer smaller affairs. Extended family joined us for afternoon tea and it was so lovely to catch up with people in person over a cuppa.
It was the first sunny afternoon after weeks of dark, damp weather. Spring breezes from the north were warmly inviting us to go outdoors. As much as I enjoyed everyone's company and love them dearly, when 4 o'clock rolled around, I realised that the day would soon come to a close and I might miss an opportunity to get out and about. It was almost a relief when everyone decided it was time to go home at 4:30 p.m.
As soon as everyone had left and we had cleared the table, my immediate family and I jumped in the car and drove straight to the beach!
|Views of Gulf St Vincent from this Adelaide beach, looking southwards towards Port Stanvac.|
We were still walking on the jetty at nightfall, still in short-sleeves; no chill in the air at all. The evening was rounded off with ice cream cones for everyone, 'al fresco' style. These simple things provide good quality of life.
|A beautiful sunset over Gulf St Vincent. Due west across the water is the Yorke Peninsula.|
I received a most intriguing yarn-related gift. One of my beloved op-shoppers gave me a bag of 'finds':
- A collection of fibre samples which had been hand-dyed with natural plant dyes. The samples have little tags attached describing the dye source and the mordant used:
- Tuart* leaves / alum
- Tuart leaves / bath 2 alum
- Peppermint gum** bark / dye bath #1 no mordant
- Tuart leaves / copper
- Tuart leaves / no mordant
- Tuart leaves / bath 3 alum / copper
- 2 samples seem to have lost their tags, having been tied with thread sporting only frayed ends
I have no idea about the fibre content and thus the future care requirements for anything that I make with this yarn. Perhaps I will make a shawl and return it to the gift-giver who can appreciate the process from raw spun fibres to finished product.
|Hanging hanks, Batman!|
- A hank of a multiple ply yarn which was finished with a handle! I have never seen anything like it before. I am wondering whether it was once an open-mesh market bag that had become unravelled or whether the handle was created after winding the hank for easy storage. Can anyone enlighten me on how to approach this item?
|Close-up of handles.|
Have you seen such things before?
What would you do with them?
Any ideas or advice will be greatly appreciated.
*Tuart is a type of tall tree found in south-west Western Australia: Eucalyptus gomphocephela
**Peppermint gum is another type of Eucalyptus tree that produces oil with a peppermint scent, commonly the Eucalyptus nicholii (from New South Wales and a threatened species in its native habitat) or Eucalyptus dives (New South Wales & Victoria) but there are too many Eucalyptus trees with 'peppermint' in their common names, that there is no way to know which type of Eucalyptus bark was used to dye these samples.
Reference: Australian National Botanic Gardens: http://www.anbg.gov.au/
pattern by Priscilla Hewett 2000
crocheted by Jodiebodie 2010
Pattern: Cupcake Pincushion by Priscilla Hewett 2000 (free pattern)
Yarn: remnants of pastel baby-weight yarn (acrylic or acrylic-nylon blend)
Hook: 3.5 mm
These cupcakes were fun to make and perfect to whip up as a quick gift at short notice.
The recipient loved them so much that they now reside in a display cabinet with other favourite items.