It has been a strange old year so far. The first couple of months of 2009 were unsettling; a total IT breakdown at work reminded me how much we depend on computers to put our publication together, and the heavy snow in the south east of England which brought all transport to a standstill for 24 hours underlined the fragility of our systems. My neighbour broke her hip and spent a month in hospital, and now she is back home but not very mobile.
Just when I was beginning to lose hope that this winter would ever pass, the days began to lengthen. I didn't need my bike lights in the morning any more, and in the evenings there was still a faint glimmer of light in the sky as I left the office. Snowdrops and daffodils started to appear, the chives on the balcony began to sprout new leaves. I started to feel a huge sense of relief, it was as if we'd survived another year, against all odds.
The last week has been another difficult time, bringing news of the sudden death of a good friend's son; two of my friends losing parents to cancer, and a colleague struggling with a relative's terminal illness. It seemed like the darkness of the winter was about to return.
I am very fortunate in that I am not prone to depression, for which I am eternally grateful. I try to see the best in everything and everyone, to believe that better times will come and to take my enjoyment from even the smallest pleasures. Being an aetheist I do not have a higher power to look to for reassurance or guidance, I have to rely on my fellow human beings and myself.
The arrival of the wonderful socks from Pixlkitten, who sent them as a 'pay it forward' gift, had much more resonance with me because of all the recent gloom. The care which had been taken over the knitting (Kristy's knitting is NEAT, let me confirm!), the thought that had gone into the choice of pattern and yarn, and the touching words that were included in the card, all combined to banish any pessimistic thoughts.
The fact that someone so far away, who has never met me, would spend time, money and effort producing a gift for me without any expectation of reward, is very gratifying. The delight it has given me will offer a useful kick up the backside to get me working on my own PIF gifts, which were promised some time ago (oops, July! At least I gave myself a year to complete them!).
Hopefully enough time has elapsed that they will be a nice surprise for the recipients!
*Another little up - Spring Knitty!
Farewell Big Ben
10 hours ago