Lighting Up The Darkness

British Summertime (daylight saving) ended on Sunday morning. For many of us, that signals the beginning of darker months in more ways than one, as depression often worsens during winter time. The last couple of winters I have greeted with a touch of panic, but I feel rather resigned this year. I know there’s no need to wonder if it will affect me – it will. It is what it is. There is comfort in accepting that.

But then with every succeeding winter, I get a little more expert in managing my depression. I know the things I need to do in order to keep it reasonably under control. I need as much light as possible, so I will get outside as often as I can, I will keep lamps switched on all over the house, even during the daytime, I will festoon dark corners with candles and fairy lights, I will use a sunrise clock in the bedroom. I need exercise, so I will try to do something every day from now until Spring. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes. I need good nutrition, so I will stay off sugary stuff, caffeine, and alcohol, and try to get plenty of protein. I need sleep, so I will follow a good bedtime routine, drink sleepytime tea, and when necessary, taken medication without feeling guilty for doing so. These are my 4 foundation stones. I can’t lapse on any one of them without paying for it. I’ve learned that by experience. 

But there are more subtle tweaks that need to be made too. Socialising when it’s the last thing I want to do. Learning better ways to manage stress. Remembering to take time to rest and relax, instead of rushing around at 100mph all of the time. Reminding myself of the bigger picture of life, when all I can see are petty little things. These are smaller things, but they are harder to achieve, consistently. But, knowledge is power. The more I know about myself, how I work, and how I don’t work, the better equipped I am. That’s one of the gifts that an ongoing illness, mental or physical, brings you, if you can see it as such.

Because it’s not all bad, having depression, although to begin with you think it’s the end of the world (and there’s no denying that it is very painful and terrifying when your own mind starts to play nasty games with you). It has its flip side, and there comes a point when not only can you not imagine life without the challenge of depression, but you almost wouldn’t want it, because you can see the benefits it has given you. Patience. Endurance. Compassion. Resilience. Doggedness. Softening. Black humour. The realisation that few people are what they seem on the outside, (because to begin with you think you are crazy, no one else feels like you do, you aren’t normal, everyone else is happy and serene) that few people really are, and that how you feel is actually VERY normal!

So, winter isn’t going to be easy. But maybe it doesn’t have to be too hard either. We’ll get through it, if we help one another. Let’s light it up, together.    

Fibre Flurry 2010

What. A. Day. I’m still on a bit of a high!!!

Due to one thing and another, we didn’t get to the venue on the Friday night until they were just about to close, so we couldn’t set up everything the night before, and had to just hope we could get it all done in the morning. But thanks to the absolute genius of the craftsmen who designed and built our stand shelving, and the hard work of the team that we brought with us, everything went up in no time at all. I was completely flummoxed as to how to arrange the tables to make the most of the tiny little space we had been allocated, but one of our neighbours, who has a lot of show experience, tucked me under her wing and gave very sensible advice. We managed to squeeze about 65kg (thats 650 skeins) of yarn into the tiniest of spaces (on two 5ft long tables), and still have reasonable room for plenty of people to mill around (I hope!).

I was terribly nervous, this being only our second show, and I’m a bit of a recluse normally, but I must say I had one of the most amazing days I’ve had in a really long time. Matthew & Sarah, who already work for us at Posh, did a fantastic job of taking care of everyone, so that me and Tony were able to just chat to everyone and make the most of the day. We were thrilled at how many poshies came, and I know some of you travelled a very long time to get there. Thank you, everyone who spoke to us personally, I know some of you are a little shy, but I think I got to speak to everyone. And we went home with a bag full of lovely gifts too, I felt so spoiled!!!!! Tony was his element. His head no longer fits through any of our doorways.

I would say we probably sold just over 2/3 of our stock – I haven’t unpacked the unsold yarn yet, but judging by a quick calculation in the car, that seems about right. I think I have enough left for about one and a half updates. Our old yarns should be back in stock in the next 3 weeks, and Andy also showed me some INCREDIBLE yarn samples yesterday, which I’ll be ordering tomorrow.

There was one fly in the ointment, but by the time we realised, it was too late to do anything about. I made a mistake when printing out the labels for two of the new yarns, Dorothy & Eliza, and because Sarah did all the labelling while I was in America, and packed the yarn up ready for the show, I didnt see the mistake until we unpacked it all on Saturday morning. The names are correct, but the fibre content and yardage have been transposed. Eliza is 75% merino, 25% nylon, with 465 yards per 100g. Dorothy is 50% superwash merino, 50% silk, with 440 yards per 100g. I cannot apologise enough for this. It goes without saying that if you thought you were buying one thing, and now find out its something different, please don’t hesitate to send it back for a refund. I will cover the postage costs. I’m really, really sorry. We did ask Matt & Sarah to warn people at checkout too, but I don’t know if they remembered too, because the stall was so busy, and it was all new to them. (They were bowled over by how lovely everyone was though, and both said they really enjoyed the day.)

I walked away from Wonderwool, a couple of years ago, saying Never Again. Getting ready for it was so stressful, we had a bit of a rubbish stand, because we didnt really know how to display the yarn, and although I got to meet some of you, and that was fun, the stress definitely outweighed the benefits. And so I have said no to every show since then. But yesterday changed that, for both of us. I don’t intend to start doing all the shows, I don’t know how Jeni, Andy, Amanda, etc can do it, they have such stamina! But we will definitely do at least 1 show a year from now on, and maybe 2. We plan to do Wonderwool next year, but only for one day. And we may do another show as well. 

Oh, finally, I just want to applaud Mikayla and all the rest of the team behind the show. She did a fantastic job of organising and running the show, and that was especially important in view of recent events. I think it left a good taste in the mouths of everyone involved. I wouldn’t hesitate to get involved in any future event that she organised.