Monday, 23 December 2013

What a Week!

It's been a roller-coaster of a week, or more accurately, a week and a bit.

A week last Thursday, I had my second interview for the technical writer job which I have been pursuing for the past few months.  I thought it went reasonably well and had very high hopes. I zipped off afterwards and picked up my prescription, and a couple of balls of navy yarn with a metallic thread in it, having decided to start on some fingerless gloves which have been at the top of the project list. (No, the interminable Autumn Leaves thing is not yet completed. I'm gradually sewing the leaf motifs together.  It's a learning experience - do not do this sort of thing in this way ever again!)  I also have a throw or blanket in mind of blue and green waves, so the yarn would work in that, too.

I'd had to reschedule the interview from its original slot on Friday, because I was helping out at my friend Rose's classes' Christmas belly dance gathering. It's a chance to showcase what they've been working on, and as different classes go out to change, I run belly dance games for those left 'waiting'.  It's all pretty light-hearted, like musical statues, where you try not to move and to pose nicely when the music goes off.  The dancers also bring food to share (including the stuffed vine leaves and baklava, thanks, they were lovely!), and it's a warm, friendly, festive atmosphere.  Then Rose and I went back to her place to leave my car, repack hers and head off to my parents, who were kindly putting us up for our annual trip to the JWAAD Fantasia weekend of belly dance workshops and show.

We set off at our normal time on the Saturday morning, which would normally have seen us getting into Chiswick in plenty of time to park, register and get to our first workshop, but it turned out that the last three junctions of the M4 were closed and we joined increasingly heavy traffic to crawl along into West London, arriving over an hour later than we had planned and missing our first workshops.  Fortunately the rest of the weekend went to plan, and we came away inspired and enthused, ready to upload what we've learned into our teaching for next year, chatting almost the whole way about various plans to increase interest in belly dance in West Wales.

Another friend has been in hospital for a few weeks, so I went to see her on Monday, hoping to cheer her up. It was rather a tearful visit as she was feeling depressed and I could understand why.  Her condition leaves her feeling like her life has been completely derailed into something closer to torture, and she cannot see herself coming back to sufficient health to dance again.  I think she was doing rather better than I would under the same circumstances. I grabbed a hasty sandwich at a garage on my way home, because I hadn't really eaten that day.

Early the next morning, I awoke with terrible stomach cramps and an urgent need for the loo.  A couple of hours later, I knew I was going nowhere, so rang the garage to rearrange my car's service appointment and retired to bed, feeling extremely poorly, weak and useless.  Just to add to the misery, the power was off all morning, so I couldn't even listen to the radio. I was still dodgy the next day, when I should have been going to the last somatic movement workshop of the year. I couldn't even rouse myself to send an apologies message before the workshop started.

I was feeling a bit better on Thursday morning as I took the car in for a service.  I knew I wouldn't want to go into town while they worked, so I took my knitting bag and lurked in their warm and comfy waiting room, happily knitting away and periodically discussing the work needed on my poor car. I made a start on the fingerless gloves (the pattern is Evenstar Gloves by audreym on Ravelry).  I found myself wondering if I had every actually made anything on double pointed needles (dpns) or whether I had just read the technique somewhere.  I decided that because I didn't have any dpns until a successful raid on a charity shop in the past year or two, then I hadn't, so this was a first.  I found it quite challenging, wrestling with a set of four dpns and a cable needle, so the tension was a bit tighter than usual, but a glove started to grow and I was almost at the palm by the time they came to tell me the damage.  New back tyres and brake pads, new timing belt, removal of old rusty sump guard (but not replacement), major service with all the bits that entails, not to mention labour. Over £600. Ouch. I went off for a quick raid on a heaving supermarket and went home.

On Friday, I woke up with a tell-tale sore throat.  A volley of sneezes scared the cats and shook the rafters. Oh no, the start of cold! Surely not! I did a few chores, had another sneezing fit and was just dosing myself with vitamin C when I got a phone call. I didn't get the job.  It had been very close and they had deliberated for a long time, but had chosen the other candidate. They are planning to expand and there might still be a place for me in the future, as I had been a high calibre candidate.  Oh, rats! Back to the drawing board.  I still live in hope that an opening might appear again soon, but that job seemed ideal and I am so disappointed!

After discussions with my friend who was having a little get-together in the evening, it was decided that it was probably better I don't come and infect people just in time for Christmas.  I also missed another friend's solstice gathering on the Saturday night.  Why do I always get a cold at this time of year?

Furthermore it means I can't go back to visit my friend in hospital, who has just heard they are sending her home for Christmas anyway. The weather is vile, with gale force winds, heavy rain and hail.  Nothing for it but to sit with a shawl and a cuppa in front of the TV and knit.  I've just started the second glove.

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