It’s been nearly a month since my wonderful break on Harris, and it feels like far longer! As I mentioned, things immediately became difficult, and my escape seemed like a dream. But life back home – looking after the Dafter, and being at church and in the choirs – has kept me grounded.
I was delighted to see the first daisies come up:
I remember crawling around in the freezing rain planting these and other wildflowers, for the pleasure of one of the Dafter’s favourite flowers, the daisy.
We have had very cold temperatures, but nevertheless the first of the blossoming trees carried on undeterred:
The Dafter was felled by a most horrendous cold. She had three massive and disfiguring cold sores on her face, and looked rather like some kind of illustration in a medical book, the poor darling. However, to our amazement, these awful cold sores were healed within just over a week! A sign of progress.
She has been battling on to complete her coursework, with only a few hours of energy and concentration available to her every day. Regular classes have now finished, and she has study leave and exams for the next month. She has a fair amount of schoolwork yet to do to complete her two Highers. She has never before had the experience of study leave and exams, having been too ill for the past five years. So the pressure and stress is enormous. Very fortunately she is blessed with a wonderful, supportive teacher for both her subjects. “By coincidence” (?!) her teacher has experience of suffering from ME/CFS.
Added to the stress of schoolwork is the emotion of the end of her school days, the end of regular lunchtimes and classes with her friends, and farewells to those who will be leaving Glasgow to go to uni in other cities. But she said to me, “All I ever wanted was to make friends that I could see at high school – and I’ve got my wish.” It was a very long time coming, but I am so grateful that she got her wish. Many healthy people don’t have that experience!
One really good piece of news is that she now has an unconditional offer to do another Higher at college next year, which is a great relief. (To my American readers: the Dafter still has a ways to go in terms of achieving the equivalent of a high school diploma, but she will be doing that in Further Education – college as opposed to university, which is Higher Education. Perhaps the best US comparison is community college.)
In April there were many sunny and cold days. Good Tilly-watching weather:
Tilly has enjoyed going back out into the garden, although as you can see she really is a housecat at heart – in this case, a summerhouse cat:
The end of April and beginning of May brought really cold weather with hail and even snow at times:
Very fortunately we haven’t had any badly killing frosts. My sweet peas, cosmos and ranunculus planted in trays are all coming up (brought back inside at night). And the spring bulbs have brought me great happiness, particularly these lovely tulips:
For fellow knitting enthusiasts, the Oregon cardigan is growing, slowly. Here is a photo of the start of the armhole steeks. Once I have knit to the top of the cardigan, I will slice down the middle of the steeks, graft the shoulder stitches together, and then pick up stitches along the sides of the armhole and start knitting the sleeves from the top down, on circular needles.
Below you see the front steek. The top few rows in the below photo I had begun to decrease on either side of the centre steek, to shape the V-neck. The steek stitches continue the same, while the patterned stitches in between grow fewer in number. In the photo above, you can see the decreases at the bottom of the armholes. (In fact, I could no doubt have done them a bit more neatly – the yellowish stitches really stick out. Next time I will plan ahead the row before.)
I hope you have all had a good start to the bonny month of May. The old adage “Ne’er cast a clout til May be oot” is certainly valid here at the moment, but we are due to have some warmer weather in a few days. 19 degrees C (66 F) is predicted for Glasgow at the weekend – a scorcher!! We shall see!