After a Hiatus

It feels like forever since I wrote a post, probably because it has indeed been a while. It’s not even the fact I was busy, although things certainly were a bit crazy the last couple weeks. But the truth is, I didn’t really have anything to say. Not sure I do today, so this may turn out a pointless ramble – guess we’ll just have to see.

For those who actually care: what has been going on with us? I finished a book translation. Reason to be happy, definitely, as well as exhausted – my co-translator and I unwittingly made our lives more difficult than necessary by agreeing to submit the book chapter by chapter – not the greatest idea our editor had there, as it ended up being more work for all involved, writers, editor and graphic designer. We’ll know better next time. Either way, it’s a wonderful book, it’s going to be published before Christmas, and it was a joy (as well as a pain) to work on. Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook, whatever the publishers decide to call it in German – it’s a treasure, and I highly recommend it to anyone spirited enough to brave the knitting charts. Look, even I managed a swatch ;-).

My husband is back to freelancing, after almost two years with the same company. He’s in the process of getting back in touch to let people know he’s available once again, doing the networking routine, having coffees and lunches and reaching out to his contacts. Not his favorite, and I don’t blame him. As everybody knows, these things rarely happen overnight, and there’s a strong element of being in the right place at the right time involved to boot. So he’s in what you might call a perpetual state of aggravation. Again, not blaming him, but we all feel it.

The kids have enjoyed 2 weeks off from school. Lots of sleeping in, very little activity and as much fresh air as they were willing to stomach. The weather has been all seasonal (meaning shitty), and we’ve been holing up at the cottage and feeding the wood-burner. Watching movies, baking, making lasagna and chicken soup, carving a fabulous Jack O’Lantern. Oh, and our spoiled city person of a kitty turned out to be a creature of instinct after all, intrepidly catching two (!) mice in a row. Maybe I’m projecting, but to me she definitely looked smug ;-). Thank God there seem to be no more, for now, and no, I did not take pictures.

In between several frantic absolutely-final proofing cycles, I’ve been knitting socks. Tedious, in a way, but soothing in its familiarity also. I’ve kind of lost my mojo for the Dotty Blanket for now. Maybe it’s a summer thing? I’ve noticed I have a tendency to kind of forget about colors once the summer’s gone. Once it’s cold enough outside for me to require wearing a coat, all I’ll wear is black, grey and sometimes deep red. Maybe I’m hibernating.

Apart from the book, I put in quite a few hours of work at my daughter’s elementary school. We seem to have led a sheltered life: there was hardly ever anything to do as a parents‘ rep the first three years. The kids had a (dedicated and very professional) sweetheart of a teacher, and all was running perfectly smoothly. Now, there are a bunch of – how should I put this – different? new teachers, and the kids‘ first experience with being graded was not pretty. Bravo, educational system, well done. My heart breaks for those kids who don’t have parents with enough time on their hands to pick up the school’s slack at home, which is in effect was they expect us to do. Talked to the German teacher to whom it hadn’t even occurred before that there was such a thing as motivating the kids, or trying positive reinforcement instead of bad grades and putting pressure on them. He’s from Bavaria, ’nuff said. (For non-German readers, this means an ultra conservative, very strict, modern-pedagogics-be-damned school system with such a chip on its shoulder for churning out supposedly superior student material. The rest of Germany considers this to be a huge crock.)

Other than that, most of my friends seem to be going through rough patches. Depression here, breakups and relationship trouble there, pubescent teenagers all over the place … sigh. We’re fortunate in those respects: we’re healthy, reasonably happy most of the time, and our own teenager is treating us with kid gloves, considering. He still has a penchant for putting himself in dangerous situations (roofing!!!), but he’s his friendly old self most of the time, he’s not taking any drugs (I think), he does the work for school (some of it at least), and I actually like his friends. Phew, for now!

So, only a few weeks left to this year. Regarding politics, as we approach the end of 2017, we’re no better off than end of last year, are we? Chancellor Merkel seems to be one of the few rulers of this world left who’s not a lunatic, although after elections it’s evident what a large number of her former voters have chosen to root for the idiots on the right fringe, rather than support her patent voice of reason, humanist approach. I suppose that leaves a lot of room for improvement in 2018…

I’m not going to write up a recipe today, but I will show you a picture of the Linzer Torte I made for my friend Ch’s birthday last week.

IMG_4221

The angels just happened to be one of the two cookie cutter choices I had here at the cottage; the other was an Easter bunny. And since it was the 24th of October, and not exactly an Indian summer kind of day, I just thought it was more seasonal. It has no hidden significance whatsoever, neither regarding Ch’s character, much as I love him, nor my perception of self, much as it may be wonky.

These are the stripies I finished today, for the young lady who made me this wonderful T-shirt for my birthday. She’s quite the graffiti artist, wouldn’t you say?

You guys take care of yourselves. Let me know how you’re doing, and what your crafts projects are. My next will probably – can you guess…? A cable poncho :-)).

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