Miscellany

The other night I dreamt that the second and third toes of my right foot fused together into one toe. The same was happening to the corresponding toes on my left foot but I managed, painlessly I think, to peel them apart before they fused as seamlessly and irrevocably as the others had done.

Also in the same phantasmagorical interlude Maizy had open heart surgery and I disturbed her as she was coming round from the anaesthetic, her entire body a mass of huge stitches, she was in pain and I was told to leave because it was my fault. It was also revealed that a dear friend from university was best friend to a former colleague whom I disliked intensely; from this latter I learnt, in the dream, much about my own lack of humility, overabundance of judgementalness and the importance of right livelihood.

The foot thing is highly likely to be related to the current sock-knitting and the acquisition of a pattern for a knitted tabi, the Japanese foot-covering with a separate big toe designed to be worn with thonged shoes and traditionally sewn from cloth. Could the multi-pierced Maizy be traced back in some way to the weekend’s re-encounter with the nightmares in stitches of Louise Bourgeoise?

Or perhaps the whole technicolour experience was due to the consumption of an entire family-sized packet of jelly babies shortly before going to bed. They, after all, have fused toes and are no doubt full of enough noxious chemicals in sufficient quantities to disturb the brain chemistry of even the unsusceptible let alone the susceptible to such imbalances.

It is only recently that I have been able to look a jelly baby in the face, much less insert one into my own. As a very small child (probably between the ages of three and six) my father used to drive my brother and I for what seemed like several days across the country to pay dutiful visits to his aunt. My mother, needless to say, refused to go. I hated it. Hours of excruciating boredom on the way there, hours of excruciating boredom once we arrived (apart from the very few minutes of entertainment provided by Billy the budgie who didn’t talk and bit).

Worst of all was the appalling sickness on the way home. I was always sick. I was always sick for the same reason. Because my thoughtless and horrible great aunt always, without fail, gave me a humungous box of jelly babies and I always, without fail, ate them all in the car on the way home. And it was clearly her fault. It was also her fault that my brother didn’t open his box for days, ate them in small but regular quantities and taunted me with his sweetfulness and my lack thereof for weeks afterwards, which made me very sour indeed towards both of them.

Thinking about this childish shift of responsibility and how prevalent it is in various forms in people of all ages as well as organisations, governments and entire cultures led me to the wikipedia article on locus of control personality orientations which has made interesting reading.

Internals tend to attribute outcomes of events to their own control. Externals attribute outcomes of events to external circumstances. For example, college students with a strong internal locus of control may believe that their grades were achieved through their own abilities and efforts, whereas those with a strong external locus of control may believe that their grades are the result of good or bad luck, or to a professor who designs bad tests or grades capriciously; hence, they are less likely to expect that their own efforts will result in success and are therefore less likely to work hard for high grades… Due to their locating control outside themselves, externals tend to feel they have less control over their fate. People with an external locus of control tend to be more stressed and prone to clinical depression.

Indeed. It’s something else I feel shifting.

So what else? I’ve been doing a great deal of knitting at home, on the bus, in cafΓ©s, round at friends’, whilst listening to an unabridged reading of Emma etc. I’ve added a widgety bit of javascript to the sidebar showing recent projects and their progress. Down on the right, below the twittering. A piece of gorgeous goodness from Casey the code monkey at Ravelry.

My father seemed highly gratified with his birthday socks; I started a pair for myself, one of which posed with some art at the weekend; started and finished a very pleasing beret and finally, finally, just a few minutes ago, sewed in the last end of the Austenesque. I’m thinking of modelling it and asking Neha to take a celebratory picture of it when we meet up what is now later today. But I think I need to get hold of a corset first, somehow.

So in the absence of a picture of the charming garment here is a picture of my charming creatures being aaawsome. Taken by the charming and aaawsome Alistair. On his iPhone. Jealous? moi? overcome with uncontrollable capitalistic acquisitive gadget lust? No, no. Of course not.

my creatures are aaaaawsome

This is also, incidentally, a wonderful example of how not, according to all the best advice, to write a blog post. But what do I care? I am half-woman, half-vegetable. Curly kale to be precise. And I’m very happy this way.

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6 Comments on “Miscellany”

  1. alistair says:

    that seems to me to be the very best way to write a blog.

    do you consider yourself an ‘internal’ or an ‘external’ then? I would imagine there was equal ground for ‘internals’ to tend towards depression, since it is generally that malign internal voice of criticism that fuels the blues.

    i’m venturing out of my fire-side fug and catching a train down to brighton for the day. work? how dare they.

  2. acb says:

    I think that the depressed introvert has internalised an external locus of control, if that makes sense.

    The malign internal voice of criticism is not the same as the person it criticises, even if they share a body and a life. It may seem odd that the “I” who hates is not the same as the “myself” who is hated; none the less, it feels true.

  3. Pica says:

    Frizzy, this is actually one of my favorite blog posts of yours. The first few lines appeared on my RSS feed and I thought “she’s spending WAY too much time knitting socks” and then on and on you led us, following a strand of yarn as it wound around the various bits and pieces in the way of a straight line. I loved it.

    I’m one of those people who usually did well in exams but not through any real effort on my part, it was always “luck.” Plus excellent bullshitting skills that came in very handy when I wanted to, and succeeded in, fooling several therapists until I finally chanced upon one who wasn’t fooled at all and I realized what the POINT of all this was.

    Anyway. More please.

    I suppose it’s a bit undiplomatic to say I’m heading to MacWorld in a couple of hours, but is there anything you’d like me to salivate at on your behalf?

  4. rr says:

    Alistair, I used to be very much an external with a few areas of screaming control freaking internalism as a defense mechanism. I’m sure you’re right about the other extreme being an equally uncomfortable place to reside. All those ulcerated over-achievers. I feel quite confident that there has to be… wait for it… a middle path πŸ™‚ Now? I’m attempting to acquire a useful measure of internalism.

    acb, that’s a really interesting point which I’ve never tried to tease apart before. I’m trying to feel back to see whether that was how I perceived it. I’m not sure that it was, as the time, but it’s certainly how it looks in retrospect.

    Pica. Oh. My. God. Everything πŸ™‚ Drool copiously everywhere please. You can always tell anyone concerned about this behaviour that it’s my fault.

  5. Lucy says:

    Well I loved it.
    On Hemel market the sweet stall used to sell mis-shapen jelly babies cheap, which always seemed a bit tasteless…

  6. Jaliya says:

    Hi, Frizzy πŸ™‚

    Beautiful thoughts in a whimsical and witty setting…and what could be sweeter than a cuddle with your canine and feline kin? Your knitted creations are exquisite; I stand in awe of anyone who can do more with a needle and thread than to puncture herself πŸ˜€ I failed Home Ec in Grade 8 (I’m nearly 49) and the one “scarf” I attempted to knit was [unspeakable]. Crocheting makes me cry and I quake at anything “arts & crafts” πŸ˜€

    Thanks for being out there!


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