So, I am now seven weeks post op and the cast is finally off…it came off just over a week ago and it has been a mixed blessing really. It is way more comfortable to sleep at night now…I just lose my eyes and off I drift. This is luxury in the extreme and I hope I never forget that. But in the day it is still very painful. I have done some snooping and it’s quite normal for swelling etc to be there for up to 6m after the op so I am settling in for a marathon rather than a sprint.

What am I focussing On? Well, this experience has taught me a lot of lessons…and I can summarize them as follows. I will actively appreciate and care for:

  • My friends and family
  • The level of support I have had has been stunning. My loved ones have scooped me up and carried me, sometimes literally, over the last few weeks. I am taking some of them out this evening to try to say thankyou but it will never be commensurate with what I have received from them. Friends are your chosen family, and mine have gone beyond even that in some cases. I am so so lucky.
  • My health
  • Unexpected? Well, my health is what I would politely term as ‘buggered’ what with this foot, the Parkinsons and other lovelies I have yet to discuss with y’all. Don’t worry, I will, but not now. What I mean is I will not ever ever ever take any movement, strength or ability I currently have for granted again. I completely shut down a number of times over the past weeks and it was SCARY. The gratefulness when I felt the energy surging through my body when the painkillers worked or the Parkinsons meds kicked in is almost overwhelming. I pledged to maintain and then improve my health levels. I intend to keep that promise to myself and my loved ones.
  • My independence

  • Well, I had a glimpse of the future, depending on others and the NHS. I didn’t like it. One bit. I will fight and fight hard for independence as long as I can. I am feeling militant.
  • My mental strength
  • I have always known I am stubborn. I have always known that I have been blessed with intelligence too. I had to draw upon these resources big time. When your body is shutting down and you don’t know why it is very easy to panic, I know I did a number of times, but it is also possible to grit your mental teeth and ride the storm. It takes practice, which unfortunately, I had plenty of opportunities for, but it is doable. I meditated myself silly but hey, it worked. I logically reasoned out my predicaments to myself (very frustrating to those who have different problem so,ca g approaches I admit) so that I could face them with reduced fear. I learnt how ideal With bad news, how I react In a crisis, what it is like to draw on others’ strength and trust them.

    And so I sit here and think about the future. I have to plan to achieve and maintain these priorities. And I have to understand myself so as to succeed. Next time we will go into that particular briar patch….

    on being counted

    ok, how are we all today? the last day of 2016, a strange and momentous year in so many ways. I am mulling over the implications of the macro political and economic shifts, really I am, but lets face it, that’s a bit too high brow for my normal posts isn’t it? But I have to admit to a new mood of, if not sombreness, then definitely responsibility.

    In other social fora I have been learning a lot from fellow PD people about tolerance, forgiveness and the importance of honesty when discussing the effects of PD on life, family and loved ones. I have also been learning about my responsibility to myself to be clear about what I need to do and have in order to manage this disease the best way I can. Sometimes the choices involved are hard but necessary. I have a long way to go on this but I have started on that path. Consequently expect to find some posts on PD in 2017, I am dropping the shield a little to show you what its really like in the tue hope that it may improve understanding a little.

    I think this little blog has a place in the world of Parkinson’s advocacy. I just looked thru my stats and so far this, PollieMath and my artist site have attracted almost 10,000 visitors and 50,000 views. I have written over 1,000 posts (Phew!) and, when I tend the sites properly, I get decent enough traction. I will never be a tub thumper but I CAN write so that is how I will help.

    I don’t want to dwell on the past. I never have. 2016 has been on the whole a wonderful year enriched with lovely friends and family, my massive Japanese adventure, increased presence as an artist and poetry published commercially too. Next year will rock too. Just you wait and see.

    High res

    So, let’s accept that we are in the midst of Christmas prep – I could elucidate but quite frankly that’s not too interesting is it? I have seen far more creative souls wax lyrical on this subject way better than I ever will and tbh it’s not lighting my Christmas candle this year. Keeping it quiet this year methinks.BUT.

    Resolutions are a different matter. 2015 has been a watershed year for me. It has seen my life changed completely. I do not want to dwell on January’s version of me. I like the December girl much better. A couple of years ago I resolved to Choose Life. And I feel like I’m actually sticking to it. Who knew?

    So this year I am vowing to Keep On. That’s it, just Keep On. I have my Project P framework. I’m ready to populate it now. Perfect.



    Get stuck in

    imageI am writing this post sitting in the kitchen. In fact, I’m hiding in the kitchen. Yes, I am supposed to be taking down all the Christmas decorations as it is sixth of January, 12th night. However, I really really can’t be bothered. Is that a bad thing? Obviously, I know the answer to that.

    Anyway, I suppose we should be talking about resolutions. My resolution is unusual for me, in that, I am not going to try and start anything new! That in itself is going to be virtually impossible. Instead, my goal is going to be to consolidate all the changes I made in 2014. And there were a few. So, I need to get myself happy and comfortable with my new role in the house and the family now that I no longer work. I also need to reconcile myself to the care regime I need to keep my health at its best levels. And I need to solidify the foundations I have laid with voluntary work and helping in my sons’ school. And of course, I want to strengthen this blog as it is still so dear to my heart and that means dear readers lots more crafty, poetry,  making and art. And blather. Lots of blather.

    Ive been here for a long time now…the first post was way back in 2010 can you believe? I hope to do a special review for my 5th birthday, just so long as it’s a consolidation of course! Thanks to those of you who bother to click in my direction. May your clicks bring you happiness 🙂

    Hundreds and thousands. Not.

    Do you blog? If so, do you care about your stats? I can’t decide whether I do or not. I mean, I care about those who are kind enough to stop by and share a moment or two. Sometimes even say hello. Hello back, by the way. But I’m not driven to bump up numbers. Perhaps I should be. After all, I’m self employed now. Did I mention that?

    Yes, I resigned a couple of weeks ago in a respectful nod to Uncle Parkinsons. Who would have thought it? Progressive disease indeed. And in a wholly derogatory two fingers salute to PD I am now freelancing and hoping this is a beginning not an end. I resolved to Choose Life in January and almost a year later I feel back on track.

    So, back to the stats….I’m happy you guys pop in I really am. Chez Stitch will hum a little more in the future I hope. It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings and 2014s goal is weight loss, so you’re stuck with me a while longer. Sorry!



    Over the last year or so, things have changed a lot as you know. I’ve been made redundant, got a new completely different job, crashed the car,found my inner cyclist, been up and down the road of Parkinson’s and spent lots more time with my boys.Peaks and troughs indeed.

    One of the things I said I would do, was try to have a portfolio career. Well, there have been a few false starts on that particular goal. But, I started doing some numbers yesterday, and it does appear that parts of my portfolio are working out. So, I will continue with that particular approach but I can expect to continue being a wage slave for some time. Not something I was really looking for, but looking at the margins, it is inevitable.

    The Etsy business is starting to find its feet. I have made some sales. I’m getting more profile. It really is a slow burn though. I want to spend some more time marketing on this one. To that end, if anybody is interested, there’s 20% off everything over £50 to 31 October in the shop. A Halloween present 😉

    Homeward bound…

    A day of mixed emotions here. I hope your day was clearer. On the one hand I have had a mentally stimulating day, discussing and learning about the latest technical developments in my chosen field. The course was in a very chi chi hotel in Big London so this morning found me Paddington bound on the 6.30am train. I legged it to the venue dragging my massive handbag (WHEN will I learn how to travel light) and plonked myself down just in time. 8 hours later and it’s the return trip.

    Now, on the one hand, the day was brilliant because it was so interesting but on the other? Meh. I got a view of what I don’t do any more. I don’t join in the cut and intellectual thrust as much, I don’t have the drive to develop new technical approaches and businesses, I don’t have the tenacity to stay on the ball. And I don’t have the stamina. I’m whacked.

    I observe this quite dispassionately though. It’s like I looked in on somebody else’s life for a bit. It’s not mine anymore, it’s a version of what was. Not the future.

    And what is the future?

    I have no real plan apart from my old mantra of Choose Life. Three hours on a train twice a day is no longer Life. That’s, on reflection, a good thing. I’m more fired up by the crafty mags I read on the way home. Why am I surprised?!?!!?

    So, a mixed day. But different feelings can throw each other into relief. I’m closing a chapter today. I’ve left my commuter clothes behind (not literally, don’t worry!). My Stitchy self remains, however. Now, thats a real relief. Pass the embroidery floss…

    Salt and pepper


    I’ve  not been too vocal recently. Things have been packed chez Stitch, with little space for tippy tapping. I swear the hours in the day are reducing as the boys are growing. I’m writing this in bed, in the blessed silence of a sleeping house.

    Soon activity will make it hum and buzz but right now it’s calm and quiet and still. I love the solitude of early morning but it wouldn’t be half as sweet without the clatter and chaos that is sure to follow. Variety is the spice of life and contrast a condiment.

    Today I will try to keep a spoonful of silence in my pocket, to be returned to if the days chords start to clash.

    Lets stick together

    So, lets look forward…quite frankly, the present is too tedious to focus on…what’s coming up here at Stitchopolis? Well, my New Year’s Resolution was to declutter and Choose Life. I see no reason to abandon this goal. I’ve done some serious decluttering this year, actively and passively. And that means space. Space to create a new version of life, working and family. Only this time I’m going to try to blend the two…let me explain.

    Do you recognise the scenario where you are one person at work and another at home? For example, you have to be tough and aggressive at work (think of the archetypical City trader barking down the phone) but when you get home all you want to do is chill out, cuddle the children/cat/other half and be kind. That kind of split personality is inherently stressful and I think damaging to you and your family in the long term. I want to avoid a dual life, I want to make sure my personae are well and truly stitched together. I need some metaphorical stitching in my life. And some real stitches too of course!

    Update: if this thinking interests you have a look at this site. It explains the thinking far better than I could. I will probably post more about this at some point as the whole concept of doing business better is really interesting to me. Yes, who would have thought it eh?

    I am exploring different options (as they say) so I can’t really go into any further details right now – maddening isn’t it? But let’s start with the prosaic stuff, what about current projects? Here’s what I’m planning of dealing with from now until say Christmas…

    Finalising my Christmas list of presents to make. The page has been updated to show where I’ve got to so far.
    Make said presents et al
    Go to the Mumsnet Blogfest in November and NOT treat it as a jolly but actually learn from it
    More yarn bombing – well, Elder is thrilled by it all and so am I quite frankly
    Sort out my stash and sell off some of it – bargains to be had there, I’m sure
    Finish the decluttering of my sewing area so I can actually sew
    Go through my antique quilts and decide which are staying and which will be sold or repurposed
    Possibly, just maybe, get a stall together for Christmas. I’m under extreme time pressure with other responsibilities tho so sadly, that will probably fall by the wayside.

    Then, after Christmas my Stitch Wish List starts with

    Join local quilting group
    Sandwich my handmade quilt top so I can quilt it by hand at some point
    Set up my super sewing machine with all the software I have for it but have never had chance to use properly
    Make a quilt for Little One – I am a Bad Mother, he doesn’t have his own yet 😦
    Start making my own clothes properly
    And for the boys
    Write down my patterns properly and ebook them (interested?!)
    Give stitching the balance it deserves in my life

    Look I’m a bit tired even thinking about it! Perhaps when people say I’m quite motivated and a self starter I should listen a bit more? Well, Why Don’t You was always my favourite programme when I was listening and this is definitely Something Less Boring Instead. What do you think?