If there is one advantage to growing older it's finally knowing who you are. It may not be the same for everyone but I'm pretty sure I didn't have a clue who I was when I was thirty, nevermind twenty. I took advice from people who knew me back then and sometimes I wish I'd had the confidence to listen to myself a bit more.
Right now I'm watching E go through the same turmoil - which path to take through further education and beyond. There are still well meaning careers advisors, anything can be googled for further information, but what neither of those will tell you is how to match a career with skills, qualifications and most importantly your own unique personality and character.
Shame on the careers advisor who told E to be careful of living your parents' dreams and not your own. Silly woman. E is so far removed from my shy character and personality she could do anything she wanted to, and I frequently tell her that. Follow your head a little bit, I tell her, but follow your heart a little bit more (and definitely do not aim for a career in Graphic Design!).
So this year I tried to con the children that I was still thirty nine, but alas their memories and maths are too good for that. It's quite sobering when your children repeat your new age back to you. It means it's real. Oh well, too bad.
I was spoilt this year. Along with chocolates and candles I received some very special gifts. My poor friend worried so much over the choice of a poetry book that she included the gift receipt and suggested that if I didn't take it back then the village raffle might be a place to dispose of it! So funny, she needn't have worried, I love contemporary poetry! I love Mary Oliver for starters. This is a really lovely book, I thoroughly recommend it. I have a tatty old anthology of poetry by my bed I like to dip into now and then, it's all old classics so it'll be nice to reacquaint myself with some modern poetry.
Have you spotted my new brooch? Isn't it absolutely gorgeous? I'm so lucky to have amazing creative blog friends. Thanks D! I love it. I believe it's made using Dorset Button techniques. One of Tracy Chevaliers novels, Burning Bright, features a button maker. It's a fascinating craft.
I may have dropped hints in M's direction this year. I mentioned bonsai scissors and he made it his mission to find some. These came all the way from California! They will not be used for Bonsai I'm afraid. I saw some about a year ago, forgot where I saw them and sorely wished I'd bought them. I have quite large hands and small embroidery scissors are a pain in the neck. For cutting threads the small pair is ideal. The larger pair may hang in our rustic kitchen for herbs.
I also explained (casually) how comfy my new 4mm Clover Amour hook was and how I would probably just buy them as and when I needed a certain size. He asked if they sold them as sets and I said, also very causally, that they may well do. So now I have nine sizes from 2mm to 6mm. I'm rather pleased with them. They make a lot of difference.
I tagged along to Manchester yesterday. M's client didn't turn up which meant we had more time than expected for a birthday lunch. I've never been to The Trafford Centre but I believe it's where all the football WAG's go for their Rolex watched and designer labels. It was certainly quite a surprise to see something so swanky in the little old UK. Apparently the centre contains three miles of marble! It was quite an eye opener, especially the food quarter which was designed to look like an ocean liner. We headed for the comfort and familiarity of John Lewis where it took me a ridiculously long time to choose a pattern and relevant yarn. I kept it simple in the end and chose another of Erika Knight's patterns, a snood.
I've blogged about these EK patterns before. I already have the slouchy hat pattern and cabled wrist warmer pattern. I've made at least four slouchy hats and three pairs of wrist warmers so I seem to be getting my money's worth from these patterns, and it's rare for me to knit or crochet something more than once because I don't usually like repetition.
With birthdays out of the way now comes the important task of choosing a crochet project to take on holiday. I've browsed for hours and can't seem to find anything that fits the bill. The clothes packing can wait!