Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow, that was a long weekend ;)

Okay, so I know that I said I'd post after that weekend (almost a month ago) but life's been more than a little nuts.

Okay, first things first.

Mum's Car Accident

My mum was involved in a serious car accident (in the UK where she lives) while driving to work early one morning on some back country roads. She hit a Yamaha 1300cc bike head on when she came around the corner and the biker was trying to overtake an Audi. Mum tried to get out of the way, but the roads are so narrow and the hedges so thick and tall that she had nowhere to go. The biker appears to have attempted to accelerate and squeeze between the cars, but hit Mum head on, in line with the drivers steering wheel. The biker died instantly and Mum really walked away without anything seriously wrong, apart from the obvious shock. The police kept telling my Dad that they couldn't understand how she walked away from the accident and that it was a really terrible scene. When he went to see the car the next day, he finally understood what they were saying. The entire roof of the drivers side of Mum's vehicle was crushed down and they can't figure how she even got out of the car. The bike had the same size engine as her car and was going over 55 mph, she was going around 45mph. Mum is of the "stiff upper lip" British variety and can't stand a fuss (at least, about her) and when I informed her that I was going to jump on a plane that night, she became very agitated and upset. Dad and I spent quite a lot of time for the next couple of weeks chatting and deciding on an almost daily basis whether I should come over and help or not.

The important part is.... she's doing well and is recovering, although still suffering with some pain from some of her injuries, but of course she never complains. My dad has always said that if my Mum fell out of a twenty story building, as she went past each floor you'd hear her saying "I'm fine! Every thing's just fine!"

A couple of weeks after this event, I drove six hours to Mackinaw City alone to attend a Sally Melville Retreat. (Mum called alot to check on me during the trip, and happened to be on the phone with me as I rounded a corner and came across an accident that had just happened where a car was completely on fire. I quickly faked static and bad connection - knowing her nerves couldn't take much more excitement - and sat in the backed up traffic until I could pass. This caused me to be late for the opening presentation by Sally M. on creativity.

I always try to go to these retreats or classes with an open mind and am interested in the different techniques and preferences from the different designers and teachers. Sally is very entertaining to listen to and very organized in her approach. I had a couple of AHA moments that made the whole thing worth every penny. That gal is one smart cookie. It is hard though, as an EZ lover, to not question why she does everything and understand the choices she makes, and not sound like you're questioning her abilities/decisions. She was pretty clear that she had a very different approach to Meg Swansen and EZ. It was a very different crowd than attends Knitting Camp and I would say a much less experienced crowd, which was a little limiting when we were doing hands on examples. I think next time she should have requirements and experience levels for attendees, so that the less experienced don't hold back the rest of the class.

Bottom Line: I would absolutely attend another Sally Melville class and would highly recommend.

One of the best things about going to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) is loading up on the wonderful pasties. I stopped off at the Mackinaw Pasty & Cookie Company and filled a cooler up with the 'Beef' and 'Cheese and Vegetable' pasties. My parents had a fish and chip shop growing up and they sold Ginsters Cornish Pasties. This gave me a nice taste of home. The cooler full of pasties lasted three days before the family had finished them off.

The retreat was put on by Cynthia's Fine Yarns and she has a huge selection of Frog Tree Alpaca yarns, which I love because it's so affordable. So, even though I'd just cleaned out some space in the stash, I promptly filled it right back up with yarn for four projects. Yes, that's right four. I'll post more details later this week (yes, you can count on me this time Marina, it will be this week I promise).

Well, that should get us caught up so that next time I can post about knitting projects and progress.


Marina said...

Oh dear, that sounds awful. Good to know that she is recovering physically but I hope she deals with any emotional/psychological scars she might have, even though it was not her fault.

Stop talking about food ;-) I still miss all the Chinese/Malay/Indian dishes I used to take for granted in Singapore and the fish & chips and sausage rolls from Australia.

Angie said...

I'm glad to hear your mom is recovering, I'm sure that was quite traumatic.

Mmmmm, fish and chips, I'm hungry.

Denise said...

So glad to see you posting again which of course means life is settling down a bit.
Sounds like you had a good time at the retreat but I totally understand that desire to question other knitting methods. For the EZ/Meg devotees out there, we say why do it any other way. It's one the biggest reasons I don't take do many other workshops.

I can't wait to see your projects. I'm hoping to get some of mine up this week too.
Big hug to you, Mum and the family.

Carrie K said...

Oh yikes! What's with mothers and accidents lately? It does sound like a pretty scary accident your mother was in and her guardian angel must've been working overtime!

Everything's just fine, all 20 story drop. LOL. That is totally my mother.

The Sally Melville class does sound like fun - Mackinaw City too! It always good to take a look a different approaches, even if you don't always cotton to 'em.