Thursday, September 28, 2023


 TuesdayI sat on the cliff at the ocean and watched the wild waves and mused.

I find dreams enormously revealing. In fact I am quite good at analyzing the dreams of others, and a blog friend, sadly missed - who has gone into the vast stardust - and I exchanged our dreams at times as she also had the gift of dream insight.

Now, I'm on my own with my sometimes baffling dreams.

Recently, two nights in a row, in sleep, I lost my car and the pursuit of my car was fraught with difficulties and challenges. One night I could see it at the top of a cliff and tried to climb up but kept falling backwards. I had a huge Newfoundland dog and endeavoured to have her help me by towing me up the cliff to no avail as she kept falling too. I woke in despair, carless.

The next night I was in a familiar small town in Ireland which had a parking lot for shoppers and when I went back to the lot, my car was missing. I was told by a cop that I had the wrong parking lot, there were more parking lots, I had to check them. So I did, I kept wandering around, exhausted knowing I would never find it as I knew this town had only the one parking lot.

Dreams are utterly symbolic and tap into our subconscious deeply. I wrote about this dream in my journal as I knew it was powerful and I didn't want to forget all the details.

And then it all fell into place.

Recently I resigned from two pretty intense projects for many reasons. And now I am noticing I have lost bits of myself. I was changed in a way I couldn't define.

And then it hit me. I have lost the drive, the force, that has always informed me, made me, ME.

I need to find it and this is my challenge at the moment. I need purpose. 

I need to find my drive - my car.

A photo from 9 years ago in the town I loved so well.

Sunday, September 24, 2023


A couple of the definitions (brief):

misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
"a cult of personality surrounding the leaders" 
a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

I am continuously surprised at those who can't understand those who worship Trump, who will put this criminal in charge of their very lives in the next presidential election in the US in spite of the indictments, the foiled impeachments, the 91 criminal charges. A man who exhibits contempt for them at every opportunity and spews venom and revenge rather than policy in every pathetic "speech." Who all believe it when he says he is doing it all for them as when they come for him they are "coming for you."

We have seen all this before in the cult of Hitler, the cult of Mussolini.

But more importantly for me, I observe it in the cult of the RC church. I am continuously astonished that despite all the evidence that it is and was a cult of rampant paedophilia endorsed by the Vatican in constant cover-ups and denials with victims thrown to the kerbs, and hundreds of thousands of children's lives destroyed forever, many continue to worship and donate and entrust children to be educated by this monstrous organization.

So the cult of Trump I completely understand.

Cult Psychology.
Experts who study cults suggest the human need for comfort prompts people to seek out others or things to soothe their fears and anxieties. Research suggests that these elements and others have led hundreds of thousands of people to commit to of cults operating around the world.

With RCism, it is the promise of suffering here on earth which will guarantee you rewards in the afterlife.  Like all religions. But we need your money.

With Trump, he is the sacrifical lamb on the altar of Deep State. But even though bragging he's got billions of his own he desperately needs your money to save him.

Bottom line is, of course, that it's all about money and the poorest of the poor are usually the ones who give it. Willingly, hopefully, thinking that their lives will be somehow improved, that the ones leading them by the nose will "save" them from the boogey man who lurks everywhere ready to pounce.




Tuesday, September 19, 2023


In another life and time I would have loved to have majored in film study. I have been in love with films since I was 6 years old and taken to my first at the Savoy Cinema in Cork to see Cinderella. The night enchanted me. Thehuge organ at intermission coming out of the floor with the words of the songs printed on the screen, the extra B films, the newsreels,  the icecream brought around in those little tubs with the wooden spoon, the upper balcony, the lower balcony. The magnificence of it all. Spellbound didn't cover it.

One of the huge bonuses of my childhood was spending a chunk of the summer with my favourite aunt in the small town where I was born. Her husband owned the town cinema. I remember the serials on Saturday and the rapid turnover of various films during the couple of weeks I stayed there. I feasted on the likes of Roy Rogers and other films which were sanitized  censored by the RCs who influenced the government and their righteous puritan hypocritcal hellhole  Office of the Censor. I only got to see complete films when I moved to Canada including, if you can believe it, Hamlet with Lawrence Olivier and the unintelligible Gigi (huge swathes of film-ribbon on the floor in that one) so the plot hadn't made sense and finally did.

I've been in love with film for ever. I would mitch off school on a Wednesday afternoon and scrape enough money to go to the foreign film cinema and feast on German, Italian and French films (all cut by said Office). And of course the American blockbusters, short on nuance but loud on effects and Big Screen theatrics.

I had a collection of thousands upon thousands of films, many taped by me especially from TVO, an Ontario station that featured fabulous films on Saturday Night at the Movies along with serious interviews with the cast and directors. Downsizing, I had to let go of this massive collection (indexed and documented to boot - ADD much?)

I saved some of my favourites. But not many.

I recently discovered Criterion which has about 1000 old films in stock for streaming and am positively thrilled to bits. It continuously changes what's available and for me, this is a gift out of the blue. Around $8 a month to subscribe. Many are the foreign films from my teenage life at that tiny foreign film cinema in Cork which opened up so much of the world to me.

I try and see all the Oscar winners every year. Still. And I post irregularly on IMDB and have since 1999(ye gads, 24 years!)

Here's the link to that: Wisewebwoman - Movies

My favourite film of all time? The Dead

But there are so many close that I can't possibly list them all.

But a recent one comes to mind (pardon my Irish bias)

The Quiet Girl

But there are so very many incredible films. Many of them made in the forties and sixties but so many made today also.

Bless you, Criterion.

And your favourite film?

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Unsteady As She Goes

Two wonderful Australian friends visited and took me here for dinner.


I told them (to much laughter) I had arranged for this cruise ship to leave as we ate dinner to enhance their harbour experience.

I get frustrated with this old age business. I'm finding lately I lose patience with myself. A lot.

There is so much on my plate and I want to tackle it all at once, just like the old days, quickly wipe my hands together and get on with the rest.

But no. I'm finding more and more I need a whole day's break between a busy day's activities.

I was complaining to Daughter yesterday about this and she said, as well she might: "Mum, you're 80 years old, that's normal!"

I don't care for this new normal.

The way my body cramps up and exhausts itself and falls down into sleep at weird times.

And then, like today, I remind myself of how sick how I was just a few years ago when the pain wouldn't allow me sleep in my bed but curled up in a chair, where I needed a wheelchair to get anywhere, where tests and procedures ran my life and those of my family, where I couldn't stand long enough to get even my breakfast put together and had to send my laundry out and I feel a flood of gratitude that I am still here and more mobile but need to honour my body, my outlook, my life and yes, ADAPT, my motto. And remain grateful in my self-reminders  of how far I've come.

So I will pace myself and know my limitations. Say no, politely and nicely and do the things I do  best and there are many and it takes a long, long time for us to know we are precious and amazing and talented and are worthy.

Our one wild, extraodinary life waits for us to wake up. 

Every single day.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Analogy for Life

So like all carefully plotted and planned ventures, my latest knitting project blew up.

My rebellious circular needle gave up the ghost and gathered much of my stitchery to its shattered bosom before it did so.

Above you see the lifesaving results of many needles salvaging the disaster.

And here a McGyver solution on the brazen suicidal needle loop.

A mugshot of the disgraced needle.

And finally, after a few intense hours, a triumphant photo of the restored work.

My local knitting supply shop were so fantastic and as soon as my car pulled up out shot an employee with my blessed silvery brand new needle. Note to self: always have a back up needle for a project..

All the above inspired me to write this:


At times like these

Uncertain, unfinished, unknown

The ancestors sit on my shoulders

And say, over and over again

As if I’m still three

“What are you afraid of, girl?

What exactly?”

And then I take this sliver of time

And roll it around in my hands

And stare at it, at all the colours of it,

Mutating, twisting, transforming,

And say back to them, the wise dead ones,

“Afraid? Me? No!

Look at the colours of now!

Aren’t they beautiful?”

Thursday, September 07, 2023


 We do cling to life don't we? And the more we age, the more we cling. I took huge risks with my life back in the day. Cliff climbing, racing a motorbike at 100 mph (by myself) - on a flat straight road, mind you - but still, one false move and bingo, meat on the pavement, driving way beyond tiredness, falling asleep at the wheel, jerking awake, driving in blizzards on highways in the dark. Pushing myself far too far in road races. Unkillable. That was me.

Friends and I joke  are semi-serious about when Alzheimer's or dementia comes knocking at our door. Stashing little supplies of pills, looking at towering cliffs with a keen evaluating eye on the ocean below. We'd stop that baby in its tracks. Or would we?

I have observed the onset on this mental breakdown in fellow tenants or listen to the anecdotal evidence. Two recently "forgot" to eat and were carted off in ambulances to go on an IV for a week to bring their bodies back into balance and then released to their own devices back into our building. Only fellow tenants checking in on them. Families all on the mainland. Apparently forgetting to eat is a sign of the "middling stage" of dementia. 

Point being jumping off cliffs will be forgotten along with the meals we're forgetting to eat or the pills we don't know what to do with. Dark humour there.

I have been here long enough now to observe some of the final stages of mental collapse. Stoves unplugged permanently, licences yanked, cars sold, medications put into those automatic dispensers that beep at you, all services paid for by family members if they can afford it, helpers, launderers, cleaners, companions. shoppers, Then evacuation to long term care, quietly, silently, with no farewells.

Offing oneself when the time came is now a long ago idea, buried with all the others in the dark grave of yesterday's plans.

Interestingly enough, anecdotal again, it's the readers and doers and creators and puzzles-solvers that don't join the legion of these sufferers. And I do wonder if mental acuity along with exercising of the brain regularly keeps that particular wolf from the door. Learning new skills is a good workout however challenging and frustrating it can be at times.

So, thoughts? 

Saturday, September 02, 2023

Knitting Art

 Knitting has long been a skill that has been way undervalued and diminished by dismissive comments such as "women's work." I was very much taken aback recently by a friend who asked me to knit her an aran sweater and offered to pay me. I laughed a little, as I am wont to do when presented with such an "offer."

So I did a mental calculation of what hours were involved even if I agreed to do it. With design, drafting and gauging, followed by swatching and then knitting it up, it would be 150 hours + material. I told her this and as she was a friend and not a stranger I didn't add "So how much would you pay me an hour?" She merely looked at me aghast and said ruefully,"I guess no, huh?" and I nodded.

As I begin a project, I am struck always by how mathematical a skill it is with all the calculations involved. Like architecture. I reflect on my foremothers who were ill-educated if at all, and marvel at how they managed to do endless arithmetic on sizing and yarn thickness and measuring the multiple many sized bodies in their households as all winter wear was knitted then from socks to sweaters to mittens to underwear and hats. And sanitary napkins. I believe I was one of the last people on the earth to see these knitted feminine hygiene items on a clothesline when I was quite young.

I am working on a sofa throw - afghan, sofa blanket - for a nephew at the moment, and I thought to do a series of photos showing the process as I go along.

My "drawing board" i.e. dining table, where I develop the pattern. Note I use many abbreviations that only I can understand. D is for diamond, C for cables of different sizes, T is for twist, G is for Garter, etc.

A one stitch mistake can be a disaster so I double and triple check my numbers.

I evaluate my yarn colours, I am extremely fortunate in that I can visualize the whole completed colourful project in my head before I start in on the drawing board. I lay the materials on the couch in formation of how they will integrate. At times like these I miss my craft rooms which were always an integral part of previous dwellings. There I could lay everything out and walk away and close the door and get on with other things.

Then I do a swatch for measurements which involves knitting a small piece to make sure the design works.

Now I'm ready to rock and roll and start the piece with bated breath that it all works out mathematically and gauge-wise. This becomes super important in aran work as with plain borders moving into a design there is a massive increase in stitches across the work to accommodate the cabling and twisting and diamonds.

And now, yes, yay, brava, the pattern has worked out beautifully and I am on my way with the project. Just a little showing here of the honeycomb pattern which is in the middle and is tricky.

I will post a little more as I go along so you get an idea of what happens as it blossoms. And particularly, for me, the creator as it encourages me onward.

So there you have it, readers. If you have read this far, I know you will never think of the simple complex art of knitting quite in the same way again.

Do you do any work that you believe is undervalued?