in progress

1. I’m now over half way through writing my new book. I’ve been enjoying the project immensely. Being able to just explore ideas and try out different ways of putting things across feels like a complete luxury. I genuinely love writing (which is probably the key to being any sort of writer, I think) and I’ve found myself wondering a lot about how other writers like to work. I find I’m most efficient when I get up early, start the day with no distractions, and aim towards a daily word-count goal. I am continually aware how my personal circumstances make my writing possible at all: I’m only able to find the time to write because I work with two brilliant people (Mel and Tom) who have lifted much of my admin burden from my shoulders. Here’s to running businesses collaboratively! (If you are a writer, how do you like to organise your writing day?)

(Tom, mum, and dad, a few years ago in St Annes)

2. My parents are moving to Scotland! The whole time I’ve lived here, north of the border, they have been over 300 miles away in Lancashire. I speak to them on the phone all the time, but it is really not the same. Soon they will be just over half an hour’s drive away, and we are all very excited about the move, especially Bruce!

3. I’m going to Sweden. You may remember that in this post I mentioned Etac, the company who designed the turning device with which I first learned to stand and transfer following my stroke? Well, thanks to the wonderful folk at Etac, I’m going to be able to visit the factory where the turner is produced, and interview some of the innovative people who designed it and other ground-breaking adaptive aids. In my book, I’ve been writing about the transformative effect of thoughtful design, such as that produced by Etac. I love Sweden and I’m very much looking forward to my trip.

4. I’ve planned out my new design collection, and Mel and I are already hard at work knitting samples. The collection will be run as a club, along similar lines to Inspired by Islay (with weekly pattern releases, treats along the way, and a nicely produced book at the end) and I think I can now mention that the collection will feature some designs with Buachaille, as well as others knitted in a completely new, and very different KD yarn (which we are producing especially for the club).

5. Tom is about to launch a really exciting new project in which he’s documented the people, animals, and work involved in the 200 year old local institution that is the Drymen show. I’ve written the introduction to the first issue of Ootlier Zine, whose publication is now imminent. In the meantime, you might like to have a look at Tom’s beautiful new website, where his work is now displayed.

The bigger picture of my life is one in which I’m able to work towards, and make, things which I enjoy and I believe in. You’ve no idea how grateful I am for this, nor how often I remind myself of it when I wake up and turn on my phone to another day of anger and sorrow.

I feel it is important to keep on making the good things.