Once more unto the breach

Hello, blog. I am back. Sorry that it has been so quiet, I had hoped that the breach would be filled but the blog fairies do not appear to have turned up for their shift.

The English bank holiday came and went yesterday, and with it went Mr L’s leave period. He is back at his desk and so, it seems, must I be. For desk, read washing machine.

It is a weird thing – we all know that when we go away for holidays the first few days back home are filled with laundry duties and a pile of washing as high as the sky. It is not however readily recognised that the same applies to holidays taken at home. The washing machine has been going non-stop today and I still have little piles of laundry all over the bedroom floor, taking their turn to wait in the queue.

It is boring. I know.

Welcome to my life.

The holiday was filled with nothing very much. Wednesday was go-to-town day. Mr L left on the early boat to MOT the Land Rover, I followed on at lunchtime to help with the supermarket. I was thrilled to see my hub waiting for me on the dockside – this was an obvious indication that the car had passed. In fact, it passed straight away – no work required, and no advisories given. It was declared to be a very good example of a period LR and very “tidy”. Whoo-hoo!

I tried not to work but alas, there were breaches in need of fill. I did the minimum necessary. Cooking, of course, but I have never in my life viewed the kitchen stove as work.

I made a roasted vegetable soup of sweet peppers, red onions, vine tomatoes, mascarpone,  and GARLIC

and a rosemary and GARLIC focaccia to go with the soup

There was cheese – our second order from The Cheese Shed was every bit as good as the first. The Six Spires unpasteurised Cheddar is pretty damn wonderful and we shall have that again.

Vulscombe goat’s cheese with garlic and herb, Six Spires Cheddar, Smoked Pendragon buffalo cheese, Helford Blue

A dry Amontillado set off the soup nicely and there was a LBV port to enhance the cheese. We also had a very good dessert wine. No photographs exist of the Raspberry Frangipane Tarts that I made for dessert… possibly we were too inebriated by then to handle the camera with safety. Possibly. I make no comment other than that.

The Raspberry Frangipane Tarts were extremely good. We served them warm, with some good vanilla ice cream on the side.

I put in an appearance at both Spinning Group and Knit & Natter, leaving Mr L some time and space in which to play railways. Otherwise, we just made the most of the time off and giving time to each other. We played a lot of cards (Cribbage), beat the pants off the weekend economy-sized Prize Crossword, and watched some seriously poor movies; generally making sure that the week was stuffed with fun and laughter.

There was time for some knitting amongst all the lovey-dovey stuff – the Crocus Vernus socks were cast off

Crocus vernus FO

Hunter added my socks to the pattern page images today.

I made headway on a (cough) crochet project (photos soon) and the KAL cape is coming along nicely. I elected to attempt the edging before K&N last week and was successful in starting it off. It begins at the centre back neck and I have worked it along to the first front top corner and round… and am now moving down the first front edge. Or was. I got it out this afternoon to work on and found that a major brain fart the last time that I worked on it had resulted in my joining the edging back onto itself and not onto the cape body edge. The offending section has been frogged back and I am moving forwards again.

I like shawl edgings. Very Zen. However, it will take a very long time to complete and I am anxious not to over-face myself or become bored – I shall be working at the crochet and also on the High Seas scarf at the same time. Variety is the spice of life and there is nothing hurrying me to finish the cape.

It is probably time that we had a progress photograph of the cape. I’ll see what I can do this week.

Spinning last week was limited to what I managed at spinning group – I am working on a rather nice blue and green roving. I plan to crochet with it.

Yes. You heard that right.

PS “crochet” in both cases means Tunisian Crochet. That much, I believe that I can handle.

Oh, on another subject entirely: I was invited to join a “By Invitation Only” Ravelry group the other day. I am not generally a fan of exclusive fora. I find them unnecessary and I do not enjoy the inevitable “clique wars” that spring up about them. I took a while to consider it. I looked at the members list and saw that there were people there that I count as friends. In the normal way of things, I would decline the invite. However, the inviter is somebody who has previously made efforts to establish a meaningful on-line relationship with me and I understand her motivation in wanting to establish a safe haven.

Please respect that this is an INVITATION ONLY group.

This is not because we are snobs. The reason is simple: many of us have been unlucky enough here on Ravelry to come across people who are…less than kind. So this group has been created only for people who have forged genuine friendships…

If you have been invited, welcome friend, your kindness and support has been wonderful. I’m sure I’ll have forgotton someone, if it’s you, please PM me. If you think I’ve forgotton someone please PM me, too. If you have a friend whom you think would fit in well here please PM only ********* with your nomination, we’re not strict, just careful

I have decided to run with it for a while. I accepted the invitation, with apologies for the delay, and giving my reasons for pondering so hard. I will not be taking up the invitation to suggest names for inclusion.

Now I find that there is a teacup storm going on at Rav. Only to be expected. The usual complement of simple-minded trouble makers are doing their best to wreck the group.

It always happens.

Always.

Which, as I said, is one of the reasons that I think exclusive groups are a bad idea. They invite attention from just exactly the kind of minds that the host is fleeing.

The Internet is a harsh place. Always has been. There was a time when trolling was just a bit of fun, though. A recognised sport. (Actually, do you know that is where the term trolling comes from? Trolling is a form of angling, using a lure – it has nothing to do with large and ugly cave-dwellers. Traditionally, Internet trolls would cast a contentious post and then sit back to see who bit, before having a little fun in winding them up as far as they could thereafter.)  Recipients of trolling behaviour knew what the game rules were and they took it in good heart if they found that they had taken the bait – hook, line and sinker. Now it seems that no holds are barred – and those on the receiving end feel so much under attack, and take things so personally, that all hell breaks loose.

It is not pleasant – to be attacked by anonymous persons, to have no idea why they have picked on you for their sport, to have no idea what triggered them or how to respond, to have no idea how to calm things down, to understand why whatever you do, matters only get worse…

Well, the key understanding is that it is rarely personal. There probably never was what you would understand as a reason. You don’t know the trolls and they don’t know you. All that they seek is a response.

There’s an old Internet adage: If it looks like a troll, and if it smells like a troll, don’t feed the troll!

It’s as simple as that. Turn the other cheek. Take the moral high ground. Keep your mouth shut and sit on your fingers. Don’t respond. They will go away to where the sport is more lively.

So, that’s easy to say: – safe, closed places not needed.

But  of what use is theory when one is under attack? The feelings are awful… the lack of control, the hurt, the panic… and the need to retreat and hide.

Been there. Done that. Got the (numerous) T-shirts. (Maori999, I remember your cold, cold heart so well…)

So that is why, although I believe the group to be a Very Bad Idea, I shall stay for at least a while and support my new friend, who is clearly in need of a gentle environment about her… but will not be inviting others to join. If you see me there, throw us a friendly wave, eh?

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