Intrepid travelling mittens

Yesterday, I did one of my favourite things –  I packed my bag, and set off for a day of walking and knitting.  I took a mitten pattern and some bright red wool with me, and worked at various places along the way.

I began in Redland and finished at Southmead Hospital, where I had an afternoon appointment.  Nothing dire – simply Week Two of my CBT course.  I am trying to overcome a phobia of…well, getting locked in a loo…which as you can imagine is er, a little inconvenient from time to time.

There were good experiences along the way.  I enjoyed knitting in various parks and listening to the bird-music on offer.  In Alexandra Gardens, an invisible goldcrest was wielding its needle-thin song, whilst in Muller Road Recreational Gardens, a blackbird was a right diva, with a backing chorus of sparrows, a robin, some goldfinch and a blackcap.

And the world was filled with flower perfume!  I love the scent of roses, and the orange blossom really bowls me over.  I like privet too – it’s a very NOSTALGIC scent, reminding me of neighbourhood gardens when I was a child.  But I can’t cope with palm tree flowers.  They smell of calamine lotion and remind me of having chickenpox.

During my travels, I walked past Zetland Road Evangelical Church.  This is a conspicuous building  because it bears a huge sign, proclaiming to the world that ‘GOD IS LOVE’.  Yesterday though,  I noticed a small plaque attached to its exterior, which gave some of the history of the church.  There I learnt that the original building was in Stokes Croft but  sadly, that edifice was completely destroyed during the Blitz.  Well, not QUITE completely.  Just one part of it was salvaged – and that was the ‘GOD IS LOVE’ sign.  How beautiful is that?

I have no sense of direction and often walk round in circles.  But I did eventually find myself in Downend Road and that filled me with joy, because I knew there was something worth visiting there.  I walked until I reached October Lane, turned into it – and there it was.

Downend Farm is a beautiful, gabled 17th century building that only exists because some local folk fought valiantly to save it.  During the Civil War, some Cavaliers sheltered there and painted a mural above the fireplace, depicting the Bristol battle that they had just fled from.  Unfortunately, it was painted over by some workmen who didn’t realise its value, which is such a shame.  But at least the farm building still exists, and I love to come across it in its hiding-place at the heart of suburbia.

I knitted outside the main entrance of the hospital, and fell into conversation with a fellow-patient.  I asked him if he had a story for this blog, but he simply looked very dejected and told me that nothing exciting ever happened to him.  That decided, we then fell into general conversation where I learnt about some of the exciting events of his life.  As he said, “I guess we all have a story to tell, even if we don’t recognise it.”

Week 2 of the CBT class was good.  There is one problem, though – the loos in the building where we meet epitomise everything that terrifies me about toilets.  But one of the facilitators turned it into a positive and said that we could use it as a training ground for me – I could lock myself in there for two seconds…then a bit more…and so on.

“If I can achieve that”, I declared, “I shall celebrate with chocolate!”  In fact, I felt so excited that I decided to start work immediately after the session.

We finished.  I passed the toilets, thought, “Hmm…maybe next week” and went on.  But do you know what?  I still celebrated with chocolate.  Because at least I THOUGHT about doing it.  And thinking is, after all, half the battle.

And by the time I had reached home, I was ready to start shaping the thumb on the first mitten. Yes – yesterday was a good day.

 

 

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