I am SO grateful to have two weeks holiday for Easter this year instead of the usual long weekend followed by 4 days of frantically trying to get things done. I pretty much slept through Easter which was much needed then took it easy last week so this week is more of a week for getting things done. I have spring cleaned most of the kitchen including the exhaust fan and the cupboard fronts and started a few other projects.
But the thing I’ve enjoyed most is having time to catch up with people. Time to have a chat with my elderly neighbour who moved away to an assisted living place in Toowoomba today, time to sit with one of my Avon customers and drink liqueur and coffee and laugh at Bronco snuffling in her mondo grass, time to sit with one of my BFFs down at Pallara and drink coffee fairly peacefully until a certain blue cattle dog decided to terrorise one of her roosters and especially time with my boys to hang out, chat, learn new things and work on some projects together.
A very, very special catch-up has been with another BFF up in Cairns, Fiona aka Fifikins. Fiona took up knitting a couple of years ago after I did and has way surpassed me in skills, finished projects, stash and just about everything else knitting related. I don’t mind this one bit because I can see how how having a high-fibre (yarn) diet has really brought her a lot of satisfaction. What I marvel at is the fact that she has never actually been inside a “brinks and mortar” yarn shop. Cairns in far north Queensland does not have a yarn shop and I’m pretty certain that Fiona has not left Cairns in the time she has been knitting.
So she has learned to knit by making the most of what’s out there in cyber space. There isn’t a place for her to go and have lessons in Cairns so she has taught herself, mainly through You Tube. There aren’t regular social knitting groups in Cairns although they do have Ravelry get togethers sometimes. Fiona has become very much involved in the whole Ravelry scene and joined in with a myriad of groups there. And earlier this year she began her own podcast.
A few years ago Eric and I were very fortunate to have a week up in Cairns with Fiona and as you would expect Fiona and I spent many long hours on her back deck with the fairy lights talking, sharing and reminiscing. I missed that when I came home and have missed it ever since. We talk on the phone, communicate almost daily on Facebook and skype sometimes but it just isn’t the same.
Enter the podcast! Once a week I get to sit at my computer and listen to Fiona and see her on the deck with the fairy lights having a yarn about knitting and lots of other things. Who knows when I’ll get to Cairns again or when she will get down here but watching the podcast is pretty darn good. I sit with my knitting and get caught up. I had missed a few episodes over the past month because of everything happening so over the past 2 days I’ve watched 3 episodes as I catch up. For two of those episodes this afternoon I set myself up with my laptop on my back deck and worked on a project for school. What a great afternoon I had!
Fiona also hosts VKNs (Virtual Knit Nights) using Google Hangouts where you can sit at your computer with a group of others on the screen and knit and chat together. I’ve only managed to get to one of those once so I’m definitely aiming for more.
Fiona’s podcasts can be found on her blog A Down Under Yarn, on the Ravelry group with the same name and on I-tunes.
The photo is Fiona and I on my back deck this afternoon. I’m the one with the wine boxes (explanation to come!) and she’s the one on the computer screen.