Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back on the bike

Team clutterpunk are back on the bike!

Well, most of them are IN the bike. Can you believe there are three kidlets in there?

I stopped riding in February when I hit the seven-months-pregnant mark. We were asked to car-sit for a friend for 5 months, which was a wonderfully-timed provision: we had been discussing hiring a car for a few months to ease our transition to five, to make sure I could get to hospital quickly during a blink-and-you'll-miss-it type labour and to give me a bit of postnatal recovery time. We gratefully accepted the car and sent Hudson to be bike-sat by a local family who were keen to try him out.

So in these last months we've had time to test out whether it's time for us to buy a car. 
The answer? Not yet! 

We appreciated many things about driving again, particularly the ability to be more spontaneous about visiting people and places further afield. But there was so much NOT to love, beyond the obvious environmental issues. The stress of getting three kids in and out of a small car; the parking difficulties and time-limits; the car-sick-prone child; the money-haemorrhaging. We've decided to opt for the mild inconvenience of having to plan ahead with public transport or car hire for a few more years, while the kids are still small and life continues to be slow and locally-oriented.

Anyway, Hudson is home! And set up for riding.

Here's how it works: the two boys on the bench seat, and the baby in a car seat which we've fixed securely in the front section.

Everyone is snug-as-a-bug. Susannah seems comfortable enough in her car seat and it certainly provides a good amount of restraint and shock-absorption. 

I love being able to put one kid at a time in the bike and leave them there while I fetch other things. I love that I can park right next to our front door in bad weather. I love parking right next to kindergarten, or church, or a friend's house, rather than three road-crossings away. I love that I can pull up outside the bakery and duck in while 'leaving the kids in the car' without breaking the law. I love being able to stop quickly and comfort the baby, break up a fight or fetch a dropped book. I love the Melbourne mizzle on my face and the bracing air while my kids are toasty and dry under the prairie hood. I love hearing the boys chatting and singing and calling out to passers-by.

I love being back on the bike.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Knitting? Knitting!

Until two weeks ago, I was a fabric girl. Not at all your yarny type. No skeins or sticks lying around, no k2p2 bizzo going on around chez clutterpunk, no thank you very much. I was Not A Knitter.

Well, that's changed. And about time.


See that there? That's a SCARF. Made it myself! A ribbed scarf with a keyhole opening in it, no less. And there was even unknitting and reknitting involved, and yet I finished it. 


I know it's ridiculous to be so pleased. It was, of course, quite basic. But you see, I'd come over all perfectionist again without even realising. I'd told myself and numerous others that 'I don't knit'. What I thought I meant by this statement was 'I don't care to knit'. What I actually meant was 'I can't knit', which is perfectionist-speak for 'I would really like to knit, but when I pick up a ball of yarn and some needles for the first time I am not instantly, effortlessly brilliant at knitting and therefore I really should just leave it to the experts and stick to what I know, which is nothing much of anything and why am I so crap at everything and blah, blah, blah.... oh look, a cupcake."

So anyway, down with perfectionism and up with knitting!

As it happens, I don't think I could have held off much longer. The yarn-obsessed world was conspiring against me.

The arrival of a most stunning dusky pink in threes cardigan by that almighty stick-wielder, Tania;

A visit to my dear friend Anna, clutterpunk's preferred providore of finely knat washcloths and beanies, who introduced me to Ravelry;

The constant sighting of gorgeous milo vests made or in making, and the fact that I keep returning to oggle at them;

The revelation that my mother, whom I have never accused of doing anything craft-related, is KNITTING a gorgeous garter-stitch jacket for Susannah ('oh yes, I knit' she announced breezily, producing a perfectly-tensioned work in progress as I picked my jaw up off the floor - where have you been these past 35 years, knitting mother?!);

And finally, the sudden remembering that the very first therapeutic act of craft I committed four years ago, after emerging from the PND haze, was the knitting of a beanie for my newborn son. How could I have forgotten that? Knitting was the first step towards the unravelling of perfectionism. It's well and truly time to recommence.