Friday, May 27, 2011

Big Tracker is Watching You

A friend, a lovely friend, who blogs here, found my blog yesterday. Being a kind and helpful sort, he recommended that I get all technical and track visitations. (To my blog, that is. Nothing extra-terrestrial going on here.) Will was kind enough to send me a little tutorial via Twitter, so that I could, you know, quickly and easily add the tracker. 

An hour. Blerk. I don't understand HTML at all. I mean, I completely admire it, and I find all those computer-whizzy people quite astounding and interesting. I have one friend who tweets about it, and I don't understand a single syllable, but I enjoy reading his tweets nevertheless. (One likes to feel that one associates with the intelligentsia.)

I began to wonder what it was about the HTML that I didn't like. Was it the <arrows> and strange fragments of not-words? Was it the blank spaces which, as I later discovered, as just as important as the letters? I think it was the feeling of being in a half-familiar world. A world which, given half a day's tutorial, I technically could understand, but which I had no interest in learning about. 

Limits to knowledge annoy me - always have. I can remember vividly learning as a small child that in heaven, when Jesus sets everything to rights, we will understand everything we need to know. "I'm in!" said my soul, and the rest is (complicated) history. 

Limits to understanding also frustrate me. One of my pet hates as a child was being misunderstood. In truth, this is still a problem for me. And I can see that trait in my eldest daughter too. It's linked somewhat to a strong sense of justice. But that's a story for another day.

Several events have thrown me lately. I posted a photo of my childhood teddy on facebook last week. My Dad saw it and corrected the spelling of his name. It seems, for thirty years, I have thought my teddy was Ralphy. In fact, he is named after a dog in Richard Adams' Plague Dogs. And so, it turns out that my teddy is in fact called Rowfy. It's a similar pronunciation. All these years I have just thought my parents didn't really annunciate their 'l's very clearly (sorry Mum and Dad). As I remarked to my sympathetic sister, "I feel almost as if I've found out I'm adopted!" Of course, this is a completely over-the-top remark, but it does tip its hat toward the depth of surprise I was experiencing. 

So, what have we learnt? (Erhgh. That phrase doesn't half give me the shivers!) Several things, which probably could be written out in a little poem, but won't be, because I've other important, cheese-related articles to be writing.

  • Learning is a lifelong and worthy pursuit.
  • Knowlege is wonderful, but until that Great Day, we won't ever have enough for our own liking.
  • When faced with uneasiness, we could perhaps let go of perfectionism, or whatever else is getting in our way, and learn to learn like a child again.
  • To knit.

Let me explain that last one. Knitting is a relatively new sport for me. I learnt as a girl (didn't everyone?) because my lovely Ma had the patience to teach me (along with macrame and several other less trendy crafts). 

Long, long have I struggled with perfectionism. I tend to be an all-or-nothing woman. If I can't do it well, or straight away, or better than someone else I know, I'm terrified of the attempt. But depression has actually assisted me here. (Again, a story for another day; suffice to say that I have been forced to let go of perfectionism for the sake of my mental health.) So when it came to attempting knitting again, I had to be adventurous. Yes, I approached it circuitously, via crochet. But in the end it was just me and two needles and some yarn and a pattern. And slowly, sometimes humbly, othertimes crowingly, I have learnt to knit. I have had to 'frog' (that's knitspeak for ditch) many projects. I have had to fix, 'tink' (that's knit backwards), re-do and fudge many more. But I'm enjoying it. 

The key for me was not to strive to be a knitter immediately, or expertly, or better than someone. But to sit and knit. Like a kid. With perhaps, hopefully, a slightly bigger budget to spend on yarn. 


  1. Not what I expected... where's the cheese blog? Still excellent; yes, I would definitely buy a book you wrote!

  2. The cheese did get a mention...and will definitely star in a future post. Daniel de la Motte is going to be so pleased that he has a fellow fromage-agitator.

  3. Lovely blogging Sal - or to be trendy "welcome to the blogosphere" (again). I'd apologise again for the whole Rowfy revelation, but I don't want to/can't get caught up in that perfection drive either (ie "be the perfect father"). Oh ...and I'd buy the book too!

  4. Thanks Dad. It's ok. I actually like the name Rowfy, and its origin. I will have to get a copy of "Plague Dogs" and read it.

  5. Update: Dad gave me a copy of "Plague Dogs" for my birthday this year. :-)



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