Blanket crocheted in four shades

In an earlier post, I showed a work in progress.  It has now been completed!  The first photograph shows a detail of the corner with the edging of one round double crochet in lemon and one round in half treble crochet using each of the other shades.

Detail of edging

Detail of edging

The materials used were Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit. One ball (100g) of each colour was required. The pattern for the motifs was in a book about crocheted and knitted motifs.The blanket consists of six rows and six columns of the motif, which is not quite square. I am still rather a newcomer to the craft of crochet. The yarn cannot be ironed and the blanket does not lie completely flat. If I ever use this design again I have a few ideas for improvements, which I could experiment with.

The finished blanket measures approximately 34 ins by 34 ins.

Blanket in four shades

Blanket in four shades

The photos were taken using my tablet and I uploaded them to a new post, which I accidentally published rather than scheduling.  Before I managed to delete it and produce a draft version, it had two views.  Another time I’ll see if I can just upload the photos to the media library first.  I had not even cropped the extraneous surroundings from the edges of the pictures!  I’m sure the trigger-happy blog readers will have noticed that something was not quite right.


Mind what you say!

I have decided to write about language in the sense of “bad language”.  My definition of bad language includes swearing and rude words and using the name of God inappropriately.

Some recent real life and on-line incidents have made me look again at my attitude to this issue.

At school our French teacher explained that a certain phrase in French was not as strong as its literal translation into English.  Even at the time, I silently queried her logic.  It is true that the French seemed to accept the phrase as a normal part of their vocabulary.  This was a cultural difference.  Sad to say the literal translation into English raises few eyebrows nowadays!  It is even a text-speak abbreviation.

In my view it is still taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Anne of Green Gables is a classic children’s book.  In fact it is the first of a series.  Although it is many years since I read it, I have never forgotten the account of Anne using a swear word.  For her it meant that she lost her peace (with God).

I have sworn on occasion, but I do not do so habitually and always regret it afterwards.

Some of my friends and acquaintances on and offline habitually use words I was forbidden to use as a child, because of their derivations.  This leaves me in a quandary.  I can only assume that these people are unaware of the underlying meaning or they would not use these words.  A song, which was popular years ago, includes one such phrase.  It was explained to me by my Dad as meaning, “God, blind me”.  He forbade its use saying that God was likely to answer such a prayer. (I won’t go into the theology of that here!)

Another word which I find unacceptable is derived from “God’s Truth”.

Rather than tackle individuals about these issues, I have written this post.  There is no way I can recommend a piece of online writing which includes this sort of language (which may not even be classed as swearing), no matter how much I agree with everything else that is said.

A writing friend does not allow people to use the name of Jesus lightly.  She politely reminds strangers that they’ll have to meet Him one day.  I admire her courage.

The Bible teaches about the use of language.  Jesus talked about swearing oaths in Matthew 5:33-37.

James (thought to be a brother of Jesus) wrote about the tongue in his letter. James3:1-12

After writing this I found myself laughing at an anecdote which included a swear word.  Partly it was because the anecdote was good news about someone’s improved health, but the word in question was very expressive of the frustration and good humour of the person being quoted.

In some groups of people swearing may reduce stress, but in other situations it can be offensive and should be avoided.

In my opinion young people should be taught standards of speech as well as behaviour.  Those of us, who are professing the faith, should set an example in our daily lives, but be slow to condemn others, who may have different backgrounds.

If this post has provoked you to comment, please note that this is my space and I reserve the right to edit or delete comments as I think fit.



Blog Action Day 2014 Mental vs. Physical Health

Bloggers from over 111 countries are taking part in Blog Action Day 2014.  The theme for Blog Action Day (October 16) this year is Inequality.

Blog Action Day 2014

Blog Action Day 2014

There are many inequalities, which simply have to be accepted.  Inequalities of height, strength, natural ability and so on are outside human control.

There are other inequalities, which can be lessened through education and action.  One such inequality is the difference in attitude world-wide to people suffering from mental illnesses or disabilities compared with those enduring physical illnesses or disabilities.

Physical problems are mostly visible (although deafness is not).  Mental health problems are not immediately obvious.  This difference may be part of the reason for the difference in attitudes, both from people in general and from healthcare providers, to patients suffering from mental ill-health compared with those suffering from physical problems.

The association of mental health problems with madness/craziness does not help.  While some mentally ill people may do crazy and even violent or dangerous things, the majority do not.

Earlier this year Manchester Airport, UK was brought to a standstill by a passenger on an international flight, who was considered to pose a risk to that flight.  The following day it was announced that he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.  While it is more than likely that this was the correct action, this sort of publicity does nothing to help the majority of mentally ill people, who are no threat to anyone.

There is very little publicity for ordinary people, who suddenly find that they are unable to do everyday tasks due to such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.  Other mental health problems include obsessive compulsive disorder and all kinds of phobias, panic attacks, eating disorders and addictions to various substances.

Even in countries in North America and Europe sufferers from these conditions tend to be neglected in favour of those with physical problems, where the treatment and length of time to recover are more predictable.  From what I have read, in many other parts of the world the stigma associated with mental illness makes life far worse for sufferers.

Mental health and emotional problems affect different people in different ways.  The available treatments include talking therapies and drugs.  It is often easier to prescribe a drug and leave the patient to administer it (perhaps by taking tablets for months or years) than to find the resources for the talking therapies, which may help to address the cause of the problem or investigate coping strategies and help the patient lead a normal life.  Treating the symptoms, without dealing with the underlying problem is like wallpapering over the cracks.  Some treatments are not proven to be effective and have irreversible results.  One such treatment is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – also known as electric shock treatment.  This is used to treat patients with depression, who may not be in a fit state to know what they are consenting to.  I wonder how many of the people prescribing it would agree to having it themselves or for their nearest and dearest.  There is a campaign to have it banned.

It is very important to treat people rather than symptoms.

When families are unable to manage a mentally-ill person at home, the person may be admitted to hospital.  For anyone finding themselves in a psychiatric ward for the first time, this may be frightening and confusing.

One problem is that they might believe that as they are diagnosed as crazy, they have no hope of living outside hospital again.  This will only make their illness worse.

It is important that everyone is taught about mental health issues and how to treat people affected by them.  Everyone should know that people who have suffered mental illness can lead “normal” productive lives.

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about mental illness.  In the UK the Time to Change campaign is doing a wonderful job raising awareness of the issues.  Sufferers of mental ill-health and the general public are being encouraged to talk about these issues.  Greater understanding should lead to earlier support before the illness would cause admission to hospital.  People are also being encouraged not to ignore their friends at times of mental infirmity.  It may not be much fun to be in the company of a depressed friend, but your friendship would mean a lot.

There is also a campaign to make mental health a core subject in the National Curriculum in the United Kingdom.  Children and young people may be affected by mental illness and it is important that everybody is taught to look for the signs and to give support where it is needed.

People with physical disabilities campaigned years ago.  They used the slogan, “Does he take sugar?”  to remind people that most disabled people can answer for themselves.

An artist, who decided to explain about her bipolar disorder through art, was featured by the BBC.

It’s Time to Change and It’s Time to Talk are the phrases being used for the mental health awareness scheme in the UK.  Are you ready to talk?  Then we can bring about change for the better.

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