Furious

I have chronic fatigue syndrome, brought on by an attack of shingles almost exactly a year ago. It's arrival in my life has played merry hell with a whole bunch of things, from libido to apparent intelligence; from ability to concentrate to ability to sleep. It's seen me on ever-increasing doses of antidepressants, as if that'll help, and I've accumulated a really, really bad attendance record at work. It's led to me gaining weight as I can't exercise, and because all I want in the evening is a beer. That in turn means my self-esteem drops.

Moving house brought with it a new GP, who is a total star; she actually diagnosed this as post-viral chronic fatigue, which has been pretty darned obvious to everyone who knows me, and recommended cognitive behavioural therapy as the most successful treatment for this condition.

I phoned AXA PPP to pre-authorise treatment; they said yes, fine. I found a therapist; I cleared her with AXA PPP. Yes, that's fine. After a couple of sessions, my therapist recommends that I check with them how many sessions my insurance covers; they say six, and then more, resting on the prognosis and treatment plan written by my therapist. My therapist writes a treatment plan, and faxes it to them; they say they'll reply within 24 hours. This therapy, along with reducing the antidepressants, is really helping me now.

10 days later, we still haven't heard from them. I start to get in contact; they are remarkably evasive. Today, I finally get a reply. My condition and its treatment are not covered. At all.

They graciously say that they will pay for the six sessions I've had, as it was their mistake that I was told I could have them. Geee, thanks.

I am utterly furious.

Woolfest haul

A somewhat belated Woolfest entry! It was a glorious day – almost too hot, as I'd vowed to wear Minnie for recognisability!

As well as the expected knitting, there was a lot of felting at the show – and Mum got quite enthused. I was particularly taken by some hand-dyed silk scarves with applied felt, the texture of which was amazing:

and a close-

and the felted fairy slippers were just so cute!


I was very disciplined; we went round the whole fair without buying anything the first time round, and then stopped for lunch and to plan what to go back for…. I have plenty of yarn right now (including some in 'deep storage' in the loft, so I really mean it!), so I wasn't looking for any new knitting projects, but I did decide I *really* wanted lots of fibre samples to spin. Here is an overview of the Entire Haul:

That breaks down as follows:

1) Books! I bought 'Dyeing to knit', 'Yarns to dye for' and 'Weaving without a loom' (because I'm yearning to try weaving, but trying to be good about kit accumulation!) Stu, however, thwarted my Goodness by giving me a belated birthday present of 'Learning to Weave' Mmmmmm!!

2) Historical Stuff… There was a wonderful guy there who mostly does re-enactment shows and things; I bought off him a lucetting kit, a recreation of a Viking drop spindle excavated from the Coppergate dig in York, and a gorgeous hank of wool from a sheep called Minnie; how appropriate! It's been dyed a lovely greeny-yellowy colour, really beautiful. He does a lot of natural dye supplies, but I resisted. Just:

3) Fibre samples – I got packets of natural Gotland wool, alpaca (in five natural colours), baby yak and baby camel:


a bag of wool nepps, merino and silk blend, possum fur, mohair :


…and just for the exotic, bamboo fibre and soybean fibre:


I also got three kinds of silk – tussah, mulberry and a bag of silk coccoons, to try unravelling my own!

4) A pair of hand carders – nothing special, but they're MINE! 🙂

5) Weaving stuff – a set of weaving sticks and a butterfly loom.

6) Sock yarn. Because we all know sock yarn doesn't count, right?

The crowning glory of the day was getting to play with an Ashford traveller wheel. I'll definitely be getting one of these next; it was very comfortable to work at, ran extremely quietly and is very flexible, with lots of extra accessories available.

…and I wasn't the only one to make a purchase or two! Mum came away with these two gorgeous skeins to make a YO-drop YO scarf (we have her now… Muahahahahahaaaaaa!):


Before I tell you what fibre they are, anyone care to hazard a guess? There will be a prize for the first person (if any!) who gets it right!

Of course, the scenery never hurts. This is a view of the ruined castle at Barnard Castle, taken from the car as we passed by:



Off to the Woolfest…

I'm staying up at my parents' place for the weekend, and we're going to Woolfest! I don't know what the potential for photographs actually being posted from here will be, but I promise to at least try and remember to take some…

Watch this space for a full report… And be assured that I've brought a partly empty suitcase with me – so who knows what might come back! Probably not a whole spinning wheel, though. Probably.

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