We interrupt this silence for a brief report: 5 things 15.7.16

1. I didn't mean to fall into the void there, but Brexit happened and everything was both awful and impossibly distracting and I didn't have anything to talk about that wasn't incredibly depressing. I'm sorry. I'm also going to disappear into the void again for a bit, because holidays etc. But I'm looking forward to getting back in a month or so. Meanwhile, some random thoughts for you.

2. My best friend here is a People Person. This is sort of awkward for me. I had not actually realised how used I was to having fellow introverts around me, who understand implicitly the need for Quiet Time away from people. I need really quite a lot of that quiet time, these days. This friend, lovely C, is a lifeline but I'm not sure how to deal with having someone very sociable living practically next door and being unable to explain that as dearly as I love her, I can't actually spend that much TIME with her. (I know, I sound pathetic, and I am, but socialising in German is even more exhausting than regular socialising. Takes at least double the spoons. And spoons extra depleted right about now because children. Who, as it happens, are also pretty socially wiped out, and so need extra attention from me – unfortunate, that.)

3. I've been noticing a kind of communication bubble around new mothers – a barrier blocking understanding between them and, well, everyone else. Exhibit A: hearing "Nobody tells you how hard it is!" from one such new mom suffering severe baby shock. But this mom's sister had twins just a few years beforehand. And believe me: she didn't suffer in silence. Sis was certainly warned. But it didn't get through; maybe because she's such an overachiever, she assumed it couldn't be that hard for her, personally? Anyway. Exhibit B: person close to me who is similarly struggling. Of course she is! Babies suck! So I keep trying to reassure her that yeah, it really is that bad, I've been there, but it really does get better. And she just gives me this "You don't get it" look. Armin reckons people in that awful baby zone don't want to hear "I've been there," because in that state you can't believe that anyone has ever suffered as much as you. He's probably right. I was probably insufferable this way. (I still maintain that Elf really was unusually needy, which probably proves the point.) It's so frustrating though. 

4. I am enjoying a no doubt brief moment of profound satisfaction on the designing front – a sweet moment between panicked conviction that the big things I was working on were utter crap (done, blocked and the verdict's in: they're pretty much the opposite of crap) and panicked conviction that the next things coming up would never get done. Have written a surprisingly complicated pattern in an acceptably not-complicated way, all graded before I knit a stitch other than the swatch. Feeling super professional there, not to mention greatly enjoying the Excel skills boost involved. (Conditional formulas!) And have a complete and perfect plan for something else that has been stewing in my head since last October. It's as if I've been designing it for months in the back of my head, working out what was needed but without picking up the needles even once. And now it's totally and absolutely ready to go. I'm so excited.

I mean, the proof is in the knitting, and they may both turn out to be a bit horrible when manifested in actual wool. But I have a good feeling. And am also quietly fascinated with all the various ways in which the design process can work; I've done it at least four completely different ways this year, each one totally new for me. Fun to streee-e-e-e-e- e - e -e-e-etch myself.

5. Summer in Switzerland is the actual worst. I'm sure this is a minority view, and my kids certainly disagree, but really: humidity, heat (in theory; this year, not so much, which is a great relief), sunburn, all the bugs, all the spiders, sooo many bugs. I mean: fruit flies! Mosquitoes! Ticks! The WORST bugs! Plus I have to occasionally de-fuzz my legs, which, really. On the plus side, Swiss ice cream is the business. But then I've never had trouble eating ice cream in winter. Yeah... can't wait for autumn.