Beginnings-2nd Feb 2022

Shaun the Sheep

This photo journal, rather grandly named “Quotidian”, is to be a new project for my New Year. Quotidian: meaning- common or garden, every day, familiar, frequent, household, routine, ordinary. This is to be a journal of the everyday ordinary things that have meaning for me.

I do always feel as though today- Imbolc, Candle-mass, Groundhog Day, the 2nd of February- is the beginning of the New Year for me. The sun is finally returning-warmer, brighter and sticking around in the sky a bit longer each day- and the birds are getting excited about making new eggs. The snowdrops are out and my hands start itching to be cleaning tools and sorting pots and seeds in the garden.

At this time of the year so much new is promised but the cold is still with us. That is where the photo comes in.

Meet “Shaun the Sheep”.

I knitted this garment back in about 1982 or so. That’s close enough anyway. So, about 40 years ago. I remember declaring when I put the last stitch into it, “Right! That’s it! I will never make another Aran Cardigan in my life!” It is a heavy beast but it has remained a true friend. I have replaced buttons (adding small, pearl, re-enforcing buttons at the back of each button), repaired the buttonholes numerous times and also darned a few holes here and there. In the winter it goes on most days, protecting me from any stray draughts, as a suit of armour might protect a knight of old. And the astonishing thing is just how well it has worn. All this time and still loads of life left in it yet. 100% wool and it breathes. It is blissfully warm but I rarely overheat. The colour doesn’t really suit my skin tone but I just don’t care. It feels like a friend. I lovingly wash it each Spring, dry it thoroughly on the long pull-up rack over the big radiator downstairs and then store it away in the bottom drawer of my chest of drawers with a generous bag of Lavender from my garden to wait until its time comes again in about late October.

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