Saturday, 28 June 2008

Back after a long quiet spell

Sorry that I haven't been around much this week ... the "What's Happening in Community Development" conference kept me pretty busy last weekend doing the prep work, and the 3 days of the conference were pretty intense, long, networking-filled days (I was literally exhausted from it ... and found myself going to bed early every night since I've been home). I had a good night's sleep last night, and think I am now fully recovered and back to normal.

Ahhh, where to begin -- well, I guess I should tell you that since I have been home from the conference, I've been too tired to knit (yep, I frogged my Summer Sizzlers - twice, and last night tried to cast on several times throughout the evening and just couldn't focus on it. Hopefully, that bizarre behavior is gone now that I have had a good night's sleep).

I did get a bit of knitting done at the conference, in the evenings and during our lunch breaks, I worked on this ,

which is not eligible for SOS, as I started an inch or so of the cuff before SOS started. But, regardless, it needs to be done by Sept., and I love the way it is turning out. This could be the perfect "man sock" -- although I was a little pissed about it. Why do people feel compelled to give advice when you didn't ask for any? I was knitting during Dr. Hamm's speech at lunch, and when I packed up to leave, the young woman who sat across the dining table from me, ignoring me throughout the meal and speech, came over and told me she too knit, that she had considered bringing her knitting, and wondered how many stitches I had cast on for my sock, as it looked way too big. I told her it was for my husband (she weighed about 90 lbs., soaking wet so I figured she must knit for quite small feet/ankles). Then she said "Oh, does he have really thick ankles? That looks really big and stretchy."

WHAT?!? I didn't ask if she liked my knitting, didn't ask her how many stitches I thought I should have for socks, and she doesn't know me or my husband -- I didn't ask for her opinion on anything to do with what I was doing, she hadn't spoken to me nor glanced in my direction (which I thought was terribly rude to begin with) for the hour and a half that we sat together eating and listening to speeches ... then drops her unrequested advice on me. People bug me sometimes. I am trying to be a better person, but I think I am failing miserably --- this happened days ago, and I can't seem to let it go! Why do people insist on giving their opinion, when it wasn't requested? Arggghhh! Moving on -- smiling now -- stoopid woman!

The community block that I made is probably on it's way far, far away right now ... when we got to the conference, we were asked to hang our pieces on a series of clotheslines set up in the coffee break area, and people could look at them anytime they wanted to (most people worked on their pieces of art at the conference using paper, glitter glue and markers. I think J. and I might have been overachievers -- she made a beautiful hooked rug of a scene at a local beach, which I was hoping she'd give to me, but wound up giving to a woman from India). Anyway, the pieces were meant to get people thinking about community and community development outside of their normal frame of reference -- it was quite interesting! Then, at the end of the conference, we were asked to give our piece to another participant, someone we wanted to keep in touch with. That was really hard for me to do; I was quite attached to my piece, as it had the work of many of my knitting friends (thanks a bunch to all of you for your knitting and providing items and input on things that represent each community in Queens!), and I really liked how their work came together to make the piece look so interesting -- it would have been nothing without their skills and generosity!

Anyhow, I was wandering around, wondering who to give it to, who would be the "right " person? Then I saw him ... Dr. Love Chili (yes, his real name), looking around in the gallery. I knew right then that it was meant for him ... the poor man had arrived just an hour earlier, the final day of the conference, was intended to be a speaker but because of flight delays and terrible weather, his journey had stretched out over more than 3 days. He must have been tired and a bit frustrated. He had missed all but the last hour and a half of the non-social part of the conference, didn't get to make his speech, missed out on the networking opportunities ... and he's a professor of Community Development, so this conference would have been really interesting for him, both as a presenter, and a participant.

So I gave it to Dr. Love (I wonder if he gets that reference often?), and hope he has some fun with the little pockets, learning about our community. He told me that he wanted to get it framed before he went back home to New Zealand, so I think he likes it.

The rest of the conference was interesting too, but I won't go into detail here --I'll just give you the top notes. I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world (Uganda, Scotland, Ireland and some from all over Canada as well), talked about what we each do to help our communities, got inspired to be a better person, and heard J P Cormier perform -- that man is remarkable! I thought he played country music, so had been resistant to seeing him before this. I discovered he plays mostly Celtic music, and is highly proficient in more than 7 stringed instruments. I have never seen someone play like he does ... his fingers just fly! Totally remarkable! And his band mates are equally as good as he is -- I recommend seeing him if you ever have the chance.

I also kinneared the former Premier of Nova Scotia - Dr. John Hamm (the dude in a suit), who looks a lot like my FIL.

The conference was held at my old stompin' grounds -- Acadia University, and it was really nice to go back after being away so long. It sure brought back some memories of a really good time in my life. Plus, the Valley is breathtakingly beautiful:

This is the view from the dining hall -- looking out over the dyke lands leading down to the mudflats made from the tidal action of the Bay of Fundy (it is low tide in the picture).

There was much more that was fun/interesting/exciting, but I'll save that for an in person chat if any one's ever interested. My camera died on Day 2 , so there are not really many pics to backup the fun I am spouting.

Have a great day!


lexa said...

You should told that lady that your husband weighs over 400lbs and needs big socks.

That's cool about your piece and maybe being framed. Hope he sends you a picture of it if he does. Too bad he missed almost the entire thing. :(

Donna said...

Glad to hear that the conference went well and that you are back to normal. Missed your posts and you on Knit Nite!