Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Loaghtan Manx

Once upon a time there were lots of kings who chased around the world robbing whatever land they fancied, locking people are in towers and hitting everyone with their swords/ sticks / spiky metaL balls on chains. It seems that at one point many kingdoms had a passion for claiming islands that were close enough to them in nature where sheep, climate and jumpers matched their homelands. Just because something is closest to me does it make it mine. Just because I run around shouting at everyone "Mine..mine..mine" does it actually mean that I have ownership? Unfortunately positioned in the middle of the Irish sea pretty close to Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and not too far from Scandinavian, it seems that Isle of Man was fair game for anyone with a boat. With boats there's not only the threat of invasion but smuggling is made a whole lot easier especially when you are surrounded by coast.

However this is an Isle of character, resilience against the takers of the earth and a flag flyer of individuality. The Manx triskellion - three conjoined armoured legs with spurs is not your average symbol. Then there's the link between the name, Isle of Man and an ancient sea God. Manx stands for everything from the Isle of Man. They have their own language, government and an emerging private space travel industry.

Most people have heard of the Manx cat. This cat, with its naturally occurring mutation resulting In a very short tail, is a native but not no.1 on my list of reasons for wanting to visit. The most influential factor in my fascination in everything Manx is the Loaghtan Manx Sheep. The legendary tale is that marauding Vikings with their imagined horned helmets brought the Loaghtan Manx with them on their escapades around the Northern part of the British Isles. Perhaps the writers of history got the stories muddled as they wrote by candlelight and mistook horned sheep for horned men. Unlike the evidence for horned Viking Helmets, the horns of the Loaghtan Manx are plentiful. It is not unusual for both the ladies and gentlemen of this breed to have anything between two and six horns. With their fabulous brown fleece and skinny legs, they look almost mythical. Apparently they have neared extinction three times but these guys are made of sturdy stuff. They hang out on bleak hills in the middle of the Irish Sea with all the weathers testing the durability of their wool. It bleaches in the sun providing an array of natural sheepy colours as a sustainable resource for knitters like me.


Monday, 1 February 2016

Free from stuff

As a teacher it isn't okay to have favourites but rules were made to be broken. It's quite easy to get on my list of favourites, it is in fact any student that I see regularly. However obviously the more I see a student, the more I get to know them and familiarity leads to fondness. I have one in particular who is on the autistic spectrum. He has such a wonderful turn of phrase. He believes that there is no good or bad weather it's just weather and I wholeheartedly agree. For what seems like forever I believed  I had good days and bad days but not any more. For 2016 I am just going to have days and I am sure this new perspective will make a big difference. 

So on 1 February I can announce that I have already made some exciting new discoveries. I've learnt how to use the zipper foot on my sewing machine and in the process made a skirt. Bags and bags of whatever have left the house as part of my decluttering which was long overdue. I can't believe how much of the stuff I was holding onto without really realising that I was. I'm letting go of things I no longer need to make room for the new person I want to be. Someone who is free from ties to the past other than memories of happiness.

My new year's resolution is simplicity and this works well with everything. Can I make things easier? Do I really need to do that? How many things can I remove from my to do list leaving me with only fun tasks? Does anyone actually care if…? I intend to monotask, I'm on a busy boycott and I like it. 

 This little motto ring is free to whoever wants it or I like the sound of or seems most worthy. I have no random number generator so leave a message, it could be you.