Especially the last years I’m always expecting my trip to Spain with great longing. But once I arrive, I sadly start to count the days to my depart. It’s like I can’t be far, but I can’t be to close either. In Belgium I miss the sun, the hustle, the loud voices and the laughs everywhere, the shops closing at nine in the evening, the real “pintxos” and “tapas”, that unexpected coffee with a friend, the smile from unknown people. And when I come here I miss my life, my new “home”, my peace of mind, my way of doing things. I guess that when we finally move to Madrid (less than 1 month to go) everything will be much better. I’ll be closer to my old home and my family and I’ll be able to come more often but for shorter periods of time.

One moment, one place. Sometimes it’s difficult to get a good combination of this two variables.

Merry Christmas, Macho Christmas

After a whole week of phone conversations between my mother and my aunt, we finally spent Christmas with my aunts (and uncles) in my mother’s home town. My aunt always prepares very tasty food, and the whole place smells like a fancy restaurant where you can get anything you want.

We arrived there a bit before lunch time, and after a couple of hours of driving, all of us had pay to a visit the bathroom. Normally I never lock the door when I’m at home or at one of my relatives place, but we were ten people for two bathrooms, so I did it this time, noticing that the lock mechanism felt a bit stiff but without paying attention to it for more than a second. When I finished there I discovered that I trapped inside, and he loch mechanism was no loner stff but completely stuck. After some minutes of struggle I decided to ask for help or any kind of inspiration, and I got the complete family at the other side of the door saying things like “you have to try harder”, “grab it using a towel, it will be much easier”, “do it again, very VERY hard”. Nothing, it didn’t move. Luckily I was just trapped inside a bathroom, with my handbag, an indefinite water supply, a toilet and a window, which I could use to get my Christmas lunch if things were not going to improve. I even thought of calling a locksmith, some friend of my uncle and waiting patiently seated in the bathroom until the afternoon, to give him time to eat with his family before coming to rescue me.

After trying several times and only getting blisters on my fingers, I asked for a screwdriver, which was provided through the window (I also thought of jumping from window to window but I considered stupid and completely chikened out). With the screwdriver I could unmount the lock and with some help from ouside I finally saw myself out of the bathroom, its unlimited water supply and its toilet, and I could join the others for lunch.

Lunch was great, as always whenever my aunt cooks, but towards the end of it, bellies were getting full of food and alcohol, and meaningless conversations started to bloom here and there. We ended up, as usual, talking about the role of men and women at home. There’ve been plenty of things that I missed during my five years in Belgium, but that macho attitude was not one of them. My uncle insisted once and again that women nowadays want too many things and that a man just has to provide and then rest their feet on the table while he’s being fed. And that in order to avoid having problems with his wife, he just needed to have a lot of women so that the problems would be among them and not with him. I know all the women in family hate this and are normally very proud of mention it among themselves, but not during these special family moments when the men are present. Either to preserve the calm or just because they don’t feel confident enough, but that just makes my blood boil. I know that I should shut up, and keep the peace, like the others, but I can’t help thinking how things are so much differents in other parts of the world. Maybe I was just lucky or I did not find a macho that made me happy enough in Spain, but I can only say that at home we do everything together. We both work outside and inside. We have two hands, a brain and a lot of responsability. We love each other, share everything and that includes our daily duties at home. And it is very sad that after affirming this, I have to hear that if a man helps at home, he’s a bit dumb, probably gay and he is going to be undoubtedly cheated very soon (if he’s not yet). I even had to hear an example of somebody that I could be cheating my boyfriend with. I then decided that no more words were going to be wasted from that moment onwards.

WIP: a 2×2 ribbed scarf

The best time of the year for the little ones

We can hear all around the well-know “Merry Christmas”, but the ones that live this time of the year in the truest way are the little ones.

I was busy today wrapping presents for her. One day I will tell the story of when and why I started to knit and crochet. The first items I made from both crafts were for my niece, a naughty but lovely two year old little girl.

Walking towards the light

After the longest night of the year I like to think of this one as a bit shorter and the one of tomorrow even more. We are walking towards the light, finally, after a very long Winter. And for me this is not only about seasons. Very soon we’ll be moving to Southern areas, to the light and to the warmth. But not too warm as to completely forget about my knitting. I expect to wear my Firstfall Convertible Mitts still for some time in the South.

These mitts were a very interesting knit, but I missed a knitting chart when making them, since the pattern had only written instructions. Good that I learned Norwegian purl a couple of months before, since it it was priceless to knit this. Formed by reversible cables and made by 100% merino wool, at the beginning, just to avoid spoling them, I refused to use them on a daily basis to go to work and I wore them exclusively during weekends; but I got so used to them because they are very warm, very soft and very yummy, that I wear them now every day. The merino wool pilled off a bit but I don’t care. My hands are warm and I can uncover my fingers when needed.

And you? What do you prefer? Bought gloves or knitted ones?