Tuesday, 29 January 2013

I have just copied

a page from our old street directory for a friend who is coming to the Senior Cat's 90th birthday party. (He was not going to have a party but then he had to invite....you know how it goes.)
This friend drives an elderly car, has no idea how to use a computer and the idea of using a GPS device is completely foreign to her.
Can she read a map? I wonder. She often gets lost. I plan on making it as simple as possible. Fortunately she knows how to get to our local library. Although she lives on the other side of the city she likes our library knitting group, She says it is friendly - and we like to think it is.
After the library it is simple - yes, really. But will it be simple for her? I hope so.
This friend is Italian. She had to leave school at the age of 13. Her reading confidence is not high - but it is very adequate and she does read books. She went to English classes at her local TAFE (technical and further education) college to improve her English and tells me it helped. If she runs into trouble she will ask her granddaughters or, at a meeting, quietly ask me. I admire her for her determination to do so well and continue learning after years of many things going wrong in her life.
And, she knits socks.
She knits socks for the Senior Cat. Every year on his birthday he gets two pairs of the most beautifully crafted woollen socks. I will never be able to knit socks as well as she does. The ribbing is perfectly even, the heels are expertly turned and the toes are so smooth you could skate on them.
She does not knit just socks of course. Other things fly off her needles. She reads patterns and then improves the design. She looks at a picture, consults her technical knitting books and comes up with a smooth, sleek fashion item.
I know she watches more television than I do - most people do - but she knits while she does it. She goes to craft groups and knits. She shares her skills and expertise with other people too.
       "You do it this way," she tells people and she shows them. She is, despite her sometimes ungrammatical English, a very good teacher.
The Senior Cat is very fond of her - and she of him. She had, he tells me, better be able to read a map. He wants her at his party. She wants to be there. She has two pairs of socks - even though he has asked "no presents please". It is, she tells me, her right to ignore that request.

I had better make sure I write some very good instructions to go with the map.

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