Making Mental Health Musings

Work In Progress

I promised a friend that I would write another post for the full moon. To be honest though I’m not sure what to write because I feel like things are kind of on hold right now. Or perhaps I’m integrating all the things that have happened in the last couple of months. I am getting frustrated at the fact that I seem to be at a low ebb physically and my immune system feels like it is once again fighting something off. After having Covid (I tested positive just over a month ago) I’m being cautious in my contacts and activities. The experience was pretty drastic and is part of what I’m still working through hence the title of the post: Work in Progress.

When I tested positive I was actually away from home and ended up having to isolate in a place provided by Edinburgh Council as I had no where else to go. I was lucky to have that as an option but before I found it I was in a real stress trying to figure out what I was going to do as I couldn’t go to any hotels or Airbnb’s or take public transport. I haven’t driven for years so renting a car was also not an option. I wouldn’t have expected anyone to take in a person who had tested positive for Covid so I took the only option left available to me which was the one provided by the Council. So basically I was in a Salvation Army flat in isolation.

As I was feeling pretty crap physically, not even to mention mentally, I really didn’t do much for days except sleep and lie on the sofa for a change of scenery. I listened to RNIB radio for some music and their Talking Books. I had the plaid I bought in Glasgow and to keep myself active mentally I started to do some cross-stitch of a leaf on the corner. Thankfully I had bought a basic sewing kit on a trip to Hobbycraft the week before. I don’t even know what prompted me to buy it because I haven’t used a sewing kit very much at all. Maybe in the back of my mind I had an idea about tailoring because of the plaid I bought which was a 2m length of McNaughton tartan fabric. I bought it in Govan after checking out the Green Zone to get a lay of the land before COP26 but that’s another story. So after spending hours working on this cross-stitch I was pretty pleased with what I produced. After my isolation finished and I got back home I ended up being in a kind of recovery state, grateful to be out of the Salvation Army flat and with my family again.

However not long after I was home I went out for a walk with someone who later went to get a PCR test and so I thought I would just keep myself to myself and again I felt like picking up the needle and thread and did a few more leaves. Then I tried to mend my jeans which had holes in the pockets for a long time and deconstructed an old tie for the McNaughton tartan material which I used to patch it up. While I was doing this and getting a bit more confident in my abilities I started to think of an idea for a sporan prìseil. This can be translated as “precious purse”, that is a wee bag to keep your special treasures in. This is another work in progress as you can see from the picture. I’m pretty happy happy with it so far but you would not believe how much time has gone into making it! Even the cord was made by hand weaving embroidery threads and I got the beads from a local Oxford bead shop which was quite a quest to find in itself. The material was from another old moth-eaten McNaughton tartan tie.

So I don’t know what exactly will come from all this but it has given me a chance to pause and consider what I’ve been through recently. Will I continue with it? We will see in the unfolding of events.

By DrewMcN

Drew McNaughton is a poet and musician with a passion for nature and languages.

One reply on “Work In Progress”

I remember a meditation teacher of mine telling me that the easiest people to teach meditation to were people who did needlework – there is something deep that happens as the needle passes through the cloth. x Cathryn

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