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During Double Wars Jonas Evertsson/Lord Edricus filius Offaeus took this photo of Mistress Helwig Ulfsdotter and all her apprentices, her former apprentices, now mistresses themselves, and their apprentices - the "grandchildren"

Mistress Helwig is the woman in the middle, she is my mistress, to the right of her are my "siblings", her other apprentices: the king and queen of Drachenwald, William and Isabetta, and viscountess Filippa. To the left of Helwig are first Mistress Tece de Kaxtone, the newest of the Laurels, and former apprentice to the woman next to her: Mistress Lia de Thornegge , Mistrsss Helwig's first apprentice. Lady Silva standing on the far left is Lia's apprentice. Sitting down it's me, and duchess Agnes Odygd, who just had become Mistress Tece's first apprentice.


Otherwise I have been very busy since I got home from Double Wars. Today I went to the hospital because of the research project about psoriatic arthritis. It took a couple of hours, but I also got a referral about the weird lump on the right side of my abdomen, which probably is a hernia, after when they had to cut open my belly three and a half years ago, a referral concerning the bunion on my left foot which makes it hard to find shoes, and an appointment to discuss the possiblity to start getting remicade injections in the autumn.
And I now weigh 64 kilos on the official scales, which means that I've lost 34 kilos since christmas.

Extremely efficient day.

In the evening we had taco dinner with my neighbour Anna and her son, and then I started sketching and painting on the collapsable chests I had intended to make for Double Wars, but didn't have the time to work on.

Tomorrow I'm taking Maja and her best friend to a medieval market som 40 kilometres north of Gothenburg. By tram, train and bus. Neighbour Anna and her son are also coming along.
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 Got back from the conference, it was great. People liked what I presented, and, mote importantly, they liked what my friend Sara talked about,. This was her first conference,m and she is trying to get into a PhD programme, so this was way more important for her than for me.

Got to hang with nice people and got interesting books for free.

Yesterday I went to Tubecon, a convention with Swedish youtubers, because Maja wanted to go. It was one of her birthday presents, since she turned 13 on Friday. Then it was European Song Contest, so I didn't get any real work done. I did get some sewing done however, I'm working on taking in a mundane dress and my mint green silk satin ca 1330s Italian.

Today I have to do some real work however: I have a new lecture to make in English, with a new Powerpoint presentation. And my mum and her partner and my stepdad and his partner are coming over in the afternoon to celebrate Maja.

With all the work I have to do this week I don't see how I am ever going to be able to pack my stuff for Double Wars. And the family's stuff. All this stress is actually affecting my health, my heart is racing uncomfortably.

But if I survive this week it will be just fine, because next Saturday I am leaving for Double Wars.

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Yesteday the final editorial comments for my article for "Costume" came, so I know what I'm going to do today. I have also done some work on fixing images for the other article, which is to be part of an anthology on sumptuary law.
And I also have to start on fixing image rigths for the article in Costume.

Unfortunately I have been in a lot of pain lately, so I don't much feel like doing anything. Maybe it will get better later today, after all it's still morning.
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As I mentioned in my last post I have had the cold from hell, though it's slowly going away. Which is good, because on Friday morning hubby and I are going to Florence (and Bologna) over the weekend. I am slightly worried about how Italian restaurant owners will deal with the fact that I'm not eating, it will appear impossibly rude. I might have to find someone to translate "Unfortunately I'm on a strict diet for medical reasons" for me. ;)

The diet is going well, though you wouldn't believe how much I crave lettuce. I have now lost 15,7 kgs (approx 34,6 pounds) and can fit into clothes I haven't worn for 4-5 years.

A Saturday

Feb. 25th, 2017 06:42 pm
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I think that my cold is gettting a little better, I don't feel like I am going to die all the time - or wish that I could ;) Today I even managed to go out, and stay out two hours in the freezing cold, again standing ready if the neo-nazis would march this Saturday.

Other than that all I've done today is to make potato gratin for Valeria and Maja. Rickard is in Norway playing X-wing, and Vendela is with her dad. I've also knitted a little, I'm on the final sleeve on my cardigan.

Tomorrow Alfhild is coming over to see if she wants something from the pile of clothes that I cleared out yesterday, when Rickard and I brought up boxes with spring/summer clothes, and clothes that used to be too small. Not that spring will come soon to Sweden, not even here in the southwest, but next Friday Rickard and I are going to Florence for the weekend (leaving Friday morning, going home Monday lunch) and while they maybe wouldn't call it spring, it is likely that it will be spring by Swedish standards, so I may need some clothes not made from wool :)

Two boxes were still too small and wer brough down to the storage again, and I box was filled with too large clothes instead. Because I may need them again, I'm being realistic.
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I now have my tramadol pills and can function almost like a normal human being (or at least as an imitation of normal) again. Friday was wonderful - so many cool women researching different aspects of weekly magazines - from the kind of matronly family magazines I study to articles in porn mags. And I met a woman who is very much interested in the same topics as I am, so we decided that we must have a research project tgether and apply for money for that.

Saturday morning was spent working on a scroll. At 1 pm I met up with some friends at Järntorget, a square where neonazis have been manifesting on Saturdays three times now. The idea was to be there first, if they should come. The organization "Allt åt alla" (Everything for Everyone) brough coffee and cookies which they gave out to everybody who wanted. The rather large group of Roma migrants begging in the area seemed happy about that :)
The nazis didn't come this Saturday, but we spotted some of them scouting the square, so it may be that 30 people obviously gathered there to protest scared them It is likely that they will be back next Saturday though, so we will be back then too. I didn't bring Valeria, who usually accompanies me to demonstrations this time; not only was she taking her younger sisters (my Maja and her dad's Angelina) to the movies to see "Moana", but these are violent young men trained in diverse fighting techniques, so I prefer not to bring my kids, even if they are 22 years old.I'm glad nothing happened yesterday, but I'm not depending on it staying this way, so I am also grateful to have someone who can take care of Maja if I have to go hospital or something like that (and Rickard is working).

On my way home I stopped at a charity store and found these, hardly used:

for 125 SEK, which is about 14 dollars.

Today I am going to do the calligraphy on the abovementioned scroll, and then we are going to IKEA to get a rug for Maja.


Feb. 16th, 2017 10:56 am
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I tried to get my prescription for tramadol refilled yesterday - because as usual I am useless at keeping track of these things and didn't notice until on Tuesday that I only ha  few left. So I called the nurses and they said that the GP would call me. Well, I had my cell phone on even when teachign, but no call.
So I sent a message today that I understand that these things can happen, but that I would be available all day.
The answer I got was that they has set up a time for him to call me - on the 1st of March. Through not takign enough medication yesterday, and not taking a pill this mornign I have exactly one pill left! Without painkillers I can't work, or do much at all and they want me to be without them for two weeks more! I took a couple of ibuprofen pills (and omeprazol) just to stand it, but I really shouldn't do that, since they almost killed me in 2013.

I left another message. But this means that I am locked ot my home, since I can't risk missing a call (I unfortunately gave my landline initially this morning, since it's less risk that I miss a call then, and now I can't change that). I was planning to photograph some sources today, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
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Today I was at the hospital for my official weigh in - and I have lost 10,3 kgs since I started this diet on Boxing day.

It is also a good day in many other ways: It's snowing, and just below freezing and very pretty (though I really can't wait for spring to come), and for some reason I just felt better today, so good that I spent part of the morning dancing to old '80s and '90s tunes in my kitchen. In between doing some necessary job stuff. Skipping work (well, sort of) probably also contributed to my general well-being. But the best is the pain being back on a normal level, I hope this continues.

Today it's Gotvik's sewing meeting at my place (I hold them every fortnight) and I look forward to it. I have beads to sew around the neckline of my mint green kirtle, but I don't count on doing much, since I mostly try to help others on these meetings.

I have just put a pie in the oven for the family to eat tonight, so I won't have to cook during the meeting. I put left over bolognese sauce, another pasta sauce with cream, ham and broccoli, some corn and some tomatoes in a pie crust and then poured mixed egg, milk and shredded cheeses over it all. Should be good, and there's much more space in our fridge now.
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I just took my second today, because the pain makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Luckily I don't work until, I have evening class tonight, and it's an old one, that I (at least ought to) know well.
I was better a few hours ago, thanks to my morning trammie, so I not only finished preparing my lecture for next Wednesday (clothing and textiles in 17th century Gothenburg), but also had the energy and realtive lack of pain to cuddle with Rickard who's free today, since he works the weekend. Since I'm usually in too much pain in the evenings to do anythign but lie down on my electric heat pad this was a welcome occurence ;)

We have laundry today too, but since Rickard does most of the work, and with my extra trammie, I should feel okay by the time I start teaching.

Right now I feel like I'm rambling, but it's the pain, not the drugs, they haven't taken yet ;)
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I absolutely hate my body right now, even tramadol doesn't help :( It's like when you have the flu: every little part of you body aches.

I had a really nice half day at work yesterday, chatting with colleagues and actually getting somewhere on a lecture I am holding next Wednesday, but when I got home I was so ill that all I could do was to lie down on a mattress we have on the floor in the living room for this purpose. I was shivering from cold so I had both my quilt and a woollen blanket. And I fell asleep while listening to the third book in the Dark Elf Triology, Sojourn.

After dinner I got a little better and watched DS 9 while finishing the sleeves and starting on the neckline of my pale green Italian early 14th century kirtle, but by the time it was time to go to bed I was bad enough to have to take two tramadols (instead of one) again.

The good thing with that is that I wasn't in that much pain when I woke up at five am (when Rickard goes up to go to work) and I could take my morning pills and go to bed and fall asleep again. This makes it much nicer to wake up at 6.30, when it's my time to get up. Now (9 am), howver, the effect is wearing off and I have to see how long I can last without having to lie down again.

While Maja watched telly and had breakfast I managed to finish the neckline on the kirtle, so now all it needs is afew beads around it and then I'm going to let the whole thing hang for a week or so, before shaping the hem, because the satin stretches like crazy!
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I don't know, it's probably just that I have a flare in my arhtritis, but I felt decidedly 'meh' about everything today. I knit myself a kitty hat, and I have sewn and felled the sems on the sleeves for my green kirtle, but I don't know, I just felt like I had no energy for anything.
It's better now, after watching the first part of the Swedish Eurovision qualifiers together with Rickard, Maja and three of her friends. And now I am even happy that I bought two new blue gouache paint tubes for my scroll-making today. So it got beter, but it still feels like a waste day.

Tomorrow we'll go to my sister's place, because her youngest turns five, and I look forward to that.
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So, 2 weeks on the diet equals 3 kilos of weight loss. I can live with that. Still not feeling hungry, and in fact it was rather practical while travelling to and from the coronation - all you needed was a shaker (or in this case my water bottle) and some water and you could eat anywhere. I'm sad that i missed the fabulous feast, but it was so beautiful, and the presentation was so spectacular that it was a feast for the eyes as well.

I hope to have the energy to write something about it later, but right now I am too tired. I left Ahtela in Finland at 6 am on Sunday (local time, 5 am Swedish time) and was home at 00.20 on Monday (Swedish time). Today I've been to the nurse about the weight loss programme and that's about it. I've tried to read the book "The Viking world" edited by Stefan Brink and Neil Price, but I keep falling asleep. We have it as course literature on a course I'm teaching, so I thought that I'd ought to read it. (Some of the articles annoy me too much to fall asleep though. You CAN NOT use 13th century written sources to prove anything about the 8th century. Or if you think you can: show me why you think it's possible. Thank the gods I will only teach the Middle Ages.)

If I'm lucky others will post their photos online that I cvan direct you to. Since I was mostly in public view I couldn't take many photos, just a few of myself after I've left the main hall.

Day two

Dec. 28th, 2016 12:02 am
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I am still not hungry, but I am tired and feel cold and queasy, though not all of the time. I also have a lot of pain, but I don't think it's related, I was getting worse already on Christmas Eve. So today I haven't done much: a short walk between the hospital  and the bus stop, and then I've mostly knitted; I've started on my green Granville cardigan again. I was goign to start on a new scroll, but I felt tired and listened to Homeland by R.A Salvatore. It must be almost two decades since I last read any of his Forgotten Realms boks, and this triology I haven't read. Very interesting.
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Well, first of all: I am way too fat, just below 100 kilos. And just plain strength of character doesn't seem to work anymore, mostly because I'm in so much pain that I need that strength of character just to exist and to work. I have, however, been invited to a research project where they study the effect of weight loss on people with Psoriatic arthritis, so from topday and 12 weeks onward I am going to live on the Cambridge diet shakes.
It's a bit hard to start when the house is filled with home made goodies for Yule, but on the other hand you usually don't want to eat anything ever again after a few days of Yule gluttony ;)
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This afternoon my roomie at work picks me up and we're going to the south of Sweden for a wedding. It's an old colleague who was a PhD-student at the same time as us, and who has since then moved back to the US (he's originally from Boston). Nowadays he works fro teh Military, tracking lost soldiers from WWII and the consequent wars fought on foreign soil by the US. IN Washington he met  another government employee a few years ago, and they have chosen to get married in a small medieval church in Sweden. Their families are flying over and some of us old friends are drivign down there. The wedding is tomorrow, but tonight we will have a small dinner at the castle (Ellinge slott) where the reception is held.

Yesterday I tried on the only nice dress I thought would still fit me: the red velvet dress I made for last christmas. And it does fit, though it's a little tighter than I would have liked. Unfortunately I can't fit into my folk costume anymore, which would have been nive to wear with all the American guests. But I'll find something nice for the ceremony, though not as pretty as I would have liked, and then change to the red velvet dress. I have to figure out which shoes I can wear a whole night, and still look pretty.

I'm sure it will be very nice, and of course I want to go to theri wedding, but given my health it would have been a better idea to stay at home; I'm still in a lot of pain. I am also beginning to get a sore throat, which is unfortunate, since we plan to sing for the couple during the dinner. But I'm sure it will go fine.

The wedding means that I will miss my sweet friend Renika's elevation ot the Order of the Laurel, but since this is on Gotland and I'm not that well, I might no thave gone anyway. no, who am I kidding, I would have gone! But of course real life events like a dear friend's wedding comes first.
I am very grateful that I can catch a ride with my colleague, because organizing travel by train would have been too much a couple of weeks ago when I was more ill.
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Yesterday teh person handlign my case contacted me and after a discussion over the phone wich made me very unhappy we at least sorted some of the stuff. It was partly due to me not filling otu a form that I had forgotten that I should fill in - I was really sick after all - and partly die to my GP not writing a good enough certificate. She claims that she has sent me a letter abotu that, but none has reached me. Maybe she has, maybe she had forgotten all about me and was improvising, so she didn't have to say that. In any case, I will receivie some of the money tomorrow, and hopefully more when my GP has given more info to her.

The long time worries are that you're not supposed to be on sick leave for this long, it should change to something more permanent, or you should go back to work. And I have just done a month long evaluation by a doctor, a physical therapist, a work therapist and a psychologist, resulting in a 35 pages report which shiows taht I will not get any better than I am now. When I asked her about it over the phone shoie, however, claimed that it said that I had no physical hinders to work full time, it was just stress, and that if I just changed jobs i could work 100%. There is no way she could have itnerpreted what is written in that report that way, if she had read it. So either she has not read it and, again, improvised, or she has read it and can't understand what it says. In any case it means trouble for me, because, unfortunately, when applying for permanent disability her opinion is guiding for those who make the decision.

I am going to write a letter to her superiors, asking for someone else to take over my case, but it wil take some time, since I am, as you and everyone except her, knows am sick.

But, I have the best husband and the best friends, so I try not to despair. With reasonable success. I love you [ profile] clothsprogs.

I have also borrowed some books and fell totally in love with this Italian outfit from the 1330s.
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On Friday, when my sick leave money was due I found out that I had only got money for 8 days in October ( days when I was on partial sick leave, like I am these days). I looked online and they had got my new papers from the doctor, which put me on 100% sick leave from the 31st of October to the 11th of December and then on 1/2 sick leave until the end of March. However, they had not paid me for this. And of course, being on 100% sick leave I didn't get any wagers this month, so I ended up with 1700 SEK (that would be c. 200 dollars) to live on this month. With a rent of 12 000 SEK, for example. And Rickard is  a supermarket clerk, so he doesn't earn much money.
Looking around on the web site of the agency which provides money for those of us who are sick I found that they had changed the rules from the 1st of November: Unlike before you now have to apply separately for sick leave when your previous doctor's certificate ends, even when you're just continuing your previous sick period and have a new certificate. According th the web site they should contact you if there is any chance that you won't get your money, but of course they haven't even attempted to do that - since I'm sick I've been at home all the time.

This made me so anxious that I spent most of the time on Friday evenign crying and only focusing very hard on other stuff made it possible to go through the weekend. That, and that Rickard had offered to call them on Monday, yesterday. Well he did, and all the time I had such attacks of anxiety that I almost vomited, but he didn't get any answers. Finally he got the contact info to the person handling my case and left a message on her answering machine. Hopefully she will call me today, though I don't look forward to speaking to her. I will probably combine crying with being sarcastic, which really isn't a good idea.

All in all, this was not the best way to celebrate my birthday.
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I have been really bad the last weeks, especially the week that just ended. Friday, when I should have celebrated (a late) Samhain with my coven I insted spent lying on my acupuncture mat wondering if I was going to become as ill as three years ago. Luckily I didn't, and I am a lot better than that now. Not good enough to work, but I can actually sit up and sew, and cook. Sitting in front of the computer causes more pain though, so I try to stay away from it. I'm on sick leave for a month and hopefully it will get better well before that, since I have lectures to give.

But I have made a new gown and a few silk veils. I have recently become obsessed with 14th century Italian fashions, esepcially from the first half of the century (as proven by my Pinterest activity), and this is the first of what I fear will be many 14th century Italian gowns.

Another photo )
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On Sunday, that is. I have also cut out the lining for the skirt, and found that one of the pieces that I cut six month ago has a moth hole. It is not recent, there were some moth holes in the fabirc, but that means that I have to dig out the wool and cut another panel. Maybe today?

I have a flare in my arthirtis which makes evertthing hard to do, and I also battle the depression that comes with inreased the pain. However, it will get better, and I'm rather good at involving myself in stuff to push aside feelings of pain and sadness. But it makes it harder for me to actually make stuff; normally that skirt would have been finished on Sunday.
Maybe today?

Ayway, the health situation means that I spend a lot of time playing stupid computer games, which isn't good, but at least I also do nice things, like listening to audio books when Rickard is at home. And on Tuesday I also started re-reading some very trashy Margit Sandemo novels. Because I'm worth it. Or something.  I think I may not even work today, just rest, and try and work on upcoming lectures tomorrow instead.
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I've ben a bad LJ-member again, apparently. Life is as it usually is at this time of the year: too much work (for my consitution) and a flare in my arthritis making things harder to handle. I still can't knit and I notice that I spend too much time playing silly puzzle games on the computer, because I don't have teh mental energy to come up with more interesting things to do. I've made four scrolls., but can't show them yet, and I also made a new interpretation of the 13th century pleated fillet, which I will take photos of and blog about eventually. I also made a new mundane skirt, because I am too fat for most of my skirts.

And I made a box for one of the painted glasses I made for the baron and baroness of Gotvik I will make another one as soon as I have more plywood.

You can read much more about pinted boxes in general, and this one in particular over in Eva's historical costuming blog.

But now I need something new and interesting to do today. Something that doesn't take a lot of thinking, because with all the pain, my brain is exhausted and rather slow. Writing blog posts with photos from my trip to Bologna is about as complicated as it gets now.

I've made a few this far:
Sculptures, paintings and bones in the Basilica di San Pietro
9-13th century Ivory carvings
Wood and ivory boxes
men's underpants
13th century aquamanile and candlestick
Depictions of 14th century students

And that can be done while listening to audio books. Rickard and I are going through "The lost hero" by Rick Riordan right now, after finishing the first series of Percy Jackson books. I have read them all, but it was a couple of years ago, and Rickard hasn't, and it's really nice doing this together.

Maybe I'll finish that pencil skirt that I cut out over six months ago. I sould rather do some caaligraphy and illumination, but I've run out of pergamanata, and now you can't get anywhere in Sweden, since the shop in Stockholm who sold it has stopped.

So maybe I will make a skirt. Or sort my shoes, putting away the summer shoes and takign out the autumn/winter ones.

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