So who should show up on Thursday but the Fastest Knitter In The World??? It was SUCH a delight to actually MEET Miriam Tegels in person – we’ve been emailing for a few years – and she’s just as kind and lovely as she seems in her emails!

We spent a lot of time together over the next two days (she took a train back up to Holland on Sunday morning) and everyone really enjoyed watching her knit. I wasn’t even going to TRY to knit up to her speed! I know when discretion is necessary, and I’d rather look discrete than slow-as-a-snail!

Mostly I just enjoyed walking around with her – she bought a wonderful hat for her husband – and having a nice coffee while we both knitted. It was a nice break to spend time with a sister knitter who had no affiliation with the tour.

I love everyone on the tour, but I was able to feel a little less “on” than I had the previous few days. It was also nice for me watch how someone else knit just for pure pleasure for a change!

At the market I bought a sweater for 5 euros, and I could tell that Miriam was vaguely scandalized that I don’t knit all my own stuff. I wish I had time! My project is going slower than I’d anticipated (no big surprise there) and I’m KICKING myself for not thinking to have Miriam knit it for me. Merde!

She received a call from her husband while she was here that the BBC wants to speak with her about a show on Guiness World Records (she holds the record for speed knitting.) Knitting royalty! And she gave me the sweetest Dutch Hat & Kerchief for Hannah and Max. They’ll look even MORE Dutch, now!

And the extra bonus? She’s coming to St. Paul in February for the Knit Out at the Mall of America – whoopee!!

And finally – on Friday – my luggage arrived. Yay!

And it was great to have books for everyone and all of the other stuff in my bag – FABulous!

We’ve been having a wonderful time, the folks in the tour are SO lovely and we’ve been eating and walking and knitting our way across this area.

Friday we went to the seaside and ate oysters for lunch (I had mostly shrimp – amazingly sweet and wonderful) then we took the tram into Montpellier and walked and shopped for a bit.

Lisa found this amazing chapeau, we were all quite jealous, but she was so beautiful we couldn’t stay angry…

Our dinner was in a former Bath (bain) and it was SO beautiful! We ate in a courtyard covered with umbrellas – the food was exquisite (best dessert so far – Symphonie of Creme Brulée!) and laughed and laughed.

At one point I began speaking with one of the women in the group who has become very dear to me, and the subject turned to our husbands. It’s probably the excess of wine AND the time away from Gerry, but I had to go to the bathroom for a moment to collect myself. WHERE is my PT Crusier when I need it?

Oh – there it goes! And in France it’s white! Now if I could just climb inside and drive myself around for a restful weep.

That’s something I miss greatly – driving (oh, yeah, and Gerry…)

I miss the feeling of being in control for a bit, and being alone in my OWN space.

It’s not making me nuts or anything, but I’ll be SO glad to get back to my own crazy purple car!

Between the long drive and the tram ride, we got home after midnight. Unfortunately, arriving back so late on so many evenings has played havoc with our ability to be awake and coherent for classes – myself included! Despite that, though, it seemed that the group from week #1 has enjoyed the classes – I know I have!

Saturday was market day in Pézenas, where we went for some MORE shopping (I bought baby powder and French toiletries) and then a fine lunch. And I ate olives.

Back here for some swimming and some private knitting tutoring before an early bedtime.

Today I moved into a different room – one with a dresser, larger bed and window, a private toilette and shower, a small desk and places to sit – I’m in heaven! Most important, I’m one floor above the teaching area, so I won’t have to go halfway around the building and up 3 steep flights of stairs (the final flight VERY twisty and a little scary) just to grab that ball of yarn or book I left in my room. Yay!

You’d think I’d be thinner after all the walking and stair climbing, but it seems the wine and amazing food has taken care of that!

It was romantic to be in a “garret” (mais, a garret in Southern France!) but I do forward to a room with a bit more comfort and fewer stairs!

So now I’m in a new room – with the students this time (I can hear the next group arriving!) – and I’m really looking forward to it! I’d take a photo of the lovely room, but alas – my camera battery charger has stopped working, so no more photos unless I find an alternative. (Perhaps someone in this group uses the same kind of charger…?)

Saturday the tour guests left, most of them at 6:30 this morning. The two remaining knitters (Hi Lisa & Claire!), Dava and I walked up the hill to a sort of roadside cafe and had a lovely lunch, then back down to knit a little before they went off to Montpellier.

Kris & Philip (tour folks) and their son Dava drove the guest to the airport, and will continue on to the seaside for the afternoon/evening. They invited me, but I told them I’d rather just stay here and get some work done, write, knit, and have some time to myself.

I really love the time to myself. And in some ways I am overcome with the feeling that this is sort of training wheels for a period when I will be more alone. Jeeze, is it me, or is it the wine that’s making me so darned maudlin?

The hotel hosts were getting a little sick of me sitting around at the dining room table (where I could get internet access without climbing back up to my room) but now I have my own space. And it is quite lovely here.

I miss him terribly! Just about everything I do I think, “How much more fun th
is would be if Gerry were here!”

He makes me laugh more than anyone else in the world – and I really need that when I’m spending so much time making other people laugh!

I don’t think he’s in a laughing mood right now. He’s sick as a dog, he required a transfusion, and this weekend his platelet count was low. Right now he’s being kept in the hospital at the Mayo as an inpatient.

His sister and mom both have the number of the Inn here and will call me if he wants or needs to speak with me, but making a call out is so hard – and I hate to call and bother him at a time when he may finally have fallen asleep or may be resting. I want to hear his voice, but I don’t think disturbing his hard-won rest would be for the best.

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