A deathly silence filled the air, birds fell silent in the trees and Geordie struggled with trapped wind bless him - and lost, as she collected her thoughts. "Why la Maladie des Brodeuse of course, you bear all the classic signs." The random motifs, by the way, are just to keep Alice and those of you with the attention span of a goldfish amused while I continue my tale.
My friend is the font of all knowledge particularly anything medical or which concerns the natural world about us. She knows just when to plant, when to cut back mercilessly and even when the bitch across the valley comes into season - and we're not talking canines here!
But I digress. Apparently the first sign of this debilitating, but never fatal, affliction is a lump which appears above the wrist. No Alice, not your thumb, this is the other side below the pinky. Then the top finger joints begin to click, stiffen and go lumpy and some people (particularly sailors, although I think with them it's probably due to other causes) develop a cushion like swelling between thumb and forefinger.
There's no turning back at this point, the next thing you know is that you wake up one morning with your hand contorted into a claw, like the dude above, which only massage, copious cups of Rosie Lee (Cockney slang for tea) and intensive cross stitching by way of physiotherapy will alleviate.
At this late stage of "la maladie" you have only two options left open to you - abandon embroidery forever or, and I don't wish to become a bore about this (see above) but it really does make sense, for me anyway, buy yourself copies of Hare Apparent and Kells Kritters and soldier on regardless like countless generations of claw-handed cross stitchers before you. I know what I chose ....... order now before it gets any worse!
And why am I giving you "the finger" - because I don't want you to forget your weekly piece of STRING that's why ..... http://stringdog.blogspot.com - it's oh so silly, extremely salubrious and very, very sophisticated even though I do say so myself and only a click away.