Friday, 27 March 2009

Health and Fitness

I have always thought of myself as a very healthy person - and reasonably fit, although recently I have gained some of the "middle aged spread" and definitely feel my age after a day in the dyehouse carrying heavy pans and buckets of liquid around. I decided in February that I really need to do something about it - I don't feel right! Not that long ago I would have gone for a walk round the "big block" ie 5 miles, without batting an eyelid, now the "little block" of 2 miles can seem daunting (well OK the winter weather hasn't helped.... but you get the picture!) So I decided to join the gym in Denbigh. Great, but then you have to fit it into the day - if I go at 7.30 in the morning it's reasonable, if I go at 2.30 in the afternoon it's reasonable at any other time I've tried it's hectic!!! 7.30 doesn't allow me to go to the Post Office and do other jobs, so 2.30 makes more sense, but on a dyeing day you can't just walk away from the pots!!! What this means is I'm not getting into a routine and I really want to!

I had news recently of a fellow natural dyer who is seriously ill with bladder cancer - the prognosis does not sound good at all, I am truly sorry to hear that and wish her all the best, but it's made me realize that we are not immune to what we do and I need to keep myself healthy and take precautions with all the different chemicals that "natural dyes" require! There is some speculation I understand as to whether what she has done as an occupation may have been a cause. That is a very scary thought!

One thing I am careful about is using rubber gloves, but sometimes putting the dust mask on can seem un-necessary and I'll skip it - then when my nose starts running I regret it. From now on I'm not going to do any "skipping" with health and safety!

When I write dyeing instructions I always start with the "Serious bit" it is something I am aware of and try to emphasise, but I think what has struck me most is that these things creep up on you - I would have pooh-poohed someone telling me I'd think twice about walking the "big block", but I can talk myself out of it very easily now! I hope that anyone taking up natural dyeing as a hobby will always bear in mind that these products are not play things - even though they come from natural sources. Chemicals are chemicals whatever their source, some are more harmful than others, but all should be treated with respect.

This seems quite a heavy post - for that I'm sorry, but the news was not nice.............

1 comment:

Willington Weaver said...

HI Debbie

Heavy it may be, but this post is very necessary to ensure those who care coming into natural dyeing do take the precautions that are very necessary.

BTW, I love our Turkey Red cotton.