Saturday, 12 September 2020

Finally, some sewing

I hate the phrase 'the new normal', I don't want this to be normal. I want my 'old normal' back please.

The normal where I spent my evenings hand sewing, and my days not working I'd do some basic housework and then get the sewing machine out for a few hours.

Before the lockdown was announced I was on a conference call (by phone - how the world has changed!) and I made a list of all the projects I could potentially finish.

How many of them have I finished?

How many of them have I actually even touched?

Did I do any sewing at all?

Yes, but my focus changed.  I didn't have the concentration span for working out what pieces went where - what colour went with what, how to do the quilting.  The list is endless.

I joined up a fair few scraps, to make other pieces of fabric. 

Then made them into pouches. I also did a virtual retreat with Threadhouse where I learned to add tendrils, so added those to a pouch

I took part in a 'Random act of kindness' on Instagram so I made lots of little things, small enough to go in a standard envelope. To be honest, it’s about all I could manage.

In Mid March, I managed to get to Merseymade and had enough room to almost finish my Mystery Quilt.
I've since put the borders on, but its waiting until I've got enough room to spread it out and get it finished.  Who knows, maybe some of the get togethers will happen in a month or so.  Otherwise it will sit there unfinished for ages.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Liverpool FC - Champions!

And of course, one of the most brilliant things to happen, but in the weirdest circumstances was Liverpool FC winning the Premier League.  I'm old enough to remember the last time it happened. It felt real in December, when the first team were playing in the Club World Cup, and there was an FA Cup game against Shrewsbury Town a few days later.  The 'kids' drew the game and played amazingly.  Giving rise to one of the most famous Bill Shankly quotes being seen everywhere.

I can vividly remember the feeling, in mid January when it became very real, that maybe, just maybe, this year could be 'the one'.  But we'd been here before. We'd had hope. Been tantalisingly close.  But somewhere in mid January, spontaneously the chant went round Anfield 'we're gonna win the league, now you'd better believe us, we're gonna win the league'.  Almost from that point it was academic.

By Mid March, it really was academic, they needed 6 points from 9 games. Given current form, that was going to happen.  But then football was suspended.

At the restart, like most other teams, it was a bit shaky.  But still never in doubt.
The Chrystal Palace game had me in tears - 4-0. It was so emotional. Inside an empty Anfield.

But the next day, Chelsea beat Manchester City and that was it!  There were people in the street, fireworks. The lot. The team were all together in Formby Hall - the tv pundits tried to make out that they were all speaking from their homes, but it was blatantly obvious they were together.  Some of the scenes from that night were great.  The team all singing 'Championes, talking to the tv people, obviously drunk. Virgil being attacked on camera by his teammates.  Jurgen Klopp so emotional.

So I'll just leave this here.

And of course this

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Oh - another year went by!


I forget I've got this blog, and then think about updating it.  Then realise it's been a while, so I put it off.  So then its even more time, and so it goes.

Again, not going to post everything that's happened in a year (especially not recently), but here are a few highlights in photos

Lisbon- Sintra 

I got back from my holidays to discover that the local Housing Association, who own the house next door, where replacing the back yard walls. 
I wasn't sure if the party wall agreement was just agreeing to next door's being done, or whether they would do mine too.  So a week later, this happened.
Now I've got a lovely new FREE wall

I was 60 in July 2019. Great to get my free travel pass!
Had a few sewing retreats, this seems to be the only photo I have
And had a lovely pre Christmas meet up

I've been planting stuff in the yard, and bought myself a new deckchair.

I've always baked bread, but sourdough is difficult if you work away all week, so enjoyed having the time to do this.

And resisted the temptation to have supermarket deliveries but shopped local wherever I could. Discovered some great local places that I'll continue to support.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Beckibobs didn't happen, and a few thoughts on the last couple of months.

Ah well.
This years holiday didn't happen - for obvious reasons. We should have been going back to Becky's place in the Dordogne.

I had so many weekends away planned that I'd decided to post them on this blog.  Then the 'things' didn't happen.
And then I  realised that I didn't want it to become another 'my life in lockdown' blog. Because I got annoyed with the 'we're all in the same boat' and the 'you're only being asked to stay at home' kind of stuff.

We weren't all in the same boat. Some people really struggled financially as they fell through support gaps. Some struggled because trying to work from home with 3 kids attempting to do their schoolwork and moaning that they can't go out was just too much.

And some, like me, were hardly affected at all.

Because, to be honest, other than not going on my weekends away, and holidays, my life wasn't that different.

I live alone, I'm not really that sociable; I meet friends occasionally for lunch/coffee or go round to friends for tea. I'm generally OK with my own company.  
I'm also really lucky that I was working when this started, I switched to working from home. I've since started a new contract, again working from home and so have some financial security into next year.

Like most people, at some point I found it all a bit much, and had a bit of a wobble.  What with the toral mixed messages from the UK government and the constant criticism of others on Facebook etc, sometimes it was all a bit of a mess, but generally I was fine.

I missed seeing family though - my son lives 50 miles away, so I'd have struggled to call that 'essential travel' - fortunately my sister lives only 2 miles away, so we occasionally 'accidentally' bumped into each other when on our daily walk (keeping our distance etc)

Then the rules changed, and because I'm a single adult household, I could have a 'bubble', my sister could legitimately come round for a coffee and that was so marvellous.

I went to my local cafe and picked us up a takeaway coffee and some cakes - it felt great.  Or we had a takeaway coffee in the park.

I went out on my bike for the first time in ages, I'm not that confident , so was happier when there was less traffic about.

I cycled to meet other friends in the park, we're fortunate to have quite a few.

But what's really changed?  Apart from all the rules. What do I really miss?

Spontaneity, that's what.  My sister and I would chat on a Saturday and arrange to meet, and would decide where to go later. We can't do that now. Everything requires planning.  Even the simple stuff. You've got to try and work out how crowded anywhere will be.  Generally its easier not to bother.

I have a National Trust venue near me, and would occasionally walk there and walk round the grounds, now I need to arrange it weeks in advance.  

I used to put a fiver in my pocket when going out for a run, in case I decided to nip into a shop on my way back. Now I have to remember to take a debit card and a mask. Which means I need to spend more than a fiver because of card fees, so I need a bag.  It's all too much of a faff to be honest, so I don't bother. So my little local shops are missing out.

What have I gained?

A tidier house - maybe.  Although that's a bit hit and miss.
A new found love of cooking.  I've always cooked from scratch, have very little processed food in the house, but now have the time to experiment.
I'm no longer petrified of video calls - although I still avoid mirrors at all costs!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Mollibobs 1

Another holiday!

So last year a group of us went to the Dordogne and stayed at Quirky Camping.

We had some days out but mainly we just chilled and had such a laugh.

While chatting round the pool one day, we talked about doing it again, and so Mollibobs was born.

The idea being that one person would pick a location, and as many people as possible would go on the next and subsequent holidays.

Molly took it upon herself to book this years trip and we go on Saturday! Heading to Portugal for 7 days of sunshine, fun and relaxation.

Can't wait to meet up with everyone again, there are 12 of us going to a villa in Sintra.

Updates with pictures:-

Saturday, 25 May 2019

It’s not worth catching up on 2 years!

I’m not even going to try.

But some highlights:-

I changed my job. I’ve gone from randomly driving round the country as a salaried person to driving from one side of the country to the other as a self employed person. A 560 mile round trip each week, but at least I get to base myself somewhere.

The beast from the east hit Norwich shortly after I started!

Best move I ever made! I'm so much happier and its helping with the 'pension pot'

June 2018
Had a fantastic reunion holiday with friends I met in Rhodes.

We went to the Dordogne, the weather wasn’t entirely in our favour, but we had a great time

July 2018

In the middle of a heatwave, what did I do? Joined some friends from Too Fat to Run at Spitfire Scramble (a 24 hour relay race)

September 2018

Went on a healthy cooking retreat in Norfolk

Again, met some fantastic people, had a great time

November 2018

Back to Simply Solids retreat. Sadly, for the last time, but oddly, I have no photos. Far too busy sewing probably!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Another post (and FoQ) catching up (again)

September 2017

It was a busy couple of weeks. I had a week with epic amounts of driving in horrendous conditions, followed by a visit to Festival of Quilts

Team meeting was in Chippenham (?) and the hotel had cows in a field next to the car park. Not impressed. Though I don’t think they were anything to do with the hotel!

My favourite quilt from Festival of Quilts

I’ve now got no idea why I picked this photo. Possibly because of the teeny milk jug.