Reflecting on my week #100

Writing here has taken a bit of a backseat lately, as I’m sure you’ve spotted, but I’ve realised with the help of the quote below that we all need a bit of an outlet. Here, and crafts - currently crochet - are my thing, and birth have been relatively quiet of late. In fact a photo I’d submitted for a World Mental Health Day exhibition last year, was the prompt. I’d missed the exhibition last year, but the photos were used again this year, and so I got to see it, finally.

The irony of my own advice and of my current ‘busyness’ which hurtled past overwhelm a little while back, isn’t lost on me!

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And so with a weekend free of commitments, that’s just what I did. The weather too played its part, as who wanted to venture out unless it was essential, definitely not me. Though we did pop to Majestic for a bit of a wine shop, definitely essentials!

As well as a busy working week, we’ve had some busy weekends. There’s been a medieval banquet near Coventry, a work conference in Birmingham - both within a few days of each other, but which required a trip back to London in between, but hey ho. Both were good, and while up that way we stopped off for a visit at Kenilworth Castle, a truly fascinating place. Castle ruins for MOH to look around, and a garden for me - and there was plenty still out too, so more to see than I’d expected.

If you’re not convinced by crafting to create some headspace, for me it definitely works. And this quote was something I needed to see.

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Combined with my word for the year, which has been nagging at me lately - it’s focus! - I’ve had a quiet weekend with my crochet, and with MOH of course! The grey squares from the last post in this series have been sewn together, or 9 of them at least and I’m on my third round of the shell border. Though I had to unravel most of the shells and start again, as I’d messed up.

Normally I’d debate with myself if I could continue, but this weekend the unraveling helped too. I’m back to where I was before it all started and this time, at least, it was good to keep my creativity in line with the actual pattern.

I wish there was something more momentous for this ‘milestone’ post, but there isn’t.

There’s plenty more busyness ahead I’m sure. But I’m also hoping to spend some more-time-than-lately here, and with my crochet too.

So, time out taken, let ‘normal’ life resume.

Get in touch with nature this October

The theme for this month’s post is the wildlife in our gardens. It’s estimated that in Britain our millions of gardens cover around 10 million acres, which is bigger than all of the country’s nature reserves combined. Viewed from the air you must be able to see how they create green corridors, providing wildlife with a range of habitats and the ability to move from one area to another to feed, breed, shelter and hibernate.

What we do to our gardens can encourage, or discourage, local birds and wildlife; planting flowering meadows for butterflies and insects, hedges for nesting birds, and blossom and blooms throughout the year to attract bees, butterflies and insects.

The idea is to get planting to create a wildlife-friendly garden and reap the benefits of surrounding ourselves with nature. Though right now, at the start of the month, I think we could be all be benefitting from additional water features.

Plants with nature in mind

Choose plants with fruits, berries and seedheads, including pyracantha, skimmia japonica, ornamental grasses, such as stipa and ornamental garden trees like rowan and crab apple.

And late flowering plants for late flying insects, which include asters, japanese anemones, chyrsants, ivy and mahonia.

Callicarpa Profusion AGM © Adam Pasco Media

Callicarpa Profusion AGM © Adam Pasco Media

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Reflecting on my week #99

My work week has continued to be busy, and longer than in probably should be, but as it’s the first week of term I think that’s ok and hopefully things will start to calm down. More than usual I was looking forward to a weekend with some time to do what I liked as MOH was working again. I considered heading off to see Downton at the pictures, which felt quite decadent. Then I saw the weather and sitting in a darkened room didn’t seem right. However good the film might be.

In the end though plans changed and it was just as well I’d already dismissed the pictures idea. The weekend was far more chilled than we originally thought and for the first time in a while, out came my crochet. It’s been a while, and I’m not sure if I’ve shared it here. But it’s the project that’s travelled far and wide. To Birmingham, to Liverpool and even to Portugal, and not once did it see the light of day!

pale grey crocheted square

I made up for it this weekend though and the central square, made up of nine squares is ready to be assembled. I’ve used a variegated grey and white yarn which starts from white to the darkest grey, so I think it’ll look great. It’ll be a square throw for our sofas, one that we can throw over the arm and act as a kind of arm protector too.

light and dark grey crocheted squares

Once the centre square is together, the next section is a series of shell borders. Then more squares, I think, but I’ll worry about that bit when I get to that. I’ve a few crochet projects on the go, and this one is my go to project right now. It’s simple with no colour changes, other than those that the yarn determines.

Simple for my full up brain, just what it needs right now!

The weekend was also one for being domesticated, and it’s been a while. Chores were done, and stock was made from the remains of the roast chicken from Saturday’s tea. It was the ultimate in multi-tasking, I was watching the rugby meanwhile the stock, and then soup was doing it thing. Tasty, wholesome and very good value. The small £5 chicken from the butchers has provided a roast dinner for two, four servings of soup, which was generously packed with chicken and veg - and the leftover roast potatoes, and there’s still chicken left for lunch one day.

home made chicken and leek soup

With time and inclination, it’s amazing what you can do. During the soup stage i popped into the garden for some herbs, and was met with the “crime scene” below. Which made me jump more than it really should have.

an unexpected find in the garden

I’ve no idea where it came from, or actually if it’s still there. Did the foxes bring it in? Did our neighbour’s children throw it over? Though if they did we should sign them up for the field events, because they’re naturals. Is it missed? Am I holding it hostage, without realising? But how do I return it, and to where.

It looks so peaceful too, and quite comfy, well for a soft toy.

Who knew the dilemma an unexplained soft toy in the garden would bring. What would you do?!