Sunday, 29 April 2018

Some Me Time

For once I've been in the extremely unusual position of having three annual leave days left that I absolutely have to take before the end of the leave year (30th April). The original plan was that we would go somewhere sunny or off in Bonnie - with the atrocious weather I'm actually sort of glad we aren't camping - but somewhere sunny would have been nice...

With C having to work I've been left to my own devices. Again, rather unusual - and I'm not sure I've made the best use of the precious time off work, that's why I like to go away - I feel like it's been worth using leave for.

On Thursday I drove myself off to Hardwick Hall, a National Trust property I've been longing to visit for a long time, and the birthplace and eventual home of the formidable Bess of Hardwick , one of the most powerful women in Elizabethan England. She was married to George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury who was one of Mary Queen of Scots' captors, but very much a power in her own right. As a feminist and history buff it was very much my cup of tea. There are actually two Hardwick Halls - the original one where Bess was born, and later returned to and effectively rebuilt. This one is actually a ruin now - I love ruined buildings and wandering around. After the new Hall was built it gradually fell into disrepair, but is still rather striking 500 years later.

And just over the way is the new Hall. I didn't take many pictures as was very content just ambling. There are an awful lot of tapestries inside, which I think are now rather a national treasure. They must have been quite spectacular in their time, but obviously are rather faded now.

A very nice solitary day out. I also went for a run, to try and find some bluebells as it is the season after all. There were some in the wood that backs on to the University where I work, but they aren't quite in full strength yet - I'll have to pop over during the week to see if they've come a bit stronger.

And finally I've been making coasters, much to C's annoyance. We needed them in my defence! I love a bit of practical crochet...

I'm hoping it's going to get warmer this week - I'm very ready for Spring. One more day on my own tomorrow and I think I'm going to have to force myself to leave the house the weather looks so awful!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Home Made

I've had a sudden burst of making things recently - much more than recently and it's definintely food for the soul. Baking, crafting, being creative and using my hands is really helping me at the moment. And I'm even trying to branch out from crochet!!

When in Wales I bought a felt sewing kit to try my hand at something new - quite pleased with the result, although I think I'd like to try making some things from scratch! I've gifted it to my Mum and it's sitting on my parents' dresser

I've started knitting! I've found a lady who does beginners' classes and have paid for a course of three lessons - after one lesson I can cast on, cast off and knit and purl. I hate purl. It's slow and slightly tedious, and crochet is definitely quicker, but am determined to persevere.

Another granny square blanket... I'm using up some stash here so it's not as neat and planned as usual, but I'm quite enjoying it - mindless crochet and no thinking, right up my street.

Finally baking again! This is a yummy yummy carrot cake recipe - see here. I would heartily recommend it - quite easy and scrumptious.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Seeking Solace

When your world is knocked it's a matter of taking things a day at a time. Or that's what reason dictates, whereas in reality your brain races all over the place, forwards, backwards, never staying still. As normality re-establishes itself you question it, look at it from every angle and scrutinise it in a way that you never did before. On the surface things seem ok, but just try not to scratch too deep for now.

A week by the sea is always food for the soul, no matter the weather. We've had a quiet week in Pembrokeshire, lots of walks, even some running - I've signed up for a half marathon in June so have given myself little choice but to run. I've decided to try and come back to blogging - I'm seeing a counsellor (for various reasons, probably not to be shared here) and she's recommended I try journalling. I've taken her advice, but sometimes a journal is too raw - I prefer the quiet and gentle focus on the nice things in life that I used to find in this online space.

So here I am again for now - still contemplating a name change though, I've not been particularly fond of woollybluebells for a while. I don't know if the community is still around like it was, I think a lot of people are on Instagram now (I've been lurking over there for a while now - 'whathelendid').