Tempus Fugit

They do say time flies by faster as one gets older or perhaps it just feels that way in this 24/7 hi tech world in which we live! Whatever the reason, it is important to stop and consider what really matters in one’s life. (A bit profound for 10 to 7 in the morning!!! 🤔)

My life over the past 18 months has been frenetic. I’ve been learning a new job, making business relationships, and dividing my time between Scotland and England. Although I feel I’ve got into the swing of things work wise, there is ALWAYS something else to do, another call to make. The danger, when working from home, is for boundaries to become blurred. I’ve frequently found myself sat at the laptop long after most ‘office’ workers are relaxing in front of the telly with a glass of vino or at the gym! I mention exercise because that is something that has fallen by the wayside to the detriment of my health. It is not just exercise that has been lacking but living in two places means that time to potter and sort things out at home is missing. Time for a plan of action!

‘Schedule exercise into your diary’ was a suggestion I heard recently. It makes absolute sense to me. The 10 minutes you might spend chatting at the water cooler with a colleague in an office could be used for a quick walk round the block, if working from home. Decide to park the car that little bit further from the customer’s premises and walk. This is not so attractive a proposition if you’ve lots to carry and it’s raining however!

Be disciplined and switch the laptop and phone off. That should be straightforward, but not so easy to ‘switch off’ the brain from thinking about work! I try to give myself something to look forward to after at the end of the working day. It can be something as simple as a pot of my favourite tea.

Tackle the not so appealing tasks in bite size chunks or delegate! Not so easy if you live on your own! I used to feel guilty delegating the ironing to the local ‘Steam Team’. But you know what, to hell with that, I work hard and I’d rather be doing something I enjoy. Set the kitchen timer for 15 or 20 minutes when de cluttering or tidying. Stop when the buzzer goes off, go do something else you enjoy for a while and set the timer for another session later. It does actually work and stops you from becoming overwhelmed.

Get out and see people. It is all too easy to become entangled in the web of social media, the internet and become hermit like, especially when living alone. It does take more effort when you are on your own. Weekends are the hardest. During the week there is work and the social contact that brings. At weekends I find myself thinking I don’t want to disturb people as it is ‘their’ weekend or they are having family time. I’m pretty happy with ‘me’ time but occasionally it is nice to share an experience with another human being rather than doing something alone. It doesn’t have to involve anything grandiose or even much by way of meaningful conversation. Last weekend I woke up feeling rather sorry for myself, after a tough and rather frustrating week. I called an elderly friend and persuaded her to go to Audley End an English Heritage property. It was a beautiful day and we dawdled, had some lunch and sat on a bench and enjoyed the view. None of this had any earth shattering significance, no major decisions were made, we were just happy to sit there and be.


Minimalism – Feeling the Benefit

I’m trying hard to do the same but it is not easy. The right frame of mind is key.

Jem Weston

It’s been a full month since I finished the Minimalism game and although I’ve not been counting – I’m sure I’ve got rid of at least the same amount of stuff again!

I’ve done big clear-outs before, but this time it feels different. I’m not just getting rid of a few things so that my stuff fits in to the space I have – I’m gradually getting rid of everything I don’t use, wear or love and putting in place systems so that I acquire less “stuff”.

We now have a bookcase which has virtually no books left on it and empty boxes under the bed and on top of my wardrobe which were once stuffed to bursting! At some point we’ll have to decide which pieces of furniture to keep because with less stuff to store we need less furniture to store it.

The process is difficult. The most…

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Cushtie cushions!

I’ve always fancied learning how to make a cushion and when the opportunity arose at Crafty Angel I jumped at it!  https://www.craftyangel.co.uk/

Crafty Angel has been open for just under a year and you could not find a more peaceful setting for this creative haven.  Angela is a graphic designer and this is reflected in her flare for fabric choice and attention to detail.  She is also great fun and a skilled teacher immediately putting you at ease.

Everything was supplied to make a piped, button back cushion.  All one had to do was turn up and bring a packed lunch!  Tea, coffee and an impressive selection of soft drinks and cake appeared at regular intervals too!   The only decision one had to make was which material to choose.  Believe you me, with so much fabulousness that was hard!

Three ‘fat quarters’ are all it takes to create this cushion along with some piping and covered buttons.  Along with learning how to make the actual cushion there were lots of top tips on sewing and use of equipment.  I for one had no idea you could unscrew a thread spool and store your needles inside!  Well did you?!  (Ok, so it’s just me!)

Firstly, we made the piping which was actually more straightforward than I’d imagined.  Placing it round the cushion was a little bit more tricky but again Angela demonstrated techniques to create a professional finish.

Once the binding was on it was then time to put the whole thing together and make covered buttons and button holes.  As before, all the stages were demonstrated and we had all the tools required, including state of the art sewing machines to make life easier.

Even when muggins here managed to accidentally cut through the cushion backing the ‘Crafty Angel’ came to the rescue with the most ingenious solution.  I wonder if you can spot him!

There were three of us on the course today and it wasn’t even lunchtime when we’d all decided we want to return for more ‘Crafty Angel’ magic!  Future workshops will include dressmaking, umbrella making, machine embroidery, lampshade making, knitting and crochet with Rowan Yarn, bag making, quilting and book binding to name a few!  Personally, I can’t wait!

What’s More to the Point!

‘More to the Point’, 120 Kings Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PQ. 

I felt like I’d walked into the pages of a Debbie Macomber novel when I visited here today.  You know sometimes you just need a day that restores your faith in humanity…..well this was it!  We live in uncertain, unsettling times and anything that allows one to forget about the woes of the world for a while is right ‘up there’ in my book!  

There was a steady stream of enthusiastic customers who all received a warm welcome and advice if they required it.  A comfy sofa and a cuppa was also on offer to regulars and newbies alike.  

Enough of this misery in January palaver!

Right, enough of this ‘misery in January’ palaver! All this ‘dry January’, frantic dieting and rushing off to join a gym is a load of twaddle! Yes, Christmas is over but it doesn’t mean we should all wear sackcloth and ashes and self flagellate! Some of us have birthdays in January and the days are getting longer! I’m on a one woman mission to cheer everyone up. Go out and have that glass of wine, eat cake and be merry! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to enjoy yourself (if you’ve given the plastic a bashing last month), go see a free exhibition, go see that buddy you haven’t seen in ages and go for a walk (after all the gym costs a packet and you’ll have lost interest by mid February anyway).

It has been a while, but let’s begin a new story…

It has been a while and I’ve missed this.  ‘Whirlwind’, a bit frantic, frenetic, whatever you like to call it, the last few months have whizzed.  There have been some low points but on the whole this is an exciting new adventure I’m on.  Today on the way to visit a customer I walked down Scotland Street in Edinburgh and this is what I saw….

Although Pat, Domenica, Angus and the others did not appear to feature in this mini library it seemed appropriate that Ian Rankin was there as he also features in Alexander McCall Smith’s tales of Edinburgh life.  ‘The Complaints’ introduces another Edinburgh copper Malcolm Fox and not the bolshie D.I. Rebus whom I happen to be rather fond of.  

In the rather optimistic hope that it might in fact, all be true, I moved on in search of ‘No 44’……..

Alas not, this, as they say, is the end of the road.