Sunday, 26 January 2014

Rest & Relaxation

I posted about  booking our holiday  last year in this post.

Our holiday accommodation last year.

I never got to post about the actual holiday as it was booked to start the day following my mother's funeral. Not the best start to a holiday, but I knew my mam would not have wanted us to cancel. We holidayed with my middle daughter, Rachael, and granddaughter, Felicity and posted earlier in January, it was just what I needed. The cottage was a wonderful place to retreat to and relax, we were fortunate with the weather and every evening was spent on the beach building sandcastles.

Ta Da!!!

So where is this leading?

Well...  we do enjoy a weekend away! Weekends away are our little indulgence, indeed they are my main reason for trying to live as frugally as possible. We don't need to spend a fortune or do anything fancy, it's just that a change of scenery and tempo helps us keep our sanity. We usually indulge in a little weekend R&R to celebrate our respective birthdays and as next weekend will be Dave's birthday, what better reason excuse could there be?

We are heading back to the cottage we spent our summer holiday in.  As we are not expecting the glorious sunshine we got earlier in the year we will have the perfect excuse to  light this...


and cosy up with a good book.

Our good friends from Dunoon will be joining us there,  we are so looking forward to catching up with them, some good food, good company and of course a little of the old vino.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Crochet Mood Blanket, Square One.

Inspired by this post on Moonstruck creations, I have decided to take up the challenge!

It is based on a post by Hazel's Crochet, the idea being to create either a granny square each week for the whole year (52 squares in all) or if you are the enthusiastic type one each day (365 squares in all).

Being realistic I know I have no chance of making a square each day, I have neither the time nor quite frankly the staying power for such a commitment, but one a week? Well I think I can mange that!

The original challenge is to use a colour that reflects your mood at the time. Well I am not about to rush out and buy any yarn especially for this project, reduce, reuse and recycle are my watchwords for the coming year. With that in mind I will be limited to choosing from what I've got, can recycle or can purchase cheaply. Initially I am going for using up what I've got.

So here's the first of the squares ...

...and the mood cautiously optomistic. 

I chose a greenish shade as I'm looking forward to spring and the new growth it brings both practically and metaphorically, whilst it is a pastel colour to represent the cautiousness I feel.

1st one complete - 51 to go!

Friday, 3 January 2014

A Tribute to Bloggers Everywhere

Often in blogland we paint a rosie picture (though not always). This is not an attempt to deceive, nor an attempt to appear perfect, merely that we don't wish to put a downer on things, and, myself included - we tend to post about our successes and gloss over failures. Yes we will often mention in passing when life overwhelms us with obstacles to be endured or overcome, but this often then signals a bloggy break, as indeed it did for myself.

I think we like to keep this little corner of our lives for positives and indeed it is a very positive space. I have returned to blogging after a 6 month absence and have been welcomed back with open arms and messages of support and hope. 

I appreciate them, each and every one. I also realise that for every one who posts a comment there will be at least another who will have read my post and will empathise with me even though they don't leave a comment.

During my absence I have lurked on the edges of blogdom, reading posts by others, taking comfort, inspiration, and support from them. I have rarely commented, but I have tagged along and even that small contact has helped keep me sane.

To bloggers everywhere xxx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year. New Start.

A lot happened last year following the post about the death of my mother, and unfortunately little of it positive. My sister's dog who had been a constant companion to my mother in her final days collapsed and died less than a week after her funeral. On the day of my birthday my, until then seemingly fit, father in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. From then he went rapidly downhill before passing away on the 21st December.

Jack - the best father in law anyone could ask for.

We also lost our little female cat Esme, she passed away peacefully, old age having caught up with her, only weeks before my father in law. To cap it all my arthritis has played up no end and on 23rd December I was diagnosed as diabetic. There also seemed to be loads of small, normally insignificant niggling problems, but given the overall theme of things this year they just seemed to be far worse than they would have otherwise been.

I'm not telling you this for sympathy, it's just been one of those years, but just to explain why I have neglected my little ol' blog.

But all this, I hope, has made me stronger. - I have coped and I am looking forward to drawing a line under 2013 and embracing the clean slate that is 2014.

Looking back there have been little pockets of positivity.

We arranged a Peter Pan themed birthday party for Flic's 6th birthday. This was held in the garden of my youngest daughter. The weather was glorious and the whole thing a runaway success. The parents of the young guests all commented on how good it was to attend a child's party with good old fashioned party games, rather than just at some expensive commercial play area.

We holidayed in a beautiful cottage on the south west coast of Scotland with my daughter Rachael and granddaughter Flic. It was such a relaxing time, and we were fortunate with the weather, we spent every evening at the beach with Flic playing on the sand until the sun began to go down.

The supply job, I took on way back in April as a four week temporary job, lasted full time to July. I was then asked to go back in September to cover a maternity leave, but as they knew I didn't really want to work full time they arranged for me to work only four days a week. I have had Wednesday of each week off, and it made such a difference, giving me the opportunity to have several lovely lunchtime outings with each of my daughters. The teacher who was on maternity leave returned the last week of term, however she also only wants to do four days a week, so, from the beginning of the new term I am continuing to teach there one day a week (Wednesday!). I am so pleased about this as it is a lovely school and I really enjoy working there.

Rachael and Flic have moved back into the village where I live, so my darling granddaughter is only a short walk away instead of a ten mile car journey.

We had a wonderful day out at the beginning of December, just before things with my father in law became really critical, to Beamish Museum with Flic and Rae. It was the start of the Christmas festivities there and we rode the horses on the steam powered merry go round to Christmas tunes played on the steam organ. Flic & her mam visited Santa, and we oldies tagged along too, we sat in front of a lovely warming open fire while Santa chatted away to our lovely bairn and gave her not one, but two little gifts.

At Beamish

I signed up for a Santa Swap way back at the end of June. Because of everything that was happening I almost forgot about it, but thankfully remembered at the beginning of November and was able to get things sorted to send my swap partner, Pauline. I was so pleased I did as this gave me something positive to focus on.  I received some beautiful presents and a gorgeous handmade Santa Sack to put them in.

The Santa Sack will be in use for many years to come. If you want to see what I sent to my swap partner you can find piccies on Pauline's blog because as usual I forgot to take any before I sent it off.

Sooo... overall I'm glad to see the back of 2013 and am looking forward to a new and hopefully more positive year with lots more blogging.

Happy New Year everyone - let's hope it's a good one!
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