dear diary :: gradually moving into the slow lane

There is no doubt that I am slowing down a little and can feel the pressure and urgency of the run up to Christmas fading away now. If a job isn’t finished today I can quite comfortably carry it over until tomorrow and not worry about it.

On Sunday I collected together all the Christmas decorations dotted around the house – I decided I might try storing them in a different place – yet to be identified….and in a different container to the many small boxes they occupied. So at the moment they are pending in the craft room waiting for a new home.

It feels good to have space around me now – not that I had many decorations this year, they were kept to an absolute minimum – but the clearer ledges and tops of the units look simple and uncluttered . Not ready yet for spring colour, like my calendar suggests, I am continuing with winter whites around the house, plenty of white candles, white flowers, and white pottery. A quiet representation of the time of year.

After removing all the Christmas cards I can now display all the thank you cards that keep arriving through the post. It is so nice when people take the time to say thank you and I have been writing out my own cards and delivering them.

There are birthdays to attend to as well – inside this envelope…..

is the last of my pressed flower cards, so card making is another project for my list – but perhaps another day.

This morning I sat down to look at decluttering and updating some of my document files on the computer. I seem to have duplicate files here and there taking up space. I had intended to just do a couple of files but once I started I found it hard to stop and actually spent most of the day deleting old files to the recycle bin.

It is amazing what I found though -articles I had copied down into Word and not got back to reading, craft ideas and ideas for meal plans – in fact a wealth of information at my fingertips.

The weather this morning was cold…. extremely cold and quite blustery but just right for putting the sheets and pillowcases outside on the line, and it all dried in no time but we had to run out and hold it down with extra pegs.

I just managed to catch the best of the weather as after lunch it rained ……heavily. But now the ironing pile is growing faster than I can iron.

DH was busy cutting the pantry wall shelving to size until it got too gloomy to carry on. Only two more shelves to go and then I can start to fill them with my storage jars. He also renewed the car insurance for both cars – a hefty bill – but it is far cheaper to pay the whole lot at once, a monthly direct debit is dearer as they add on a credit fee.

I have a bit of a backlog of receipts to enter onto my computer Money program, so I have grouped them by weeks and intend to do one batch a day each morning. Only then can I balance the accounts and run the reports that will tell me how much we have spent in each category for the year.

Little by little I am doing a bit of tidying up and sorting out – I am hoping by the end of the week to have made some impression on the house and it will not only appear tidy on the surface but be tidy in the cupboards and behind the scenes.

Creating health and wellbeing

I am hoping my new focus on my health and well being will improve my memory as I forgot to weigh myself and take vital measurements again this morning. This requires a post it note reminder on the bathroom door tonight!

So far I can report that I have eaten, all but for one day, an apple each morning. The meditation has not gone quite so well and the reason for this is that once I start a job I hate to break off. With so many extra household chores at the moment removing decorations, stripping beds and putting the house back together, the meditation sessions have been furthest from my mind. Just when I think about doing it I glance at the clock and find it is time to make the next meal.

The meals are going well though – lunch was homemade supergreen soup with some left over crusty bread and last night we had courgettes, mushrooms, celery and onion on a bed of couscous with grilled halloumi slices followed by some fresh raspberries (reduced yellow sticker from Tesco) and just a smidgen of ice cream.

For lunch today we had homemade mushroom soup and tonight a lentil shepherd’s pie with carrot, leek, celery and onion and topped with mashed swede and potato. Unfortunately, I am a bit of a potato fiend and ideally I need to cut down on eating quite so many so I did a slightly higher ratio of swede.

Today is the start of the Yoga class – my knee is still not good and I am still deciding if I should go. I did phone the physio yesterday for an appointment to get an assessment done but didn’t get through so will try again today.

At the moment I am reading an interesting book called Get Well Soon by Nick Duerden who wrote the book after having a very debilitating illness which so far in the book was diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue syndrome after a severe bout of flu. There is very little the NHS can do to help this condition and at the time it was a very controversial subject (probably still is) – there is no magic pill or cure and the book is an account of how he tries to help himself through all kinds of diet, exercise and complimentary therapies to get well. So far he is finding that not a lot of what he tries is helping to alleviate the profound tiredness he is experiencing. As the book progresses I am supposing he does find an answer.

Until I can settle down into a routine of meditation it would not be a good idea for me to introduce any further changes that require time. I am however going to start taking a few supplements that I have identified as being advantages. I already take a daily Vitamin D capsule as my consultant says we don’t get enough in this country during the winter months and quite a lot of the population are found to be extremely lacking when tested.

My neighbour who is Polish and her husband who is English both had a few tests done whilst visiting Poland before Christmas. They cost £30 and they could order a range of tests for such things as cholesterol, diabetes, cancer markers, arthritis and vitamins etc quite easily over there; they just tick off the ones they require from a long list. The results came back within a few days and showed that she was borderline for Vitamin D levels and he was severely lacking. What a shame these kind of walk in requests for blood tests are not available over here – after listening to the health care they get over there it feels like the NHS is quite behind the times over here.

16 Replies to “dear diary :: gradually moving into the slow lane”

  1. It didn’t seem to get light here, yesterday, until after midday. It was very dismal! Must admit, I love potatoes, as they are so versatile. But I have found I eat quite a few sweet potatoes now. Obviously a different taste, but I’m really enjoying them. Perhaps go to the yoga class still and what you’re able, while your knee is still a bit iffy. Your class instructor should be able to give you an alternative position to try in certain instances. A pharmacist told me once that 75% of our population have a vit D deficiency in the winter months. You’ve reminded me to get some more! Love your ‘winter whites’ around the house 🙂


  2. I hear you on forgetting to/not fitting in things in the mornings. That is the time that I do my yoga, I have realised that if I leave my bedroom in the morning not having done it I forget so now I have made sure that I do it before going downstairs each morning. If I miss the odd morning I don’t worry about it now, I just try and make sure it doesn’t become any more than that!

    I too love the uncluttered feel that you house has after taking down the decorations, that is Winter isn’t it.

    I am glad to hear that you are moving towards the slow lane and that you are good with it taking time.


    1. I have a room set up to do yoga but at the moment we have a mattress topper on the floor for when Little L stayed in that room. As DH is trying to finish the pantry I have not asked him to help me get it back in place underneath the mattress on our bed. We also have a crib and bedside cot in there to sell for my daughter. When the house is back together again it will be a bit easier.


  3. Thank you so much for this lovely sweet post. An inspiration. It has helped me to realize that I am not alone in the world with life. Again, thank you dear lady from London, Ontario, Canada. (-:


  4. I like the sound of your recipes. I have had vegan familystaying and really made an effort with the meals – which I enjoyed tremendously. I have a lot of the ingredients you mention left – so watch this space as I experiment.


  5. Is that the Country Homes and Interiors calendar? I’ve had it the last two years, but this year my husband brought up from Edinburgh (the furthest north store in the UK) a Waitrose magazine which is free with our card, and there was a calendar with that. I like the recipes on it, but the space for each day is very, very small, which makes noting appointments a bit of a challenge. The CH&I one has a nice big square! So I think I’ll revert next year, even if it is at the price of buying the magazine. I normally read it free on the PressReader portal on my laptop, but would make an exception for the Christmas edition. Sometimes it’s nice to have the actual physical copy.
    PS – Headspace exists on laptop format too.


    1. Yes it is Country Homes – I do occasionally buy a copy if I go up to our cottage or at Christmas and I have had the calendar now for a few years. I didn’t know Waitrose had one but then our store is 26 miles away so we only visit if we go to Sheffield to John Lewis and I still have the energy to go round after a few hours in John Lewis! Glad about the laptop version – I might be able to transfer it to my MP3 player.


  6. Quite a few years ago I was tested for Vitamin D and the result showed I had almost none in my system. I was prescribed Vit D (50k units)–a pill taken once a week. It took a couple of years on the med to get to recommended levels. Once there, I was told to take it only every other week, but within six months, my levels had plunged back down, so now the weekly med is an ongoing prescription–likely for the rest of my life. Perhaps you can see if that is an option for you if your levels are very low.

    As for lab tests…my doctor orders a series of them for me semi-annually based on my situation–she sees me twice a year to take stock of things. If I didn’t have insurance those tests would cost me almost $900 (£685) every six months. With insurance, I pay about 10% of that amount.

    I wonder if it might help if you tried meditation before the start of your day–or perhaps the end of your day. I do a similar activity first thing in the morning before I get involved in other things.


    1. I haven’t quite got into a routine with the meditation as yet – the big Christmas clear up has got in the way a bit. I will no doubt get there – I am actually looking at the afternon when all the chores are done. My levels are not actually low – I take it as a recovering cancer patient. I am advised by my consultants to take it permanently as it has been found to prevent certain cancers forming or returning. The NHS does not run to frequent tests so I have to guess what my levels may be – I take a maintenance dose of 2000iu with a month off each year during the summer. As I rarely get colds or flu I think they must be OK.


  7. Love the white theme!

    I have an app for 10 min meditations. Could you start with short ones, Viv? Easier to fit in 10 minutes! There are quite a few apps around.

    I have had low Vit D. Who’d have thought with all the Australian sun. But I cover up and in winter don’t get much sun. Also some people do not process/produce much. My GP had me taking VitD. At another time I’ve had very low iron – so onto iron I went. That was so low, my GP said if I didn’t improve, I’d have to have an infusion. So I definitely remembered to take the supplements. Think I also had to take calcium another time. I am due for a blood test and already have the referral. It’s covered under our NHS. Now I’m post menopause, I know my iron will be OK. Probably at the calcium-needing stage. And the way I avoid sun, maybe vit D.


  8. I love white and silver around the house in January. It always feels so crisp and fresh after all the colours of Christmas which can sometimes feel heavy to me.

    Your crafting is gorgeous and those little flower cards are beautiful. xx


    1. Thank you Suzanne – I just need to find time to make a few more now – the pile soon goes down but it does save a few pennies – cards are so expensive these days (I sound like my gran LOL!)xx


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