dear diary :: capturing daily life

I suppose in true British and blogging style I need to comment on the weather. There has not been one telephone conversation with friends and family this past week (and there were a lot) when we did not discuss the weather. Ice and icicles everywhere and that biting cold wind. The only exposed part of me when we ventured out was around my face so I doubled up on a very thick moisturiser to try and prevent me getting, what felt like, freezer burn.

Last weekend we stayed home in the warm not even going out for the daily allowed constitutional and I thought I would quite like to have another go with some DAS air drying clay that I bought about 2 years ago…… another project hanging around and overlooked for too long.

I wanted to have another go at making some gift tags and maybe try my hand at some little wall hangers. Although, I enjoyed experimenting with it I can’t say it is my favourite craft and so this might be the last time I do actually use it but it was good to have another go and now I can put that craft to bed. One of my aims this year is to simplify the craft materials that I have by making a decision on just which crafts I am going to focus on as I seem to dabble a bit here and a bit there and never really get to grips with any of them.

So these are some of the little tags and hanging plaques I made – quite cute but a lot of work and they still need sanding and smoothing – but that will be another day.

In the meantime my next knitting project will be for the two girls – Little L and Sweetie – a lightweight summer top in a 4 ply Rowan yarn that I bought last year from the lovely craft shop in Castle Douglas on our visit to Scotland. As I have two tops to knit I will keep it simple and have chosen the plainer of the two styles but have yet to decide on the higher or lower neckline. I am starting now with the hope that I can finish them by the time we see some sunshine and warmer weather. Casting on might even take place tonight if the mood takes me.

The childcare went well this week with little Freddie – he produced some lovely masterpieces with stickers and wax crayons and we managed a walk each day despite the temperature never getting above zero. Stopping to watch the ducks on this resourceful tiny duck pond in the backyard of a nearby terraced house is a favourite but it does make you feel even colder watching them splash about in the freezing cold water.

Even though we felt quite exhausted from looking after little Freddie we made the effort to drive up to see our ‘bubble’ daughter in North Yorkshire yesterday complete with a large homemade trifle and chocolate cake. She is currently on her own with the two girls, Little L who is only six and now being homeschooled (when Sweetie allows). Being just two Sweetie is rather a little whirlwind and a bit disruptive in the home classroom set up! My daughter is also finding it hard to get her own work done to the deadlines she has and many an evening is up until well after midnight trying to work while the children sleep.

She needed a break as it has been a long haul for her since Christmas especially with the schools being closed. There are far more subjects to get through in a day than there is time. We spent the day entertaining the grandchildren to give her a bit of a break and then we had a brisk walk together around her lovely village well wrapped up against the freezing cold.

Sweetie insisted she took a wooden spoon with her on the walk and spent most of the time trying to scoop and eat what was left of the snow on the verges!

Unfortunately, the picture I took is rather blurred but I think you can see that I have captured the fact that she was certainly on a mission.

We went back home to thaw out with some welcome hot chocoate and a piece of the Valentine’s cake I had made as a treat for all of us. Nothing special other than it was heart shaped, filled with fresh cream and topped with as much chocolate and sprinkles as I thought was indulgent but still permissable (which was a lot).

We all tucked in and consumed it without a murmur. Not a crumb left today.

My attempt at making a Valentine’s card for DH was altogether less successful – I was very short of time and had to resort to a rubber stamp again like last year – but, I am told, it is the thought that counts – mine is the one on the right. He made one for me, the one on the left, which is much better and quite sweet.

Homemade is so much nicer and must have saved us a tidy £6 or £7 on bought cards.

So another busy week for us and we are preparing for an even busier one next week which will include Shrove Tuesday and half term – but, like any pancake lover, I have my lemons ready. As far as housework is concerned I have done very little and I feel as if my world is in a bit of a muddle; with Covid, the cold spell and having many of our family dependant on our help it is hard not to feel both stretched and overwhelmed.

 My focus word this year is consistency and how strange then that an email dropped into my inbox about a podcast entitled ‘Why consistency is the key to Success’

It grabbed my attention and I am all ears.

In a nutshell the author of the podcast believes that many of us overestimate what we can do in a short period of time and wildly underestimate what we’re capable of accomplishing over a decade or a number of years. Above all, he is a believer in process over outcome, the journey not the destination.

So my blog is aptly titled as I am all about the journey and my chosen word could be the key to a good year for me.

Then coincidently on the 5th February Freda at Live Simply Simply Live asked her readers ‘are you remembering your word’ …………well, surprisingly, yes I am………does my life reflect my chosen word………well maybe not yet but I am on a journey and little bits of consistency, like the snowdrops in the garden, are appearing slowly here and there.

Have a good week everyone. x

21 thoughts on “dear diary :: capturing daily life

  1. Happy Valentines Day. I love Sweetie and her wooden spoon. What a determined stride! Your poor daughter. So hard with so many responsibilities and demands.

    Both the Valentines cars look lovely and I’d be happy to have received either. DH and I shared a dozen oysters as our Valentines treat.

    On weather, I’d be talking about it too. I’m so jealous of all the snow and ice. I’ve been swooning over the photos on Instagram and FB.

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  2. I love both Valentuine Cards eqally- I am sure he would be pleased with yours. The North Yorkshire village looks vaguely familiar but then many of our village greens are similar. I just don’t like to think you came anywhere near where I live (Wensleydale( without offering me a slice of that choccy cake!

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    1. Oh Pat if only I could visit you I would be round and you would have first slice I am still mindful of your invite for coffee and one day I am sure we will meet when this virus is under control. The village is not quite so near you it is near to Thirsk as she moved last year from the Masham area which was much closer.

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    1. I am dithering over the neckline but then ‘dithering’ is my middle name! I did wonder if the lower neckline might come a bit too low on a child but then I am not sure if the higher neckline with the keyhole fastening at the back will be more difficult for a novice knitter like me!

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  3. Lovely to hear from you, personally I think the lower neckline for the six year old and higher for your younger granddaughter. Hope you are keeping well, kind regards margaret

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    1. I hadn’t thought of doing the necklines like that but maybe will do that. Yes we are very well here other than the tiredness but that is getting better as the weeks roll on and we get used to having a two year old around again. stay well.

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  4. That is a very scrumptious looking cake! We always say it’s a sign of something yummy if silence falls as everyone eats :). I love the photo of Sweetie…she is very clearly on a mission, she’s obviously a girl who knows what she wants. 🙂

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  5. Aww … Sweetie is definintely a girl on a mission with that wooden spoon, you’ve captured her brilliantly, anything less than a blur would not have done her justice!

    I guess it’s only having dogs that has made me drag myself out of the warmth of the flat for this past week, it’s been bitingly cold. One day I even wore my mask although there was no one around to protect, my own hot breath kept my nose from getting frostbite.

    I was seriously annoyed with myself for not having taken my camera out the other day when the river was completely frozen over. I might never get to see that again, it was thawed out down the middle by the next day.

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    1. I wish I had thought of the mask idea – I will remember next time if it gets that cold again. it has been quite warm today here and I got my washing out on the line. I would have loved to see your frozen river I am always quite intrigued by the story of the Thames freezing over.

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  6. I can certainly appreciate your tiredness and how difficult it is to try to meet the needs of your family. An impossible task for parents of youngsters (but esp the mothers) these days to meet all the demands of home, schooling and their own jobs. And so difficult for grandparents. Wanting to help but dealing with their own time and energy issues…and, all too often, distance. No easy answers, but we do what we can.

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  7. Your cake looks fantastic. At the moment it is hard to be consistent in anything, as things are changing so frequently, so if you are managing it even a little bit you are doing very well indeed.

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  8. Your Valentine’s Day cake looks delicious and the cards are both lovely. I had to chuckle at the photo of little Sweetie and her spoon. I can imagine the determination at work there. So good that you could help to give your daughter a break. I feel for all of the young parents who are finding themselves adding teaching to their many other duties.

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  9. Those lovely little clay shapes make very good Wind chimes when strung together at different heights on a few lengths fishing line.

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  10. It must be incredibly tough for parents (and it seems women are bearing the brunt) to work from home and do homeschooling. Even tougher if there’s a pre-schooler in the mix. Scottish P1-P3 pupils went back yesterday (age 5-7), which is lovely to think of.
    Haha, I too have worn my mask outside when walking. It was so cosy that I’m thinking of investing in a polar explorer balaclava for future cold winters once masks are (hopefully) a thing of the past.

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