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Monthly Archives: December 2014

last-minute ramblings

Some roses from a friend, not for Christmas but just because

Some roses from a friend, not for Christmas but just because

You’ll have to forgive me, but this truly is rambling. I’m so tired I can’t be coherent.

Our Advent calendar has nearly completed its greeting of MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU but for the last letter and the final punctuation point, which is provided by some holly leaves. Have I managed any sewing? Yeah, nah. Had I planned any? Uuh, yeah. But all of those plans were a bit like the SMS conversation I had today with Eldest Niece.

She’s newly in a home and I thought she might like some homewares or something culinary. Coffee pods (easy, but a good gift for someone who uses them and there’s a nice variety of specialist flavours out for Christmas)? She’s stopped drinking coffee. Right. Okay. How about a runner for the dining table (my original plan, only time is now perilously short)? They don’t have one. What, not even a breakfast bar? Nope. So no placemats, either (a more time-consuming alternative, but definitely an option)? No. Yeah, right. I accept that this means I’m off the hook with one lot of last-minute sewing but it hasn’t solved the problem of a Christmas gift for her and her partner. In my defence, I’d washed and ironed the fabric and had been trying to get details of her – now known to be non-existent – table for some time from every other member of her family. So, you know, plans? Yeah.

If you’ve been trying to sew or cook or craft or knit or create something in whatever medium tickles your creative fancy, I do hope you’ve been more successful than I have. I hope, too, that your year has been less chaotic than ours. I often tell myself that next year will be better and sometimes it is. I also remind myself that any notion of a new year is purely academic, since one day simply rolls into the next and the years don’t do much but add wrinkles to your skin and grey to your hair. I don’t really mind that. Losing muscle memory is a little more worrying – I sat down to practise some scales the other day and couldn’t remember the intervallic progression for one lot; how many times have I played those things? – but I can still knit and sew. Next year I aim to include more of those because I fret when I don’t have a bit of knitting to keep me occupied in the evening or a little sewing project to work on at the weekend. I’m a nicer person and considerably less stressed when I have a creative outlet.

May your Christmas be wonderful, whether it’s a crafty one or not. 🙂

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Musing, Sewing

 

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in the pink

There have to be more flattering angles but the Pink's the Thing

There have to be more flattering angles but the Pink’s the Thing

Today was a work day and I had to head out the door at about the same hour as usual although my destination was in an entirely different direction from usual. I wasn’t in my usual office attire, either: I was wearing as much pink – my team’s colour – as I could find (the cardigan was a late addition because the aircon was ridiculously cold). You might ask why such weirdness? Today we had a whole-of-organisation day where we played silly Corporate Games, discovered who amongst us were the truly competitive and generally laughed a lot. It’s been a tough year for many not-for-profit organisations and ours has been no exception, so this lightheartedness was an attempt at amelioration. I think it worked splendidly.

As well as discovering the cut-throat competitors, there were a few surprises, including a couple from the Pink Team. Two of our number proved to have a steady hand and excellent hand-eye coordination so that their combined score ensured we came second in the nut-piling competition. And I trounced the opposition with my rubber-band-flicking skills. In the government office where I worked way back in my youth, we held ferocious competitions at morning teatimes doing that very thing (no need to start on the psychoanalysis; we could have told you even then why we were doing it). I admit modestly that I got pretty good at it. I haven’t had such fun in years and I’ve got my boss running scared 🙂

Tomorrow, of course, it’s back to work but we’ve had a thoroughly good time away from the office. At this time of year in particular, wouldn’t you reckon that’s one of the best ways of staying in the pink 😉

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Food, Musing

 

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adding things to roses

One day it’s only halfway through November, the next we’re nearly a third of the way through the Advent calendar. I put the tree up last weekend and it will do. I hung our rosy wreath on the outside door this year but decided that it needed something else. So I knitted a little Father Christmas using the pattern found here – eclectic homelife.blogspot.co.uk – and hung him in the middle. It sort of works. Dr B says, and I agree, that he needs to be in a different plane but no matter. He’s there.

But any crafty stuff of real helpfulness? No, that hasn’t happened. I managed to break a needle on my sewing machine yesterday afternoon when I was doing a rescue job on Dr B’s favourite jeans. I couldn’t even muster the energy to swear about it! There’s a big part of the problem right there: exhaustion. It happens every year but we’ve had a busier than usual year this time and I congratulate myself daily for just putting one foot in front of another in order to get things done.

Do you have that experience, too? There are days I think the Clauses have it easy: a whole year to dedicate to nothing but Christmas! On the other hand, I truly don’t want my life taken over by dedicating it to preparation for one single day. You miss out on too many other things if you do that. On the other, other hand, it would make this time of year less difficult and perhaps less busy (if you’re anything like me, you find you have something extra-curricular happening nearly every day for most of December) so that we could actually enjoy ourselves more. There’s no simple answer, I know.

However your year has been progressing and whether or not your are now looking at the sewing machine with one eye and the clock with the other, all the best for the last few hundred metres of the race.

PS: I know it’s my blog and I can do what I like with it, but I apologise sincerely for the lack of photos and for links that are just URLs. I’m still without a computer and to say I’m typing this with fingers crossed doesn’t come close to describing how disempowering it is to return to using old, unreliable technology. Still, it gives me more time to add things to my roses, so it can’t be all bad. Right? 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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