ahem..

So my friend Yvonne said to me on the phone a couple of months ago “Please update your blog” – I agreed and then proceeded to procrastinate with a vengeance…

It is far to scary to attempt to recount all that  I’ve been up to in the many months since I last posted so I am just going to start with the here and now..

Out my window as I am writing..

The view out my window is lovely and green – that is because we have had eleventy million litres of rain bucketing out of the sky all summer.  Believe me this is only a slight exaggeration.  Now normally I like rain – specially heavy rain, but I like it to be appropriately cool – rain and cold, they go together don’t they?  Instead we have had rain and hot – so sweaty hot that the obligatory walk with the dogs ends up with me as wet as they because it is far to warm to wear a coat.  I hate that.

The other small thing of note in the photo is the surprisingly lovely and incredibly long lived pom pom flowers which grew from our neglected leek plants.  Well worth growing just for the flowers.

The last thing I note from this photo is the card celebrating the 1st of August – Lammas, the first harvest festival. We have had so little sun it seems a bit of a swizz that we are already on our way back into the dark half of the year.  Ah well, at least I will get the cold as well as the rain that I am moaning about.

This morning I spoke to my Mum in New Zealand for about an hour.  She told me about her week – playing bowls, outings with friends, her renewed interest in Coronation St  (oh yuck) and I told her about the amazingly wonderful effects of HRT that I have finally twisted my GPs arm into prescribing.  I feel like a ‘normal’ person again, truly incredible and I wish so much that I could have started taking them years ago.

I did do some research before swallowing the first pill – and amongst it all I found this article from the New York Times really interesting if you are trying to make your mind up about it yourself.

The rest of my day has been filled with house work, walking the dogs (one Toastie and one visiting aged and quite lovably stupid Springer Spaniel named Alfred, whose elderly owners are both in hospital.

Alfie the Great

My other job of the day has been to revive my Etsy shop and start to list some of my new creations.  Not that I think that anyone will actually buy them but more that I have to justify continually making new ones and purchasing the yarn to make them.

Also – a couple of months ago I committed to go to Rome for four days the last week in September with some friends and the trip has worked out to be a lot more expensive than I expected. As Mr T did not want to come and I am spending vast amounts I need to show willing and at least try so sell some of my wares.

Here are the ones I listed today..  They are great fun to make – partly because I am not using any pattern so there are no rules and I get to use whatever yarn I want, including strips of tee shirt.

Also they look good on me so they will look good on anyone!

New ragged scarf

That is my day so far – I am off now to feed my furry friends and settle down for my currant fave True Blood and a little hooking.. Have a good one all..

Bring on the light..

The first thing I do when I get in the door from work is to grab a lead, a poo bag and a small Toastie and head for the Great Outdoors.  At this time of year it is a pleasure as I know that I will be walking in the light and pretty much mostly in the dry.

It is pure pleasure to see everything regenerating, not just the plants but the birds and animals as well – everyone is out and about and fulfilling the three Fs, feeding, fighting and .. .well you know the last one.

A couple of photo highlights from our walk this afternoon..

 

Pheasant females browsing with their man happily share the field with rabbits

Day light saving starts this weekend so it will be even lighter in the evenings and of course it is the Spring Equinox tomorrow, yay!

Here is my little table all ready  for a celebration with daffodils from our garden and the patchwork table runner that I put together a while back.

See you tomorrow

No Specific Reason..

The last four days have been lovely – not for any specific reason, just lots of little reasons all piled up.

Friday, spending time with my friend Louise in her shop, and then with other friend Emanation at Booths Book Shop cafe eating spanking hot chips with garlic mayo and sipping to die for real hot chocolate.  M then came back to mine and we crocheted and talked until after 10pm when she departed and T finally got home from work.  Huge enjoyment to have company for the evening and to be treated to part of M’s life story.

Saturday was also a treat because T didn’t have to start work till 6pm so we had the whole day.  Utterly freezing out so we just had to go for a walk of course.  Took a new track that passes up the side of Hay Cemetery and then follows a stream up to common land finally returning via the path that leads to Hay car park.

I love being able to walk through the countryside like this.  The people here are really lucky to have all these right of ways and paths.

T did his good deed for the day by removing the huge sheets of ice in the sheep’s water trough.  They were so thirsty they ran up straight after and started drinking.   It was so cold that not even all the exercise over heated me and my face was going numb.  Then we had a walk up to the Co-op for supplies and home for soup and toasted sandwiches – bliss.

Sunday again very restful, ending the weekend with wine and nibbles at our friends house and a brisk walk home.

Now today – Monday, I have talked to my friend Kate in NZ, posted parcels, got a job application and done some packing.  It is so good being well.. such a novelty.  I keep thinking something really good must have happened but there is nothing specific – just being well, good-humored, not over-anxious, not tired for no reason, no crying, no dwelling on all of lives manky bits, it’s simply bloody wonderful.

Some photos:

 

 

 

Plaque on fallen angel grave

 

 

 

 

Hide out

 

 

 

 

Thirsty sheep

 

 

How Not to Have a Sex Life and Other Stories..

I have had a long day but thought to blog about some of the things I missed out yesterday.  No photos this time though.. (well, maybe one).

Firstly , and astoundingly,  I am mentally well for the first time in ages – this is wonderful and I am trying to enjoy every moment.  I had been having a go with a new antidepressant called Sertraline (a SSRI also called Zoloft), which seemed to work well for me.  After a while however I ran into a wee problem that is apparently common for many of us poor bastards on SSRIs, and is also responsible for large amounts of people not completing their course of treatment. Which is what has happened to me, except I have stayed well – long may it last!!

I had been meaning to  write about this problem for some time but could never get my head around exactly what I was going to say without giving too much information.  Then when I was paying a visit to one of my favourite bloggers  I came across her post on the same subject – and here it is. .  Why reinvent the wheel huh? And she says it so much better than I could.  It is really interesting reading some of the post comments as well.

I first came across Dooce’s (Heather Armstrong’s) blog when I became aware after four years, that the mystery illness I was suffering from was actually depression.  She had been through the hell of post-partum depression and was so badly affected that she had ended up in a psych unit.

I love her blog for many reasons, not the least being that she shows it is possible to be on  depression meds and still have a lovely life.   Also because she and her husband John strongly remind me that not all Americans are bonkers – Oh and because she takes photos of her dog Chuck with objects balanced on his head.. well maybe she is bonkers, but in a nice way..

Chuck

One of the most helpful things that I came across in my research about depression was information about mindfulness, which is why I go on about it so much.  The book I probably found the most helpful is called The Mindful Way Through Depression,  another is called The Noonday Demon – An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon.    This weekends Guardian bought an article by Tim Parks who has just had a book published called Teach Us To Sit Still, A Sceptic’s Guide to Health and Healing, which I found really interesting for his discovery of how mindfulness/meditation helped him with his illness.  It is on my Amazon Wish List.

Sunday’s Observer bought a wonderful interview with Christophoer Hitchens which can be read here, for anyone who is a fan of the man..

And last but nowhere near least, is the podcast which features Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Wilson in conversation on the subject of folklore.  So if you are after a little insight into the writing of the Discworld Novels  and/or just plain fascinated as I am, in how humans seem to really need to invent and tell ourselves stories, go and have a listen.

Sparkling..

A sparkling day today… one of those days that seem to be trying to make up for the fact that it was minus seventy billion degrees celsius last night and there is still, at 10.30am, enough frost on the pavement to make walking on the road a safer bet.

I set out to do a few essential tasks, mostly enjoyable, filling in my time sheet at work, visiting the bank, picking up fresh sour dough buns from Kate our own personal baker around the corner.  Took a few photos while I was out, just to show you – nothing special mind, just where I live..

The last of the photos are to show you some of the rest of my day.  Our Ikea trip last weekend was highly successful and our house is now full of shelves.  Which have all been erected but not without the odd melt down or two and a threatened divorce.   I spent part of today setting up the lights I got along with the shelves – still on a quest to fill our little house with light.

My good friend Julie is arriving on Wednesday night.  She is from New Zealand but spends several months each year working in Norway, this time she is stopping off on her way home to spend a week with us.  I can’t wait – it will be so good to see her.  I will be busy for the next couple of days getting the house ready as well as working.  Not long to go..

One of the shops I used to work in
The sister shop I used to work in as well - twenty paces down the road from the other one
A little dog who would like to get out and meet the other little dog who has just trotted past..
Henry the seventh on the Cheese Market wall has been joined by Christmas decorations already up for the big turn on in two weeks

Mouse Castle woods from the top of my road. I have been watching it slowly turning golden and rusty.
My quest to fight the dark goes on - this is my new glass lamp from Ikea

More Ikea lights - the ones against the wall that is.
Spiced apple chutney made by my own fair hands this afternoon..

One Thing at a Time..

Do you ever get the feeling there are not enough hours in the day?

When I get a day off, lately, I just feel completely crazed – so much to do, so little time.  The sheer fact that I have so much choice drives me mad and makes it difficult to concentrate

I got a pile of books for my birthday.  They are sitting there, on the book-case, gently mocking me – or smiling at me depending on my mood.  Yesterday afternoon they were mocking me and strengthened my resolve to FINISH the wonderful Mrs Ames by EF Benson (author of the excellent  Mapp and Lucia books, that I had from the library.  Library books first AND THEN the smirking pile..

 

My lovely pile

 

 

In addition to all this reading I have been endeavoring to watch my way through the utterly brilliant TV series The Wire,  compulsive it is.  Each dvd has three programmes (not enough) and I have usually managed to ingest them all in one night – has to be done..

Free time of course, has got more precious now I am working at the shop.  This is on my wish list of stuff to do today –

  • Write blog – tick 🙂
  • Go for a walk down the river (walks have shrunk the busier I have got – not good 😦  )
  • Visit Louise in her shop
  • Visit Ali at the Globe
  • Visit the laundromat – washing waits for no woman
  • Start to make another bag
  • Finish an owl
  • List my spare clothes on Ebay
  • Buy veg at the Thursday market
  • Cook tea
  • Go to the Stitch and Bitch this evening

As I  said – this is a wish list, not really a hope that I will get it all done!

My birthday by the way, passed happily, and many thanks to all of you out there who sent me messages.  It was great to be remembered.  I had the day off from work and spent it wandering around town, visiting friends and my work to pick up a huge bunch of flower. The evening I spent with new friends down at Kilverts as unfortunately my man Mr T had to work that night.

This is one of my favourite cards –

 

and this is what it said inside

 

isn't that brilliant?

 

 

 

Tudor knows I would like one of these (a real one though, please)

 

 

 

Birthday boots - heavenly! Have worn them to work twice and they are so comfy.

 

 

I guess the answer to the ‘to much to do’ problem is to appreciate and be thankful that you have so many wonderful things that you can choose to do and then pick one and totally enjoy it while you are doing it.  I know this – why do I find it so hard to remember?