Monday, 23 November 2020

Chasing the Sunrise

 Hello Lovelies, how are you doing? I hope you are coping ok with this strange, socially distant world we are presently enduring.

I'm thankful every day that here in the U.K we are still able to get out for some (unlimited even) daily exercise at the moment.

Since my retirement this summer I can make the most of almost any window of good weather. How lucky is that!

Today we were FINALLY forecast a seriously chilly night and a frosty start. I woke before my 7am alarm, and after dropping eldest off at work, I headed out into the first light.

I love that faint pink horizon.


And the tracery of the bare branches.

A more distant horizon appeared at the top of the hill.

The sky was definitely lightening.

It was bright enough to notice the fine, frosty details.

But still great for silhouettes.

I was on a busier road by the half way mark. Despite this deserted picture I was regularly dodging the early morning traffic. So many people still heading off to work despite our lockdown, like hubby and son do.

We may be still in Autumn but this scene was pure wintery beauty to me.

Ahh, here comes the sunrise.

Getting higher, just look at the clouds ....so pretty.


Morning horses. 


I'm sure you are glad of your warm coat. And the sheep are glad of theirs too :0)


Presently I arrived at this small, neighbouring village. I thought I had spotted an impressive bird on the shed roof here.


But it was a sculpture...I do love a bit of whimsy, don't you?


Oh great, time to leave the traffic behind.


And be treated to a perfectly Autumnal scene.


Oak leaves, acorn and fungi. Simply wonderful.


Here's a zoomed in picture, which I took whilst pretty much blinded by the bright sunlight. I turned out so nicely, it's really making me smile.


Time to cross the bridge now. I need to get back in time to ensure my 6th former is up in time for his 10am start.


Always time to stop and appreciate some of the first frost crystals you have seen in months though.


It was also time for a quick selfie...sorry!
 Gosh I'm not a fan of turning the lens around these days, but I like to record milestones here....and I am very happy to have officially (well as officially as this challenge gets for me)  completed this year's Walk 1000 mile challenge. 

This year a few of the miles were done on a treadmill, during our tighter spring lockdown, so they are not exclusively "boots on" but almost....and I'm going to allow myself this change in my own rules during a pandemic!
This is the 6th consecutive year I have managed to walk 1000 miles, and the earliest finish so far. Beating my only other early finish (2016) by a few days. I've just been reading that finish post HERE. Such a similar day...and "certificate" 😄 


Looking back at where I've just walked.


I do love the big pond next to the path here.


And it's attractive ducks.


Here change is happening...and paddocks are being planted with grape vines. It could be worse, much worse.


I'm happy as long as there's room for the wildlife.


Yay, the final frosty stile...soon be home for my porridge. I was certainly looking forward to it by this point.


What next for my walking?  I'll keep going and hope to reach 1100 miles by the end of the year "all being well"....my saying for 2020 and beyond!

 I've so enjoyed writing this post, it's really lovely to be back here and I will aim to post regularly again...possibly weekly....all being well 🤞😀.

I'll also reply to any comments you leave...so do check back if you want a "chat".

Jacquie x

Edited to Add....I'm so sorry if I appear to have  ignored any comments you have left me in the past few months. I've just found a load awaiting moderation which I didn't know about...I used to get an e. mail about them, but not now apparently.

Apologies again xxx


Thursday, 18 June 2020

Adjusting

Hello Lovely blog readers, where do I start?!
So, so much has happened to us all since my previous post. I don't feel that I can put into words the effect it has had on me, and yet I know I'm really blessed, we are all ok...so far, touch wood, not counting any chickens.

So, as life begins to gain a little more normality, I do sincerely hope this finds you all well. It's hard to know how much personal stuff to publish....and I don't think I can share too much at the moment, but  I need to say I've struggled, and stumbled.

But this is my happy space and it's good to be back, sharing the small stuff that gets us through the days and means so much.

So lets have a bit of a catch up shall we? Back in late March , when eldest was furloughed, middle son came home from uni, youngest stopped going to school and hubby and I carried on working as normal (except my work was becoming far from normal) I was feeding my local Robin...


And trying to find some solace in my favourite places.


The lock-down meant the local roads were super quiet so we ventured out on a family bike ride.


There was time to tackle the little shed of horrors..


Were I found many ancient, mouse chewed, seeds..



And took a chance on planting a few
 

I still got the shed ship shape too...


And we got a new visitor...one that was still allowed despite social distancing. Meet Fred, the little lady tortoise. She belongs to my mum-in-law, but is staying with us for a while. Her age is uncertain, but hubby remembers her from his childhood, so she's over 50...


There were also cute creatures in the local fields..


And much walking with eldest, who loves the outdoors as much as me.


Another distraction was baking...and boy did I need distractions...


Playing with rainbow yarn felt like a good thing to do, to share a bit of hope with the neighbours.


This bunting is still in our front window.


Like many others I felt the urge to try and grow some food this year, so we made a start on a kitchen garden area...


And the natural world did it's wonderful spring thing...thank goodness.


We even had blue tits nesting in the garden for the first time..


In April I was really struggling. Jigsaws proved a great distraction. I don't think I've ever completed a puzzle as an adult pastime, but getting absorbed in an idyllic scene suddenly seemed like a lifeline.


Eldest likes to be busy, so was invaluable around the house. The "recycling cupboard" before...


And after...


I planted potatoes in old compost bags, along with carrots and lettuce in the big planter.


In England we were still allowed to drive a short distance for once daily exercise...but I stuck to walking from home, and that got less and less as the footpaths suddenly seemed busy with people.


I gave the kitchen a fresh coat of paint.


And looked at the pretty rubbish mileage I was managing in April. A was suddenly afraid to leave the house alone, so walks were mostly short evening wanders with hubby.


There's definitely a "sewing season" in this house...when the conservatory is not too cold or too hot, so I made the most of that by making myself a new apron. Drawing around my "messy job" apron...


And even making my own bias binding as the fabric I had was only just big enough.


I just love how  creative projects evolve as you go along, it's another fantastic news avoidance pastime..


I really took my time over this project and tried my hardest to make is as neat as I could...


To spend as much time as possible on this and not thinking about the virus.


Here I am, hiding in my own bubble of creativity...and the only outside space I felt safe in..


Of course there is always yarn to fall back on too, though the easy rhythm of the ripple didn't always fill my head enough...


I do love how this second temperature blanket is coming along...



I also  made the ubiquitous "banana bread"


And watched IG videos from one of my favourite gardens, which was closed to the public. These were honestly a highlight of my day.


In mid May restrictions were eased a little, and one early morning eldest and I drove to the woods.


we were too late for the bluebells, but it still felt like a magical place.


All the fresh green against the blue.


And frothy cow parsley....


Back at home I got out my pencils to make a birthday card for my niece...


I also made a second apron, this one was for my sister-in-law. Once again I only just had enough fabric...so this one also got contrasting ties, but I manged to make two pockets from the cut-outs...


At the end of the month my twins said goodbye to their teens , and I used up the last of my flour on a cake....what a strange way to turn twenty. No night out or meet up with friends and family. We had a barbecue and there was a video call with extended family, plus lots of messages from friends. I suppose it will be memorable, just not in the way you might hope at that age. 


In more sewing news, I took two patchwork cushion covers...


sewed them together


Cut them in half length ways and made two parasol covers...


Ta dah....all ready for when we can go on holiday...


Personally I'd be more than happy to stay home this year, but I will go with the majority family vote on that matter. I think I am writing this now because I am finally feeling a bit more like my old self

 I do love the idea of some coastal walking. This puzzle was also a joy to do...


 This is another Ravensburger puzzle. I love their quality and the additional info they give you...Sounds amazing....



Phew, almost up to date now. I'm sure you are glad!

I dug out these really old hexagon flowers with the intention of finally making something with them this year.


It's been fun playing with little bits of fabric again.


Just this week I was inspired to draw the most beautiful shop, Liberty of London,  which will now be reopened, as Lockdown eases further.


 I wont be rushing off to the shops myself just yet...but at least it seems like there will be a day....not sure when... that things will be normal again.


Eldest is now back at work too, and I'm so pleased for him. Mum has been a star, staying put and entertaining herself with her art. Just this week she visited the garden, it was short and sweet, but lovely to see her in person for more than a five minute doorstep chat when I deliver her shopping.
I hope things are gradually improving where you are? And if they are not, I hope this helps you to see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Much love to you

Jacquie x