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Wednesday, 29 December 2021

That was 2021


I've had a great year!  I know many people haven't but I'm a bit of an introvert and I've enjoyed my own company.

Few people realised a year ago that we would still be isolating and "being careful" but that's how it is and we are having to get used to the idea.  I'm not going to pubs and restaurants, going to shopping areas as infrequently as possible, and being very sparing in my (face to face) contacts with friends.  My pre-existing conditions make it somewhat likely that, if I get covid, I will be ill, and I feel that as I manage very well with just my own company, I can do my bit by being one less problem for the NHS.  

I'm finding plenty to do in my own home and am increasingly thankful for on-line shopping.  I've got a huge stash of crafty bits and pieces but there's often something I need to complete a project.  This year every Christmas present included something home-made, even if it was just a jar of chutney.  I've made great inroads into the fabric stash by making a lot of bags as presents.

I've taken myself well in hand weight-wise and have lost two stones, nine pounds (that's thirty seven pounds or seventeen kilos) even with the Christmas hiatus.  This means that I have lost almost six stone since the end of 2013.   I have had a (very necessary) knee replacement and am now walking again and  even with that set-back I have increased my annual step count slightly.  

Not only have I lost weight, it feels as though my house has lost weight too.  I will never be a tidy girl but decluttering and re-organising have made my bungalow rather more civilised and Annie-The-Home-Enhancer has made it super comfortable.  

I've had a couple of extra visits from my nephew, once to help out after my knee surgery and once to celebrate my seventieth birthday.  It would have been good to get out more myself but that wasn't to be.

My garden has flourished with the help of you-know-who so that my Christmas lunch included home-grown beetroot, onions, leeks, carrots and broccoli.  I've had flowers and veg and been able to enjoy sitting in the garden and eating meals out there.  

Life is good and I am truly blessed.  

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

It's an unwrap!

 I had a lovely Christmas although it was probably not much like yours and it looks as though most of you had a great time too.

I started my day with going to church at Market Rasen at 8am.  I offered to take the service there because the vicar has young children and I thought they might like extra time together on Christmas morning.  That's probably the best gift I gave to anyone.  

And it was a gift to me!  The 8am service is usually very quiet with maybe half a dozen people but many of my extended family came as did Annie-the-home-enhancer and her family so altogether we had twenty three people including nine children.  My cousin had brought a children's activity so there were just joyful, happy noises from the children's corner as everyone celebrated the birth of our Saviour.

After church we had a general present swap and then I came home to my traditional quiet day.  Except that I thought the phone would never stop!  So many good wishes (and quite a few making sure I wouldn't like to go for a noisy Christmas lunch as well!).  

Christmas lunch was a ham roll, mince pies and cream cheese.  I can never be bothered to cook much on Christmas Day and this year I couldn't be bothered to cook Boxing Day either.  Each day I opened a few presents, snoozed, listened to audiobooks and relaxed.

Yesterday I finally cooked my Christmas lunch: Three bird roast, pigs in blankets, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, peas, sprouts, tenderstem broccoli, chestnuts, lardons, and roast beetroot, parsnip, onions, carrots, and sweet potato.  All for me.  I didn't bother with pud!  

And after lunch I opened the last of my presents, a stocking filled with home-made treasures from my dear friend Bonnie, including these beautiful birds to hang on my tree.  

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Sneak peek!

 I've been quite busy making Christmas presents.  I've knitted and crocheted, made jam and chutney, and done quite a lot of sewing.   Here's a few of my creations.

I've made a lot of bags, using jelly roll strips from my stash.  One friend has quite a photogenic dog!  I made the wreaths to decorate plain brown paper carriers but a few friends have already removed them from the bags and hung them on the walls.  Which is all very well but it means that I have now given them a really boring paper carrier bag.  Hope they like the contents.

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

I think I might be on the naughty list

 because it's such a long time since I blogged. 

I was doing quite well on blogging my Christmas preparations then things went pear shaped.  I've still be preparing for Christmas but not blogging.

First of all the sewing machine had a major hissy fit.  So I tried to phone the nice little man who services my machine.  But he had closed down during the pandemic.  So I had to find a new nice little man.  Who (of course) was further away.  And he works only two days a week.  So off I went and delivered my machine.

And on the way back the windscreen wipers broke down.  This is not the season to be without windscreen wipers (and it's illegal anyway).  So I contacted the garage and they were fully booked.  But they fitted me in as I have been a customer for over twenty years.  But the part wasn't in stock.  And parts are (like everything else) a bit difficult to obtain at the moment.  So I had to wait a few days for parts.  When they came it was a two hour job with a correspondingly high bill.

And when I went to fetch my machines (I'd taken in two) the bill was also high so bang went the December budget.

And then I caught "the" cold.  It seems as though everyone who has caught a cold recently has said it's about the worst they've ever had and I would endorse that.  Over two weeks later I am still coughing for Britain.  It has really knocked me out

Those are my excuses.  But I'm hoping you will allow me to claim that I am

PS I'll post about some of my Christmas sewing later.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

23 more sleeps

 A poor little sheep has lost his way.  Sheep should herd together but this is a single solitary sheep.  Poor thing.  He can shelter in the stable.  I'd hate the posh cove who arrived yesterday to fancy a lamb chop.  

And I've posted all my Christmas cards!  Yay!  

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

24 more sleeps

 I've had this advent stable for the best part of twenty years now.  I think it cost about £60 when I bought it and that felt very expensive but it has given me far more than £60 of pleasure over the years. Each little cupboard contains a nativity figure so when I've turned it around and opened the cupboards on the other side, there will be just one more sleep.

Most years I put the figures back with a view to a logical order of getting them out the next year but last year I decided to go rogue and (apart from Joseph, Mary and Jesus) I put them away in a random order so I will be telling the Christmas story in an original style this year.  

First out is a very important chap, a king with a very expensive pot in his hands.  He looks very pleased with himself and he probably thinks he will be the most important person in the character.  For the time being he can stay near his camel - he's far too important to be in a smelly stable.


Otherwise known as That Was November, Now for December.

I feel that I should sign this post "Pincushion" as I have had my covid booster, my annual flu vaccine and the shingles shot which I was offered because I have passed seventy.

More progress has been made towards getting a wet room but it won't happen until the spring.  The landlord is also considering improving access to my bungalow and that has to wait for slightly warmer weather to get a good "cure" for concrete (apparently!) and all the work will be done at once.  I'm just deeply grateful for how much care is taken to keep me safe and well.

During November I've been out a little to shop in Brigg but the news of the omicron variant means that I shall now be minimising my social contacts again.  I've arranged to meet a couple of friends in a semi-outdoor cafĂ© and I'm taking two services over Christmas but otherwise I'm staying put.   

Christmas preparations are going quite well and I am sewing a little every day.  Using this blog as a record of my progress has been really helpful.  Your comments have spurred me on!