Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Lost my mojo for quite some time..... but it's coming back

 This is block 9 of 25, 8 inches square. I stopped stitching quite early in lockdown and only finished it last night.  I would sit down in my chair ready to go, but couldn't. I have been trying to fathom out why and the only thing I came up with is my stitching is my thinking time and it is all so overwhelming.

We were lucky to have our daughter up to stay. We rented a holiday cottage in the village for her to isolate in for two weeks. During that time she came over in the evenings for a socially distanced glass or two of wine in the garden. 

Sometimes it rained, sometimes it didn't. Thank heavens our parasol is huge so we could socially distance in the dry..... And then after the two weeks, we could hug. Never has it felt so good. She stayed another two weeks, working in my bedroom, Monday to Fridays whilst my husband did the same downstairs. I felt like we lived in an office building.

We've had an odd summer. very hot in April and then cooler. Much cooler, I had the heating on in the mornings to take the edge off it. Then August hit us with a heatwave. That ended in lightening storms for days, in fact over a week and we are still getting the odd one now.  The flowers are rotting whilst in bloom on their stems.

One hollyhock has bucked the trend and looks fabulous.

We are still shielding and will be until there's a cure or a reliable vaccination.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Living in times of Covid 19

I have appliqued a few more vases. Somehow although I sit down to sew, it doesn't happen. My mind is on other things. Things like at the time of writing 30,000 of our countrymen have died. The figure is more likely to be at least 50,000 as only those who were tested have been counted. We are in Lockdown, or more precisely we are Shielding which is one stage up from Lockdown. We don't go out to buy food, in fact we don't go out for anything at all except a little exercise, and to walk the dogs.
We are so lucky to live in an area where we can do this without coming across others. In fact if it weren't for worrying about others, this would be great. My husband is home all day every day, and I am pleased to say we get on really well. On so many online groups I see partners breaking up under the strain of being together 24/7.Being in Lockdown with anyone on the planet, I would chose him.

 The dogs are getting shaggier day by day. I have managed to cut round their faces and a little round their feet, but I don't feel confident at all.

The area we live in is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and it is well deserved.
The bluebells in the forest have been magnificent this year. We had the wettest winter on record, followed by the warmest sunniest April. This hasn't been good for farmers, crops were drowning in the fields and then when they finally could get back on the land without compressing the wet soil to plant, then things withered in the heat and the lack of rain.....  All of this brings to attention how much we rely on other countries for food imports. Covid 19, panic buying, and people eating at home all day every day have meant shortages in supermarkets. 

Some people have fallen through the cracks but on the whole our government stepped up and gave companies the right to furlough employees (if they couldn't work from home) on 80% of salary paid for by the government. Self employed people have a similar deal based on what they've been earning in the same period last year. However there are some businesses which won't recover. Tourism and entertainments, restaurants, pubs being a major ones. It will be a long time before we are willing as a country to be with other people. 

That's the upside of what they have done. But there have been major failures. Huge failures. Putting the country into Lockdown when the virus already had a hold on the population perhaps being the worst. Not maintaining our supply of PPE and keeping it in date, not ordering PPE early enough from other countries, not making use of British manufacturers ready and will to supply. Not having a enough testing.  Not looking after those in care homes. The list is endless.

Our daughter is still in London, working from home in a shared apartment. She still gets to exercise round Regent's Park and discovers new areas. These were taken this week.

If you think when your children grow up, you worry less, miss them less you are wrong. I need to hug her. It's a physical need. We have Portals which are good but nothing like having her here.

Ellie bought us some of her eggs. They are just so  very beautiful.

I have used online supermarket shopping anyway, in the first couple of weeks it was hard finding a delivery slot, but now our particular supermarket have recognised us as loyal customers and we get a delivery every week. I used to have deliveries every 4-5 days, but this is an easy workaround. For things unavailable online one of the villagers goes to the supermarket down the hill in Monmouth once a week. She leaves it on the doormat, knocks then steps back about 10 foot. Everything coming into the house either gets washed down in a bleach solution or is left for three days untouched.

So far one person we've known for over 20 years has died, he has left 3 young children. We weren't close but it brings it home how dangerous this is.

Stay safe. x

Sunday, 19 January 2020

A year since my last post.....

And still this quilt is a long way from finished.....
The paper pieced outer border is done. Ignore the jazzy pink red rug it's laid out on.
In this smaller house, the dressing room is the only space large enough to lay it out and even it is limited.

I have started the border of vases of flowers which shall go between the hexagons and the outer border.
Nineteen more vases of flowers to go....

On our lives, I don't think too much happened in 2019. Fliss and I didn't go to the Festival of Quilts this year but had a very nice few days down in Cornwall doing an applique course with Margaret Mew.
We are all doing well. Except I had a nasty fall which involved a  footstool and me ripping my leg open. I had to keep the leg elevated for six weeks. That put my weight loss journey back. All is back on track now. I think we've had they greyest rainiest winter ever. Today is the first two days of sunshine in a row since September. And it's been far warmer than a normal winter. Climate change is real. And frightening.

And then there's Brexit. What can I say? A nation has committed itself to losing it's biggest trading partner willingly. Insane. So much emotional energy has gone into fighting the fight against Brexit, I am exhausted and having lost I, and many others are grieving our collective loss of freedoms.