Sunday, 28 January 2018

Home Days


January has felt like a long and hard month. Obvious sadnesses aside, the endless days of grey, rainy weather have taken their toll, I have another cold (this winter has been my personal record for colds), and I felt tired and out of sorts. I usually like this time of year, the quiet of midwinter, but this year it's not been easy. I knew on Friday that I just needed to do as little as possible this weekend, and that is what I aimed for. Of course this is life and there are children, dogs, chores etc, so I couldn't just lie on the sofa watching back to back Gilmore Girls (more's the pity), but it was peaceful, and so it was restorative. 

Saturday morning was slow. I have been wanting a waffle maker for some time now and was delighted when John, while doing the weekly shop on Friday night on his way home from work, found one in Lidl for £9.99. It's easy to use, has the prettiest waffle pattern, and they were delicious, so we had waffles for breakfast yesterday instead of our usual pancakes. After various errands had been run, we spent the afternoon indoors, away from the rain. I baked marmalade-rippled brownies, flapjacks, and made homemade pizza for tea. When the weather is disagreeable for days on end, I retreat to the kitchen. The warmth, good smells, noise and mindful bustle always soothe me, and I find the quiet activity more helpful than just sitting and reading or crocheting.

Today, another slow start. I did some sewing with Bella and some knitting. Yes, knitting. Something I have not done in about five years. I recently spotted the Dreaming Jumper at Wool and the Gang and thought two things: one, it's gorgeous, and two, if it really is just four rectangles of garter stitch then surely, surely, this is something I could knit? So far so good -and the wool is sublime - but heaven help me if I drop a stitch. I live in fear of dropping a stitch. This afternoon we went for a long walk in the woods then John cooked a roast dinner while I did the ironing. We were both happy with that arrangement. 

We recently had the strange and sombre experience of visiting my late Grandpa's house to choose items that we might like to keep, as his possessions are slowly being sorted in his house in very slow preparation for it being emptied and sold. It's a desperately sad thing to have to do, but also lovely to think that, all through his family, various books and pictures and other treasures are being put in new places and cherished anew. I brought back some vintage Observer pocket books to add to the few I've picked up at charity shops and car boot sales over the years - I think I have the beginnings of a little collection now - and a pair of framed ship drawings, and the most beautiful model boat that currently sits on the mantel. I cannot tell you how much I love it. I remember it always sat on his book shelves, one of the many fascinating object that filled his house, and I treasure it. It is a thing of beauty.

How has January treated you? It seems we've either had lots of rain or lots of snow in the UK, both of which have their challenges. I am ready for February which I hope will be a month of celebration and happiness. We have lots planned - a day trip to London, a possible weekend in Yorkshire to see old friends, a few nice trips out - and John is off for half term, which is only two weeks away. I just know that something good is gonna happen. 


20 comments:

  1. How lovely to have some of your Grandfather's possessions - treasure indeed. I have my Grandfather's war medals. They are in a box frame that he made for them and they now hang in my hall. I think of him every time I dust them. Marmalade brownies - YUM! Good luck with the knitting - keep a crochet hook nearby in case of dropped stitches. xx

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  2. How nice to be able to choose some of your Grandfather's possessions. I was interested in the boat drawings and the model boat ---did your Grandfather have a connection to the sea? I love those observer books too, I just have a handful but cherish them. Jean /Winnipeg

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  3. Oh my I've never had a month go by so fast....but they do say it just keeps spinning faster as we age. They say the days go by slow but the years fly by.

    I love the treasures from your grandfather. They'll grow more precious as the years go by.

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  4. Wool and the gang yarn is sublime and the patterns are very easy to knit. You will be fine. If you drop a stitch you can use a crochet hook to pick it up again - Youtube will be your friend, promise! Jo xxx

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  5. All the grandchildren and great grandchildren got my grandparents collection of Observer books. I got Seashore and Weather, reminds me off them every time I see them on the shelf. I had no idea the covers are ere such beautiful colours under the dust jackets.

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  6. As always, your pictures and descriptions make for a perfect morning coffee read, Gillian!
    I love the Observer pocket books- that is exactly my kind of thing. They look completely at home on the vintage shelf and next to the radio.
    January for me was mostly busy, both with work and socially - four birthdays in my circle of family and friends, with the last one being this week; my Dad turns 76 on Wednesday. Weather-wise, it was mostly grey, too. The few sunny hours we had were well spent, unless of course it was a week day when all I could do was watch it from my desk.
    After I had not had a cold for I don't know how many years, this past weekend I caught one. I am working from home today and tomorrow and hope to be back in (almost) full form on Wednesday.

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  7. Despite leaning towards a minimalist lifestyle, I was happy to sort and choose from Granny's house and love all that I have around me (quite a bit, as it happens, sentimental value only - one lovely little pressed glass dish had a slip of paper saying it cost 3d in Woolworth's in the 30s...!). Lovely for you, too! And those Observer books - we always had them at school as reference books; since I have always adoredbooks I would have loved my own collection! I have now collected a few of the old Batsford ones, instead... old books are so wonderful (old knitting and household ones, as well - hours of entertainment!!).
    PS my crochet blanket is coming along - it's as if we swapped crafts for a month lol!

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  8. Lovely photos, and I love the idea of waffles. I've never tried them, but I'm sure everyone here would love them. We have some of the Observer books, Birds' Eggs is a particularly good one, life sized colour pictures of each egg. The model boat is gorgeous. My other half has a pebble in his window with a crab on it that his mum bought in the Channel Islands. Memories captured in little things. Good luck with the knitting, I shall look forward to seeing how it goes. CJ xx

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  9. I'm so happy you chose some treasures from your Grandpa's house. It is an unbearably sad thing to empty a parents' house so I hope your mum and dad are ok. You always make such good food Gillian. My husband cooks our Sunday roast - pork with all the trimmings yesterday devoured by four hungry people - while I did the iironing and made Nigel's delicious marmalade cake. Hope you're fighting fit soon. Not long now until half term and everyday it gets a little bit lighter which makes after-school activities a little more bearable. And knitting too. A good friend taught me how to retrieve a dropped stitch, even several rows on - and the tool to use is a crochet hook. I'm sure there are videos on-line and perhaps you can deliberately practise dropping stitches with scrap tarn so when it happens you won't be lost.

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  10. Just a quick remark: it's really easy to pick up a dropped stitch. You just you your crochet hook

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  11. Hugs to you, it's never easy to go through a loved one's things. I think you picked some lovely items to cherish in your own home. Your waffles are so cute. I have a regular waffle iron that does rectangular waffles. Nothing fun but it works. I hardly ever make waffles though. Don't even eat them...when everyone else is eating waffles, I'm having raisin bran like a party pooper, but that's because they're all thin. Ha. I hope this week is a good, happy one for you. Take care.

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  12. Your January is looking rather lovely and cosy... Do hope your cold leaves soon. So sad sorting a loved ones home, but also lovely that you now have these beautiful objects to absorb into your everyday. I have a range of things from grandparents homes, including plates and bowls-the bowls that my Dad used everyday as a child, he loves coming to ours to eat pudding from them again. It is these everyday things that I love

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  13. Hey Gillian,
    I've been meaning to wander around the house taking a few snaps here and there for an at home post, but January has just got in the way. Like you, I've just not enjoyed the month as much as I normally do. Your beautiful home must be a source of comfort and joy at times like these, Gillian, and the lovely pieces from your Grandpa's house have now added to it. I've been missing time in the kitchen, and will endeavour to do so in the coming week. Aldo marmalade swirled brownies....are they as good as they sound?
    Leanne xx

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  14. Hi Gillian, sorry to hear you've had a tough month. The death of a beloved grandparent takes its toll – I hope you and your parents are bearing up – but it's lovely that you have these beautiful items to remind you of your grandpa. I treasure the few of my grandmothers' belongings that I have (I didn't really know my grandfathers). It looks as though you've been making time for good things – marmalade, brownies (which look divine!), knitting, waffles... Hope February is brighter for you. Sam x

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  15. Some quiet occupation is just what is needed sometimes isn't it.

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  16. Hi Gillian, The death of a loved one along with the dullness of January is very hard. It's nice that you can remember him through little treasures. I always loved the Observer books as a kid and still do.

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  17. It is understandable that you feel tired and sad. I am glad that you were able to choose a few special items from your grandfather's house, they will bring you comfort in the years to come and hopefully also trigger wonderful memories, once the pain has lessened a little. Waffles for breakfast is a great way to lift your spirits. I have a waffle maker very similar to yours, it makes four hearts joined together instead of your five. It is the only breakfast that draws even the older teenager out of his room! Wishing you a happy February xx

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  18. I was going to complement you on that stunning bedspread but then I saw the waffles :-) Sorry to hear about the sad times. A big hug.
    Amalia
    xo

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  19. So sorry about your Grandpa Gillian, no wonder you've been feeling poorly - the defences seem to lower at such times. It's lovely that you've been able to choose a few items from his home and bring them into yours. The knitting looks great, I love the look of some of the Wool and the Gang kits but haven't tried one so I will be watching with interest. There is a wonderful trick to rectify dropped stitches involving a crochet hook on YouTube, so if it happens don't despair! Wishing you a germ-free February. Jxx

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