Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Knowing Where to Look

Hello! I hope you are all ok, staying well and not going too crazy. Here, we are never entirely sure what day of the week it is, and it wouldn't matter except that I've been working two days a week lately so I need to remember to actually go in to work. Gosh it's exhausting, those two days, and I wonder did I ever work full time? I'm rushed off my feet! Sometimes we are bored but mostly our days are filled with all sorts of things to keep us busy: home school, chores, DIY, dog walking, bike rides, cooking and, best of all, no clock watching. Despite missing family and friends, higher-than-I-would-like anxiety levels and the constant background worry of jobs, the economy etc, there have been many positives for us in this lockdown. I am doing more exercise than I have done in many years, we are eating together as a family every night, spending more time together, talking more. Good things are there, you just have to know where to look.

I finished this module from the Jennie Maizels Sketchbook Club. It was such fun to create, a combination of watercolour, pencils and collage. I loved it.

It reminded me how good creating, just for its own sake, is for my mental health. It doesn't have to be for anything. It's enough that it's about the process. My friend and I have promised ourselves that we will go to one of Jennie's real life workshops when all this is over. Something to look forward to.

John finished tiling our kitchen.

Previously, we'd just tiled behind the cooker, but the paintwork around the worktop was always so scuffed and splashed. We cook a lot and we're messy.

Happily, the old tiles were fairly easy to remove and we now have the same tiles all the way along the wall. I like the white everywhere because our kitchen is not large and is often in danger of being quite cluttered. My hope was that the white tiles would not add to this.

I sanded and painted these two chairs, which I bought on eBay a few years ago. They were getting scuffed and chipped, and there may have been some evidence of puppy nibbling at some point too...

I love how fresh and clean they look now against the blue wall. We also sanded and oiled the top of the dining table and then moved it's position, because moving furniture around is quite exciting when you're in lockdown.

Having time to cook is a joy. Baked oatmeal for breakfast. 

Lasagne for dinner on a weeknight.

Homeschooling has been particularly challenging, especially after two weeks off for Easter, and motivation lacking. The promise of a bike ride is a good incentive however, and it is just lovely to see him smiling. 

Sometimes John and Angus go off on their bikes together in the afternoons, and Bella and I walk Ziggy. It's lovely to have some one on one time with her. She's always up for a longer walk and goes at a good pace, so we try different routes and look for rainbows in windows and admire the blossom.

There is lots of goodness to be found in the garden. The beginnings of redcurrants, reminding me of summer ahead, and the chance to make jam and ice cream.

Tiny figs on the fig tree.

Seedlings that have suddenly woken up and are going great guns. I have sweet peas, poppies and ranunculus. No knowledge, but lots of enthusiasm. 

The tulips. When the sun hits them at a certain time of day they are lit from behind and they just glow.

Other good things: a couple of new, cheerful cushions to brighten things up.

The absolute joy that is coming downstairs in the morning to a sun-filled kitchen.

A new magazine arriving in the post.

My monstera cutting is growing roots.

Lunch in the garden.

The satisfaction of dusting and re-arranging a shelf, making it look pretty.

And finally, the glorious weather and spring unfolding out there.

We missed the bluebells this year but I feel we more than made up for it when we went to the woods at the weekend and saw the wild garlic.

The woods were cool and shady and so magical with the light filtering through the trees.

And the wild garlic everywhere, like snow.