Saturday, 4 April 2020

Enforced Nesting

There's a kind of country-wide (world-wide I suppose) enforced nesting going on at the moment. Almost everyone is at home and when they're not trying to work from home or teach their children or care for family members, I suppose they're doing what we're doing: chores, DIY, gardening, crafting, reading, cooking. Leaving the house once a day for our permitted walk, trying to only shop once a week, avoiding non-essential travel. It's hard but I am coming to realise that resistance is futile. I think my main goal would be to try to relax into this new routine because there really is no-where I'd rather be than home - just perhaps not all day every day.

John has returned to work but that doesn't mean life has returned to normal at all. I have been going in to work on the odd day, although it's all very strange and not really like a normal school day. Bella and Angus are still learning remotely, and I think this week we really found our groove with it all, which is frustrating as we now stop for the two week Easter holidays. It will be hard to get back into the swing of it after the break, but more important I think to keep weekends and holidays very separate from school days - for the children and for me.

Amongst the supervising homeschool, housework, constant meal preparation and all the other things, I have been doing jobs like clearing out the garage, sorting out cupboards, and generally trying to make good use of this strange time so that, when it is all over, we can go out and do something lovely. But there are lovely things we can do at home as well, and I have been focusing on that because it keeps me sane and happy.

I ordered us all some new books recently, and I have been promising myself some daytime reading, a luxury only usually enjoyed on holiday.

I've long admired Jennie Maizel's online Sketchbook Club and thought that it would be something creative that Bella and I could do together while we are at home. By lovely coincidence, Jennie has temporarily made all her modules free during the lockdown and so I requested a few, including this Sardines collage/illustration. I started it rather impulsively at the end of a particularly fraught day and it was the best thing I did. 

I've done the background colour and collage (such fun choosing the papers!), and now will have lots of fun building up layers of detail and colour on the illustration with coloured pencils. 

Now and then I put a podcast on and do a few rows of my beaded bracelet.

The garden continues to be a haven, especially while the weather is so good.

I like to bring some flowers indoors whenever I can. It's usually a random mix of whatever is in bloom in the garden but there's something about those first little jugs and vases of flowers on the bedside table after winter.

 After a couple of false starts, I am really enjoying working on my trio blanket. I don't love the colours at the moment but they are just starting to change a little and I'm excited to see how it develops as the blanket grows.

I finally got around to doing something I'd been meaning to do for months. Years, really. I unravelled my rose crochet cardigan which I never wear. It's such a waste, all that gorgeous pink cotton yarn, just hanging on the back of the bedroom door.

I now have a sizeable amount of cotton and am looking for a simple, floppy, wearable t-shirt pattern, something I can wear with jeans in the summer, maybe half tucked in. 

I feel like we've really exhausted all the walks we can do from our front door but I am thankful that we can get to the woods on foot. It makes a difference, gives me a change of scenery and reminds me that it's spring. 


  1. You would laugh if you saw my youngest and oldest - they are both in shorts and t-shirts now. Lovely painting, and the blanket is gorgeous. I had a little read this afternoon, which is unusual for me, but somehow there seems to be more time, even though there are things I should be doing. So that's a good thing. Look after yourself, and well done to John for going to work, I have been so appreciating the people who are doing that and keeping things going. CJ xx

  2. Woodland is so beautiful right now, isn't it, with the sun still getting through to the ground where the pretty white anemonae and other flowers are thriving.
    The photos of your home are beautiful, as always!
    I could do a lot more at home than what I am actually doing (such as cleaning my windows), but I keep thinking there will be plenty of time for that, not knowing how long this enforced staying at home will be going on.

  3. thank you once again gillian for sharing your lovely photos and life as it is right now. especially the photos. sigh. sweetness. please pop in whenever you can. you are bringing joy to us out here that do not have what you have and it brings a little happy. happy thoughts from london, ontario (once again) and stay well, stay safe, stay in safe. (-:

  4. A really happy, lovely post... thank you. I can't wait to see how your blanket grows and changes color. Our book club read What Alice Forgot a couple of years ago, it is a good read. Stay safe and well.

  5. Such lovely photos as ever and so inspiring even in these days of lockdown.
    Really loved the idea of the sketchbook club to forward to a friend who is separated from her grown up children and looking for things to fill her day...this would be perfect...but it doesn't appear to be free...has it changed since you blogged?
    Keep on being an inspiration and enjoying the little things in life

  6. Your photos are a calming place to be and in these strange times, much needed, thank you, Gillian :)

  7. Your woods look so beautiful! We had a long walk on Sunday and eventually got to the woods. I was really hoping for Wild Garlic but there's NONE! Not enough water I suspect!
    I KNEW that was a Jennie Maisels module from just seeing it! It's looking really good so far! I must go and have a look at her modules!
    Well done for getting into your stride with the home learning. I've only been into school once since Lockdown as we had so few kids and so there is a 2 week timetable- I did Monday the 23rd. I've been writing music blog post lessons for the 2 weeks- it's taken SO much time which has been frustrating to find that the stats are suggesting that not as many as I'd have hoped are using it. I had a lovely comment from a year 6 child today but I'd asked about her year 3 sister in her last comment reply and she said that her sister hadn't done ANY of the lessons I'd posted as she didn't want to. Grrrrr!!!!


Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.