Saturday, 17 December 2016

An ordinary day

The past couple of weeks have been packed with meals out and other Christmas celebrations with various groups I belong to and small groups of friends. I've enjoyed each and every one of them but today marks the start of a quiet period and I celebrated with an early morning walk.

I live in a beautiful area. Yes, it's part of a large, densely populated area but my little corner has open views, woods and lovely neighbours.

Today I said good morning to the chap who gets his exercise by riding his bike round the streets for about an hour each morning (we seem to have a set pattern -first time he passes we say "Good morning", second time it's a smile, third and subsequent times we ignore each other) and then to the many dog walkers I also meet.  A squirrel with a large nut in his mouth didn't appear to notice me until I was about 5 feet away. The sun was making the whole world sparkle and the spindleberries and hips added a touch of colour.

On the way back a friend called out and asked me to post a letter for her. We had a chat about nothing in particular and then it was home for a welcome cup of tea. I shall spend the rest of my day sewing.

Yes, it's a very ordinary life but I love it.
Image result for darland banks gillingham

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Think positive!

Some years ago when I was fairly slender I had to have a medical for work. Blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, BMI were all well within the desirable range but the doctor (who was a bit on the tubby side herself) said as we finished up "You could probably do with losing a few pounds".

I don't remember exactly what I felt but I do know I went straight out and bought a bar of chocolate and ate the lot.

Nowadays I really do need to slim down and in January I joined the 1000 miles challenge. The aim of this is to walk around 3 miles a day which will add up to 1000 miles by the end of the year. A couple of months ago I had a bad cold and stopped walking for quite a while. I was talking to a friend and mentioned that I'd stopped and, in any case, I hadn't lost any weight so it didn't really matter. "Oh, but you've definitely changed shape - you look much trimmer" she said. Now I don't know whether she was just being nice but I do know that I'm walking every morning again and I think of that comment as I put my boots on.

The positive thought has definitely had a better result than the negative one.

p.s. I've done 870 miles this year to date.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Meeting my goal(s)

Actually, that's a big fat lie as I'm nowhere near my goals BUT.... after some hard work over that past week I'm a whisker away from my walking target.  In order to reach 1000 miles by the end of the year I need to do about 3 miles a day. I've been a bit lazy lately as it's been so hot but a few days of early morning walks mean I'm just about back on target - 660 miles to date.

The other goal is to lose weight. That one's much harder. I love my food and for a long while now I've eaten my way out of any problem that comes along. Suddenly, however, I seem to have got my head in the right place. I'm not doing any fad diet. In fact I'm not dieting at all, just eating 3 reasonable meals a day with no snacking. Combined with the extra exercise it means I've lost 5 pounds over a couple of weeks. The tough part will come when I go on holiday in a couple of weeks.

Watch this space...

Finally, since a post is boring without pictures I'll show you some of my usual walking route, only minutes from my doorstep even though I live in one of the most densely populated areas of Kent. Aren't I lucky?

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Woe is me!

I'm such an idiot! My nephew and his wife are expecting their first baby in a couple of months. Naturally I thought I'd make them a quilt. In fact, I thought I'd make two as they don't want to know the baby's sex in advance. I took a lot of trouble putting extra wadding under the motifs and quilting round them to make the whole thing nice and puffy. Not to mention stitching in the ditch round each block. I checked it numerous times during the process but it was only after I finished that I spotted the (most definitely not) deliberate mistake:

Now what do I do? Cross my fingers and hope it's a girl?  I think I'll probably just make another and hide this one at the bottom of the pile.

Friday, 5 August 2016

He purred!!!

I may have mentioned it before but my life is completely ruled by the furry man in my life. Jeremy is 3/4 ragdoll and we won't talk about the other 1/4. Ragdolls are vocal - a trait which he has inherited - and affectionate - a trait which he definitely has not. Don't get me wrong, he sits on my lap, grooms the back of my hair and, on cold nights, pushes his way under the duvet to get warm. But all of that is on his terms. He doesn't like to be touched uninvited and under no circumstances must anyone ever try to pick him up.

Now this morning I woke up early and found him on the bottom of my bed. I reached down to say "Good morning" and stroked him and... HE PURRED!!!.

I know there is a lot wrong with the world, but today I'm walking around with a smile on my face and feeling as though I've won the lottery and all because my furry boy purred.

ps. it could have something to do with the mouse tail I found when I went downstairs.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

It's Complicated

I'm not a creative person. I can't draw for toffee and even the thought of playing Pictionary brings me out in a sweat. I think that's why I love quilting. I can get the whole experience of creating something beautiful without actually having to think up the pattern. The most stressful part of the process is choosing the fabric - mind you, that is VERY stressful, just ask my quilting friends!!

The bit I really love is the maths behind it all. I love working out how to piece a block and make it come out to the size I need. I love the intricacy of fitting the pieces together. This often leads me to pick patterns that are really a bit above my skill level. That was true of my latest finish.  I saw a picture of one of Robert DeCarli's quilts and immediately had to track down the book it came from - Remarkable Rectangles.

I really love the pattern I chose but it was such hard work that I doubt I shall make another.  When friends asked me what I was working on I always said "It's complicated".  That's why, although the book calls this pattern Red Lion I've called it "It's Complicated"

Of course, Jeremy had to get in on the act!!
Originally I had intended to make it bigger so I bought extra fabric. In the end it was so tricky that I just added extra borders and used the excess to make a table runner using the Hunter's Star block.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

A Lovely Day

Yesterday I went up to London to meet DD. As I am now the proud owner of a Senior Citizens' Railcard I went by train - much more relaxing than driving. First, we walked back to her flat for a drink, card and pressie. She really made me laugh with this:
Then we went out for a great lunch.  I've finally turned into one of those people who take pictures of their food!!!

It was delish!  After that a wander around which included a visit to the M&Ms store. I really can't get my head around a whole store dedicated to chocolates and the prices!!! I must be getting old but I can't imagine paying £7 for a tiny plastic box of M&Ms.

We ended up the day at the National Portrait Gallery, always a favourite of mine and then back to the flat again for tea and cakes.  Thanks Emma, I had a really lovely day.