Feeling better

Much better, in fact. Am having to be very careful, and not do more than three things in seven days. Also making sure I sleep every afternoon. Usually 2.5 – 3 hours.

Been knitting again – finished more Christmas presents, and a lace-fronted cardigan which had been causing me grief. I couldn’t manage the lace front which was in the pattern, so substituted a different one. It involved quite a lot of searching and maths-type thinking to ensure that it was the right sort. But managed it ok I think. Finished it last night, it’s currently “blocking”, as you can see in the photo.

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The garden is looking pretty good considering it’s August and it can look a bit scraggy at this time of year. But the crocosmia “Lucifer” really brighten it up, along with the hydrangeas.

Guitar lessons are going well too. Have learned a few more chords, and am able to play a few more songs now. At home, when I’m practising, I like to sing along if my voice allows. Sometimes it’s a bit croaky, but today I was in (comparatively) good voice.

Thermomix: I’ve made double berry dairy free muffins, carrot cake, and pizza dough. The first time I used it was fraught, but the muffins turned out fine, and I’m better with it now. Next up will be the (dairy-free) sponge base for a trifle. Hubby uses it most days, either for lunch and/or dinner. He loves it.

The counselling is going well, and helping with my “issues”. Feeling lighter (of mood) and more at peace with my life. I actually have a lovely, lovely life, and our house just feels peaceful and calm. The counsellor is a wonderful woman, very good at listening and analysing stuff, and makes me think about stuff in a firm but gentle way.

Upgraded to Windows 10 today. It was very smooth and quick. Doesn’t look particularly different from Windows 7, the only niggle I have (and many others too going by the chatter on the internet) is the colour of the menu bars. They are white. All of them. So you can’t tell which window is live. I’ve fiddled about a bit (a lot) and found one workaround which will allow you to have one menu bar coloured, so you can tell that one is live, and at the same time allows you to have a slide show background, but only one of the standard pre-installed ones. It’s a little niggle, and doesn’t really affect the functionality, but it’s an odd little thing for the developers to have done, really. Fingers crossed that they fix it soon. It also seems that Microsoft are not going to make a charge for updates/upgrades, except to businesses. We shall see. First time they try to charge me, I’m off.

Thinking aloud

Well, we bought the Thermomix. I’m going to make some pizza dough with it later on, and hubby has already been using it. It’s wonderful.  It’s an extremely fancy, computerised food processor which can cook as well. Am planning to make a carrot cake next week, and it should be much easier and quicker than it usually is.

Haven’t been able to knit for almost a week now, too tired and my hands are sore. Maybe tonight. We’ve also been watching Breaking Bad, and it’s just too exciting/fraught to knit anything remotely complicated while that’s on. But last night we watched the last two episodes of the final series. Exhausting. Excellent. We’ll miss it though.

And the counselling I’ve been having is going well. The counsellor is a wonderful woman. Understanding, listens to me, and makes me think/reflect about things. I’m able to celebrate all the good stuff in my life. I think I’ve always appreciated the good stuff, but actually saying it out loud really helps affirm it all. She has used the analogy of going up in a hot air balloon, and leaving the bad stuff behind on the ground. I’ve added to that, in my head, so that all the wonderful people in my life are extra/auxiliary balloons, lifting me higher.

I usually go to a knitting group on a Saturday morning – sometimes I go to the Thursday morning one, but counselling  takes up Thursday mornings at the moment- but today I’m not going to do anything. Can’t even be bothered to shower and dress properly. Might walk round the garden in a bit (that takes all of thirty seconds) because it’s a lovely day.

The cat had lost weight when she last saw the vet, so we’ve been feeding her more every day (now two sachets each day) and I need to take her to be weighed again at the end of next week. She looks healthy though and has plenty of energy. Sleek, glossy fur, eating well, killing small defenceless things (a mouse, so she’s doing her job). She purrs loudly, despite initial resistance, when I pick her up to cuddle her and puts her paw gently on my face, so I don’t think she minds too much.

The guitar playing is improving slowly. I can’t strum and sing. I can strum, or do one chord per note, and sing.  I’ve taught myself one song, and learned four others from the teacher, and practise most days. Almost every day, really, but the last two days I’ve just been unable to even think about it.

So for the next few days I’m not going to do anything big. I might start the next stage of the knitting project (if you’re a knitty person, I need to pick up the stitches for the sleeves – it’s a cardigan knitted top down in one piece, so the sleeves are knitted in the round). May practise the guitar, or maybe leave that till tomorrow.

I currently have the fan blowing cool on my face, a cup of tea beside me, and I think it’s time I did a (quick, easy) crossword. Laters, guys.

Time to blurb a little.

I’m not going to talk about the election, because it’s just so depressing.

But I have been working in the garden, in bits and dabs, 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and it’s been lovely. The weather has been kind, the sun has shone, and it’s been very therapeutic. I’ve planted a nepeta (catnip) plant in a pot, which Bertie The Cat loves. Also a red hazel. I’ve weeded, dead-headed and cut back massively. Still stuff to do, of course, but the garden is currently looking wonderful. The pink dicentras are going bonkers. The bluebells are out, the tulips are lovely, and everything is budding or in leaf. One of my Christmas presents was a medlar tree, which I left in its little pot to winter in the cold frame, and have not long potted that up in a large pot. It’s going mad. Even fruiting. I dug up a lovely bergenia because the slugs and snails were eating all the leaves. I made sure the roots were clear of any soil and pests, planted it in a pot, protected the pot against invaders, and it’s going berserk. Leaves growing out of every available place. Beautiful. It’s like it’s saying “thank you”.

And we’ve had our wonderful decorator in to do our bathroom and en-suite. I’m so pleased with how they look. He always does an excellent job. He’s quiet, methodical, neat and tidy. He clears up every night before he goes home. With a vacuum cleaner. Yup.  He’s been doing our decorating for nearly 20 years now. Although we don’t have decorating done very often (to put it mildly). I painted our ensuite last time and I’m just crap at that stuff. All of a sudden the vileness of the colour hit me, then I started noticing anew the mess I’d made, so it’s just lovely to have a fresh, new, light colour. It was a peachy sort of colour and is now Dulux “Violet White” but is less white and more lilac. Lovely.  We’ll get him in next year to do our kitchen and utility when we’ve had the kitchen done (finally).

Tomorrow I’m going to try a “folk” size guitar. The 3/4 classical is a good size for me, and has a lovely sweet tone, but has a fat neck, and it’s very difficult to strum. So I’m trying an acoustic with steel strings and will see how that goes. If it’s too big still, I’m going to try a 3/4 size acoustic. Exciting.

Knitting is going well.Finished socks and matching fingerless gloves for YD.

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Logan is coming on apace. We saw him last Monday and Tuesday. He’s wonderful. Very smiley and giggly, and loves being sung to and jiggled about. Tonight he’s had his first solid food – a sweet potato chip. Looks like he enjoyed it . . . he’s already in 9-12 month age clothes, and he’s just 5 months yesterday. We don’t do puny babies in our family. I was a very puny baby, but first hubby was tall, so ED and YD are much taller than me.  IMG_2730

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That’s about it I think. Might take/post some photos of the plants if the weather allows.