Monday, 4 February 2019

January - Taking it slowly

Hi there everyone 😀

You may have noticed the absence of my 'Joy in the Everyday Ordinary' posts through January. It's not that there hasn't been lots to be joyful about or grateful for ... I've just been very, very lazy and I haven't been very good at all when it comes to taking photos.

I decided instead that, for January and maybe February too, I would just do a bit of a monthly round up of the bits and pieces we got up to that were worth capturing but not really enough to warrant a post of their own.

You may recall me mentioning that, whilst we weren't quite hibernating, we did decide to embrace the lethargy that January seems to bring for us personally and to enjoy just taking it slow ... hopefully building up a nice bank of energy and enthusiasm ready for unleashing once the days get a little bit longer and the temperature feels just a little bit warmer.

So we’ve spent plenty of time tucked up in the warm and there has been plenty of TV watching going on ... including the discovery and binge watching of all the series of Luther, which had somehow passed us by.

We’ve made the most of new series of old favourites including Cold Feet, Call the Midwife, The Good Doctor and Silent Witness and have enjoyed snuggling down to new dramas Manhunt and Cleaning Up.

We are currently spending cold afternoons working our way through all the series of Vera, which is a bit more gentle than Luther, to say the very least, but we are enjoying it none the less.

I’ve even managed to spend a few hours curled up on the sofa reading a couple of the free books that I bagged from the free bookshop in town ... one I read from start to finish in a day. Another new author to me ... Milly Johnson, another author that delivers a lovely easy read ...As you’d expect there’s been a little bit of crafting and my first craft group meeting of 2019. My first project was one I’d been wanting to have a go at for a long old time ... mosaic ... and I’m chuffed to bits with how it turned out.
I’ve just been to our second group and done a bit more. I got a little bit more ambitious with this one and actually had a go at cutting mosaic pieces from old tiles and, again it’s come out really well. Here it is pre-grouting ...

... and after ...

I already have something in mind for my next mosaic project which will be a bit more ambitious still.

I’ve not really made anything else but I have certainly bought plenty of fabric ... this Laura Ashley curtain fabric was a real bargain in their sale and is destined for peg bags for the craft stall ...
... and I found these pretty florals for £2 a metre on line and couldn't resist. I’m thinking bunting ...
I also couldn’t resist taking advantage of the latest Aldi special deals and treated myself to a stack of wool and fat quarters ... not sure what I will do with the wool, but the fat quarters are destined for beeswax wraps ...

Whilst I haven’t actually made anything else I have started to do a bit of preparation for a couple of other projects ... A blanket for a new baby in pretty blue pastels ...

And our first attempt at candle making from old candle ends ...

We have made a bit of an effort to get wrapped up warm and venture out a couple of times to blow the cobwebs away. We didn’t go far ... our first afternoon out was to Kingsbury Water Park, where we wanted to see what we could capture with the camera and have a go with our new lensball.

We parked outside of the park, by the church in the village and had a wander through the churchyard, where neither of us have ever seen so many squirrels in one spot, to the steps that lead down into the park ...
This is the first time we'd entered the park this way and neither of us were particularly looking forward to the climb back up on the way back.

We headed straight across the park, crossing little bridges and passing lakes on the way. It did all look a bit bleak and gloomy, but it was good to be out and about in the fresh air all the same ...

We headed over the railway ...

... and past the station, which was all quiet today ...

... and into the warmth of the cafe ...
... where we had our first real play with our new 'lensball' with our table decoration ...
This is the best shot that we managed to take
And this is it inverted
We definitely need lots more practice 😀

We headed back out into the cold, past the most colourful part of the park today ...

... and past the woodyard ...

We took a different route back past the model railway, which was looking a bit tired and unloved at the moment, though I am sure it will not be long before it starts to spring back into life ...

We passed a few more splashes of winter colour ...

... and took a breather on one of the trim trail apparatus, but put no more effort in than it did to take a quick selfie ...

It was time to head back so we made our way across the meadow, past the huge, beautiful, crumbling house on the hill ... which looks like it is being brought back to life ...

... before heading back up the steps to the church which were, as predicted, an absolute killer ...
Our second foray was to another local spot ... Rosliston Forestry Centre. We went with mum and dad and had another play with the lensball, with a bit more success, but we still need lots of practice.

We started with some catkins, which looked lovely through the ball, though I'm not sure the camera captures them that well ...

The reflections are frustrating, it's really hard to hold the ball still and getting the right depth of field is tricky.

We had another go with the monument to the old colliery, where we were able to stand the ball on a post, which did help. I have inverted these images as they didn't make much sense in their original state ...

We had one last go with a landscape ... I think this is the best one we got. To be fair the light wasn't brilliant so I'm sure we can do a lot better if we keep at it ...

I think this is my favourite photo of the day though ... with not a lensball in sight ...
We’ve had a couple of family birthday celebrations. We went to Prezzo for Alison’s 40th ...
... where the little man brought the smiles ...

... and dad certainly brought the sparkle ...
And we tried out an authentic American diner to celebrate Mark and Daniel's birthdays, where the little man really made an effort to look cool, but wasn't so into having his photo taken ...
Martin, on the other hand, had no such qualms ...
Martin has had a couple of weeks back at work and I managed to get back into a bit of a routine with housework and laundry, though he’s off now for three weeks. so that’s all gone back out of the window.

We’ve also booked a few holidays and trips ... including a three week break to the Isle of Wight later in the year ... we’ve never done a three week holiday before so that will be exciting ... and I have finally managed to get round to booking tickets for the Snowdon Mountain Railway ... so unless there is a total disaster of some sort, I will definitely be ticking that one off the 50 things to do before I’m 60 list.

We are now at the beginning of February and the light is already starting to last a bit longer. We’ve already seen our levels of enthusiasm and motivation slowly starting to spring back into life ...with a week’s worth of daily, be it short, walks and an effort to return to a bit more of a healthy diet.

We even braved last week's Arctic temperatures to have a couple of productive days out back starting to replace the last four fence panels, which have been sitting waiting to go in since the end of the autumn.

So, here we are ... early February and the well oiled machine is starting to creak back into gear after our winter breather 😀

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Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.