I am a nosey parker. I admit it! I love to know about the lives of others. I compare and contrast. I laugh with and, shamefully, sometimes at. I commiserate and empathise. I learn. I judge. Above all I appreciate those who are generous enough to share. I am most fascinated by ‘how’ – whether it is how a quilt is constructed, how Kim Hargreaves gets those flared peplums to work, how a painter magics 3D to 2D (I would love to sit beside a watercolourist and just watch from starting sketch to finish), and above all, how individuals make their lives work. As y’all know, I suffer from depression, and my days are very different, depending on my state of mind. Good days are the way I wish all days to be. I thought I could feed the hunger of other nosey parkers like me with a post on how I structure my day.
Today is a good day. This is how it goes. I don’t want to get bogged down in times – safe to say I generally rise at 8.00am and hit the hay at around 10.30pm.
Rise and stretch – if I feel lively I will do three rounds of Sun Salutation. I have already had a tea brought to me by the WFV – he isn’t a chocs and flowers man, but a daily cuppa says more to me.
Make the bed – I always feel very grown-up doing this, but getting back into it is so much nicer when I do – tight sheets, plump pillows, my sampler quilt to give a sense of satisfaction.
Put a wash on.
Feed the goats
If you choose to keep animals, I believe their needs are a priority above your own.
Hang out the washing which gives me strange, anti-feminist, pleasure! Especially a whites wash!
Breakfast with blogging, Facebook, Twitter updates. Always the same breakfast except for cook-ups at the weekend: greek yoghurt, Linseeds, and a mix of other seeds.
Creative work accompanied by Radio 2 or 4. I am quite disciplined. If I have a ‘must do’ I will try to finish it before I start another project, but I sometimes work in stages and treat myself to a mini-masterpiece. At the moment I have a very long-standing project that I have been putting off/pretending isn’t there and have with prompting and embarrassment come around to and will plough on with. Another thing I feel grown up about is accepting the fact that the only way out of a problem is through it. Do it and you will get through it!
The current must-do is the completion of MIL’s church tapestries. Unbeknownst to me, before she died she was working on pew cushions, one for each of her five children, based on a design I created at her request, in honour of her 50 wedding anniversary.
She simplified the design for the children’s pieces and completed three before she died. After her death, my FIL mentioned that she had been making kneelers and I offered to finish the project. I was a bit shocked to see that I had actually committed to cushions measuring 31″ X 11″ and that the simplified design was 90% plain red. I started, but struggled with the dullness of the task. It also coincided with my father’s illness and death. I put the frame into a room I rarely go into and let the days, weeks, months and years slip by. Now, four years on I have been asked about the ETA! Ashamed, ashamed, ashamed, I have cracked on. One is stitched, one to go.
It is painfully slow, but suits doing while I watch television etc. It will be done and however I feel about the practicalities of the task, it is a weight lifted to know that I will complete it. These back burner niggles waste so much head-space!
In between stages I am trying to catch up on journal quilts. May is still ongoing, although ideas for subsequent months are sketched and thought through, ready for action.
10.30 Cup of tea and PopMaster – usually score less than 15.
After my cuppa with Ken Bruce I get back to the worktable, or to the studio. Studio is a glamorous term for my garden space, but I have heating and light there and it’s where I do sketching and paper based art. Biddy is more than happy to run around outside while I am in there, popping in occasionally to touch base!
Pre lunch, Biddy and I walk along the track to check our postbox. Lunch always coincides with Neighbours. It is total rubbish these days but it is my tradition. Afterwards I recommence work alongside the Radio 4 play, or Radio 5 if the play is ‘not to my taste’ as my Mother would say!
At around 4pm I do half an hours housework. I have ten rooms so in two weeks, each room gets a weekday tickle up. Half an hour keeps them in order. We do a blitz if visitors are coming! After that I start dinner. I will pick whatever is pickable.
We very very rarely eat convenience food. There isn’t much available for wheat-free vegetarians. I prefer the taste of home-made anyway – so much ready made has that samey salty/sweet anodyne flavour(lessness). I like hearty filling food – the WFV adores potatoes – so I try to rotate potato/pasta/rice dishes with an occasional WFpastry or flour based dish. I recently perfected wheat-free yorkshire pudding so Toad in the Hole with tofu sausages is back on the menu.
At about 6.00 the WFV gets home and he likes to go straight to his rowing machine, so supper is timed accordingly. After supper he does his guitar practice and I usually have another surf around the interwebnet.
We convene for a slob-out in front of certain programmes – ‘ours’ – Holby, Casualty, New Tricks, University Challenge, (we won last night!!) – ‘his’ Spooks – ‘mine’ Fringe!
Bed – we read – I am ploughing on with Daniel Deronda. I cannot believe I read The Mill on the Floss when I was in my teens as I am finding the language so dense. It is a delight though, very modern in many ways, but it is taking me a long time! I have Middlemarch in the to-read pile, but might have to leave it until next winter. Last winter I read quite a few Dickens, by the fireside, (weekends only!!) but George Eliot is dense not only in language but in ideas, and ideological challenges and thus quite demanding. In a good way!
Sleep – fitful usually – but off I eventually go – until it all begins again – if we are lucky!