Saturday 23 September 2017

Work gets in the way of fun

I had a lot of fun during my two weeks sick leave following surgery. I had minimal pain and nothing that paracetamol wouldn't deal with and I had some strange altered sensations due to nerves being damaged or cut but other than that I felt very well and was able to enjoy my time at home. Before you all start telling me I should have rested let me assure you I did. I have very little difficulties with sleeping at night except when I don't get enough exercise and I was able to go out for a walk every day. I took time out to read and watch TV and also to enjoy some sewing time. Projects started to move forward and I finished my Mariners compass top. Because I am so well I decided to go back to work not because I can't do without work but because I have new groups of students starting the course in the week beginning 3rd October and I need to make sure all the preparations are complete. Explaining to someone else what you want done is more time consuming than doing it yourself and certainly more tiring so I went back to work. I'm slowly getting everything finalised for my new groups and my current groups are very happy I was only missing for a short time. However it is surprising how quickly you get into a routine at home and therefore how much you can achieve. I allowed myself time each day for piecing blocks and some time for hand sewing. Last week I missed sitting in our living room with Scamp on my lap hand sewing. Our room faces south so on sunny days it is filled with light and just makes you feel very happy. I will get back to that happy place again as I sort out some urgent jobs which includes marking. The marking came in on 1st September, whilst I was off sick but it was waiting for me on my return so that took priority over everything. Once these urgent jobs are sorted I have a plan.

My plan is very straight forward. Once the marking is done for this round weekends become a private time filled with me and John plus our family when they want to join us. This was always our rule years ago when the children were small but once they were grown up we didn't always stick to it but from now on only major or catastrophic work emergencies will sway me from my plan. This gives us time for going away, for walking, theatres, exhibitions, cosy dinners and our hobbies. Work has seriously got in the way of my hobbies for long enough and it is going to stop. I don't mind doing some work on a weekday evening since as a teacher at any level it is difficult to fit everything into a working day. However even work in an evening is going to have a cut off time so I can chill out before bedtime.

Today, Saturday is the first day of my plan. The two weeks I've been back at work have been hectic but I'm more or less organised. In order to relax during the evenings I've been doing a little hand stitching. I love hand stitching and have a range of projects on the go but mainly over the last two weeks I've been working on Mathilda, one of the bag ladies. I made a start on her last week and here's where I left her.

I've been busy and tired so some days there has been no stitching and on others only a few stitches have been added but I'm pleased with how Mathilda is progressing.

In the garden we have two miniature apple trees and this year we have had a good crop of apples from them. One of the trees is a cox's Orange Pippin variety and the other is a Russet. The crop was so good that I needed to use up some of the apples and so today I made apple chutney. First I needed to peel, core and dice the apples.

That was soon done and then it was onto the onions, all 1.4 Kg of them 

By the time I'd peeled them my eyes were streaming and so I pulled my trusty food processor from the cupboard. No chopping onions for me, the peeled onions were cut into smaller chunks and had soon been turned into small chopped pieces. Using the processor for this job is so worth it even though it means I have to wash the blade. I'm always pleased if I manage this job without incident.

It was then a quick job to add the sultanas, demerara sugar, lemon juice and malt vinegar before putting it on the hob and bringing it to the boil. Whilst I'm writing this it is simmering nicely and will be finished in the not too distant future.

Whilst stirring the chutney I was gazing fondly at my kitchen tiles which I just love because they look like mini quilts. This is the wall behind my cooker.

I had hoped to go to my local fabric shop today as I need some fabric for a border so I can get a top finished but I'm not sure I'll have time and I think I may add another row of blocks to increase the size. I'm also not sure if I love it enough to finish it up at the moment so it may just be folded back up and put away in the cupboard. The top was made using scraps for the rainbow Scrap challenge in either 2015 or 2016 The hexagons are appliqued onto the background fabric.

This evening we're going to a harvest supper and barn dance. This is an annual fund raising event and we usually go. The food is always excellent, there's wine, beer and soft drinks and of course lots of dancing. We're going to walk to the venue so I hope the rain holds off. I'll tell you about it tomorrow and hopefully I'll remember to take my camera with me this year.

Lucy is sitting at the dining table working on her dissertation for her Masters. It's due in on the 2nd October and she is looking forward to catching up on her sleep once she's finished it. It's never easy when you're working and studying at the same time. It does mean of course that I can't get my sewing machine out at the moment so the weekend will see more hand stitching..

I think my chutney has reached the point of being ready to bottle so I'd better go and sort that out. I can't wait to taste the finished product.



  1. Your Plan is a great idea - to keep your precious weekends just for yourselves and family.
    As for that nasty blade in the food processor - I'm VERY careful when I wash and dry it. Hoping I don't do myself a mischief with it.

  2. Work/home life balance is so important. I didn't get it right and burnt out!

  3. Wow...everything is looking great. You've been very busy! I love your plan. So important when you're healing, but just a good plan for life.

  4. Great to hear things are progressing so nicely. I really like your hexagon quilt. The colors are so cheerful. Mathilda is going to be a nice addition to your bag ladies. And your chutney sounds sooo good. I just love the fragrance of those type things when they are cooking.