Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Happy New Year dear friends and readers!

Is it really half way through January already ? Christmas seems like a long time ago now, though this is my first post since then. Actually my first post since November, not sure what happened there, just everyday life I suppose.

There's not a lot to report here, Christmas was lovely, quite a quiet one, and we spent it in our holiday house in Donaghadee. 

Even though it was a bit damp and grey I love that place so much, the scenery is just as stunning in the winter as it is in summer. I feel so relaxed whilst I'm there and I think a fair part of that is that it's so removed from school related stuff - uniforms, PE kits, letters, money, lunches, taxi service to clubs, and of course the dreaded homework. Father Christmas was good to us all, including Pixie who got her own Christmas jumper ....

A particular highlight for me was participating in Cancer Focus NI's charity "Dare to Dip" - a New Year's Day swim in the Irish Sea. Brrrrrrr!!!!! Bracing!!!!!

Before .... Cold and very windy ....

During ... I'm in the middle, just behind and to the right of the man in the Santa hat, wading back out and yes I did dive fully in ....

After .... even colder, couldn't actually feel my feet at all!

Great fun though, and a fabulous way to kick off the New Year. And a week later this arrived in the post .... unexpected and a lovely surprise....

Back on the home-front in Reading It's been oh so cold this week. Well, cold for us anyway, with the temperature hovering around freezing. I am training for the London Marathon again this year having had to pull out last year, and should be running, but I'm being a very bad runner and wimping out of it these cold mornings. Ah well there's always tomorrow ....

I did manage a lovely 5 mile walk with a friend last week when it was a bit milder, we walked round a local country park, lots of geese and swans were in residence. 

We went for a cuppa afterwards and since Pixie was with us we sat outside ....

.... and were joined by this wee fellow who clearly thought he was in with a chance of some crumbs ....

On the craft front I've got, as usual, a million things on the go at once .... cross stitch, tapestry, crochet .... Shall I go on ?!

I bought this tapestry kit years ago, actually it may even have been a gift, isn't that terrible, I can't really remember. I took a notion the other night to start on it as I was in need of something that would work up quickly. I haven't done a tapestry thingy since I was about 9, and I'd forgotten how easy it is - no screwing up my eyes for this one (see below!). It's going a bit twisty because I don't have a frame to stretch it over, but I'm sure it'll be fine. I am not getting a frame. I do not need one. I must not buy one. Remind I said that if I ever suggest it please.

On the subject of screwing up one's eyes, hubby won't let me have more lights on in the evening and I'm fed up being unable to see to sew or crochet properly by the light of one pathetic table lamp. So I dug out my running head torch .... I may look like a loon but at least I can see what I'm doing.

The cross-stitch that I'm working in is even older than the tapestry. My Mum gave me it for Christmas in 1999, the pictures are celebrating various events etc from the last 1000 years from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the Space Shuttle in 1981. So I've had this kit for 17 years - oh dear! And look how much I've done - hardly anything! So I've decided to just plod on with it a little a week and eventually it will get done, hopefully before the next millennium.

And the final work in progress that I wanted to show you is my autumn blanket. I started this in October 2014 so we are now on the other side of 3 autumns and it's still not finished! I'd forgotten how much I love the colours though, so I'm really enjoying working on this. I'm probably about halfway there on it, so still a ways to go but again I'll just keep chipping away at it and who knows, one of these days I might actually finish something....

Right, I'm off now to start something else - I promise to have it finished before my next post, and I promise that will be before the end of January. Fingers crossed anyway 😃

Til next time,
Jill xxxx


  1. I'm also trying to catch up with my WIPs, they've been hanging around long enough. I have one that i started at the age of 18 and I'm considerably older than that now! Good luck with yours! x

  2. Jill, that was an amazing daring dip. Braver than me for sure. Thank you for always visiting my blog and for saying such lovely things. hang in there with those WIP's! Jo x

  3. It looks like you've been very busy! Love your WIP's and I admire you for your swim. I don't think I would ever be that brave. I have a HUGE fear of water. It's good to see you post. You've been missed in blogland.

  4. Hi Jill, I just saw on another person's blog that you'd posted. I lost my blog list a while back and have been re-building it.. I haven't seen you comment on mine or I would have re-added your link a long time ago! I have added it now. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Good for you making the icy dive for a good cause! We do that here on the Chesapeake Bay on New Year's Day but just for the heck of it.

  6. WOW! I love this post, Jill, every part of it: your photos, narrative, and topics! My eyebrows were raised in amazement and salute to you for your frigid daring dip! Pixie's gift from Father Christmas is so cozy, and you have encouraged me as you have shared your lovely WIP. I especially admire how your autumn blanket is shaping up. I am glad you have a lovely place for retreat away from your normal busy routine, and that when you are able you pop in with a post or a comment :) The rain is washing away our 6+ inches of snow and I am glad to be warm and comfy inside, hoping to do some knitting. xx

  7. Jill you are so brave doing that daring dip in such temperatures, well done you. It was a joy to visit, your headlight certainly raised a smile. Hang on in there with your WIPs you'll get there in the end. I loved the Autumn throw.

  8. Well done for braving the elements and for such a good cause. I don't think you're alone in having so many WIPs, it's great to be able to tackle them again and you never know, you might get one finished. I also love the autumn throw. I

  9. Lovely to catch up with you and what you have been working on. Glad to hear that all is well! I will e-mail you!

  10. Welcome back to blogland dear Friend! So nice to catch up with you. ;) You are a brave one...and would fit right in my northwoods. They do a "polar bear plunge" here in freezing giant Lake Superior!

    Love seeing what projects you're catching up on...and I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one that holds on to old projects and has many going at once. Lol!!

    Wishing you a very blessed 2017 ahead Jill! xoxo

  11. Wow! I wouldn't dare to dive in such a cold sea! Thumbs up that you've done that!
    Hope you find time and courage to finish that autumn blanket because it looks amazing!
    Have a nice weekend,

  12. You are a brave (mad?) woman, dipping in the cold Irish sea! I love the happy photos of you. x

  13. Well done you for braving the chilly Irish Sea! Good luck with all your projects and I think the head torch us inspired.

  14. We have a similar dip here on Boxing Day in the channel a happy new year to you Clare x

  15. Well done on the dip - absolutely incredible you're very brave! And good luck with the marathon training too :) A very happy new year to you x


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