Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 The Highlights and Lowlights

I'd started this long rambling post ages ago to review my 'sort of' resolutions . Normally I don't do resolutions as they are invariably written in hope and end in failure making you feel even worse but I decided to set myself some fun goals to enhance my life.

In April, and the last half of the year, I got back into blogging while ill or injured and it has been a brilliant window on the world. I've loved reading the diversity of the posts shared by other bloggers and it has been lovely to share in their lives and particularly humbling that they have taken time to comment on my own posts. 

Well how did I do against my semi-resolutions from January 2013? The three were:
1. I am going to 'Go Beading' more often
2. I am going to learn some new craft skills
3. I am going to create and enjoy a kitchen garden:

1. I have definitely beaded a bit more and taught some friends how to make their own jewellery. I've been diversifying by adding beading accents to other crafts and have tidied and reorganised my shamefully large stash, more to maximise storage space than anything else. 

2. My inner Kirstie Allsopp is alive and well nourished. I took two college courses in machine sewing basics and decorative glasswork both of which were pretty cool. I've  refreshed my yarny crafts of crocheting and knitting and attempted needle felting. I've learned how to read a crochet pattern and had an accidental knit and natter evening. I've enjoyed paracord knotting and inadvertently created a must have toy that Red adores.

The house now has an increasing amount of wall or other art or enhancements which I am blending into the character of the house and trying out new styles and ideas. The kumihimo still doesn't enthuse me and my unblocked tapestries have yet to be located in the spare room of despair.

3. The garden was a source of failure and frustration and the only thing I can eat is my words! The last time I cut the grass it took me six hours, though admittedly this was as my knee was failing, I made the strimmer belch smoke from over use, strangled it with the long tough grass till it could turn no more and lugged grass clipping that filled the entire brown bin and four mega black bags. I hate the back garden as I have neither the time nor interest in manicuring an unused expanse of lawn. The only thing I use it for is drying washing and in truth I sat out only a handful of times. I am not a sun worshipper and if I want to sit and read or browse the internet there are far more comfortable places indoors to do so.

The good bits about the garden were seeing the cats actually have the space to run like lightening and meeting some friendly feline visitors and one very unwelcome one. A glorious peony appeared in May and brought me delight at a very sad time. The wisteria is a pain as it grows like a weed, but I'm fond of it, and don't really mind giving it a haircut. Some daffs and primroses grew and were a lovely spring surprise.

The front garden is a different story. It is a small, easily managed space where I can cope, potter and prune. My first hedge trim was with the shears. I was very angry and upset and had that horrible compulsion to get stuck into a mindless physical activity. Well, I did and it helped me emotionally. The downside is that I got a bit carried away and only quit when the light dropped. I couldn't quite work out why there were so many clippings and then realised the hedge was....well.....twiggy bald! I thought it might look better in the morning but no it was actually just brown sticks on the inside. I thought it might get better looking if I trimmed the tops and front carefully to promote growth but 8mths on it is still predominantly brown on the inside and insane on the rest. There were two rose bushes which had some kind of mould and wonky leaves embedded into the hedge and they kept scratching me, so I lopped them in revenge so that I could cut the hedge. Surprisingly they've survived (I had planned to uproot and bin them) and not only that, but they have flourished and are probably healthier than they were and were still popping out some roses up to last week. They've won their reprieve for now but if I get gored by thorns again then I'll maybe rethink.

The crocosmia is rampant, the rambling rose has been rebuked to half of it's height as has the pieris. The conifers are too tall but next year will see them hard pruned (you know their fate if I get the power tools or shears out). I bought lots of daffs and spring bulbs but couldn't get them planted in time.

I've now seen the gardens through a full year and think I am probably a Lady Gardener; I like pruning and tootling about as that is actually what I need as a relaxing activity, even if I do get a bit carried away with shears and power tools. I thoroughly dislike pointlessly mowing and have realised if I am to get any enjoyment out of my garden during my working years then I need to bite the bullet and spend money on finding someone to keep the grass and hedges under control. If I do this then I might start enjoying it rather than dreading it, so I suppose I have learned something of value here.

I'm not making an resolutions for 2014, semi, or fun or otherwise. I am just going to take it as it comes without any hopes or dreams to dash. This is not to elicit sympathy instead it is a very positive neutral stance to live in the moment.

I wish everyone a lovely New Year and much happiness and will continue to enjoy reading your end of year reviews or resolutions depending on your perspective.


  1. Living in the moment sounds perfect to me.
    Hug and Happy New Year, here is to a wonderful 2014.

  2. You have a "spare room of despair."? I have a "room of doom! *lol*


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