Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Rest of the Week

Goodness me, we're in June already. Slow down summer, don't go too fast! 
Two years ago I began a hexagon patchwork which I mentioned in this post and this post, and as that summer wore on I put it away, only to take it out briefly last summer to add a bit more. This week I have taken it out again and added lots more hexagons, making it into a large rectangle. I'm thinking of making it into either a little tablecloth or a quilt for our bed, although that last idea's perhaps a bit ambitious. It would be nice to finish it soon.

In the style of a magazine photographer I made a little photo-shoot with the patchwork, a jug of sweet williams (the first of the year - hooray!) and stocks, some roses from the garden and the teacup candle I made earlier this year. P walked past and smiled - he's used to me doing this sort of thing.

After my regular crafty get-together with my friend Jane (this time we may have done rather more chatting and drinking tea and coffee than making), I got on with some more hexagons in a different colour combination. This time it's fresh greens and lavenders and I'm planning on something smaller, a cushion cover, in fact. In that way I might actually finish it this summer.

As it was chilly and wet I decided to stay indoors at the dining table instead of taking everything out to my shed and spent a comfortable hour cutting, pinning, tacking and stitching.

I usually show you my calendar each month and realise that I forgot last month, so here is May, which for me is the month of bluebells, cow parsley and lilac,

and June, which is always full of roses.

I had to do some shopping in Bath last week and while I was dashing hither and thither I stopped to look at Pulteney Bridge and the horse-shoe weir, and was reminded of how beautiful it all is.

Yesterday P and I spent the day in Bristol. We went there to buy something for me which reconnects me to a skill which I have neglected for too long. 

I'd learnt violin briefly as a child, but took it up properly as an adult when D started school. I had lessons for several years and got as far as Grade 3, then life got busier and the time to practice became rarer as I started a training course and returned to work.

 Four years ago I put away my violin and there it's stayed in its case in a cupboard. But recently it's been quietly calling to me and so P and I went off to Bristol to the beautiful violin shop where I originally bought it. There I bought a new bow (J has my old one). Rather like Harry Potter choosing his wand you have to try a few before you find the one whose sound you like, but I came away with a bow, shoulder rest and rosin, kitted out and ready to start playing again. It's not an expensive violin, but I wouldn't swap it and playing it really does make me very happy indeed. 

I don't have lots of free time for practising, especially in term-time, but as our children are grown up now we find ourselves increasingly able to pick up the things that we used to love doing as well as finding new things too. I know I can find fifteen minutes a day. There's something special about making your own music and it's been proven that learning an instrument is good for you in all sorts of ways. And I do like playing a good hornpipe or jig.

While we were in Bristol the sun came out and we spent a very agreeable day doing not very much. We drank coffee, sat on College Green among the many students and people enjoying their lunch-breaks, and had a little picnic. Later we browsed in our favourite second-hand bookshop and I came away with some bargains. I'm still reading Robert Macfarlane's 'Landscape' which is excellent, so I snapped up his imaginative account of walking Britain's ancient routes 'The Old Ways', as well as these two lovely old paperbacks on wild flowers.

We strolled in the sunshine, drank tea by the harbour and ate ice creams. It really was a day of recharging batteries, ready for work again next week.

We've finished the week by spending today in Lyme Regis. We arrived late morning and bought pasties to eat on the seafront. It was quite hazy to start with and visibility along the coast wasn't great.

But before long the sun came out and the beach became busier. We read books and drank coffee - very relaxing. It was pleasant to hear the gulls and waves, and smell the sea air.

I do like the little cottages along the seafront, especially the thatched ones. 

It was very warm indeed and P went in for a swim, as always. He said it was chilly but invigorating.

By late afternoon it was time to head for home, and we walked back up the beach to the car park. 

It was a very summery day out and so good to be back at the coast again.

I'm back at work tomorrow, so won't be around quite as much as I have been lately, but I hope you have a lovely week and that the sun shines for you.
See you soon x


  1. I do love reading your blog and your pics are stunning. That patchwork is beautiful I wish I could do it I may get around to learning at some point.

  2. Goodness, you did make the most of half term; so many lovely places visited. My daughter, E, plays the violin and it's such a lovely instrument to listen to. I'm very envious of anyone who can play an instrument; keep up the practice. Your hexagons are looking lovely. Enjoy the week. xx

  3. What an exciting week! I remember one of those violin books from when my daughter learnt, how lovely to be taking it up again. x

  4. What a lovely post. I love your patchwork. I think you should go for the bedspread, it would look beautiful. Well done for taking up you violin again. You sound like me with my piano. It's hard making the time to practise! Lovely photos from Bath, Bristol and Lyme, you live in such a beautiful part of the country. Have a good week. B x

  5. Once again a delicious selection of pictures and stories, lovely!

  6. Lovely places to visit on your half term holiday. it must be so good to play the violin again! Sarah x


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