Friday 26 June 2020

So what's next?

No... I'm still not letting slip what's next in the stitch-along - that would be cheating!

The next changes to lockdown measures have been announced this week, with more businesses allowed to open, and new levels of 'who can gather where'.

So what does it mean for me and those nearest and dearest to me?

  • We can gather indoors with one other household at a time - this means we can get at least some of the family together for our son's 14th birthday, and we can spend time indoors with our parents for Sunday lunches and other get-togethers.  For me this feels like the most important positive step, just to be able to do something that is totally part of our 'normal' routine from before COVID-19 invaded.  It also means that, at some point, my BFF and I may be able to resume our craft evenings in person. (we're not rushing into this one as my friend's parents have medical vulnerabilities)
  • Churches are beginning a phased opening, and I will be able to return to Mass.  This one is a bit of a double-edged sword, I'm very keen to be back to Mass in person, but (initially at least), congregational singing is banned, so it will be a new kind of experience outside of the choir, and maybe I need to find other responsibilities within the parish whilst we wait to be able to praise in this way again.  There will also be a limit on how many are able to attend church at any one time, with social distancing measures being required.  And of course we will be unable to gather socially in church like we would have before the pandemic.  I've been running a weekly Zoom session with some of the parish and choir so that we still get to worship with song in some way, and I envisage that we will continue to do this until we can sing in our churches again.
  • Work (in the medium to long term) won't really change - as hubby and I both work in buildings where too many people were initially working for the size of the space, I estimate that we will be working from home for the rest of 2020 at least.  And whilst I'm frustrated at this, I'm learning to make peace with that fact, and to embrace the lack of travelling required, and the ability to spend more time on my hobbies.
  • I CAN HAVE A HAIRCUT!!!  Feeling more like a shaggy dog every single day at the moment, only 10 days to go till my appointment now.  I think the combination of normality at my parents house, and the ability to look more like myself again, will help deal with the remaining anxiety around the items which still have question marks - such as how schools will return in September, and whether there will be another outbreak in the winter, where we have to go through all this over again.
  • We still have a bigger 'next' in the offing, as we're hoping to move house to be closer to the office (ironic now that we're not travelling to work at the moment), so over the next weeks and months we will prepare to (hopefully) show off our home to potential buyers and make that sale.  I might ramble on more about that in a future post, though.

Thursday 25 June 2020

Life INSIDE the Washing Basket - Lockdown stitch-along - the flowers appear

I have to admit, for both my BFF and I, our get together was somewhat subdued this week.  I'd had a really bad sleep the night before, so my conversational skills were somewhat lacking.

We'd also reached the point in our mutual stages in the project, where we needed to count carefully to establish where we were in our patterns.  This second stage is proving quite tricky, as the backstitch obscures a lot of the symbols underneath.

But progress was made, nevertheless, and now the first of the tulips have been completed for me, it feels like more progress, looking at the picture, than it felt in person.

More discussion around our next potential SAL project, but we shall keep you in suspense on that one until we get a little closer I think....

Head on over to to check out my BFF's progress.

Thursday 18 June 2020

Life INSIDE the washing basket - Lockdown stitch-along - a question of colour?

Good progress once again on our stitch-along, with some very different perspectives appearing on our resulting pieces this week, as you'll see on my BFF's blog at

I think the colour of my Aida is making the colours of our projects (although we're both stitching the same pattern with the same thread brand) look much different to me - most odd.

And while we nattered, we talked of recent events in the news, with the racial unrest following the unlawful death of a man in police custody, and the more direct effects this was having on one of my BFF's friends.  I'm not going to discuss it again here, as this blog post is intended for talking about our stitching, but such issues must have had a profound effect on the world, for it to make it into our conversation (as we normally avoid politics and serious subjects to focus on our stitching), and to pretend that it were not so would be to avoid part of talking about our night.

And then we moved on to other questions of colour - in our next potential stitch-along project, the pattern simply calls for variegated green and variegated blues.  But it does not specify which of DMC's many variegated greens and blues to use - and bizarrely, upon comparing threads, my BFF and I have very few of the variegated shades in common - so we may diverge when it comes to that particular pattern, in the interests of frugality.

Saturday 13 June 2020

The wonderful thing about Tiggers... that they remind me of my youth.

Not the youth of childhood, as Winnie the Pooh was never one that I read as a small child (nor even in large doses once I had a small child of my own).

No - Tigger reminds me of my early twenties, spending time with my BFF.  And in particular, a city break to Dublin, where we learned a lot about each other and our responses to the stresses of our daily life. 

On other holidays up to this point, we had always been similar in energy levels, with my friend usually being the one pushing me to 'be more Tigger'.  However, as her Dad had recently been in hospital with some medical issues, and indeed was only released on the day we travelled, it resulted in that sense of relief setting in which then allows the body to relax - and although I'd gone into full-on 'Tigger' mode, my poor BFF was feeling much more like Eeyore.

We did still have a great weekend, despite the imbalance of energies, including a takeout pizza which we thought we were sneaking into our B & B, (until the landlady offered us plates and cutlery for it), and a steak dinner in a hotel which assumed we were business-women on an expenses-paid trip.  And despite (or perhaps because of) that balance of energies, we are still BFF's, many many years later.

So, here's my 'Lockdown Tigger', a small stitching project started and completed during lockdown.

Life INSIDE the washing basket - Lockdown stitch along - after the sulks

Apologies for the delay in posting this one, an extremely cold and wet day yesterday resulted in what I can only describe as a 'lockdown sulk', all I summoned up the energy for was a long hot bath, there were no stitches completed of any kind, and even blogging felt like more than I could do.

Another good week of stitching and chatting, felt like we got a lot done this week.  We also started pulling out some of our books, to see which patterns we might have in common for our next project. (not many it turns out teehee)  That has still to be officially determined, although we have some in mind as potentials, you will have to wait to find out what we decide upon in the long term.

For now, here's this weeks update:

And check out my BFF's version on

Thursday 4 June 2020

Life INSIDE the washing basket - lockdown stitch along - I remembered

Or rather, I was reminded (by my BFF) of the context of last week's missing bits - it might make more sense now teehee, including the reasoning for posting the pattern, which wasn't just a matter of perspective.

The reason I posted the pattern (see last week for more info), was the strangeness of some of the symbols.  One of the symbols is a back-slash (\) - now in the context of my job, this has another meaning altogether as an 'escape character', but in the context of cross stitch - it just looks WRONG!!  Why, you may ask?  Well, it's going the wrong way - the first half of a cross stitch (for me at least) looks like a forward-slash (/).  So to have halves going the wrong way is just WRONG I tell ya!

Anyway, this week's update - a straightforward evening of chattering and stitching, moves part 2 onto looking a bit like a destroyed Star Wars tie-fighter.  My BFF's is much further on and we are now contemplating what will be next when we finish this one in a few weeks.  Any suggestions for small patterns anyone?

And if you didn't arrive from there, head to to see how my BFF is getting on....