Friday, 26 April 2013

Stuff & Nonsense Mostly.

It has been very chilly here in Cornwall. Yes, I am envious of those of you who were not only served a main course of sun this week, but had a side order of  temperatures up in the high teens to accompany...bah! Anyhoo, these images are from a trip to the beach during the recent holidays; Isabella and her pal Nell racing in the breeze and whipped up by it as much as the waves were. Bliss.

I am hopeful for similar weather this weekend though it is not looking likely. As I type the clouds are gathering once more. We have plans: the front garden is returning again to a veg plot as it has the best of the sun and Isabella is desperate to start planting out. Yet again, we are going to be removing the grass but this time raised beds are planned - four of them running from hedge to house, each able to hold a goodly amount of scrumptious veg. I am excited.

However, these days I like my gardening to take place in warmer weather than we have at present  I have become a softie south-coaster, my north Cornish roots once so used to hammering gales and an ever-pervasive chill now hide away under snuggly blankets rather than get frozen to pieces. I want the sun please for the raising of beds tomorrow!

 Mind you, I still race to the wild seas when the winds whip up, the white horses galloping over each other to reach the shore first. These two girlies chased the sea back & forth, clothes slightly dampened in the process of course. Has Isabella ever been near water and stayed dry?

Wish I looked cool in sunnies.

Unfortunately I have a head the size of a pin and have to wear children's glasses which tend to make me look (apparently) like something from Larson's 'The Far Side'. Not quite the look I am after really, though I have finally given in to failing eyesight & vanity and am collecting new glasses tomorrow. This is very exciting as it means I will be able to sew in public - i.e. on the beach - without pitying glances being thrown my way by those more suited to such things than pinhead here.

 Not too sure how I moved from the beach to gardening and sunglasses but there you are. Stream of consciousness. It worked for Mrs Woolf. Now there's a thought: perhaps a little fictional writing could be wrought into the weekend. It has been a long time since I did any. What thinks you? No? Oh, ok then...

Nothing like the feel of sand through your fingers is there Nell?

Is it any wonder our house / car / washing machine are permanently full of sand?

I am rambling appallingly and so will leave you with my hopes for the weekend: building four raised beds for veggies; gardening in our very lovely but very wintery looking back garden; restraining the ducks within the confines of their pen once more & generally wearing my new glasses whether I need to or not just because. No fictional writing. Oh, and there will be wine...of course. There is always room for wine in a weekend.

And you? What shape are your plans for the weekend? x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Parapet.

So, here I am ...finally. Popping my head over the parapet and wondering whether it is wise to do so. It has been a strange year so far, this coldest of winters leading to the coldest of springs. Illness has been at the forefront of it for us with the usual coughs & colds superseded by horrifically debilitating 'flu; real 'flu that knocks you sideways and leaves you reeling for weeks & weeks. We have all had it and other things too including some unforeseen problems which cropped up during routine visits to our wonderful doctor - we are almost bestest friends by now I should think!

Add to the mix various dance commitments for the two girls & a school play with endless rehearsals for weeks on end meaning much running around when the body just wants to stay prostrate, work commitments which I have been completely unable to meet & just the usual never-ending demands we all have...well let's just say I haven't really had a lot to blog about lately though I have had many thoughts about the difficulties of working for yourself. 

Thought no 1:  It isn't quite like you read in Country Living! Yes, there are many wonderful things about it such as being able to stop when you want, being able to make school assemblies, etc BUT if it is supposed to be bring in a decent wage & not a little pin money (and there is nothing wrong with that) then you can ill afford to take the time off for eating, let alone take whole hours at a time away.


Thought no 2:  There is always more you should/could be doing. Work/life balance is really a myth isn't it because if you love what you do & care passionately about it (which I do) then every time you sit watching a film or making something for yourself you are thinking of all the admin/making-up/prepping you should be doing instead. In other words, there are never enough hours for all you want to do at home, with family or for your business.

 Thought no 3:  It's a hard one this - however hard you try, you WILL let people down and those people will be some of the loveliest people ever. They are your customers who you want to please & who are so important to you. They are the very fabric of what your business is about & yet once in a while there is absolutely nothing you can do but mess up. 

This has been the most upsetting thing for me this year as I have repeatedly been out of action with such short bursts of thinking we are back to normal only to find the spiral starting again. I am lucky in that almost all of my customers have been fantastically understanding, unbelievably patient and truly have made me cry on occasion. However, obviously not all can be so and truthfully why should they? They have ordered & paid for something in good faith, & I have accepted in good faith, believing that I will be getting their order to them as agreed. When this has been totally unable to happen is it not fair they should have a grievance? I always refund of course, but even so...

 It all sounds a bit negative doesn't it, yet if you asked me to give it all up, to close down my shops and call it a day would I? No, not for a moment because I know things level out and you pick yourself up once more, get enthused once again & generally prove to yourself that you can not only do this, but that you do it well. You can face the challenges & even find them inspiring, possibly liberating when you overcome them. And so, on that not-intended-to-be-negative at all post (think of it more as a reflective one maybe) I will end for now & hopefully my head will stay firmly above the parapet....

once more x