The shifting sands of normality

Ziggy is perennially chilled, most days he can be found relaxing wherever he lays his hat in this house, for us humans it can be less easy at times.

I’ve just been looking at the news and as with each day of late, the headlines are focused on lock down restrictions being eased or tightened, of people charging home from holidays to avoid quarantines imposed overnight. There is no normal, or at least this environment of constant change is the only constant.

Anyway, enough of that, my aim is to keep positive and one of the best ways to achieve it that I find, is to keep occupied, go places, have new projects. Another is listening to music and reading, listening to podcasts, watching telly. Keeping stimulated is key to my well being, along with creating my own sanctuary.

So I’m going to share a few of the things I’ve done lately to help my mental health.

We’ve been to more places recently. This includes two social visits to London, a trip to a local National Trust property and even a visit to a local restaurant.

Both the cafe and pub we visited in London were pre-booked and social distancing was strictly adhered to. There were screens between tables in both the cafe and the pub. We also went for a delicious vegetarian South Indian curry and did some great catching up.

The National Trust property we visited is Wimpole Hall. Situated 8 1/2 miles South West of Cambridge, it’s a Neo-classical Grand Mansion built between 1640 -50. It has 3000 acres of parkland, formal and informal gardens and a working rare breeds farm. The house is currently closed but the farm and grounds are open to explore.

We’ve finally got around to doing a bit of decorating, transforming a small, dark room into a bright place to relax, read and listen to music. It’s not finished yet but I’m sharing. It’s the first time ever that I’ve painted a room entirely white!

I find sewing by hand incredibly therapeutic, so this too has featured in my mental well being self help plan.

I bought a plain linen jacket from Ebay and using Japanese Shasiko stitching and borrowing loosely from the beautiful mended Boro jackets, I up-cycled it.

I added Kuchi and Turkoman tribal buttons to finish it off. I kept me happy for quite a while, sitting listening to 6Music, a podcast or INXS (current favourite in the CD player).

In between the torrential rain and gale force winds over the last week, there have been windows of sunshine. I’ve used them to get into the garden and managed a bit of snipping, pruning and tidying up. The pear tree was bought as a standard and we’ve trained it against a west facing wall. It’s thanked us by giving us an incredibly heavy crop this year.

We’ve also managed to harvest some greengages, beans and radishes. Not great crops but not bad.

The trellis against the fence hold up a rose that was, until the spring, growing through an old, dead, apple tree that fell victim to the wind. It’s been piling on growth and needs regular tying in.

The garden is a sanctuary, visited by local wildlife and full of plants and objects I love. Just the smells when I’m weeding or cutting the grass are enough to cheer me.

To finish up this is what I’ve been reading:

I would never have picked the one on the left myself, it was a member of my book club’s choice, it’s really interesting though. That’s why I joined a book club, I get to read things I would never otherwise choose.

Whatever you are doing this week, I hope you feel positive and happy.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. krish says:

    We all go to find our own way through the pandemic…the most difficult for many has been to gainfully utilise the time in hand…good to see that you have been engaging creatively and discovering a new self…
    God bless you 🙏🌹🙏


    1. Thank you Krish. I’m not doing anything new, it’s just my way of coping. Blessings to you too


  2. Vix says:

    Ziggy does look chilled out and so do you two on your break in London. Looks like you had the weather on your side.
    Wimpole House looks fabulous, wonderfully grand. I love a walled garden and a spotty pig!
    Your jacket is fabulous, what a wonderful job you did. Liking the skirt your tending to your gorgeous garden in, too.
    Fancy having a visiting deer.
    Gah! The holiday situation is getting ridiculous. We’ve decided that unless Boris turns up at the airport and physically stops us we’re going anyway. xxx


    1. I would go too, it’s worth it for the break in a beautiful place. I reckon you’ll get that holiday and I hope it’s a lovely break for you both. xxx


  3. Ann says:

    Phoebe is the same as Ziggy, totally chilled at all times and sleeping as if there is no tomorrow. I’m often quite envious of animals’ ignorance. You are spot on when you say the only constant is the constant changes. We were away for a week enjoying some peace and quiet and avoiding people as much as we could, and at times we were able to forget. I’m glad to hear you were able to visit London – I’m not sure I would feel comfortable visiting a big city – and that gorgeous NT property. I love how you customized that jacket and that – like me – your garden is your sanctuary! xxx


    1. Your holiday looked wonderful, I loved your Instagram posts.
      Do you know, I was a bit nervous about visiting London, it was so much better than I imagined. We were staying with family and everything we did was pre-booked and numbers were low everywhere we went.
      I absolutely love being in the garden, I love seeing your (and Vix’s) garden too, it’s been a real highlight for me. xxx


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