Fresh Start

I've done that thing again, after doing well, it slipped, and I had a go at pulling it back and then pouff, it's been over 5 months since my last post.

Sorry about that.

However, today, I am starting over.

As always, I have become carried away with too many things going on, and not being sure how to deal with it all, I've been ignoring it and reading a book, or several, but that just isn't good enough.

Today, I purchased a small stack of notebooks, so that I can keep one with each project and keep myself on track with those. I'm going to monitor time spent on each project, and work out exactly what I need to spend most time on.

As you may already be aware, I have rather a diverse collection of hobbies, some of which are connected, others, well, not so much, but I'm going to make it work. I have done before, and I can do again.

First, reading. Much as I need to not just read and hide from the universe, I still need to read. I can't not, I'd go stir crazy, and I have a TBR list I'll never get through and more reading commitments being added daily. I've worked out how much of each book I need to read each day to get it finished by it's deadline. If it has no deadline, it's sidelined for now.

This week, I need to read up to 7% a day of Stephen and Matilda: The Civil War of 1139-53, in order to have it finished by the next Book Club meeting (24th June). It's on kindle, it'll fit in my handbag, it's my lunchtime book. Kartherine of Aragon is my bed time book because it's a substantially sized hardback and is hard to carry about with me, and also due back at the library soon.
And I need to find at least 15 minutes a day to spend on The Seagull, by Ann Cleeves which is one of my target books for next month's Crime Writer's festival.
Secondly, sewing. I have started going to the local sewing bee on a Thursday, so that I can get help and encouragement in my sewing. So far I have printed and pieced together a pdf pattern for a tunic, traced it onto baking parchment and cut it out. By next week, I need to have cut out the fabric pieces and attached the interfacing to the fabric where required and starting stitching it. Whilst I am not targeting it being finished by next Sunday, I want it complete and wearable by Sunday 24th, so I can trial run it at book club!

Crochet - a recently learned skill - I have promised to add two rounds per week to my granny square blanket.

I've also started crocheting a tunic too. Likely to be winter wear, so no rush on it, and I'm glad of that, because even though it doesn't look like much yet, I still think I've managed to muck it up already, and I'm only on row 4! However, I shall start again, and want to get to at least row 12 before next Sunday!

And cross stitch - I've been working on this pattern for two years so far, and have already re-started it twice. Determined that this is going to be my year, I am going to spend at least one hour per week on this until it's done!

It's a copy of the Albrecht Durer drawing Praying Hands, I can't remember the artists name but I bought the pattern in a book-azine, and it's brilliant and one of a number of high-art pieces converted to counted cross stitch. Not the only one I hope to do, but sepia tones are hard!

I haven't even started my knitting project yet, so no photos of that so far! However, after years of searching, I have finally found the pattern I was looking for! Well, the closest approximation to my old favourite jumper that eventually gave up. I need to purchase the wool and a new circular needle (the pattern uses two sizes of circular needle, and I only have one of them) and in total it'll cost me £26 to buy the lot from Amazon, but I'm going to check the shopping centre near work on Monday to see if I can find the things I need cheaper from there.

Whilst I wouldn't go so far as to call gardening a hobby, I am rather fond of my garden, so occasionally, I will post pictures of my garden, and the plants and flowers in it and the few bits of food we grow ourselves, but it's definitely more of an extra room than a hobby!
Blue Diamond Hybrid Tea Rose
I will also be practicing my photography more often, especially at the U9s cricket matches, though I don't know how many of those pics I can realistically share (pictures of other people's kids and so on) but I will try to take a photograph of something I can post every time, and maybe go for a few abstract action shots, where you can't make out the kids, but bats and balls, and falling wickets (ideally, not our sides'!)

And writing. I pledge to write for ten minutes a day, I will start with this week coming, but in an ideal world, even if that's all I manage, I am looking for 10 minutes a day. Not sure on a word count (except in November, when NaNoWriMo happens, and maybe camp in April and July) but for me, 10 minutes.

Over on my Fit From Forty blog, I'm talking about health and fitness goals. Trying not to emphasise weightloss, but it is a goal, longevity, health and mental health, including fighting potential age-related memory loss, are my actual main goals. However, I will be trying all sorts and habit stacking over there.

For now, I'm almost at my half hour no electronics countdown before bed tonight (see Fit From Forty for more about this) and so I need to log off... after a brief, very brief, check-in on a facebook group...

Next week is Father's Day, but I should still have time to write, at least a brief blog post. Until then...


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