Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Jane Austen Prescription

I mentioned in my previous post that I intend to read the works of Jane Austen in the order which they were written, and I must say that although I have made the smallest of beginnings, it really is a prescription to soothe the soul.

I was disappointed that Sense and Sensibility was on loan from the library, so I have it on order, but was pleased to find the BBC adaptation from 1981 on the shelf, so I took that home with me for the long weekend.

On Monday morning, we walked down to the park and took a turn about the pond, which has pretentions of being a lake, but does not have the size to match its attitude! On returning, I sat down with a pot of tea and the first of three and half hours of Sense and Sensibility, and my knitting, to practise a new pattern I am thinking of making a cushion in (Jane Brocket's String Of Pearls, from her new book The Gentle Art of Knitting. I have not yet got the book from the library, but the pattern was featured in a magazine).

Following the trials and tribulations of the Dashwood sisters, and knitting and sipping was soothing indeed. I know that my soon-to-be-reduced circumstances are not as terrible as those faced by the Dashwoods, or even by Jane herself, but it does feel odd to be suddenly faced with the reality of lots of little economies to make. I am trying to make it a good thing rather than a sad thing, by thinking of what Jane would have done and seeing myself as in the same boat as her.

I have always read books from the library, but I would have bought Jane Brocket's newest book right away, although from amazon. I am now waiting to read it from the library before I decide if I would like it, and will save up the pennies for it if I do want to buy it. Today I went to the market and rather than buy DMC thread for my cross stitch, I bought the cheaper 'venus' brand, in the nearest shade. I also bought another ball of wool for my crochet blanket, and felt happy that when I started it I decided to use an economy range rather than a premium range! I have packed my own lunch from home....all little things that are so easy to get out of the habit of doing when you earn a regular wage!

The next part of my Jane Austen cure will be to read Sense and Sensibility, when it arrives at the library, and perhaps watch another adaptation before moving on. I also have a lovely book at home that I bought in a charity shop years ago, which is all about the life and times of Jane Austen, so I may try a little craft project based on Sense and Sensibility, using the crafts that Jane would have done herself.

It's a funny thing, but when I have been reading or watching Austen, I find my thoughts forming in the kind of language she used!

Oh, and I have just read a delightful little novel, A Weekend With Mr Darcy, which has made me long to go back to Bath again. Perhaps that can be something else for me to save up for!

What lovely things are you saving up for at the moment?


ps Dinah, what a lovely post you suggested, I really enjoyed it. Little pleasures and little miracles really make the world a brighter place, even on the darkest of days!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dark Clouds and Silver Linings

I feel like I am sleepwalking through a very dark cloud at the moment. But, as a dear friend pointed out, the darkest clouds have a silver lining. It has been raining or threatening to rain much of the past few days. The sky has looked dark and bruised, and it has been just the thing to sip tea and curl up on the sofa with my crocheted throw on my knee, watching Pride and Prejudice.

I think I need more time to find the silver linings properly, I am still very bruised at the moment. My job share partner did not get a job either, and while she is very angry I am just overwhelmingly sad. I have been here for 11 years, and have so many friends, I can't believe that in ten weeks I will be leaving them....and have no idea where I will be leaving to go...

But there are small glimmers. I have really found out how lovely my friends and family and blog friends are! I have plans for a novel to scribble in my spare time, and I have decided that I want to read the works of Jane Austen in the order they were published, and of course watch a few adaptations along the way!

Oh, and I am thinking of knitting a cushion as well.....keeping busy is the thing, I think!

More tea, anyone?


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Tea and Sympathy...

...well its another post from our old flat, as we have not yet got our internet service up and running at our new place. I am missing posting regularly, I have so much to share with you! Pictures of our new home, and from my new walk to work (I have found a delightful path that takes you between some back gardens from Victorian terraced houses, all poppies and everlasting sweetpeas, so beautiful!). I have adventures to tell you about, new crafting to show you, some book reviews and recipes too. As soon as our internet is up and running, I will be here to share it all!

There is something else I want to share though, before then. I found out on Thursday evening that I have been made redundant from my job at the big library. I still have my little library which is a small comfort in terms of security both emotionally and financially (although it pays half of what I get for the big library) but in some ways it is no comfort at all. I feel shell shocked and almost like I am grieving. I wasn't alone so there are others suffering too but I am finding it hard not to be selfish and just concentrate on my own feelings right now.

I know in time I will look back at this and see it is a wonderful opportunity, but I have worked there since I was 18 (I will be 30 next year!) and count many of my colleagues as dear friends. I am having a few days off to acclimatise to the news before I go back in, on a notice period of not quite three months.

I am more or less past the crying stage, but I do feel horribly sad and numb, and really worthless. I feel like I have been judged and was not good enough. I have no confidence in my own judgement any more, and although there have been moments of smiles at silly little things and lovely messages from family and friends, I just feel...so, so bad.

I don't like this to be a sad place, but I do want it to be a proper reflection of my life, not just edited to show the good bits. So, will you take out your favourite tea cup with me, and share a cup of tea while I try to heal from this and plan the next steps forward? If you listen carefully, you can hear the clicking of my needles as I try and knit my way into a soothing rhythm and regain a bit of equilibrium in my life.

With love to you all,


Saturday, 14 May 2011

First, Unpack Your Kettle


Happy Saturday! This is a quick dispatch in my lunch break from my little library on top of the hill, which looks like it is about to get a sprinkling of rain!

We are, I am pleased to say, moved! At last! Everything is in, and we are just waiting for our old wardrobe to be collected by a local charity, and we are done. Most things are unpacked (although the very first thing was, of course, the kettle!) and order is beginning to win over chaos.

I am exhausted but happy, I love our new home. I have a whole cupboard shelf devoted to the necessary items for afternoon tea...pretty cups and saucers, cake stands, milk jugs. Oh, and another shelf just for tea and coffee!

Lots more to tell and photos to follow, but for now, just a quick hello.

I do hope you are all well....


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Peeking Up From Amongst The Packing Boxes!

Good morning!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend and are enjoying this rather breezy start to the beautiful month of May! I am writing from the bedroom this morning, as there is not a scrap of space left in the living room, despite the fact that we moved all three book cases and the books into our new home yesterday.

This morning I have to finish off my application form for the restructure at work, and then it is back on with packing and moving this afternoon! I can't decide where to start next though....we have storage space under our bed, so I could do that, or there is the wardrobe, airing cupboard, writing desk...my oh my!

We have done such a lot but there seems such a lot more to do. My comfort at the moment is the thought that by the time we have our next bank holiday, on May 30th, all this will be done and we will be living in our new home!

I have much to tell you about my Royal Wedding Tea Party (beautiful service, loved Kate's dress, did not like Pippa's dress!) and a recipe or two to share too...

But alas that must wait! I just wanted to drop in here to say hello, and then I can have writing a proper post as a treat for later on, after I have done my work!