Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 1 May 2020

April 2020 in Photos

I've been trying to take the time this month to get some much needed rest and blogging has fallen by the wayside again .... so I thought I'd at least try to jump in and join the Photo Scavenger Hunt that Kate at I Live I Love I Craft has kept going for several years now.   This month the words, or suggestions, have been put forward by Purple Threads and they're an interesting variation to suit this new situation we all find ourselves in.  I feel like I want to answer the questions more than put up photos so bear with me....

Happiness is ....

Having  more than one weekend at home and getting to grips with the garden while watching Nature slowly unfold in front of us.

Normally at this time of the year we are off travelling somewhere.   Right now we should be driving home from a trip around Scotland and the north of England after visiting several folk clubs, enjoying lovely gigs, and catching up with friends we've not seen for a few years.

So it's been a lovely surprise to actually be here at the right time for pruning hedges, planting seeds, weeding and tidying. The poor garden doesn't know what's hit it!  This is a very boring photo of a bit of waste ground that it has taken us 17 years to dig over!!  so a few herbs and peas already in and more seedlings getting ready

Makes me smile ...

There have been so many funny videos doing the rounds since the start of the lockdown - some are chuckle worthy and others really laugh out louds and we've had our one constant smileworthy Red the squirrel.   But these sweet flowers make me smile everytime I see them - closing up at night and opening up to the sunshine.  Not even sure what they're called but were part of a bag of mixed bulbs I planted in the Autumn

Relaxing with ... 

Finally at Easter we got some time to relax - so out came movies, books and knitting and of course the obligatory glass of wine (hic)... And I've also been dabbling with art journalling - enjoying creating with no end result which has been a huge joy.   I'm not artistic in the slightest, so to play with paint and paper with no expectation is bringing me back to childhood and is wonderfully relaxing.

I set myself a few projects to do during this time using up left over scraps of wool and took this basic pattern from Beate at Hedgehog Fibres for a blanket.  It is still growing and keeping me warm on these cooler evenings and my piles of unused wool are starting to shrink.

Busy with ... 

Learning new technology ... groan ... sorry, but this is a long comment ....
Coming up to St Patrick's Day and the week before the official lockdown we were hoping to finish up our run of The Emigrant's Woman Tale and managed to get to the last two shows before everything collapsed.  There was an instant panic as we spent the following 2-3 days cancelling the following several months work.Too much stress.

Then began the task of moving some of it online and that meant learning new tecnhology - to teach a class, to run the choir and to do a concert.  It took 3 weeks, but we managed to get all of them going by using Zoom and Facebook Live.  However it totally exhausted me and I've ended up taking an earlier than normal holiday to get time to recover (and apologies for not putting up the link after our concert).

The concert was a huge success - much better than we could have expected - you can still see it on YouTube.  Once we starsted seeing comments coming in from around the world, friends and family letting us know they were there, it became very emotional and really really enjoyable.   We're considering doing a second one if our energy returns before the lockdown ends, and we'll time it to suit the American clock this time.  And I will be a bit quicker about letting you have the YouTube link afterwards

However, the choir online was not as successful.   Because of the delay in sound we cannot sing together from different places - we can use it for a check in and for all the members to say hello, tell a story etc and if I switch off everyone's microphones each person can sing along with the tracks I've recorded.  It's not as sastisfying as making music together, but at least it is keeping the group together.

And the last bit - teaching a one to one class on line - that was a great success - almost better than in real life as I can watch the student better.  It just depends on students having good enough technology at their end. 

Positive about ... 
So as a result of the last one I am positive about learning new ways of being.

A gorgeous walk around the bay on Sunday evening

But more importantly I'm positive about the future.  I've worked weekends all my life and never knew how to switch off.  It never occured to me to take days off in lieu, and as I've got older couldn't quite figure out why I always felt ill and exhausted.

Now I'm learning to rest, relax, chill out and just be.   Wheee .....

My Own Choice
Friends doing shopping for us, ... and arriving with a gorgeous bunch of flowers at Easter.   And as I've watched the tulips fade in the vase, the shapes of their elegance have been fascinating.  I've spent ages each day photographing them, learning about the light, and watching their shapes change.

Heading over now to Kate's linky page to see what everyone else has been up to. 
#staysafe everyone - this too shall pass.  


  1. What a lovely post. I admire all your online efforts. I know what you mean about group singing. B and I join in with our local church's Zoom Sunday service. The first week the priest tried to organise everyone singing a well known hymn but with the time delays it was hilarious. B and I had muted our mike which hid our giggles. Enjoy your new found ability to rest and relax. Take care.

  2. What a heart-felt post; love your explanatory texts. Maybe the current situation will help you slow down a bit and focus on what you ought to do for yourself. It's hard to step of the treadmill willingly so there might be a positive outcome for you. I love your photo of the walk around the bay; superb. Take care.

  3. It sounds like you will come out of this more rested. I have just picked up a pencil and done some very low quality sketching but I quite enjoyed it. Arilx

  4. Glad to hear you've slowed down a bit, but I highly commend you for learning to do all that on-line stuff. Brilliant. Yes, craft & garden are coming to the fore in many peoples' lives at the moment & maybe a push for us all to take notice of the natural world around us too. Good luck with your garden & enjoy your knitting. Take care, stay safe & huggles from down under.

  5. Hi Fil - lovely post ... it's good to round up on life and to see what you've been doing. I've decided to steer clear of extra technology ... but admire you embracing it ... pity about the choir but times will change and we'll be able to connect once again anon. Good luck with the garden ... and well done reclaiming the waste ground. Take care and just enjoy being home with time to spare ... stay safe - Hilary

  6. Loved reading your comments to accompany the pics this month.
    Hopefully, the lockdown will have been a positive for you and the future will hold lots of quieter times to recharge your batteries and just enjoy some peace and quiet amongst the busy times.
    Off to listen to the concert... thank you
    Take care, stay safe x

  7. Lovely post Fil, lovely to hear your words as you explain how you are feeling your way through this pandemic - thank you x

  8. I'm really glad you are learning more about rest and realising that you need rest! I've been glad to have more rest as a result of this staying at home.
    Well done on your concert, I will certainly head over to watch it- that's fantastic that it had such an impact.
    Yes, Zoom doesn't work with music really, does it. We did a family Zoom quiz and I was doing a Morse-code words on recorder one and everyone found it really hard to hear it!

  9. Hello Fil, I admit I'm here to have a poke about after you left a lovely comment on my April Photo post :) I meant to visit everyone that joined in but ;)
    Anyway it's nice to see whats happening in your part of the world but the most exciting bit I read was the art journaling part! There's something very therapeutic about splashing paint or scribbling with a crayon or sticking pictures on paper, isn't there? Good for the soul!
    We had a zoom call with all our children on Easter morning and while it was very enjoyable and rather funny, it was also a bit annoying that there is always a lag and only one person seems to be able to speak. Which I suppose is polite but not good when they are used to speaking over each other!!! ;)
    PS your blanket is gorgeous!

  10. Dunno about resting Fil, sounds to me as though you have been "busting your butt" as they say here. Taking a day off is a good idea and we should all do it when we can.

    Will try and find time to see your Youtube concert.

    You stay well and safe too.

  11. As hard as it is being home for so long, it looks (and sounds) like you are still keeping busy. But at a little slower pace?!
    I love your bay photo, it looks very peaceful.
    Take care!


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