Corona Diaries – Days 58-64

Sunday 17th – Saturday 23rd May 2020

Hello and welcome back to my blog! It’s been another productive week here. I feel this is going to be a long blog post so you might want a nice cup of tea before you dive in!

Making

I was hoping to get my May socks finished but I’m not too far off. I really like the colour combination and West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply is really lovely to work with and makes a robust sock.

 

At Easter, I bought Faye a Sequin Art set. She absolutely loved it but has found it so tricky to do because she is sadly a nail biter and this is one of those crafts where nails help enormously. In the end, she threw down tools in frustration and it has been sat looking at me for weeks, so I asked if I could finish it. She is very happy with the finished product. It is very fiddly and takes an absolute age to fill which for me was the perfect project. However, if you are thinking of buying for children, I would suggest to consider if your child has lots of patience, likes doing things that are fiddly and is prepared to spend lots of time going back to it over a period of days or even weeks. On reflection, this is not Faye and I should have known better. Did I possibly buy it more for myself rather than for her?

 

As longer standing readers will know, I am scared of my sewing machine. I have been trying my best to get over this and last week I started work on the Mimi Blouse for Faye. This is a pattern by Tilly Walnes from her first book ‘Love to Stitch’. Honestly, I have not enjoyed making this at all and I have made so many mistakes (not the pattern, just my incompetence). After a lot of work and unwork and work again, I’m at the stage where I need to do the button holes to finish it off. It is very far from perfect but thankfully it does fit the intended recipient! I’m not sure how long it will take to work myself up to attempt buttonholes for the first time, so I won’t promise that it will be finished next week!

 

Last week, I did a bit of doodling but I forgot to include it in the blog. I decided to start an art journal and improve my drawing skills by watching some online tutorials. My first was a flower drawing tutorial on YouTube by Shayda Campbell. I really enjoyed this and getting back to drawing. I haven’t done much of it since I finished my papercutting business about 5 years ago, but it’s always something on the list to get back into and try to improve my skills. I definitely drawn more to flowers than anything else, so I thought that was a good place to start.

 

Baking

On Monday, it was my Rob’s birthday. Unfortunately, it was also the day he was unfurloughed (again!) and sent back to work with a lovely 5am wake-up. It was only fitting that we made him a cake to cheer him up. I finally managed to get my hands on some flour, although it was plain, but I did have some baking powder, so was able to muddle through. He loves ginger cake, so we baked him a ???

 

We get our eggs delivered our lovely milkman – 12 every Monday. Last week, we hadn’t used any and still had a few stragglers from the week before that, so on Monday i was faced with 27 eggs that needed using. Some went in the cake, more for hard boiling for sandwich filler, boiled eggs for breakfast and a homemade chicken and chorizo quiche! I have only made a couple of quiches before. I made some shortcrust pastry (more practice required as it was very short and crumbly!) and the filling was made up on the spot taking into consideration what we had. For anyone interested, it was 325g shortcrust pastry with following filling:

  • 1 chopped onion,
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed,
  • approx 2 inches of chorizo chopped up (these were all cooked off in a frying pan with a little oil),
  • leftover chicken, chopped,
  • handful of chopped garden chives,
  • 1/4 pint semi-skimmed milk,
  • 4 large eggs,
  • lots of grated cheese,
  • salt and pepper.

It was absolutely beautiful and enjoyed by everyone.

 

On Friday, I baked a jam and coconut sponge cake using my faithful Mary Berry all-in-one recipe to enjoy over the bank holiday weekend.

 

Gardening

Last Sunday, Rob helped me to clear and clean out my long-neglected polytunnel. It was in a sorry state – grass growing up the inside, spiders and webs everywhere, even a few self-seeded foxgloves growing up through the matting! Now though, it looks lovely and I can’t wait to garden properly again.

 

I have done lots of seed sowing this week. It’s probably too late for lots of it but they are old seeds so I thought I might as well give it a go! I let you know how I get on. My spinach and rocket in their washing up bowls are doing well and we have been eating them this week. I’ve sown some more to make sure to keep up a good supply.

 

Reading

This week I finished ‘One of Us is Lying’ by Karen M McManus. I enjoyed it, although it did take me a while to get into.

I’ve also finished listening to ‘Career of Evil’ by Robert Galbraith on audiobook. I like to listen to Audible when I’m gardening.

I’ve also been dipping in and out of ‘Down to Earth’ by Monty Don. Like most gardeners, Monty is my hero and we were all so sad to here about Nigel passing away. We all shed a tear watching his best bits of this week’s Gardener’s World. He was such a darling. Faye watches the programme more for the dogs than the gardening.

 

General Chit-Chat

I really feel that this week my true love of gardening has finally returned. I’m absolutely loving being outside every evening and this weekend, we get three days and I have PLANS!

For part of my work this week, I did a free social media course on FutureLearn. It was really interesting and helpful, so I would recommend it to anyone finding themselves suddenly in charge of their work’s currently non-existent social media and not really having a clue. It’s one thing to post pictures of hand knit socks on Instagram and quite another to represent a professional services business that definitely is devoid of pretty pictures! As usual, I have a lot to learn!

Wishing you all an enjoyable and productive week! xx

 

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