Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Monthly Musing - September 2020 - The best version of you

I was listening to Dame Sarah Storey being interviewed on the radio the other day.  She’s a Paralympian, one of the most decorated athletes in sporting history, and now works with her husband to encourage young people in sport. 
One of the things that she talked about was being “the best version of you”, which is where they encourage young cyclists in their racing team to always try to beat their own personal best and not worry about what others are doing.  She went on to say that you can’t control what other people are doing but you can make sure that you are always doing the best that you can and by focussing on that, your own performance will improve because that’s where all your attention is.

I may not want to be a gold medal-winning Olympic cyclist (as if that was ever an option – ha!), but Dame Sarah’s words really struck a chord with me.  One of the things that I know I am guilty of recently is too much social media scrolling, and it’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap.  “That person knits far more pairs of socks than I do; this person produces more patterns than me; I wouldn’t have thought to put those colours together; I wish I could draw like that; I wish I had their interior design style …”  What starts off as a fun way to spend half an hour can leave me putting my phone down with a sense of dejection and overwhelm.  Why can’t I paint gorgeous landscapes whilst baking fabulous cakes, decorating three bedrooms in an afternoon and whizzing out a few extra sock patterns in my spare five minutes?  I’m obviously not organised enough, or I’m not talented enough, or I’m just plain lazy …

Friday, 18 September 2020

My Instagram Challenge Part 1

Hello there, how are you doing?  I'm just popping in quickly to wish you a wonderful weekend whatever you're up to, and share some photos from something that I've been up to recently.

Well, I've been up to lots of things recently - one of them is a certain collection of Christmas socks which officially launched on Wednesday - but so many things that I do are either too boring or too secret to share so it's good to have something that I can show for a change! 

I've been taking part in a hashtag challenge over on Instagram during September.  It's been co-hosted by four crocheters (Unicorn Puffs and Rainbows, Attic24, Sewing The Seeds of Love and Hook One Purl One) and has consisted of a photo prompt for every day.  My Instagram account until now has been an extension of my blog photos - an explosion of everyday photos from blog posts, of fruit and veg, socks, dog walks and random things that have made me smile - but I've taken the opportunity to change it to something slightly different and focus it on my socks and sock knitting for beginners so that I can keep my other everyday conversations here with you.  My husband often tells me (and sometimes a bit grumpily!) that I can turn any conversation round to socks and I've had great fun turning the photo prompts round to socks over the last couple of weeks.

I know that not all of you are or want to be on Instagram so I thought I would like to share the photos with you as I have enjoyed writing the story captions to go with them and I thought you might like to see.  I don't want to bore you with 18 days' worth of photos in one go, so I'll just show you the first week of photos today, and then show you the others another time.  There's still time if you want to get involved in the hashtag challenge yourself, and I've posted the list of prompts at the end of my photos.

Day 1 : This is Me

A photo showing an orange copy of Super Socks sock knitting tutorial book next to an orange mug containing tea.  On the book is a navy blue sock cuff on a circular knitting needle.  The background is cream.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Arches of brick and balls of yarn!

Hello to you!  I can't believe that it's Tuesday already - the days have been rushing past faster and faster but now that small daughter is back at school ... yes, after all these months she has gone back to school and I don't know if you have children, but if you do then wasn't it strange and yet wonderful to see them go?! ... I am hoping to get myself into some kind of new routine and slow the time down just a little bit.

I can't pretend that we're not worried about small daughter being back in a school environment with so many other people after such a long time at home, but the school that she goes to is very organised and very thoughtful about what is best for the teachers and the students so we are happy that they will be doing their best to keep her and all the other people there safe.

I sat down with my planner the other week to try to make sense of what was going to be coming up.  I'm back on school runs again after a 3 year break - the school are discouraging bus travel for those who are able to walk, cycle or get a lift so because I work at home anyway and the school is just a bit too far to reasonably walk to, I'm picking small daughter up each day.  I've decided to use the time to get a few extra rounds of knitting in, and also re-start my Welsh language practice which I let slip at the beginning of lockdown.  I'm quite surprised that I haven't forgotten as much as I thought I would have done, but I'm still not convinced that "I met a man in the pub yesterday who works with your sister" is going to get me very far at the moment!  I'll keep going ...

I'm also scheduling in regular times to walk the dog rather than just when I feel like it, or when I have time, and that feels much better.  I need to get out and be in the fresh air and the dog appreciates it too.  We found a new walk last week at the other end of the Sankey Valley Canal route to where we usually walk, and it was really quite exciting to be able to explore!

I'll try not to bore you with too many photos, but I love an arched bridge and I love a good fact too - and there are plenty about this viaduct!

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