Rush rush

I’ve spoken to quite a few people recently, and maybe you’re experiencing the same thing, but it seems as if there are too many things to do in a day and not enough day to do them in.  Yes, I am aware that I generally live my life in this state, but it seems to me as if the volume has been turned up on it all over the last couple of weeks.

I was chatting to one of my best friends in the car today after dropping not so small daughter off at her final briefing weekend before she heads to Japan in just over a fortnight’s time, and not only was I speaking to her on the phone (hands-free, of course), but a Saturday morning was the only time we’d found in a few weeks – and whilst I was driving! – to catch up.  Usually, we chat every week over a brew, but recently, that’s fallen by the wayside and we found ourselves agreeing that we’re not quite sure why, but there just seems to be so much to do.  Clearly, I should have lived in an era when I had staff … although then there would have been no blogs, no phones to catch up with friends and generally not much of anything for women to do except fizz with the injustice of living in a man’s world, so perhaps I’m better off where I am 🙂

Anyway, grumble over, let me show you what I can see out of my kitchen window …

Two purple and green passionflowers on a plant growing against a wooden shed wall

adore passionflowers.  They’re my favourite flowers next to poppies and I’ve never really managed to grow them since we’ve lived here – and that’s 20 years this summer!  I’ve lost count of the number of plants that I’ve bought and lost, so these are special flowers as they are actually flowering, and I’m hoping that I’ve got them in a sheltered enough space for them to survive the winter.  I did notice that something’s been munching at the lower leaves so I may have to try to protect the main stem so that doesn’t get chewed.

A close up of a passionflower flower.  There are three brown stamens which stand up and away from each other, with purple fringed petals underneath, and large green petals below them.  The passion flower is growing up a wooden shed wall.

There is a religious story to go with the flowers if you like that kind of thing, but I love them because of what they are – showy, exotic and purple!  They were growing intertwined with jasmine at the place that my husband and I stayed for our honeymoon and although I did like them before that, the place and the occasion has cemented them firmly into my heart and there will always be space for them in my garden.

I planted this climber around the sheltered side of the shed as that’s where I’ve got our garden chairs this year – I did a lot of clearing out of overgrown winter jasmine and other leafy climbers to make the space to sit.  The idea was that I’d be able to work outside and at least get some fresh air, and I did do that for those few weeks when we had the unbroken sunshine a short while ago.  It’s been a bit rainy since, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that sitting outside with a laptop in the rain, even under an umbrella, is not going to end well!

I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes blog stuff this week.  There was a problem with ad blockers and the GDPR notice that I have to have on the blog which was stopping people getting onto the blog to read the posts, but that should have been fixed now.  There was a problem with the RSS feed so if you usually pick up these posts through something like Feedly or Bloglovin then you won’t have been able to since the beginning of the year, but that’s fixed now too.  I have a love-hate relationship with the ads on the blog: they’re a valuable source of income to help with the blog running costs but I know that other people have a love-hate relationship with them too, so I always worry that there are too many.  The ad company I work with uses AI to determine how someone interacts with ads so in theory, you should never see more of them than you think is acceptable, but I still over-worry about how many that is!  I’ve disabled a few of them recently to try to help with some page speed loading issues so you might have noticed that – but equally, thanks to the AI, you might not! 🙂

I think the problem with these rushed weeks, and maybe they are something that everyone with children who are close to finishing or have already finished school and college for the year experience as we do our best to clear out our in-trays before our routines change, is that it’s so easy to forget what you did only hours before, never mind yesterday.  Writing the blog definitely helps as I want to have something to show you, but unfortunately for my camera roll, this week I have done lots of accounts work, driven a lot of miles with not so small daughter as she’s missed trains or trains have been cancelled or the timing of public transport just didn’t work, and saved Astrid the cat from losing another of her nine lives as she did one of those curly wurly showing-off- her-tummy cat stretches and fell off the stairs.  Luckily, I managed to grab her just as she disappeared over the edge but it wasn’t an elegant or careful grab and she was very offended.  You’d think I’d pushed her from the dirty looks I got – so ungrateful! 🙂

Even the walks with the dog have been squeezed in, although from these photos you can see why we had a need to hurry!

A dramatic dark sky beyond a countryside footpath - the walker is heading straight into a storm!A bright sun partly covered by clouds above a ripening corn field.  There are dark storm clouds coming in from the leftA bright sun mostly covered by clouds above a ripening corn field.  There are dark storm clouds coming in from the left and the corn looks dark gold in colour

I stopped to take the last photo as the clouds at the bottom looked just like a human face with a tiny dragon next to it but they may have moved a bit as those big black clouds were coming in fast!  This is the barley that was crackling in last week’s post – it won’t be long now before the combine harvester is out in these fields.

I like looking for shapes in the clouds.  Years ago, I took this one on the way home from somewhere – it looked so amazing that I actually stopped the car to get out and take it.  We thought it looked just like a phoenix, and much like when you see or read something and think “I needed that today”, this cloud formation arrived at just the right time.  I don’t pray for help with things but I will ask the Universe in general and say thank you in advance as I know that the answer to what I need will come – I’m just not always very good at picking up on signs so it’s a family joke that something needs to be really obvious before I see it and this was pretty obvious! 🙂

A cloud formation in a pink sunset sky that looks like a giant mythical bird

I don’t have anything to show you on the knitting front this week – there’s been no progress with any of my projects because although I can have my Emergency Sock in the car, it’s not actually safe for me to drive and knit at the same time 🙂

Not so small daughter has all the yarn news this week as there were purchases made …

Two crochet hooks in different sizes, still in their packaging, lie on a granite worktop. The left hand hook has a red handle and the right hand hook has a blue handle.

I don’t know what to tell you.  The sock knitter’s daughter has discovered crochet and being a strong-willed child (no idea where she gets that from), is not being swayed from her mission to learn how to use the hook instead of the pointy sticks.  Despite having a couple of friends who are expert crocheters and produce their own blanket and toy and houseplant patterns, not so small daughter is finding it easier to learn via YouTube video as she’s a left-hander wanting to crochet right-handed (we had a chat about this and my view was that if it made no difference to her, she’d find more right-handed people to help her if she got stuck).  Once she’s confident with the stitches, though, I think she’ll be able to look at patterns and understand them without any problems … and there’s still plenty of time to grind her down encourage her to knit socks!

And now, it’s Saturday afternoon and I am determined not to rush the rest of the day.  I’m going to make a brew, make some lunch and sit down for a bit.  I might even do some knitting – although I’d better be careful or this might become a habit! 🙂



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47 Responses

  1. Nancy Lingerfelt says:

    Here in Eastern Tennessee USA, Passion flowers grow wild!
    My Callie cat also does the on the edge of everything tummy roll and stretch, but so far she hasn’t fallen off of anything. Her favorite place to do it is right in front of my next walking step..someday she’s going to get squished!
    Bought your Super Socks book and am helping a friend learn how to make them.
    I really enjoy your posts!

    • winwickmum says:

      Wow, that would be amazing to see! And oh dear, you obviously have a cat that likes to live dangerously! Thank you very much for buying the book 🙂 xx

  2. Corinne says:

    Those clouds are so atmospheric, no pun intended! Beautiful though. I look for things in the clouds too, and our daughters also send me photos with, ‘Can you see…?’
    Elder daughter teaches early years, and says all the children and staff are whacked and ready for a break now.
    So far as your daughter goes, I’m a crocheter who knits, and you eventually taught me how to knit socks, so don’t give up hope!

    • winwickmum says:

      I think the last weeks of any term are when teachers really earn their money! I’m glad you’re a cloud watcher too – and yes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for socks in the future! 🙂 xx

  3. Angie says:

    What a lovely read, thank you ☺️

  4. michelle wise says:

    mikey of the crochet crowd does lots of videos on you tube and some are for lefties

    • winwickmum says:

      Brilliant, I’ll pass that on, thank you! I think she’s found Bella Coco so far who has been able to help through her videos but it’s always good to have more recommendations 🙂 xx

  5. Jenny Spencer says:


    Love both passion flowers and jasmine. Tried to get some for my recently moved to garden but the garden centre had lost theirs to the frost. Will keep looking.
    Nobody is growing any local to me so cant take cuttings or fruit.


    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve been buying plants online recently from Hayloft and they’re very good quality – probably about the same price as a garden centre by the time you add in the postage but sometimes a bigger sized plant. I hope you find some plants somewhere! 🙂 xx

  6. Josephine says:

    I’m a left-handed crocheter, and I spent many, many frustrating years trying to learn to crochet before I switched hands (at which point, it became easy). Most crochet patterns are symmetrical, and they’re fairly easy to follow left-handed. So whichever hand ends up working out for not so small daughter, she’ll be fine. Michelle suggested Mikey at Crochet Crowd — yes, he does left-handed videos. He flips his right-handed ones with software, so they look left-handed — very clever. I’m also very fond of Esther’s tutorials on “It’s All in a Nutshell,” and she provides left-handed instructions where necessary.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thanks for the crochet recommendations, I’ll pass those on. At the moment, the method of learning seems to be choosing a pattern she likes, looking to see if there’s a video and then launching straight in without thought or concern about how simple or complicated it might be – and I am all for that. That’s how we become fearless in anything, isn’t it, and it’s far too easy to get caught up on what we think we “should” be able to do when really, we can do anything we set our minds to 🙂 xx

  7. Susan Rayner says:

    I am left handed and crochet right handed – somehow my grandmother must have taught me to use my right hand – I don’t knit like a right hander though and am a much better knitter.
    I wish I could understand a crochet pattern – I used to live in America and got on OK with patterns back in the 60s but back in the UK now it is all weird symbols that make no sense at all to me.
    I would really love to crochet a Lucy – Attic 24 blanket as I think they are all gorgeous.
    Not so small daughter may find she is more likely to be able to take her hooks on a flight than knitting needles.
    Time keeps running out on me too – mainly in catching up with friends and it is so frustrating – where does it go.
    My mother did appreciate her cake this morning (98 today) but tasted the very posh Prosecco and immediately accused my sister and I of trying to poison her – she used to love the stuff. It is the Care Home’s summer tea and fete today so my mother is assuming it is all for her. Some plus sides of dementia then.
    Happy weekend everyone and thank you Christine for another lovely Saturday blog/post. xx

    • winwickmum says:

      I think crochet symbols look very alien, but I guess they’re just another language that we crafters are so good at picking up anyway – after all, we’re already fluent in knitting and crochet so adding in some new symbols should be a breeze! 🙂 Yes, we’ve spoken about an in-flight project (I have to remember that it’s not more important than clothes 🙂 ) I hope your mother had a very happy birthday, and how kind of the home to put on a summer tea and fete especially for her – it doesn’t really matter if they hadn’t intended to at all, does it, as long as your mother had a happy day 🙂 xx

  8. Liz says:

    My knitting Aunt used to despair at my efforts to knit, but then I could crochet and as that ‘grew’ more quickly was my preferred craft for a long time, then I took to knitting too – to my Aunts delight – now I do both and thanks to your book can do socks too, so be patient with your daughter, if making with yarn is what she enjoys it doesn’t really matter for now😊
    thanks for your blog, love your sky pics – natural phenomena are beautiful 😍

    • winwickmum says:

      I could knit and crochet from a young age too, and always preferred to crochet in my teens as it was faster – until the day I saw the Most Fabulous Knitted Jumper in the World in a yarn shop window and that was the turning point for me 🙂 xx

      • Liz says:

        I know just what you mean about the jumper in the window effect! Mine was the Phildar picture jumper with a hill, blue sky and a tree I think! around 1980 🙂 We have recently been to Austria and whilst in Vienna I saw a shawl in a wool shop which was always closed when we passed it, but I have a photo and a website…….

        • winwickmum says:

          Ah, mine was about 1986 and it was a Christian de Falbe rainbow entrelac jumper – I can remember telling my Mum who was with me at the time that she needed to knit it for me or I’d die (such a dramatic teenager!) and she said I’d better go in and buy the yarn for myself because she wasn’t doing it! 🤣 I hope you track down your shawl pattern! xx

  9. Geeha says:

    in the 1920s my left-handed mother had to write, knit, sew and crochet right-handed as the education system didn’t allow for diversity…it didn’t stop her and she went on to teach her two right-handed daughters. Love the passion flower, when we lived on the Dorset coast I planted one that took over the garden smothering other plants so haven’t tried it here in the Midlands. Hope that life calms down for you and daughter enjoys Japan

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, it was thought to be quite normal to “re-educate” lefties to be right handed and I am glad that is not the case any more. My Dad was Scottish and went to school at a time when accents were “educated out” and although he always had an accent, it was never very strong – unless we went back to his home town and then it all came back! You should be able to grow passionflowers in the Midlands as you’re further south than us (having said that, I’ve struggled but I think I’ve always planted them in the wrong place) 🙂 xx

  10. Caz says:

    very much so…I’m trying to clear my ‘to do’ list before I start an on-line art course on 1st August but I don’t seem to be making much progress…I think it’s a combination of ‘retirementitis’ ( no rushing now as I don’t have a timetable to stick to) and ‘age related easily distracted syndrome’….how many times have I gone to look something up and an hour later still haven’t got the answer but I’ve pinned two new knitting patterns, a water colour technique, and a GF muffin recipe!!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    For the first time ever, I have a mass of passion flowers!! I forgot to prune it last autumn and, not only did it stay green over the winter, but it hasn’t stopped spreading and flowering for the last few weeks…they are such beautiful flowers!!
    Japan trip seems to have come on quickly… it seems only a couple of weeks or so ago you were tempting us with the new fishy socks towards fundraising…I’m sure she’s really excited 🥰

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I think that the internet in general is a rabbit hole that sucks the time out of your day and whilst you have a lovely time looking around, learning things and pinning photos, your day slides past before you know it! It looks like not pruning your passionflower was the right thing to do! It may flower on old wood so that might be the reason. It’s been a year since not so small daughter found out she was going to Japan and you are absolutely right, it only feels like 5 minutes ago! 🙂 xx

  11. Karen says:

    When your blog came up, I was mystified by the exotic flower. That is the first time I have ever seen a passion flower!
    I am a lefty, but learned to crochet, then knit, right handed. (We call ourselves bi-stitchual.) Haha! In the ’70s, I taught myself to do both from a book. Thank you library! Now I am glad I don’t have to flip patterns around.

    • winwickmum says:

      This is exactly why I suggested that not so small daughter should learn right handed as she lives in a right-handed world. I’m not saying that it’s OK that lefties should have to compromise all the time and we have never forced her to use one hand over the other, but she often swaps hands if she’s not writing so learning to knit and crochet right handed wasn’t a big deal for her 🙂 xx

  12. Caroline Lester says:

    I love reading your blogs, they really make me laugh and your photos are brilliant.

  13. Maxine Togneri says:

    Beautiful flowers. I will now need to look for them the next time I am at the garden centre. As you know I live at the seaside so not sure if they would like the wild Scottish summer 😂🤣😂 with force 10 gales.
    On a plus I admit that I enjoy a spot of crochet to sometimes just decluttering my brain and stash. I am a lover of the treble and have managed many a blanket and shawl with this. My aim was to finish a knitted baby’s romper with a crochet picot edge (as per pattern), and with the help of you tube it was achieved. So I can tick that box. If I do it again I’ll need to refresh with you tube, unlike knitting it doesn’t just stay put(that also may be an age thing😂).
    Great blog as always Christine x

    • winwickmum says:

      My passionflower came from Aldi! They have some good plant offers over the summer and this one was in with some climbers one week. I think if you could keep it sheltered then it might be OK. I’m glad you managed to finish the romper, it sounds like it was lovely! 🙂 xx

  14. Madeleine says:

    Another left hander who knits and crochets right handed, however I sew left handed so find Kitchener stitch difficult even with your guide.

  15. Preece Geraldine says:

    Beautiful read again, thank you 🤓

  16. Simon says:

    I think the reason I/we don’t get a lot done is because I/we have become stuck in virtually unchanging, daily routines. When you live like this, nothing ever really gets “done” because you lurch from one part of the day to the next without a lot of thought for anything else. It’s surprisingly tiring, not to mention frustrating! And then of course, everything starts to mount up and become far too much to do and far too much to bother with! And then you have another cup of tea…

    • winwickmum says:

      I think there is a lot of truth in that, Simon, and it’s made me have a look at what I’m doing to see if I can change things round a bit in my day. I think another cup of tea is always a good idea though 😉 xx

  17. Anne Fry says:

    Blog page much better to use. Thanks Christine

  18. Carol says:

    Here’s to all us knitting crocheting weaving sewing photographers! I do them all without favouritism and always find room for more, like sock-creating. Whatever gets done, gets done with mindfulness, no lurching allowed lol. Just being in the flow works for me.

  19. Helen says:

    I love those long cat curly stretches but they do seem oblivious to their location. I remember soaking in a bath while pregnant, many years ago, the cat fell in. I pushed her out and was rewarded with glaring and sulking!

    • winwickmum says:

      It does make me feel better to know that it’s not just our daft cat that has no sense of location – I was starting to be convinced that she really was losing the plot! Your bath story made me laugh, and I bet it didn’t stop your cat from doing the tiptoe around the bath in the future either! 🙂 xx

  20. Ellen Button says:

    I too, as a dedicated knitter who dabbles in crochet, was shocked when 29 year daughter appeared with yarn, book and crochet hook last weekend and is now demanding yarn to experiment with. Just glad that her crafting gene is back in action. Hope you managed your sit down xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Ha ha, it’s a good way to “pass on” (offload) all of that yarn that you know you’re never going to use when there’s not enough of it to give it away for someone to use on another project! 🙂 xx

  21. Chris Hailebaxter says:

    Your flowers are so pretty. The roots are kept cool and the flowers come out in the sun so you may have picked the right slot.
    I had noticed that each time I get your email and click on the link for the whole blog I get asked to update my cookie preferences.
    I’m a left hander and taught myself right handed crochet from books in the 1980s. No YouTube then. I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook and learned a lot more so tell “not so small” daughter to keep up the good work with the crochet. It’s s nice to be able to mix and match. Hope things calm down.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, I’m hoping that the plant will be happy here as it can climb up to the sunshine, and behind the shed will keep it out of the worst of the winter winds. Fingers crossed, anyway! 🙂 In theory, once you’ve saved your GDPR settings once the consent box should remember that but I don’t know that it always does – I have the same thing when I go to visit other websites and sometimes it seems to be on a cycle so it happens every time I visit and then stops for a while. I think it’s just how it is now and as frustrating as it can be (especially as I often reject the cookies but certain websites won’t even let me in if I do that), it does give us some data protection which has to be a good thing. I’ll pass on your crochet confidence, thank you! 🙂 xx

  22. Lyn says:

    I’m another leftie who crochets right handed. I like that my left hand is controlling the yarn and holding the work and my right hand is just doing the hook. I knit what I’m told is right-handed too (although my decidedly more left handed granny taught me and we both always looked at knitting as being a two-handed activity so I didn’t know I knit right-handed until people on the internet informed me of this). I think if you can handle a dinner knife in your right hand, you will probably manage using a crochet hook that way too as (at least the way I do these activities) the grip is similar. Hope not so small daughter enjoys learning.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, the dinner knife analogy works very well. She’s doing really well with the hook in her right hand, I’m impressed with how she’s taken to it! 🙂 xx

  23. Helen says:

    I so enjoyed your blog, for some of it it felt like I was living it, as I can relate to time or no time as it seems. I tried crochet one time, my tension was never even near the same from one knitting time until the next. Then my 3 yr old granddaughter was looking at it stepped on yarn and it was like watching a flash project to no project. Bless her heart she had no idea. Maybe she put my crochet out of its misery. 🙂

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