Monthly musings

Regular followers of my blog will notice that every month there's a short article about something that's taken my interest which might not actually have much to do with the other posts on my blog at the time.

These articles are my contribution to the St Oswald's Church monthly newsletter and as they are the reason that I started my blog in the first place, I wanted to publish them on here as well.

I hope you like them!

PS  You'll notice that many of the earlier posts have a photo at the bottom that you can't see - this is because my blog was originally on Wordpress and I moved it over to Blogger a year or so later.  The photo didn't transfer and so I need to rectify that.  I'll get around to it!


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November   December


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November   December

There are some musings missing from this year - it's be from when I copied my blog over from Wordpress so at some point I'll need to go and find them and upload them again.  Bear with me!


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November 


January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November 


I only started writing the "Monthly Musing" pieces in August of this year and the first two were never published online.  I've put them at the bottom of this page so that you can see them.  

October  November  December

August 2010 - Feeling the Sky

Have you noticed that the days are getting shorter, time is going faster and the school summer holidays will soon be over?  It’s always been said that time flies as you get older, but I don’t think of myself as particularly old and still the dates go by faster than I’d like.  I’m very lucky.  I’ve got a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters and I live in Winwick; close enough to towns and motorways for when I need things, and close enough to the fields and trees to be distracted by rural views when I don’t.  And yet, despite not having to worry about school runs, lunch boxes and after school clubs at the moment, there still doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day for everything I need to do.  Housework doesn’t take a holiday.  Children need entertaining.  If anything, the workload increases – and then I remind myself of an article I read some years ago in a magazine.

The writer was relating an anecdote about her little boy.  He’d been lying on the grass, staring up at apparently nothing for such a long time that his mother became worried. 
             “Are you all right?” she asked.
             “Yes Mummy,” came the reply.  “I’m feeling the sky.” 

Feeling the sky.  Isn’t that a lovely phrase for doing nothing but savouring the moment?  It’s not always easy to remember to do when you’ve a hundred and one other demands on your time, but for me, it’s important to try.  Even just sitting down for a minute to drink my cup of tea gives me the chance to feel the sky, to savour the moment, rather than gulp it down on the run or find it half an hour later gone cold because I forgot about it as I was busy doing something else.

My big daughter is at high school now, and small daughter starts in reception this year.  It doesn’t seem like five minutes since big daughter  was standing in her first classroom in uniform that was far too big for her, and I know that it won’t seem like five minutes until small daughter is starting high school.  I’m trying hard this summer to remember to take time to watch them play instead of using every free minute to clean the house, tidy the garden or make that quick phone call that always takes longer than you think.  I’m writing down the things they say that make me smile or bring a lump to my throat, because all too soon they’ll be grown up and gone – and I’ll still have the housework to do but no young daughters to look after as they make their own way through life.

            “Daddy, what are you doing?” asked small daughter, the other day.
            “Checking my bank statement,” my husband replied.
            “What for?”
            He laughed.  “Because you and your sister are expensive.”
            “No Daddy,” small daughter said, very seriously, “We’re not expensive, we’re precious.”

            How right she is.

September 2010 - Random Acts of Kindness

Over the summer holidays, my husband was working in Bradford so my daughters and I went along with him, intending to visit the excellent National Media Museum whilst he was at his meeting.  We’d just finished at the car park’s pay and display machine when a lady rushed over, desperate for change as she was taking her little boy to the museum’s cinema and she was running late.  Now, it’s a rare day when I ever have any change and whilst I couldn’t change her £20 note, I did have enough money for a parking ticket, so without hesitation I gave it to her.  I’d like to think that anyone would.  It was £2.  Not enough to cause me any great financial hardship, but enough to save her afternoon.

“You’re the kindest person I’ve ever met!” she exclaimed.  I very much doubt that, and to be honest, I’d be sad to think it was true, but just being there at the right time with the right change had made all the difference.

It’s what’s known as a Random Act of Kindness (or an Act of Random Kindness if you want a biblical mnemonic!), but I like to think of it as the ripples that spread out from a stone dropped in a pond.  The stone is the kind act and the ripples move out to touch people who had nothing to do with the original act but are still affected by it.  Who knows how that lady helped someone else that day, happy to pass on a bit of kindness herself?

Of course, Random Acts of Kindness don’t have to be financial.  Some relatives came to stay with us from abroad recently and were delighted to discover how close we live to Manchester as it turned out they were huge Coronation Street fans.  We happened to mention this to a neighbour who told us that he’d worked on the Coronation Street programme for twenty years and would be happy to talk to our relatives while they were here.  Imagine their delight to not only visit the city where the Street is filmed but to talk to a cast member as well – who also happened to have some spare publicity photographs to pass on.  He was only able to chat for a short time, but the ripples from the stone he has dropped will extend across the globe and turned our relatives’ visit from a great one to a fabulous one! It cost our neighbour nothing but his time and his kindness, and that’s something that we all have, no matter how much we have to do during the day.

So, when we complain about the state of the world and wonder how it’s ever going to get any better, then I’ve got a simple suggestion.  All it takes is one small stone dropped into a pond at a time.


  1. hi, just came upon your blog and saw all your wonderful free patterns. will you be providing the couthie shawl pattern? thanks, debra

    1. Hi Debra, yes it's already available on the blog - you can either click on the link in the "How to make" section in the sidebar on the left or you can find it on the free patterns page through the tab at the top of the page underneath the main header :-) xx

  2. Hello Christine
    I'm a fan of your blog and especially your method of knitting socks.
    Unfortunately, I do not speak English and therefore I can not make the socks.
    Will there be a translation in French? I am willing to buy this translation even if it does not appear as a book.
    With many thanks.
    Regine Castano
    Bonjour Christine
    Je suis une fan de votre blog et surtout de votre méthode pour tricoter des chaussettes .
    Malheureusement, je ne parle pas Anglais et de ce fait je ne réussis pas à réaliser les chaussettes.
    Est ce qu'il y aura une traduction en Français?Je suis prête à acheter cette traduction même si elle ne se présente pas sous forme de livre.
    Avec tous mes remerciements.
    Régine Castano

    1. Hello Régine, thank you for your lovely words. I haven't thought about a French translation but perhaps I should do (my own French isn't good enough for that so Google translate has helped me here!). Can you leave it with me so I can have a think about how best to do it? In the meantime, Google translate might help you too! xx

      Bonjour Régine, merci pour vos adorables mots. Je n'ai pas pensé à une traduction française mais peut-être devrais-je faire (mon français n'est pas assez bon pour ça, alors Google Translate m'a aidé ici!). Pouvez-vous le laisser avec moi afin que je puisse penser à la meilleure façon de le faire? En attendant, Google translate pourrait vous aider aussi! Xx

  3. Christine, I like your blog and want to set my own up. Any tips for a no-budget blog?? Thanks

    1. Both Blogger and Wordpress offer free blogs so you could use one of those to get started - that's what I did! Other than that, the best advice I can give you is to make sure that you always check your spelling and grammar very carefully, and make your pictures as large as possible as they're easier for readers to see. Good luck! :)

  4. Hi Christine, You have made my life better by teaching me how to knit socks. I am a 50 + year knitter and never would tackle them. Now I'm hooked. The reason I am writing ( and I'm not sure this is the place) I have a new set of chiagoo shortie needles in the blue case that I don't use ( my old hands prefer longer needles. I would love to GiVE them away. I'm just not sure how to do that since I'm sure a lot of people don't want to disclose their address. I live in USA but would love to send them out of country. Do you know anyone who would like them or have any ideas how to let people know about my gift? Thanks... Jill Walotn

    1. Hi Jill, thanks for your message, that's a very generous offer! Usually people who have things to give away post them in my Facebook groups as that's where they can connect with other sock knitters ... would that be an option for you?


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