Loving gratitude for an abundant harbour…

A gifted mat from my niece, a coaster with Em as a toddler and a heart stone from the beach on my new desk.

A rich moving experience has flowed over a fortnight and it has been interesting. Moving things in isolation whilst respecting social distancing, a removal man whose attitude is calling for him to take up a different profession, a week later another removal man (recommended by a new neighbour) bringing in more furniture with his buddy and making me laugh, moving day involving the builders here still beavering away, many hours of scrubbing, gifted furniture, a friend’s husband on loan for DIY, hot dinners being dropped off, multiple deliveries, getting to know my postman (Rob, who is lovely), having to change internet provider mid-order and it all working for five minutes before the power went out for a long time (taking the super-smart boiler and hot water with it) and my body protesting throughout.

My heart is full of gratitude to my Mum and Dad, loving friends, kind neighbours, a community-led village, companies who are still running in hard times, delivery drivers going above and beyond, refuse collectors taking away my excess with a wave and a smile, a landlord who knows what he is doing with his loving son who makes things happen and a comfy wing-back chair and Netflix when I need to pause.

On Sunday morning, I stood in the sunshine with the birds singing, the church clock chiming and washing blowing on the line, as I planted up some butterfly boxes on the garden wall just outside my workroom. My cup runneth over. ❤

‘Watching Glass Shatter’ by James J. Cudney: review & interview

Jay’s ‘This Is My Truth Now’ web site is a great collection of book reviews, author pages, books, alerts, giveaways, book bucket list, blasts from the past, cool stuff, tips & advice column and his blog.

I met Jay (James Cudney IV) a few years ago as we connected through our blogs. He is a wonderful soul, full of warmth and humour and how he combines a full-time job with a constant flow of writing, reading, writing reviews for others’ books and running his own web site is astonishing. He is full of ideas and these hold many blessings as they are always about supporting others.  I hold much gratitude for our connection, as I am sure many others do.

He is a prolific writer and his books hold compelling plots, complex relationships and mysteries and have been translated into many different languages. Watching Glass Shatter, Father Figure, Braxton Campus Mysteries: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, Haunted House Ghost and Frozen Stiff Drink.  

Jay is a humble soul, who much prefers to shine a light on others, so it is my pleasure to feature an interview with him here today, my review and an excerpt of ‘Watching a Glass Shatter’.

Over to you, Jay. Take it away, my lovely….

Interview:

  1. Where were you born?

I was born in Fort Myers, Florida. My paternal grandparents retired and move there in the 1970s to run a bar with friends. After my grandfather had a heart attack, my parents visited them and fell in love with the area. They bought a house on a canal, and a few years later I was born. When I was two, my maternal grandmother became ill, and my parents missed the rest of the family. They moved back to Long Island, where most of my family has lived for one-hundred and fifty years, also where I grew up.

2. What is your earliest memory and what feelings does that hold for you?

I actually have very few early memories. I have an unusual memory, and it’s not easy to explain. I’ve forgotten most everything from my childhood and teenage years, but I remember random restaurant check amounts and facts that I learned over time. I can’t sort out how I forget certain things and recall others, but it’s definitely inconsistent and sometimes troublesome.

One memory I do have is that a phantom used to visit me and hover near my bedroom door in the middle of the night. I tried to get out of bed many times, but it held me back, and I’d wake up screaming in a nightmare. I sometimes think it was real, and I never understood what caused it. On the positive side, I do recall spending lots of time with my paternal grandfather who used to keep sugar-coated spearmint candies in his car. Every day after school, he’d come to visit my mom for a cup of coffee, and I was allowed to sneak into his car to have just one candy. I loved spending much time with my relatives when I was younger.

3. Do the dramas and intricate personal relationships you write about come from your life experiences, or observations of others, or maybe a mixture of both?

Most are not from direct personal experience. In all of my books (except one), the main character comes from a very large family with multiple siblings. I am an only child, and although I am close with my cousins, it’s a different experience not having another person who’s descended from the same person as you. I often felt like I was on my own, and as a result, I spent more time thinking, reading, and watching television. That’s where I saw relationships develop and fall apart, and when I consolidated those experiences with various ones with friends and extended family, I created my impression of what it must be like to have such a large immediate family. If you ask any of the people who know me best or who’ve known me for a long time, they will tell you that I’m almost always silent and quiet in group settings. I am truly an observer who prefers to watch others interact than delve into the experience myself. I’m a sensitive soul, and conflict has always been a painful notion for me. I’d rather not get into a disagreement, so I tend to hide in the background and not discuss my opinion in a public situation.

4. What is important to you?

Truth. Equality. Honesty. Doing the right thing. Being fair and forward-thinking. Taking one extra step to ensure you’ve communicated properly. Never treating someone poorly. Learning every day. Treating others with respect. Saving for the future. Helping others. Being seen as a good person.

5. What are the saving graces that have helped you during these current times?

Luck and hope. I grew up Catholic, and I was more religious when I was younger. I’ve struggled with faith on and off throughout my life. But under all of it, I value the Golden Rule. It has almost always worked out for me. In the instances where it didn’t, I had little control over the situation. I’ve been healthy and safe my entire life, and my parents always protected me from the dangers of the world. I am often a perfectionist with high expectations of others. Consequently, I am also often disappointed because I feel like others don’t always do the right thing. It impacts me personally, innately almost. It is in those moments where I feel the world can be a bad place, but it is also in those moments where a conversation with my mom or a good friend will awaken my hope again. I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, but there’s a been an angel or a guiding light behind it all. I am grateful more than anyone can ever know.

6. What have you always wanted to do and want to find the time for?

I wish I could learn how to be an artist with either paint, ink, or a camera. I do not have visual design talent in any way, shape, or form. I do well enough in pulling together graphics for book marketing and home décor, but it’s basic and light because I do not have a ton of patience or natural experience in these areas. I tend to know a little about a lot of things rather than a lot about any one thing specifically. I’d love to master one of these skills in the future.

7. Do you enjoy another creative outlet, apart from your writing?

Genealogy. It’s creative in that it’s analytical research to figure out the past. Through research, database analytics, and guesswork, I’ve found 2000 ancestors, and it makes me feel good that I’m confident in most of the connections’ validity. It’s a puzzle, and I enjoy solving it to the best of my ability.

8. Do you have a mantra? If you would like to share it.

Not really… I suppose it could be something along the lines of “Get more detail.” In anything I do, I’m like a two-year-old, asking the Who-What-When-Where-Why-How questions until I get to the root of a situation. When most people accept an answer, I keep on digging until I’m 100% certain and understand all the reasoning behind something. Though I don’t shout it from the rooftops, whenever someone asks me for advice or asks a question, I can be relentless about getting down to the details. But I also know when to back away without being tedious or painful about it!

9. What gifts you the most encouragement to achieve all you do?

I strive for perfection, yet I balance it with efficiency. It’s my own version of the 80/20 rule. One of the most significant attributes in my personality is the ability to see all sides of a situation. It can be a good and a bad thing because I am a bit of an empath in that I feel bad choosing and letting someone down when there are winners and losers in a situation. I also can make decisions quickly on rational or logical things, so I’m balanced well. It can drive me a little nutty tho too.

10. How do you feel about change?

Change is a good thing, as long as it’s managed well and expectations are set about the impacts of change. I dislike change without the communication of change happening in the future. If it’s last-minute, I deal with it, but I’m usually not chipper about the change.

11. Do you need silence to write?

100% yes. I need silence in everything I do. I have a hard time functioning with any noise around me other than nature. If the dog barks or someone makes noise in the hallway outside the apartment, I’m immediately distracted and unable to focus. I think it comes from spending so much time on my own as a kid, which I enjoyed… even now, in the social distancing and quarantine, I’m a bit thrilled. As an introvert, I’m happy to spend 24/7 inside and independently, but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss and love my friends and family. I just mean that I can be okay under these conditions if I can chat or email with everyone. In time, we’ll visit in person again.

12. What draws you to write mysteries?

I like the challenge of solving a puzzle, creating drama among intriguing characters, and pulling the wool over someone’s eyes. All in literature though… never in person. That wouldn’t be right!

Watching Glass Shatter

My review:

This is a family saga, with a unique plot twist that is only revealed in the last few pages. Cudney’s writing style drew me in and I was eager to know the outcome. I cared about the characters, right from the outset to the very end.

It is skilfully written as the story unfolds through each character being gifted their own chapters. Families are complex, especially large ones, and the web of secrets hidden within this one highlight that. Cudney describes how each family member’s story is edited for other members of their family. Fear, lies and deception hiding layers of secrets and, as the carefully crafted facade of Olivia the family’s matriarch, disintegrates through shock and grief, then other facades within her family crumble.

‘Watching Glass Shatter’ is the perfect title and I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author’s imagination and pen.

List of Published Books:

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

            Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

            Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

            Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

            Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

            Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

            Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

For all those who wish to connect with Jay and keep up to date with his latest creativity, all his online links are below:

Websites & Blog:

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

Social media links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

It has been great to welcome Jay here today and I know you all join with me in wishing him loving energy for all his creative endeavours. ❤

Trust…

The past few months have been a time of uncertainty, upheaval, reflection, living with the unknown, trusting and flowing love for all of us. I count my blessings in health, my loved ones, the technology that enables us to connect and the ability to work from home. From my perspective, extremes are showing themselves in behaviours and situations, which are adding to an awful lot of noise out there, making life an emotional roller-coaster to navigate. Yet, there are gifts in the way barriers, armour, subterfuge, veils, spin and deceit are being stripped away.

Without detail or judgment, a pattern of upsetting behaviour from my landlady has peaked. It is not personal as she behaves this way with everybody and up until now, I have chosen not to tackle it, thereby allowing it. Over the last three years, I have reassured family and friends that I can handle it and prided myself on being able to slip under her radar. There was a moment recently when all veils were stripped away and it was clear that enough was enough. I see it as a gift from lockdown.

My research and exploring online led me to a landlord who is professional, thoughtful and listens. When I found him and we spoke over the telephone, I kept the details brief, he asked insightful questions, pondered and made a suggestion. He felt the original place I was enquiring about was not right for me. However, there was a home his company are currently renovating and he suggested I could view it in our allocated thirty minutes a day outside for exercise, as it was empty.

It is self-contained, private, spacious, light-filled, with its own South facing walled garden, space to create, work and write, in a lovely area with a thriving community, all amenities within walking distance including the Irish Sea, nearer to my buddies and quiet. As I looked around and discovered all it had to offer, my heart started a joyful song. Afterwards, I sat outside in the car and rang him, when he caught my delighted gratitude and I felt his.

I can move on my own, observing social distancing and not putting anyone else at risk and that will happen in just under a months time.

Staying here and not tackling things out of fear, blocked so much and I can see that now. I used to call this ‘my happy bubble’ being next to the water and with the loving connections of neighbours. Nothing happens in isolation and with me thinking I could handle it, that draining energy leaked into everything and the air in my bubble became unhealthy. I have always said to those who seek my help; when a change is needed then life will squeeze you in that situation, till you can see it. The way this has unfolded and the abundance that has started to flow from the flash of insight is humbling.

How others behave is their choice. How others feel about us is their business. How we react and the choices we make are ours.

I am grateful and flowing love to you all. ❤

It’s okay that it’s not okay

Sue, expresses so eloquently, our feelings. ❤

The Silent Eye

Shards of glass flew everywhere, surrounding my bare feet and covering the work surface with sparkling motes. The sun through the window lit the tiny fragments with incongruous rainbows. My hand, abused by a heavy day in my son’s garden, had refused to grip the slick surface. It was nothing much, a simple accident that would normally have passed by almost unremarked, save for the odd expletive. Instead, I could feel a knot tighten in my stomach, the pressure of tears demanding release behind my eyes as I ordered the dog to her bed to protect her paws. The mythical ‘stiff upper lip’ began to quiver and I felt about as steady on my feet as a jelly.

Even as the tears came, I could not help laughing at myself. It was ridiculous to get so upset over a broken glass.

As I started to clear up the mess, though…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #Free #Book Marketing – New Series 2020 – Share an Extract.

A wonderful opportunity from Sally. Just click on the link below. Xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined. In this new series I am offering you a chance to promote an earlier book by sharing an extract from the book.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from.
  • I suggest an extract…

View original post 1,431 more words

Sally Cronin’s Family & Friends Series over on her wonderful Smorgasbord Invitation blog…

I am delighted that Sally chose to feature one of my old blog posts, as part of the Family & Friends Series, over on her wonderful Smorgasbord Invitation blog.

Brotherly Love….

Thank you, Sally. ❤

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-and-friends-brotherly-love-by-jane-sturgeon/

Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in words by Sally Cronin: Interview & review. #SallyCronin #interview #review

Sally’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine is a lovingly generous mix of her writing, the writings and books of her fellow authors, collaborations, poetry, book reviews, laughter and a series of articles, such as the current one on Relationships with Debby Gies.

She is a prolific writer and her books are a delight and full of life experience, warmth and imagination; What’s in a Name (Vol. 2), Life’s Rich Tapestry; Woven in Words, Just an Odd Job Girl, Media Training, What’s in a Name, Tales from the Irish Garden, Cuentos del Jardin, Size Matters, Tales from the Garden, Just Food for Health, Flights of Fancy, Turning Back the Clock, Sam; A Shaggy Dog Story and Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot.

Sally has a huge heart and her intuition hears and feels the world and people in a unique way. She has the gift of sharing her perspectives and insights through writing and there are many blessings in being connected to Sally.  Her indefatigable support for others is much appreciated, as many can attest too.

I am thrilled to bits to share an interview with Sally today.

Interview

Thank you for having me over Jane…

  1. When did you first become aware that you could see people and situations in all their layers?

We travelled to several countries with my father who was in the Royal Navy, and it meant that I was thrust into unfamiliar situations and meeting strangers from the age of 18 months. I think that gave me confidence, and also a curiosity about life and people. I apparently was one of those children who questioned everything and must have been a pain in the neck. That curiosity has persisted up to the present time and I love nothing better than a tough nut to crack. I am very happy with change and people are fascinating; as a writer, the experiences have been gold dust.

  • What is your earliest writing memory?

When we came back from South Africa when I was twelve years old, I was a year behind everyone at the grammar school in Preston I was enrolled in. They said I would catch up… It was not just certain subjects such as geography, history, French and mathematics that I was behind in. In the previous year, the girls in my class had formed their friendships and groups, and I was definitely the odd one out with my accent and tan!! I felt unhappy and isolated for the first couple of terms. Every Friday in last period, our form teacher would invite girls to stand up and read a story or a poem they had written to the whole class. One Friday, I put my hand up and delivered a poem on bullying that emphasized how everyone should be grateful they did not live in a country with apartheid especially if they were considered to be inferior. It was titled ‘We are all human beneath our skin’. There was some funny looks between the girls and also from the teacher but on the Monday there was a thawing of relations and I found myself being included a lot more.

  • Could you share with us some of your favourite books and authors?

That is very tough as I have so favourite books and authors from childhood onwards, and have gathered many more over the last 50 years. I have every book written by Wilbur Smith on my bookshelves, buying my first when I was 11 in 1964; one of the authors that I still buy in print. Also the amazing Earth’s Children Series of books by Jean M Auel which encouraged me to discover more about my own history dating back 20,000 years as part of the Oxford DNA project. To discover that I was genetically related to a woman who lived at approximately the same time as the humans in Jean Auel’s books, was a revelation and life-affirming.

  • Does where you live have an impact on your writing?

I do think that where I have lived during my life is reflected in my writing, as are the people that I have met. I have written a book set in Spain and one in Ireland and I have written short stories about many of the places I have lived and visited. I wouldn’t want to waste those experiences and encounters as they have made me who I am today. Also, I hope that I am creating a catalogue of memories that will be useful when I am in my dotage!

  • What lifts your heart in the everyday?

It has to be relationships, particularly the one I have been privileged to enjoy for the last forty years with my husband David. I had escaped from an abusive marriage and after finally obtaining my divorce after three years; I was adamant that I was not going to get married ever again. They call it famous last words for a reason. I met David when I was an assistant manager in a remote Welsh hotel when he booked in as a guest for two weeks. He asked me out on his last day and asked me to marry him the next day. We got married six weeks later. We have travelled the world, lived in 19 homes and have worked out of the same office for the last 20 years. He is my soulmate and best friend and that certainly lifts my heart every day.

And of course, there are family and friends who always have my back, including some very special online friends who have been with me every step of my blogging journey.

  • Is writing your main creative pursuit?

With the blog, poetry and books it has certainly taken over much of my life, but in a good way. Writing takes us out of ourselves and mentally and emotionally offers so many benefits. It might involve a little too much sitting on a day to day basis. but I hope it means I will keep my marbles until they carry me out the door, gripping my mouse in one hand and the keyboard in the other. Hopefully, wherever I end up they have Internet!

  • Do you have a favourite time of year?

I spent so much of my life from a baby in sunny climates including 17 years in Spain, that for me it has to be summer. If I am not writing then I am reading, and to sit outside with a cup of iced lemonade, a good book and feel the warm sunshine is bliss. I love colour in the garden and early summer when there is still blossom on the trees is magical.

  • When life tumbles and falls, what centres you?

There have been a number of close calls physically and emotionally, and I know that having someone who is supportive and loves you come what may, is essential. I also learnt to be self-sufficient growing up as a nomad which helps, as does the knowledge that I am a survivor. No life is perfect and it is the tumbles and falls as well as the highlights which make us the person we are. Some bring with them invaluable lessons that benefit us on a daily basis.

  • What would be your ideal day?

I would say that apart from a little more sunshine on a daily basis, most of my days are pretty ideal. I cannot imagine not socialising with my friends around the world online, meeting new authors and bloggers, laughing at funnies on Facebook or smiling at videos on YouTube. I certainly cannot imagine not writing every day, be it a health post or book promotion, a short story for my next collection or a poem in response to a weekly challenge. Life does not get much better than that with good health, lots of laughter and a bit of luck thrown in.

  1. Do you have an outline for each book, or does it evolve as you write?

My stories start off in my head, including the longer novels. Usually when swimming or on my treadmill when my body is occupied and my mind is free to wander. Then I sit down at the computer and dump it all out as fast as possible. Then I go back and read again and again until it is condensed and flowing to my satisfaction. Then I leave for a week or so and come back to it and read again and tighten before I am satisfied.

Thank you so much Jane for inviting me over to share my thoughts with you and your readers… I have enjoyed your questions very much.

Sally’s latest book is a collection of stories and poetry, ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry; Woven in words’ and she kindly shares one of the short stories from the collection with us here:

A moment of alignment

The child walked the darkened streets unafraid of the shadows. With bare feet, she disregarded the grit and gravel underfoot and skimmed across the surface of the odd puddle or two in her path. Her shoulders were back, and her head held high, with arms swinging confidently by her side. A faint smile touched her lips as the ring around the moon glowed brighter.

It was almost time for the perfect alignment of the sun and moon and for a brief moment, there would be a window of opportunity. She only had minutes to reach her destination and she quickened her pace. From the shadows, a dog barked in warning to those within their homes to remain inside. The animals knew how special this event was and were unafraid, but knew their human masters would cower in fear of the unknown.

Inside a house in the square, a woman sat in a rocking chair before a dying fire, tears falling onto her chilled hands as they rested on her lap. The house was silent except for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall; a sound that reverberated around the empty rooms. Empty of life, but also of love and hope, snuffed out like a candle a year ago when her daughter had been taken by scarlet fever. Her beautiful child, the light and love of her life; gone with a last faint breath.

The girl reached the edge of the deserted square and hurried towards the blue door so rarely opened to the light these days. As the two celestial orbs reached their perfect conjunction in the sky, she knocked three times with her small knuckles. She heard footsteps on the tiles of the hall behind the door, and then a click as the latch was raised. The door opened and the woman stood silhouetted against the gas lamp on the wall. She gasped and fell to her knees at the sight that greeted her.

In the diffused light from the hidden sun, she saw her lost daughter smiling at her, and warmth spread through her body and into her broken heart. She reached out a hand to touch the girl but it passed right through her. Mesmerised she stared at the apparition as it began to fade.

‘Mama, I can only stay for as long as the moon is ringed by fire, but I came back to see you for this brief moment, to tell you to grieve no more.’

As the sun began to peer around the moon’s edge, the girl turned to walk away but looked back once more. ‘You have love to spare mama, give it to others who need you.’

With that, she disappeared completely, and the woman remained on her knees for a long time as the street became bright with sunlight.

The years passed and the house in the square became a sanctuary for many homeless children, and the rooms and halls were once more filled with love and hope. But on the days when the sun and moon were in perfect alignment, there would be three taps on the door, and for a brief moment, mother and daughter were reunited.

My Review of Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in words

Sally Cronin is a natural storyteller and this book is a wonderful collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories.  Her breadth of life experience and wisdom show in her words and the writing style draws the reader in.

Sally’s verses cover everything from life, past times, emotions, our furry companions and nature. ‘Romance’ had me scrolling back to re-read her words and ‘Rejection’ & ‘Betrayal’ struck heart chords long buried. I found enchantment and magic in her fairy verse and in the shapes of the words and poems on the page.

Her micro fiction ‘Broken’ raised a smile and ‘Musical Interlude’ moved me to tears. A potion from The Witch’s Handbook will have you laughing and many of us will find ourselves in that one!

None who read this book will forget Jimmy or the Elephants, yet my favourite story is ‘Great Aunt Georgina’. There is so much packed into this short story and it is one that will stay with you.

In reading this collection, I feel you will want to meet Sally and sit at her kitchen table, hearing her stories and feeling her warm wisdom. I hold hope that she will share with us again in this way, as it is a loving showcase for her gifts.

You can buy Life Rich’s Tapestry at:

Amazon Worldwide

Amazon UK

Click this link for all Sally’s books and reviews

For all those who wish to connect with Sally and keep up to date with her latest creativity the online links are below:

Blog:  Smorgasbord Invitation

Twitter: sgc5

Facebook: sally.cronin

LinkedIn: sallycronin1

It has been a pleasure to welcome Sally here today and I know you all join with me in wishing her every loving sparkle in her creative endeavours. ❤

Sparks of creativity…

A few months ago, I looked across at my yarn stash and ‘saw’ a bedspread in my imagination. After a few false starts, I settled on doubled-up strands with blue and cream crocheted together as long as each ball lasted, as I wanted it to flow like the sea. A friend gifted me a load of cream from her stash and that gave me the yarn to finish. Ironically, my yarn stash has increased since I made the bedspread. No, I am not sure how that has happened either, but I suspect my long-held love affair with craft shops has something to do with it!

None of my projects are mutally exclusive and ideas came thick and fast, regardless of how many projects are in the pipeline. It’s a true lesson in life’s abundance. All the creative ideas, the many times I stand with friends holding yarn as we exclaim with delight ‘Ohh, this would make a great …….’ or I spot something beautiful that a kindred spirit has crafted and shared online. All those moments spark other moments and it flows and grows.

I am aware that the loving connections in my life may be a little weary of the facecloths I knit so I have been casting around for something different to tackle. ‘Socks’ was my lightbulb moment and no, I have never made them before. A patient friend took me sock yarn shopping and then sat and showed me how to do it on large circular needles with the ‘magic loop’ method. I discovered that there is ‘blow all’ magic in the loop method for me, as I got in a terrible pickle and decided that I can’t be alone with this challenge. A quick internet search revealed a wonderful tool called a ‘Sock Wonder’. I quickly ordered two and looked forward to no looping.

Sock creating was going swimmingly well till yesterday evening when I came to knit my first heel. The pattern may as well as have been written in ‘double dutch’ for all the sense it made to me. I held my efforts up, squinting at them, and was absolutely sure that they would never fit any kind of foot. After undoing the mess I searched the internet where a kind, farmer’s wife in America has posted clear, simple (thank you) and instructive videos. I felt soothed watching her hands work and listening to her voice. Step by step I followed her and produced a heel. She even says in her video ‘Now pause and congratulate yourself with a beverage, or at least some chocolate’. What’s not to love about her? Her channel is called ‘Purl Together’ and she’s on YouTube.

Yes, I will post a picture up when my first sock is complete.

All those years ago, when my sister and I sat learning handcrafts with our Mum, both Grannies and our Great Granny, who knew that they were gifting a loving calmness that would last a lifetime. Whenever I feel my emotional state going to places I don’t want to dwell I turn to handcrafts and am a devotee of there not being any such thing as ‘too much yarn’ or ‘too many projects’.

You know you knit too much…….when Microsoft sends through updates and you hit ‘Restart’ immediately, so you can knit while your laptop is out of action. I may have done this today! ❤