Five fings Friday

So, after yesterday’s post turned into a bit of a wallow on my part, I thought I would pick myself up and list  not three, but five fings things that are making me smile today (or made me smile yesterday).

First,  you lot. Your kind messages and comments yesterday went a long way to cheering me up. Although I’m still smarting from the rejection, it was lovely to be showered with so many positive messages. I’ve picked myself up and I’m moving on.

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it’s years since I’ve had Christmas presents!

Second,  secret Santa. Under normal circumstances I don’t do Christmas gifts, but I did decide to join in with Sewchet’s Stitching Santa this year. And yesterday I was very excited when my present arrived. It’s secret so I don’t know who it’s from until I open it, but it’s a lovely box filled with things yarn-related, so it’s bound to be a joy to open. I still haven’t decided whether to keep it an extra week until my birthday, but I may not be able to resist it for that long.

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chocolatey

Third, chocolate. Yesterday afternoon I cheered myself up with some cooking. In the absence of the beef, we decided to have fish pie (made using sustainably caught fish from Cornwall), followed by dark chocolate tart with a white chocolate sauce and raspberries (grown by me). The tart had chocolate pastry and a baked mousse-like filling. The sauce was simply a small amount of white chocolate melted in hot cream and then a teaspoon of liqueur added – it worked very well to contrast with the dark chocolate and the raspberries, although it would have been very sickly on its own.

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just the thing to make Sophie look extra-beautiful

Fourth, the end is in sight. I now only have two rows of Sophie remaining, so she will be finished tonight. I was delighted, therefore, that my new blocking mats arrived yesterday. Sophie is too big to block on my usual cork board, so I have bought some interlocking children’s play mats for the purpose. Each one measures 30cm × 30cm, so it’s possible to construct the size and shape of mat I need very easily. I did try to find some secondhand mats, but in the end I had to buy new; however, I think they are going to get lots of use in the future.

Fifth, a lot of swimming. Today is the final day in 2017 that our local swimming pool is open. I won’t be able to go and swim there again until 8 January 2018. So I’ve totted up my tally for this year and I discover that I have been swimming 112 times. I’m very proud of myself… especially considering that most of those swims have been at 7am.

So there we are, lots to make me smile today. How about you? I really hope good things are happening in your life and, for those of you who find this time of year difficult, I send a big hug and remind you that the media’s representation of Christmas is nonsense and that there are lots of lovely people out there who want to support you and make you happy, like the café owner in this story from our local newspaper.

Thanks once again for the lovely comments on yesterdays post – you are all amazing.

Three Things Thursday: 3 August 2017

It may be raining outside, but there are still things to make me happy.

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wind and rain outdoors… a jungle inside

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, fourteen months of Three Things Thursday. I thought I was coming up to my one year anniversary of this weekly post, but I’ve just checked and I wrote my first regular post (there were occasional ones before) on 2 June 2016. I haven’t missed a week, so that’s 63 posts, which equals 189 things that have made me smile… talk about ‘counting your blessings’!

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one ordered, one found whilst browsing

Second, our library. In our small town there is a little library. Although it can’t house huge numbers of books, it’s easy enough to order a book from elsewhere in the county, and it will arrive within a few days. I used to be a big book-buyer, but joining the library means that I can reduce consumption and check out books that I may eventually want to buy.

 

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pretty dress… with pockets

Third, pockets. Last year I had a dress made for me and I specifically requested that it have pockets, because it’s one of the features I look for in my clothes. Women’s clothes often do not have pockets and the history and politics (yes, politics) of this is fascinating…. what could we be hiding in there? If you want to read a bit more, you could start here. Anyway, my clothes are generally pocketed, and those that aren’t, I have plans for.

 

So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 27 July 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, the house is full of wood. Tim has arrived to start installing the cupboards; there is the sound of sawing and drilling in the kitchen and soon there will be loads of space for all my preserved food.

It’s a good job we have a long hallway.

Second, successful cheese. Yesterday we sampled a cheese made in January and I am very pleased with the result. This is a Tomme-style cheese and quite straightforward to make (for a hard cheese). It is not pressed and has developed a good texture and flavour – I will be making lots more of this.

Say ‘cheese’

Third, cooking from the garden. I shared pictures of our crops the other day and some of them have already been consumed. I am always happy to cook things that I have grown myself.

Here’s some I grew earlier

So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday: 20 July 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, crashed out dog. We went to visit Mama Snail on Monday to celebrate her birthday. A great time was had by all including the dogs. Sam gets rather over-excited by going visiting and made me smile by spending the whole of Tuesday like this:

Second, courgettes. The plants have grown hugely and we are about to harvest our first of the year… all grown on waste (paper, cardboard, old compost, grass clippings, kitchen scraps).

Third, black Hungarian chillies. My friend Ann gave me this plant and it’s now laden with chillies. I can’t wait to try them, especially having read this link sent by another friend, Gary.

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they turn red when ripe, but are delicious when black too

So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Three Things Thursday

…three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy…

This Thursday I’m not feeling very happy. I heard yesterday about the death of someone who was an important part of my adult life – Dr Peter Wathern.

I’m trying to focus on the fact that his presence in my life made it better, so here are three things that I am grateful for:

I’m grateful that Peter saw my potential at the age of 21 and supported me in gaining a personal scholarship so that I could study any subject that I wanted for my PhD. As my supervisor, he saw me through three years of research. He helped me plant trees (he considered it a good way to have a day out of the department!), set up and plan experiments and slog my way through the writing-up.

I’m grateful that later in life, when I was at a loose end job-wise, Peter arranged a temporary lectureship for me. We shared an office for a year and he provided yet more support. He was a great teacher.

And third, I’m grateful that throughout the time we knew knew each other, he welcomed me into his family – even as undergraduates, we used to be invited round to the Wathern’s for an evening of laughter and great food. And although we gradually saw less of each other over the years, Mr Snail and I had a fine evening there not all that long ago, as always characterised by lovely food and much laughter.

My life is diminished by the death of Peter, but was greatly enhanced by knowing him.

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