How is life where you are? My life is completely predictable and a bit boring. Get up early, start work at 7:30, wake the offspring at 8:30, breakfast, then myself and Alistair sit down in my office for work and home-learning while James works more independently with Richard's assistance. Working alongside a child takes some negotiation skills, and a bag full of bribes (snacks and promises of unlimited screen time, you name it). But we both get some work done, which is good. And so it goes pretty much all day long, with interruptions for food, walks and half a dozen of procrastination breaks. Some bickering and shouting always happens and finally, it is the evening. It is not a physically demanding day but the tedium of it all is tiresome. Come 8 pm, I am done.
I started watching "Winter Watch" on The BBC iPlayer, always a favourite of mine. I just love how this programme celebrates the natural world around us. I am several days behind and the live cameras are no longer broadcasting but I don't mind. I also noticed that "This Farming Life" is back, another programme I love.
Mostly though there is nothing on the telly that takes my fancy so I listen to podcasts. One that I really enjoyed was episode 65 Sweating Sickness: Ready, Sweat, Go! of "This Podcast Will Kill You". Did you know about this disease? It is a bit of a mystery actually and it is not clear what the causative agent was. Any mysterious infectious disease fascinates me. This one is also known as the the sweats, English sweating sickness or English sweat. I know, what a name. This was a disease that first struck in England in 1485. There were four outbreaks, all confined to England, the last one reported in 1551. The disease was characterised by a sudden onset. Symptoms started with sudden fever, followed profuse sweating and extreme weakness. Death occurred within 24 hours and about half of those infected died. In 1718, a similar disease was first described in France, the Picardy Sweat. This was a milder disease that caused fewer deaths but many more outbreaks, about 196. This most fascinating mystery kept my mind busy even in my dreams. You must listen to the podcast, it is very accessible, there is no science or medical jargon and the two presenters are delightfully enthusiastic.
Sam is moving to the North of England for a one year work placement, an integral part of his degree course. I am so excited for him and I think he is, too. Just now, it feels almost like he'll be moving abroad but maybe come summer, we'll be able to travel at least within the UK. How nice would that be?
I am really desperate to start a new quilting project but my creative mojo has left me. It is a small personal disaster. I keep looking at images online and I leaf through my few quilt books and old magazines but nothing really catches my attention. So while I am waiting for inspiration to strike, I asked Annie to tell me what kind of leaving home quilt she would like. Yes, she'll be off to university in September! Our tastes don't overlap at all, in particular, she is not keen on a riot of colours and prints. I think I'll be sewing something in muted colours. She found a design she likes (it involves triangles) and has given me some pointers to choosing fabrics. I'll get on with that.
Do you ever sniff the paws of your dog? Too weird for you? I found out the other day that everybody in this family I asked likes the smell of Jack's front paws. Indeed we do.
On that note, it is time for me to get into my pjs. Thanks for visiting. Stay safe and stay well x