Saturday, 30 January 2021

a ripple of excitement


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

17 comments:

  1. We are always smelling almost all of the parts of Bertie, particularly paws and the top of his head. He is utterly delicious. Everyone has a different opinion as to what the top of his head smells like. Biscuits! Pepperoni! Lavender and roses! Okay, maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch. He managed to get some leftover pasta on his walk this evening, which was a triumph. It has been lying in the gutter for at least three days, but today was the first time he actually managed to get at it. He conducted a cunning manoeuvre into the road, a sort of sweeping action, and then came in at it from the side. He must have been planning it all day. So it will be interesting to see what he smells like tomorrow :) I hope your quilting mojo returns soon. And how exciting that Annie will be off to uni and that Sam is off for a work placement. I am trying to come to terms with my eldest being 18 this year. Yikes. CJ xx

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  2. So exciting for Sam, and then Annie starting in September, so much change is afoot. I have lost all mojo except for crocheting, can't remember the feel of knitting needles in my hands and of course we all know I can't sew. As for the boys, I love to play with their paws but I actually love to smell them right between their eyes, weird I know. But I kiss them every morning when I take them out right on this very spot. After the great throw up episode a week ago, that found me bathing them at 7:18 AM, well they smelled horrible prior to that but now still seem to smell a bit like shampoo. Home school is just a disaster in every way. Our governor demands in place school so that is our only option even though twice a week I get a call from the school saying there was another confirmed case of Covid at the school but no other precautions need to be taken. It is a disaster here in Florida. Stay safe.

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  3. Exciting adventure for your son and daughter both! How nice of you to make her a leaving blanket. I look forward to seeing what her ideas of colors and design are. Now I will have to smell Mochas front paws. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  4. Sniffing paws? Well, I guess that is better than some areas. :)

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  5. I absolutely take my hat off to you and all other parents who are home schooling and trying to juggle work as well. I wish Sam and Annie the very best as they venture into new life adventures. Take care x

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  6. I am in awe of your juggling skills, home schooling and working not an easy task. I am thrilled for Sam, nice to get a little travel. Hopefully Annie will actually be able to go to Uni and not have to learn from home. Exciting times for them both.

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  7. It sounds like your daughter and son have some very exciting new adventures coming up in the near future. I know you are very proud of the both of them. Yes, we love to smell our pups paws. Is that weird? Some may think so, but I don't.

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  8. I'm already overwhelmed with online teaching and committee work, and I know it must be 100 times harder for you with kids.

    Annie is going to university in September? Wow! How fast time flies.

    Hope you have a great week, Christina. :)

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  9. We used to live on our family farm and I used to sniff the cats after they had been in the hay barns. I love the smell of hay, something I really miss now. Never tried sniffing the dog's paw though, he'd not be too happy about that. I guess we just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. CN x

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  10. It is all a bit tedious and I still get to leave the house for work! I keep reminding myself of all the positive things but I feel it's the inability to plan ahead and look forward that is difficult. My dogs tend to smell odd when they are licking their paws for ages! A sort of damp dog aroma, I'm not a fan ha, ha. Take care. x

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  11. Hello Christina,

    We have found you by a circuitous route but are pleased to have arrived.

    It is not surprising that you are exhausted by these days of quaratine, home schooling and working from home. All such a juggling act, but time too to reflect upon things and make future plans.

    It would appear that the notoriously hypochondriac Henry VII survived the 'Sweating Sickness' by self isolating and changing beds and bedrooms frequently. A lesson for the current pandemic, no doubt!

    We have much enjoyed our visit and shall return.

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  12. Your lovely dog just looks so happy and content x

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  13. Your dog always looks so cute. That podcast sounds fascinating; thanks for the link. I have not been motivated to knit, either. It's weird. Oh well...the desire will come back, eventually.

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  14. I am thankful that my 5 kids are grown and I do not have to deal with schooling at home! I imagine it as being quite stressful! Well done to you and your family for powering through!
    Looking forward to seeing the quilt you make for Annie.

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  15. Home learning for us is at least a chunk of the day, last year it was a barnacle of our time because we wanted to be outside but we are relishing having some directed time. Funny, I am struggling to knit anything at the moment - just don't fancy anything. Sewing has been my bag of late because I can see an immediate thing that feels tangible. I am struggling with blogging at the moment because the devices are being used by the girls and I end up with the arse end of the day. I read blogs on my phone but can never really coherently comment on such a small keypad but please know I am listening to your words and news. Stay safe lady. Jo x

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  16. This was a nice catch-up on your family, Christina, and our Ri grandchildren have been adapting to the home learning as well. The grandson, 14, more so than the granddaughter, 9, who misses the socialization whereas he does not. Much credit to all those parents, like you and Richard, who are also dealing with this sometimes issue. Exciting news about Sam and Annie leaving home for school and coursework. You may miss some of Annie's treats as we will in not seeing them. Always such fun to see Jack who does know how to relax and unwind. We should all take note to catch the sun whenever possible. Thanks for the podcast recommendation, which is a new one to me. I have been off podcasts for a while switching to audiobooks, but will look this one up. Getting into PJs is the best part of the day!

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  17. I do think the tedium of every day the same is starting to get to us all, although I am old enough that a vaccine will soon be on the cards so there is hope on the horizon! Exciting times ahead for Annie and Sam. It’s good to have things to look forward to.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx