Tag Archives: craft

Behind the Scenes: A book and beyond


Well, hello, everyone. It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been a very long while.

Over the last few days, the blog has been on my mind a great deal.

The last time that I checked in, I had been spending a great deal of time of the allotment. The weather was good; Britain was not only in the grip of a pandemic, but also a heatwave. I was able to go to the plot, and do a fair bit. I had dug over the beds, and even sown seeds.

Then life became busy, with my counselling practice and teaching. It has been a very fast, very busy ten weeks and my feet have bare touched the ground.

So, this week, I am playing catch up.  I am also trying to have a rest, by shifting down a gear. I am trying to get some semblance of balance. I did have a fair dose of allotment guilt; a lot of sadness, actually. I popped down to the plot, to see how the plot had changed and to cut some roses. This, in itself, was a very grounding process. I even found some tomatoes. This was much needed. A bit of pottering, smelling the roses, to become grounded.

Social distancing still exists, and quite rightly so. And when not able to go the plot-there has been that much rain, when the sun isn’t shining. I’ve been otherwise occupied, beyond working and counselling.


Yes, at the beginning of lockdown, I learned how to knit socks. I started with flat needles, and have since graduated to circular needles. These, I do believe, make the process, easier. It is also a lovely opportunity to relax, experience mindfulness. To ground myself, and do something that isn’t energetically demanding; is wonderfully calming and therapeutic. As such, I now have four pairs of needles with as many cast on socks. As you can see, this are not boring socks. Colourful and comfy, I’m really very proud of my creations. I have enough wool now, to be really quite busy. It is really quite easy, to be seduced by pretty yarn. And the socks are all mine; there is no one to inflict them upon.

Talking of creations. There is a new writing project on the desk. All being well, that will be released next year. This has already spent a year in the pipeline, and is very different to what I’ve already written. A series of short stories, all inspired by the City of Birmingham. You’ll have to watch this space, for further details.

magic square project #1



Nothing to do with GYO or allotmenteering, but something similarly therapeutic. It’s still cold and damp outside, and there are puddles on the plot that could well come up to my ankles. Still keeping an eye on things, the experimental chillies are all mostly up. Three superhots have broken through the surface. So all is not lost with the horticulture. It was also a balmy 15 degrees in the poly today, I went for a walk to clear my head and retrieve some gravel trays. Still waiting for the replacment cover for the four tier blowaway. The experimental tomatos have been brought inside, yet to have anything germinate. No surprise there really.

Anyway, about those rectangles. I had found ma’s knitting needles and some of her oddments. And then didn’t look back. I was privileged to have been taught by my paternal grandmother how to knit as a child. I remember being knitting a great big pink magenta scarf. There were a lot of dropped stitches! Sadly, i was never taught how to cast on and off. Ma taught me to cast on, but I had to watch a video online how to cast off.

This was the simplest video I found and actually made sense to me.

I have also found a nice friendly wool shop, in trying to knit these rectangles. Other than cheap wool from a certain publishing outlet. Based in warwickshire The wool mountain was a really friendly shop where all crochet and knitting aficionados would be catered for. I am novice, I know all of two stiches and like stripes, but the lady there was really very helpful.

Each of the rectangles has seven stripes, and is approximately 10″ wide, so big enough. Shall see how this goes. The plan is to make some form of blanket.