Here we are at the end of week four of our summer holiday, and I am loving these long, slow Summer days. They are so beautiful and kind of full and precious I think. We haven't been up to much here to be honest, the days are sort of bumbling and rambling into each other in a deliciously relaxed sort of a blur. I wake up early every morning not knowing (or caring) what day of the week it is and don't even think to question it as the hours roll by. It's a luxury to have this kind of freedom and I appreciate it more than I am able to put into words.
Our Monday to Friday's have been a whole lot of nothing-much but we have made effort at the weekends to get out and about with the Little People. We've been walking in shady green woodland, picnicking and rambling about the countryside with visiting friends and family. A barbecue lunch by the riverside, a lazy pub beer garden in the warm afternoon sunshine. It's been gentle and enjoyable.
At home I have been day dreaming about so many beautiful projects and exciting new yarny possibilities, feeling buzzy and inspired and more than a little frustrated at the lack of actual available time to sit and crochet right now. It's just typical for me at this time of year when I am flat out with so many time-sensitive projects that I immediately want to kick the deadlines to the curb and dive into something new and pleasurable. Ah well, all in good time I guess.
Days here during the holidays are a constant juggling act, as I'm sure it is for most parents of school age children. I'm attempting to parent the kidletts whilst also working from home against some tight time deadlines and it's not always easy - the guilt sits constantly on my shoulder and whispers naughty things in my ear if I let it. I am doing my best to balance it all out, and so far so good. I tend to adopt the rather lazy approach to holiday parenting and allow the days to meander naturally. We don't plan, we just kind of free flow and hope for the best. The Little People are pretty good at amusing themselves for the most part, although Little B still needs Mummy imput of course, being that he is still only six. We've been baking together quite a bit, Little B and I - we took some over ripe bananas.....
.....and made some delicious banana bread (recipe here, with added sultanas). Warm from the oven and slathered in butter, it was oh-so-good.
Little B loves to sit and do a spot of colouring too, he can be close by me as I sit and work and I can secretly watch him out of the corner of my eye (he gets very self conscious if he knows I am staring). I love to watch his face move as he works with his pens, he truly delights me with his intensity for this simple activity.
We've stayed close to home for the most part during the past few weeks, but there have been quite a few outings to the local shops to buy food or some such thing that we've run out of and desperately need. It feels odd to walk along the canal with the Little Peeps and not be doing the school run, it's a strange sensation of being out of kilter somehow. We noticed this week how the leaves are already beginning to change on some of the trees, my heart sinks ever so slightly at the realisation that Summer is on the wane already. Not yet, it can't possibly be yet. September is Still Summer!!
We've had many afternoons at the park this past week as it's been warm and humid and perfect for being idle and horizontal on a blanket with a green view.
I've settled us at the very top of the slope in the dappled shade of the trees and encouraged Little B to run-run-run his little legs off as much as possible. We've had balls and a frisbee to encourage the activity levels, but really that kiddlet just loves to run for the joy of it. He would think nothing of running all the way down to the play park there in the distance, throwing himself down the slide a few times, then running all the way back up the hill again, panting and collapsing in a heap on the blanket. It's marvellous actually, all part of my Lazy Parenting technique as I am required to do absolutely nothing physical, just using my eyes to watch. The occasional wave and swell of the heart, and that's the extent of it for me.
The reward for all that activity has been in the form of a daily ice cream treat, which I think is only fair. There is an ice cream van which parks just outside the park entrance, and we've made good use of it this week. Happy Little Peeps, happy Me.
It's not all been horizontal idling mind you, I have actually been doing some crazy stuff at the park myself whilst the Little Peeps loll about eating ice cream. I took a whole bag of woolly sheep with me and spent a happy time arranging them on the grassy slope for a little photo shoot - don't they look adorable? Yes, I did get some rather odd looks, not that I mind too much of course. What amazes me is how OK the Little People are with me doing these things, they pitch in and help and never question the wierdness that is my life.
I have to say I'm so thrilled by this creative project and love love love the way the flock is growing, thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far. Each and every sheep is a delight, they all have such unique and beautiful little characters! There is still time to make and send a little sheep if you fancy joining in. Details here.
The past few weeks I've been working with my friend Lovely C to create the 2017 Yarndale* calendar. It's been a fun thing to do - we've combined some studio images with some amateur on-location images which has required us to dance about arranging stuff, snapping photos and pretending we are fancy pants stylists hahaha! The above image was a joint project, the flower post was crocheted by C using a rustic carpet yarn, and I made the flowers and leaves using Drops Karisma wool DK.
This is one of our styling type images, arranged in Lovely C's garden one overcast day in early August. We wanted to create a picture which felt Autumnal and cosy, and honestly we got such a kick setting this up and getting it just so perfectly Novemberish. The funny thing is that I realised after a few hours that I happen to hold my breath when I am taking photographs, so the whole day left me hyperventilating and gasping with exhaustion, but ridiculously happy at the same time. I took over 200 photos in the end (to arrive at a select 12) and am really looking forward to sharing them with you soon. The calendars will go on sale at Yarndale* in September, then will be available to buy online after that. I'll keep you posted.
I've been out and about in the evenings a bit this past week and have been struck by just how beautiful this time of year is. I feel so blessed to live in this place where I can walk to meet friends, strolling along the canal side on my way home at 7pm and just loving the warmth and light.
I'm hoping that whatever your days are filled with, that you are enjoying the magic and finding joy in the Little Things. Life is good!
*in the interest of honesty and clarity and disclosure and all that stuff, I need to just mention that *yarndale is a for-profit organisation and I am one of the five organisers. Details can be found here.
ps we're off to the seaside now for a week of coastal pootling - see you when I get back xx