Monday, 31 January 2022

 Good morning, Lovelies!

Welcome to the Chinese Year of the Tiger...which means it's still OK to wish you all a VeRy HApPY NeW YeAr, right?! Mr Floral Hook is a Tiger so I'm expecting great things from him this Tiger Year.😁

🌸 Some of you Lovelies may recall my last blog post... which was in October last year. I simply ran out of fuel after that. You can say and do only so much before a pitstop is in order. I went through quite an odd phase though. Definitely had something to do with all our lockdowns where I became hooked on the bad habit of bingeing on Podcasts and the point where it didn't feel healthy anymore. What I mean is, and you might disagree, but watching so much of what other people are doing, is weird? LOL! It struck me, suddenly, as incredibly weird and dare I say...voyeuristic? To boot, and this is no critique on Vloggers and Podcasters...but seriously, why was I watching someone chat endlessly about themselves, sometimes day in and day out ( even if it was about crochet, or whatever ) I literally watched a Vlog of someone cleaning their shabby ( but charming ) kitchen and it wasn't even a lesson in cleaning or renovation! At that point, I knew I was waaaaaay too far down the wormhole. The only way out was to immediately, without another thought, go cold turkey. Crikey, easier said than done! I've definitely developed a new understanding of Voyeurs! And also, for those who feel the necessity to be constantly seen and heard, lest they disappear into a perfectly normal and largely uneventful existence. It's been 122days since I watched a Vlog. I should get a medal or something?πŸ˜†

🌸 So, that was the conclusion of my first set of thinky-thoughts. The next set of thinky-thoughts ( now that I was a recovering Vlog voyeur with TIME on my hands ) involved crochet and my obsessive compulsion to always be busy with hook, yarn and notebook while simultaneously, and with so much longing, daydreaming about watercolour florals, drawing, botanical-inspired walks, ocean wave and/or cloud gazing and other similar delightful escapes into the realms of forbidden pleasures. I say "forbidden pleasures" because the "work ethic" has been well and truly branded into my hardworking backside! Ordering a new watercolour paint set, a clutch of deliciously rounded paintbrushes and a cold-pressed watercolour A5 pad felt absolutely illicit! I could just as well have been ordering a plain brown- paper wrapped package ( nudge, nudge, wink, wink )

Some of you may know that my real job was once helping people get their heads shrunk. So I'm not totally rubbish at self-therapy. To cut a long story short...that's where I am at the moment...on the beach with Roxy and Lally, or crouched under cooling tree canopies watching Ants drag bits of insect carcass into their sandy parlours ( oh, lawdy, am I an Ant voyeur? ), or frequently traipsing around the green belts of our beautiful Cape, or on a cool morning, sat quietly by the garden fishpond sketching and painting dragonflies and wildflowers ( ok, the garden weeds if you must ). In short, I am having a wonderful time. I highly recommend shutting off all your devices for a meaningful period of time and looking up, or down. It's amazing what's going on while we think we're engaging with "real stuff" via our social media accounts.

🌸 I'm not entirely away with the fairies. I am crocheting, but vicariously through our Group members. I can't see myself picking up a hook until April ( at least ) when the weather turns squarely to face late Autumn. All that thinking made me acknowledge ( and accept ) that my brain really only works properly, for crochet that is, at 23 degrees Celcius, and lower. I'm dead serious! Must be all that Northern European and Finnish DNA, right? You'd think six or so generations of life under the African sun would have made a difference to how I adapt to heat. But no. In the immortal words of Monty Python's famous Parrot skit; I pine for the Fjords ( still )

🌸 The background to all this thinky-thought stuff, the traipsing, the sweeping leaves, the watercolour floral flow, and gazing at nothing, in particular, is that I am quietly percolating new ideas. It happens naturally when you let yourself off the "busyness train". I highly recommend it! In fact, stop reading this right now and go find yourself an Ant to observe.πŸ˜„

( Our very old Gumtree at the bottom of the garden sheds like a shaggy dog! I'm endlessly captivated by the gorgeous colours of the dried leaves which I sometimes sweep into a pile but then allow the wind to blow them around again )

( Be as happy as Roxy on the beach, covered in sand )

( Will sun-gazing through the branches of a tree EVER get old? )

( Or watching Miss Augusta dreaming that she's a super-cat flying through space? )

( Lally, our Beach Diva...LOVES the ocean, and knows how to strike a pose for the Puppyrazzi too )

( Mr Floral Hook promised me a yacht for Xmas...oh, well, paddle-boats are good for the legs, right? )

( Up and down mountains )

( These two! Up, and down, for anything! )

( An attempt to become one with the foliage. Our day trip to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens )

( Come for a's only a number! )

( Playing with your fur-babies is the best free therapy )

( Mind-less enjoyment with paint and brushes. Just do it. It's SO GOOD for the soul )

Lovelies, take special care of your precious selves. Don't forget to stop and smell the Roses. These beauties opened in a day because of the heat. I can't stop looking at them each time I pass by. I've placed them in the parlour ( entrance hall? ) so they are hard to miss. Make sure that wherever your eye stops, there is something gorgeous there that lightens your day.

πŸ’— Jen

PS: The REAL reason I'm not crocheting at the moment.

PPS: If you'd like to win a surprise FREE pattern from an amazingly wonderful crocheter ( NOT ME, lol ), then don't forget to leave your Ravelry name in the comments section below. I'll pick 5 winners in a random draw and send your prize to you on Friday 11 Feb.😁