Thursday, 8 September 2011

Heritage Open Days

In England this weekend it's Heritage Open Days where many historical buildings open their doors to the public for free and lots of other events such as walks, exhibitions and talks are organised.  We've been attending these for several years now and found some real hidden gems.  This year we've booked a walk around a local town to discover some of its history, a tour around the Palace Green in Durham and a medieval hospital and we're also planning a visit to an Arts and Crafts church and an Edwardian Quaker House.  If we've time we'll also visit a medieval church in Durham and some old craft workshops.  Hopefully I'll be able to take some photos and put them on here - I'm especially keen to take some of the interior of the Arts and Crafts church, but I'm not sure if it's allowed.

I've also found a couple of free courses run by the WEA, that begin this month and run for 10 weeks. Firstly, I saw a course about the Romans in the North of England and Wales, then looking through the booklet a little further I came across a textile design course.  This is right up my street as it includes rag rug making and silk painting as well as othe textile crafts.  Hope they're not full up!

Off to bed now, as I've had a very busy day and I'm falling asleep at the laptop.  Early start for Durham tomorrow :)

Friday, 2 September 2011

First steps

Well, now I'm free at last :)  Last Friday was such an emotional day and I was by no means the only one who cried for half the afternoon!  I had such a wonderful send-off from all my workmates.  I'll treasure the cards, the touching poem that was written about me and the fantastic presents I got.  The choccies are already well gone though :)  The little ones in the nursery made me a card with a drawing of a caterpiller and butterfly and lovely blue skies - I love that best of all.

I've found it hard to get my head round the fact that I no longer work there.  My brain still thinks I'm just having a few days off and everything will be back to 'normal' soon.  I was meant to be having a rest for a couple of weeks but so far I seem to be very busy.  It's great to have the time to do all those neglected jobs around the house and I'm looking forward to finally using those tins of paint I've had stashed away for what seems like forever!  The day after I finished work I got up and decided to rearrange the living room furniture to try and make a more cosy space.  I'm wanting to make some room for a reading chair.  It was quite a job as some of my furniture is very heavy.  Then the next day I got up and decided I didn't like it so I rearranged it all again!  And the next day, and the day after that......

My head's full of ideas and stuff I want to do and it feels a bit confusing at the minute.  Making the house cosy, clearing the garden, researching self employment opportunities,getting exercise, making stuff in the kitchen, foraging, craftwork, organising, stocking the larder, etc, etc.  Help! I need to spend some time thinking about priorities and introduce things gradually and not feel like I have to do everything at once. Otherwise I'm going to end up in a right muddle.

But my first week has gone fairly well.  Some tense moments when I have to explain to Iain (again) that I 'don't want to spend my money on that anymore'. Sometimes I don't think he really 'gets' it, that it's not about denying my myself, it's about spending the money I have on the things that I get pleasure from. It's life enhancing, not self denial.  'Cutting out the crap' sums it up I suppose!