Catching up – phew!


It’s been a busy time on the Mushy Cloud for the Pamster recently and I thought I had better give up a bit of an update and catch you up with what’s happening before you start thinking I’ve fallen out with you all!

You may know from previous posts that I am studying with the Open University at the moment, having started at the start of the month. I was really on top of my studies until last week where I had a couple of days where due to my health thing I was unable to get much studying done. Well not much of any quality anyway – have you ever tried to retain any sort of information when you’re loaded up with tramadol? I found that the notes I took on those days may well have been written in Swahili for all the sense they made to me the next day.

So I’ve been catching up my notes and rehashing them so that they make more sense and are now cross-referenced according to the various themes in the module. We’ve had some really atrocious weather this week and I have had a little companion on a couple of occasions keeping me company in the afternoons – a neighbour’s cat who has taken a shine to me recently and who likes to come and sit on my lap (and my laptop) while I’m studying. She knocked a full cup of tea over all my notes one afternoon this week, which also soaked my laptop and my mobile and went all over the table and the floor. It gave me the excuse to tidy my study space though so it wasn’t a complete disaster. Not completely…

I have an assignment due next week and so I’ve been working on that too. The rubric is “Why did diet feature so prominently in the treatment offered by most early modern physicians?”. It’s only 1000 words which is a difficult target to hit. Not because of finding enough material to fill it, but to limit the words to 1000 whilst giving as much information and argument as possible. Not easy and not much room for waffling either. I’m enjoying it though, so I’m not complaining.

As I said, it’s been atrocious weather this week here. We’re on a storm warning as I type this and already the wind has got up to nearly gale-force and the rain is lashing the windows. I’m glad to be snuggled up on my settee with the fire on and candles lit tonight, and I thank God for the comforts of my home.

I have had a busy couple of weeks with church activities, from children’s work to leading prayers and from counting money to training on safeguarding children. You can’t say that church life isn’t varied and involved!! We have so many plans for the things to do with our community and our children it’s exciting but nerve-wracking all at the same time. Great stuff!

I went to see my brother in action last night in Liverpool. He is with the Welsh National Opera company in the orchestra and they have been performing Tosca all week. My brother lives near Bristol so he stayed at Mum’s house round the corner from me a couple of nights this week which was nice. I don’t usually get to see him because he lives so far away so it was lovely to see him through the week and to listen to his wonderful music last night. All five of us went to see the opera – my husband, my daughter and her boyfriend and my son – and it was amazing. We’re not really high-brow sort of people so it was a little daunting to go to it, but it’s not really that out of reach and we all really enjoyed it. Ethan in particular because he has never been before (Kevin and I went to see my brother’s opera company in Madame Butterfly a couple of years ago) and he is considering a musical career himself. He’s only 14 but he has got his eyes on his future and at the moment music is big on his horizon. I don’t know whether he will follow in his Uncle Alan’s footsteps and into the opera, or whether he will sign up with the armed forces but either way, he’s as keen as mustard and so we’re encouraging him as much as we can in that direction. He did enjoy last night’s performance so who knows what seeds were planted there?

As if all the studying and churching and music making wasn’t enough, I’ve been busy trying to fulfil some orders I have for crocheted hats and toys. It’s hard to focus my eyes though after a day of reading and typing and studying so I’ve resorted to crocheting with my reading glasses on. Rock and roll haha!

So, you now know why I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front recently. I am going to address that in the coming weeks by properly organising my time (and not letting little cats knock cups of tea over my notes where I have to rewrite them…) and making sure I keep up with my blogging commitment to myself. I love studying but I also need to make sure that I keep it in balance with other things and I don’t want to lose my blog-mates through not blogging regularly.

A random thought to finish with: today is my all time favourite day of the year. It’s the day after the clocks went back and I love this day almost more than any other because it has an atmosphere all of its own. First of all there’s that wonderful feeling of waking up to a lighter-than-usual sky and knowing that you have a whole hour to lie in bed before you feel guilty about “wasting” the day away. Then there’s the feeling around teatime when it starts getting darker earlier than normal. It’s a signpost of family time, and I love that it comes earlier today. It’s a Sunday too, which is my favourite day of the week. It’s a day for relaxation and refreshment usually, so that extra hour this morning just adds to that.

The biggest thing about today though is that it signals the start of the season of hibernation to me. It’s a personal thing, but I firmly believe that humans – like other animals – are meant to take it easy during the winter. Alright, not full hibernation like the Blue Peter tortoise in a cardboard box in the garage for four months, but a slowing down of activities, taking time to spend with loved ones, eating proper winter food, sleeping more, resting more, recharging the batteries, hunkering down out of the weather and bedding in at home with family and friends. It’s the season for story telling and playing games, for preserving fruit, for pickling vegetables, for long slow cooking of tasty meals, for afternoon walks in the woods before heading home for hot chocolate, for apple pie, for hot apple cider, for weather watching, for conker gathering, for bonfire building and firework displays.

Today is the start of all that and I LOVE IT!!

hot apple cider

 

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9 thoughts on “Catching up – phew!

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  1. Happy hibernating!! I love that idea! How wonderful that you got some extra time with your very talented brother, and enjoyed a night out with the family, at the opera! Thanks for taking time to catch us up. Glad you are feeling better!

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  2. Hope you stay safe in the big storm that I’ve heard is headed to the UK! (Having lived though 3 hurricanes, including Sandy this time last year, I have a lot of sympathy and concern for those in the path of this storm.) Praying you stay safe and dry!

    -Mary

    P.S. I too love daylight savings time ending. We have to wait until next Sunday though here in the US.

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    1. Hi Mary, we escaped the worst of the storm where I live thank God. I live in Manchester in the north west of England and it was mainly the south and midlands that caught the worst of it. We had wind and rain that was worse than normal but no structural damage like they had further south in the country.

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  3. Enjoyed that post. Winter coats and scarves and bobble hats are being dug out as autumn projects come home from school in this house.
    The storm was a non starter up here wasn’t it but the destruction down South was sad to see.

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