Reasons to be Cheerful

My wool delivery came! And it didn’t take that long either, despite many warnings that there are delays. Thanks Wool Warehouse.

I ordered lots of balls and in a few different colour-ways, so I can power on with my Coast blanket. I managed 57 minutes of crochet while on a call earlier. That’s impressive work for my dodgy hand.

Slowly, slowly I’m knitting my next dishcloth*. Choosing the design for February must have been a breeze. I really like it. I always enjoy lace knitting, though I have to concentrate.

I had a proper lightbulb moment the other day as I kept worrying that I was doing something wrong. It wasn’t looking heart-like at all. Thank goodness I didn’t undo and go back to the beginning! I probably missed a pattern note where it says the hearts appear upside down. I made someone jump by suddenly shouting “OMG, there ARE hearts after all!”

It turns out I’m not the only one who worried about this one. Always a relief.

*It’s part of a free 12 month KAL, go back to my last post for the link and description.

Winter flowers and the promise of Spring flowers. The garden is coming to life. Just look at those cheeky little croci coming up in the gap between the last two steps. We missed these last year, as we moved after they’d flowered. After the snow had gone it was a nice surprise to find a carpet of lilac all over the garden.

Look at these tulips; despite my not having cleared away some of the leaves of the grape leaf anemone, they’re coming up anyway. Top marks for doing what they’re meant to do. I felt so guilty I stopped snapping photos and did a bit of tidying to help them along.

Chicken soup in the making (much therapeutic chopping while listening to favourite artists on Spotify.) Apparently I said we were having chicken soup for dinner on Wednesday, three times on Tuesday. I don’t dispute that. My memory is fine. I was just excited! It feels so healthy and tastes great too. I added garlic, mixed herbs, homegrown dried bay leaves, red pepper, leeks, Merchant Gourmet ready cooked puy lentils, sweetcorn, chicken stock, leftover Sunday roast chicken and a spoonful of leftover double cream, a good grind of fresh black pepper and pinch of salt. So good. Sooo good.

Refreshing walks relieve head pressure and get the body moving. I score myself out of 10 some days and never failed to return feeling an 8/10.

I know many don’t have such beautiful places and views nearby. I’m really sorry if that’s you. I’m appreciative and grateful, I don’t take it for granted.

We had the Beast from the East again last week. Temperatures went down to -5° some nights and didn’t get above 0° on the whole during the day.

We walked Saturday afternoon, it was -1°. That wasn’t the coldest walk we’ve had, but might have been one of the swiftest 4.5 miles because of the bitingly cold wind.

I found a few big chunks of ice in different places on verges, where there were no puddles at all. My shoe was for scale. Aren’t they thick? I reckon they may have come off a farm vehicle as it went along the track.

Homemade cinnamon buns with a toffee sauce and clementine glaze. Nuff said!


I’m going to admit that I started this blog post with rather gritted teeth. I feel like I’ve finally hit the wall this week. We’ve been in lockdown to varying degrees coming up for a year now. It’s worn thinner than thin.

Getting out into the garden to photograph the flowers earlier was a good decision. I also had a nagging feeling that if I didn’t blog today, I might well not blog again. It’s been proactive to list reasons to be cheerful. It’s a bit like smiling when you don’t feel like smiling, but by the end of the fake smiling, you are genuinely smiling…


I really appreciate it when you read and comment here or contact me privately elsewhere. Tell me a few things. How are you feeling? What are your reasons to be cheerful right now? Have you made anything as sinful as my cinnamon buns? (Ha that’s a hard challenge to beat!)

10 thoughts on “Reasons to be Cheerful

  1. Not sure about sinful (it is Lent after all!) But I am tempted to try some cinnamon buns. Definitely feel good food. I know what you mean about hitting a wall. Beginning to feel I can’t take this much longer. My blanket making and seeing it gradually progress and rearranging the motifs in different ways is keeping me going. Lovely seeing all your flowers. My garden feels less advanced. Good to see you can do more crafting these days.

    • They really were sinful. I made them on Friday, I guess you could say I was using up my fat and flour etc before Lent but as I then made stacks of pancakes for people ….hmmm!

      I wonder if it’s the conflicting messages on the news partly. A hint of a date, then the messages (rightly) change to ‘Data not dates’ and …. we’re not the only ones I’m sure.

      Keep going. I’ll come and have a peep at your recent posts again soon.

      Thanks for commenting Jane, always appreciated.

  2. Always excellent things to be cheerful about – the promise of spring, plant stuff, new yarn, tasty grub, working with your hands, beautiful surroundings and getting some exercise.
    I was chatting to a friend in London two days ago – I hadn’t quite realised just how severe your current lockdown is, especially in terms of (domestic) travel and socialising. At least we are now able to go to restaurants and hairdressers (the ones who have managed to survive financially since March 2020, that is) and, funnily enough, I am due to visit my wonderful hair person in the next hour :) Now THAT always makes me cheerful!

    • It’s been dreadful. Freedom is completely curtailed and not being around others is very hard on everyone. Businesses have now been closed for months and I worry about how many can and will return. This has been going on to varying degrees on and off since last March. We haven’t experienced true normality, but a facsimile of it.

      Being cheerful about little things and lovely things is good. A positive mental attitude is definitely a healthy thing. But it does worry me that in amongst all this angst there are hundreds of thousands of people who lost someone and they’re not really being spoken about. We are so bad at talking about death and the grieving have to do it privately and silently. Lockdown is incredibly hard and birdsong and pretty flowers do not relieve missing personal freedoms and seeing other people, but there are so many who have lost their person in a tragic and sudden way. I know I’m as guilty of this lack of talking / writing about them as anyone else…

      It’s a mess!

      • It is a mess, and it most definitely is DREADFUL. I have friends who have lost family members and colleagues to covid, or who have had it and not recovered fully (two of my closer friends both have “long covid”; they are seriously ill). My best friend needs to have her gall bladder removed but her doctor recommends she try to wait until it’s safer covid-wise to be in a hospital environment. She’s in a lot of discomfort but is trying to get by with painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
        The current stats are 49,000 covid-related deaths in South Africa, but I don’t trust any statistics coming from anywhere in this country (state or private institution). SA population currently estimated at 59 million.
        I don’t think it’s necessary to feel guilty about talking or writing things other than covid. In fact, that could be precisely what people DO need to do (either read or write) to help alleviate the anxiety and sense of abnormality that has taken over the world.

        • It’s not guilt at writing about cheerful things or trying to be positive – it’s a general comment about poor we are in society about talking about grief. The dead and the grieving are not being talked about – other than when I’m cooking dinner and the daily infection rate and latest death toll has been published, so is reported during the news…

  3. I made raspberry and white chocolate muffins- National Trust recipe. I think the best thing to do is lots of little treats and challenging oneself to do something different. A nice bar of soap, or some gorgeous bubble bath, a good book, internet shopping, like you did for yarn. Just decide to be happy and do what you can- like notice the Spring flowers and go for a walk…. just keep on…. I have restarted work on my enormous quilt to challnge my brain. It will soon be over and then we will all remember the positives of Lockdown- time, birdsong etc

    • Nice – I do like muffins (and made the same combination a while back, though it was Nigella’s recipe) but Someone here says he does not like the texture of them. Hmmm. I cannot eat a whole batch!

      Positivity and making the best, deciding to smile, finding reasons to be cheerful etc is all good, but I hope people feel they are able to say when they are struggling, when they feel anxious, or sad or depressed. There are lots of emotions and feelings being felt right now. We have both chosen to focus on the good little things, but there needs to be space for talking about the other side of the coin. Missing others is hard. We are social creatures. We are lucky we have someone else in the house with us. However I really feel for those who are living alone or in an unhappy situation.

      See my reply to Jill too. Lots of thoughts today!

  4. I’m afraid I’ve not baked anything sinful of late. I did make scalloped potatoes and ham last night. Then I had to clean the oven today because it had boiled over while baking. Ick – what a mess. I think I need to plant a big bunch of crocuses this next fall as I had them at my old house and they always reappeared each year so faithfully. They are very cheerful on a cold winter’s morning. I’m giving my hand a rest before I start a new afghan. It will be Lucy’s Moorland blanket from a few year ago. I love your walks. Susan in North Carolina

    • Lovely to heard from you Susan from N.C.

      I’ve started always placing a tin or baking tray under anything remotely saucy, which looks like it could boil over! In fact when I made the cinnamon buns I saw what was happening with the vast amount of dark brown sugar bubbling up and quickly popped a tray on the bottom shelf. I needed to clean the oven shelf after, but it wasn’t too tricky thankfully. (Though the oven did smell a little of toffee / burnt sugar the next time I used it; so I must have missed a bit!)

      Another walk about to happen. I’m dragging him away from the sofa and book…!

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