By the sea all worries wash away…

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We all go through times of hardship, it is the cost of being human, but sometimes we go through times when there are no hardships to speak of- yet we are just not happy.  Happiness, of course, is overrated- many believe contentment is far more prize-worthy.  Personally, I think peace is the dark-horse creeping up on the inside.  To me, peace is everything.

IMG_0310You can be in the middle of an emotional storm and if you can keep even a tiny sense of peace in that core of your being then you can weather it. When you don’t have peace everything is hard. I always think of the words of a W.B Yeats poem, “when peace comes dropping slow” .  I can really relate to that line, many times, I have felt that lack of peace and it can be excruciating, drip, drip, in small droplets, like the agony of a leaking tap, when what you need is a gushing wave of it to cover you!

I needed waves.

I had recently had my second baby, perhaps it was my hormones, but I just couldn’t settle my heart.  My head was o.k, I just knew my soul wasn’t right. There was one place I always went when I had that disturbance inside and it was the sea. I booked a long break at an old familiar seaside town from my childhood.  I didn’t particularly want to go there exactly, but, then I came across this little beauty…

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Oh how it spoke to my heart!  I knew this was somewhere i wanted to be for a while.  I couldn’t contain my excitement when I realised I could hire it and a caravan and it was only an hour up the road.  I know some would find this strange…it is hardly Barbados and it definitely is a holiday ‘of old’ these days…but a simple, caravan holiday, a spit-away from the sea with a perfect little hut straight out of a Cath Kidston brochure really rocked my boat!

Then I saw the sign at the back of thIMG_0199e hut, “by the sea all worries wash away” .  That sealed the deal.  I knew it was the tonic I needed.

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I couldn’t wait to soak it all up.  I didn’t care if it rained – alright I did a bit – but I just wanted to drink in that saltiness; take in the energy of that wild air and watch the crashing waves of the North Sea.

We made pancakes in the mornings, a tradition that has stayed with us whenever we have a lazy day of nothingness ahead of us.  We fed birds from our caravan door and they came up to my little one’s highchair to feed; she squealed with joy- and the peace dripped.  We went for long walks to get the baby to sleep and it dripped some more.  We built castles and moats and channels and pretended we were deserted on islands and it dripped and dripped.  We got a dingy and took it out to sea and laughed and screamed when we got splashed, then the baby fell asleep in the boat on my lap and we bobbed about near the shoreline.  It dripped and dripped and poured and poured and soon we were awash with peaceful, joyous moments and finally relaxed into our lives as a new family.

IMG_0306We didn’t want it to end.  So I went in search of a hut of our own.  I asked around and rang numbers and discovered they cost a lot.  Then we came across a wreck- at least to an untrained eye.  To me, a keen spotter of something that is going to make my heart soar, this was a haven by the sea.

I envisaged a retreat where I would spend hours of quality time with diaries of ideas and (in my imagination) a typewriter.

In reality, I had to spend hours cleaning theIMG_0262 thickest layer of grime I have ever seen and wire-wool a rusty old gas stove just to get a cuppa at the end of it- but what a cuppa!!!!

Look at that view!!!

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To me, she was a beauty… sure, her interiors were, erm, rustic but that was and IS her charm…  We intend on dressing her beautifully, it has been a long process, there were stairs to fix, stain to buy and rusty nails to deal with.  This year though, it is the interior that will take the limelight and I cannot wait!! Below is the first time I went in, after picking up the keys, and recently… after painting!!!!!!!

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There are many things in life to try us and none of us escape pain or a lack of peace, as I guess we won’t truly find this until we meet our maker, but, I have found if I concentrate on the things that make my heart do back-flips then I get a little closer to that peace.

Now can you see how this hut is begging for crochet??!!

More pics to follow, charting the journey of this neglected- but heavenly -hut!

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Crocheting the night away!

Ok, so I know it isn’t the most rock’n’roll way to spend a Saturday night and the fact that many may see it as rather an old-fashioned pursuit but personally I can’t think of anything more relaxing than holed up in a cosy caravan/cottage/hut or house crocheting away, line-after- line of loveliness. Or square-after-comforting-square. I am a new crocheter and we are the most zealous. I could bore you with the details of my latest projects and I’m going to …

So, remember I said a dear friend introduced me to crochet- well I needed more guidance-when I was all alone and in danger of frustration from not being able to remember the things she taught me -so she recommended ‘crochet school’ – the name appealed to the teacher in me -a great place to visit on you tube for LOTS of videos on how to do everything from a slip-stitch to a whole afghan. It has been invaluable as a reference, go-to guide, on all the stitches and techniques.

Inspiration is a different thing. You can have ‘all the gear and no idea’ my sister says.  So, you need somewhere to go to get the motivation -and again -that heart-lift moment! I found bags of it (excuse the pun) at Attic 24.  Lucy takes you through her projects with such enthusiasm and verve you are left dying to try out her ideas and patterns.  Dying to try out a crochet pattern? Yes. Visit that Attic and I defy you not to buy an 8 pack of chunky, rainbow yarn!

Well I did buy a pack of chunky yarn and I am still finishing her beautiful ‘Jolly Chunky Bag’ .  You can see my efforts so far here.

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I am new to this and it was surprisingly easy. It is also a great project for learning the techniques, changing colour, in the round, edging and appliqués.  Very satisfying. You can see it isn’t finished yet- I will show you when I’m done! Meanwhile, I’d suggest looking at Lucy’s pattern on Attic 24 to see how it’s done properly!

Often it’s effective, for the sake of variety, to do more than one thing at time and so I am also experimenting with granny squares and a shell blanket, of which I shall update you in due course.  If you are contemplating a granny-square blanket then take a look at the join-as-you-go methods- these are useful if you are a bit impatient to get on with the good, heart-singing, bits you like best!

My first attempts at joining granny squares and indeed granny squares at all…

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Sorry for for the blurry (atmospheric?! ) photograph -the photos will improve! At the moment I’m just glad to be able to do this at all – I plan to have beautiful photographs as times goes on- something I love to see on others’ articles and blogs.

I’m off to do some serious hooking.

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