…. on the past year – as so many of us are. I realise I have blogged very little this year. And probably sewn even less despite all intentions to the contrary. In retrospect this shouldn’t be too big a surprise. I had a pretty tumultuous year in so many respects – some good , some not so great, some just plain confusing and tiring.

I started the year nursing a grumpy gall bladder. I’ll confess that this screwed up just about everything – including my ability to enjoy much that I usually do. This isn’t news to a great many people. Anyone out there suffering and wondering if it is worthwhile having the op to remove it – get on the phone and get the bu**er out! Life started to improve greatly after that was removed in April.

Then I fell over and sprained and broke my ankle in June. Poo. It’s still not absolutely right (physio appointments made so hopefully improved soon). That shouldn’t have made too much of an impact but I confess that I have sulked big time, and the lack of ability to run has made me unbelievably grumpy. The Management is looking forward to me being able to get out and run againย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

We did have that wonderful month out to Australia in November where I met Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and Lesley of Sew,Nip Tuck which was wonderful. It seemed to have been in the planning for ever and it’s a bit of a shock now it’s actually done. We enjoyed it enormously but got home exhausted, just in time to have to buy Christmas gifts for our family in Northumberland. No pressure!

Beautiful – and empty!

We had a mere two week before we went to Northumberland – a bit of a climate change there! We spent a couple of days with friends enjoying beach walks at Bambrough with their dog, and a fabulous trip to Barter Books – possibly my favourite bookshop in the world. My sister loves a visit to Barter as much as me but we couldn’t combine our visit this time sadly. It was lovely to see both mothers and sisters again as we see so little of them. Regular phone calls just aren’t the same.

Christmas was wonderful with a visit from The Daughter. Again, we don’t see as much as we would like but she is having a very different life from us living and working in London. Great to see her though. She was exceedingly taken with the parcels I received from my Stitching Santa partners. These were wonderful and deserve a full post (again, after the new year) but I will say to both Nana Cathyย and Deborah of Sweet Fallen Angelsย that their parcels were fabulous! I’m really looking forward to playing with using the contents ๐Ÿ™‚

What next?ย Ah yes, The Management. Now retired. Why didn’t anyone tell me it could be so much fun? But also really puts a crimp in your sewing time ….. and many other interests time. I love him dearly (most days) but I confess that this has taken far more adapting to than I expected. I am enjoying the slower pace of life but really think I need to jack it up a bit again if I expect to get things I want done. Memo to myself sent for 2018. Still some settling in and adapting to be done I fear. If anyone out there has a handle on how to cope well in retirement I would love to hear your solutions.



Ok that’s the ‘Life’ bit of my blog title over – what about the rest? Fabric? Yes, been buying plenty of that so I have a mammoth backlog of intended projects . Do these count as UFO’s – because if they do I’m in real trouble. I have done some sewing – recently and for our Australia trip (a bit of a Style Arc fest if I’m honest). I really need to concentrate a post to those in the new year (I promise!!!). There are intentions to make more this year (aren’t there always?) and whilst I’m not officially signing up for Goodnight Valentinos RTW fastย this year (I did it a few years ago and enjoyed it) I do intend to sew anything I can rather than buying.

About a hundred years ago I did lots of pattern cutting in order to get my City and Guilds qualification and I have very sadly let that ability slide. I was looking at the amount of patterns I had bought in recent years and was slightly horrified. Yes I could have drafted them myself – I was probably lookinng for a quick fix in most cases. No more. The pattern drafting tools are to be dusted off and I will start again. I have rediscovered my blocks (last drawn out too many years ago to admit) and the calico trials – wonders will never cease that they were together! I will be trying theese on toย have a good laugh establish what changes need to be made. Once that has been done I will start looking through my wardrobe – that shouldn’t take long ๐Ÿ˜ฆ – and identify what I need to fill gaps. And what needs to be passed on. Even when things still fit and are in good condition they sometimes just ‘need to go’.

Well congratulations if you have made it through all that waffle. I’m finished for now – apart from wishing all of you amazing readers a very happy and prosperous 2018. May none of your projects be wadders!

Kim x


42 Comments on “Reflecting….”

  1. Huzzah and welcome back! Let’s hope 2018 is rather better!

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    Happy New Year,glad you liked the secret santas. Retirement secrets, enjoy days out together but have separate interests and friends too so you have plenty to talk about. Keep to former routines, the day you do the shopping on etc, it helps marry the past life with the new. Above all relax and stay healthy.

  3. Mike Eaton says:

    Retirement secrets? alas I have none, lots of good ideas to slip into on retirement. over a year ago, but so far still totally disorganised . . . . now be fair Michael you did run a business for over 5 years whilst being totally disorganised, I can see a pattern forming here! About the only things I would suggest is you don’t have to go out when it’s raining anymore, but when it stops reschedule and get out – together where possible! The most important thing is this is your time to enjoy – so enjoy it! Have another great year and like me, maybe just maybe try and accomplish something – for me on the sewing side I might just manage to get the cover off the machine, I fink I may have said that last year – but that was practice year!

    • Kim says:

      I think we all have to try and work it out ourselves – and if we achieve anything useful in the process then so much the better ๐Ÿ˜‰.

      • Mike Eaton says:

        Generally Kim I think we do, but having said that it’s nice to have “friends” (both on and off line) to bounce these off! The old a trouble shared is a trouble halved anoxism!

  4. So sorry 2017 was a bit of a stinker, but here’s to a better year in 2018! May it be everything you want and more! I look forward to seeing some lovely makes from you again!

  5. Jo says:

    Fingers crossed that the coming year is much better, health wise, for you. We had a holiday in Northumberland a couple of years ago and visited Barter Books, what a great book shop, I’d love to visit again one day. Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2018.

    • Kim says:

      Barter is an essential part of every visit to Northumberland! I already have too many books waiting to be read but I always come away with more ๐Ÿ˜‚.
      Thanks for your good wishes, you deserve some good stuff in 2018 too.

  6. Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. sewruth says:

    Happy New Year Kim!
    Husbands and retirement? Keep ’em working, that’s my coping strategy

    • Kim says:

      That boat has already sailed unfortunately! (Though I agree that would have been excellent strategy ๐Ÿ˜‚).
      I’m hoping to sew about half of your output this year Ruth. That should start to shrink the stash!

  8. nikkibnb says:

    Happy new year! All the best for 2018!

  9. Happy New Year! Good luck with the ankle; I hope it improves soon.

    • Kim says:

      It’s getting better – just not as quickly as a girl with no patience wants it to ๐Ÿ˜‰. Fortunately it’s not the foot pedal operating foot so I have no excuses not to sew!

      • Mike Eaton says:

        Kim, by heck you are really going crazy here – ref the ankle, to my mind thats not the reason but the excuse not to do anything! As I believe I said earlier it’s a whole new world this retirement thing (and theres two of you!) so you have to bring in some new insperation! (awful spelling I know). It’s taken me over a year to “retire” so far and that’s just me – just stay with it and hopefully one day it will all click into place! Fingers crossed – for both of the three of us! m m m m

  10. CJ says:

    Happy New Year Kimmi! All the best to you and the fam for a wonderful 2018! Hope the ankle is sorted soon… I know all about the grumps… been there! Take it easy getting back into it and 2018 will be fab xxx

  11. tialys says:

    Lovely to hear from you again but sorry you’ve had some problems with bits of you.
    I haven’t worked full time outside the home since having children (and they’re in their 20s now) so I’m well versed in the ways of leisure time – but the poor husband has a way to go yet before he can give up if he is to carry on supporting our (well, mainly my) lifestyle ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, we already both have interests in common and also separate ones – he will love being able to spend more time on the garden for example – so I’m not really worried about what it will be like when the time for him to be here more often does come round.
    I hope 2018 will be a better one for you and you’ll be able to get those running shoes on again soon. x

    • Kim says:

      Our difficulty is that i have enough interests for both of us and not enough time now to satisfy them! I’m learning to adapt slowly, and we are now going to the gym together – SHOCK! Life is all about changing with circumstances isn’t it?

  12. Great post and a great read. I too had the gall bladder op (just over a year ago)…so glad I did! Big Man and I are sort of semi retired and spend virtually all our time together…it takes some getting used to and we make sure we both keep up our own interests and activities too. He has also been spending a lot of time recently in Spain whilst I remain in the UK…absence makes the heart grow fonder! Wishing you both every happiness and very good health in the year ahead Kim.

    • Kim says:

      Good riddance to gall bladders – and the pain they cause! I’m very happy now mine is gone – and once my ankle is sorted life will be golden.
      We seem to be filling time well and not have too many disagreements. I’m a little concerned about his declaration that he is going to learn to cook – and I have to stay out of the kitchen ๐Ÿ˜ญ.
      Happy New year to you and Big Man!

  13. Happy New Year, glad to see you as I have been absent most of the year as well. Good luck with all your plans and projects for 2018!

  14. TheCompassionateManager says:

    What a nice, interesting post, and I am sorry about your ailments and assorted challenges. I have no idea what a gall bladder does, but glad one can live without one! Thinking about retirement and spending more time with the other half is challenging for many of us as we get a bit older. I am torn between wanting to chuck in my job, and deciding to carry on until 70 – it is not unusual to feel ambiguous about our big decisions. Anyway just to say I love your blog and appreciate your generous and helpful comments you leave on mine. With love and very good wishes for 2018,

    • Kim says:

      Thank you Kate. I suppose all life changes take a while to adapt to – and as I’ve already alluded to I’m not the most patient person!
      (I’m not sure what a gall bladder was meant to do either ๐Ÿ˜ƒ).

  15. Elle says:

    Re retirement: there’s the old saw about marrying for better or worse–but not for lunch.

  16. Belinda says:

    Here is a link to a book I found very helpful when my husband retired. You may find it useful too.

  17. mrsmole says:

    The key to having a man around the house is keeping him in his own room or territory be it computers or garden or golf. Encourage him to join a group for hiking, bird watching, anything that will get him out and away from your sewing room. I hear horror stories from women who say the dreaded words coming from their husbands every morning, “What are WE doing today?” And the answer from my quilting friends is always, “Well, one of US is going to be quilting”. It is a hard adjustment for them and you. Mr. Mole and I only see each other for meals and he have been sharing the same space for over 20 years of semi-retirement. Good luck, Kim and best wishes for a smooth 2018!

  18. Best wishes to you for a better 2018 (than your 2017!)

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