Quite a few things have changed....
Sadly I no longer have my allotment. We decided at the end of last Summer that the shine had gone out of the experience and it no longer fitted in with our life. In the Winter we were on top of things, we would spend time planning and preparing for the year ahead, but then all was done and we really didn't need to go as much. Come Spring and Summer fruit and veg was starting to grow in abundance - as was the weeds. We just couldn't keep on top of it. As our kids have grown older the weekends seem to be filling up with kid and family related activities and it was hard enough getting to the plot once a fortnight last year - let alone having to then spend the time first tackling the weeds. This left the minimal amount of time to plant and harvest.
The plot has now officially moved back up the garden. I had already moved the tomatoes out of the greenhouse on the plot back to our sheltered back garden and I made a comment to the hubby when we were at the allotment along the lines of 'wouldn't this be easier if all our veggies were back up the garden', we realised that it really would and the decision was made. We harvested the last of the veg, kept the worst of the weeds down, bought anything we wanted to keep home and gave away numerous fruit trees and bushes. Our lease ran out on the 23rd April 2012. I hope the next people to have our plot like it as much as we did - they're getting a corker and a plot that has had a lot of time spent on creating it from a bare, muddy, weedy patch. However sad I am, if I am honest, I am relieved.
I was insired by a book by Alys Fowler called the Edible Garden and so the empty borders were all stocked up with a mixture of flowers veg and fruit. Can't tell you how nice it was just to wander up the garden for rasperries or alpine strawbs for my cereal or to dig up some spuds or onions for dinner. I fell back in love with it. It was a bit slap dash though, I shall try to be a bit more organised this year.
Jewellery. This has also come to an end. Maybe temporarily, but currently I am not making any. I am a creative person and LOVED making the lampwork beads. I needed an outlet for my beads, especially as I was making so many, so I set up my company. I was beginning to be successful, but then realised that I actually didn't enjoy selling my work at all. I'm just not that sort of person, if I'm buying something I will not haggle. If I feel the price is too high I just walk away and you lose my custom. With my own work I was so uncomfortable pricing my work. I felt I always needed to justify my price and was never sure if I'd gotten it right in the first place. Also most of my orders were commissions for one-off pieces. Unfortunately, one-off doesn't mean one bead as I always needed to work out how to get the effect wanted in the first place and allow for cracks or seconds. It took all the fun out of the bead making for me having to make many of the same beads over and over. I'm not saying that I'll never do it again, but I'm taking a break for now and have wound down my little business.
The running. I'm back at that. I loved it first time around and was going great guns, then I pulled my hamstring and had to take a break for a few weeks while it healed. I then went to my brother's fantastic wedding in Chicago (feeling amazing) and when I got back I kind of lost all the motivation for why I was running. I kept going for a bit - maybe 4 months, but then it kind of fizzled out. I've been for the odd run in the last year, but nothing regular until now. I'm back into it now though, I've completed Week 6 Run 2 today on the C25K programme and feeling okay - running really is the best exercise for me. Got some amazing looking new trainers. Nike Pegasus. Not as supportive as my Asics, but more cushioned, I bought some new insoles too and which make them feel great.
(note the genuine mud :))
Other new interests (I really have had a bit of a 'fad' overhaul in the last couple of years :) )....
The ukulele :):) I love, love, love playing this. My music teacher friend wanted to test out her new ukulele lesson and I came along with the Girlie as students(guineapigs). I absolutely loved it and bought my own within a couple of days, a lurvely red one. After a few weeks teaching myself the basics courtesy of Youtube I then plucked up the courage to join my local Ukulele club -it's brilliant! At Christmas last year I got a new 'grown up' uke - a beautiful Ohana concert. I've never been able to play a musical instrument before and I totally adore the fact that I now can.
Next up is Land hermit crabs. Yep, hermit crabs that live on land, now also live in my house :) Such interesting pets when you get to see them, unfortunately they are nocturnal so it's not that often, heh! I do spend a lot of time preparing food and feeding an empty tank. They will get more confident and settled eventually, I just have to be patient - it'll be worth it (I hope :)). They were originally the chosen (and quickly tired of) pet of the Boy, but now they belong to me.