Sunday, December 25, 2011

With love at Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for sharing my life on this blog.

Friday, December 23, 2011

He helps

Morpheus loves to sit and watch me as I'm working. If I'm not careful, he sneaks on to the table and will sit on whatever I happen to be gluing or colouring. So I have to keep an eye on him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traditions at Christmas

As we grow up, families change, and somehow old traditions aren't quite the same any more. Christmas is a hard time for us all but this year we have been doing a few more things that I hope will become traditions - like baking.

Monday, December 19, 2011


How could I forget? I know I am posting my pages way behind schedule, but I can't believe I left this one out.

I think I was saving it for a special post all of its own. Because I'm pretty pleased with this self-portrait illustration. Not a bad representation (and in fact it's exactly what I am wearing right now). Last year's self-portrait page was quite miserable, really, so it's lovely to do something positive.

Journalling Christmas

Behind the scenes, I've been working away on my Christmas journal. I've never done a book in this format before and I really love it. The space for writing is just about the right size, and I'm finding that as I go on, I'm getting more and more creative with the pages. It's also giving me the chance to practice a few techniques that I might not use on a normal scrapbook page.

Day 5: counting down. Mindy bought me an advent calendar! What a sweetie.

Day 6: I'm pretty sure that last year I moaned about moving house at this time of year, as well. It's not my fault! But every move I've ever made has been in either November, December or January. Last year felt like a real anti-Christmas because I couldn't be bothered to decorate a house I was leaving. This year, I feel much more 'at home' and have really enjoyed making my house beautiful for the season.

Day 7: Traditionally a day for creating a to-do list of all the things that still have to be done before the big day. But yes, this year I'm feeling pretty smug. Because I thought I was going to be either in hospital or recuperating from my surgery, I made sure that I had done almost everything before I went in (yes that was pretty stressful). So when the surgery turned out to be much easier than I was expecting, and the stay in hospital much shorter than I was dreading, it meant I got to come home and relax because pretty much everything is done.

I'm using a mix of hand lettering and stickers in this journal, whatever I feel like at the time. I used to do lots of calligraphy and hand-drawn letters (anyone who went to middle school with me will remember the lessons in how to draw perfect bubble letters). I think my discovery of scrapbooking products and the multitude of stamps, letter stickers and chipboard alphabets made me feel that my lettering wasn't quite up to scratch. I like how it works in this journal, though, and it's great to have a space to play.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just like that, it was gone

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I had been preparing for my fourth surgery on 1 December. Was that really two and a half weeks ago?

My first surgery was on 20 December 2009. I had been admitted as an emergency after the tumour that was almost completely blocking my bowel decided to finish the job, and block it completely. There are no words that can tell you how much pain I was in at this time. It was painful to eat, to move, to do anything...excruciating pain that left me doubled up in pain and in tears. I had been in so much pain for the previous few months, and this felt like the peak of agony. I was expecting to have an ileostomy when they did the main surgery to remove my tumour, but that wasn't planned for another six months. When the surgeon suggested doing the ileostomy early, to give me a chance to get through the chemotherapy and to give my bowel a rest, my first reaction was relief. At last.

The surgery did not go well, and the surgeons had to do it again. 2009 was the Christmas I spent in hospital. Having something like an ileostomy is so strange that it is very hard to know how to deal with it mentally. It had been explained to me beforehand, but it wasn't until the nurse came round to mark my tummy that I fully understood what it was - and I was horrified. A piece of my bowel poking out of my tummy? Could it be any worse?

And yet...despite the mental somersaults required to get my head around biggest feeling was relief. The relief of being able to eat. The relief of not being in constant pain. The relief of not spending all my time being sick. Throughout the chemotherapy that followed, and the radiotherapy after that...I could only be grateful for what I had, rather than hating my stoma for what it was. Since then, I think I've coped pretty well with life as an ostomist. You see, I even got a label. There are societies and online forums full of people to talk to. I got a special nurse at the hospital. I got into a routine with washing/changing my bag, I found things I was comfortable to wear, and discovered that I could eat pretty much anything without any problems.

Two and a half weeks ago, I went back to hospital to have my ileostomy closed. This was my third date for surgery, but the first time I felt even able to do it. No-one was able to tell me what it would be like - 'every patient is different'. I was very scared, and perfectly willing to live with a stoma for the rest of my life. Why change something that works, right? The thing that changed my mind, ultimately, was that I developed a hernia around my stoma, which was starting to cause a lot of painful problems. The surgery would fix that as I might as well go for it and try the closure. If it really didn't work, my surgeon promised he would give me an ileostomy again.

After having something for two years, it is very hard to adjust to it being gone. I keep stroking my tummy to check - and remembering that it's gone. Every time I go to the bathroom, I go to empty the bag - and then remember that it's gone. It is a very strange feeling. I have had two years of fighting cancer, and my stoma was in some ways a label, a badge of courage. Proof of what I have been through and the effect it has had on my life. Losing it in some ways feels a little bit like being cut adrift. I am not fighting cancer any more. I am living a life after cancer. I spent two years waiting for this moment and now that I'm here - I hardly know what to do.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More to say than I realised

This journal is just under 6x8 inches, and when I got it I wondered if I'd have enough to say to fill in each page.

To get me started (and because I hate a blank book) I went through and painted some borders and backgrounds on some of the pages. Not having a definite 'plan' makes me slightly nervous, so if I can just go for it and get something on the page it makes me feel better. Even if I cover it up with paper later.

We haven't had any snow this year - yet. This time last year everywhere was white, but we've had an unusually mild winter so far. The cold has kicked in now, though - I've even had to put the winter duvet on the bed.

Last year, I made my Christmas cards and everyone was suitably impressed. The thing with that was - I made them before I went back to work. This year, I knew I would be back at work full time (although I didn't know I would be going for surgery) so I went shopping in the January sales and bought some lovely cards to use instead. Then I volunteered to help with making the cards that Gran will be sending. Colouring, cuttting, sticking....card making is not my favourite thing to do. My friends will still be getting the shop-bought cards!

When I went slap-happy with the paint, I didn't do every page. This is one of the ones I left, and I just trimmed some paper to make a border top and bottom, and added one of the toppers I've used on Gran's cards. I don't think I need to worry about not having enough to write!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Catching up

How many years does it take before something becomes a tradition?

I first did Journal Your Christmas in 2007, and it's strange to look at all the changes in my life since then. Last year's album is pretty special, and is currently sitting on the table beside me. Fun to flick through.

I wasn't sure if I would manage it this year. The last few weeks have been quite hectic as I prepared for my fourth (and hopefully final) bout of surgery on 1 December. The surgery went really well, and I was home much quicker than I expected to be. I now have a few weeks off work to recover, so I guess I have no excuse for not doing another Christmas journal, right?

This year I decided to do a sort-of art journal - no photos, just writing and drawing and maybe some illustrations if I felt like it. I chose a simple sketchbook, grabbed a few scraps of Christmas paper, and now I'm catching up. It feels really special to be facing the season on my way to completely full health. It's been a long time coming.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ah, that's better

Surprisingly hard to photograph (isn't everything at 8am?)

I am 23 rows in and loving the colour combinations here. And the more I do, the more snuggly it is across my lap. Perfect.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Work in progress

I have come to a sort-of conclusion that maybe knitting is not for me. I love it, I really do - but nothing I have made this year has turned out right at all. It's very disheartening.

Crochet, on the other hand, is much better. It grows quickly and in the blanket pattern I'm using I only have to count up to four, and even I can manage that.

So why, in my little pile of works-in-progress, do I have two knitting and two crochet?
The knitting is down to sizing issues. Neither of those pieces are finished and I already know one is going to be too big and the other too small. I am too close to the end to give up completely, but my motivation for finishing them is distinctly lacking at the moment.
The crochet is all down to colour. There is some incredible inspiration on the internet, and when it comes to choosing my own colour combinations I get overwhelmed and then keep second-guessing myself. These are the remains of two blankets that I started, decided I didn't like, and have left in the pile because I couldn't bear to frog them all.

The good news is that I have started a third blanket. I finally decided that I had to STOP looking at other people's work, pick my colours from my stash and stop buying more yarn, make a plan and get on with it. And remember that the 'look' of the blanket changes with each row...I've just done two rows in purple, but the overall look will not be very purple at all. I've done about 16 colours so far (two rows of each) and without wanting to tempt fate, it's coming along nicely. Fingers crossed this one might actually progress to being a finished item.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I must apologise for a distinct lack of creative activity. If you know me at all, you'll know that there are definite cycles to my life. One thing will become all-consuming, and then something else will take over. Which is fine when it's crafting, because that's easy to blog about. When it's studying, writing essays and revising for an exam....not so photogenic.

Today seems like a good day to start posting again - it is, after all, my birthday. I have this weird fondness for even numbers, so 28 feels pretty good. I would say something about being nearer 30 than 20, but I have a feeling none of my over-30 friends would appreciate it.

So what has happened since my last post?

After a long summer of studying, approximately 10,000 words written in essays, and three-hour-stinker of an exam, I have completed my Open University course. I won't get the result until early December, so I am hanging on to my revision notes in case I have to re-sit. I hope not! I'm taking a break from official studying, but am now starting preparatory reading for my next course, and also the one after that. The path to my degree is a long one, and I'm not even halfway there yet, but I am determined to make my way through.

Having something else to focus on helps when work is tough. And the last few months have been testing, to say the least. I never thought work could make me feel so emotional but it has, and it's been a challenge to keep things in perspective. For so long while I was off sick, getting back to work was my main goal. I have had to keep reminding myself that 'restructuring' is not the worst thing I have ever been through, but at times it has certainly felt like it. As of next week, I will be in a new role in a new team, and I'm starting to feel excited about the challenges ahead.

And as if that wasn't enough - I thought I'd add to the mix by getting a date for my final surgery. It's going to be before Christmas, so I should be back home and recovering by the time Santa visits. (If you are at all squeamish, I probably wouldn't bother with that link, ok?) Having a date gives me a deadline to do various jobs around the house, otherwise I will spend my recovery time lying on the sofa getting annoyed. So far, this has mostly involved making Mum put up some curtains, but that's made a big difference and now I can move on to the easy projects. Thanks Mum!

And creatively? Well, as the weather has got colder I've got the knitting out again, and I am hoping to have some finished projects soon. I've managed to reclaim my desk from my books, so I intend to do some scrapbooking and cardmaking, just as soon as I get the hang of having free time that doesn't involve revision. I also got a lovely crafty package for my birthday today, so I'm looking forward to sticking, colouring, and generally making things. In between all this I managed a trip to London with Mindy, so I have even more photos to add the albums now.

If this all sounds busy...well, it is. Life is busy, and full, and beautiful. I am thankful for every moment, and I try to appreciate it all. I am so very lucky, and I know it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First time for everything

I have been blogging since 2007 and yet I've never taken part in a blog-hop before.
It's about time to put that right, don't you think?

I discovered the delicious Miss Smith through a competition on UKScrappers and I was instantly drawn to her quirky style and distinctive journalling. I've been a fan ever since, so when she offered a giveaway with a difference, I think I waited approximately 30 seconds before emailing to sign up.


In the midst of some hideous work stuff and incredibly intense study, it's been good to have something crafty to focus on. And with so much change going on in my life, it seemed like a good time to do a review of life right now. (Also, I love this photo).


So, the embellishment is part of the blog-hop...but in honour of Miss Smith herself, and because it was her style that drew me to her blog in the first place, I thought I'd take a bit of scrapbooking inspiration as well. So, ledger paper, lots of journalling...and a picture of a cup of tea. And then, my banner was inspired by Sian, who is also blog-hopping today.

If you are taking the tour, then please visit the next sweet blogger on the list, who is the lovely Joanne. There are so many wonderfully talented people taking part today, I hope you can visit them all.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Summer days, drifting away

Where did summer go? Apart from being officially the coldest summer for years, it just seems to have flown by. There are still occasional moments of sunshine but there is a definite autumnal chill in the air now.

We made the most of the bank holiday weekend by enjoying a free concert in a local park...just a shame we had to huddle under the picnic blanket for warmth!

I am working towards my final assignment for this Open University course, and then all of a sudden it'll be time for the exam. It feels like it's flown past but I have really struggled with motivation for this last module. My life is full of so many things at the moment that I really can't give the course the attention that it deserves, but I know it's only temporary. I'll take a few months off over the winter and start my next course in February. This time I'll read the books in advance...(I'm pretty sure that's what I said last time!)

Crafting action is briefly on hold, but you can check out my latest scrapbbook page on the shop blog and of course - it's September! Which means this class  runs again, and I am an old hand at it by now. Last year's journal chronicled an incredibly difficult time in my life, and I am looking forward to noticing just how different things are now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Highly productive

It's been a highly productive weekend of scrapbooking, and I'm thrilled to have got so many pages done for last year's holiday album.

I'm pleased to have used so many photos on each page (three!) and to have told so many stories. There are some great memories here.

(Also, that begonia? I bought one for Gran at the same time I got this one, and it's the only thing ever that I've kept alive longer than she has. It is clearly thriving on my gentle neglect. And probably worthy of a scrapbook page in itself.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Proud to be a scrapbooker

The online crop this weekend started with a note from Shimelle about being proud to scrapbook.

Funnily enough, yesterday I was in the shop and noticed an old page of mine on the wall called 'Why I scrap'. I think it must have been from around 2007, shortly after I began scrapbooking, and it was full of the stock answers you might expect about taking photos and telling my story and liking pretty papers.

In a way, none of that has changed. I still love taking photographs (and hopefully improving all the time), and I still love pretty papers (although I make more of an effort now to actually cut them up and use them). And I still want to tell my story in my pages.

Some things have changed, though. I used to tell people about scrapbooking slightly apologetically "...I spend my spare time putting my photos in albums with pretty paper". As though I knew I should be doing something more important with my time, like oh, watching reality TV? Or that it was silly to want to preserve my stories, because it's not like I've climbed Everest or done anything truly amazing. But as I've been looking back at some older pages, I've realised just how important this hobby is. There are people in my scrapbooks who aren't in my life now, for a variety of reasons. Some of them I wish I'd scrapbooked more. Some of them I wish I'd used cheaper products on. And actually my life is amazing. My adventures might not be ones that everyone would choose, but they are mine and the story of how I've come through them is something I am very proud of.

Since I made my first scrapbook pages in 2006, I have changed and grown so much and really the only way that is recorded is through my photos and scrapbook pages. Lots of people scrapbook their children and their growth, but we don't stop changing as we grow up. It just becomes more subtle, and about personality and character, not how tall we are or class projects (although I still scrapbook my studying, because it's a massive part of my life). And amongst all the really hard parts of growth, there have been some amazing things that I don't want to forget, either.

If I did that 'Why I scrap' page again (and I think I just might), some of the reasons would be the same. But ultimately, I scrapbook because I love my life and I want to record it for when I'm old and forgetful. And that's why I am proud to be a scrapbooker.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last year's holiday

Last year's holiday means this year's scrapbook pages. I never do these things quickly, you know.

I'm currently trying to take part in an online crop (I say trying, because I'm not keeping up terribly well so far!) and this is my first page of the weekend. That hot pink paint is amazing!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple inspiration

Remember this page from yesterday?

I had a lovely message to ask if I'd be happy to be the 'Inspiration du jour' on Craft Gossip. But of course!

As seen on

Old photos, new page

These photos are from 2009, but I'm working on telling some older stories in my albums at the moment. As I was doing this, I wondered why my pages about Gran were always more flowery than my other pages, but then I realised that's probably not true. It just feels that way. I think it's that sparkly flower border and the glittery letters...there is an overload of pretty on this page.
It is definitely a contrast from the other page I created yesterday...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hard at work

One of the reasons I haven't been able to do as much creating as I would like of late, is because I've been doing work of a different sort.

I resumed my studies with the Open University in February, after having to cancel my last course after I was diagnosed. It hasn't been easy - moving house, going back to work full time and rebuilding my life have been hard enough without intensive study (I think I'm supposed to aim for around 16-20 hours a week, although I rarely manage that!) There have definitely been moments when I've questioned why I am doing this and doubted my ability to cope. Fortunately, with a lot of support and encouragement I have managed to persevere, and now I have one just one assignment and a three-hour exam left. I am finally beginning to enjoy it and have renewed determination to continue and get the degree I am aiming for.

And today, I received the mark for assignment 6 out of 7 - another Pass 1. So pleased :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Everyday stories

kitchen habits
Scrapbooking is not happening as fast as I would like at the moment. There are so many things going on, and I'm working to some pretty tight schedules.

When I do get a minute to put some photos and paper together, I'm trying to tell the everyday stories of my life. Getting in to a routine with shopping, cooking and eating has really helped me to stay on top of everything else. Eating well is part of my recovery plan, and being organised about it has made it so much easier.

I am still trying to get away from lots of straight lines and create pages that are more 'artsy'. This one even has paint!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Explore:: Thinking about perfect

I am nowhere near on time with this class, but it's ok - I'm giving myself permission to do it at my own speed.
This lesson was thinking about perfect - what makes it? I've had to rethink a lot of my ideas of perfection lately...and it's surprising how many ideas come from other people or their expectations. I don't know what perfect is any more, really, but I do know what makes me happy.

I know that if I am constantly looking for the perfect 'thing' that will make me happy...I will never enjoy what I have now. For me this is part of the balance between enjoying and appreciating life today, while still making thoughtful plans for the future. I am learning to enjoy every day and relish every moment and realise that it can be perfect for now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Explore:: destinations

So, if the class I'm doing at the moment is about the adventure of life...what's my destination?

I always plan extensively for a holiday because to me that's part of the enjoyment, and I love the satisfaction of seeing everything on my list. But I'm not so much of a planner that I can't enjoy a spontaneous day trip or random detour. Too much planning can get in the way.

And so in life. I'd always poo-pooed people who planned their lives with goals and action lists. I thought it was too rigid, too inflexible, and you were inevitably going to fail and be disappointed. A few years ago, I realised that I was wrong. I think it's partly a scrapbooking thing...if I am recording my life now with all my hopes and dreams, then I'm holding my future self accountable. So if I want to be richer/more creative/more successful/living somewhere exotic, then I have to put the plans in place to make that happen.

Then of course, things happen. Life happens. Sometimes you can't do the things that you plan for and have to start new lists with goals that are more achieveable. When I was at my sickest, my daily plan was most often just 'get out of bed'. And there were days that I didn't manage that.

All these experiences have told me that it's good to plan, but it's good to be able to go with the flow. I'm enjoying the adventure of life, but I'm not focusing on a final destination. I don't think there'll ever be a day when I go 'that's it, I'm done'. I want to grow as a person and become all the things I promised myself I would be when I was sick...and that growth will never stop. I am a work in progress.

(All that aside, the place I most want to visit is America. I went there on my last big holiday before I was sick, and I dearly want to go again and do a proper road trip. It's in the plan.)

Friday, July 22, 2011


A new class from my favourite instructor is just the thing to get me scrapbooking again.

Right now my desk should be covered in books, study guides and revision planners.
Instead there's a pile of papers and photos, and some finished pages of a new mini book that look something like this:

We're exploring, but it's not about going on holiday. Life is all an adventure, right?

I had an interesting conversation once with my psychologist at the hospital. It feels like there is a big expectation on people who survive cancer, especially ones who are younger than average, to make dramatic changes to our lives afterwards. Go travelling, change my career, find religion...something major.

What if I don't do anything?

That conversation made me realise two things:

One, that other people's expectations are irrelevant. I no longer give anyone the power to make me feel insecure about my choices or uncertain about my own abilities.

And two, that change does not have to happen overnight. I may well do things differently in my life because of what I've been through. But that doesn't mean I have to do those things tomorrow, either.

I've joked before about the fact that cancer has made me more self-centred, and this project is very much focused on me, my life and my journey. Right now, my challenge is balancing my renewed creativity with a busy work/study life. It's all part of the adventure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Er, I seem to have missed June. What happened there?

There definitely hasn't been any creating, that's for sure. I've been studying like mad - only two assignments left until the exam now. Sitting on my desk are some new paints which are just dying to meet a canvas...I'm promising myself a crafty weekend.

In the meantime...I only took photos on three days in June. This was the prettiest.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More scrapbooking, more pink

So, this page was inspired by this sketch. And I totally have Shimelle's sketches to thank for getting me back into scrapbooking. I've done more pages over the last few weeks than I have done in years. Literally. Apparently, I find it easier when someone tells me what bits go where.

And apparently, I also really like pink. Because more than half of my pages have it on in some form or another - and that's usually bigger rather than smaller (just like this page). Which is strange, because I never thought of myself as a pink person. I like bold reds, and vibrant blues...but lately pink has been creeping in a lot more.

Some things, though, don't change: 'At 27 and 22, I think it's safe to say we're both grown ups now. I never used to believe people who said you don't feel any different as you get older, but I realise now it's true. I don't feel any different from when we were 17 and 12 - or even 7 and 2. You are still my baby sister, even if you are taller than me now. We still hang out together a lot, do things together, have fun, share our stuff and even occasionally wind each other up. Yes, we are grown ups and some things have changed. But really, we are no different now at all.'

Monday, May 30, 2011

Life right now:: May 2011

A scrapbook page with pictures of Morpheus, next to piles of paperwork waiting to be filed. Books are open for studying, but the computer is on and I'm probably on Facebook.
Beside me there are still boxes waiting to be unpacked, but if you went outside you would find a garden that has been thoroughly weeded and a freshly cut lawn.
Balance in all things.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hoping for perfect

Slightly late in the season perhaps, but I love the blue/yellow combo in this picture. Also, I love the shallow depth of field which only serves to remind me that upgrading my camera is a definite must.

Which is a round-about way of saying...I had a hospital check up yesterday and the tumour markers are all clear. Yay. But there is something else which I am trying not to Google too much, but means I have to go back for another blood test in two weeks. Nobody is freaking out just yet (well, apart from when I do the Google thing) but obviously I would quite like those tests in two weeks to come back with perfect numbers in every box.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pretty in pink

I do love pink but this seems very pink. But suitably gorgeous for my photos of my birthday night out last year. Pink cocktails, a party dress and some very high heeled shoes. Love it.

As a side I am working through these photos from last year all I can notice is my hair. It was so short! Oh, how easy it was to look after. Perhaps I should cut it all off again....must resist, must resist!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In celebration of an ordinary week

In many ways, this week in early May was pretty ordinary. Work. Study. Housework. Shopping. Dinner with friends. Choir. Nothing unusual in any of that.

What was unusual was the fact that this was the first time in a long time that I have felt properly happy, relaxed and in control of my life. I had energy to do more than just survive the week. I was busy, productive and sociable. Nothing unusual, but it's been a long time coming.

When I was so sick, all I wanted was to get back to 'normal'. I think this might be it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Straight lines please me

I really struggle with lines that aren't straight. I tried on this layout, truly I did...but it doesn't make me happy.

One of the greatest things about life lately is that I am finally figuring out what makes me happy. Not just a little bit happy, but properly-my-heart-feels-full-of-joy happy. It's taken 27 years, several jobs, numerous hobbies, heartbreak and a life-threatening illness - but finally I am beginning to get it. There are definitely no easy answers, but I am starting to see the light. And in the meantime this page will just have to do.

The story: Morpheus loves being up high and in interesting places - on top of doors and even in my shelves. 2009.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

After the excitement of this (yes I squealed!) I knew I was back. It feels fantastic to be creating again and doing things that are purely for fun. No deadline, no pressure, no task to meet...just doing something that makes me happy.

I have so many stories that I want to turn into scrapbook could be overwhelming but I don't feel that way any more. Instead, I just work with the photos that inspire me - either because they're beautiful, or because like these - they tell a story that just makes my heart glad.

The story: Gran loves reading, but it is hard to find books that are large print and still light enough for her to hold. Her new Kindle is amazing - it is lighter than the smallest paperback but allows you to enlarge the text to any size you want - so Gran can read really easily. This is what the 21st century is all about - technology to make your life easier. Gran has totally embraced it and I'm so pleased for her.

Monday, May 02, 2011

One is not Morpheus

This neighbourhood is full of cats. It's not unusual to have two or three circling my garden every evening. Yesterday I found a black cat that couldn't get back over the fence, and took several attempts to launch himself up and over to safety, with much scrabbling of claws.

Today the same black cat was sitting on the wall by the lilac bush. I promise you it's not Morpheus - he was standing beside me as I took the photo. When I caught him at the food bowl in the kitchen (!) he looked a lot more straggly than this, but in this pose he looks just like Morph. Unless....there is another black cat?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scrapbooking with a sketch

It's been a while, but yesterday I saw this sketch and thought I'd give it a go. I am supposed to be a scrapbooker, after all.

I have lots of stories to scrapbook but it's been a while since I've been in the right frame of mind, what with one thing and another. And I still feel a little bit 'guilty' for playing with paper and glue when I should be studying, or doing something around the house. Not as guilty as I used to, though. If I have learned anything at all, it's that life is short and I need to do the things that make me happy. So I'm starting with this very pretty paper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Loving this life

I am seriously loving this house. It's the first time I've ever had a garden that feels like part of the house - the back door opens straight onto it. It's only small and yes, the grass needs cutting. But it's been totally worth it these last few days as I come home, open the door, let Morph out to play and enjoy the evening sunshine while I cook dinner.


This tree is totally gorgeous and I don't even have to look after it - it belongs to next door. Despite living in the centre of town, my garden isn't overlooked at all and I hardly even hear my neighbours. There is a family one side and an elderly couple the other - very similar to my last house. The difference is that no-one here seems to be trying to kill each other.


Having to move house was really hard - stressful and exhausting both physically and mentally. At the same time, though, I sort of knew that it was for the best. I was leaving a house that was full of memories of being ill, and moving somewhere new just as I start on a new life as a 'well person' not a 'sick person'. As it turns out, it was the best thing that could have happened. This house is nicer, newer, better laid out and more comfortable.

Evening glow

I hate it when people say 'everything happens for a reason'. I don't believe that. But I do believe that you can make the best of what you're given, and sometimes the opportunities you weren't expecting turn out to be the best of all.


It would be too easy for everything to turn out perfectly just like that. There are still some changes happening and most of them are out of my control. For once, they're not even all health-related. Weirdly though, I don't feel worried any more. The sense of rising panic that I have experienced so much over the last months has gone, and I am feeling much more peaceful. I am learning to live in this moment and enjoy it, and it feels good.


Yes, it does.