A Nice Cup of Tea

Oooh, I really love a nice cup of tea! Occasionally when a more refined mood takes me I’ll have an elegant Earl Grey with its lovely fragrant bergamot undertones, but other than that I’m not one for fancy flavours so usually its just a standard builder’s brew for me.

I suppose I started taking my tea strong when my kids were small – I had three in a row, with only 12 months between the first two and fifteen months between the second and third, so for a long time actually managing to sit down with a freshly-brewed cup of tea became a thing of the past.

I’d generally get my tea made without interruption, but by the time I got round to drinking it, it would inevitably be over-brewed and luke-warm if I was lucky. A quick blast in the microwave generally restored an acceptable drinking temperature but rather than faff around any more than that I just got used to having it stronger, and over the years it’s stayed that way!

I also enjoy the delicate taste of herbal teas every now and again – mint tea or ginger and lemon are probably my favourites – and I do love a nice creamy cafe latte from anywhere with freshly ground coffee beans and a proper milk frother.

I’m still partial to a glass of cold milk at times, and often there’s nothing to beat a glass of cold water to quench your thirst. But whatever else comes and goes, I’m never ever without my cup of tea – Aaaahhh… Lovely…! 🙂

On the Hunt for Joy: Remember to Hydrate

Fandango’s Dog Days of August: Your Favourite Beverage

A Stitch in Time

While I was visiting my parents yesterday I looked out my old toy sewing machine to take home with me, purely for sentimental reasons – it’s a dinky little diecast alloy Vulcan Minor hand operated machine, which really worked! It only stitched a kind of simple chain stitch with only one thread not two, but it was such fun to use when I was small.

Sadly over the last 50 years parts of it have become broken and missing, and the hand-cranked wheel is slightly buckled now, but I still love it. The plastic tension guide on the top broke and disappeared a long time ago, and the needle has long since snapped. Size wise it measures about six inches long by just short of six inches high and not quite three inches wide.

The point is, this childhood toy was my first introduction to using a sewing machine, and over the years sewing has remained an ongoing part of my creative life, although with a full-sized adult sewing machine – making soft toys, patchwork quilts, clothing alterations – although making clothes completely from scratch is prohibitively expensive these days!

These manually-operated mechanical toys were originally made for little girls to help them learn to become good homemakers when they grew up, as was expected at the time. Gender stereotyping aside, I truly loved my own little sewing machine, and I can’t help but think it would be great to be able to get it fully working again, just for fun 🙂

On the Hunt for Joy: Rediscover your Childhood Joys

On the Hunt for Joy: Adding the Cute Factor

Meet monkey. She was bought in the gift shop of the Natural History Museum in London a long time ago, and her soft body and magnetic paws mean she can get up to all sorts of fun. When I used to work in an office, she was an office monkey, but for the last few years she’s been a house monkey. We often move her about just for fun, so walking into a room and finding her hanging somewhere different always helps bring a smile to our faces 🙂

On the Hunt for Joy

On the Hunt for Joy: Play

When it comes to hobbies to help me relax in life, I enjoy walking, reading, crochet, and photography, but I must admit the pastime that feels most like play to me has to be colouring-in. Everything else can potentially be bracketed under ‘responsible adulting’ – walking is good for my health, reading broadens my mind, crochet creates a useful end product, and photography has a technical element and of course the end results can be kept for posterity to be shown and shared with others.

But colouring-in remains something left over from childhood that is done purely for fun, done for no other reason than because I enjoy it! It is not a means to an end but instead is an end in itself. I find I easily become absorbed in the process of choosing a medium and colours and designs, and apart from the few I photograph to share on my blog the majority of my completed colouring-in sits squirrelled away in closed books in a closed cupboard, effectively for my eyes only. It’s my secret stash of indulgent escapism, page upon page of playing just for the sake of it, and I absolutely love it 🙂

On the Hunt for Joy: Play

Escapist Colouring Club

Flowers: Fun with Filters

I’ve been playing about again with applying free online filters to some of my images – this beautiful bright colourful effect is from lunapic and is called ‘flowers’, so it seemed appropriate to give it a try!

So as well as being my take on Flower of the Day, together they also create my perfect fantasy garden for this week’s Hunt for Joy 🙂

On the Hunt for Joy: Outside

Cee has started a new challenge – On The Hunt for Joy – and for this week the topic is to get outside 🙂 I only had my phone camera with me yesterday while out for a walk around and about the countryside at my parents’ house, but I happily captured a couple of images of still-frosted foliage untouched by winter sunshine, the landscape in which I was walking, bright red berries, and something faded and knitted wrapped around a barbed wire fence 🙂