Coughs and Colds

I’m not alone in catching one bug after another this winter – almost everyone I work with feels crappy in one way or another. As soon as I get rid of one illness I catch another, and it’s getting REALLY ANNOYING, especially as I cannot afford to have any time off work. Like most others, I just have to grit my teeth and get on with it, whilst simultaneously spreading my germs around the place. At least it’s not covid this time. I got in trouble for not going to work with covid in December and had to have a disciplinary, which is all kinds of crazy. I’ve had covid twice now – the first time it was literally illegal for me to leave the house, whereas the last time I got in trouble for not spreading it around. Make it make sense.

It’s doubly annoying because there is SO MUCH I want to do this year, yet as soon as it gets to the weekend all I have the energy to do is rest. I so hope that spring brings healthier times.

In between bugs, I have had some nice times this month. The highlight has got to be the dog sleepover – our first time having Pluto overnight, along with Newton. I’ve just realised that I haven’t even shared a picture of Pluto yet, which goes to show how under the weather I’ve been because this is exciting news indeed.

My sister got a little brother for Newton in January, and although he is so different to our gorgeous Newt butt, he is very much adorable in his own little way (albeit a handful, but aren’t all puppies?)

He is a lot less laid back than Newton was at that age, which is quite… tiring, but the snuggles more than make up for it. He only has on or off – he is getting into EVERYTHING or he is in the deepest sleep I ever witnessed.

My knitting year hasn’t started with the bang I hoped it would, but I did get a little commission done for the daughter of someone I work with and her girlfriend, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

I’m going to make time for some knitting this weekend, because I have an absolutely SUPERB idea that I can’t wait to show off. It’s going to be fantastic. I cannot overstate how excited I am about it.

I also got out into the garden for the tiniest of tidy ups, and the pre-spring bulbs are bringing a bit of colour and joy into the garden. We’ve had some really nice winter sun at times, and on the morning I took my camera into the garden, it looked like the flowers were glowing.

And just like that, I am excited again about the new gardening year. Before this month is over, I need to get the February seeds on the go before it’s too late, especially as last year I didn’t do nearly enough in the garden.

As long as I can stay healthy for more than five minutes, the year should finally get going for me now. Let’s hope these aren’t famous last words…

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Change of Plans

So much for plans. The bug I had turned out to be covid, AGAIN. Can someone please explain to me how it’s fair that I’ve had it twice now? This time around was in some ways worse and in some ways better than the first time. This time I felt a lot worse but for a shorter period of time, so that’s something I guess.

I feel wiped out now, so to take the pressure off, my handmade Christmas has been cancelled. That’s two illnesses I’ve had whilst trying to get it done, and one of my knits didn’t turn out as I wanted so that would mean a re-do I have neither the time nor energy for. I just don’t have it in me to get everything done, and that’s OK. The fun part is that I still have loads of gift ideas for friends and family so I will give them as and when they are completed (to my satisfaction – they have to be to a high standard). I prefer giving gifts for no reason, so it will all work out well in the end. You don’t need a holiday to give people stuff!

I did gift my mum the rejected item, as it was for her anyway. It was a little elephant, which I renamed a wonkyphant. I knew she’d love it regardless, but it’s not quite where I want it to be. The first wonky time I try something is always special, so I knew she had to have it even though I wasn’t happy with it.

I have actually found an INCREDIBLE crochet elephant pattern, which I’m not sure I can even pull off. But if I can… it’s going to be spectacular.

I have so many things I want to make next year, but I’m keeping it very much loosey-goosey. I need to focus on my health as I said in the last post, so I’m looking for a very relaxed balance of fun things and things that are good for me, as well as things that fit into both of those categories, of course.

I want to get out for walks in nature and such, but I am very much wholeheartedly embracing the slow-living movement. Instead of going out and burning as many calories as I can, my walks will be for taking the time to pay attention to my surroundings whilst getting gentle exercise. If I can’t enjoy it at all, I’m not doing it.

Someone who’s enjoying relaxed crafting is Pea. For a bird who is exceptionally wary of hands and fingers, I’m surprised at how interested she has been. Although I do believe she was disappointed to discover that none of it was edible.

As far as knitting companions go, she’s fairly perfect.

Hayley x

Cold Snaps

Would you believe it, I’ve only gone and caught another bug, which is putting me even further behind in my secret things. Yesterday I felt rough as anything and got very little done, but today I’m feeling slightly better. Instead of getting on with my knits though, I’m here, writing a blog. It’s because it helps me to get my brain in order, so I should be more focused for the rest of the day.

Yesterday I did a tiny bit of crochet, which I am VERY excited about, but the only other thing of note I did was watch Spirited on Apple TV. I LOVED IT, by the way. It’s funny and sweet and one that I will probably watch every year from now on.

It’s literally freezing outside, so I’ve been popping out occasionally for some frosty photo shoots. I think it’s important to capture these moments because I can handle crappy weather if it looks pretty. There will be plenty of grey and oppressive days in the coming months, so I want to really make the most of more photogenic days.

I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow, so you can bet I’ll be out there again if or when it actually gets light. Our garden isn’t very photogenic in the snow, but I really can’t help myself. It’s funny, but I kind of forgot this year, as I’ve been trying other crafts, that photography is an art form in itself. Whenever I’ve thought I wasn’t being creative, I always was, because there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t take a photo. Not a single one.

Last week Pea came out to model for her Christmas photo shoot, and she did not disappoint.

Because I’ve been generally feeling ill more often than not lately, I haven’t felt particularly Christmassy. I have one more week at work (assuming I feel well enough) until I have an entire week off, so I’m not forcing the Christmas feeling upon myself. I’m sure during my week off it will arrive as a matter of course.

Some work people want to go out on the Friday before Christmas, and I was considering popping out to be sociable until they said they don’t want to go out until 8pm. I mean, that’s practically bedtime! So I absolutely will not be participating.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my health lately, and although I probably would have caught these bugs regardless, I really have been neglecting my overall well-being and want to do something about it. Once Christmas Day is done, I’m going to be making some big changes.

I’ve already requested to be permanently moved to a different department at work, which will mean a lot more physical activity on a daily basis. I’ve been told that my transfer should go ahead in mid-January, and I’m actually really looking forward to it. Once this happens, I absolutely HAVE to take better care of myself, because doing this job during summertime is no mean feat. I will have to lose some weight because, with the amount of insulation I’m carrying around right now, it would be hell on toast. I could do it, but I’d really rather not.

Every attempt at weight loss since 2019 has been tinged with anxiety for me because it brings back memories of a particular ex. I was at my slimmest ever when we were doing… whatever it was we were doing (even now I’m not sure) and it’s only recently I’ve stopped hearing his voice in my head. ‘Daaahhhling, don’t eat white bread, it’s poison’ was one of his favourite things to say, and there was a particularly memorable run we went on, which he said I ruined because I ate a single blackberry. Luckily I can laugh about it now, but every time between then and now when I’d try to make changes, I’d be regretting that time with him and wonder what life would be like now if we’d never met.

That’s not helpful though, because it happened, and there’s nothing I can do about it. The difference now is that I am truly ready to start a new chapter in life and leave all of that behind. I’m just excited to be making new memories and reaching new milestones without dwelling on that time. It’s done.

Onwards and upwards!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x


I’ve wanted to post an update here since the end of October, but the thing about making the frogs is that I don’t want to talk about them until they have been given to their intended recipients. Because of the ongoing postal strikes, I decided to take a risk and send a parcel via Evri, my reasoning being that I’d been lucky enough to receive everything sent to me with no issues and that at the time I had a lost parcel through Royal Mail.

Biiiiiiig mistake.

Evri picked the parcel up, but from that point on it was lost. I say lost, but I suppose stolen is also a strong possibility. Whatever the reason, I don’t think we’ll see that particular frog again. Such a shame, because it was a cutie.

Around this time, I was still buzzing with energy, excitement and creativity, and then I went and caught a bug. It was only a cold, but (excuse me while I go off on one very slightly) why do we say it’s only a cold. Truth is, I felt flipping awful. Since when did it become a badge of honour to pretend that you aren’t bothered by being ill? OooOOooh look at me, I’ve come to work to spread my germs around because I’m so flipping badass!

That ain’t me, so I rested up until I felt a bit better. I’m still low on energy because it’s now hibernation season, but I’ve been letting it happen rather than pushing myself to do things I don’t have the capacity for. Those dark and cosy evenings call for naps, so my number one hobby lately has been sleeping. I don’t regret a second of it.

One thing I have learned this year is that rest isn’t wasted time. If I felt my creativity waning, I used to assume that I had a creative block and there was nothing I could do about it. Now if I feel a creative dip, I sleep as much as I need to and then it always, always, comes back.

While I was feeling crappy, I prioritised my only knit that had a specific deadline and got it to its recipient just in time. I branched out from the comfort of the frogs to make a birthday present for my sister’s partner – a tiny knitted version of Newton the Whippet.

There are a couple of bits that remain secret, but since the whippet, I have also managed to replace the lost frog and knit two more for a lady at work.

I am happy to report that the replacement frog was sent via Royal Mail this time and has been safely received.

Now I’m back in the swing of things, and despite being very behind schedule I’m still confident I can get my Christmas present knits done in time. Ooooh, I cannot wait to show you those, and I’m having the best time trying new patterns.

After that, I have a lot to be excited about, including doing a course by the lady who designed the frogs. This should enable me to make MY OWN DESIGNS. When I first started knitting I didn’t think this would ever be a possibility, but as I learn more I realise that it isn’t actually magic.

And with that, it’s time for me to get back to my secret projects.

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x