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A change is sometimes needed

You know when you’re working on something, a long term project that’s going to take months to complete? Sometimes you need a break. A change of view, something different.

If whatever you’re working on is that big, that time consuming, it can be frustrating. In the evenings, while watching TV with my daughter, I like to knit or crochet. I’ve been working on a blanket for over a year, probably more like 18 months. The blanket is now almost double bed sized, just to give you an idea of the amount of work that’s gone into it.

change

It started with a large bag of assorted yarns that my Mum left when she died. I have woven memories in with the stitches. But it’s now close to finished, and it takes forever to go around the thing, and it’s heavy, and awkward to work on. Although the rhythm of the crochet is relaxing, it can be boring too…

So, I thought I’d try something a bit different.

Always keen to reuse and recycle, I often take unwanted clothes to local charity shops, and I’ll often find stuff to buy in there too. But what do you do with the t-shirts that can’t be donated? You can make chunky yarn with them! It’s really easy, even if my first attempts are uneven, and the fabric seams have a tendency to tear.

t-shirt yarn

For a change in pace, I decided to make yarn with some of my own old t-shirts and make a mat for the bathroom. It was either that or dusters, and everyone knows I don’t dust! Being mostly cotton the mat will be absorbent, and I can chuck it in the washing machine.

I’m using a 9 mm bamboo hook, purely by trial and error. Four random t-shirts cut into roughly 1 inch strips made the yarn. It would have been more even if I’d bothered ironing the shirts and measuring properly. But this was a rough try to see if it would work.

And it did! There’s still work to do, but I’ll have a colourful bathroom mat instead of t-shirts in the bin.

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Winter Solstice

As the sun set on Winter Solstice, I was sitting in an office in Swansea, replying to customer emails for my paid job. I saw sunrise and sunset, sitting at that desk by the window.

October sunset

While we have had some laughs, we have tried our best to help customers. Trying to find solutions for issues that we have no time left to resolve. Because Christmas is coming and there are not enough days left to do anything.

But we do the best we can. One day we are the customer, and we expect the best from someone else. So we give it, every hour we sit at those desks.

And sometimes that means I neglect my own blog, and website. I am sorry.

Today was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day. This is the day when the light is lacking, and the winter deepest. Tomorrow the light begins to return and we grew anew. So it is in the cycle of the seasons, so can it be in our lives and in our work also.

We can take this moment and choose to thrive, to grow, to learn. Or we can choose to stagnate in the dark.

It’s up to you, it’s up to each of us to choose our path. Tread wisely. Step carefully.

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WordPress 5, that’s different

When the website asks for updates, I tend to just do them. It asks all the time, usually plug ins and themes, but this time it was a whole wordpress update! I just installed it, and wow, WordPress 5, that’s different…

Instead of one big space to add all your post elements, I have to add blocks? So, there’s a block for paragraphs, and you can’t put images in that. Then a block for galleries, and another for single images, and you can’t write in those.

Wordpress 5, that's different

Then yet another for headings, and a different one for quotes…

I’m not sure I’m convinced… But it looks like it’ll be ok.

And my Yoast has vanished?

Oh hang on, it’s there, in a box to the side, that I can open and close as needed. That’ll be handy, better than having to scroll up and down to fill in all the different parts.

Oh, and I can move those blocks up and down, changing the order of content, paragraphs, images. I like that!

Change is constant, and it is our choice how we react. I tend to be a bit guarded, reserving my views until I get used to something. I like to think I can see the positive. It’s not always possible.

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and some of you won’t be coping well with the upheaval, the changes in routine.

I have no real sage advice, but it’s up to you. Try to work out what’s unsettling you, ask if you can change it? How long will it last?

This update will last until the next big one, and until then my choice is to live with it, decommission the website, or switch to a different platform.

I like wordpress, so I’ll be working with it, finding out how I can make these changes work for me. No, where are my blog categories, and post tags…


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Making a mess

In life, things change all the time, and how we deal with that is so important. Change can be unsettling, but it can also be vibrant and exhilarating. It also often involves making a mess.

Right now, we are stripping the wallpaper from the dining room, and it’s making a mess. It’s ugly, feels cold, and the walls are horrid. But by the end of the week we’ll be painting and it’ll look so much better. It’s change, it’s making a mess, but it’s worth it.

We might have to wait for a plasterer to come and skim the chimney, but we can get on with the painting everywhere else. We’ll be rearranging furniture as well, I think, probably. It’s going to be lovely when it’s finished.

In the background, the website is undergoing constant change too. The guidelines for what works in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO) are in flux, always changing. The software is being updated and adjusted all the time. So the website has to change to take that into consideration.

It’s the same with any creative art, here it’s photography. I take loads of pictures, and many are less than great. Some are dreadful. But I adapt, I learn from those and improve.

This applies to my writing, to my paid job, to parenting, to everything. Change is unsettling when it’s unexpected, but if you embrace it, run with it, change can be guided to your benefit.

I know, it doesn’t always work like that, but it’s worth thinking about, right?

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