Saturday, January 18, 2014

Never Judge a Book By Its Cover

When I first moved to Suffolk 21 years ago, and I was trying to find somewhere to live, everybody said things to me like 'avoid so and so it's really rough'  'so and so's not a nice place to live, you can do better than that' and 'you won't like it in so and so, it's not a good area'.  So I avoided so and so area and eventually bought a lovely 17th century grade 2 listed cottage in a tiny village.  No shop, a bus twice a week (on market days) but lots of big houses, a pub and a church (service only once every 4 weeks).  It was nice.  It was pretty.  It was very very quiet, apart from the lorries on the main road. We had a good social life.  We ate round friends houses.  We did a bit of walking and country sports. We had friends round to eat and socialise.  I enjoyed living there but I never really fitted in. I couldn't be me, often I had to pretend to enjoy things (or pretend to understand things!).  I wasn't posh like the other women, and unlike most of them, I worked!

(the plastic box contains surplus veg from my allotment, for sale)

Then, for various reasons, I sold the beautiful cottage to cries from my friends of 'how could you leave it?', 'you'll never find somewhere as pretty/characterful/unique as this again', and then the cries became 'you're moving WHERE?', 'you can't move there it's rough/not nice/a bad area'.  Yes, you've guessed, I was moving to THAT 'so and so' place where everyone had always told me not to live!
(County Park at the 'so and so' place)

And do you know what, the neighbourhood I moved to is the friendliest, happiest place I've lived, EVER.  On the day I moved in people I'd never met (my new neighbours) came round with flowers and cards to welcome me to the street.  People spoke to me in the street from day one. People are friendly in the corner shop.  When I'm gardening in the front garden people I've never seen before stop and chat.  Neighbours give me eggs, make cups of tea for each other when we're all gardening in the summer.  Impromptu lunches, evening drinks just happen.  And just recently I've started going to yoga at the local upper school and everyone is friendly there too.  We chat, we laugh, it's fun. 
(allotments by the Country Park - maybe one day I'll be able to have one again......)

Yes there are parts of this area that are rough, but I don't live in that part (although some of the lovely people at yoga do), I live in the old part, a part I never even knew existed because I'd judged the whole area by what other people said about it.  It's not perfect, (nowhere is, is it?),  but it's lovely and I can be ME and everyone just accepts that.  And I know I learnt a valuable lesson when I  moved here - never judge a book by its cover! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Exciting News!

Well I'm excited anyway! As some of you may know I work with two other people in a small business - The Treasure Tree.  We create interactive stories/resources for children, up to about the age of 8 and 9, that are both safe and fun with bright, colourful illustrations.  Up until now these have just been available via our website, but today our first iOS app has gone live in the App Store!

I can't even begin to explain the hours of work, from all of us, that have gone into converting the website version into the app, (including adding a narrated option) but the words 'steep learning curve' are very very accurate!

If you have an iPad and your own children, or work with children, or are just interested, then please download it - it's FREE for a limited time.  If you like it and feel able to leave us a rating/review as well that would be fantastic.

This link will take you directly to it in the iOS App Store where it looks just like this.

Now I'm off to have another cup of tea to celebrate!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Five Little Makes

The first thing on my 2014 list of 'Nice Things for Me to Do' wasn't to go anywhere but was to have some sewing/making days at home.

First of all I made a pincushion.

I'd made Fran one for Christmas but couldn't blog about it before Christmas for obvious reasons! They involve a bottle lid (for the base), pretty cotton fabric, cotton velvet, ric-rac and emery grit.

This is the one I made for Fran.

Then I made a necklace from a glass tile, fabric and some velvet ribbon.

I think I'll make some more of these in different colours as they're really easy and effective.

Next I made a new case for my work phone as I managed to lose the previous one a few weeks ago during a muddle of phones ringing, loading the boot and getting into the car!

And finally, today, I made a new case for my glasses as the hinge had gone on the old one.

It has a stripy bottom, is slightly stiffened and has a co-ordinating lining, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. 

I've had a lovely few days, even though I did make a bit of a mess!