Wednesday Wind Up: Cry God for Harry, England and St George!

Wednesday is usually a good day in the office. I get in early, after dropping David off at the station at 8 for University at 9.30. I can clean, run backup, get the first cup of tea in and be writing at my desk, all before 9am. I leave by 4, to tutor a child, so the day is even a shorter day than usual. I think my early morning quiet session will be a good time to do my weekly round up. So here I am, only a week later than I thought!

What am I reading this week?
I had to mostly read Reservoir 13 for bookclub on Monday. It did not go well. I know it's won all sorts of awards and been raved about by people,had prequels on Radio 4 and all the things that meant I should have liked it.... but I just didn't. I don't know whether part of that was I was reading in very short bursts and often late at night in an incredibly busy few weeks, or because the style is deliberately disjointed, with no identifiable main character. I didn'y have sympathy for any of teh characters, and I didn't want to read what happened next. Other members of the bookclub loved it, as much for the beautiful descriptions of the changing natural environment. One friend said as she read it, she could imagine the flowers and birds as he described them. I'm not a nature buff, so perhaps I didn't get those passages. I may take a weekend off soon and sit for long sessions to give it another go.

I'm now reading Gone Viking by Helen Russell and loving it. This one is easy to read, and laugh out loud funny. It's about two sisters who end up going on a Viking Retreat together. Amy, the up-tight dentist and her relaxed, off-the-grid sister, Melissa, go to Denmark where Magnus is their leader for a week of vikingness. Sleeping in the woods, building boats, foraging, it's a week to find themselves. There's a lot of interpersonal family tension to work out, and the small group have to let go of their baggage to be free.
I am really enjoying it: I love Helen's first book, The Year of Living Danishly and in this novel she gets over many of the best (and worst) aspects of Danish society without being preachy or in your face. About finding balance, making an effort to be mindful, and enjoying freedom. I've not finished it yet, but I'm about 2/3 through and hoping it ends well.

What Have I Watched this week?
For the past couple of months, Peter has been revising hard for his Notary Public exam. He decided to get an extra qualification, and you never know you need a Notary Public until you need a Notary Public. He's been sitting upstairs or at the dining room table, while we either watch the programmes the boys like, or sit in silence. He did the exam on Friday and we have taken the chance for the past few nights to catch up on the series we put on hold.
As a family, we are watching Ordeal By Innocence, the BBC Agatha Christie adaptation that was due to fill their post-Christmas slot, but had to be pulled due to one member of the cast being caught up in the #metoo scandal. They have done well replacing him, and Christian Cooke must be thankful he got picked to replace him. 
We've only seen 2 out of 3 episodes so far, but it's been good. With a night off for the football last night, we might finish the series tonight. It's good to get an Agatha Christie that I don't remember watching or reading before.

Where have I been this week?
I went to the Annual Ladies' Dinner at Church. This is the seventh year it's been held, and the sixth year I've participated. Again, the quality of the tables was excellent, the themes and creativity are always amazing. I chose Blue Christmas as my theme, on the grounds I could get everything I needed together quickly and without fuss, while Christmas is always my favourite time of year. 

It's easily said, but always true, that the dinner would mean nothing without the friendship and hygge that happens there. Over 100 women enjoying food, wine and companionship together. I know it takes a lot of time and often a fair amount of cash to execute the ideas, but it's worth it for the craic. 

How has my spending gone this week?
Badly. The dinner always seems to expose a missing piece in my arsenal. This year it was wine glasses (who on earth has 8 matching wine glasses?) and mugs. I know that they 'only' cost me £25, but it was £25 I hadn't budgeted for. Together with some after dinner mints and a few other un-budgeted expenses, it leaves me low in funds with 2 weeks until payday. That's the modern state of being, though, isn't it?

What are my WIPs this week?
I am three rows away from finishing the body of my cream blanket. This is a Spice of Life blanket all done in cream, and large enough to fit a two-seater settee. It's for the Family Room/Hygge Nook. I'll hopefully find time tonight to sit and finish the last few rows, then there's only a border to do. I've been making this blanket for ages, it feels, and I want to get it finished before any warm weather comes back and I end up sweating under a large blanket. 

My next WIP is going to be a few mats and coasters in DK cotton in shades of blues, greens and creams. I intend painting the Living Room in the autumn, and turquoise is my current colour of choice. They're not big projects, just small things to give me a break. 
Finally, I've got my stripey cotton bag to finish ready for the crochet course on 25th May. I really want to have it ready and useable by then purely so that I can show Jane Crowfoot what I've done with her pattern.

Any Other Business?
Yes! I am on Twitter as two different people. That sounds crazy, I know, but one is my dark side: the political, opinionated, serious side, while the other @HyggeJem is for all things pleasant and light. Crochet, guinea pigs, books, hygge and no politics or religion at all. I just found mixing the two was hard, that I would be light and flippant on one tweet and then complaining about something or someone else's warped world view the next. Having Hygge Jem as a Twitter handle means I will also have a feed that matches my Instagram and Facebook. For a blogger who writes, that's important. I don't have the power of a publisher behind me, so all publicity for my books is powered by me. There's always another book to advertise.
Actually, there's two on the push at once at the moment: it's time to point out that How to Hygge Your Summer has fun and easy ideas for creating cosy even when the temperature rises, and that my new book, Happier, is due out next Monday. This isn't just about hygge, but about the little things I do in my life that have helped to boost my happiness. In other words, about that small things we all do to be happier. I'm not expecting anyone over here to buy it, and I won't be doing a big sell on it. But if you're interested, I will have it splattered all over How to Hygge the British Way. 


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