Archive for ‘35:35 Challenge’

March 2, 2012

Life: The Bucket List

There is a danger that this post is going to disintegrate into one long cliché. I want you to know now, right at the start, that if it does, it is not merely through laziness or an inability to form an opinion. It is because clichés are rolled out all the time because they are true. Often there is just no better way of putting it.

Here’s one: Life is Short.  Although we all plan to be around a really long time, we just never know what might happen; what tomorrow might bring. Recent events have made this painfully clear. I lost a friend recently. Not a hugely close friend, but someone who always arrived with a smile. Someone I was always pleased to see and who had shared one of my happiest days, my wedding day, with me. The funeral was yesterday. I was saddened most of all to finally meet her son, of whom she was so very, very proud, on one of the worst days of his life.

One of the things that I always loved and admired about my friend was the way in which she threw herself into her life with such commitment, passion, dedication. In work and in play, she followed her dreams and ambitions, completing a degree whilst working and raising her son. Learning to dance and dancing all around the world.

I have a Bucket List. We all do, don’t we? Written down or in our heads, it’s the thing to have. I wrote mine down years ago. Every so often I get it out of the drawer in which it sits, take a look at it, confirm that yes, these are the things I want to do before I die. Then I carefully put it back in the drawer again. Then…nothing. I do nothing about it. Nothing to move forward on any of my plans, my big dreams. I know that some of them are not possible for the moment. I cannot imagine taking the kids on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Mongolia so I can say in a ger and see Prezwalski’s Horse in the wild. But not everything on the list is so difficult.

Doing my 35:35 Challenge and completing several smaller challenges, has begun to change my mind-set into one of doing and less of thinking and (if I’m really honest) of making excuses and procrastinating. Now I need to take that approach with the bigger things I want to do. Learn to say ‘yes’ more often instead of ‘no’. Learn to be creative, to find ways of doing what I want and dream of doing, whilst at the same time keeping my lovely family happy too. Being a scanner means having such a giant list of things that I want to achieve that it becomes all too easy to freeze with indecision because you really don’t know where to start and get worried that by taking one course of action, you immediately close off another. This doesn’t have to be the case. Movement is good.

I’m going to take my Bucket List out of the drawer and to look at each thing on it. Then I’m going to work out whether it’s something that I can do now, or something that will need to happen later. For the ones that feel more achievable now, I am going to take the first step on each. Lesley Garner once wrote a brilliant article called ‘Stepping Stones’ in which she describes how we can get anywhere and do anything with stepping stones. I think that the Impossible League feels the same. Take your first step towards the impossible and then the second…

So, my message to you is this. Life is Short. Please make sure you live it the way you really want to. Take that first step to achieving your dreams. Follow what really makes you happy, not what you think should make you happy. Because you really, really never know what tomorrow might bring.

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February 8, 2012

Theme Tune.

I went to the doctors today and during the course of our discussion she referred to me as ‘an older woman’. This young and impossibly glamorous GP made me feel dreadful, and although I laughed it off at the time, on my walk home, I was close to tears. I know I’m coming across as a bit of a drama queen but it was genuinely a shock. I feel as though I’m only just getting going with my life and here I was being written off as ‘older’.

So, I stuck my Ipod on, turned on shuffle, and miracle of miracles, my theme tune came on.

That’s right. I have a theme tune. It’s not my favourite song ever made – I’m not sure that I have a favourite. It is, however, the song that I choose when I want to pull myself together and get myself off the sofa. It’s the one that will be on the soundtrack of  the film of my life story, in which I will be played by Drew Barrymore. Or Kate Winslet. I need to decide before filming begins… I recommend a theme tune. It never fails to get me in a better frame of mind, more upbeat and positive. Helpful when people call me ‘older’, when I need to get off the sofa and into the gym, when I want to get working on one of my challenges.

The one  thing that her comment did do is to remind me of the swiftness of time. I am thirty-five. I will be thirty-six in June and I’m still only half way through my 35:35 Challenge. At this point I am fairly sure that I won’t make it to 35 Challenges by June. I have to say that I’m not terribly bothered by this. The point of the challenge was to get me out of a rut. It’s already done this.

Yesterday I signed up to Joel Runyon’s Impossible League. I love that it sounds like a group of super heroes. I’ve already changed my Bucket List to ‘A List of Impossible Things’ – which, unlike a static Bucket List, is a dynamic, ever-changing list of things, some of which are linked together. A good example of this might be a running goal, which starts at 5K and then ultimately might result in a marathon. As there is no limit on the variety of things that can be added to this list, it’s great for a scanner. I might even add my List of Impossible Things here, so that you can all see my progress and make sure I keep on track. I’m excited about joining this community, and challenging myself to do the Impossible. I will be the super hero in my own life story. Even if I’m ‘older’!

And my theme tune? “The Time is Now’ by Moloko…

January 6, 2012

Almost Haute Couture…

Those of you who have been here before will remember that I promised myself a blogging schedule that included a ‘Margot Friday’ post, about the rather more glamorous of my interests. So, what I am I doing talking about sewing then? Surely that is more of a Barbara kind of activity? When it is sewing up holes in old clothes and re-attaching buttons, that is.

When your sewing instructor asks you what, in your wildest dreams, would you like to create and you say ‘Haute Couture?’ it suddenly becomes a Margot activity. Even if I’m the one sewing it, there is nothing more luxurious than having something handmade and therefore unique.

On Wednesday I had the great pleasure to finally meet Abi Manifold from Sew You who designs and makes the most beautiful pieces – bunting, ipad cases, purses and all manner of pretty things. I highly recommend you take a look at what she has for sale here. She makes bespoke bunting too, which is my absolute favourite.

The other thing she does is teach people like me to sew. People who have never even sat in front of a sewing machine, let alone used one. I met Abi through the power of Twitter, which I am beginning to think has changed my life. The odd thing about Twitter is that we never get to meet many of the real people we chat to each and every day. I am lucky that I have already met two – and they’ve both been wonderful.

In her bright and colourful studio above the street in wet and windy Saltaire (where I’d appeared like the proverbial drowned rat, and been given restorative tea) she showed me everything I needed to know about a sewing machine, and let me loose. Despite my squeals, I did manage to keep in control of it, and had a great deal of fun in the process. Now my mind is spinning on all the things that apparently, I can make with my new skills. Not to mention what I will do with all the beautiful fabric that I’ve seen in the past and walked away from because I didn’t have a clue what I’d do with it. No more!

What it made me realise yet again, is that being unable to sew wasn’t due to my lack of innate ability, it was purely because no-one had ever taught me how. What I particularly liked about the session was that Abi asked me how I like to learn and then taught me in my preferred way. Her understanding of how we all like to learn in different ways makes her such a great, natural and empathetic teacher. Not to mention that she’s funny and warm so the conversation flowed really easily and I was stunned when the time was up. I hope to return to make a couple of pieces under her expert guidance, having come away from the session with a big smile, a sense of great optimism and lots of plans for clothing for myself and the kids.

‘Margot & Barbara Designs’…now there’s an idea!

Beautiful colours at Sew You

December 30, 2011

On ballet and other things…

On Wednesday I had the great pleasure of spending the evening with my husband and daughter watching a new production from the Northern Ballet – Beauty and the Beast. It’s not the first time I’ve been to see a Northern Ballet performance. A quick look through the programmes I’ve collected over the years reveals that I’ve seen The Nutcracker (at least twice), Peter Pan, Dracula, Swan Lake and Cleopatra, amongst others. I suppose I’ve become something of a devotee. However as this was a completely new production, I’m still counting it as one of my 35:35 challenges, and you can’t stop me!

We had a wonderful time and Eve was enthralled by the dancing. As usual, the performance was stunning. I love to watch the dancers, recognisable from having seen them so many times, dance in new performances. With every production, it feels as though I know them better, and they are always remarkable. I am proud to live in a city with such a dance company. I highly recommend you visit their website (via the link above) and try to see a performance during the Spring Tour for 2012. I am already planning my visit to see Madame Butterfly. Beauty and the Beast will also form part of this Tour.

As the artistic director David Nixon said in the programme, some of the costume design was inspired by Thierry Mugler and Issey Miyake and this could be seen in the dramatic folded shapes of some  and the colours used throughout. One of my claims to fame is that Julie Anderson, who now creates these amazing costumes, made my wedding dress. It was the only time I’ve ever had anything made to measure; a wonderful experience.

It’s not the first time I’ve taken Eve to the ballet. She went to see the Nutcracker when she was just three and even then, was really well behaved, simply because she loves to watch the dancing so much. From the age of two, she’s has gone to a dance class. She did Baby Ballet and now does a weekly class at Yorkshire Dance. Recently, she’s also started horse riding, and I’ve also taught her a few phrases in French and Italian. Now, before you start thinking that I’m one of those pushy mothers, I want to reassure you that I’m not. Eve will carry on doing these things only as long as she’s enjoying herself. She did have swimming lessons for about half an hour, before turning blue from the cold (she’s very slim) and crying. So, no more swimming lessons.

Horse riding is something I’ve always done ( I have a degree in Equine Science) and wanted to share with her, and as far as the language learning goes, she loves to learn a few words. As small children are still learning their primary language anyway, it’s a great time to learn a little of another, and she was very thrilled to be able to say ‘ciao‘ to everyone we met in Italy on holiday – and was usually rewarded with a smile, pat on the head, gentle pinch of the cheek or in a restaurant, a little treat. So, needless to say, language learning has gone down very well with her! I think it’s important to at least try to learn a little of the language of any country I visit, even if it’s just to confront the image of the British tourist who merely shouts slowly in English, and so I am learning Italian myself – as those of you who have visited here before will know.

The reason for these classes is that my basic attitude to parenting is to share as many things with both of my children as possible and let them choose what to keep doing and what to drop. My son is now two and a half and just starting to show that he’s interested in something other than ‘Little Red Tractor’, so I need to think about what he might like to try soon. I plan to let them experience as many different sports, arts, science, travel, language and literature opportunities as possible, just to show them the world. Then, if they choose to continue spending time on any of those things, I will do what I can to support them, and if they choose to drop all of them in favour of something they have discovered for themselves, I will support that too…

December 28, 2011

2011: A Personal Review

At the end of every year, I always get an unsettled, ‘must-do-something-but-not-quite-sure-what’ feeling. How much of this is caused by the sheer amount of food I usually consume at Christmas I don’t know, but my usual remedy is to review the year and then think ahead to the next.  I’ve already written my plan for 2012, which is here on the blog, so that part is settled. I have a good feeling about 2012. Not sure why, but I do.

I didn’t write a plan for 2011. Which is why I ended up with 35:35 because I like to have a (flexible) plan for my time. When it came to reviewing the year, I just couldn’t think why I’d not written a plan and what on earth I spent the first quarter of the year doing. Then my lovely friend reminded me that I’d actually spent the whole time fighting for my job. Ah…

How quickly the mind forgets. My husband and I both had to go through months of fighting for our jobs. Months. It was a horrible time, filled with sleepless nights, tears and too much coping alcohol, all whilst trying to keep our stress and fears away from our children. Thankfully, we were the lucky ones, who got to keep the jobs we are both so passionate about, even though I did end up needing counselling at the end of the year to help me cope with everything that’s happened. It’s not finished though, there will be more changes and challenges ahead. Life is change. But we will survive.

Once the dust had settled in April, albeit with a different team, management structure etc etc, I started to focus on my personal life again, starting this blog and my 35:35 Challenge, to do thirty five things I’d never done before in my thirty-fifth year of life. I didn’t want it to be a huge challenge, but something to shake me up a bit out of life’s routine, do something positive after a difficult period, learn something new and have a few happy experiences. I read a study once that said new experiences are the way to slow time down. Following nothing but a routine means that weeks become months, which become years, without you even realising that so much time has passed. Puncturing that routine means that the brain remembers time better, which in turn makes it feel as though it’s not passing so fast.

So, from April, it’s a bit easier for me to remember what I’ve been up to this year. Highlights include my daughter starting school and thriving there (even though I was shocked to realise that girls can be mean from a very early age), taking her horse-riding for the first time, the completion of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, and getting on a bike for the first time since childhood and completing Cycletta. Cycletta, a women-only bike ride, was a particular highlight because initially I was supposed to do it with someone else, who ended up having a family responsibility on the same day and so couldn’t make it. I nearly pulled out, but in the end I went and completed the ride on my own. It was such a brilliant, positive experience and I was thrilled to complete and chat to so many wonderful women the whole way round. After finishing the ride, I realised that I shouldn’t wait for someone else to want the same things as me before doing something. I have a habit of doing that, but sometimes it means that I never end up doing things I want to do. If I want to experience something, I need to just pluck up the courage and go for it.  I also realised that riding bikes is brilliant and that my body is far better suited to cycling than it is to running.

Other highlights have been a drumming lesson, various massages, and my annual visit to Paris, including a visit to Chanel.  Oh, and I was thrilled to be part of the annual Radio 4 Woman’s Hour phone-in too. I have completed 15 of my 35 Challenges. The first half of 2012 is going to be filled with trying to get to 35!

So, it’s been an interesting year and I have my plan for 2012. I’m feeling more settled, and ready for whatever comes next.

Happy New Year everyone!

What was your highlight of 2011? What are you hoping to do in 2012?

December 12, 2011

A Scanner’s Resolutions

I’ve written in the past about my Scanner Daybook, although I recently realised how little I’d been using it since starting this blog. It seems that recording life here is enough for me!

For as long as I can remember, I have written a plan for each year. During December, I spend some time planning the next year and reviewing the past one. I am loathe to call my plans ‘resolutions’, as they rarely fall into the ‘lose weight, stop smoking’ type of plan – although I am going to make more time for the gym next year, if only so I am fit enough for everything else! So, I suppose they are, really. A scanner never really stops making plans, but writing them in time for the New Year is a convenient way for me to organise them.

Generally, I write enough plans to keep me occupied full time and I am pretty bad at being rational about how much time I have to spend on them – but given how many new things I have already managed to do this year (see my 35:35 Challenge page) I am pretty confident that I might manage at least some of them. My usual method of managing everything is to have a monthly check on progress and to be flexible. They always say that life is what happens when you are busy making plans, and so I always allow for that, which basically means being kind to myself and not beating myself up if something doesn’t happen. After all, anyone with small children knows just how much time we spend each week on the routine of school, laundry, homework, cooking, tidying-up, etc. and that is the most important part of my life. Wanting to still be ‘me’ as well as ‘Mummy’ means fitting all of my plans around the family as well as my full-time job, and generally, I do quite well.

So, here are my (flexible) plans for 2012:

Physical:

  • Make time for the gym each week
  • Return to horse-riding, starting with a lunge lesson to work on my seat.
  • Undertake a physical challenge (akin to previous ones: Lyke Wake Walk, Three Peaks, Cycletta) The exact challenge is still to be decided, but I can rely on my dear family to come up with something that will at some point make me cry but ultimately be a brilliant experience. (35:35)
  • Have a go at some off road mountain biking
  • Have a beginner’s canoe session with my lovely friend Hillary (35:35)
  • Complete Cycletta again, and beat my 2011 finish time.

Travel

  • A week in Rome in the Spring (35:35)
  • A family holiday with the kids, hopefully on the Isle of Wight, where my Mum is from and where we have spent many a happy summer.
  • Paris in the winter, for a couple of days before Christmas ( this is pretty ambitious, given our budget, but I might as well add it in!)

Clothing

  • Keep a record of my monthly expenditure on clothing, accessories, beauty, skincare, magazines etc, so I can see exactly what I am spending on what (inspired by my lovely  friend’s plan to do this) I’m quite interested to see if my behaviour changes because of the act of recording it, as it is assumed  – and to a certain extent, I hope it will anyway because of the next plan.
  • Buy (or save up for) a piece of clothing each month. This seems like an indulgence but really, most of my clothes are falling apart. I seem to have drifted to a place where ‘fashion’ is something that exists in another world, not linked to my real life. Which means I barely own a pair of socks, and at the age of 35 I feel like I should be able to go to work in something that makes me look like a grown up, even if I rarely feel like one! I’m not talking about spending lots of money, but if there are pieces of clothing that I really like, I will save each monthly (still to be decided) budget to buy something really worth having. I always prefer quality over quantity when it comes to clothes, but this seems to have resulted in me genuinely struggling to find anything in my wardrobe to wear!

Allotment

  • Aim for four productive raised beds. These are all built, manured, and were in production last year, so it shouldn’t be too hard. I need to spend some time planning what to grow and working out the crop rotation in January.
  • Build the children their own small raised bed each for planting their choice of flowers, fruit and vegetables, or just for driving toy tractors on!
  • Dig over the area where we plan to put the poly-tunnel and mark it all out.
  • Sort out the supports for the cordoned apple trees

Learning

  • A one to one sewing session with Sew You in January (35:35)
  • Some time learning the basics of silver-smithing with my lovely sister in law (35:35)
  • Return to learning Italian in preparation for Rome, and try to find some structured time for this each week. (35:35)

Happiness

  • Make sure there is lots of time for just being in the moment, playing with the kids. As you can probably tell from this, and previous posts, I am not very good at slowing down and being present, instead of planning for the future or dwelling on the past, so I need to be careful of this.
  • Try to have a regular massage and try Lomi Lomi massage (35:35)
  • Eat at Create, Leeds, which, judging by the reviews I’ve seen may well be the best restaurant in the city! (35:35)
  • Hot Air Balloon trip (as per the survey I did here earlier, 35:35)
  • Have a falconry session.(35:35)
  • Continue with Operation: Bedroom Sanctuary and then when I am happy with that, move onto the other rooms.
  • Put together some photograph albums and get some more photos framed and put up on the walls.
  • Try to buy a second hand DSLR to take better photos for this blog, and learn more about IT so I can continue to improve it.

Now I’ve shared my plans with you all, I feel as though I am more likely to complete them, so I’ve added a new page to the blog to record my progress.

So next year is all organised. Now I can relax and enjoy Christmas…

December 5, 2011

Real Ale Trail.

On Saturday, in celebration of my lovely brother-in-law’s birthday, four of us set out to complete the Transpennine Real Ale Trail, which is essentially a pub crawl of real-ale selling pubs, by train. Each pub along the way is either close to or actually inside each train station along the Trail. My Twitter question about clothing choices gave me the unanimous verdict of flat footwear for running to the train in – which, considering that I was planning to drink beer, did not fill me with joy!

I decided on these old favourites:

Favourite old boots

Therefore teaching me a lesson about always making sure that I get boots heeled and soled, and give them a good conditioning treatment before putting them away in storage, as they are a bit battered, poor old boots!

Anyway, setting off for Stalybridge, we found ourselves amongst a giant throng of people (99% of whom were male) who, attired in varying degrees of fancy dress, were in a cheerful mood for an all-day train-and-beer session.

I’m not going to give you a complete run down of the whole day, but here are a few highlights:

  • The first beer of the day, ‘Lemon Blossom’, served in the pub on Stalybridge station, which was crammed full of Ale Trail people, all in good cheer.

Lemon Blossom, nearly all gone!

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  • Lunch at The Riverhead Brewery Tap  in Marsden – where we left the crowds and went upstairs to the dining room for really lovely food, which I’m pretty convinced helped me stave off a hangover

At the lunch table.

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  • Running for the train at Slaithewaite (yes, running and beer…) only to find out that it had been delayed at the previous stop due to the sheer number of Ale Trail-ers. Actually, I’m not sure this is a highlight, but it was memorable.
  • Coming out of the station in Huddersfield to be faced with a black tarpaulin, a thumping bass line and a bunch of people hanging from a crane, as part of the city’s Festival of Light

Aerial Ballet.

  • My beers of choice for the day: Lemon Blossom, Blonde Witch, Fiery Liz, and Brewster’s Blonde.

Although it was a long day, I had lots of fun. To have a whole day free with no parental responsibilities (thanks to my lovely in-laws) was a rare treat and I made the most of it. Even better, I was in my pj’s by 9pm, sitting in front of the TV with takeaway noodles. So I didn’t even have a hangover when I was awoken, as usual, in the early hours of the next day by my lovely son and his tractors…

December 2, 2011

A Massage at Home

I’m posting this on ‘Margot Friday’, because a massage at home is undoubtedly a luxury. However, given that I am seeking non-medical ways to manage my stress, it feels like a justifiable one. Plus, it’s still cheaper than a few drinks, cigarettes or drugs, some of the other things people use to prop themselves up through their stress and significantly more beneficial.

As a qualified therapist myself, I completely and unreservedly believe in the power of massage. It has worked for me on many occasions in the past, including throughout and after both of my pregnancies.  So, I knew that I wanted to go back to massage to help me through this period of stress too.

I had never even considered a home based massage as an option when I asked the power of Twitter to recommend someone for me, and the lovely Gemma Brown stepped forward. Gemma says that many of her clients are mothers of young children, which completely makes sense. We’re all exhausted and stressed and we can never leave the house. So asking someone to come to us is the perfect solution. An hour long massage would just fit into a toddler nap-time if you’re lucky, or the early evening after you’ve got the kids to bed, would be a good opportunity  to spend some time looking after yourself. Plus, it completely removes the only part of getting a treatment that I don’t like which is getting dressed and going out into the world afterwards. You can just stay in your dressing gown and only go as far as the sofa, or off to bed for a lie down, if you so prefer (and get the chance!)

I had an hour long massage, and Gemma concentrated on those areas which are notorious for holding stress – neck, back and shoulders. The rhythm and pressure of the massage together with the calming music she provided made it easy to drift off into a place of peace, where I stayed until it was time to get the kids from school. Even then, for the rest of the day and evening, I felt calmer and more rested and I slept really well.

So, a luxury, yes, but one that I think has real benefits, and one that I intend to return to.

November 23, 2011

Not Very Crafty…

I never learned to knit when I was younger. Or crochet, sew, embroider – or any other craft. From the age of seven, I spent all my spare time with ponies.

So, it’s a bit of an embarrassment to find myself at the age of thirty-five being completely clueless about craft. To be honest, it still baffles me how many women of my age do know how to do these things – where did they learn, what did I miss? (Mum, I’m looking at you…) I have decided that I want to learn a craft as part of my 35:35 Challenge, and so that, in time-honoured tradition, I can pass it on to my children

I’ve been trying, through the advice from a mixture of library books, YouTube and some lovely people on Twitter, to learn for myself. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for me appears to be my left-handedness. You see, all the instructions are for right handed people. Even if you do find something that teaches you how to do it left-handed, there is still the issue of following patterns, all of which are written for the right- handers. It’s an irony, given that left handed people are actually supposed to be more creative (something to do with having a dominant right-brain, apparently.)

This is my first attempt at crochet. Don’t laugh. It took half a day, and a LOT of creative swearing, to get this much:

A tiny piece of crochet…

I will persevere with the crochet, but am also pinning high hopes on sewing. I have a one-to-one session booked in with the lovely Abi at Sew You Handmade in January. Looking at some of the beautiful work she creates, if I cannot learn from her, then there is no hope.

If all else fails though, and I have to give up trying to make things, I will teach my children the art of accessorising instead, and pin one of these lovely sparkly letters from Markus Lupfer (at Net A Porter) onto everything I own…

Markus Lupfer sequinned initial brooches

Are they not the cutest bit of sparkle ever? I might buy the letters to spell ‘mummy’. After all, Eve does like me to wear a badge so I don’t forget:

A badge for me…

November 23, 2011

Scheduling

This isn’t a true blog post. Well, I mean, it is, because it’s here, but it’s really a scheduling agreement that I am making with myself with you as my witnesses.

I’ve been struggling a bit to find the time to write here and this is my solution. A bit less ad-hoc posting and a bit more scheduling. After all, it’s how I manage the rest of my life so this shouldn’t really be any different. I’ve still got to work out quite how other people who write blogs manage to do so much. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are not many who have young children AND work full time. It’s one or the other, or perhaps part time hours. Also, I don’t want to be doing things in life purely so I can write about them here. This is a blog about my life, not a work of fiction, so in order for it to be authentic, I have to spend time doing the things I want to do so that I have something to write about!

Anyway, here is my solution. I will post between three and four times a week.

  • Monday will be a post on parenting/Family Sunday/weekends/35:35 Challenge.
  • Wednesday will be henceforth known (in my mind anyway) as ‘Barbara Wednesday’. On this day I’ll write about all the things that I’ve categorised as being ‘Barbara’. See the list of previous posts to know what I mean. Or cast your mind back to The Good life. Whichever is easier.
  • In the same vein, Friday is now ‘Margot Friday’.
  • If I have taken a photo during the week that is good enough to sum up my week without any title or caption (because those are the rules!) then I will do a Silent Sunday post, because it’s a beautiful thing. To learn more about Silent Sunday, click on the box on the right.

As my 35:35 Challenges could be classed as either Barbara or Margot categories, I reserve the right to talk about a Challenge on Wednesday or Friday accordingly, and also there is bound to be some cross-over. The categories are to make life simpler and were used to help me sort out my scanner brain, but they’re not iron clad. I am human after all…

So, there we go. This is what you can expect from this site now, and what I can expect of myself. Thanks for sticking around for this long, and I hope you’ll be back for the first Barbara Wednesday post a bit later today.