Recently I expressed my complete puzzlement as to how anyone was able to raise children, and work full-time, when I feel quite busy and unequal to keeping up with the general business of life with neither of these demands. I received a couple of rightly terse replies from women who do succeed, or have succeeded, in this everyday but nevertheless astonishing and, to me superhuman achievement, to the effect that you get extremely tired and don't do much else. In fact both of them seem to be capable of doing all kinds of other very impressive things, like reading a lot of books and blogging, to say nothing of singing and making things and all sorts of stuff and who knows what else.
However, one thing probably most people with proper lives don't do is spend ages and ages hand-making their Christmas cards.
Why then do I? I don't even really like the whole business of Christmas cards. And on receiving one of these offerings, most people will, quite frankly, either not give it a second look, since they've probably got at least 200 more to find room for in their homes already groaning with festive trappings with which my card will be chucked out with a sigh of relief on or before the feast of the Epiphany,or if they do will, quite understandably snort with derision and the probably words ' Well, she must have too much time on her hands!'
In fact those words are almost certainly somebody-somewhere's judgement on most everything I do, from blogging to burning wood to making chicken stock to reading poetry to scrambling egg in the microwave to make Molly's dinner more interesting. Likewise they are my judgement on all manner of activities I don't understand or wish to participate in. Only I try to judge not that I be not judged, though there are some things....
But the fact is, I simply do enjoy making things sometimes. We don't send a small fraction of the number of cards other people in the Anglo-Saxon (yes yes, I know it's both an ethnographic and a historical misnomer...) world do, partly because we live in a country where it isn't done so that lets us off the hook where neighbours and colleagues are concerned, and partly because we're an anti-social pair of no-mates. Some years we just order charity cards, some years Tom does a picture and gets it copied. Yet other years I have dug out the stored piles of previous years' cards (because I don't sling them out because I'm hopeless about not wasting anything, while, like most thrift-obsessives I strain at gnats and swallow camels) and carefully snipped and glued and collaged them into new ones.
This year I ordered Moo mini cards of croppings from my photos, and snipped and glued and collaged them into bigger cards. I always have stacks of coloured card and paper about because I can't walk past packs of this in places like Lidl and Noz. I used hole punches, a standard round one and a heart-shaped one from somewhere like Lidl or Noz. I'm still a little uncertain about hearts as a decorative motif, but I'm thinking more Scandinavian folk art than the sew-on jeans patches and teenage girls' magazines of my youth.
Like many of my creative efforts, they have an air of the primary school or Blue Peter about them. But I enjoyed myself.
Now I'm fairly hopelessly behind with many other more pointful jobs which even in my child-free and part-time employed state I still ought to do, and must go to bed. I might get around to putting some links into this post tomorrow.
From the troubles of the world I turn to puddles
5 minutes ago