It has been so long since I've blogged you probably think I've fallen down a hole. Not true, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it. Lots has been happening.
On balance most of it has been very good with some very special things happening which I'm preferring to focus on. There just hasn't been enough time in each day.
This year I became a whole decade older and for the first time in two whole years I managed a holiday break to my beloved amazing Peak District.
I find the Peak restores my soul and to have been mobile enough to return made me cry with the joy of the achievement.
I will write up a proper birthday and holiday post but this is just a selection of some lovely memories.
I love my tech but there is nothing to beat spending a whole half a day in a bookshop.
It was a heatwave while I was in England and at one point envied everyone at home as it was much cooler and often cloudy/raining!
Being a Scot with that freckly blue-white complexion that crisps up if it is exposed to the sun for more than two days in a row the heatwave nearly did me in! Plenty of cooling Rose Lemonade helped me power through tho'...!
There was also delicious food....
...and breakfasts in bed. This was my birthday breakfast at Ragdale Hall Spa.
I even found time to restock my already overflowing stash and meet the absolutely lovely eponymous Jane of Purl and Jane in Skipton during my trip. My goodness she stocks some of the nicest wool I've ever squished!
Ageing has never fussed me, in fact it feels quite hilarious that I'm a whole half century old....and still alive....! I strongly feel that the luxury of living to see another birthday, especially a landmark one, is a blessing rather than something to become depressed about.
My 'birthday' lasted a full two and a half months and included wonderful gifts, multiple outings, occasions and a party. I was genuinely humbled by how generous, loving and caring those close to me have been and how truly special and blessed I felt.
Being pampered was a theme running the through my celebrations. The first was arranged in mid June by a friend and we spent the day at the Carrick Spa on Loch Lomond.
Then there was a glorious morning spent in the Devonshire Spa in Buxton
After this there was a five day stay at Ragdale Hall Spa. Goodness I had fun being all pampered and treated.
I'm more mobile than I have been over the past three years but I'm still very severely restricted in the very short distances my crutch and I can achieve. It's hard and soul sapping dealing with the pain and fatigue and the flares ups hit very hard. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but I'm trying to remember to take better care of myself including the need to prioritise what is important and what brings joy. My Mother has not been good at all but seems to have reached a sort of plateau where she is ever so slightly less distressed which is a temporary relief.
Sweet Magic is still doing well and has recently become noticeably more engaged and less self-centred than she had been in the first six months post-operatively. The cost of her treatment and surgery has been monumental but this amazing little cat has been a fabulous companion and I am so glad she is still well and with us.
Little Red remains fluffy, happy and makes a wonderful snooze partner who loves his paw to be held!
The second big achievement of this year was successfully managing to Yarndale.
This yarny festival began the year I became lame and I began to rekindle my interest and involvement in crafts which I could do sitting down with my leg up.
The first Yarndale I enjoyed through the eyes and experiences of bloggers while waiting for the surgery that was supposed to help. The next year, I was no better and once again lived it vicariously but didn't let the hope die. It has been a secret achievement hugged tight to me that I would manage to be there in person, and this year I did it.
I even yarnbombed my hated elbow crutch as I couldn't do without it so decided I'd totally get into the swing of things.
It effort and exertion nearly wiped me out afterwards, but I don't care, as I DID IT! I came, I saw and I felt that I conquered.
Seeing all the things that I'd only seen on other's blogs felt quite marvellous.
As well as meeting some of the sweet suppliers
No, I've absolutely no idea what the fawn coloured alpaca pretzel was up to in this shot
This is only part of my Yarndale haul and was a gift for someone
I love writing and I still love blogging as the act is often cathartic, but this is a more time consuming and reflective activity. I've tried to keep up with your blogs but often it's sporadic and in snatched time rather than planned when I can comment and engage.
I opened an Instagram account out of curiosity after reading some bloggers views on it. I wasn't hopeful I'd like it as I thought it might just be twitter with pictures. However, I've found I can follow some people I already know from blogging and it is more immediate which I've really enjoyed. At Yarndale I was even invited along to meet some of the loveliest instagrammers meeting up which just made the day even more special. I'm planning to write my Yarndale and birthday trips properly and will try to get back to at least doing a monthly blog post. If you are passing instagram I'm @red.setter on there and I'd love it if you popped by to say hello.