The weather in the UK hasn't been too bad this year and has mainly been sunny. There has been rain at times but this year has been a better year than previous years.
July began for me with a visit from my brother R for a couple of days. As always it was really nice to see him. We had abit of a clear up in my conservatory and chucked bags of accumulated stuff that we have been holding onto for years. It feels so good to begin starting having a sort out.
On the clearing out theme, I read The Magic Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and I am on abit of a clearing out mode at the moment. This best selling and Internet sensation has a huge following, and I came across it via Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios who highly recommended it. It was actually a very quick read and it took me about four hours altogether and the premise is, that by getting your house in order and discarding stuff, you can make the most of your creative life.
I am interested in this from the fact that I definitely need to tidy and sort out my house and I wanted to know what techniques Marie Kondo or the KonMari technique would offer me.
I actually agreed with a lot of what she was saying and I am definitely willing to give some of her techniques a try. It definitely has spurred me on to start sorting my house out, and I just have to make a concerted effort to do. It will be interesting if it works for me as I feel as if it is a major mission, but I've nothing to loose and I will keep you posted.
I attended my two craft clubs and have had several meals out. It was my cricket clubs open day and we managed to raise over £400.00 for the Youth Development fund.
AJ and I visited Birmingham and started hunting for Owls. This summer, over 100 different painted owls will be installed all over Birmingham city centre and its suburbs. AJ and I managed to photograph about 25 in one day. We had a lovely lunch at Five Guys in the Bullring and later we had a snack and frappachinos at Starbucks on Colmore Row. It was lovely to spend a day with AJ as it is very rare as we work opposite shifts most of the time and our time together seems so precious to me at the moment.
The following day, I visited Aston Hall with my friend S and her daughter T. I managed to take another few photos of owl and there were a few there.
On the craft/art front I haven't done much at all. I have dabbled with Project Life, have done no art, journaling, no cross stitch. I have been on a bit of a reading splurge and I am in the middle of reading The 10 Letter Project by Jen Lee and Tim Manley. This was another recommendation from Jamie at Jamie Ridler Studios. I will do a review once I have completed it. I am also re-reading my Amy Tan collection and am currently reading the Bone Collectors Daughter.
I haven't been too well in July. I am feeling anxious and nervy. Work is a constant factor in my unhappiness, yet I really do not know what to do. I know I need to get out of this job, but I am damned if I know what I want to do or what other job I would like to do instead. My current job has knocked my confidence and I feel I am not capable of doing anything better. I need to sort my CV out but I'm frightened that it will get lost with other applications from more youthful job applicants if I do apply for a job. A few years ago I would have said I have a lot to offer, but now, I am so beaten down by self doubt. Maybe it is my age, maybe it is because I work with people who are a lot younger than me who are ambitious and seem to be putting me in the shadows. Maybe it is because I am not feeling brave and I need to just give myself a chance and make my light shine through.
August is here and I am looking forward to a weekend away to Windsor and a day trip to the MotoGP at Silverstone and visit my brother in Brackley.
I am also looking forward to September as AJ and I are going on holiday. We have decided to try and visit off the beaten track places and we are off to Vilnius in Lithuania. It is not really a tourist place that would spring to most British holiday makers minds, but we have a friend who has been and says it is a beautiful place and is an up and coming Eastern European place that in a few years will get more and more popular.
I am hoping August is a great month for you and I look forward to speaking to you soon
Good evening from Pickle Land