Up with the mindfulness, down with the anxiety

I’m going through a period of (quite a lot of) earnest reflection at the moment – and the extent to which I really need to change some of my thinking patterns is becoming increasingly and abundantly clear. I’ve been aware of this for a long time, actually, but in recent months it’s come into some fairly sharp relief. Which is a little bit scary and unsettling. On the other hand, awareness, understanding and willingness to give change a go are good things and important first steps, so hoorah for those!

Randomly inserted photo, just for the hell of it.

Randomly inserted photo, just for the hell of it.

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The Venerable Bead

It’s starting to dawn on me that I can’t do everything at once. Or is it? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. But there are so many things I want to do, dammit, and where on earth is all the time going anyway? OK, so procrastination is the thief of time and I have been very tired of late, it’s true – so perhaps not quite as gung ho as I’d like to be – but I haven’t really been procrastinating that badly. Which more or less rules procrastination out as a suspect. And, even if it didn’t, surely procrastination was locked up long ago for previous offences. So where is all the time disappearing off to?*

Yes, I know, what am I going on about (you see, the currently-in-limbo fussball table has addled my poor brain)? Well, this, if you must know:

Beady temptation.

Beady temptation.

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I wanna live with a cinnamon bear

I wanna live with a cinnamon bear. It’s the lyric Neil Young almost wrote when he – accidentally, I’m sure – penned ‘girl’ instead of ‘bear’. No doubt Uncle Neil is sitting on an amp somewhere, right now, mulling on what might have been. Meanwhile, in North London, let me introduce Cinnamon Bear his very good self:

In this photo, Cinnamon Bear's left foot looks slightly cloven. Should I be worried, I wonder? I expect it's just his devilish charm.

In this photo, Cinnamon Bear’s left foot looks slightly cloven. Should I be worried, I wonder? I expect it’s just his devilish charm.

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Between you, me, the gatepost, the run-up to yuletide festivities, gearing up for life as a freelancer, an apparently interminable lurgy, and this head of mine – which persists, in an annoyingly pain-killer-resistant manner, in pounding away after rather a fraught week – I confess I’m feeling a bit frazzled this evening. I’m sure this state of affairs is not going to be remotely helped by the can of Diet Coke I’ve just begun, but there you are. Something’s got to keep me awake for just a little while longer and I don’t like coffee.

And before you ask, yes, it has also occurred to me that more time in front of a screen isn’t going to do my head any favours either, but I wanted to share this with you:

My first foray into wire knitting...

My first foray into wire knitting…

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Bead and gone

How – do tell! – can the five weeks of my beaded jewellery making course at City Lit possibly have passed so swiftly? Perhaps the old maxim ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ really holds some water. Perhaps five weeks just isn’t very long. But whatever lies at the bottom of it, Friday saw me at the fifth and last session of what was a very enjoyable course. I can’t quite believe there isn’t a class next week! Continue reading

Beads, button holes and belly buttons

This week, readers, I am wondering whether my holiday – long overdue and now pretty desperately awaited – will ever actually arrive. It will, of course (at least, I do hope it will!), but this is one of those weeks where each day seems hell-bent on producing – with quite some skill, I might add – a new and hitherto mercifully unappreciated form of mental torture. And the migraine is just the icing on the cake.

Those of you who read my last post (thanking you kindly!), may recall my vigorously announced intention – after a not-so-successful Week 3 of my beaded jewellery making course at City Lit – of rising phoenix-like from the ashes of beading despair. And did I triumph?  Continue reading


Unfathomable and hideous to contemplate as it undoubtedly is (brace yourselves), it is – it would appear – possible to have a beading ‘off day’. I know. Shocking, isn’t it?

But that’s exactly what I experienced last Friday, when I attended the third session of my beaded jewellery making course at City Lit. It was particularly frustrating as I’d been looking forward with such anticipation and delight to learning more about wire wrapping. Then, thud! Down I went. Continue reading

A busyness of bracelets

OK, OK, so ‘busyness’ is really the collective noun for ferrets (according to my Oxford Dictionary of Weird and Wonderful Words), but I’ve borrowed it because it’s an apt description of some of my recent beading activity.

Not so long ago, I was in a high street clothes store and my eye was caught by a long necklace which appeared to be composed primarily of a chain of linked jump rings, each jump ring with a couple of beads threaded onto it. The result was simple but effective. I could make that, I thought.  Continue reading

Beads, of course…

Well, it’s settled: there’s no stopping me now. Beads everywhere had better beware. If only beads could, I’d suggest they arm themselves. But it’s hard to take up arms when you haven’t got any of either variety. Which leaves beads pretty defenceless and me pretty happy – hoorah!

OK, so I’m over-excited. Continue reading

The key’s in the beads

Recently, I did a very naughty thing. I skipped yoga and went to a jewellery making workshop instead. What a delinquent. But I have to confess I enjoyed the escapade and, better still, I came away with some lovely wooden beads. I had no idea what I was going to do with these beads, I just knew that they were leaving the premises and coming home with me (bought and paid for, naturally). Continue reading