Saturday, 7 January 2012

Don't Jog, Just Jot

Just spotted - in the Daily Mail (p3 Sat 7th Jan) - if you prefer to lift a pen rather than weights, and choose typing over tap dancing you can be slimmer than your friends as long as you write for 15 minutes a day about topics that matter to you, and they don't. 

The theory is if you write about things you value, you feel good about yourself and lose the urge to snack.  Stanford University, USA and Rentford University College, Canada tested 2 groups of women.  The lucky group wrote about their favourite things and lost 3.4lbs in four months.  The control group wrote about inconsequentials and put on 2.7lbs in the same period. I bet group 2 were furious when they found out.

So only another 10 minutes and 45 seconds to go and I won't want that cup of bedtime hot chocolate. 
Oh what the heck.  Put the kettle on will you love?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Mosaic Table - C'est Fini

I'm very happy with the finish on the mosaic table I started way back in the autumn.  After my last post on it (13.12.11), I rubbed a fine sandpaper block over the sharp edges of the smaller tile pieces, mixed some more grout, tinted it with acrylic paint and covered the whole top with another layer.  After I'd cleaned it off and given the mosaic a polish with a soft cloth I finally achieved the smooth finish I wanted.  It proved to be a very useful additional table for guests' drinks over Christmas and New Year.  As I had plenty of tiles left over, I mosaic-ed another two tables with toning tiles, but different patterns.  I'm keeping photos of those two just in case I write a book about crafts!

I've started a new craft, again thanks to Kirstie Allsop who demonstrated needle felting in her programme, and to Grasshopper and Sis who between them bought me the tools, book and materials to get started.  My first attempt is a flower shape, which I'll either make into a brooch or a picture!

While I'm on the subject of crafts, a new craft materials shop has just opened in Worcester.  It's great to see that entrepreneurial spirit continues despite messages of financial gloom we keep hearing.  I found Crafty Mo's shop yesterday and had a good chat with Mo who was very informative and helpful.  She told me about the craft workshops she is planning to start in the next few weeks.  I bought a lovely scarlet wool roving to add to my collection of wools for needle felting.  If you live in the Worcester area, like shopping in small local shops and want to know more, you can find Crafty Mo's page on Facebook.

Hello 2012

Yes I know we're several days in and I'm already chasing my tail.  Anyway here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012 for all of us.  Grasshopper and I had the most social festive season we've enjoyed in ages.  As usual we had fun at the Victorian Christmas Fair in Worcester.  I'm not a poet, but had a bash at a poem called 'Generosity'.  This was accepted for a placard advertising this year's Worcester Literary Festival (15th to 24th June 2012). 

Then there were visits to and from new and old friends right through December and a happy time with son, girlfriend and little boy over the Christmas period.  Now it's good to get back to normal.  The tree and decs were taken down and stowed away yesterday, and renewed 2012 healthy living plan started today.  This couldn't begin until after the Writers Circle social evening on 3rd Jan when all sorts of delicious goodies were provided by members.  We were entertained by magician Andy Kirk, a regular at WWC who delighted and baffled us all with his skill and humour.  Click on

Over the festive season, friends were talking to us about intolerant attitudes that stem from historical animosity, that are still being kept alive by some to this day.  One friend was asking what we thought could be done to improve relationships between groups that have strong loyalties, values and sometimes opposing beliefs.  The answer must start with each of us making the effort to develop tolerance and understanding.  And deciding not to hold a grudge.  Even if we don't agree with others' views, we need to accept that they have a right to have them.  Perhaps if we got to know people as individuals who just happen to belong to a different team, country, religion, political group and so on, we would see how daft it is to spout thoughtless and groundless generalised statements about the collective.  Perhaps generosity has a part to play too.