Judging from the comments to my 'what do you do when you have four hours to yourself' dilemna most of you would have ignored the housework and done your own thing. Phew....I'm not a weirdo because I did just that. The house did need cleaning and cleaning badly but I thought why should I waste my precious time this morning on doing that. I decided to do it with the children over the next few days - they'll be thrilled! What I have done in the past is to tell them to do their own rooms and chose one other be it bathroom, kitchen, sitting room. I usually do the hoovering after that and it's amazing how quickly housework can be done.
Back to my four hours though. What did I do? Well, I blogged till 10.30 and then I had my breakfast and pondered. The first thing I did was to tidy my sewing room which made me feel tons better in a 'sort out the clutter and sort out your head' kind of way. I then made myself a cup of tea or Barleycup rather, as I've gone off tea and I sat and caught up on the papers. That took me till 12.30 when my stomach started rumbling (did I only have breakfast 2 hours before?). Mealtimes in our house are usually busy and noisy and I found the quietness really strange yesterday. So I grabbed a couple of rolls and birthday cake and sat by myself, in silence.
After that the sun came out so I went and sat in the hammock with a couple of books and a bar of chocolate AND my jumper because there was a cold wind blowing. I managed to finish Jamaica Inn but by that time (about 2pm) I'd had enough of sitting around and reading and I wanted to DO something. So I washed another fleece in the bath, I stripped a couple of cherry branches that we'd pruned and soaked them in water. I picked some ruby chard and boiled it up to dye with it (don't bother it does nothing despite being a nice red colour), I ran up and down the stairs to the bathroom where the fleece was soaking and let out water and filled the bath up again. By 3.15pm I was feeling a bit tired so I fell asleep on the sofa and the children walked in 20 minutes later.
I had a lovely day and I've realised that my way of relaxing is doing things. Does that sound mad? I felt more satisfied after tidying my room, dyeing and washing the fleece than reading the papers or finishing my book. Consequently, I went off with Raj later and we picked goldenrod, found some dead branches with lichen on in the fields, and we picked about half a dozen of Rohan's marigolds. We came home and boiled up the flowers and soaked the lichen and then Raj climbed on the henhouse and picked some more blackberries. So I now have four dye pots going again. Hurray.
Here's what our kitchen looked like this morning:
Big fleece drying on the Aga (because it started pouring in the evening), small pan with marigold dye on the Aga and some of the marigold dyed fleece too. Pots on the floor with golden rod and blackberry dye. Baskets heaving with dyed wool. Someone has their scrapbook out on the table ready to stick pictures in. Thankfully, the sun is out this morning and I can put it all out in the garden.
By the way the marigold was stunning. I'll post a pic on flickr later.