Cream Tea

At this point in the camping proceedings, it is necessary to take a small break.

The generals are planned, the large issues ironed out: the time for the minutia has almost arrived. Before that, though,to prevent the scrambling of brains and confusions of the writer, a rest is required. Preferably accompanied by something good and wholesome to feed the little grey cells. Hard work, planning.


Mark turned up at my campsite with scones, freshly made; clotted cream; and jam, raspberry. What better way to feed a brain than with cream tea!

I believe the earliest records of such a thing as a cream tea come from Tavistock Abbey, when the monks would provide their workers with fresh bread, cream and jam for mid afternoon. Scones are not, it has to be said, really a West Country delicacy. A split is more the thing for a proper cream tea. Or simply a crusty white bread roll. Nothing better.

Just remember: cream, then jam.

Camp NaNo, July 107

I made a decision a few weeks ago that the only way I am going to get to do what I want in life, as opposed to a series of pay-the-bills jobs, is by creating the job I want to do. To take control, in effect.

This might sound simple, and a bit of a Duh! thing to say, but taking control is not something I do. I am not a leader; I can only just decide what I want to eat from a menu, usually when the waiter appears to take the order because everyone else at the table has already decided. At that point I just pick something.

You may have noticed some small changes around my Cocoary. This is a part of my Taking Control.

I have found, though, since making this decision, that I am generally happier in the life and job (which I dislike) which I am currently living and doing. I have also found that something has clicked and I have more energy and enthusiasm to pursue my dreams. This is the most important change, I think. Never underestimate the power of having energy and a clear head. The job I dislike no longer gets me down like it did. My brain, which previously wasted a lot of energy thinking and dreaming of ways out, is free, now, to concentrate on the Way Out.

And so, to Camp NaNo July 2017.

I believe I have an account, but you won’t find me in the campsite. I’m not a people-person, sorry. Bit too busy for me.

Anyway, my plans for the camp which begins in the next few days are reasonably simple.

I have two story ideas currently competing for attention; they have been for the last few years. One is the story which I wrote for the first NaNoWriMo I completed in 2013, and still haven’t rewritten or polished to *er-hum* someone’s exacting standards, and the other is one which has been expanding, slowly, since the first scene wrote itself in my head on the way home from work while it was supposed to be working on the first story. Ideas are like that. However, both are at the point where they could, conceivably, be written (or rewritten in the case of the former) probably without too much difficulty.

In the spirit of taking control, though, and with the experience of writing without a plan something of a painful memory, my Camp NaNo goal is thus:

To write a plan, a synopsis, a detailed description, of both stories.

“You Made That? Gosh, How Clever!”

There is something terribly clever about crafting. I know this to be true because of the number of comments over the years which go along the lines of “You made this? Gosh, you are clever!” when told that whatever is being admired was handmade.

Certainly there is a skill with most handicrafts, I’m not for one instant suggesting that there isn’t, but when the sewing on of a button is met with the same sort of admiration, it does make one wonder…

To be honest, I think the cleverest thing about crafting is in the creation and establishment of a craft-based business, especially when it comes to dealing with the taxman! The other clever thing is in not letting the fact that now your hobby, which you enjoy, is your life and you will probably occasionally hate it, stop you from continuing.


Sometimes I wonder about setting up a chocolate shop. I like chocolate; people say I make pretty good truffles, which I enjoy making. But I’m not sure if I’d want to spend all my time making them. Mind you, a thought occurs to me: Roly’s Fudge, which I realise probably means little to those of you who haven’t been to Taunton or Barnstaple.

Roly’s make fudge in the shop and they change their menu daily, I presume on the basis either of ingredients available or mood of the makers.

Although the idea I had recently for my ideal chocolate shop is a moving one on a canal boat. Not wholly my idea, there’s a floating chocolate shop which turns up in Stockholm at Easter-time. But again, would I want to spend all my time making chocolates?


What’s the cleverest thing about crafting for you?

Returning to Work

I started a new job yesterday. At a book-sellers. Well, not the sort you’re thinking of. A middleman-company for libraries.

But it’s weird, after about ten weeks of not setting an alarm and having funny sleeping patterns, to be seeing two 7 o’clocks in a day. On the other hand, at least it is now light when I wake up so early, and I get to return home while the evening is still young. It’ll take a little getting used to, new routines and all. And organising my other actitivities, like my writing and my stitching, around the disruption. So, my scheduling might be a bit peculiar for the next week or so while I get my head around it.

In the meantime, because the internet likes kitty-pictures, a mini-project I completed last week for Mothering Sunday (and then never sent out…or turned into a card), I took from a selection of mummy-and-baby animal-patterns for new babies. I fell into the Typical Girl response of Aww – cute! at some of them, particularly the cats. And the elephants, and the ducks. The rest weren’t quite as cute.


The Ideas of March

This week is turning into being a not-obviously-productive week, but one with a lot of promise.

Job-security not being what it was (although, let’s face it, I wasn’t planning on standing around selling cards for the rest of my life), I am being forced to face the future, in an even ruder and scarier way than I had to upon leaving the safety of education. Not that I’m currently unemployed, but that it seems wise to make plans.

Pooh's Thinking Cushion

Pooh’s Thinking Cushion

It’s one of those funny old things, in that I don’t like working in retail but currently I’m toying with the idea of a small craft-business. Apparently I feel that working in Retail is somehow different if I’m self-employed. I’m still not a natural sales-person, and probably still wouldn’t care all that much about targets – which probably isn’t a good sign. Perhaps it’s the idea I have, of being able to sit around all day sewing (with or without a TV series on in the background). It’s not like I’d be having a bricks-and-mortar shop – an internet one is far more to my liking, with the occasional trip to the Post Office. Maybe the odd craft fair.

I expect there’s far more too it, though, and somewhat less of the sitting around and sewing than I might like. But we’ll see. At the moment I’m just thinking and planning, fired up with the enthusiasm of someone who hasn’t thought about all the boring admin side of it. And who doesn’t yet have to do anything about it. It might never happen. I’m a very thinky, dreamery sort of a person. I like planning things. Doing them, not as much.

But I do very much like the idea of being self-employed. I could cope with making the pittance I currently earn if I was doing so working on my own projects. And if I didn’t have to deal directly with the Public or with Head Office morons.

I need a little longer to contemplate this and really fine-tune the plans though. You know, identify Target Markets etc. I do  hate that phrase. Like being asked who you write for. Well, me, and people like me, is the answer. And I don’t know how to classify me, other than a youngish, vaguely intelligent, vaguely creative sort of a person. (The other description is the less flattering “vague, wishy-washy person who hasn’t a clue”.)

So we’ll see how the plans turn out and whether anything further comes of them!