Monday, 26 May 2014

May Days

This month has been very busy. Frenetically busy with work; busy with being a parental taxi-service and revision-support-unit at the start of H's GCSE exams. Busy most days to the point of being seriously stressful but I remind myself that "busy" is also "absorbing" and I realise (a tad reluctantly, truth to tell) that I am even more like the busy Mrs Tittlemouse of Beatrix Potter's story, than I thought I was. Sometimes I toy with the idea of chucking my job in and carving out a lot more time for myself. I cherish the notion that my days would become blissfully unhurried and more creative but I've come to feel that, actually, this is an illusion, as far as I am concerned. I like to be purposeful. If I am totally honest, I have to admit that I need the grit and grind of work, in some strange way, to fuel and be a foil to the rest of my life even if that grit and grind takes over sometimes and there are days when I wish it a thousand miles away. Strange how these things go. Everyone is different, of course, and what I have come to feel applies to me, may not apply to you. I am not remotely suggesting it should. Just coming to terms, I suppose, with the nature of my own Mrs Tittlemouse soul!

Anyway, among all the busyness, I have still been out in the countryside, especially in the early mornings and evenings, among all the green-and-white May flowers.

No wonder the World War II song, sung by the soldier to his sweetheart, has the line, "I'll be with you in apple blossom time." It's the time to be in England. Better than almost any other month. The countryside is ethereally beautiful and it's felt like the start of summer.

Of course it can also be freezing cold in May and even to the point of snow, but not this year. This year, the lanes and paths have been full of foamy, white flowers, swaying in warm breezes. Frothy white Queen Anne's Lace everywhere (I don't like the name "Cow Parsley"); beautiful and different in every light; although the smell can be off-putting after a time, if you pick it to put on your windowsill;

but also the heavily-scented, hawthorn blossom, (the eponymous May tree that superstitious souls know never to bring inside the house, lest it presage a death); the flounced, white, horse-chestnut candles tinged with pink-and-yellow wicks, in their pale flames;  starry, greeny-white, wild garlic

and the more sedate, creamy bells of white comfrey and white dead-nettle. A magical Spring world of green and pale in various shades and combinations.

Nothing is tired or jaded but fresh and hopeful. Inspiring and energising. I'll have a large helping of that, thank you very much. Inside as well as out. So where odd moments have offered themselves over the last few weeks, I've seized them and run up a little string of Queen Anne's Lace bunting in shades of pale sap-green, white and lemon.

The pattern for the lacy flowers is in Issue Seven of Simply Crochet from last summer but any lacy flower pattern would work similarly well if you feel a sudden urge for something similar but don't have a copy of the magazine.

I've hung it between two curtain rails over a little mirrored shelf in my bedroom with a single spray of scented white lilac from the bush in the garden.

The lilac is nearly over now but it has been so beautiful this year. Inside and out. Soul-soothing and tranquil. Good at the end of my busy and / or stressed days.

In other news,

1I have finally succumbed to getting a new sewing machine. My elderly Elna was just becoming too unreliable and was beginning to cut up rough over even the simplest tasks. My new one is a Bernina 350 known by me as "Hunca Munca". She's lovely and I can't believe how much easier she is to sew with.

2 Along with my more restrained green-and-white moments depicted here, there is another rainbow project on my hook. More on that shortly. Restrained, it is not!

3 I have bought a pair of pink flip flops. They are the pinkest shoes I have ever owned.

Wishing you all a happy Monday. It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK so, of course, it's raining, but for once, Mrs T does not have much that is purposeful on her plate and is proposing to spend it in a quiet uninterrupted corner with a hook and some yarn. She may even fall asleep, like her namesake does in Beatrix Potter's"The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse", when she finally stops bustling about!

E x


  1. Dear Mrs T
    Beautiful photos - in my opinion, nowhere can compete with the British Countryside in May. Your bunting reflects the Spring colours so well.
    Have a lovely week, bustling about!
    Best wishes

  2. Such a pretty post? such a pretty post with green and whites. A garland, or banner, to refresher.

    Don't know how you fit so much into your days. You are a do-er. And a maker of pretties.

    Enjoy your quiet time.

  3. Love your beautiful flower views and of course your gorgeous crochet flowers. I bought some pink flip flops a few weeks ago, they make my feet look happy.

  4. Delightful post. The bunting in all its glory is adorable and perfect for my craft room, I will look out last years magazines and do the same. We've been lucky today on the East coast (Lincolnshire) no rain, not yet anyway.

  5. Beautiful bunting, spring colours at their best! :) x

  6. Oh my goodness that bunting is just tippity-top!!! The colours are just perfect and sing Spring and early Summer! Thank you for the reference, I have that issue of Simply Crochet so I just may have to make some similar for my home...the photos are just beautiful, you have captured the essence of the season. Glad you have Hunca Munca making life easier for you (HM is a particular favourite character in our home, my youngest is simply obsessed with the Beatrix Potter books, as I was when I was young!). Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday, Chrissie x

  7. Oh the flowers are so pretty! (the indoor and the outdoor) I just love the English countryside! Congrats on your new machine, it is so much fun to have a new one, I even enjoyed reading the manual on mine when it was new. :) And pink flip flops are awesome and springy. I will confess I grew up calling them thongs (flip flops) and when I told my daughter in law "Oh what cute thongs" she grabbed the back of her jeans thinking her lacy bits were showing! I learned - one does not comment on someones thongs but one may comment on someones flip flops!! Lovely post, can't wait to see the new rainbow project!

  8. Lovely photos's the light is always so perfect this time of year fresh greens and blues skies nothing better, the bunting is very pretty indeed Mrs T, I hope you enjoyed you bank holiday of quiet crochet time Clare x

  9. Isn't this the most lovely time of year? I love the photos of the cow parsley - Queen Anne's Lace sounds far too posh for such a country flower but that's just my prejudice - and the colours of your crochet, which are very green and spring like. Isn't part of the reason for hawthorn presaging a death because that's what it smells of? It's certainly a very powerful scent.
    Enjoy your busyness.

  10. You know, if you did chuck your job in, you would probably very quickly fill your days with other purposeful things! I think cow parsley is too common a name for such a delicate flower. Queen Anne's Lace it is from now on for me. I can't wear flip flops, the rubber between my toes annoys me too much. Luckily it is still woolly sock weather here....

    P.S. I'll ask my friend Andrea for the crochet skirt pattern her mum made for her. I have a feeling it is made up entirely as she is that kind of crocheter. xx

  11. Hello Lovely Elizabeth what a gorgeous post, thank you. I adore your photographs, you are lucky to live near such wonderful countryside as we do not have anything that nice around us which makes me sad. I agree with you about work - it is frantic with me and I long for downtime to do all the things I would like but would it be enough? I suppose one day it will have to be and I have friends who retired in the summer and already they are busy, busy, busy with all kinds of projects. I think about it all the time but then when I am at work I just love what I am doing so I think I would really miss it, we are never satisfied are we Elizabeth. Thank you for the post on lining a bag as I am about to start to line my first crochet project, it is such a help to me. I love your garland Elizabeth, the colours are perfect and I cannot wait to see your new one. It has been so nice calling over to see you Elizabeth, I am hoping the rain has stopped for you, it has been miserable here, cold and grey - hey ho here comes summer!
    Have a fab day tomorrow, sending you lots of loves and hugs

  12. Beautiful scenery! And your green and white garland is lovely, too! While it's not very fun to be TOO busy, I think it is far better to have too much to do than too little (not that I would know that by experience;). It just seems as though the people I know that don't have much to do tend to fall into bad health or depression easier. However, that is a problem we are a long ways from having! In the meantime, enjoy your new sewing machine (I just hope you procured it a bit more honestly than Hunca Munca procured her belongings:).

  13. I am probably a lot like you where work is concerned. I fantasize about endless days to do as I please, but when I am off from work I always take on new projects that somehow result in deadlines and work! I guess I require some sort of structure to keep me functioning well. Your nature pictures are beautiful. I would love to go for a walk in the English countryside! I did go for a walk in the country here last Sunday, and it was beautiful here, too. My sister-in-law has an adorable fat donkey and he came and said hello to me while I was out walking, making me once again contemplate moving to the country. Anyway, your bunting is so fresh and pretty, and I know you will enjoy your new sewing machine. I just cut out a pair of pants and also have a robe cut out as well. Now I just have to sit down and sew. All the best. Love, Liz

  14. Fantastic pictures and such a wonderful bunting!! ♥ Thanks for sharing :-). Good luck with your new sewing machine! Nata xxx

  15. That flower bunting is so lovely -- I may copy you sometime this year and make a flower bunting too. I did one last fall with autumn leaves and have enjoyed it strung over my kitchen window.
    You bring up the most interesting topic above, about how busy we are, and WHY we feel busy. And I think you're right that we are NOT all alike. Some ladies truly need to be busy, to be productive, and they do it well ... and it feels enriching and energizes them. And others are sapped and weakened by such a life. I have been so very happy to be away from my full-time work (as a teacher) now, and I love, love, love being home. But certainly the world needs women out there to do what they do so well! I'm glad that you still find moments of respite and quiet to crochet -- that indicates, I think, that you still have a good balance.


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me at Mrs TT's and comment. I love to read what you write.