Taking stock

Mosaic of images.

On July 17th last year I went a bit daisy crazy. It was such a glorious day, bright sun and a soft breeze. A proper summer's day. An unforgettable day. And one more easily relived because it's recorded here. One of the daisy images I posted back then now served for a while as my avatar and another made it into the photo mosaics I posted to mark the end of 2011. That's one of the things I most enjoy about blogging, the ease with which you can revisit what has come before.

A quick hop through the last six months netted enough pics for a couple of mid-year mosaics. And looked at like this the first half of 2012 really hasn't been so bad. Most importantly, and contrary to expectation, Mr K. still has a job, although many of his colleagues were less fortunate and so those still in post are left struggling with twice the work. In consequence, as some of you will remember, we were forced to abandon our long awaited allotment, almost before we'd begun. And we're also unlikely to get a holiday before 2013. But I'm not complaining, not at all. Well only about the weather, but that's allowed!

Looking back at old posts can also spark ideas for new ones, the embarrassing bit is discovering just how many of the projects I've previously trumpeted are still very much works in progress. But I suppose that's kinda' the point, to weigh what I've actually achieved against what I'd hoped to. Not enough knitting! Oops!! But I'm having great fun with the 2013 Sketchbook Project.

So my year to date looks okay, and it sounds okay but, do you know, it doesn't quite feel okay. There's too much 'needs must' in our lives, too much 'making do'. And the closing line of W.H. Davies poem, Leisure, keeps playing in my head ... A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? Suddenly, out of nowhere, I have wild plans. Really wild, highly improbable plans, involving houseboats and small holdings and faraway places. Mr K. thinks I'm day dreaming. We'll see! How about you? Is 2012 proving to be better or worse than you'd hoped? Did you have a grand design for the year? Or even a 'sort of' one? And if you did, how's it going? Or are you daydreaming about doing something unexpected? Do tell !

Mosaic of images.

  1. what a pity!!! Wish you luck, whle crossing my fingers (and toes!!)!!!
    xxx Alessandra

    1. Aww, thank you. I've finally sorted it out - a bit of rogue HTML code needed tracking down and deleting - but it's now way past my bedtime ... the things we do for love of blogging!

  2. Lovely mosaics, and I think the postcard idea is inspired.

    July 17th is our wedding anniversary, normally we mark the occasion with a 'grown-up' meal (about the only time we don't eat altogether) but somehow this years anniversary has been lost in a whirl of end of term concerts, reports, form filling and general three-boy chaos....I'm guessing it will wait to the weekend although I think moving sheep is on the cards.....I tell you what would just polish it off.....torrential rain!

  3. What a nice blog, full of interesting subjects, knitting, sheep, sweets, old things and great collages. xo Jenny in Holland

  4. Lovely lovely mosaics. Those dear little white shoes are adorable and the whole of the second mosaic is beautiful. I don't think I had a plan which is just as well as so far 2012 seems to have been a strange year of good things and some not so good but now with the better weather promised I am hopeful for the second half of the year!

  5. Gorgeous mosaics....i adore the fern photo, the green is just so vivid.
    A plan???... not sure i had one to be honest, i guess 'go with the flow' :o)
    Its fab about Mr k...even though he is working extra hard x
    love jooles x

  6. Hello Annie,

    I think you are becoming as famous for your flower images as your beautiful knitting!

    It's good to look back on the first six months of your 2012. I recall your fears for Mr. K's job security and I also remember exhaling sweet relief for you when you shared his good news. Here in the Millefeuilles household my husband has just completed his year without a holiday as he started a new job/career in May 2011 after a long, painful case of harrassment and unfair dismissal a year after we had upped stickw from our happy lives in Normandy to start afresh in Touraine. 2012 has been a mixed bag so far. There have been beautiful dreams to bring to fruition and many simple family pleasures against a backdrop of uncomfortable WAITING for two court cases to evolve and a fair bit of knotty French admin to keep us busy!

    I am thrilled and excited to be working on my hares and to have received orders already although my shop is not quite open yet. Oh yes; my humble Ravelry 12 Sweaters In 2012 project is working well so far.

    Phew! My longest comment yet?


  7. Lovely pictures....enjoy a happy summer day....love Ria...xxx...

  8. Oh yet ANOTHER year of not achieving my 'to do'list! But then again, other achievements occurred so I'm not making too much of an issue of it. I promised myself I would practice my music in a more structured manner - no way! Making items for the craft stall was high on the list but that has dwindled somewhat. Losing weight - again, hah! Exercising more.....nope.

    But tomorrow is another day, and there is always something new round the corner as you have discovered. Our long visit by my lovely son and his family from New Zealand also hasn't panned out the way we planned- largely due to the awful weather - but it has still been glorious having them here.
    One big achievement this year has been my dipping my toe into the Blogging Pool and am loving it! And you've been part of that Annie, so a big thank you too, I love to read your posts and much appreciate you visiting mine. Here's to a brill 'Second Half' for us all!

  9. Lovely mosaics Annie! Just wish the sun would shine a little bit more then 2012 would be just dandy! :)
    Victoria xx

  10. Gorgeous photos.
    And no big plan here for 2012_ just running/stumbling/plodding floating through, depending on what is happening.
    I do plan to see the sun at least twice this month though. I wonder if those plans will come to fruition??

  11. Annie your images are always so beautiful, so it's great to hear that plans are afoot for postcards, As for planning, well here we live very much day by day largely due to finding that this is the least stressful way of managing life with Toby. I tend to find that setting myself goals and deadlines just result in me feeling disapointed so I don't set them anymore - it's quite liberating! Here's wishing you a very good second half of 2012 with lots more photo opportunities xxx

  12. Your photos are great, I love the mix up, craft, nature and special times! What is it about W I P! I have lots fo unfinished projects, in fact if I haven't actually got a deadline ( eg leaving pressies for teachers!) then usually it takes months to finish! Ada :)

  13. Ah yes the UFO pile... I can't avoid mine any longer and I think it's time to rip! I am sure that this wet weather is making us all long for greener (drier) pastures - so much restlessness!
    I look forward to your postcards! :D

  14. Do you know - it is so much better to take each day as it comes - don't set yourself impossible targets, you are just setting yourself up for failure. Just be. Create. Things will get finished in their own time. They wont be any less beautiful or marvellous because you took longer than expected, why add disappointment to the equation when it could just be joy in the journey of getting there?

    Glad to hear your husband has managed to hang onto his job, although it saddens me that his work load meant you had to give up a dream. Sadly it seems to be the way these days, blackmail of loosing job if you don't conform to unreasonable demands. We work for ourselves, have done since 1982, so we are our own task master, which is an enviable position most the time, until the work dries up....

    I love your photography, you definitely have the eye. I am sure your cards will fly out.

    Oh, and no idea why your comments didn't appear - I can find no trace of them, try again? please? x

  15. What beautiful images. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that it's pointless making plans as "life" always seems to interfere and scupper them. I try to just go with the flow these days!

  16. Annie, the postcard idea is wonderful, especially for those of us who are absolutely in love with your photos! I will definitely be a customer.
    And I do so agree about blogging being an excellent way to look back, review, reassess and identify those important things and decisions and plans in our lives. It has made a big difference to me and I do enjoy and appreciate reading other people's views on their own blogs. I've just commented on your comment on my blog...I am full of ideas but seriously wonder whether I'll find the energy or time to put them into practice! But I do love imagining and thinking about what I might do next. We've got to dream, Annie, or our dreams can't come true. Axxx

  17. Lovely photos, they're enough to cheer us up on yet another dreary day. So glad to hear that your hubby is still in work. There's no such thing as a job for life anymore, so sad.

  18. Great images Annie, I think postcards are a brilliant idea!!
    I had no real plans for 2012 but I did plan to spend the summer in the garden as I do like to be outside, perhaps now the jet steam has decided to move I might still squeeze in a few weeks out there. :)
    Vivienne x

  19. Your photo mosaics are beautiful! I feel happy just looking at them! Postcards would be a great idea - count me as a future customer.

    I'm so glad your husband still has employment, but it sounds like it isn't easy. Hold onto your dreams of houseboats and faraway places!

  20. You have taken some gorgeous pictures, Annie, and they make beautiful mosaics. I know you had worries for 2012 and am glad that things are working out much better than feared originally. Your dreams of houseboats and farway things sound exciting...we all need dreams :) I don't usually plan too rigidly (apart from professional work for books and magazines etc)....I just look forward to creating whatever takes my fancy as the year evolves, and the same goes for life in general.
    Have a great week.
    Helen x

  21. Am just off to look at my last 6 months blogging posts, doubt I will have achieved anything to compare with you! Lovely pics as everyone has said, and just think of all the positives, yay.

  22. Hi Annie,
    Your photo mosaics are lovely the best I have seen! What a good idea to do a look back half way through the year. I hope some of your dreams come true.
    I love dreaming of a simpler life, spending more time at home in the garden and with the family and the animals, and having a camper van!
    Sarah x

  23. My life at the moment is a whirlwind of To Do Lists that I never get to the end of because I want to say yes to everything. I should probably learn to say no a little more often. You've reminded me to take stock though and just enjoy the next six weeks of school holidays. September will come round quick enough and I plan to be a bit more relaxed and just have fun for a few weeks.

    By the way I think daydreams are good and as the magnet on my fridge says "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."

  24. Such lovely photo mosaics Annie. Looking back through old posts make me realise how much I have achieved, rather than what I haven't!! I think that 2012 has made me realise how much I want to cling on to my kid's babyhood as they are starting to get "big". Sob. x

  25. Ah what lovely pics. They remind me of Country Living magazine. I love the eggs and the sheep.
    I hope you have a nice time at home, even if you don't get away on holiday. You seem like the kind of person that finds the beauty of what you have and where you are.
    The job situation is a nightmare for many people at the moment. I keep thinking of all the things I 'want' but Roman's job is looking quite precarious at the moment, so I am trying to change my wants a bit. So many people all over Europe are struggling and out of work, so we all have to count our blessings.
    Sell your pics as postcards, great idea. Or maybe as prints too?
    Tracy xxx

  26. SOOOOOO looking forward to your sketchbook project! Simply can't wait to see all the goodness that lies therein! Your photos (as always) are inspiring---and yes, 2012 has been (overall) wonderful. I'm so lucky to have reached the "retirement" years; the days aren't so frenetic, the projects move along at their own speed--not dictated by the clock, the hours somehow fill themselves quickly and quite nicely.......and I still have time to complain about the weather!!! IT'S SOOOO HOT!!!

  27. The postcards will be beautiful.

    Flower lover though I be, your sheep photos keep drawing my eye. Perhaps a few sheep postcards as well?

    2012 started out rather sadly for us, and has continued to be a knotty year - but I was expecting it to be, which somehow takes away some of the sting. However, life is also full of small beauties and small joys - and as I write this I am listening to RAIN falling! (Not a sound you need to hear, but one we haven't heard for weeks and weeks. And weeks.) Small joys are the best, I think.

    So glad Mr. K still has a job.

  28. Dear Annie,
    Your photos, collages etc. are so beautiful. I am so glad that Mr. K. still has his job. There is so much in regards to hard times now. We have certainly been there and done that.
    Sending you love.
    I am looking forward to your postcards.

  29. What a lovely 'retrospective' - it sounds like you have the right outlook on life to cope with what it throws at you! My year so far has been mostly spent planning and researching for something I want to do next year, so because I'm thinking ahead all the time, I forget to 'stand and stare' and enjoy the present! xCathy

  30. Lynne Litchfield19 July, 2012

    Hi Annie,
    As someone who has never, ever, made New Year's Resolutions - thinking that it is all so pointless, I have never thought about 'taking stock' really. So never mind the half year - the whole years just keep flying by! I certainly remember a time when 2012 was clearly the year I would be retiring, and seemed so far away as to be unimaginable. But here we are - retirement has moved further away and all those wonderful dreams of 'personal rockets' and moving walkways that the 60's and 70's science fiction I devoured seemed to promise have not arrived!! This is not the future I imagined !!! But then it never is, is it? Other, better things have happened, though.
    You've made me take stock of a lot of years rather than just half a one!! I think the Davies 'stand and stare' is such a good point - and maybe would make the years seem to go by just a little slower! So now I'm going to close this and take a moment to just stare at those lovely photo's of yours!
    Lynne L

  31. I just reread the New Year Post I wrote this year. It's not so far off. All about noticing the little things more. It just wasn't the year I expected but are they ever? I'm already looking forward to 2013.

  32. A WI buddy of mine, with her partner, sold her house and bought a canal boat while she was still young enough to manage it (it may be a simple life, but not necessarily an easy one). However I'm sure this time for her will be life enhancing and full of adventures. Dream big, I say. As for me, I have a big project to get stuck into but find I am rather overawed by the prospect. Reading this has reminded me of my own dreams.

  33. Annie, I've popped over to this post several times now and each time I do so either the phone rings or someone knocks at the door. I hope this time I can give you my full attention:-)

    Firstly, a really gorgeous mosaic reflecting your crafting life in the countryside to a tee.

    I like the sound of houseboats and far away places. I hardly ever make New Year's Resolutions, I'm often in the grip of seasonable depression in January and wishing I could hibernate until Spring! However we are looking into going away in January 2013 so I guess that's kind of a plan but on the whole I tend to go with the flow ....

    A dream we've had for many a year is to buy a little house in France - maybe one day!

    Glad to hear Mr K has kept his job in these uncertain times.

    Well, I've managed to get this comment down with no interruptions this time.

    Have a great weekend Annie and happy daydreaming.


  34. Ahoy Annie! Here's to life on a houseboat. Mine would be on a canal in Amsterdam. So happy to have found a minute to check in with you. Your mosaics are stunning. Yes, I had high hopes for 2012 because I knew I'd become a mother again. And I did! And I'm kind of still in shock but we are all starting to move in the same direction as a family, which is a wonderful and exciting thing. So, for the rest of 2012 I am hoping for a quiet life filled with my funny little family, and knitting, crochet, photos, and my newest obsession, my plodding attempt to run.

  35. Nothing at all wrong with dreaming big. The hard bit is realising those dreams. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our damndest. Right?

  36. Funny thing is, I wrote a blog post earlier this evening and said how 2012 is not turning out that well. Without having read your post. So there you go - my year has been painful, emotionally and physically, and most of my plans are struggling to take root. But I am not giving up - if anything I am more determined than ever to reach my goal, no matter what obstacles I have to climb over on the way.

    Dream HUGE. You will probably realise at least one of those dreams - I have achieved a few of my dreams in my life and that also spurs me on to keep dreaming, planning, reaching.

    There's something very peaceful about the second mosaic - I love it.

  37. Hi Annie, lovely to finally catch up on your last few Posts. Your photos are just beautiful. Well you know I am not much of a planner, but I very much like the concept of taking stock and regularly checking in to see how we are all faring. I had high hopes for 2012 and it has been a million times better than 2011 which was plagued with sadness and uncertainty - I lost my grandmother and then my husbands job and subsequent relocation. Just moving back to Tasmania would amount to a good 2012 but it has been made even better with the anticipation of another baby towards the end of the year. It's a good year and I'm so glad yours is going well too. I love the sound of a canal boat - how exotic! On the downside I have so many unfinished projects that I can envisage 2012 The Year of Finishing Things! Mel xx

  38. Annie, I'm afraid for me a "to do" list for an entire year would simply equate to a failure in the making! I try to keep my lists short (weekly as opposed to yearly) and absolutely "do-able"... keeps me feeling productive and sane ;-)

    So glad to hear yours is going so well (and fabulous news about Mr K's job, I recall your worries in that regard). Your photos are gorgeous as usual, and I am looking forward to seeing more on your Sketchbook project!

    Janine xox


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