My life in Ipswich - incorporating One Step at a Time, my account of how I am slowly changing my life

Sunday, 28 March 2010

My weekend

It' s been a busy few days. After finishing school on Friday, I spent the evening making items for a swap I'm involved in and making a few bags. I used one of the bags to put Sian[my daughter] and Ian's Easter eggs in - she can then use the bag for shopping afterwards. It was a super evening and I felt so relaxed compared to how I was feeling during the week in school.
Yesterday we went up to see my son Sam in his residental place:

After leaving Sam we went to Woodbastwick where Norfolk's Woodforde beers are brewed, and had something to eat and drink in the Fur and Feathers, the pub that is attached to the brewery.

Then it was off to Taverham Garden centre where there are also various retail outlets including Sew Simple:

I must admit to spending a few pennies there!!!

Today started with a quick clean up as two friends from Hampshire were popping in for coffee [ they were in Suffolk for a wedding yesterday] and this was then followed by a trip to the library:
and to Tescos. And how am I ending my weekend?

By decluttering. A friend on a forum I belong to is aiming to remove from her house 100 items by the end of March. These can be either thrown out, freecycled or taken to a charity shop. I have decided to join her in this challenge and so far have removed 26 items so only another 74 to go!!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Today's achievement

I decided I wanted a new bag for this years festivals and decided to use this fabric:

and make my own bag. I am going to use the same pattern as I used last weekend but maybe add longer handles so that it can go on my shoulder.
I found a purse in the same design on ebay and 'won' that on Sunday. Deciding I also wanted the keyring in the same design to use with the caravan keys, I put in my bid but was beaten by someone else at the last minute. That made me start thinking and after having a brainwave,I ordered a keyring blank which tonight I used to make the following:

I'm so pleased with myself!

Monday, 22 March 2010

A Darek and I

This is a photo of me aged 17. I'd so love to be that size again......

The photo was taken at an arts and crafts festival in Basildon in Essex. I had made that dalek with some kids at an after school playscheme that I worked on and the local press took the photo. I had thought that it had got lost during the intervening years but it resurfaced a few years ago. Unfortunately my daughter cut round it so that is all we have left of the original photo.
I believe it won an award but I can't remember what - the problem with old age is that the memory goes!!!

List maker

I don't know about you but I find the process of making lists therapeutic. It's almost as though I am on top of things if I include it all on a list. However increasingly I am finding my lists are being created but nothing is getting done. So change is needed.....

I need to find a way of ensuring the tasks I need to complete [whether household tasks, tasks associated with work or those family type commitments] are actually done. Over the years I have tried various solutions when finding myself in this predicament - yes, this isn't the first time I have found myself in this situation. You would have thought that I'd have learnt something over the years, but the truth of the matter is, that I haven't. I've done the lucky dip method, the advert space between programmes method, the kitchen timer method, to name but a few - and each one although working for one or even when I'm being really good, two sessions, soon fails me.......

So once again I must try and find ways to convince myself to get tasks completed. This time I have decided for the household task lists to use the 'get fit' method. Each household task must involve the burning of more calories than sitting here at the pc or at my desk sewing, knitting etc........mustn't it??

The trouble is I'd rather be doing this:

How do you convince yourself to complete all those 'horrid' tasks that take you away from what you'd rather do?

Saturday, 20 March 2010

20 minutes crafting

This is what I have been working on......

Friday, 19 March 2010

Am I interesting??!!

Pretty Vintage has awarded this award to anyone who reads her blog and leaves a comment. So here it is now and the rule is that I have to list 7 interesting facts or things about me and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers..

Oh dear that is a difficult thing to do. Have I got anything interesting to post?.....I'll let you be the judge of that.

1. In my much younger days I was involved with a street theatre group in Norwich called 'No Name'. We performed in the city centre and at various events including the old Albion Fair at Barsham and at Bungay

2. I'm the eldest of 5 and so was the bossy older sister!!!!!!

3. My first job after training to be a teacher was at an Adventure Playground in Harlesden in North West London and I swore at that time, I would never enter a school again.

4. I home schooled my eldest son for a year when he was five. We joined up with other families in an organisation called Education Otherwise and I appeared in a documentary on home education that Anglia television made.

5. I have been married 3 times but all my children have the same father - the second husband.

6. I was a rebellious teenager and refused to wear white for my confirmation. Fortunately the vicar knew how to handle me and said that it didn't matter what I wore as long as I was there - so much for my rebellion!

7. Again as a teenager, I refused to wear shoes in the summer and walked everywhere bare foot - including the two miles to the nearest town!

so there you are, thats me!

How about you?

I'm going to copy Pretty Vintage and award it to everyone who reads my blog. So if you read this, leave a comment and then put the award on your blog. I look forward to reading all about you.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

St Patrick's Day

As it's St Patrick's Day I have been playing lots of youtube clips of the Saw Doctors - a brilliant Irish band that I have seen many, many times. If you have never heard of them, go to youtube and have a listen. If I knew how to post a link or a video I'd put it on here. I hope you like them.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

So tired .....need the Easter holidays

That is exactly how I am feeling right now. I have just spent all evening on my school work and I am nowhere near finished. My to do list is growing longer and there seems to be no time for any crafting.........HELP!!!!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Is spring here at last?

Yesterday we were able to get out into the garden and do some clearing of leaves and chop down the large bush that had 'fallen' during the snow. It was so peaceful out there and made me realise why I love spring and summer so much.
Then today when I left for work at 7.30 am, it seemed so warm compared to last week. With the days getting longer, so that I am not always leaving work in the dark ....what more could I ask for?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A brilliant book - Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

I have just finished a brilliant book and I really recommend it to you all

"When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry’s love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud. As the Second World War shudders to an end, two young men return from Europe to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not and is sensitive to Laura’s plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the farm, comes home from war with the shine of a hero, only to face far more dangerous battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. These two unlikely friends become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. ‘Jordan builds the tension slowly and meticulously, so that when the shocking denouement arrives, it is both inevitable and devastating…A compelling tale’ Glasgow Herald" Amazon

Mothering Sunday

Hope all you mothers out there have a brilliant day and get well and truly spoilt

My first 20 minute craft

I have completed my first 20 minute craft - nothing spectacular but something that will be very useful - a bookmark

Saturday, 13 March 2010

My work space

Harry and I have recently been moving things around upstairs and I now have my own work room. It's small but its all mine. Here are some pics:

Friday, 12 March 2010

My children

This is a photo of my children approximately twenty four and a half years ago. Blimely that makes me very old doesn't it?

Thursday, 11 March 2010


About me?? What do you all want to know?? This is a difficult one but here goes……

My name’s Viv and I live in Ipswich, Suffolk after having been born in London, grew up in Essex and brought up my children in Norwich in Norfolk.
I was 53 last July and can’t understand how I came to be this old…surely I’m still 41!!
I have three children. Joe will be 29 this July and lives in Sheffield. Sian is 26 and my youngest Sam was 24 last Sept. Sam has severe learning difficulties and lives at Barrington farm in Norfolk . The following is a little about the place:

Barrington Farm in North Norfolk is a unique day and residential services centre for adults with learning difficulties. The facilities include a working farm with rare breeds, a gym, café, holiday cottages, however, for many people however the main interest is the arts centre known as The Art Barn. Formerly an Elizabethan potato store, the barn was converted in the 1980s into a basic space for making art when one of the clients started painting a cow on the side of an old piece of board. Over the years it has grown and developed into a fully equipped art studio that caters for most activities associated with the visual arts such as painting, drawing, printmaking, woodwork, and ceramics. There is also a separate textiles room where artists can turn fleeces from the sheep on the farm into woven wool or felt.
Creativity is very much seen as part of daily life and the art centre is exploited to maximum effect. It is staffed and managed by practising artists who assist and nurture each individual’s specific talents. It is not a place where art is taught in the academic sense. Guidance with materials and technique is offered but the creative decisions are left to the artist. It is hoped that whatever is made is the result of a direct response to the subject matter or material.


Sam has obviously taken up a lot of my time over the years and I am so happy that eventually I was able to get him placed in such a wonderful environment. The art barn is amazing and has an incredible atmosphere. Sam really enjoys the farm and seems very happy there.

Sorry to go on so much about Sam but as a mother I feel guilty but can not explain why. As the children were growing up I tried desperately not to give him more attention than Joe and Sian but obviously his needs were great.

Now more about me and less about my role as a mother. I work full time as Head of English in a large High school in Ipswich. This is a very demanding job that takes up much of my time.

As well as teaching I try to leave time for my other interests ie family history, crafts, writing and folk music/festivals. In fact Harry and I got married from the Cambridge Folk festival nearly eight years ago. We camped on the festival site and got a taxi to the register office where we met friends and family. After the ceremony we all had a punt down the river cam to Granchester where we had a meal laid on in a thatched roof pub. After that Harry and I went back to the festival and our wedding night was spent in a tent in grounds of Cherry Hinton Park at the festival. On of our favourite bands – Oysterband – played a track ‘Blood Wedding’ for us on the Sunday night of the festival. Since then we have bought a camper van and now a caravan, and now go to festivals in that rather than use a tent.
We have also began to ‘morris’ dance and go to many festivals and events during the mainly summer months. Harry is squire for Green Dragon morris who are based in Bury St Edmunds.

Crafting is an interest I have had since a child when my mother used to make glue by mixing flour and water to make a paste with which to stick paper. At the age of 10 I made my first dress. In my teens I worked at a playcentre for 5 – 14 yr olds and the crafts were always my main interest. From then onwards [right through uni and teacher training in Norwich] I worked all holidays with kids running playschemes and being involved in various craft projects. I also got involved in street theatre and made a lot of the costumes. In the late 1970s I moved to London and worked on an adventure playground [ where I met Kevin, the kid's father]. Here I got involved in all sorts of crafts including batik, screen printing, photography as well as papercrafts

Once Joe was born we moved to Norwich where I worked as a youth and community officer running community centres.After Sam was born I gave up full time work for a few years but used to run after school sessions both in a local church community centre and in my own home. The house was always full of craft materials, both paper and fabric based. I got really into patchwork and quilting [ Sian’s dolls had some lovely bedding!].

When Sam was four I returned to work but this time as a teacher and later I got very involved in the school productions and the costume making. Sian used to love coming back stage to the dressing rooms during performances. She used to ‘fall’ for some of the young boy ‘actors’
In the mid 90’s I had my gall bladder removed and spent a lot of the time when recuperating doing cross stitch, a craft I hope to have a go at again soon. I prefer samplers to pictures.

Card making didn’t really attract me until just over five years ago I was in Hobbycrafts [ Harry is also keen on crafts, esp painting and model making] when the card making materials caught my eye. My first attempt at a card was awful but with the help of a few magazines and later books my skills grew as did my collection of materials. Sian then came to stay and she got hooked. It has been great for me in many ways. It provides a brilliant way of relaxing after a very stressful day at work and has given Sian and I, a common interest which has bought us a lot closer.

I also love to sew and have made several bags in the last year. Next I want to start making some of my own clothes again. I also want to become more confident with knitting and crochet.

Recently I began a new stage of my life and that is as a grandmother as Harry’s daughter has two boys and his son , one boy.

Hi all

Have decided to move my blog, so am just trying this out.

Link to old blog -