Sunday, 27 July 2014

What is important? What is urgent?

Just a few minutes ago I commented on a blog post over at Sarah's blog, Mitenska.  She has been making lists and getting organised.  I reminded her in my comment to make sure that she moves having fun and relaxing up to the important and urgent box, and it sparked an idea in my head for this post.  So I thought that I would jump right to it before going and getting on with all that urgent and important stuff on my own lists!

So, what do I mean.  Well, if you ever did any time management courses at work in the last two decades or so, you would no doubt have been told all about the important urgent plan.  The idea is all about managing your time so that you deal with things in the most efficient way.  You deal with what is urgent first, then what is important.  Then if you still have time left over - the implication was that you will be so busy and important that you won't have time left over - you can deal with the not important not urgent.

By being so organised nothing would ever become important and urgent, because you would have dealt with it at the appropriate time, and the stuff in not important and not urgent wasn't even worth bothering with - because as I said above, you would be to important yourself to deal with such things.

not important and not urgent

Of course this might work all well and good in some areas of work.  If you are an air traffic controller, the urgent and the important are easy to categorise, the same for a doctor, or a politician.  What about the rest of us mere mortals though.

How do you categorise doing the laundry, watering the plants, dusting, baking, blogging, cleaning, tidying, entertaining the family, crochet, having fun, crafting, shopping, family, friends, fun....................

None of these are urgent, none are important, dismiss.  That is the implication from this time management plan.  All of them could move to the not important and not urgent box and therefore be ignored.

I disagree.  Totally.  This is my time management plan.

anything else

Of course I could go on breaking each of these boxes down further, but you get the gist of it I am sure.  The principle can be applied to those of us who aren't holding down some high powered and very important job, and it still works.  The priorities are just different.  Also, to me, Home and Family are important and urgent and must be held above all else and must always exist, so I fill and hold onto that box.  Work has to be done, so it goes into the table too.  Friends, crafting, all of those other things are there too.  I don't dismiss the fourth box either, that holds everything else. 

Things that are there on the list and that do need to be done, but can indeed move down the priorities.  For example, dusting the guest bedroom.  Yes, I do need to do it, but it doesn't have to be done every week, but it does need to be done before someone comes to stay.  A simplistic example, but you get the idea. 

I guess that in a way my suggestion to Sarah to move fun and relaxing to the important and urgent box might not be the most appropriate thing to do.  There are other more important and urgent things that have to come first, feeding the family, doing the laundry, making sure that people get to work and school and so on.  However, fun and relaxing have to be right up there.  It is easy to forget them though even under the weight of other things such as crafting and blogging. 

So today I am going to try and convince hubby that we need to perhaps step away from some of those jobs that do have to be done and have a little bit of relaxing time today.  I hope that you can do the same yourself and with your family too.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Five on Friday

Readers of this blog will probably have picked up the fact that I am a little bit of a worrier.

OK.  OK.  Stop laughing.  Pick yourself up of the floor.  I admit, I am a great big worrier!!

So I worry that you are bored with our building work, but it has progressed apace, so I thought that I would give you an update today and cross my fingers that you won't be bored.  All of these things deserve lots of exclaiming (I think!) so I have added quite a few !!!!!!!!!!!

1. The front of the house has now been painted!!  For comparison here is a picture of how it looked before and how it looks now - you can tell which is which because the now has the scaffold up!  We are so pleased with how it looks and can't wait to have the scaffold down so that we can really see it.  The colour isn't that different, although we hope that it is a bit less yellow than the old colour was as it could look a bit odd sometimes depending on the light.  Of course the lack of stains and cracks makes a huge difference in any case.

2.  The first of the two manholes has been rebuilt!!  The top has been painted too!  This is all the work of my hubby.  No more problems with this!

3.  We didn't have to dig a soakaway or a dry well, the downpipe is reconnected as it was supposed to be!!  A new length of downpipe is in place and hubby has also worked out how to sort out the rest of the gutter so that the water goes into the gutter, not down the wall!

4.  Our new back door is in!!  I think that I told you that before, but here is a picture.  I am still enjoying going in and out with such ease and now have my sights set on someday having a new front door.  Don't tell hubby about that last bit.  He would have a fit!  There are about a thousand other things to do first.

5.  Work on the new edging for the patio/pathway is underway and when it is done we can think about ordering gravel!!  Once the other manhole is rebuilt of course!  Sorry about this fuzzy picture, I hope you can get the idea - it is the wood bit that you are looking at in case you weren't sure.

I know that none of this is exactly wildly exciting, but I am trying to look on the positive side of it after feeling a bit down about it all.  The piles of soil are not exciting at all, and we have to find a way to dispose of them - we are going to ask a neighbour if we can share their skip rather than ordering yet another one - but I can see the end starting to come in sight.

Above is the manhole still to be tackled, and below is some of the debris to be disposed of (the yellow is the hosepipe), it is a larger pile than it looks here.

Also these are some of the slabs that have been removed so far.  We will reuse some of them, but will have quite a few to find a new home for or dispose of.

Well, that is it for the DIY update.  I hope that you weren't too too bored!

I hope that you all have a happy and peaceful weekend with joy in your lives and hearts.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Crochet Camera Strap Cover

I know, not the most thrilling title for a post, or the most thrilling thing to make, but.....  It is thrilling to have made because now that darned strap doesn't dig into my neck any more!

When I first got my camera I found that the strap really dug into me, it seemed to have very sharp edges for some reason although it is made of that webbing fabric stuff that camera straps are always made of.  I made a small piece of crochet from some acrylic yarn just big enough to go round the strap that was just big enough to go behind my neck.  It kind of worked, but it moved around and started to go bobbly, and also it was very hot, I think because of it being acrylic yarn.

So I decided that action was needed!  I cut off the old strap thingy that I had made - hubby thought that I was mad! - and decided to make something else.

I had some lovely Rico cotton yarn that I had used for making these Mandalas earlier in the year.  I thought that would be nice and soft and cool for my new strap, so I chose three colours for the main part, with a small white accent.  A bit like this Mandala really.

Then I set to work, making this long strip of crochet.  It looks a bit like a very small scarf at this stage doesn't it.

Then I sewed it with some horrible stitches onto the strap.  As you can see, it covers the whole strap so there won't be any moving up and down and not being where I want it to be.  I thought about crocheting it together, but then it would have had a lump either on the back which would not be comfortable to wear, or on the side which the old bit I made had and that didn't look to pretty either.  This way, although the stitches are ugly, it lies flat against my neck and is comfortable, and you don't really see the stitches when it is around your neck do you!  Of course if I had been more fastidious I could have used the same colour yarn as the stripe on the strap (try saying that fast!) and it would have been less obvious.

To make sure that it stayed in place, I tied on a single strand of yarn, wrapped it around the thin part of the strap and tied it back into the crochet again.  I repeated at the other end and this stops it sliding up and down, but allows me to remove the whole thing easily if I want to.

The strap is crocheted (UK terms) in alternating rows of DC and TR crochet, turning the work after each row and going into both loops of the stitch on the previous row.  At the start of each row I CH one (does not count as a stitch) and then into the last stich of the previous row.  I did 17 stitches in each row, it is best to experiment a bit to see what you need for your particular strap.

So there you have it, one Crochet Camera Strap Cover!!  If you see it coming in the future, you will know it is me!  Now, I wonder, what do you think, a flower to embellish it just to make hubby really embarrassed to be seen with me...............