Our youngest daughter is currently in her first year of sixth form, studying for her AS levels. She has, on average, an hour long bus ride there and back to school each day, sometimes late in the evening if she remains behind for rehearsals for the school plays etc. She loves school and has always been a hard worker.
Students in their twelfth and thirteenth years of school, are given several 'free lessons' within their timetable, two thirds of which are meant to be used as private study time. Our daughter generally uses her free lessons to go to the Art dept. to continue working on her course work - The school's art rooms are open to any sixth formers wishing to use them outside their scheduled lesson times. Putting in so many extra hours has meant that she has built up a large working sketch book and many completed works.
The other day she came home from school a little upset. Some of her fellow students had been saying to her how unfair it was that she was so far ahead in her Art AS level work, and how much work they still had to do in order to get through the course. She had told them that she had put in many hours during her free periods to work on the modules. (Her classmates had generally used their free lessons as a chance to go home, with many of them living across the road to the school, its easily done).
It was hard to hear and I felt sorry for her, as she had done nothing wrong, but had been made to feel guilty for doing what was required.
I tried to reassure her and tell her that she had worked hard to be where she was, and that she deserved the time off she allows herself over the weekends.
I know a lot of hard working people, and to my mind, they are generally the happier people I know. Yes, sometimes the workload can be great, spare time can become non-existent, but this is outweighed by the satisfaction of achieving. I think it is fulfilling to have a busy life...It is true what they say, that life is short, it is what you make it.
Of course, 'all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy' - I am a believer in making time to do some of the things you want to do for you..this is more easily done when you have worked hard and earned it and there are no (or not so many, at least!) tasks hanging over you.
But, I don't seem to have very much spare time to do the things I'd like to...At Christmas, a couple of friends and I tried to fix a date to meet up just for coffee and to exchange gifts...but when it came down to it, none of us could find the a mutually convenient time...It was quite sad...And typical of women I think...Men do seem more able to make time?
I guess my daughters situation got me wondering...Maybe, because each of us is different, what works for one of us, may not work for another. I wonder who is generally happier though; those who work hard, but rarely have free time, or those who don't work, or work the bare minimum, and have time to spend as they please? Its hard to get a balance these days, when there is so much that has to be done - I wonder if there is a middle ground? I know I've talked about it on my blog before...and I still don't have an answer! Does anyone?!
We are lucky in our parts of the world that we do to some extent, have the opportunity for choice...Yes, my friends and I have chosen to be self-employed, so the workload is down to ourselves...It is hard to be your own boss, when the boss is a bit of a tyrant though! ;-))
I have decided not to take part in the V&H/Textile Fairs this year, as the additional work involved in handmaking lots of extra stock on top of the shop, can be too much. (I will be doing a few fairs which are close enough to Shepton Mallet to make it worthwhile me attending to advertise the shop...these fairs can be found on my website under 'fairs'.)
Anyway, that was what has been going round in my head recently...I just thought I'd off-load on my blog for a change. I'm not sure that I have expressed myself very well here, as I have a lot on my mind today - There are some worries on both sides of our family at the moment, which have got me thinking this week, but I'd prefer to keep them to myself for now.
Sunday I was up early as usual to go out seeking treasures. The weather was certainly cold again, so I think I was lucky to find the few pickings that I did...
This lovely Victorian children's book...with beautiful illustrations. It is shown on top of a vintage Laura Ashley needle-cord dress - the traditional style that she was once famous for.
Lots of pretty brooches - Ideal for the brooch pillows that I have started making as Valentine's Day gifts.
Seeing as the bubbly stuff is still produced in Shepton Mallet by Gaymers - Hopefully the glasses will be bought by a local fan!
I've made lots of new cushions from some fab 50's fabrics - More details here.
And I've just added this new one, ideal for a 'foodie' as a Kitchen chair cushion, or for an additional splash of colour in a child's bedroom.
Made from a child's rag book page and a vibrant c1920's fabric.
Although it is still cold, its good to see the start of the spring growth emerging from the ground.
The fine crisp weather did mean I was able to do a short burst of sanding outside, on some furniture I also managed to source over the weekend.
The little red cupboard was then given a coat of cream paint, which I later distressed once it was dry...Mostly in the areas where natural wear would take place.
I then protected the finish with a beeswax polish, which I bought from the BBC during the filming of the Edwardian era. It is a lovely gentle polish which I think they made up for the show - It was sold in a jar and was made from beeswax and turpentine.
I wanted to use a vintage wallpaper in the door panel...easier said than done, as these old papers can be very brittle...
But once glued in place, it looked fine.
Its such a pretty American paper, which I bought a few years ago on eBay.
I lined the inside of the door too!
The set of drawers that I sanded were given a coat of gold paint...
I wanted this c1950's desk/dressing table to have a slightly regal/French feel. I used a tinted wax for this, to generally age the look of the piece.
I delivered it to the shop today.
I also bought this little table, which (thankfully!) didn't need a makeover - I just gave it a quick polish.
If you happen to be in Shepton Mallet this Saturday, the library is holding a 'Love Our Library' Day (10am - 1pm) on the Market Place, to celebrate the official announcement that it is one of the libraries in Somerset that won't have to close. Yeah!
Have a great week,
Tête-à-tête from Jill - Thank You! x