A Welcome Distraction

In the bleak mid-winter… there is some truth to that at the moment. It isn’t the best of times and for many it is the hardest. Personally it has been a difficult start to the year and I felt actual despair for a short time. I allowed my mind to slip to that place of hopelessness, always a dark place to be. So once again this space that I have created for myself has brought me a little peace.

Books, Books, Books

This week has been a good book week. I featured three on Tales: The Art of Creativity by Susie Pearl, Get a Grip, Love by Kate Lucey and The Wife Who knew Too Much by Michele Campbell.

I have also finished reading Eat Better Forever by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall (The publisher kindly provided a digital copy via Netgalley.) It was excellent and I aim to put a write-up on the blog very soon. It was published at the end of December 2020.

Next in line…

This week I have a super selection of books to read. I have a cluster of four blog tours coming, starting on Thursday with Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves . They all look amazing so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves / The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood / The Island by C L Taylor, Until We’re Fish by Susannah R.Drissi

And then there is this…

David Bowie by Robert Dimery. Due to be published on February 4th 2021.


I have an audible membership and tend to listen to books when I’m sewing or having trouble drifting off to sleep. Monty Don is currently helping me out with his lovely, calming tones as he reads Down to Earth. It is sending me to sleep with images of what I’d like to do next in the garden and is perfect for easing a worried mind into sleep.

Not so bookish…

Calming videos

One of my favourite Youtube channels at the moment is The Cottage Fairy. She lives in the most beautiful landscape in rural Washington State. I find her videos incredibly restful. The imagery is stunning and the quiet calming. You’ll also find her on instagram here.

Below is a link to her most recent video as I post this but there are plenty more on her channel.

Calming crafts

During the last lockdown I rediscovered the joy of embroidery. It is something that I’m really enjoying and find it helps to calm a worried mind. I tend to have several project on the go. I’m currently working on two cross stitch patterns and an embroidery piece.

The plant hangers is a kit I received for my birthday last year. I find these kits a great way to master new stitches (currently leaf stitch). The second piece is a cross stitch kit I bought from Caterpillar Cross Stitch. It is the Hello Deer stitch-a-long and has a lovely wintery feel to it. The stitch-a-long itself has finished but the kit is still available to buy and complete at your own pace.

Sometimes I enjoy following the pattern of a cross stitch kit and at other times I like to be able to go a little free style with the embroidery pattern. Once my sewing has improved I may even design my own pieces completely.

And finally…

Some new friends arrived in the post last week. Thank you so much to the publishers for sending them to me. I look forward to reading them both.

Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen – published by Orenda Books (June 2021).

She Came To Stay by Eleni Kyriacou – published by Hodder & Stoughton (available now on ebook and paperback in February 2021)

Photo by u0158aj Vaishnaw on Pexels.com

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful week.   Please do share your book love and let me know what you’re reading in the comments below. I’d also love to know how you distract yourself during difficult times. Take care Shelley x

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