Linda over 50 Blogger


On the cusp of retirement and living in the English countryside with her partner

14 Sep 2016

On my hobby horse


I’ve always been quite creative. Every Saturday as a child, I would take my shilling pocket money and spend a happy hour in Woolworth’s stationery department. I would browse the colourful array of pens, paint, paper, card and gadgets before carefully choosing an item to buy. I would spend hours drawing, painting and making things. Later I learned to sew and knit and really enjoyed the end products especially after spending so long making them.

Now that I have more leisure time, it is great to be able to take up these hobbies again and try my hand at some new ones. The past few weeks have been particularly interesting, as I have had a go at a couple of new pastimes.

The first came about after a chance meeting with a lovely lady called Susan Noble at a local artisan market. She was selling beautiful mosaic items which she makes herself.  When I say handmade, they really are genuine. So many of these so called craft markets sell goods which are made in a sweatshop in India or China and labelled as “hand crafted”, so it was refreshing to see such intricate and well- designed wares. After a very long chat with her, I bought several pieces which now adorn my bathroom! Susan runs courses in the art, so I booked in and we had a great day at her studio (aka the dining room table!). She patiently watched over me while I tried to imitate her style and I eventually produced an acceptable piece. At first it requires a lot of concentration. It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle as you try to fit the perfect piece in the gaps. But after a while you don’t think about it so much and it becomes more instinctive. I would thoroughly recommend it as a relaxing and rewarding activity.

I’ve probably mentioned that my daughter is getting married this year and she has asked me to do the flowers. It’s a huge responsibility and I have no experience but I like a challenge! I soon realised that I was going to need some help. Enter my very good friend Sue Madden who is a talented florist and runs flower stalls with her husband Denis, at London’s Columbia Road market amongst others. (Furneaux Flowers). Another happy day was spent choosing flowers, learning to tie a bouquet and wiring buttonholes. Going into their warehouse was like entering an Aladdin’s cave of exotic and beautiful colours and fragrances. Again, I was quite pleased that I was able to put together an acceptable bouquet and now feel much more confident to tackle the wedding flowers. Thanks Sue!!

What next I ask myself? I have a long list of crafts I want to try. I think the next couple will be upholstery and calligraphy. Watch this space!