Linda has recently retired. She now has the time to embrace life, laugh a lot and do all that she loves. Discover what that looks like for her and let her adventures inspire you…
I have always enjoyed being creative, whether sewing, family birthday cakes or crafting. Over the years, I have flirted with each of these. Now I can choose my daytime activities, I can now return to art. One year ago, I joined a sketching and watercolour class at Bensham Grove. I rarely miss a session. Two hours float by in a sea of concentration punctuated by small pockets of chatter – a new experience for me!
Drawing first this term: still life, harvest festival and flowers, to be followed by leaves. The first step or moment is scary, when you are given something to draw and paint to assess your ability. Then as each new technique is delivered to a rapt audience by Diane our artist and mentor, the confidence grows. Who knew that the bark of silver birch trees can be created with paint and a chopped piece of an old banker’s card? Watercolour painting and sketching is now a way of life for me.
Another activity this past year has been to join a book club. It has been good fun reading out of my comfort zone. Normally an avid crime reader, I began with ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, which became our benchmark to judge all books by. Another part of joining this group in Whickham has been the laughter, fun and social nights out that I have had. For example, the next meeting is our one year anniversary and to celebrate, we are to meet for cocktails (what, a Book Club? ) with our secret gift. The £3 limit has been a major task to find something original. I thought I had cracked it when I heard a shop was selling glasses with an led light for reading ie link to book club. All were sold out – disaster. I settled for a see-through plastic beaker with a straw and lid. The picture of pugs on the outside added a pretty touch. To make it more adult, I have added a one small bottle of Pinot Grigio – £3. I hope to make someone laugh or the receiver to at least smile !
I love family cooking. My own super mum delivered delicious meals but at thirteen, allowed me to take over the family cake baking. Thus when I married, I could only cook bacon and that was by timing each side before it was turned over. In a household of one man, two sons and a daughter, I was determined they would each learn to cook. Peeling and chopping were first tasks. Then came Leek and Potato soup, Spaghetti Bolognese and a roast chicken dinner. Well if you can cook all three as a student, you can survive. All three children have gone on to cook fabulous meals. My eldest likes to produce his own sausages. The middle son makes amazing curries and French Onion soup. My daughter cooks fab meals and bakes. At birthdays and barbecues, the whole family, their other halves and my grandson gather and cook together. Steak nights are hilarious with each ring on the oven in action. Nowadays, they even take over! I just love everyone being a part of the meal.
I try to live, laugh and love each day xxx