Soldiering On (With Spaghetti)


I posted the update below on social media over the weekend, but I thought I would post it here too. Sometimes the best way to feel better is to let other people know that you have been feeling pretty terrible, you know?

Let me just say that I am the worst at this. I’m the type to soldier on stoically and I try not to burden people with too may intimate feelings… I attempt to contribute mostly cheery and positive things to the internet/world, rather than plumb the depths, I suppose. It’s not that I don’t have those feelings – I have way too many a lot of feelings! It’s just that I am conscious of this blog being a useful and happy place, more often than not. And also I don’t want to be the subject of any mean comments, I suppose…

That said, maybe this is useful, if you are going through something similar?

So, just in case you were wondering what was going on with me, or had noticed something was amiss, here is what it is.


Do you know what? I’ve been pretty down in the dumps over the last 6 months. You might have noticed, or you might have not, but the thing is that I am facing the world as a grown up human, on my own, for the first time in 23 years. It has been a bracing adjustment to say the least.

The first few months were the worst, because it’s a kind of grief, as you may know if you have endured a break up. You are wishing for a thing that you thought you had that wasn’t the thing that you actually had and it’s a futile and sad kind of wish, really. But now, I am starting to feel a bit more like myself again, a bit of the time, so that’s an improvement.

I hadn’t really wanted to talk about it much, because dignity, crying, being mindful of feelings of kiddos etc. However now that the fog is lifting a bit I think it’s good to give a little wave and say “it’s been really hard, but I’m going to be okay!”.

Some things that are helping include: eating food that I loved as a kid, watching a lot of Gossip Girl, reading books/escaping into stories, making things for other people,  taking things slowly and spending time by myself. Starting on writing a book about getting through sucky stuff is also helping #HelloInterestedPublishersHereIAm

Anyhow – if you have wondered where the Pipsparkle has been of late, it’s been swirling about in a jumble of difficult emotions, spaghetti, Blair Waldorf and tricky situations. And I’m catching a glimmer of it now and again, out of the corner of my eye which is a vast improvement on mostly just seeing the underside of my duvet.

xx pip”

Thanks for reading today. And thanks if you have been reading over the years, too. I really like it that you do!


Image source: Felissimo


  • Reply
    Dorie k
    February 2, 2019 at 11:58 PM

    You made a beautiful blanket i have been where you are. Knitting helped me through and I made a blanket out of it. Keep knitting even small things. How did you do your pattern. Best wishes you will get there.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    Gorgeous Pip. Just wanted to send you a big cyber hug. You were there for me when I was struggling. Not that you were aware. But your voice was the friendliest I heard in a very lonely period. And I am forever grateful for that. Hope you too feel the love of your tribe at this trying time. You are so adored. And so utterly glorious. Thank you for being you and for sharing you with us. Lots of love. xoxo

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 11:30 PM

    Hey Pip, that is so tough. It’s not an easy adjustment and it’s gonna take time. I’m so glad you are sharing. I think a lot of us are at the age when big life changes happen. I’m 41 and have suffered terribly with auto immune issues and have been to some really dark places. Now I’m coming out of it and my relationship is not what I thought it was either. Please keep sharing because we craft, we have break-ups and we get depressed too. Basically shit happens and we have to slowly pick up the pieces and put ourselves together and carry on. I’m trying really hard to do this but it’s such a slow process and I have lost faith along the way. I have to make tough decisions too. Anyway, I love your posts ALL your posts. I would never watch Gossip Girl if it wasn’t for you and I watched it when things were really bad and really dark for me. It’s the best and you’re the best. Be kind to yourself, Pip xx

  • Reply
    July 16, 2017 at 9:23 PM

    Snap, Pip…I turned 45 on the day you posted this. Had been married for 19 1/2 years. been separated since just before Christmas. It’s a very strange place to find myself in…not quite sure how to do life yet. Thanks for the solidarity. Lots of love to you as you learn how to do life…but differently…with such a big change.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2017 at 8:56 PM

    So sorry to hear this, Pip. Your blog is always a bright spark in my day and you helped me get into craft years ago – you do so much to bring joy to people and I do hope that you get your happy back soon. I’m thinking of you X

  • Reply
    handmade by amalia
    July 16, 2017 at 12:58 AM

    Opening up is so difficult but it does help. A big hug.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Big hugs to you Pip!

  • Reply
    Sally Cooper
    July 13, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    So sorry you’ve been having a rubbish time of late Pip. You are ace and do not deserve it!
    I’m sure these feelings will pass and you will get your Pipsparkle back more and more and more until it’s all there again!

    Sending a virtual hug your way and some imaginary flowers too!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:09 PM

    I am so very sorry to hear this Pip ? I enjoy so much the space you create here, it really does feel like you are here waiting with a warm cup of tea for all who stop by. Thank you for sharing , even your hard times because it gives us a chance to warm you up with some kind words. I wish I could make you that cuppa in person and give you a real hug, love you you and your family xx

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Hey pip, sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so low. I’ve been there before after a big breakup. You will find a way through. Be kind to yourself and surround your with only fun, kind people. Books helped me especially at night to stop my brain from thinking too much. Focus on yourself and do nice things, you will heal and mend xx

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 10:31 PM

    Big love, Pip. You’re a lady of heart and soul and it’s rough that you’ve been broken. You’re very, very good at mending things though. xxx

  • Reply
    Alison Edwards
    July 10, 2017 at 10:37 PM

    Hi Pip, I am very sorry to hear your news. It must be a horrible thing to go through. I am the same as you, not wanting to burden people with my problems. The thing is that people want to know and to help, it’s a privilege to be able to do that. I am 48 and I have only just started to realise that and a lot of other things!
    About six years ago I was diagnosed with a rather sucky illness and it totally changed my outlook on life. I took up a few new hobbies where I had none before. One of those hobbies is crochet, to start with to help my fine motor skills and now just because I’m addicted. Reading your blog and book really helped me and made ne realise that not only is craft not nerdy, it is good for the soul. Just wanted to let you know that you really helped me so you get what you give out.
    Thank you for sharing and all the best x

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 10:37 PM

    All my love Pip xx

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 10:01 PM

    Hi pip, me too for the last 6 months too! Never thought this would happen and what I’ve found has pulled me through is my tribe, my suppprt and every night my meditation music. Big hugs to you, it’s such a life changing thing but no doubt you’ll come out of it stronger than ever x

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 8:30 PM

    A wise friend once said to me “the only way over it is through it.” There are times when you will feel crap. Sad. Angry, even. And that’s OK. Because the times in-between get longer and you get stronger. You will be OK. It’s alright to feel sad. Never doubt yourself or doubt that you will be OK xx

  • Reply
    Michelle Crawford
    July 10, 2017 at 8:02 PM

    So sorry to hear that things have rough Pip. That’s quite a bit crappy. Hoping for nice times soon xx

  • Reply
    Katie Kay
    July 10, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Oh Pip, what a rotten time. I thought you seemed very ‘holed up’ and a bit solitary lately, but thank you for telling us. You will get through it, but you do need to feel all the crappy stuff to get there I reckon. We’re all here to hold your hand, and now we know you can lean on us more.

    I’ve been a long time reader (in fact you are the only blogger/social media person I’ve stuck with, that’s how much I’ve liked you for so long) but I’ve not really interacted all that much. But let me just tell you now, as I pop out of my social media cupboard that you are ace. Big, big hugs and kisses from your pal Katie xxxxx

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    I am sorry to hear that you have had such a bad time. You have done a remarkable job of carrying on. Sending you my love xx

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Dear Pip,
    I actually had thought over the last few months that your blog posts seemed a little…different. Not ‘off’ but maybe not full of the usual mirth and chatter that we’re used to. Thanks for telling us what was up. We, your readers, care about you. You put all this goodness and cheer into the world, for free, in your colourful corner of the internet, and we appreciate that and we want you to be happy. But you’re also allowed to be sad. I’m really sorry to hear about the break-up. That sucks.

    This is NOT in the same ball park, but when I was in China in 2015 (I wrote to you for 52 Hellos), I tried to keep my blog chipper and up-beat, mostly because I was chipper and up-beat. But then, during the summer, I had a real low period, mould on my clothes, hideous weather, general disgruntlement, so I wrote about it. People were SO kind. All these readers I didn’t know I had came out of the woodwork to cheer me on. It really helped.

    So, good on you for sharing. I shared my recent aborted teaching experience with The Age readers yesterday (here if you’re interested: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/our-country-needs-good-teachers-i-am-not-going-to-be-one-of-them-20170629-gx15c4.html
    It’s kinda scary being vulnerable in public, hey? But rest assured you’re not the only one. I have no advice, and I’m sure you don’t need it, but definitely be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel sad. I feel like sometimes we women think we need to put on a cheery disposition all the time, but y’know what, sometimes it’s fine to kick the wall and cry and be angry and sad and shitty.
    Lots of love to you Pip, and seriously, thank you for all that you do xx Isabel

    • Reply
      July 10, 2017 at 5:38 PM

      Yeah that’s kind of what I wanted to say too.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2017 at 9:53 PM

      Thank you Isabel for saying most of the things I wanted to say but didn’t really know how to- I’m not that good at expressing myself sometimes- but I nodded along to your comment.

      Take care Pip. Thinking of you through this hard stuff.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 3:48 PM

    Sending love to you Pip. xxx

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Big hugs from India!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    I was so sad to hear you have been sad. Quite rightly sad. It’s good to share things when you are ready and I hope you feel a bit better for doing so. Your place in the internet is one of my long term favourite places. I so look forward to reading your words and seeing what the next part of this weird and wonderful thing we call life brings you Pip. X

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    Oh Pip, that’s rotten, and I’m sad for your troubles! It was very decent of you to share this news – I had noticed a shift in your online presence and was wondering…
    May the force be with you and your family in the times ahead. You send out so much positivity, I hope it bounces back your way poste haste!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Greetings from Tasmania……Wishing you hugs and best wishes Pip. Your blog is inspirational. Keep enjoying spaghetti ?

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    You know what Pip? That is so hard and crap. I’m so sorry you’re hurting.

    Reading through the comments you’ve been left here, and on Instagram, is a reminder to us all that we all go through things that threaten to smash us to bits, yet here we still are. Maybe the putting back together process changes the way we look and feel a bit, for a little while or a long while, but we are still US, still able to bring and feel joy and even revel in our realness. Being vulnerable is scary but I believe it pays off.
    I know your wonderful Pip-ness will return. I just know it.
    I have so much respect and affection for you Lady Pip. For reals!
    Thank you for trusting those who love your blog – and YOU – with this post.
    We got you. ????????????
    Look up Pip, look up.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2017 at 10:34 AM

      Heavens to Betsy! My hearts turned into question marks. GAH!!

      No question Pip, we got you. HEART EMOJI.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Hugs to you on this difficult journey. I had noticed your quietness but didn’t reach out. May you know loving kindness and blue sky moments.
    Take care

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Pip, thank you for putting that out there. Your honesty and openness are so admirable and I can’t even imagine how much courage that would have taken. Yes I do like your blog because it is a safe happy place, but I think that putting this here is a great reminder that real people with real lives are behind blogs. Sending fist-bumps and cheering you on from the sidelines 🙂 x

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Hi, Pip, I’m so sorry you’re going through such a hard time. Be kind to yourself – give yourself plenty of time to smell the roses and to heal. I’ve always enjoyed and envied your spunky positivity and I’m sure that quality will see you through this. Meanwhile, thanks for everything – especially for publishing Craft for the Soul with its wise and lovely philosophy that helped me through a bad patch. You are a treasure.

  • Reply
    Minerva River
    July 10, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Thank you. I am only 3wks into the same stuff. Thank you. It helps to know that others struggle and get through. Mostly i am positive but some days i just dont know how i will. So thank you xxoo

    • Reply
      July 10, 2017 at 9:40 AM

      We can get through this together. Yup. x

      • Reply
        Minerva River
        July 10, 2017 at 9:42 AM

        Thank you xxxooo Getting my crochet on bigtime

  • Reply
    Sarah R
    July 10, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Oh pip. I know that unique kind of aching wish. It hurts. Keep doing and being exactly as you are. There is solace to be found in books (may I suggest Rainbow Rowell novels or the new Matt Haig ‘How To Stop Time’) and squishy yarns and the company of friends. Hugs. It gets easier, in its own time. xx

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Hugs, pip! I love your blog and it is a ray of sunshine in my sometimes cloudy days…here’s a sad snippet: I love crafting but time is limited and I seem to have lots of half projects. Your finished artworks give me hope!! All the best.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 8:18 AM

    {{{hugs}}} You do put a lot of positive out into the world, and even though this is a sucky thing how you’ve handled it, by letting people see that even the strong and the positive get bummed and have crappy things happen but it’s how you bounce back, that’s contributing positively to the world as well. I hope things continue to improve and you find a new path filled with love, laughter and a knock out publishing deal! We love you!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    Your tribe is here for you.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    Hi, just wanted say the same here with those things you’ve been going through. At 43 starting again, feeling like an adult for the first time in my life. Losing the ‘idea’ and the hope of what I desperately wanted but never had. It all sucks and I’ve been doing the same as you. Oh and buying a lot of jewellery…. sending you love – happy times are coming my love. Jx

    • Reply
      July 10, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      Sending you a virtual squeeze in solidarity, Jo. xxx

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