Everyday Life Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

Things I’ve been doing …

October 4, 2022

Look. Let’s face it. I have not been doing a lot of things as my health has been down the crapper and I’ve been spending a lot of time on bedrest. THAT SAID I’ve managed to keep working at my creative writing degree because I am blinking determined to finish it and I don’t want to give up on learning … I love it so much!

I haven’t been posting here much because I am having trouble affording the hosting costs and I feel guilty about writing while I’m racking up a bill for hosting (thanks Hostaway for being so kind about this!) I will need to work this out, but I suppose NOT posting is not a way to work it out, is it?! So here I am, writing you a (hopefully) chatty missive and looking after my trusty blog. 🙂

I’ve been doing/working on a few other things very, very slowly when I have little pockets of energy. They include …

Listening to The System: The Case of Kevin Keith on Spotify and my new favourite Beyoncé track, Cozy, which Rin told me about.

Watching and enjoying quite a few things: Dopesick (incredible drama about the US opioid epidemic), Bad Sisters (the latest Sharon Horgan series), Screws on Britbox, Devil in Ohio, The Suspect, various YouTube documentaries about artist Georgia O’Keeffe (for a uni essay), afternoon programming on ABC TV. I have usually conked out completely by then, so I love watching re-runs of Hard Quiz, ThinkTank and Ahn’s Brush with Fame. Also the new season of Spicks and Specks is great and I am really liking Savage River too … what a great Sunday night line-up. I look forward to it all weekend!

Reading a tonne of stuff for uni and for fun. Stories are what is getting me through these unwell days. Disappearing into other times and places, especially when they are fairly gentle is just the tonic for me. I have loved Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice and Maeve Binchy’s Light A Penny Candle the most of my recent reads. I’m not really doing much literary fiction because I’m feeling a bit fragile and I prefer cosier stories with loveable characters that won’t rattle my insides too much. (My GoodReads is here, if you want to be friends and see other things I liked/want to read!)

I have been cooking a few things and updating my recipe newsletter Hungry Hungry Pippo as often as possible. Nourishing and non-pricey things are the order of the day. Think nicely-spiced tortillas and hearty soups (above) and full-flavoured curries and you’d be on the right track!

(a potato curry with kimchi – above)

I’ve been doing a little bit of crochet each day, but I can’t seem to do it for long because my shoulders hurt after ten minutes or so. So pesky, but it is what it is and I know that it won’t always be this way. Things will be better one day! I promise! I hope! I think!

My days are spent reading and resting and studying. Every couple of days I pop out for half an hour – to the library or to the grocery shop or chemist. Then I go home and rest again. That’s about as much as I can do, but I’m learning to be okay with it and not feel too cross. That only makes me feel worse and there is no point fighting it when you’re feeling poorly. MUCH better to listen to your body and adjust accordingly (something I have not done for many of the preceding years!)

I sit in the garden with the pups quite a lot too, which is nice, even though they do pester me a lot with their sloppy kisses. A new little dog has moved in next door and they take great delight in barking at her (?) under the fence. It’s good to get the vitamin Ds in and breathe the fresh air and listen to the bird songs and watch the insect chittering about, don’t you think? Even if there is also a bit of barking.

Sorry if this post is not a super-chipper one. It’s quite hard to know how to write about being ill without it being a bit flat isn’t it? I am still learning the best way to do it, to be honest.

Annnnyway … what have you been doing, peaches? Are you sitting outside a bit? Are you making things and listening to things and hoping for things and watching things too?

x Pip

“The more attuned we are to the beauties of the world, the more we come to life and take joy  in it.” – Yi Fu Tuan

If you fancy, buy me a coffee —>  https://ko-fi.com/piplincolne




  • Reply Marianne October 15, 2022 at 1:38 PM

    What a lovely post. You seem quite purposeful with your time and energy, prioritising cosy and meaningful actions. It has given me food for thought.

  • Reply Yasmin October 10, 2022 at 10:20 AM

    Dear Pip,
    It is so lovely to hear from you, and I’m so sorry to hear that you have been so poorly (side note: isn’t poorly such a wonderful word, despite it’s dreary connotations).
    I have been trying to read lots and put my phone down! It is frightening how distracted I find myself now when trying to read. I’ve been reading lots of EASY and lovely books, I just finished one by Jenny Colgan which is set off the cornish coast, called Sunrise by the Sea. Absolutely heavenly. Thank goodness for the library!
    I live at the bottom of the South Island in NZ, we had an incredible snow day last Thursday. It just snowed and snowed. We live up on a hill and the advice was not to travel unless absolutely necessary, so we had a magical day at home building snowmen and huddling up beside the fire. My kids were sliding down the hill on boogie-boards. Amazing childhood memories!
    I would love to support you with a koha (m?ori word for donation, gift, etc) – is the best way to buy you a coffee?
    Lots of love x

    • Reply Pip October 14, 2022 at 8:42 AM

      Oh I LOVED that Jenny Colgan book. ALSO borrowed from the local library earlier this year. She’s a lovely writer, isn’t she? xxx

  • Reply Sarah October 7, 2022 at 10:44 AM

    Hi Pip, long time reader, v rare commenter – but I did want to ask whether it’s possible to add some kind of gofundme link to your page? I hate to think of the funding of this being an added financial/mental stress burden and I’d be more than happy to send some money towards making that go away, and you keeping this kind spot on the internet xo

  • Reply Kate October 5, 2022 at 1:18 PM

    Oh pip how lovely to read your words here, but gosh I’m sorry it’s all so hard for you right now. I’m very glad though that you haven’t filled this account with toxic positivity. Sometimes one just has to accept the current situation while passing through it. May your situation improve soon. Cups of tea outside even with yappy dogs sounds lovely. Thanks for all the great recommendations re reading and watching.
    Take care small steps big changes.
    Also my everyday peace card I pulled today is the importance of resting. “The problem is not many of us know how to allow our body and mind to rest. We are always struggling: struggling has become a kind of habit. “ may your struggles become easier to bear.
    Cheers Kate

    • Reply Pip October 7, 2022 at 10:27 AM

      Thank you for checking in, Kate. So kind of you. xx

  • Reply Kerry October 5, 2022 at 11:11 AM

    I read Maeve Binchy’s TARA ROAD this summer and loved it! Thank you for checking in, and well done for keeping on with your school work! xo

    • Reply Pip October 5, 2022 at 11:20 AM

      Oh I LOVED Tara Road too! And also Circle of Friends. Am currently working on Silver Wedding. Thank goodness for Maeve! xx

  • Reply Reannon October 5, 2022 at 10:00 AM

    Gosh Pip, I think you are doing great in such trying circumstances.
    I have not been watching anything which means I’ve also not been crocheting. But I have been reading a lot. Have you read Lessons in Chemistry? I borrowed it from the library & loved it! I’m saying it my book of the year. I recommend it to an elderly lady who was asking the librarian for books last week. She told me she reads a book a day! When I told her I can’t wait to have that kind of time she said “yes you can. It’s very boring!” That made me laugh but also made me remember to not wish my life away.
    The weather was glorious over the weekend so Tim & I got our on the garden. I’ve decided to try & grow just herbs & chillies. Summer is not kind over here & im sick of the wind killing everything but I also do not like not having anything growing.
    Take care Pip xx

    • Reply Pip October 5, 2022 at 11:21 AM

      I read HALF of Lessons in Chemistry and then I had to take it back to the library because it was on reserve, so I am waiting to get it back again. LOVED what I read, though. Can’t wait to finish it. Love to you and fam, Reannon. STUPID WIND. xxx

  • Reply Nix Dolman October 4, 2022 at 7:25 PM

    It’s lovely to read you again Pip, I don’t follow your Hungry Pippo newsletter but only because I don’t have much time to cook at the moment and also live with my slightly fussy kids and so I’m trying to avoid too many lush recipes as they make me have feelings of longing!! I do still make healthy food but only the things they love so there aren’t disappointments and rejections! Thanks for taking some of your precious time to write this. I’m in agreement about easy cosy books. I recently read time after time by Kate Atkinson which was really well written and a great story but it distressed me so much as was set during the Second World War. I ended up blubbing my way through it. The books I’ve read recently that have actually made me chuckle a bit are Richard Osman’s Thursday murder club ones. The characters are so funny. It’s also a great reminder that old people are still the same people (assuming no dementia) and I love all their hilarious personalities in these books.
    I am currently in a state of nervous excitement as today I start at 3 year, textile design degree at the age of 45. I’m swinging between ‘this is going to be awesome’ and ‘omg what am I doing!’ I was a very arty craft child but seemed to give it all up for years and then 13 years ago my mother in law gave me ‘Meet me at Mike’s’ and it triggered a wave of creativity in me that has never stopped since. And now here I am. I have my flask and my sandwich and I’m the only mature student so obviously I also have the best selection of new stationery!!! Wish me luck!
    P.s. I’m glad to hear acceptance of your current energy levels and health has led to less battling with yourself. Those waves of anger and despair consume energetic you don’t have to spare. Shut them down and breathe in the air in your garden.
    Take care, write again soon if you can. And I will try and think of any good shows or movies. Actually a good friend just told me ‘I used to be famous’ on Netflix is very good! She’s a v positive upbeat type so I’m going to try it.

    • Reply Pip October 5, 2022 at 11:22 AM

      Have you watched Time after Time? It’s quite lovely and on BritBox which is currently $2 for 2 months so HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Good advice re energy levels. You can’t always ACTION yourself back to good health, can you? Sometimes you just have to convalesce and adjust. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xxxx

  • Reply Anna Maria Boland October 4, 2022 at 6:03 PM

    It’s so good to see your words back here. I’ve missed you on here. I hope your health will keep improving steadily.

    I’m hoping for so many things for myself lately that I’m not sure if it’s not too much. But I feel that I need a change, I just don’t know yet where to find it exactly.

    Reading lots, not only books, but also Substack publications. They work so much better for me than scrolling through Instagram. Watching Martijn Doolaard’s YouTube channel as his films are so very peaceful. And Jen Cambell’s for book recommendations.

    Sending love

    • Reply Pip October 5, 2022 at 11:23 AM

      Thank you for those YouTube recs. I have subscribed and they look ace. There are so many clever types on Substack now, aren’t there? Do you have some particular faves? (OK if you can’t be bothered listing them, though! Life is busy!) Love to you, AMB. xx

  • Reply Michelle October 4, 2022 at 1:05 PM

    Aww Pip, it’s always a delight to read your words, so full of positive good cheer, despite you feeling poorly. We have just done some massive work on our tiny back yard, which was for 12 whole months a pile of dangerous concrete rubble, rocks, exposed stormwater pipes on a bed of sticky clay. So really haven’t been able to sit outside in the garden for a year, and it’s killed me. But after a week of cups of tea in the sunshine, what a difference it’s made. Getting the vitamin Ds and planing on what to plant in my one precious border. I’ve been reading about Gertrude Jekyll gardens and I want to plant an edible border so reading a bit of Alys Fowler too, who does it so well. Snowy today, I might head over to HHP to look for a non pricey, bowl of comfort food. Because the coffers a little empty after paying for said garden work, so it’s lentils and potatoes for us! xx

    • Reply Pip October 5, 2022 at 11:24 AM

      Oh YES. Lentils and potatoes and rice for the win! I made a very good Cauliflower Pilau from a recipe by Chetna Makan recently. It’s delicious with chutney or curry or kimchi and so cheap to make. So glad you have some garden now. Tea outside is the very best kind, I feel. Love to you and the hub and kids and kitten. xxx

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