Everything is not going according to plan

You may have noticed I went quiet last week. It was an important week, a crux week. I had it all planned out.

The wedding had happened. My course work had been sent off. I'd already done an initial focus week of working on my collection; bringing designs and drawings into being. Everything was ready.

'The second week of making is the key one', I thought,  'The one where everything comes together'. 

Early mornings. Self-motivation. Making this dream of mine to be an entrepreneurial, business-owning, self-employed, hand made jeweller, an actual reality. (Cue heraldic trumpets:) My first ever precious metals collection, using all my new found skills.

I'd always known this week would be the hardest. But I had it all sorted. I had a plan. The week commencing Monday 15th August was going to be the one where it all happened.

And then... on the Sunday evening, I got a phone call from my sister.

My eight year old niece had been taken ill and the two of them were in hospital. Six year old Eliot was in Twickenham with Auntie Gin, who is just a snip over 70. Auntie Gin who has never claimed to to be an expert with children (less so, when they only tend to speak Italian) and whose house is the opposite of well-equipped to deal with an eight year old.

So I pulled on my Auntie Dawny super-pants and headed down there to help, with an emergency bag of toys and books from Sarah (brilliant boat neighbour) in tow.

On the drive there, I rationalised/reasoned/realised several things:

1. I have always said that relationships and people and time are the most important thing. This is still true. What a great opportunity that I would otherwise never have, to bond with this little human.

2. The only deadlines I have here are the ones I have set myself. They can be shifted. I will just move the plan back a week (revelation!).

3. It's kind of like a holiday; a change is a good as a rest and all that.

And so it was. Instead of soldering, learning how to make butterfly backs, finishing and polishing, I spent the week playing with magnetic building blocks, reading out load (mainly 'Dragon Stew' and 'Bob's Best Ever Friend') and cooking pasta dishes for my adorable, chatty, resilient little nephew.

Aunt Gin's relieved face when I arrived was almost reward enough. But Eliot's excitement that I was staying overnight with him because Mummy was in the hospital looking after his big sister, sealed the deal.

Child with his two favourite books of last week: Dragon Stew and Bob's Best Ever Friend
We spent hours looking for "the blue guy" (Bob's Best Ever Friend' - if ever there was a book recommendation for five/six years olds, that and the 'Dragon Stew' one, are it. The illustrations make them a joy to read over and over again, even for grown ups - and that's saying something!).

I was up earlier than ever (that part of the plan certainly came to fruition - apparently all I need to jump start my day is a six year old on hand who is bouncing around and wants a story reading to them).

We went to the park (mainly in the rain), spotted double decker buses (Eliot's favourite), built houses, rockers, aeroplanes and houseboats in luminous magnetic building blocks and I cooked enough pasta to sink a battle ship (or at least two Aunties and a nephew).

It was actually quite marvellous. And Eliot - who usually slips into the background around his more effervescent cousins - positively loved the undivided one-to-one attention and spent hours chattering away, as Aunt Gin and I nodded and agreed having recognised the odd Italian word. We had lectures on Pompei, the magic of the pouring rain (we think), dinosaurs and (possibly) the brilliance of the multi-coloured fish in the large tank at West Middlesex Hospital.

Sequence of three photos: one with child sat on floor 'Horah for toys and books', second with child walking through woods 'Wildlife search for squirrels', and third of magnetic building blocks 'The week's key creative project'.

When his sister and Mum came home on Thursday, to everyone's relief, things started to get back to normal. Emily managed to eat some left over chicken noodle soup (a family favourite, sure to revive anyone after a spate of any illness) and Eliot even came out with an entire English sentence:

"Beautiful Mummy, please may I have some more pasta".

My work here is done, I thought! 

So now I'm back home. I've put my Auntie Dawny super-pants away, and reassumed my jewellers apron.

Monday and Tuesday I was up early (after all I'm now in the habit, thanks to Eliot) and in the shed, executing last week's plan. Which means a whole load of soldering, learning to make butterfly backs, finishing and polishing (photos to follow, on my Instagram in due course).

It's going quite well. Even if it has been delayed by a week....

Ps. Update on 30 September 2022: I finished the Windblown Collection, and its now available to see and buy, here! 

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Find me and my jewellery...

  • Friday 19 July, 6pm-9pm at Ware Priory Artisan Craft Fair with Folk & Bespoke (free entry) as part of a curated showcase of 30 artists, crafters and makers
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