These lazy sun-filled days after Christmas serve several purposes:

1. To relax and enjoy family who are still in the area (Son#5 has only just left to go home), who in turn provide an excuse to eat more chocolate and play games (and win!) and not do any housework (not that we should need to given the amount that was done in the days leading up to Christmas);

2. To make the most of the summer weather which always seems to kick in after Christmas;

3. To get stuck into those long term projects that have been put off all year long.

It's #3 that's hardest. Not because we lack the time or skills or resources (or sometimes we do) to get stuck into them, but due to the decisions that must be made. What do we start first? Should we do it this way or that way? Would we be better to do it ourselves or get someone else to do it? What colour/design/etc would look best?

And so it goes.

DH and I have decided that the major project that we [he] need[s] to work on this year - more important than painting the spare room or building a fence to stop Nehli digging trenches in the garden when she runs through it at breakneck speed - is our pergola. We have waited a long time for this pergola. Twenty years in fact. The posts for the pergola were already in place when we bought out house and moved in. They have been waiting that long to be completed. In the mean time, trees have grown up around the posts until some were almost assimilated back into living wood.

But posts that have been standing upright for that long are not going to be perfectly straight ... and it's probably not going to be a perfectly straightforward project. But is anything ever straightforward around here?

While DH has been planning this project, I've been planning some small projects of my own. Nothing strenuous mind you. Apart from carving out some writing time these holidays (a few wet days would be perfect), planning a holiday for next year (Aurora Australis anyone?), I'd also like to finish - or at least approach the finish line - a quilt begun more years ago than I care to remember, and paint a bench that I decided on Christmas Eve would work fabulously in my back entrance.

Having decided on projects, now I have to decide on how. What quilting patterns would work best with the overall design? Breaking the cardinal rule of working from the centre out, I begun quilting one of the corners (to be honest, most of the centre had already been done so it wasn't such a huge trespass as it might have been) which was not the best decision but was a lot more fun than finishing quilting the centre.


As for the bench, decisions about colour have been based on what paint colours we have lying around and what is in the existing room. I think I might paint it blue-green first (wall colour) and then put a coat of cream on top (woodwork colour) and sand it back for that distressed look (even if that look is now so out of favour). Since the bench was originally finished this way in blue and red (blue was what we had lying around back then and red was a paint I actually went out and bought), I'm hoping that these two original colours will still show through in places.

So that's the plan. I'll see how it goes before deciding whether or not to reveal the finished projects!