As I mentioned last week, my reading recently has been seriously curtailed as I have been keeping myself busy through lockdown by painting designs to use on stationery. I have always loved letter writing and when I stopped being able to browse my favourite stationery shops I started to design my own paper. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to open my own stationery shop online.
It has been a lot of work (painting is the smallest part of it!) and I am exhausted but my little shop opened on Saturday. I have enjoyed the painting so much that my range is going to increase quickly – I currently have a selection of letter paper, while cards and bookmarks will be following shortly. Of course, books are one of my favourite things to draw so they had to feature.
I celebrated the opening by taking my pony for a ride and then settling down to read The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. I have never read it before but had been meaning to do so for such a long time. It was the most delightful children’s book and exactly the easy reading I needed. I will definitely be seeking out the second book soon.
When do normal people grow out of back to school fervour? It is some time since I graduated, yet every time September rolls around I am desperate to buy all the stationery. I want new pens, notebooks (the lure of a fresh exercise book is irresistible), planners, backpacks… I even crave a timetable I can colour code and hang over my desk.
So much so that I have been inspired to start designing my own stationery. I love sending letters and the lockdown gave me the time to create letter paper I will really love to use. Obviously I am back at work now but I am making the effort to try and paint at least a couple of times a week. It has been a lot of fun and I don’t want to lose that.
Most people set resolutions in January. I always want to study in the autumn. It might seem odd but I reason that I might as well make the most of the fact that right now all I want to do is learn. I even dragged out my university calculus textbook because I am all too aware that I have forgotten most of what I learnt.
My actual focus at the moment though is Latin. I wanted to learn Latin ever since I first read the Lord Peter Wimsey books as a teenager but it wasn’t offered at my school and by the time I took my A Levels my priorities were elsewhere. Since university though I have worked through one book by myself and taken two adult classes. I always get on very well to start with but get bogged down as the grammar becomes more complicated. I am one of the generation of schoolchildren for whom only basic grammar was considered necessary so when it comes to things like the subjunctive I struggle to define it in English, let alone in Latin. This time I am determined to crack it. I even have post it notes stuck up by my bathroom mirror.
Of course, Latin is not the most useful subject I could study. Yes I will (hopefully) learn more grammar than I did in English but I can hardly travel to Rome and have a conversation in Latin. I enjoy it though which is really the whole point. Besides, perhaps the apparent uselessness is part of the charm. There is no stress of a looming deadline, no practical situation where I will need to show my skill. I can just revel in the joy of learning for its own sake.