Pencil drawing of mute swan done by the author.
Mute Swan done in coloured pencils.

This is part three of the Relax, Recharge and Reflect theme for the end of the year. I have always found reflection to be a very useful tool. When I was teaching and then providing professional development training for teaching staff, it was the one thing that I insisted they did in their practice. It isn’t just listing what happened but also looking at how they reacted, whether it worked and how it might have been improved. 

So for 2020 I think I managed quite well with the whole lock down, in fact I could go so far as to say I quite enjoyed the quiet spring and the chance to visit the park and woods and see them emerging after the winter. The later part of the year wasn’t so mellow and like many others I was feeling ready to get out and about and although we managed a few visits to the coast during the brief relaxation of the measures it was very small compensation. 

So here we are again, facing yet another total lock down, though there is the promise of the vaccines that are now being distributed. We are in the fifth group of people to get it so are hoping to be ‘done’ before the summer.

Other reflections include my inability or unwillingness to get any patterns written. It is something I actually hate doing, though love being able to share them and even get a small reward from their sales. I am currently reworking the Counterchange shawl in double knit so have no excuse not to amend the pattern accordingly and get it published. I will and I promise (myself) that I’ll get it done. 

Stitching has been a great new pastime as has drawing. This has been a revelation. I have always enjoyed drawing but having taken my brother’s advice and started doing at least a little bit every day, it has proved to be so beneficial for my personal wellbeing as a whole and particularly with the lock down. So I’ve used one of my recent drawings for this post – it’s a mute swan from a photo that I took at one of the reserves to the East of Leeds this autumn.  Despite my saying that I love it, all of my drawings start with a feeling of inability, inadequacy and ineptitude. In fact this swan almost had me in tears but I persevered and although there are a lot of problems with it, I do quite like it. I’ve never done any on coloured paper before. It has also pushed me slightly more towards trying some painting for lots of reasons that I won’t list here. So here’s to 2021 and hurrah for vaccines and the scientific community and hope for some adventures that aren’t based at home.


  1. I think your swan’s fantastic and the reflection on the water, brilliant! That is so hard to do – I had a real struggle with the reflection of a castle on a ruffled lake that I was painting in oils and it turned out a real murky mess! Hope you’re coping ok with the new lockdown – and all the best for 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

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