Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My Month in Numbers 2015: March

Hello hello.

Well March has flounced out of the year with an impressively chilly, windswept, grey and rainy exit so I guess it's time for me to summarise the last 31 days ... in numbers.

[If you're new here and you'd like to join in the number-crunching community then you can read all about it here].

It seems only fitting that we start off with something particularly noteworthy, something that hasn't happened for 16 years ...

9.34am = the time when the 90[ish]%  partial eclipse reached peak coverage:
This was so exciting to me! As I didn't have any of those special glasses I hadn't expected to be able to capture a clear shot like this but, on the morning of the eclipse, the thought came to me that we had a roll of UV filter film somewhere - the kind you put on windows to stop fabric fading - and it was perfect for the job!

So I just sat in my workroom, camera on the tripod, clutching the UV film [folded over several times into a burned-retina-avoiding 10 layers lens] and watched the whole thing; alternating the lens between my eyes and the camera to both enjoy the experience there and then - in the moment - and to capture lots of photos for prosperity!

Now on to a more mundane experience - one which, unlike an eclipse - occurs more often than every 15 or so years.

But only slightly more often ...

41 = the number of items I ironed in my first ironing session since possibly around November 2014!
I had ironed the occasional individual items quickly, on the floor, when I really fancied wearing it ... but I hadn't done a full stand-up-til-it's-all-gone session for ... erm ... a while.

And, as I certainly didn't go naked through the winter, what this goes to show is:
  1. just how many leggings, stretchy jerseys, jeans and chunky jumpers I've been wearing - none of which I ever iron anyway and ...
  2. just how many clothes the pair of us have that we could keep returning to the wardrobe to find other crease free items to wear until either of us could face the ironing pile!  
With all that in mind ... it's a good job there are no fines issued for overdue ironing ... unlike ...

56p = the fine I had to pay on my overdue library books:
It's a rare event but ... I always feel really guilty when it happens! I'm just glad I could use the self-service machines and didn't have to face a librarian ...

After paying for my crimes and taking out 4 more books we went for tea ...

A 9" square take-out cake box ...
We went to a restaurant - '12 Harland Place' - which is appropriately named for a statistical summary like this! And after selecting our deserts we opted for the take-out option [mainly so we could go home and eat them it in our pyjamas in front of The Good Wife]. Here's what we found inside the huuuuuge box ...

... to carry 2 tiny cakes!
They were quite delicious though, and hey, size isn't everything I guess ... which reminds me ...
570 SPAM emails received over just 3.5 days while I was offline. I get lots of SPAM, most of which has absolutely filthy subject lines ... and contains even filthier requests and promises!  And fortunately it's all well caught in my SPAM folder which I tend to check, and delete, regularly.

And because I'm constantly deleting them I hadn't really ever kept track of just how many drop in each day. But when I logged back in after those 3.5 days I was pretty impressed!!

BTW: I check my SPAM folder not because I'm worried about 'real' mail making its way in there [it happens rarely] but rather because in amongst the vile click bait and the Viagra offers there's plenty in there that makes me laugh. Occasionally I'll entertain James by reading out a list of the best/worst/most bizarre to have landed that week [I know what you're thinking .. that it must be a laugh-a-minute round our house ...] when he often has to look at the screen to check I'm not just making them up. But I think that's the start of a post all of its own ...

So, yes, I had those 570 treats awaiting me upon my return ... but where had I been?? Well ... here:
12 = the number of times I've attended a 'Crafting in the Country' weekend with my friends.
  • However, this was only the 3rd time we've stayed here, at the picturesque Grisedale Barn, Threshfield, N.Yorkshire.
  • 7 of us went this time ... there was meant to be 8 but at the very last minute, 1 had to stay home. Which was doubly a shame as there'd been planned a surprise Hen party for the person in question which involved 20 pink balloons, party poppers and several cocktails.
  • Not that we let the lack of the guest of honour stop us enjoying it all any way!
Inexplicably - in amongst all our crafting and eating - we also had a 'click and catch' game to play ...
For reference: yes, that's generally the facial expression I tend towards when faced with sporting activity.
  • That aside - all that clicking and catching of ping pong balls provided some much needed cardio-vascular exercise. Up until that point the most activity we'd seen all weekend was when we spent 15 minutes rummaging for bargains in a sale box of crafting 'bits' at the Harrogate Papercraft Extravaganza!
  • Following the click and catch game we lost several of the ping pong balls and so that night, in pyjamas, and with torch in hand I went on hunt under all the furniture. I found 2 balls and - strangely - another ping pong ball that wasn't even from our game!!!
  • Really ... what are the chances of you going to hunt for a lost ping pong ball, in a rental cottage in the middle of nowhere, and finding one that isn't one of the ones you brought with you?
For the record: while I was ball-hunting I also found: 1 house from a Monopoly game, 1 hazelnut [shell on], 1 pea nut [shell off], 3 beads, lots of fluff and a 2p piece [which I kept, for my trouble].

I also came home with:
  1. 2 belated birthday presents;
  2. and 7 rainbow-themed gifts:
And to complete our rainbow theme Jean [how many's that so far this year Jean?] made cakes that included 4 of the 7 colours with a deep indigo lavender and honey cake [which I forgot to photograph ... I just ate it instead!] plus these 3-colour citrus lovelies:
And finally for my cottage-themed stats:
  • Due to transport logistics 4 of us had to make the journey home together in he same car that only 3 of us travelled there in. So things were a little ... shall we say 'cosy' in there:
Once we, our crafting supplies, our clothes, and our shopping were all squeezed in there was around 2m square* of space left [* I'm purely guessing here ... like I know how to estimate empty space. I'm not a physicist y'know?] ... and that was all at head height ... and we needed that space for the circulation of oxygen ...

On the way home from the cottage, in the cosy car, we held on to the holiday feeling for a little longer by stopping for breakfast at Billy Bob's Parlour ... a brilliant, but utterly unexpected, American diner in the heart of the English countryside! [Seriously, if you're ever nearby the Skipton area you must drop in!]

There I had the 2 best pancakes I've eaten since I holidayed in Florida in 1989! With a side of streaky bacon and lots of maple syrup:
 And how's this for a photo-op for someone who documents their days in numbers? A sign post in their car park making it perfectly clear just how far from the good old US of A we really were:
Yet, while we may have been thousands of miles away from the authentic American diner experience ... we were only 165 miles to somewhere called North Piddle. Which sounds equally as entertaining ...

And lastly for March, while we're on the subject of the US ...

... in March the majority of orders in my Etsy shop were placed by customers in the US which spurred me to start keeping a list of which of the 50 states I've had the pleasure to post to. And so far in 2015 it's ... 

11 out of 50:
Which, for 3 months in, and for a small person running a micro-business, from a tiny work-room, in a small English town ... is not a bad statistic is it?

It would be fun to think I could post out papery inspiration to all 50 states ... I guess I'll have to start researching how I can best market my shop to the remaining 39 now ...


Well, those were my numberly musings ... how about yours?

As ever you're welcome to join me and the statistical summarisers who keep me company while I'm memory-keeping-by-numbers.

And if you just dropped in to catch up - hello!!! It's nice to have got to share the last 31 days with you.

Wishing you a fresh and shimmering April ahead!

Julie :-)


  1. Love these month in numbers post but for me at this time seems like a bit much to keep track of. So for now I willI just enjoy yours. Love the eclipse photo, those pretty little citrus cakes and the sign post.

    1. I know just what you mean Susi - there are plenty of features on *other people's* blogs that I enjoy reading but don't join in with. I think that's the joy of so much sharing, with so many styles of blog and blogger out there to enjoy. There's always something interesting to read!

  2. Thanks for a fun post! Thank you for paying your library fine (I hope the machine smiled sweetly and said thank you as you did it) and let me tell you that it makes this librarian's heart happy to know you borrowed more books! Jo x

    1. I feel absolved! And yes, I always come out with as many books as I went in with! Every time I think 'I'll just get a few' .... then in minutes I've got an arm full!

  3. lol! Who says you don't have to face a librarian? Or two bythe looks of the previous comment?)It's the glasses: they've gone to my head...)! S'alright: when I was a student the library said I lost a book (tho I'm very sure I didn't) and I had to pay a whole mortifying replacement fee.

    Brilliant news about the orders from all over :)

    1. I think I could have faced giving you my 56p in person. Just. If you left the glasses off ... ;-)

  4. Great news about your Etsy shop reaching across the pond!
    My numbers for March are here:

  5. Always love these posts of yours and this one is particularly entertaining! Won't ask why you found it necessary to search for ping-ping balls in the dark! And, yeah, what are the odds of you finding a strangers ping pong ball?! Nearly killed myself laughing at your comment about your face in the 'click and catch' photo (thank you!! Much needed!!!).....and my mouth watered at the thought of lavender and honey cake (oh my, my Gran used to make it....).....can't wait to see your post about your Spam box (it'll be a 'Julie Comedy Classic'!)......laughing a little at North Piddle (!)....great news about your US orders (and, yes, let's hope you make all 50 states.....!!!).....and last but not least......tiny teeny tiny tiny tiny CAKES??? What's the use in that, I ask????!!!! I'm offended at the mere thought and feel like writing a stern letter to the pastry chef at 12 Harland Place on your behalf....imagine....getting home all ready to settle down for cake and you find THAT in the box? Especially cruel as it was such an especially big you think the pastry chef in some sort of psychopathic recovering fatty, taking their 'I can't eat it so they won't either' frustrations out on cake lovers? Whatever, it's just wrong....on all levels ;)

    1. That's quite some cake-based-preoccupation you've got going there H. Always happy to help raise a smile.

      And ... the ball-hunt wasn't entirely in the dark - I only needed the torch to see under the furniture! :-)

  6. Great read as usual and I will give you a total at the end of the year , but this month twice lol x

  7. Many congratulations on those sales - splendid news! Love your account of the midnight treasure trawl; indeed, what are the odds .. Golly, the disparity between that box and its contents - glad the flavour was worth it! I'm not sure my Northern hubby would cope. An entertaining read, as always :).

  8. A great set of numbers! Had to smile at your comment about not coming face to face with the librarian, one of my jobs at school is to put people in detention for overdue library resources. Phew, you've escaped having to spend an hour in silence in the detention hall!

  9. March is a month I would rather not repeat - but here are my numbers -

  10. That is some ironing pile there Julie, I completely missed the eclipse due to being in the office at the time. Sounds like you had a fun crafty weekend away. Here are my numbers

  11. A fabulously entertainpost Julie (I've come to expect nothing less though!) I really need to join in again one of these days. Love the sound of North Piddle! I too ate at a number inspired restaurant in March - 147 King St West - and a fab time we had too :)


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