Help Wanted….

craftyFor the first time in years, I have an awful lot of time on my hands.

MS took my partner, my job and my career path away from me (don’t worry, I’m not about to throw another pity party…).

Also, after six years, I’ve finally finished studying, plus The Teenager has got to the age where he’d rather pull out his eyelashes one by one than sit with me of an evening, supping hot chocolate and watching Grand Designs repeats. Not that we ever actually did that, but you know what I mean.

So this leaves me in a rather weird position. Having no partner clears an awful lot of time. No more, ‘you choose what we’re doing tonight’, ‘no, you choose’. No more planning blissful weekends window-shopping or sitting in little cafes staring into each others eyes. Not that we ever actually did that….

Having lost my career-path job and hence my future career, I now work in a job that I don’t really take home with me, apart from gallons of mud on my boots when I’m on site and a head full of dust.

So now I am in want of a hobby, and this is where you guys come in. I need your suggestions and you all probably know me better than I know myself. First the ones I can’t do – no more knitting (numb right hand), no more sewing machine (wasn’t clever enough to master it), nothing that takes a lot of space (tiny cottage, bonkers cat). I’ve tried baking but am so tired in the evenings, the cake mix ends up on the floor and the pile of washing up makes me weep.

I’m saving up for a saxaphone, but in the meantime I’m looking for something creative. I scanned all the crafty magazines at my local newsagents this morning and my brain got too full to concentrate so I grabbed my newspaper and left.

What do you think? Something I can do at the kitchen table with the radio humming gently in the background? My current hobby involves dossing on the sofa, flicking popcorn at the telly and talking to myself. Help wanted….

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47 thoughts on “Help Wanted….

  1. Kerri says:

    I had a grand time scanning (pre-digital camera) photos and transferring old home movies to DVD. When I was done with my own, I did it for relatives.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s such a nice idea! Could be a bit confusing for me though…. I keep reading about how to customize photos on the iPhone and my brain goes in to meltdown. All the special effects and lightening?

  2. tracy says:

    I love antiques but going to antique shops can be exhausting, so now I go on Pinterest and look at antiques. It gives me the same amount of joy without having to leave my home, drive, stand, walk, climb stairs, etc. AND, I am not tempted to spend money nor clutter my house with things that will require cleaning in the future.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You mentioned the holy grail of crafting…Pinterest!! A most excellent idea. I love antiques (I’m close to becoming one myself).

  3. tony cardis says:

    Have to say I’m watching this one with interest, to be lucky enough to find MS at 55, I’m suddenly in the same position. Everything I did and took for granted is now extremely difficult, but I need something to do or a new direction to go in. It’s just finding it in between snoozes.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there!
      Yup, am sure we’ll get lots of lovely suggestions. I really cannot keep lying around the sofa all evening. No one tells you kids just suddenly stop….needing you quite as much, and that MS can take so much from you! I used to love knitting (don’t laugh) so was gutted when it became yet another thing I couldn’t do.

  4. hmm you need to narrow what you do like and can do a bit more. hard to suggest anything without a bit more info

    and if you have problems knitting because of your hands, def. try out a sax first because it does involve a lot of finger movement to play it. dont want to buy it and then find out you can’t play. there are other instruments that do not have so many keys to press. personally sax doesn’t sound like a good fit if you are having problems with your hand, not the lightest of instruments, (not the heaviest either tho), and you can get a neck strap to help hold it, which might help. maybe a type of brass instrument, less keys?

  5. Nancy says:

    I won’t bother you my experience BUT I learned I have to pick out what to do. Not someone else. You will know it when you see it. Jewelry making? Gluing objects onto ugly flower pots. Yes look at hobbies in google or other places. I know you will find an interest. Just think about it.

  6. Emma says:

    Hello, couple of ideas!

    Silk painting – So much choice and you can either go free hand when your fatigue is on a good day or pre-printed if you ever get the hand shakes! Basically its an outlined picture on silk that you quickly iron onto a piece of greaseproof paper (I think!)that you then ‘paint’ the sections in colour. The wonderful thing is that as long as you dab in the centre of the shape the colour just spreads to the line so no annoying mistakes! Once it has dried, you give it an iron and its fixed! The pre-drawn cards are really nice small projects to do but I knew a lady who used to make the most beautiful free hand scarves… more skill than I have!
    This is a good website for the supplies:

    The other thing that I newly enjoy is decoupage. You can get kits but I quite enjoy just finding random things to cover! It is easy enough to use wrapping paper as the proper decoupage paper is expensive! I also finding watering the glue down a little works better (normal PVA works again there are expensive ‘proper’ ones!)

    The wonderful Pinterest has some lovely ideas!


  7. My favorite hobby (DOES TV-watching count?) is bird watching. Totes embarrassing, but there you go. I can’t tell you how much happiness it brings me to watch my birdfeeders and see how many lovely birds come by. I have nesting boxes too, and every spring we get babies. It’s fab.

    I know Dora is an outdoors cat, which would probably make this a bad idea for everyone (but Dora!). Trying to think of other hobbies….ummm, wishing Andrew Lincoln and/or Johnny Depp were my boyfriends?

    Clearly, I am a colossal bore. There go my chances with AL/JD…

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Yay! What a fab idea! I can identify the birds she kills. Meh.
      If Andrew – sigh- were my boyfriend, I’m sure I would just stare. And stare.

  8. Phill Evans says:

    Try drawing…its the closest thing to meditation plus all you need is a biro and a bit of paper…

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Good idea! I have loads of paper left over from Christmas (I was going to make all my decorations….). Very relaxing.

  9. Jenny Best says:

    obvious….singing lessons. You can sing sitting down (I do) and it opens you up to the world. You’re in Wales yes? I know some good teachers if your want a recombination. Loving your blogs xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you! I would love to sing, but I really should stick to singing in the shower. I have the worst voice ever!
      If you know of any good choirs in Wales though, that might be an idea?
      Also, you have inspired me – I am off to my second ever opera on Friday. Will let you know how it goes….

  10. Tricia says:

    I love all crafts, been knitting since I was five years old, but with the MS it’s messed up my arms,so still doing a bit, doing Lots of little bits, but have found taperstry a life saver, as can have a floor standing frame, which means can use both hands, plus sit comfy on chair and adjust frame to your needs. Buy my kits on eBay as a bit expensive.
    Craft has been life saver, I can do and will do what I love.
    Good Luck with finding your hobby. Xxx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      thanks Tricia,
      Funnily enough, I am currently doing a tapestry – I buy them from Ehrman as they always have a good sale section plus I can do a little bit at a time, until my hand goes numb, lol. Maybe I should branch out and start designing my own ones?

  11. Steve says:

    Have you tried pegloom weaving? It’s easier than knitting or sewing. See this blog post and others on the same blog. You can buy looms from various stockists including – best to buy one with thick pegs. I’m told it can become addictive!

  12. Julie says:

    Alone time is nice but being with people is interesting, time consuming and helpful to others too. Have you thought about volunteering some time to a charity, charity shop or library? We have a befriending scheme in our area where people give say an hour a week to visit someone who for whatever reason is housebound. Also our hospital has volunteers who visit patients who are alone, and who help with feeding at lunch times.
    Nature is good for the soul, do you have any space for growing herbs or a few veg. Perhaps your builder friends could make you a raised bed that you can grow a few bits in, very satisfying.
    How about a couple of short evening classes, could be writing or crafts or history, photography.
    Schools – primary and secondary – usually appreciate the offer of time for reading with pupils.
    Round our way a lot of the WI ladies are under 40!
    Sometimes when my mood is flagging or I am bored I put my headphones on and ramp up the volume, could be Beethoven, Van Halen, James Blunt, Pink Floyd. (The only ones I don’t do are jazz and opera). I soon get inspired and if nothing else it gets some body parts moving!
    I find that the more I have mixed with people during the day the less unsatisfied I feel in the evening, probably just because I am too knackered to want to do anything!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      What a great comment Julie, thank you!
      I have a teeny-weeny back garden and have loads of plants round the house. I do like gardening now, very therapeutic but the rain has been a nightmare!!!
      I used to volunteer for Contact The Elderly and that’s how I met Tom (who died in January). We didn’t attend the tea parties towards the end as the rest of the volunteers were uni students and he felt a bit uncomfortable so I used to visit him at home (and latterly in hospital) instead. I don’t know if I could go through the heartbreak again. I am a coward 🙁
      I also used to volunteer at a charity shop! I loved it, but they kept trying to tie me down to particular days, which was really difficult with the fatigue. I understand why they needed to because of rotas though.
      Music-wise, you’re spot on. For two years I couldn’t listen to any music at all (hence my love of Radio 4 now!!). Music would just make me far too emotional. Don’t know why, probably MS. Only in the last couple of weeks have I been able to switch on the headphones again. Luckily my phone contract has given me Spotify Premium for free so I am spoilt for choice!
      I will look in to evening classes. Really, really need to try something completely new. And who knows, I might just meet someone ‘interesting’!!

  13. Tony Cardis says:

    Great to see so many MS’ers have such interesting hobbies, but so far haven’t found something to get me going again
    I’m going to the MS Life at Manchester that might get the grey matter moving again, will let you know if I find my eureka moment 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      We’re a talented bunch!!
      Did you go to MS Life two years ago? I did and had a great time. It was a couple of months before my official diagnosis and I found it invaluable. I also had the sense of ‘coming home’, being in a place where I wasn’t the odd one out. Sounds weird, but it was very comforting!

    • Eileen Tilley says:

      O I’m going to Manchester too it’s brilliant last one I went to was Gateshead which was nearer to me and had a great time ,met some lovely people x

  14. Sally says:

    STAMP COLLECTING!!!!! No? Ok then, maybe not. My husband has done that on and of since he was little but never gets the time now . (I know , and I still married him lol). He doesn’t bore me with the details (thank goodness) but knows when he has aquired an interesting stamp (aka one worth a bit of money to me) to let me know. He has even got a file for me with all the stamps of value detailed just in case something happens to him and I don’t get diddled by a dodgy dealer. Now there’s romance.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Wow! You guys have romance all wrapped up! I did used to stamp collect when I was younger, lol.
      First editions?

  15. tony cardis says:

    No this is my first one, I’m just over a year into MS so I still feel there is so much more I can learn. Like you say it will be nice to be in a place where I don’t feel the odd one out.
    I still get annoyed that when I’m out that I have to think how I walk, think how to pick up a glass knife fork etc, think am I getting tired should I go, too much thinking. MS is a pain in the arse, still every day a new dream x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You’ll have a great time! Honestly. I know what you mean. I had to work on site today. Blimey. Laugh a minute. Tripping all over the place.

  16. Sally says:

    Nah, apparently first editions are worthless. If you get the actual face value of the stamp you will be doing w…. Shit! I must have subconsciously paid more attention than I wanted.

  17. Eileen Tilley says:

    I love collecting and wearing vintage clothes ,spend hours trawling E bay for bargains .”…… Have you tried clippy mat making ,need a piece of sacking and jumble sale charity shop clothes cut into long pieces and the mats look lovely ,check you tube for how to do x xx.

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