If you were hoping for a lively post about home-based boogie, you will be sadly disappointed and I recommend you look away now.
But if, like us, you have re-discovered some gentler pursuits during lockdown, grab a cuppa and snuggle down (click any picture to enlarge).
Hub and I both used to enjoy doing jigsaws as children. Hub once tackled a 5,000 piece affair, juggling several boards of pieces which had to be gently eased from under the bed to be worked on. I tended to go for smaller puzzles and have fond memories of one in particular – it was a circular and very beautiful picture of the signs of the zodiac. Because it was round, the individual pieces were satisfyingly odd. I also remember one that was a picture of Scottish mountains. Little did I know then that I would now be living (relatively) near by!
And talking of Scottish mountains, we had this jigsaw of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe in the cupboard for ages.
I think I might have bought it on a holiday as a souvenir and then just put it away. But anyhow, we decided to liberate it from the darkness when lockdown took full hold and we have not looked back since.
This puzzle was extremely challenging and back-breaking with lots of time spent leaning over to look closely at whether pieces did in fact fit together, or whether it was just wishful thinking. I really felt that my core muscles were getting a good work out – so fringe benefits there.
It required lots of organising and peering through a magnifying glass but we got there in the end! I baked a celebratory madeira cake which unexpectedly came out looking like the summit of Ben Nevis – perfect!
Buoyed by this success we went on to our second puzzle – a complete contrast to the first picture-wise but no less difficult as it turned out. This image is by the magnificent Jackie Morris, who collaborated with Robert McFarlane on the wonderful book The Lost Words.
We lulled ourselves into thinking that it would be pretty straightforward, but no. Hub regularly had to resort to trying literally every piece in every place. I did not have the patience for that and admired his perseverance from afar. But overall, this was a really lovely project to work on.
So what next? We have just started this one, which is a painting by Helen Madeleine McKie created in 1948 to celebrate the centenary of London’s Waterloo Station. It shows the same scene in both peace and war. Her attention to detail is incredible.
I have been reminded with all of this that jigsaws are a bit like pets. They demand all of your attention; you cannot resist stopping as you walk by; and they very much take precedence above everything else that may be going on. We don’t normally have our table out full like this, and even so, we have spent much of the last few weeks perched at the end when eating to give the jigsaw all the space it needs. Quite right too. 🙂