ART AND CRAFT (CRAFT, CRAFT, CRAFT!) Lindsay raced to the front door, hearing the loud knock. As she opened it a familiar face beamed at her. “Hi Mrs Grey, how is your day going? Starting another new craft are we? You know the drill, just sign on the dotted line and you can get started!” Lindsay signed the electronic phone in the Mailman’s hand, with a flourish. “Thank you Gary, yes just trying out a new trend from America, called Diamond Dots. It sounds very relaxing!” “How did the Folk Art go? The paints I delivered last month looked very expensive. Did they work well?” Lindsay started to blush, and looked around to see if her husband was listening. “Oh, they were lovely paints, so creamy and smooth to work with, but I was having a little trouble getting them to dry. But I’m still trying!” “Of course, well catch you next time Mrs Grey, enjoy your Diamond Dots!” Lindsay carried her parcel inside to the kitchen and sat it on the bench. Tearing the box open she found the pictures and diamond dots and couldn’t wait to get started. Just then lindsay’s husband Mark walked up behind her. “What’s this then? Another one of your indulgences? No wonder we never have any money over, you spend it all on this crap. You have stuff all over the house which you have used once then just left it. When are you going to stick with something and complete it?” Lindsay didn’t know what to say. He was right in a way, but she just hadn’t found what she really liked to do in her spare time yet. “I’m sorry Mark, I am trying to find something I can really get into, and love enough to stick with it. I really haven’t spent a lot of money, it just seems like a lot. I have put some of the other things on EBay so I will get part of my money back.” Mark frowned at her, picked up his newspaper and sat down to read it. Lindsay took her new purchase into her hobby room which was cluttered with all sorts of arts and crafts. The many balls of wool sat next to a half knitted rug, and a strange looking crocheted hat. She liked knitting but found it gave her a rash on her hands at certain times of the year. On the long side bench sat several cameras and rolls of film, piles of half made Christmas cards with packets of all sorts of small decorations, the pliers and other tools for making small necklaces and earrings along with all the beads and small artificial gemstones. Then up in the corner was her easel with all the oil paints and brushes, and the last of her whims the wooden trunks and trays to do folk art along with all the paints and brushes. Lindsay sighed as she cleared a spot on the bench and laid out her latest purchase. A week later, she had decided she wasn’t interested in Diamond Dots any more. Lindsay found the bending over the table was giving her a bad back, and she was having trouble seeing the minute dots, and putting them in the right place. Instead of being a peaceful hobby it was driving her crazy. One morning while she was having a coffee with her best friend she was trying to explain to her about not being able to find a hobby she could stick to. “What do you do to relax at home Jenny? Do you have a hobby?” “Oh I have several! I do pilates first thing in the morning, to get my blood flowing for the day. I spend two hours a morning doing my crossword books, while having breakfast, and if I get a chance I like to sit on the patio for a couple of hours to read. Of course, I go to painting class each week and I volunteer at the Charity shop one day a week. So all that seems to keep me busy in-between all the normal stuff every day.” Lindsay felt exhausted just listening to all these things. But why couldn’t she find what she loved to do, as well? “I’m going to the local Club to watch a band next Saturday, would you like to come with me Lindsay, they’re very good?” “Of course, I’d love to! Anything to get out of the house for a few hours!” she giggled. The following Saturday Lindsay put on her jeans, a yellow shirt and tied a grey fluffy cardigan around her waist. She met Jenny at the door to the Club and they both found a seat in the courtyard with a good view of the band. It was a small band which played pop songs and folk songs and a bit of jazz as well. Lindsay was fascinated with a young girl playing a piccolo. It sounded so beautiful and looked so easy to play. When the band had finished the audience erupted with clapping and shouts of congratulations. They were wonderful and the audience loved them. As Lindsay and Jenny walked towards the coffee shop after the band had finished, Lindsay suddenly stopped. “Jenny, I think I know what I want to do. I want to play a piccolo like that girl in the band. I want to learn music, and how to play an instrument!” Jenny laughed. “Are you sure Lindsay? Learning music and how to play an instrument is hard work and not something you can do in a few weeks. It might take months and months of lessons. Are you going to stick with it that long?” Of course Jenny was right. She could never stick with anything that long, it was just another pipe dream. Lindsay got up the next morning and sat at the table to have her morning cuppa. Like every other morning, she opened her diary and wrote in all that had happened the day before along with all her thoughts about the day. Lindsay realised she was coming to the end of her diary, it was almost time to buy herself a new diary for the following year. She looked back over the pages of her latest diary, laughing at some of the antics she had got up to, and almost crying at other sadder happenings which she had recorded. “I could write a book with all this information.” She laughed to herself. Suddenly she had a light bulb moment. “I could write a story, I really could write a story, a true story about everyday occurrences, I have all the information here in front of me, and ten other diaries full of information!” Lindsay had finally found her niche, found her hobby, found what she could stick to and enjoy. Two years later Lindsay stood in the Library speaking to the small audience. “I am so glad you like my new book, and the next chapter should be out around Spring next year. I am looking forward to sharing it with you.” “Thank you Mrs grey, we all love your books and are looking forward to the next one!” Lindsay sat and spoke to each person from the audience as she wrote her name with a sweeping scrawl inside the cover of the book they were buying from her. Her latest book “Diary of an optimist” was her third instalment and she knew she had many more inside her. Lindsay was so very happy, and her husband was as proud as punch that she had made such a success of her writing All the time she had spent trying to find her hobby, the thing she wanted to do the most, she was already doing every day for many years and didn’t realise it. Her hobby room was now filled with books and manuscripts of all descriptions and she was the happiest she had ever been. She had finally found a hobby she was going to keep doing as long as she could.