By Maggie Day

My hands were tired and I was dropping things everywhere. All day I had been sewing, knitting and painting plant pots. Why had I let myself in for such pressure? Next year, I would start in February and work through to December doing a bit at a time in a relaxed manner.

The days had been cold and it was comforting to sit in front of the fire to sew, the dog in her grey bed with the high surround to keep out the draught from the door. My fingers were cold, my feet were cold, it even seemed to have crept into my bones.

Hands have warmed now, no longer the blueish tinge around the nails and the reddish skin on my fingers and backs of my hands. The palms were still pink but did not have the feel of any warmth. My nails have been left brittle since having nail varnish on for so long, and as I work they keep chipping so are catching on my needlework, making progress slow.

Enough of this – go and do something your hands like doing even more than knitting – cooking. Nothing fancy, of course, just a bread and butter pudding but my hands seem to warm fast and work better as I butter the bread I have sliced, placing it in the Pyrrex dish, sprinkling with sugar then adding the raisins, slice by slice. The egg and milk mixture was a lovely creamy colour and smelt comforting, brings back memories of Mam making this for our tea after school.

Now to get cold hands again as I go to collect my grandson from school, at least they will soon warm up holding a big bowl of pudding!