Every time I open the box I have hope. Hope that this time it’ll be different, we’ll all bond over the pieces. Our faces intent, happy, satisfied.

I see other people do it. There’s possibly nothing my sister loves more than a good jigsaw. It’s like she got the puzzling lot genetically and it skipped me altogether.

I feel like I’m letting the kids down though, despite my best efforts they take to those little pieces like ducks to water (ooh – very hard to do watery bits – like grey skies…) The other day, scouring my local charity shop for wool jumpers to felt, Zeph and Ida found a gorgeous box of old dominoes and a 1000 piece jigsaw of a toy crammed attic.

Like Dickensian orphans they gathered round my knees with their loot, gazing upwards with huge pleading eyes. Pleeeeeeeeeeeese they begged.

I should have known better, I blame a residual christmas goodwill, families gathered round a table, egg nog kind of glow.

I bought the damn thing.

God knows we’ve got plenty of stuff to do here. Including some Harry potter Lego and a wet felting kit I’m longing to try. But this afternoon after the final thank you letter was done and posted we got out the box and began the ritual searching for straight edges.

Literally 20 pieces in and two gentle corrections of my sorting from my nearly three year old daughter  (the shame – the shame ) I knew nothing had changed.

I hate jigsaws.

Two hours later we still haven’t completed the sides and I have a tension headache. Zeph has just tactfully suggested a break and Ida is still putting together the top section of monotonous beam.

I can’t stop thinking how I could transform the pieces into a necklace and wondering where we’re going to eat over the next six months which is how long it’ll take if I’m in charge of the J project.

Before the kids went upstairs for bath and bed they came to tell me that they WILL notice if I sweep the completed bits back into the box and burn it while they’re in bed. Ida added with a baleful look under her eyelashes that she will cry if this happens.


Looking at the thing – they’ve done nearly half. I simply cannot understand how. Maybe it’s some kind of disability like being colour-blind? I mean I like puzzles generally. Crosswords, so- duko – even those pointless word grid things. I’m not averse to a bit of monotonous work either. Sometimes it’s very soothing.

Jigsaws though. Chewing tinfoil.

It’s nearly back to school time and the holidays have skipped by. Looking back at last years posts I notice how the Thank you cards were a painful battle and see what a difference a year makes.  Me relaxing over Zeph’s writing seems to have made an enormous difference to his confidence, ability and willingness to set pen to paper. I make a mental note to try to remember this the next time I’m seized with the urge to micro manage his skills, convinced he’s going to end up in a clockwork orange style gang roaming the streets –  engaging in gladiatorial knife fights (too much late night Skins watching…)

So far 2012 has passed smoothly, of course we’re only six days in. I didn’t make any concrete resolutions. Just to keep plugging away at the old ones. Maybe to post a bit more. To feather our mouldy nest a bit more decisively this year, to keep selling stuff and to relish the moment I’m in. 

This year holds the possibility of many things. My two years clear marker, Ida’s third birthday in a scant four days. Zephs metoric rise in the cooking tea department. A hallway free of ripped wallpaper. A quince tree in the garden.

I flex my toes in pleased anticiaption.

Just got to do that jigsaw first…


8 responses to “Puzzling…

  1. i hate the damn things. we don’t have them in the house. thank you for my card btw.xxxxx

  2. Some people love them and some hate them. I love jigsaws and feel incomplete unless I have on on the go.
    Wasgij are my favourite, the picture you make is different to the one on the box. lol
    Good idea, looking for woolen jumpers in charity shops for felting, never thought of that.

    • My sister is just the same, she’s a whizz at them as well – I am reeling around at the idea of making a different picture to the box! That picture is my lifeline. Maybe I need to accept they’re not for me but everytime I hope I’ll have caught the bug. Zeph and Ida love them and I think they’re really good at them.

      I borrowed a book from the library about home felting and it advised you to gather up all your ruined wool and cashmere jumpers as though everyone had mountains lying around – ha! I’ve had some great finds in my local shops – and the more garish colours are always really cheap but perfect for making purses or brooches 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comments Briony
      Laura x

  3. Your kids did half a 1000 piece jigsaw in an afternoon? What kind of geniuses are you bringing up there? I remember once when I was a kid, my mum, sister and I tackled a jigsaw that size (or maybe 1500 – it was big) and it took us months – at least that’s how it seems in my memory – and we all liked jigsaws. I still quite enjoy them, actually, but they don’t seem very productive for the amount of time they take up.

    • Ha! Is that good then? Since I sometimes get a bit confused doing Ida’s 30 piece moomins jigsaw I just think anything’s good. Their attention wandered after they did all the interesting bits though – it was Steve who finished it off… I’m now making jewellery with the bits. If I want to do something tedious and repetitive I could wash mould off the walls 😉

  4. Good Mum and Bad Mum in this post which makes me feel far less alone as I think I am a mixture of the two too. Just human really.

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