Thursday, 31 December 2015

Big Girl Socks

2015 has nearly run its course. In two days this blog will have been occupying its little space in the blogosphere for seven years.

Those seven years have seen a lot of events unfold. None more so than this last year when I learnt that letting go can be empowering. Once I accepted each of the things I had to lose with grace, the new life looming ahead looked more exciting. It hasn't been as easy for my girls obviously. They chose none of this, but I've done my best to support them through this new life. Maybe I've got it wrong at times, but I've always been there with my love for them.

I could say it's been a hell of year.  It's certainly been an emotionally turbulent year, a year full of changes and yet as I look back over it I know it's also been a year of enormous growth and wonderful memories too.

Death and re-birth have been so central to this year. 
The death of my marriage and now the re-birth of my first love from my teens. 
A wonderful man and we've found each other again.

From the dreadful news of Vanessa's death before last Christmas to the wonderful community that came together to make a blanket and raise money in her name. For nearly six months that project kept me focused just as my world fell around my ears. I fought on to keep as much of a hold on it as I could for my daughters sake. And I know I have succeeded. 

In the middle of all of this my job ended. Funding was cut and I was left feeling redundant professionally and personally. My creative heart left me. I know it's still in there shouting to be released again. And it will be I know that. It has to. What I did know was that I was good at being a mother.

I sold our family home and eventually found us a new lovely home to make our own. Moving here has been a wonderful thing. We're in the heart of the city, life is all around. I love it. I do miss our country life, but we have gained new things. 

I've had such amazing support from family, friends new and old and the blogging and instagram community. Jane of Flaming Stitch, who made me a Chin Up Bravery Medal said the other day "Your strength in pulling up your big girl socks and soldiering on has been inspiring".  Well I'm keeping my socks firmly pulled up and the only way is forward.

So with that in mind, here's a bit about what we've been up to lately.

We've had a first ever Christmas as a three and it's been wonderful. In the summer I felt sick every time I thought of Christmas. Probably because the last was marked by the world I knew tumbling apart and I was trying to hide it from my daughters for as long as possible.

Now I think how silly to dread it when we have made such lovely memories and done things our way, our new way.

I started to feel festive for the first time when my good friend Cat and I spent a day chatting and christmas bits and bobs shopping. 

When I got home the sparkly Christmas tree brooch I'd bought from Donna Flower was waiting for me. I've pretty much worn it every day since. 

Living so close to the city we pop in and out as we wish. There's something so utterly magical about a city dressed in its Christmas lights.

Our home is just about sorted as a proper home now as we had the delivery of two beautiful new sofas. Our new neighbour and new friend had our velvet sofa to make room for this pair. We were a pair of weeds and so enlisted the help of the strong man from the corner Barbershop to help us shift it from one home to another. 

The girls have also been getting very creative with my hair. This is definitely a staying in type of do.

Just before the end of the school term I went on a long walk by the coast with my first love. We'd been talking and meeting up for a few months and on this day we knew our love for each other was still there, stronger even.

We found the most idyllic clifftop cafe where we were welcomed by Alfie the dog and a cosy woodturner before we headed back over the headland.

Later that week I started to get busy with wrapping gifts and decorating our two trees. We decided as we were going smaller then two, one for the sitting room and one for the dining room, were needed.

Once the girls broke up I had another interview for a job, but sadly no luck there either. 
I cheered myself on the way back by getting the red brogues I'd been lusting after for months.

A naughty buy that I've worn every day since.

The end of that week was emotionally turbulent, but fabulous also.
We had friends in and out of the house, evenings laughing with a lot of fizzy stuff and food. 

That weekend my old/new love brought me a dozen white roses and one yellow picked from the market early that morning. Picked carefully for eternal love and friendship to mark the start of us again.

Before we knew it Christmas eve was upon us and preparations were in full swing. Well slow swing as we decided to just go with the flow. Our supper was shared with my mum and a great friend and then we all started to get just a little bit excited knowing Santa was about.

I'm so happy that the girls enjoyed their Christmas. I wanted to make them memories to build on and give them strength. I believe we're getting there you know.

Now I'm a year older too as a birthday was passed on the 29th. Afternoon Tea with my girls, a quick G & T with my love and then the end of the pier Christmas show with family and friends. 

Life is looking good, there's still a few challenges to face, but life is about growth so I'm your woman to take on the new, here I come 2016.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Peeking around the new homestead.

How de do dee again.
Well I read each of your lovely comments on my last post with happiness. Such lovely words and greetings, thank you.

The picture above is just me in a new favourite frock. It has nothing much to do with this post, except the fact that I like it. So there it is.

Now let's go off for a tour around the new place that my girls and I now call home shall we.
I love a peek around other peoples homes so I'm pretty certain I'm not alone in that.

Now despite missing our woodturner, in fact log fires in general as I've always had one, we are lucky enough to have a fireplace in the sitting room as a focal point. 

Moving from a large country cottage to a city terrace has meant that a lot of furniture hasn't been able to fit, plus of course it had to be slightly shared out between him and I. 

That means there's a lot less space to put out stuff. This is probably a blessing as with each box I open, I think to myself why ever did I think we needed all this stuff. Mind you - I'm careful and go through the girls charity boxes they put by the door. I'm secretly squirrelling away precious things that they think they don't want anymore, but may one day you know.
A fairy wand given as a gift by Flora, Miss Millie's fairy guardian, a notebook of childish drawings and little china sheep. Oh my heart melts for all those times past and then I store those feelings away also. This is a time for moving forward. For taking on our new world together, but all the same the sentimentalist in me still wants to raise her head. She's not been allowed much space of late.

This place already feels like a home to me. It has such a lovely atmosphere and has everything we need.
I kept house hunting until I found a house painted through in white with three bedrooms off a separate landing.  Can you imagine the rows if two teenage girls had to walk through each others rooms all the time. There are some arguments you can try to avoid I think.

As I couldn't afford to buy a house, nor did I want the stress of it then it became hard to find a home that suited my taste and budget. I couldn't believe our luck when I walked into this place. A perfect location within walking distance of the girls school, in a quiet spot opposite a park and a short hop to the city no less. It ticks off everything I was after and more.

The view from the kitchen door is of a lawn free yard, so one less job to do there, and a church spire peeking through the trees. At the front we're on a pedestrianised street so there are no cars, just the chatter of people as they stroll on by.

The kitchen wraps around the bathroom in an L-shape so it all feels very open plan from the dining room.
I've opened and carried so many boxes to get to unearth the dining table. In truth it was a puzzle how to even get it through from the sitting room past the stairs. A spatially aware man helped out with that one.  Then I just piled everything on it again and blocked the whole room up to get some order everywhere else. 

Now I've noticed I have grown small round upper arm muscle bumps. All that humping you see. 
The boxes of course. 
I don't think I've ever had them before. Funny that. 
Outer and inner strength both needed for this time in my life.

In this new space a lot of our old stuff just doesn't go. Paler colours of 1930's china and fabrics suited an 1840 cottage, but here stronger colours and bolder design with less clutter is needed. So that means paint slapping on the furniture and stitching new cushions and curtains for a re-vamp.
Exciting stuff, just hard work. 

Lily cat is very happy here watching the world go by. She probably wonders where the horses she used to watch have disappeared to.

I love my bedroom. I snaffled the biggest room for me because that's just how it rolls isn't it.
I have a large walk in cupboard, my very own dressing room no less. 

Then in the other cupboard I've stored my stash. I've even edited it down hugely, which was brave of me I think. Four bags gone to the girls school now for GCSE textiles use. 

Despite getting rid of some fabric, I've also been adding to the pile with a few new ones as well. This beautiful red floral is a recent addition from Pomme de Jour.

Then the very lovely Rachel, who trades as Rainbow Vintage Home and sells the most amazing fabrics, sent me some bits of bobs of fabric as a house warming gift. 

Slowly, slowly, those boxes are getting fewer and fewer. 
Forgotten things are being brought out again which is all quite exciting.

A far less cluttersome friend, she even puts her toaster in the cupboard, who loves all my stuff was still thrilled that I had less room for so many things to be everywhere. 

This is my kind of minimal.  
No more than this. 
Just three things on top of a cupboard instead of tons of things.

All the same I just can't find it in myself to get rid of all the jugs. And really, you do have to ask yourself how many jugs does one person need?

With everything nearly unpacked, we're just waiting on delivery of our new sofa's and then it'll be time to add a Christmas tree and sparkly decorations I feel.

I can't believe how quickly we're nearly back to the time of year when all of this change started. How far we've come since then. And oh yes, so much happier too.

Me Made May 2018

This month I'm taking part in Me Made May, hosted by Zoe of .  Oh and if you head on over to her blog y...