For the first time in the 13 year history of this blog, I’m not doing a roundup post – I can’t face it. Nice things have happened this year, but the balance is eclipsed by the loss of Dad.
I have just come home from a week with Mum (Luna & Clover came too) and it was wonderful to spend time with her but we both found the hole he has left behind him was even bigger over Christmas. He was always so damn
competitive enthusiastic about the Christmas lights that I’m going to have to seriously up my game in his honour next year. My neighbours are going to love me…
On the plus side, we did find some wonderful photo memories of me & Mum & Dad during the Christmas break, which I plan to make into an album so they’re not just lurking on a hard drive somewhere.
Anyway, that’s why this isn’t a round up post this year. And technically, all the businesses are taking a break till 2nd January.
But old habits die hard and I’ve never yet spent a new year’s eve without writing on my beloved blog, so instead, have the best 18 photos from my mermaid life & business (because most of you won’t have a steady stream of mermaid goodness in your feeds!):
Being a mermaid really wasn’t something I thought could make actually happen – yet now I get to make other people’s mermaid dreams come true as well as my own, and it fits beautifully alongside my photography, business photography and stationery ventures.
My current quartet of businesses feels meant to be, and I really think Dad would approve. Plus I can run them with Kitten Assistants Luna & Clover, who really do light up my life. On that note, I’m off to feed the kitten assistants and read a good book.
I hope 2018 is everything you want it to be and I’ll see you on the other side.
It has been a crazy busy first third of the year… the most packed I can remember, and I don’t say that lightly.
Also, how the hell is it May?!
It feels a lot like everything’s changing – only of course it isn’t, it’s just that weird temporary feeling I always get when everything’s up in the air and I’m a bit anxious about it all.
(my life is nothing like as organised as the type in this picture…)
Things contributing to overwhelm (which are also fabulous)
Thing #1 – mermaid school is a thing. Not only is it a thing, it’s my thing! The first edition of Run Away Days’ mermaid spa runs on Wednesday, and I have for once had a completely one track mind about it. It’s actually really nice to have prolonged laser focus on just one project, but I’ve definitely reached the point where I’m annoying myself with my perfectionism. So at 9pm when the event is the day after tomorrow, I am calling time on my inner perfectionist and proclaiming that done is better than perfect. It’s already going to be amazing so I need to stop beating myself around the head with my perceived failings.
Also, I have two more bookings, a tail sale and another enquiry – and I haven’t actually advertised it yet! So am muchly excited for the future of my beautiful little mermaid school.
Thing #2 – My fledgling photography business has also taken off quietly in the background, as often happens to me when I’m trying to focus on one thing. This time, photography sessions have snuck in and taken on a life of their own – simply because I’ve finally got over myself, accepted it’s something I do (and do well), and actually told people I’m a photographer. It is amazing what that piece of information does… after all, most people don’t have a crystal ball kicking around, do they?!
There is a whole weekend of mini-sessions lined up in May with the Burlesque Jems, and a very exciting styled shoot collaboration with the gorgeous Louise Rose Couture, as well as some wonderful local artists, authors and artisans who want personalityful images of them at work and at play.
With two distinct strands – solopreneurs in the Business Soloist sessions, and women celebrating their true selves in Unfurling Your Wings sessions, I’m having a glorious time finally doing what I’ve wanted to offer, but have been scared to, for the best part of a decade.
Thing #3 – I am about to start smashing up my garden and re-landscaping. I say “I” – I really mean my brilliant builder Mark and his team, and my lovely parents who are once again project managing. I can’t wait to have a proper garden to enjoy the summer in, but with a digger and a skip the size of my drive arriving tomorrow, I’m mainly just freaking out about the cats. Though I suppose logically, if they can jump *into* the skip, they should also be able to jump *out* of the skip. No?!
At any rate, I’m tasking Mum with keeping them indoors until the builders have gone home each evening. Cross bored kitties are definitely better than squidged-by-digger kitties… they’re much too curious for their own good!
Thing #4 – I think it probably says quite a lot about my current state of overwhelm that I can’t even remember what thing 4 is.
Thing #5 – It’s trade show season for Ink Drops and we are having a completely wonderful time mooching round the Stationery Show and Progressive Greetings Live, drooling over new stationery, getting to know new suppliers and saying hi to our lovely existing ones.
On the plus side…
Delightful stuff that isn’t overwhelming
I got to meet up with Mermaid Azela last weekend, and we spent two hours swimming and taking photos and videos of each other underwater. It was a totally gorgeous way to spend a Sunday afternoon and we’re definitely going to do it again soon!
Cats make excellent Kindle stands… or at least, my Luna-kitty does. Clover stalked off in disgust when I tried it.
But then, all the comfy places in the world to sit and she chooses an old recycling box…
I’ve also been doing lots of reflecting, learning and reading… more on that in another post.
For now – I believe it’s time for bed, so I have a fighting chance of being awake when the diggers and the skip and the ballast and the paving stones arrive in the morning…!
A typical dreamy, water-loving Pisces, my lifetime love of the sea, of mermaids, of myth and magic beneath the waves as well as above them, comes as no surprise.
As a child I was forever in the water. Spending whole days at a time in my aunt’s parents’ pool. Feeling like I’d come home when I went to my family in Cornwall and could swim in the sea.
I dreamed of mermaids and caves, of underwater kingdoms and a beautiful blue tail, which would propel me faster and further than my human legs could do. My hair was always tangled from the salt water or the chlorine, as I found it impossible to be in a pool and not spend most of my time under the surface.
So when, this year, I finally fulfilled my dream of swimming in a real mermaid tail, I loved it so much, I decided I wanted to find a way for other people to experience it too.
Being me, I didn’t let the grass grow under my feet (or the kelp under my tail) – and I am now over the moon to introduce Run Away Days.
Mermaid experiences for grown ups only, in the surroundings of a luxury spa in the Essex countryside.
It’s been a roller coaster ride (anything water based is an absolute arse to get insured and risk-assessed), but we’re all set and ready to go – squeak! First dates are likely to be April or May – and I CANNOT WAIT to share this with other aspiring mers.
If you’re not an underwater baby, Run Away Days will also be offering circus escapes and more in the future. Get on the list here or over at the Run Away Days site.
And tell me – what would your ideal escape day look like?
With love & narwhals (because underwater unicorns!),
(Big thanks to Amy & Laura at Sports Direct Fitness Colchester, who accepted my tailswimming without batting an eyelid, and also to Colchester Leisure World, who have given me permission to swim in the dive pit at certain times. Every mermaid needs to practice!)
“Swim in a mermaid tail” is number four on my Daydreams To Do list. Mermaiding is not a new interest of mine – I vividly remember when I first stumbled across a video of Hannah Mermaid, way back in my London cubicle days.
Having dreamed of being a mermaid for as long as I can remember, and just as happy in water as on land, I was instantly fascinated, and more than a little bit jealous that here was someone making a living being an actual, real life mermaid. Half my family is also Cornish, and Cornwall is rife with mermaid legends and stories… surely some of them must be true.
A bit more Googling and I discovered a whole heap of people doing the mermaid thing, some professional, some hobbyists. And so started my fascination with the world of mermaiding – another one of my highly niche interests, apparently!
photo credit: Mermaids at Vancouver International Boat Show via photopin (license)
Back then, I had two major hurdles – firstly that it hadn’t really caught on in the UK yet, and mainly my own lack of confidence and time. I’ve periodically revisited inspiring sites, pinned wishlists and beautiful images to my Mer board on Pinterest, and generally daydreamed a bit. I even joined my local gym for a few months so I could swim more often but found it really frustrating swimming in lanes.
Fastforward to now. I am in the first grip of a new obsession, and for a multipod there is nothing quite like it. A couple of weeks ago I finally stopped lurking and joined the MerNetwork, a forum for merminded people like me. (Yes, my first port of call is always a forum… that’s where you find the best people!!) Through them I found the UK pod on Facebook, and I’ve been starting to get to know people there too.
We’re already talking about a photoshoot next year, now I’ve found my photography confidence again, and I’m now investigating buying my first tail and monofin. I’ve also emailed the Essex School of Diving, who run sessions on a Saturday evening in Colchester, on the advice of other mers, who have had mixed experiences with using their fins and tails in a public pool, but usually a good reception at scuba clubs.
I know myself well enough now to know this won’t be all-consuming for long – but as I’ve swum and had mermaid dreams all my life, it seems reasonable to assume it’ll hang around as one of the long term things I do! (and I already have the hair, right?!)
With love and multipotentialite unicorns,