After a week of the flu, a week off work (where I got to spend time with Rhiannon, Lizzie, Sarah, Annastasia and Claire – I have such fab friends!) and a week back at work, I was looking forward to a really chilled out weekend catching up with bits and pieces, pottering around the house, kitty cuddling and spending some quality time with the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children book box set.
Alas, Poppy decided that the intermittent creak she’d had for a while was to get worse this week, and after a Monday spent cautiously driving Lizzie around, trying not to wince at the groaning noise coming from somewhere under the bonnet, I spent Saturday morning dropping her off at the garage. And getting the not unexpected, but also not terribly welcome, news that she needs new rear callipers and it’s not going to be cheap. Hmph.
I managed to squeeze in visiting with my cousin Briony and my Gran, a late lunch (and incredible red velvet & white chocolate cheesecake cake – I know, right?!) with Caitlin, and garden planning with my parents (a pirate ship is afoot), and was absolutely knackered by the time I got home.
So my Sunday looked like this. PJs all day, sleepy happy kitties, camera in hand and lots of sunshine (though it’s still pissweaseling cold out there – I made the mistake of popping into the garage barefoot. Brrr.)
I had a midday nap, I read lots of my book (actually three books so far today… finished two and started one), ate pasta and cake, and luxuriated in relaxing. I felt a bit guilty, but relaxed anyway.
And now I’m blogging – and pondering Susannah’s latest post. I don’t think blogging is dead – but I do think the approach to it is different now than when I started eleven years ago. My approach to it is different to what it was when I started (and if you’re reading this, that’s definitely a good thing!).
This blog is still in the process of shifting back to being just a blog (every time I try and move the site around, I get sidetracked with an idea for a post which always seems more important somehow!), and for me that’s quite a big shift. Everything I do ends up as a business eventually, but as I think I’ve said before, I miss having somewhere to just pour words and photos onto a screen, to record my life and loves and passions in one place, to tell the story of my life. I love connecting with people through my blog (and am always amazed that people read it), but ultimately this one is my living room online – my own little space on the web. People are welcome to drop by and linger as long as they like, but the space is ultimately mine, for me to reside in and make my own.
I’m inclined to agree with Susannah that it’s not dead, it’s just one of many forms of communicating and storytelling – and I’d argue that it’s now reached maturity, as a solid companion of both businesses and hobbyists. Its sense of community has never wavered, at least not for me behind this screen.
Perhaps that’s a pondering too deep for a Sunday evening. But I am filled with gratitude to be sitting here at my much-longed-for bureau, tapping these words into my laptop while my kitties snooze in their cat palace in the conservatory. I’m grateful for their safety and their love, their silliness and their calming influence on me. I love that though my portfolio career is ever changing and my life is always fluid, that I’ve created a lifestyle where I can spend my Sunday evenings writing and reading and processing photos in my very own house, surrounded by things & felines that make me happy.
The journey’s not over, but it’s good to be able to acknowledge that I’m in a good place along the way.
With love & unicorns,
My final day in London was 26th October. I was rather tearful and overwhelmed, having been entirely unexpectedly presented with a lovely card, a vintage mannequin (they know me well) and THE BIGGEST KIT KAT IN THE WORLD (you think I’m joking… look at it!! Was very touched that my director had bid on it in a charity auction for me.)
You can see the mannequin, now named Delilah, in the background of an Ink Drops promo pic here…
and the KitKat here, all three kilos of it, and better photos coming soon. My plan is to photograph it properly and then take it home for Christmas so the kids can help me eat it. With a hammer. It would be a shame not to eat it!
Caroline helped me carry all my stuff to St Paul’s station, and then I hopped on a tube, hopped on a train for the final time and headed home to shower, collect Poppy and drive up to Nottingham. Rob had promised to have celebratory cocktails at the ready, though the fact that I didn’t get there till twenty to one in the morning scuppered my plans to drink lots, lol!
On Saturday we popped to town and accidentally helped break a Guiness World Record (for the most people doing a science experiment at the same time – slime and rockets, what’s not to love?!), experimented with Shakeaway and tried not to buy the whole of Lakeland, and then went home to celebrate some more by cooking ridiculous amounts of food…
Recipes and the beginnings of chicken & tarragon pie…
We might have cheated a tiny bit with the pastry but doing a good job of pretending to be proud, no?!
Finished pie!! It was AMAZING.
(yes, extra big pic, I was proud of the pie)
And I wanted to test my new spoons mould from Lakeland… with chocolate orange…
Never miss an opportunity to pose like an idiot, me…
And just in case you’re interested, this is what four chocolate spoons look like when I’ve accidentally eaten the one I was posing with. (I’m actually quite excited about the concept of doing these in marbled chocolate to go with dessert for dinner parties…) The chocolate orange stays softer once it’s been melted and mixed, so they were very
dangerously moreish pleasant when set.
It was gloriously relaxing and a lovely way to mark the end of my London adventures and start my new life… and I finished it by meeting Anna in Loughborough for dinner, and Dad unexpectedly joined us for a drink too, to break his journey.
All round lovely 😀
There was a part of my weekend not connected to the Olympics, though London 2012 is assuredly a once in a lifetime kind of event.
Bluebell and I have been getting to know each other better – after our loooong ride with Emily last weekend, I’ve been much more confident this week. So much so that I took her instead of Poppy to my parents’ new house on Sunday, to help them with another stage of moving… there’s still a way to go, but they’re getting there! Was a lovely half hour ride over, and then I stayed for dinner and we put Bluebell in the back of the car and Mum drove me home. Which was also very lovely!
I went to get my eyes tested and contact lenses sorted – which was well overdue. Chose new glasses, had a catch up with the lovely Vickie who remembered me from my last visit in 2010 (this is my first ever 2 year call back – I feel normal! Used to have to go every six to twelve months to keep up with my changing eyes, and it’s wonderful, not to mention much cheaper, to visit the optician the same amount as a normal person!)
Saw the coolest corgi ever in the window of River Island…
I have also been web designing and finishing the last bits for the Polka Dot Swap (yes, I know, last minute dot com!) and will be posting the swap parcel Tuesday when I’m back in the office. Working tomorrow, but from here to avoid some Olympic madness in Stratford. Pics once it’s been received – don’t want to spoil the surprise! The new website (actually there are two) are also surprises, although watch this space!
And that was followed by a lovely cuppa, natter and chocolate cake at Mimi’s house, with Christina who I haven’t seen since I left the library. Lovely. Had my first cup of Ceylon tea and I love it – much more than normal tea!
Finished my weekend curled up with my laptop, a book, tea and chocolate biscuits, just as Sunday evenings should be.
So after a lovely inspiring weekend with Lou, I sniffled my way through a dreary Monday at work (it rained, I’d forgotten my umbrella, it was rubbish) and have spent today curled up indoors with an entire box of tissues and what feels like half of Boots. I’ve drunk at least a bottle of some concoction which tastes foul but is helping the spiky feeling all down my throat. Yeurgh.
In other, happier, news, Lou and I bought some exciting books which should arrive the same day, so we can give each other a kick when we lose motivation. This is a Good Thing. Lots of plans for vintagey goodness going on, for sometime next summer… but these things take time to plan!
I also took my blue hair out for its first proper public outing on Sunday, just for a wander round Reading but got some lovely comments and approving looks – it beats going out with unwashed hair, that’s for sure! Only downside is that I keep doing double takes every time I catch a glimpse of it… it’s very blue!
I made it slightly more normal with a headband – but def think I’ll wear it again! Also bought some purple dye for my pink corset – that’s this weekend’s task, so I have a corset to wear for the Fling 😀 Then I just have to work out what I’m wearing to Heather’s wedding and I’m sorted!
I’m sure life has got more mad since I started blogging about it! I’m very aware I still need to sort out the header for this blog and switch my links and thinks across from the Blogger account they’re currently pointing to. I hear Blogger’s had some problems – I haven’t actually posted there in well over a month so am hoping I won’t have lost anything; massively sympathise with those who blog regularly and may have lost stuff though, it’s not good.
I spent a lot of time with other cars like this last weekend… (that’s me with Poppy, my car) drove (roof down in the dark, it was faaaaaabulous) up to Nottingham after work on Friday (my London colleagues definitely think I’m mental now if they didn’t before; the majority of them don’t have cars and they cannot understand why I’d do that!), and drove across to Wrexham for my car club’s Spring Ding Day on Saturday. Went in his car not mine, which was absolutely fine until we started lining up cars for photos, then I wished I’d brought Poppy with me (not least because for once she was actually cleanish!) But was great to be a passenger – you’d think I’d never seen a sports car before, let alone own one *blush*.
We defeated the rain and got there in one piece, had a gorgeous day chatting and drooling over each others’ cars and going for drives – and then instead of taking me for a drive, lovely Phil let me drive his S2000 which ticked off one of the things on my List… it’s the one on the right for those of you less car-addicted than me 🙂
Then we got out some string, and spent lots of time shouting instructions at each other. The result?
(Stole these photos from Lynne, I’ll get mine up in next couple of days but am stranded minus camera or card reader at Mum & Dad’s this weekend!)
Yeah… I love my car and the people in my club 😀 We’re all ridiculous about our cars, but it’s a great atmosphere, everyone’s friendly regardless of whether you’re a new owner or a veteran, and I’m definitely in the inner circle now – I get insulted with a smile! 🙂
This weekend I’m on my way to the Pitt-Rivers museum in Oxford to see the Wilfred Thesiger Africa exhibition, long journey there and back but I think it’ll be really good.
So I should probably head for bed – sweet dreams all!
PS I’ve discovered and become addicted to Pinterest – more on that later!
Today in May I had the most hideous migraine… I am unimpressed! Had to take the day off work and lie sadly in a dark room for most of the day – couldn’t have TV on, couldn’t read, couldn’t look at my computer… the light made me flinch 🙁 Only dragged myself outside to go to Asda when I realised I had no more painkillers! Feeling marginally better now but heading to bed very shortly, I’m still not 100% and I have to go in tomorrow, I have so much to do!
I had a glorious car-filled weekend and have come back much happier, calmer and ready to deal with whatever life and the job have to throw at me. Which is a feeling I haven’t had for a very long time – it’s amazing, I feel like I’m finally myself again! Have committed to doing the Rat Rally in September – more about this to follow but it’s going to be SO much fun… and I shall be blogging between now and then and all the way through the rally itself!
On the craft side of things I have finally finished the Checks and Roses website! www.checksandroses.co.uk is live and I hope we’ll have confirmation of our first stall soon – it’s very exciting!
Work is completely insane but when it’s calmed down a bit I’ll post some more 🙂