Farewell to the city
It feels rather fitting that I should be writing my first blog post in November - it’s one of my very favourite times of year. The floral scents and vivid green splendour of June and July have long since given way to the silvery mists and copper-coloured hedgerows of Autumn. There’s a chill in the air but the harsh sunlight of Summer has been replaced by the burnished glow of Autumn with its honeyed golden hues. It never fails to instil within me a sense of calm and quiet optimism. It was at this time of year eight years ago that I was anticipating the arrival of my son - my first child.
During the early months of motherhood I was made nostalgic by thoughts of my own childhood growing up in a remote valley in the Scottish Borders, a life I’d left behind many years ago in search of the excitement of city life. I found myself stirred by memories of exploring ancient forests and wandering through acres of serene fields under big skies hung heavy with clouds. I came to realise that I was in search of a quiet place of beauty and simplicity that I longed for amidst London life, and I dreamed of a life for my children that was as wild and free as mine had been when I was growing up.
With my husband onboard, and after almost two years of searching, we happened upon the neglected 17th century cottage in a quiet corner of East Sussex that we now call home. We moved in on a wet and wild day in early November and slowly set about renovating the seventies interior and making it feel like our family home. We were in no hurry. Money was tight - and it still is. Time is very much on my mind these days. With age, I’ve come to realise that I want to live life in the moment (ever more so since I had children). We now also have daughter, and life is happy and full - but hectic!
The world is now so very fast paced - too fast for me at times. Wellbeing and mindfulness have, understandably, become bywords for slowing down, switching off from technology and rolling news and becoming more aware of one’s thoughts and happiness. But my guess is that people have always been looking for ways to to help them cope through life’s ups and downs and find their own equilibrium. For me right now, it’s all about looking for the things in life that make me happy and keep me calm, and doing them as much as possible. It could be time spent time baking or sewing, taking the time to read a book or just sit and listen to music - or simply spending relaxing time together as a family.
These pictures were taken during the hazy, carefree days during the last week in August when we spent the afternoon picnicking at the beach, swimming in the sea, exploring rock pools and collecting seaweed for me to press and make into artworks to hang on the walls at home. Soaking up the last of the summer sun and making the most of what nature has to offer, we stayed until the tide came rolling in and the light started to fail. It’s not all sunshine and roses, of course.
The winter months can be harsh and biting and, at times, life in the country can feel pretty bleak. Now that the days are getting short, we like to bring the warmth inside, cosy up by the wood burner and lift our spirits by playing board games or watching nineties movies on Netflix. With the end of the year comes the promise of fresh starts and new adventures.
My daughter started school in September, heralding a new beginning for her, and me. With more time on my hands I have finally got round to starting my own blog. I hope that you’ll want to join me on this journey into pastures new as I share ideas and inspiration relating to my love of art and photography, interiors, food and crafting; and snippets of the things we make and do as a family. Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to know what you think!