Making sense of January

I feel like this post should be titled ‘Making sense of January/my life’. I know it’s such a cliche but even this morning I still had no idea what the day/date was. Christmas and New Year is such a muddle of long relaxing days and loads of food and booze that I have really found it hard to keep up! I’ve been reading a lot of ‘new year, new start’ blogs where people list  their resolutions, hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all great but I feel it’s sometimes a little bit fake. For me the start of a new year is always an exciting concept, but it’s also a time I use to reflect on the last 365 days that seemed to have vanished into thin air. Most importantly it’s always the time of year I seem to analyse my life. I came across my old blog the other day and this was posted just after I finished uni. Although it was 2 years ago, in some ways I don’t think I’ve moved very far from the person I was then…

”The festive period is always time for reflection; for remembering the good times, the mistakes, the memories, the friends we made, the things we achieved, the people we met, and most importantly those who are no longer around. It is a time to enjoy family and friends, and to look forward to the new year ahead. Things change as we grow up – our friendship groups go through cycles and we realise who we really want to be spending time with and who we can do without. Family perhaps becomes less important, and then within a few years we realise how fundamental they are to our sanity and most importantly to who we are. We start to realise that the real world isn’t hunky dory, and that it is in fact damn hard work…

It sounds like I am being very negative about it all but I have found the transition into ‘adulthood’ rather difficult. This Christmas was the first I have not woken up early with my brother, examining our stockings before falling back to sleep. It was pretty tough for both of us, yet something that had to happen at some point! I have begun to realise that the little things in life really are the most important. Yesterday I came across a Welsh world ‘hiraeth’ which I believe sums up the feeling of all of this. It is apparently ‘a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.”

I would like to reiterate that although this all sounds a bit doom and gloom, I am not being the Scrooge of New Year! I am extremely lucky to live the life I do, to be surrounded by the love, family and friends that I am. I know I said the whole resolutions thing sounds fake and same same, but I do have just one aim for 2017 – to be happy. There are a few immediate changes that need to be made to achieve this, primarily my job! Next week marks my 2 year anniversary with Laura Ashley and although I enjoy my job, I really miss designing. So I actually have two aims for the year – the second being to launch my own business. To do this I need time that I currently don’t have so a job change is essential to give it a real go…

I’d really like to finish on a POSITIVE note, so would just like to quote an inspirational young woman who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer a couple of years ago:

‘When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, give life 1000 reasons to smile…’

So I’m going to wish you all a VERY happy new year, may your 2017 be filled with laughter, happiness, health and contentment.

xxxxx

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Christmas comes to the Hobbit Hole

Those of you who have been to our house will know how compact it is. Those of you who haven’t I can tell you now – it’s pretty small. When we were looking to move in together I was just excited to have some space to ourselves, and quickly came to the realisation that our budget wasn’t going to get us very much. After a few viewings of stinky cat poo flats and being turned down for a house because ‘two people cause more wear and tear on a property than one’, I received a notification for a lovely little 2 bed cottage in Nailsworth and immediately called the estate agent.

Just over 2 years later and we are still here, in our cosy little Hobbit Hole. I have had a few battles with myself over needing certain pieces of furniture, or an extra set of plates, or multiple sale buy rugs at work and the boring and sensible side seems to have taken over. We absolutely do not have the space. Of course there was the Ercol rocking chair that was a steal at £20 and is now residing in my parents garage, and the set of vintage dining chairs that are holed up in the shed. Until we have the space to use them!

So yes, I have managed to control my love for buying ‘ornaments’ (the general word Dan has given to any little trinket, cushion, or piece of wall art I purchase) until we can afford a slightly bigger house. Unfortunately even Christmas can’t be an exception as I have filled almost every nook and cranny. But my job has taught me that it’s easy to bring festivities into any space no matter the size, so I thought I would share a few photos with you of how easy it can be to add a splash of Christmas into your small home.

First step was of course the Christmas tree. In previous years we have been mocked for our small bushy trees (which I will admit I use to take offence to) so this year decided we would buy one a little bigger than usual, settling on a Nordman Fir from Jolly Nice, mostly down to the whole experience being quite magical – with the rows and rows of festoon lights and the warming glow of the yurt, fire smoke spiralling from it’s chimney. If you’ve not been here yet I HIGHLY recommend it any time of the year – not just Christmas! They serve the BEST burgers we have ever had, and the scotch eggs and sausage rolls are pretty magical too!

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The first year we were in the house I went pretty crazy with buying decorations. I’ve tried to resist buying more but the odd one or two has made it’s way into the collection! I’ve also decided to do a bit of a decoration cull this year and get rid of some of the ones I don’t particularly like anymore. I can’t quite believe my taste has changed so drastically in 3 years…or perhaps I was literally panic buying the first year!

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I found some beautiful metal hoops in Domestic Science and couldn’t think of a reason (I would be allowed!!) to buy them! Luckily with a bit of Pinterest intervention I decided I’d use them to make some miniature wreaths. After foraging for ivy, holly and ewe I whipped up some miniature wreaths to hang around the living room.

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I’ve had this vase of pussy willow for about 18 months and I have absolutely no idea how it hasn’t shrivelled up and died. I found some absolute bargain onion shape baubles in Wilkos and thought they would be perfect to jazz up the pussy willow! I’ve also been looking for some teeny tiny fairy lights to add a bit of sparkle but am yet to find any delicate enough….The Christmas tree and reindeer were gifts from a lovely lady I work with.

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Finally, my Mum has a really eclectic selection of Christmas deccies she’s collected over the years; old cake toppers, homemade decorations, vintage pieces and such….I absolutely love it when she digs them out f the cupboards, and this year I found the start of my very own collection. These guys were in the cook shop in Cirencester and immediately reminded me of Mum’s funny little decorations. Dan obviously asked ‘what on earth are you going to do with those?’. Well, put them with a sparkly star by the Hendricks candle holder, of course!

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So that’s pretty much the extent of my Hobbit Christmas…so far at least!!

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