Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A New Year, A New Start.

Happy New Year, you lovely people!

I think I can still say that; it IS still January after all, and we haven't spoken yet this year. That's the criteria, right?!

It's a new dawn, it's a new day and ... well, I'm not sure I'm feeling good but I am ready for a new start! This lovely blog space has been very much neglected of late and I've continually questioned the whys and wherefores of what I write and why I write and, basically, decided that no one would mind if I were here or not. BUT - and there's almost always a but - in the depths of my overfilled mind, I actually quite like telling you about the nonsense that goes on in my life. There truly are so many lovely things out there in the world, and, if you don't mind, I think I might just go back to telling you about the things that I find particularly lovely.

I am reclaiming this blog! Be prepared!

And in that same vein, I'm also reclaiming some of the things that make me who I am...

I've been taking part in a weekly French conversation class and am loving the opportunity to speak French, even if only for an hour and to find out some of the 'actualit├ęs' of life in France.

I signed up for a Singing Day at Bath Abbey with the infamous John Rutter (find out more about him here). What a truly amazing day! 

I love Bath Abbey at any time, but being part of the truly beautiful voices singing the most delightful songs (including the Hallelujah Chorus that I had never sung before!), was just something else! A whole day of singing - lucky, lucky me! Anyone that has ever been in church with me knows that it doesn't take much for the music to bring me to tears. Surprisingly I held it together until the very last piece we sang. Well, I joined in halfway through still with tears flowing! Honestly it was fabulous! I think I need to do more singing!

I've tried to upload a couple of videos but they're not really working. Click here to - hopefully - watch our first song of the day 'Amazing Grace'. 

And this is the one that finished me off "The Lord bless you and keep you." 

I've been making lovely things for our home :-

Creative re-use of a no-longer-worn cardigan 
into some cushions for our bed.

Finally using beautiful papers brought home from 
Japan for a lovely wall hanging.
(I knew there was a good reason to keep that stick!)

A 'Pretty in Pink' throw and cushion cover - with the obligatory pom-poms!

A new poster for our dining room wall.  

(After taking down the illuminated antlers after Christmas, I discovered that 
the previous wall stickers had left a mark and I need to repaint the wall - gah!)

And I've also been thinking about sustainability, particularly around the clothes that I wear and own. I have a wardrobe FULL to the brim with clothes, many of which I rarely wear; that's partly due to 'growing out' of them (just like the kids, as I get older, the clothes seem to get smaller!), but also just because I am, after all, more of a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal. That said, I do like new clothes. I like the look and feel of something new. Usually that means a quick trip to the shops whilst the girls are at school. But, the reality of that is that I buy clothes I don't really need, just because I like to have something new. Add that to the ever-growing collection of fabrics I have in our garage (it's quite honestly groaning from the weight of all the crates full to the brim with beautiful material) and I really SHOULD make more of my own clothes. For a girl who mostly wears black, it's going to be a challenge, but one that I am prepared to attempt. I do like a challenge after all!

I'm proud of not yet having bought an item of clothing, despite all the New Year Sales and 'bargains' around town. Believe me, that's quite an achievement, one that I'm not sure my husband fully comprehends! I have, though, fashioned a design and pattern for a new coat. I don't expect you to understand my crappy drawings, especially as there are about 4 different projects going on under the premise of designing a coat! But most importantly, I understand them! Today I cut the pieces and I will, hopefully, sew it all up in the morning. Eek! The truth will out at some point before the weekend.

Watch this space or find me on Instagram (follow me here) for the next instalment.

Of course, the biggest problem I foresee is the time needed to do all this sewing. And the fact that barely any of my fabric stash is black! Beware the strangely mismatching that might occur during the year ahead! 

There, in short, is how my year began. I'm consciously thinking about what makes me ME and attempting to make time for those things, too. It's not going to be easy and I will need encouragement along the way. 

And I'll do my best to keep talking to you about all the lovely things going on around me...