I love that there are pops of colour everywhere as Spring starts to shine through the final days of winter. I enjoy the promise of this season and feel a bit like Dorothy as she leaves Kansas and arrives in the Land of Oz, life goes from black and white to technicolour. The longer days are arriving and for me this is the return of my early morning runs, this is my time and whilst I struggle to get out of bed the satisfaction and mindset motivate me to throw off the covers. There’s a lot more colour at home too, my new orange teapot is the one of the best presents I’ve received, the style and colour are perfect and just seeing it makes me smile. I’ve also treated myself to a new Filofax, the colour and design were irresistible and in my defence, I use it all the time, my life is in my Filofax, if it’s not written in it, then it’s not happening! Spring is my favourite season for cut flowers whether it’s a simple bunch of daffodils or my favourite floral treat, a bunch of tulips and there is always a fresh bunch in the kitchen (the tulips in the picture are on day 6 so a little past their prime but still giving me pleasure). I’m also enjoying reading different types of magazines, I’ve gone from the glossies to more thoughtful, creative publications. I fell in love with the front cover of the Oh Comely magazine, oranges and yellows are my couleurs de jour. There’s lots to embrace in the Spring and there is a little skip in my step with the longer, milder days and the blossoming of a new season.
This passage has helped to guide me in difficult times and to appreciate and celebrate the good times and respect and understand the harder days. In the last few weeks, I have through my circle of family and friends rejoiced at the most joyous news and been saddened by devastating news. These are not my stories to share but I’ve cried both happy and sad tears and have reread this passage to give comfort and hope.
At present, our life is in a bit of a transition and we are having to make decisions in a period of uncertainty. We can’t plan fully as each stage is dependent on a previous step, for someone like me who craves order and security its hard and I’m seriously out of my comfort zone. However we can’t hide away and are trying to plan for the best outcome for all of our little family. The reason for the changes is our son’s secondary education, we are seriously needing to consider more specialist schools to meet his needs but living in a small seaside town in a large rural county means that the schools we are looking at are a considerable distance from our home. However, neither of us feel that it is fair to expect Little Man to travel more than an hour each way for school and are trying to come to a compromise which suits the whole family. There is no easy solution but we are considering moving inland to a small market town, 30 minutes away which would facilitate the journey. However, it means giving up our seaside idyll, a life we love and planned for our family, the beach as our playground and being part of a wonderful community. Its a hard decision. We are also subject to our son being given place at the school we think is right for him, we know that on average there are 14 applications for each place and having visited a number of other special schools this feels like our only option, it is the best fit. The change would have less effect on our daughter, catchment areas for the secondary schools are big here and a move would not affect her place at the secondary school she will start in September.
There is so much to consider and it is a situation which cannot be resolved quickly, our timescale is a minimum of about 18 months. It seems overwhelming and is dominating so much of our thoughts, trying to do the best for everyone. I need to remember that as in the passage from Ecclesiastes that this time will pass, this is our time to plant the seeds for a safe, happy future for all of us, all that matters is that we are together, secure and loved, no matter where we are.
As this week has seen the last Thursday in February, it was my ‘nourish’ day. I decided at the start of the year, I would set aside one day a month, a day for me, to nourish my body, mind or spirit. Of course, life happens and this Thursday, I really needed to go to the local market town for a recall on my car, not ideal for a nourish day. However, I realised that Neal’s Yard Remedies, a shop I always pop into for a little browse, has therapy rooms so I booked a massage for the morning. It was utter bliss and so what I needed, after every massage I have I think I should do this more often and I really must, I felt so good, relaxed and recharged. I also popped into a couple of favourite shops whilst in the town and got a tunic in White Stuff I had on my wish list with a 20% discount. I love the design and pattern and can’t wait to wear it.
Other nourishing moments this week were
- Being a blood donor. It was my blood donation session this week, a little bit of discomfort is well worth the satisfaction of giving to our NHS in my little way.
- A new teapot. I fell in love with the design and colour of this Stump teapot when I had tea in a small indie café a few months ago. It was top of my Christmas list, but despite lots of searching by me and my parents who were buying it for me, it was out of stock. It is now in stock again and I finally have my Christmas present, I’m so pleased I waited, it is perfect. I also went to a loose tea emporium whilst in the market town so have a few varieties of tea to brew.
- Flowers. My work partner and I returned to work on Monday to be given bouquets of beautiful flowers by our colleagues as a little thank you for all we do in the department. Our priority is always the wellbeing of our staff and students so it was a delightful surprise to be treated ourselves. Our office had a lovely smell this week and they’ve lasted so well that I’ve brought mine home for the weekend, I’m going to eek every last moment of joy from them.
I’ve been looking through my blog and I realise that the #nourish posts are keeping me from writing other posts on my list. I’m still sticking with Nourish as my word of the year and theme, but going forward will only do a monthly round up.
I’ve enjoyed February this year, yes there have been grey and wet days but generally its been bright and fresh and we’ve spent a lot of time outside, exploring and playing. Its been a lovely month socially, a cocktail party and lots of meet ups with friends and family.
So my goal of reading a classic title a month is already needing to be changed, I’m now going for a total of 12 classics in total this year. I finished I Capture the Castle, a romantic fiction, matchmaking the daughters of a poor bohemian family and their new rich, American neighbours, it was amusing but dated. I didn’t start a new classic this month, I needed something a little more contemporary.
I read Still Me by Jojo Moyes this month and LOVED it. Lousia is one of my favourite book characters, I love her vintage style, sweetness and determination, the perfect half term read.
There’s a bit of a Jojo Moyes theme developing this month as I chanced upon the film ‘Me Before You’ one Sunday night. It was one of those gadget zapping moments when you’re planning an early night, just seeing what’s on and 2 hours later, tears drying you end up late to bed. Emilia Clarke was perfect as Louisa and I thought the film complemented the book beautifully.
I’ve also become a little obsessed with Death in Paradise this month. Its something I’ve not really watched before, but last summer on holiday, Little Man watched it and absolutely loved it. This series, I’ve watched it on Thursday to check its okay for him to watch on Friday mornings (such a motivator to get up dressed and ready for school v quickly) and I’ve got hooked. The scenery, simple story device, just make for a relaxing evening.
As it was Valentines day, Little Miss and I made a sweet treat for all her class mates, a little packet of Love Hearts with a nice personalised message to everyone in her class. So I didn’t set myself up for years to come, we decided that it was just for Year 6. I also made Valentines themed packed lunches, including heart shaped sandwiches, strawberries and a few of the jelly heart sweets in the lunch boxes. Mr S was excused the heart shaped sandwiches but did get the sweets!
I’ve also made lots of tea in my new teapot. I fell in love with the colour and style and it looks perfect in my kitchen. I really enjoyed going to the tea emporium and smelling all the different brews. I’m not a huge coffee fan, tea is definitely my drink.
Its been a quiet month fashion wise, although I did buy a pair of pyjamas for the sleepover we hosted, I didn’t want to embarrass my daughter with my very old and well worn nightwear.
For the cocktail party, I wore an old favourite, I don’t have the opportunity to dress up much so am happy to wear something which I’m comfortable and confident in.
One of my #19for2019 was to create playlists for special events during the year. I did one for Valentines day, I’m not a soppy person but it did contain some of my favourite love songs and I’ve listened to it a few times.
February was a great month and after a long, long January it seemed short and sweet. I’m looking forward to pancakes next month and the blossoming of spring, there’s no big plans it will simply be a month to surprise us.
The inspiration for the blogpost came from Morgana at coffeeworksleeprepeat.com and is now hosted by Anna Marie at Mummyheartsyou.com
One of the frustrations of writing an anonymous blog is the lack of opportunity to post photos of our family. Its been a terrific half term week, I feel rested and relaxed and we have enjoyed lots of special moments. My nourish list may be a little longer this week, but holidays give us the chance to get out and explore.
- Swimming at the Splash Centre. When I was growing up a trip to the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon was a big treat, the wave machines, slides etc.. We go to Butlins at least once a year so my children get to experience similar at their pool. However we found a pool with slides, disco and rainbow, a water play pool and large pool near my parents and enjoyed a morning there. My parents watched whilst the children and I had lots of fun in the water. My two both love the water and it relaxes and calms them.
- A quiet read. This week I devoured a book, Still Me by Jojo Moyes in a few days. For me there is nothing quite getting lost in a book and the joy of a great story. Following the book, I’ve been dreaming (and writing a bit of a plan ) of a visit to New York and vintage clothes.
- Grounded by Nature. This week has been a fantastic week weather wise for half term, bright sunshine and a little warmth. On Wednesday the four of us went to the local forestry commission and cycled for a few hours in the forest. Yes the uphills are hard but the joy of cycling down a hill, wind in your face and legs out is one of the best feelings.
- A sleepover. This week we held our first sleepover at our house, 2 girls stayed overnight whilst one just joined us for the daytime activities. I was a bit worried but it turned out really well, we started at the park, home to ‘hang out’, made homemade pizzas and ice cream sundaes for tea and then chilled with music and films. I was asleep at 12 to a quiet house.
- Old friends. None of the friends I was closest to at school live in our home town and we are scattered across the continent. I love my friends from school, they helped to define the person I became and whilst we stay in contact through email and cards and letters, its not quite the same as seeing them. At Christmas I wrote to a friend and said that if she was ever in England to let me know and we would try to meet up. She did respond to say she was visiting family this weekend, in a town 2 hours drive from me and by coincidence the same small town where one of my lovely aunts lives. As our boys are away at Grandads, Little Miss and I went on a little road trip. We met up with my aunt first, she has lived in the same house for the past 35 years so it was full of memories of growing up with my cousins, its quite a feeling to be transported back to your childhood. It was lovely to see my aunt and spend time with her, worth the trip in itself. We then met up with my friend who was accompanied by her eldest daughter who is a similar age to Little Miss, they hit it off so well and we had a brilliant time together. Whilst we might be older, greyer, we’re still those 14 year old girls.
- Time Out. With the sleepover on Friday and a road trip on Saturday, I knew today needed to be quiet. I planned our week so all my housework is done, the children’s homework, projects and all, were completed by Thursday, PE kits and school bags are packed and my Sunday ironing was done on Friday morning. I even popped into a M and S food shop yesterday for our lunch today (this is a big treat) Sometimes you need a day with nothing on the to do list.
I am a summer girl and so find winter the most difficult of the seasons, early winter brings the excitement and sparkle of Christmas but January and February can be cold, dark, long months. The quietness of the season means our little town feels like a ghost town, many independent shops shut up for a couple of months and road closures mean that we have been even more isolated than normal this year. I never quite feel myself in these months and this has been noticeable in the sunny, warmer days we’ve had this week which have made me feel so more alive, purposeful and productive. This is not to say that I’ve spent the last few months in a dark place, just a different place! We have been lucky this year, no Beast of the East (however I’m mindful that the bad snow last year was in March) and we have had some bright, crisp days. We have managed some lovely days out at the weekends, cycling in the forest, visiting a local animal sanctuary and long walks. I’ve had fun in the kitchen cooking some lovely family meals and perfecting the art of meringues often with a little helper or two. There’s also been time for life admin and to make a start on some projects. Yes we’ve been pottering on but the zest and energy of the spring months have been missing.
This week has been half term and a bright and warm week. Last weekend we spent a long weekend with my parents in Somerset, the highlight was the Splash World at a local holiday centre, with disco and rainbow slides (I loved them), water play area and pool. My children love the water and happily played whilst my parents watched. We’ve also had a session at our local sports centre called Inflatable fun, which was the Sports hall filled with a variety of inflatables, a simple but really fun idea. Wednesday was our only day together, just the 4 of us, so we went to the local forestry commission and hired bikes for a 2 hour ride in the forest, there is something so grounding and calming about being in nature. Today has seen us split up, Mr S and Little Man have gone to Grandad’s whilst Little Miss and I are at home. As I write this, I’m hosting 3 of her friends for a sleepover, they’ve ‘hung out’ at the park, we’ve made pizzas from scratch and created some lovely ice cream sundaes, there are now makeovers happening upstairs and then it will be film time with The Greatest Showman Singalong. I’m hoping for some sleep tonight as once our visitors leave in the morning, Little Miss and I have a little road trip to see my aunt and an old school friend before a very lazy Sunday. The PE kits, ironing and homework have all be done and we’re ready for the return to school on Monday, so there really is no reason not to simply rest and relax on Sunday.
As the lighter days develop and the warmth radiates us all, I’m looking forward to the coming months, we’ve been making plans during the winter and its nearly time for action!
So 5 little morsels of nourishment from my week …
1. A day out at the animal sanctuary. A day full of winter sunshine and lots of small and farm animals. My personal favourite, definitely the goats.
2. Valentine’s Day Treat. To try and quell the slight hysteria from Year 6, I suggested to Little Miss rather than choose one person to send a Valentine why not her whole class and to focus on everyone’s qualities. I bought mini packets of Love Hearts 💕 and I typed a label as she chose a special quality for each person. The comments weren’t romantic just nice, you make me smile, I like your style, you’re a great gymnast etc..
3. A new hair colour. To hide the grey I regularly have my hair dyed and a new colour makes me feel happier and more youthful. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on all the news with my hairdresser.
4. Friday 2.30pm. The start of half term and the anticipation of a more relaxed week for me.
5. Macarons. We’re at my mum and dads this weekend with lots of treats. For tea on Saturday we had these delicate macarons. One day I’ll pop into Ladurée in Paris for the real delicacy but for the time being they were a lovely alternative.