We've been taking some time out. Spending time together and regrouping our little family unit.
We feel wiped out and drained.
Maybe it's the weather or maybe it's just 'that' time of the year...'or' quite possibly it's the end of term feeling and we all just need to sleep - who knows. But whatever has taken hold of our 'lust for life' these past couple of weeks, I'm hoping will pass soon and that urge to uncurl from our hibernation, stretch and wipe the sleepy dust from our eyes is not too far off now.
Melancholy can be a comforting thing, but what I really need to start doing is feel like I'm moving forwards again.
'when did your feet become (almost) the same size as mine!'
That's what I've been pondering allll day.
When did my beautiful, talented 'little' girl get feet that are nearly as big as mine. That and how did she get to be nine so fast. Surely it was only a few years ago she was a tiny bundle of so much wrapped up joy that we tried so hard to have and waited even longer to happen.
Almost all grown up, though she'd argue she already was...when that girl gets an idea into her head.
We've got to the 'magical' age...do you remember it well? I do. Witches and wizards, spells and magic with the added twist of ponies. From C.S.Lewis to J.K. Rowling, the original Black Beauty series and Bewitched! I tried really hard to find all the things that would indulge and fill her imagination.
But there's no escaping reality for me, my darling daughter is nine today. Already eyeing up my shoes, pinching my clothes and just two inches off being the same height as me.
Not wanting to be one of 'those' mums but do you reckon at some point that works in reverse?
Frozen toes wrapped up in cosy socks, warming them by the fire.
For some it's hands, others their nose for me it's my feet. If my feet are cold then my whole body feels it, chilling me down to the bone. One thing I cannot bear is cold feet - I would rather give up cake then let my feet get cold...the words of my dear old gran stuck in my head 'you'll get chilblains!'. Funny the things you remember and carry through life...when the ones we once loved are long gone.
When the theme 'Woolly' was suggested for January all kinds of thought process went through my head.
From overflowing baskets filled with yarn, to a neat stack of perfectly folded blankets. And I nearly 'nearly' hauled out my complete woolly jumper collection (I'm a little obsessed with jumpers at the moment) trying to find that perfect pose.
The only thing that kept coming back to me was warm, woolly socks....and propping them up by the fire.
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Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, including January's guest bloggers, just click on the links below...
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of us work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.
Living by the sea there is not an abundance of woods. Nor are there many leafy lanes lined with beautiful trees or forests filled with wonderful earthy wafts.
But I do love trees.
So when we moved here back in the Summer of 2002 from a little strip of a concrete courtyard, the few feet of garden we are now lucky to own seemed like a whole field of hopeful. But the previous owner did not like trees (neighbours said she would often grumble) so all that may of once grown had long been removed, chopped down and roots extracted. Stumps were the only evidence that the garden had once flourished - and a dead old apple tree kept for decorative purposes...to let a rather rambling honeysuckle twist her vines around.
Out came the hebes the fuchsias and the rotten old apple tree and in went silver birches, Rowan, willow, pear, cherry and a few more apples.
Now I'm not trying to convince you we have an orchard full of fruit, but it's pretty darn good around here come the Autumn.
And with the Autumn come the winds and with the winds fall the branches...that have long seen better days. And with those branches I make kindling bundles that are long past their best. They do not take as long to dry out as a regular lump of wood for burning - no seasoning needed.
The silver birch is the best for shedding her unwanted dead and dried out branches, second is the willow. And if the wind doesn't have her way then come nesting season the magpies do a pretty good job at tugging and dropping those branches that will no long bear budding leaves.
There is an snippet from Susan Hill's book 'The Magic Apple Tree' that has always struck a cord with me. She talks about 'searching the deep ditches for the right sort of kindling'.
It is a thickly tree-lined, heavily overgrown lane that runs from Moon Cottage away from the village, down towards Sheep Hill and the Fen; old, fallen branches are propped up between the living ones and the ditches are full of dead wood.
I love the idea of going out into the country lanes in search of 'old, dead wood' to dry out for kindling on a daily basis. The only real chance I have of living out my deep rooted country ways is when I go home to Hampshire for the weekend. But all the while we live here I will have to make do with my own back garden, abundant and beautiful with the trees I have nurtured for the past eleven and a half years.