New year, new me, etc, etc. Perhaps it’s slightly late to be saying that, a full 17 days in to 2018, but the intention is good. I haven’t been a regular blogger for the past couple of years, and was largely absent for most of 2017, preferring to hang out over on Instagram, mostly, for instant gratification. But I miss not having somewhere to vent/share/write and so I thought I’d offer a little update to anyone who still reads this as to where the hell I’ve been.
Since last spring, I have:
- Taken redundancy from my job in broadcasting and left the world of access services after nearly 9 years with a cheery wave.
- Spent 5 weeks in America, gadding about, house-sitting for family and friends. I started a new instagram account (@everythingiateinamerica) to document, well, everything I ate. On days like today, when I’m feeling hungry and homesick for my second home in Cincinnati, I like to browse it and relive every bite.
- Spent a week on a beach in Kos, drinking cocktails and swimming in the sea every day. It was top notch super fun.
- Fell in love with a new horsey beau, Monty. We took part in a dressage competition and we only bloody came second!
- Released my collaborative zine with Marceline and sold out of the first print run very quickly, yay! I have others in the works.
- Worked in a variety of places, including looking after a college’s website and serving people terrible coffee
- Started and completed working at Sainsburys supermarket for the Christmas season which was a lot more fun that it sounds. Checked off a life goal of working on a checkout – I really enjoyed it but it did mean I didn’t get any days off at all for about 4 months.
- Had two teeth removed. I got IV sedation which I’d heartily recommend. Look after your teeth, kids.
- And after skipping away happily from access services and the world of broadcasting, starting a new job at STV – in the wonderful world of access services! There’s no escape from television, it seems.
- Spent a month or two looking after my neighbour’s pony Lark, who I immediately rechristened Mark. He is a good sort and we spent some lovely time together roaming around the woods.
Took part in the Etsy Made Local market in Glasgow, which was hands-down my most profitable market day in over 13 years. It was good to get the old team together.
Did my first foreign language cross stitch commission, a piece in Russian which my Russian sister-in-law tells me is quite insulting, but the customer loved it nonetheless.
And rounded off the year seeing my favourite band, Rocket From The Crypt, who as ever, put on a truly amazing show.
But by far and away the best thing about 2017, was this:
And now you’ll never forget how to spell diarrhoea either.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about change recently, and as usual, have so many ideas for things that I am tripping myself up over them. Writing down helps in part, but also generates more of them and tends to give me more to think about. It’s a vicious circle.
Change is in the air though, big change, and it’s exciting and also a bit terrifying. This quote though caught my eye and resonated with me. I’m not a touchy-feely self-help fan, but just every now and again, one of the billions of these things on Pinterest sticks out and sticks with me.
I suppose the thing is to just pick one idea and try it. And if it doesn’t work, pick another one and try that. I think clever people call that living. I think I might give it a go.
We had some great weather in December. My favourite are the freezing cold days, low sun and frosty grass that crunches underfoot, seeing your breath and noticing how colours change. A few of my favourite dog-walking snaps from last month.
Looking back on my year, it has been much busier than I expected, but that has been a good thing. I started it off with great excitement about the surprise New York trip I’d planned for Lee and I’m finishing it off with great excitement about what 2017 holds, as there are going to be some major life changes happening, of which, more later.
One of my personal goals was to be healthier, after discovering in the summer that I am diabetic. Above, on the left, me in February. On the right, me in December, 23 kg lighter and FOUR jeans sizes smaller, back to being blonde and cradling just out of shot, my brand new faux-niece, Rowan (HEART EYES). I am super-pleased with my accomplishment and hope to continue the good works into the new year. It is still early days but the medical professionals reckon I could well have even just about reversed the diabetes. Inspiration to carry on, that.
Look at me gadding about in my skinny jeans and my too-big jumper.
Big changes this year, more big changes next year. Ch-ch-changes.
If you want to buy a I Survived 2016 badge, you can do so here.
I’ve been dying to get back in the saddle for years, but, to be honest, I’ve just been too unfit and fat to burden a poor horse with it. Now I’ve lost some weight, and am feeling a bit more limber, I took the plunge last month and hopped aboard this massive horse.
This was my burst face after the first half hour. We didn’t even do a lot. I felt like I might die and I could barely walk for a week afterwards.
Flash forwards about 7 weeks or so and I can now last an hour in the saddle without death approaching, and without hobbling for days afterwards!
Look, ma, no hands!
Alex is a Clydesdale, about 16.2 hh to those in the know – a giant to anyone non-horsey. He’s very green and needs a lot of schooling – which suits us both fine. He has a dodgy sense of direction, and needs to be jammed against a wall so I can get on him (from the wall/stepladder/crane) but we get there.
He’s quite sweet, really.
And now I can fit in a skirt that’s 2 sizes smaller! Hooray! More horseing around, please.
The garden at Brownton is blooming and we are over-run with floral beauty right now. It’s brightening up the nooks and crannies of our home, both inside and out.
Yesterday, Lee and I made our annual trip to the Gardening Scotland show in Edinburgh. I have to go along with Lee to make sure he doesn’t spend all his pocket money at once, but to be honest, we both tend to get carried away and buy more plants than we know what to do with.
I love a peony, and I am mildly impressed that we managed to limit ourselves to buying just three new ones to go in our burgeoning peony bed. The beautifully perfect pink peony above was £80, or there would have been a fourth!
I had to go to work directly afterwards (dangerously leaving Lee unattended at a flower show) but by the time I woke up this morning after my late shift, Lee had already made the peonies at home with their pals. Everything looks so much better in the sunshine.
Some of the other things we bought – a giant red lupin for the front garden to go with the lupin already in there, some dahlias and herbs and um, lots of other things. I also picked up this black succulent from the cactus stand for indoors – really unusual colour, it looks like a miniature palm tree. Oh, and Lee got talent-spotted by the people that sell the magic volcanic dust that makes things grow – they took his photo for their website!
There are some lovely corners of the garden coming together now, and it’s all Lee’s hard work – he even built our deck single-handedly.
Not bad, coming from this just a year ago!
To this today!
Complete with built-in dog pool!
Mr Brown, I salute you and your green fingers!
Well, lookee here, it’s October already. Max is proud to unveil the new autumnal display at Bellwether HQ
cobbled together in seconds painstakingly designed and created by yours truly.
It’s amazing what you can do with a few pumpkins and some straw filched from the field near our house. The sock monkeys I picked up in the states last year at Thanksgiving and I pinched an ornamental cabbage from our garden. Thankfully, one of our neighbours also has an autumnal wreath on their front door, so we don’t look like the only seasonal loons on the street!
I read this blog post recently over at Rosalilium which lamented the lack of “real” stories on blogs these days so I thought I’d share this wee snippet of my life rather than posting about the latest Bellwether product for a change. I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging, silly me.
This week, I’m concentrating on fulfilling some wholesale orders and also preparing stock for this:
The Curiosity Shop is opening this Thursday 8th October in Partick next door to Rio Cafe for a spell – exciting! Find out more here.