The sky is echoing my heart this morning.


The sky is echoing my heart this morning.  Which is odd because it’s Monday morning, it’s zero degrees and I’m cycling to work.  All the indications are that I should be feeling depressed, despondent at the very least.  But actually I can’t keep the smile off my face.  I had such a beautiful weekend.  I didn’t step foot out of my house and garden once, but so many of my very favourite people came to us.  The kiddies played beautifully, and drove us crazy, and made us laugh. We sat in our beautiful new, unfinished, light-filled kitchen and drank tea and talked, made plans and sat in companionable silence.  We cooked delicious meals from unlikely ingredients and shared them with wine and laughter.

We’ve probably never been so much in debt as we are right now, but I’ve also never felt richer.  Thank you so much to all the lovely people in my life who make ordinary days feel so special.


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Blogging for Introverts

One of the things I noticed while I was home, catching up with old friends, exchanging news and sharing our hopes and dreams, was how I felt when the conversation inevitably turned to this little website of mine.  The sad truth is that I felt rather embarrassed about it.

When friends tell me that they've read my blog I have absolutely no idea what to say to them - I tend to just squirm uncomfortably in my seat.  What I want to say is that I'm immensely gratified that they've taken an interest and that they are being so kind and supportive; but I simply can't get past the terrifying realisation that they've effectively read my diary.  I feel so exposed.  

So why am I doing this? What keeps me writing despite these feelings?  Why on earth would an introvert choose to write a blog?!

Well, surprisingly for me, I find writing rather liberating.  I love having the chance to share my thoughts - something I'm usually quite shy about doing in person.  I also find that taking the time to sit down and figure out exactly what I do think about something is strangely relaxing.  Blogging gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts, to reflect on the things around me and make sense of them and I find it energising and reassuring - it's almost like a form of meditation.

I like the connections that this blog can bring - connections with people who have the same interests as me, people who I never would have met in real life.  I love being able to skip over all the small talk and get straight to the things that matter.  I even like that moment of sheer terror that I always experience right after I hit 'publish' and I especially like reading comments and hearing other peoples opinions on the things I've been thinking about. 

The more I think about it the more I think that blogging is perfect for Introverts; It's a way of connecting with people while simultaneously spending time alone; It's a perfect chance to reflect and it gives us an opportunity to think before we speak (or write in this case).  

Of course, reflecting too much can definitely be a bad thing - there are certainly times when I look around and see all those talented people out there - wonderful designers, talented sewers and compelling writers- and wonder what on earth I am doing and why I believed, even for a minute that anyone would care what I have to say. But then I remember what a wonderful, kind and supportive sewing community we have in this online world and I stop worrying, because really it doesn't matter; I'm doing what I love and I'm doing it for me and if other people get some pleasure from it too then that's just an added bonus.  

Incidentally, I had a lot of fun one evening while I was away, taking personality tests with my family (for ourselves and for each other - with hilarious results!) on the 16 Personalities website.  If you haven't done it yet then take a look, we thought it was pretty accurate and I think I even learned a few things about myself.  I came out as INFJ incidentally - just like one of my heroes; JK Rowling - I always knew we would be friends! ;)

What about you? Would you consider yourself to be an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How do you think it helps / hinders you in what you do?

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There's no place like home.

I know a lot of you are here for the sewing – but while I’m overseas I am on a forced break from sewing and my mind is wandering to lots of other things so please excuse my ramblings.  Next month I’ll be back into the sewing, but for now I am enjoying this opportunity to step back and reflect.

Green England

It is wonderful to be back home, back in the place where I grew up.  Back amongst these rolling green hills and dry stone walls.  Everything is so familiar, the smell of the fresh air, the sounds of the voices with their northern accents, the hot cups of tea.  It’s a little like being enveloped in an enormous security blanket and cuddled.

I would never have guessed at 18 where my life would take me.  If you had told me that I would be living in Australia, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.  I’m not the sort for big steps and dramatic changes.  I love home and I love my family and I wouldn’t choose to leave.  But somehow it happened, almost by accident. I never intended to emigrate, but here I am and I can’t possibly regret the decisions that led me here.  I have a home that I love, better friends than I probably deserve and a husband and children who I adore.  Who could ask for more really?

But; while these trips back home make me grateful for the life I have in Australia, I also find that they make me mourn, in equal measure, the life I could have had in England.

Sometimes I feel consumed by sadness at this thought.  England will always be home, but my life is now so fully invested in Australia that I sometimes think that I could never properly be whole again.  It feels as though my life, and my heart, will always be split in two.  But this feeling is one which only really gets me when I am already feeling tired and vulnerable.  More often I am able to see it as a blessing.  Because until you miss something you can never fully appreciate it.  I am constantly missing one of my two homes and my heart is full of gratitude for each of these beautiful places and for the lovely family and friends in both.

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I’m off on a little adventure all on my lonesome. Off to New Zealand for the first time in my life to visit one of my dearest friends who moved there a few years ago.  My original crafternoon buddy to whom I am very grateful for her nurturing of my crafty / sewing instincts and who taught me lots of things – about sewing and more.

This was my birthday present from Nick this year – 5 days away from my mummy duties! I have to admit I’m ready for it; after a very busy week of work and a couple of days with at least 1 very grumpy child, I have been really looking forward to my escape.  Until it came to time to say goodbye to the little ones anyway.  Why is it that they drive me crazy all week and then this morning, despite us waking them before 6 so that we could get me to the airport on time, they were perfect angels in the car – chattering away to us, laughing with each other and cracking us up with the hilarious things they say!  Is it just my mindset? Is it just that I know that I’m going to miss them so I appreciate them all the more? Maybe it’s just pure chance, but it does always seem to happen that way.  When I have endless time with them I find myself wishing they would just leave me alone occasionally and then when I’m sitting here at the start of 5 child free days, I regret those thoughts. I miss them already, I feel a little incomplete without them. My excitement is muted because I can’t see it reflected in their faces, they are my little mirrors.  I wish I didn’t have to be away from them to be able to full appreciate how beautiful life with them is. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate how lucky I am to have them, it’s just that that appreciation is so often tempered by little irks and annoyances.  Imagine how wonderful life would be if we could let those every day annoyances simply wash over us and only hold onto the joyful feelings.

Ok, I think that’s enough reflection for now – I’m starting to feel quite miserable about being away from my little ones and it’s only been 2 hours! I think it’s time that I close the computer, open my book and start to relax into my holiday. Otherwise I may find myself walking out of the airport and hopping into a Taxi to head home!

For our friends

The weekend before christmas we took a trip down the coast to stay at a little beach house with some of our  friends. I wasn't sure if we should go with it being so close to christmas and with so many things to do to get ready for it, but i'm so, so glad we did.  We had such a great time - the weather was hopeless but it didn't matter in the slightest! We spent our time playing on the beach in the rain, building sandcastles and flying kites, splashing in the waves and swimming till our lips turned blue. We went on adventures through the sand dunes - climbed them, jumped off the tops, rolled down the sides, even surfed down on body boards. We went beach combing for shells and rocks and seaweed. We walked through (seemingly) gale force winds and rain and returned home for hot chocolate and mince pies. My friend and I went for a run along the beach every morning and then then impulsively plunged fully (well, semi) clothed into the icy sea and had to walk home soaking wet - although since it was raining anyway it made little difference!

In the evenings we cooked lovely dinners and ate far too much, then played cards and drank too much wine and sat giggling like school kids (apparently!) We watched purple sunsets and thunderstorms from the deck. We got woken far too early by the little ones and drank copious amounts of tea to try and get our sleepy heads functioning each morning.

I could quite literally go on and on listing all the little things we did - suffice to say that we loved every minute. Best of all though, our little weekend away reminded me that christmas isn't about the cooking and shopping and gifts, but about friends and family and this year I am feeling particularly blessed on that count.

So today I want to say a big Thank You to Annalise, Jordan, Fin and Brea, not only for inviting us to join them on their holiday but simply for being our friends and enriching our lives in lots of tiny ways.