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My World

Caravan, barn and home, in the snow

I’ve been getting a bit bogged down in blogging lately, so many ideas fly through my head but it seems so rare that I capture them. Or, I spend ages on a post and wonder where the evening went. So as the year closes I thought I would make myself a little promise to free up my blog.

I’m going to put the timer on for half an hour and drive in the dark a little. Just write and see where it takes me. Not get bogged down in photos.

That’s a little bit scary, but I also know it worked for me when I did my creative writing course. And I am pretty sure it used to be how I blogged, until I got bogged down. So I’m going to be brave and try and reclaim that blogging freedom.

This weekend the house was covered in snow, flurries on Thursday night, followed by a top up on Sunday. We spent Saturday happily pottering in the snowflakes, between barn, snowball fights and snowmen, skip, tip and house.

And feeding the birds, well bird, it’s quiet, just a Robin to report this week. A school Dad friend told me Robins are really aggressive and their song is actually the equivalent of “Get the f&*k off my patch or I’ll kill yer”. Our Robin is great company, but I do wonder if he’s scared every other bird off. I love that I’m really noticing the birds here.

The flooring has finally gone down in the barn and so we can start to clear the junk from the refurbishment, return some of the furniture we’ve gathered for the holiday barn, and free up some space in our house.

It’s felt like we haven’t stopped moving things since we moved in six months ago, we unpacked very quickly, within a week, but it takes time decided where you really want things to go. We’ve moved from a 3 storey, high ceilinged Victorian semi to two cojourned country cottages, so not everything we had before worked.

Our old neighbour popped over to help with the electrics from the barn this week. We both moved from our semi-detached houses within 4 weeks of each other in the end, to homes with projects, so it was lovely to catch up and compare notes.

A new life also means a chance to say goodbye to things that we no longer really need, that process is tiring, especially as we simultaneously filled the house with new things for the self-catering barn, and with the odd things that caught our eye for us too.

I’ve been excited about Christmas, but so much slower to embrace it this year. We were going to get a tree this weekend, but then other things seemed more important, like snow and enjoying a real Winter Wonderland outside.

I’m anxious about bringing more stuff into the house, presents, decorations, when clearing what we already had has taken so much of my precious time already. But I’m trusting it will unfold as it should, as it always does.

Christmas, like moving house is a process.

Saturday night and Sunday was spent at home with friends, playing in the snow, drinking gin, tea and hot chocolate, eating fajitas, chocolate and mince pies. Slowly embracing the festive season.

I am really enjoying the damson gin I made. It’s positively medicinal. I had a really bad day with SAD last week so decided to have the first taste on Monday afternoon.  I know alcohol might not be the best SAD remedy, it’s a depressant etc, but I also know a little bit of what you fancy does you the world of good. The taste took me back to summer, and the alcohol warmed me up no end.

Forget making chutney, which drove me bonkers, trashed the kitchen and had the kids retching as the scent of vinegar filled the whole house, next year all of our damsons will be heading into a graveyard of mother’s ruin and sugar.

As I wandered around this snowy land this weekend I was struck with how in tune with the seasons living here makes us. When we arrived the fields were full of yellow buttercups, the pond was surrounded by reeds, the garden was awash with cottage garden flowers and the heat had me hiding out under the shade of the silver birches.

We thought that was wonderful, but Winter, and snow especially, is another kind of magic, and we seem to get more of it here.

I walked past the spot where we sat under the trees picnicking, waiting for the keys to be released on moving day, now covered in snow. The place we breakfasted in the sunshine after one of my 4oth birthday parties, where I swang on the rope swing in the summer sunshine as friends challenged me to grab a bite of birthday cake, is now iced with snow.

I walked our guest’s dog in the snow this morning, and he stole my glove, charging round and round the naked plum trees and the snowy firepit, the same space we gathered around with so many of our favourite people over the summer, dancing, talking, watching shooting stars, toasting marshmallows.

I’m sure I will look back again next Summer as I eat a plum, and see me chasing our friend’s dog for my snowy glove. I’ll watch the kids on the rope swing in Spring and remember the snow on the ground. We’ll open the caravan for it’s first guests in summer and I’ll remember the snow on the windows.

This, I think, is the process of settling in.



  1. 11/12/2017 / 6:40 am

    I love this post. The blogging stuff and the catch up. I’m so pleased you’ve had snow in your first winter there. The children will remember it always.

  2. 11/12/2017 / 8:17 am

    I’ve been thinking about what to do with my blog as well. I feel overwhelmed by all the social media promotion and networking you “need” to do to promote posts that I don’t actually write posts. I’ve been considering going back to basics.

    This is the first proper snow we’ve had since we moved here four years ago. The children have loved the space.

  3. midlifesinglemum
    11/12/2017 / 8:27 pm

    I’d also like to do the just write and see what happens type of blog. So often I want to blog but I can’t think of a cohesive topic to blog about. Really I just want to blog about my days. You’ve inspired me. I also want to live in the country for a year to experience all the seasons. I think that would be wonderful.

  4. 12/12/2017 / 11:37 am

    Beautiful post Penny, your writing is so evocative. We got very excited at first snow over here in north London, although of course it disappeared overnight. The thought of your wintry wonderland for Christmas does sound appealing, and so does your mother’s ruin 😉 I think it’s a fantastic idea to get back to ‘slow blogging’ as it were, just dig in and write which is really what you’re born to do. So pleased you’re feeling settled x

  5. 18/12/2017 / 11:13 am

    Love this post Penny. I know what you mean about getting bogged down in photos, sometimes it is nice just to write 🙂 I hope you are feeling better on the SAD side, I know myself it can be easy to slide into when the days are really dark xx

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