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It feels like so long since I sat at the computer and drafted a blog post.  Actually it seems like a long time since I wrote with any sense of intention or impunity.  Oh god, it seems like a long time since I did anything with any sense of intention or impunity.  That's the truth of it I think.  For someone who is 'known' for flying from one plan to another, for being that person that says 'sure, I'm free in, say, two months time?', I've sure had a lot of 8pm bedtimes recently.  And not so many plans.  At the moment I go to work, come home, slope around in my pyjamas and then make an excuse to go to bed early, only to scroll through my phone or try and read a book but get distracted and fall asleep (and then wake a few hours later and stare at the ceiling).

I am known for being that person who loves Christmas.  Most years I am begging Tom to put the tree up in the last weekend of November, playing the Michael BublĂ© Christmas album weeks in advance of the big day and having all of my shopping done, wrapped and under the tree in a sickeningly keen timescale.  This year I have zero interest in Christmas.  I'm sort of hoping it's something that just goes away, something I can maybe just opt out of.  I'm trying to brush it under the carpet, but it's ubiquitous at this time of year.  I have no enthusiasm for really anything, except for early nights, long soaks in the bath, burning candles and lolling around in my PJs.  I keep coming back to that fantasy I mentioned before, of living in the woods in a log cabin, with fires burning and nothing to do but wrap up in a blanket and read (or maybe mull some cider and make stews).  When I feel like this, I long for total solitude.  I don't really like to talk all that much, I like to go inward and fix (fix with baths and candles, fix with large glasses of wine, fix with sleep).

I've been keeping away from social media a little lately.  There's something about seeing decorated Christmas trees, happy families baking gingerbread, perfectly adorned mantelpieces, winter holidays and couples hugging mulled cider at Christmas Markets that is making me feel very sad.  I know there is that saying 'never compare your outtakes to someone else's highlights reel', but it just feels like another world to me at the moment.  Like everyone else is nailing stuff I cannot seem to get right.       And then I think, is the window closing to have the children huddled around the Christmas tree, to learn how to style the mantelpiece, to want to buy the practical shoes instead of the comfy joggers? Hide under the duvet, pretend that time isn't whooshing by like a train (a train I don't have a ticket for - fumble in my pockets, root through my wallet, check down the back of the sofa - definitely no ticket).

Please know I am not ungrateful.  I accept that I have no reason to be sad or feel bored or listless.
I have all of the ingredients that should mix and bake and make a person full of joy and vigour, all warm and toasty from the oven.  I am endlessly grateful for my beautiful house, amazing friends, wonderful family, loving dog, engaging job - etc etc.  I write in my gratitude journal and sit in the quiet and am thankful for every cup of tea and every hot bath and every nuzzle from the dog.  And I am hopeful that this feeling will pass.  It doesn't always feel right to share the down days on here (and I have been criticised for doing so in the past) but I feel like it's important to mix a little mopey pajama days in with the perfect mantelpieces now and then.  It's all about balance.

In the meantime I have become a little obsessed with this poem from Rilke.  There's something about that line "I want to be with those who know secret things, or else alone" that is just everything for me right now.  Onto brighter days soon...


Casual Sunday and new Nikes

Just a casual little outfit post today for a rather Autumnal Sunday.  I've had the lovely Katy and Sarah staying this weekend and except for instagramming our desserts at Sprinkles in Southampton yesterday I didn't take any other photos (which is clearly how you now you're 'real-life' friends, not just blogger friends).

I did want to quickly share a few snaps from a little stroll this afternoon however, mainly as I wanted to show off my rather beautiful new Nike trainers (which, whilst all-white are still definitely totally appropriate for a walk around the neighbourhood).  Though perhaps not a walk in the forest.  It was actually quite mild today so I could get away with a scarf and my much-loved and pinned (as in, a lapel of enamel pins, not that it's big on Pinterest) leather jacket.  The scarf is a recent purchase from Zara (I think it might actually be from their kids' section) due to a rather chilly lunchbreak when my neck was so cold I had to go and impulse-purchase some winter accessories.


jacket: great plains, £66* {outfit post} // scarf: zara, £12.99 
shirt: uniqlo {sold out} // shoes: nike, from asos via octer £80*

The trainers are from Octer which is actually a really genius app and website.  Basically it aggregates hundreds of different shops and thousands of different brands so you can search for items all on one website.  This is massively helpful if you know what you're searching for but not where to buy it - for example, I know I want an off the shoulder dress for my work Christmas do but I haven't found the perfect one; so you can just search for that style and scroll through lots of different items. SO much easier than having about a hundred different tabs open and slogging through loads of websites.

That last photo quite nicely shows off my new hair colour too (total accident, promise) - on Friday I finally went to the hairdresser's to get my roots done and got loads more highlights put through.  I've always missed having really light, ashy blonde hair ever since I dyed it back to my natural colour last year so I'm excited that it's getting back to being really light again.  The salon I go to uses Olaplex which is a total miracle worker, I can't believe how shiny and soft my hair is after getting it coloured, it feels in such good condition!

Hope you're all having lovely Sundays whatever you're doing (and hopefully whatever you're doing involves slippers, a good book and lots of cosiness - that's certainly what lies ahead for my evening...)

The story of the huge bathroom picture

One of the things my friends often say to me is ‘with you, there’s always a story’. It’s true that I do somehow find myself getting into dramatic little pickles that, whilst frustrating at the time, do make for vaguely amusing dinner chatter. I also have quite the habit of involving as many people as possible in these dramas, ensuring that not only does everyone have to hear the whole story of how I got lost somewhere, or misplaced an important item, but I also have to drag everyone into helping me get out of it.

One of these such dramas led to me in our office car park a few weeks ago, on my knees on the pavement, with bubblewrap wafting around in the wind, trying to press a humongous piece of glass into a picture frame whilst not damaging the print of a picturesque beach scene. It’s fair to say that when I chose the picture that now graces my bathroom wall from Junique, I did not realise quite how large it was, and consequently did not consider a) where to get it delivered to, b) how to get it home from work should that be chosen as the solution, c) how to get it up the stairs and d) how to get it onto the bathroom wall. Some facts that I now know that I didn’t before are that a picture sized 1 metre x 1.5 metres will not fit in the boot of a Volvo C30, or indeed a large Subaru Legacy Estate, even if you take it apart into all of its component parts on your lunch break at work. Another thing I now know is that a picture sized 1 metre x 1.5 metres will not fit up the stairs in our house unless you take at least one door off its hinges. I also now know that a picture that heavy cannot be held on the wall by just two picture nails. (Never let it be said that this blog is not educational).

Art print and frame: Junique, from £45* (unframed)

Onto the topic in hand though, I need to tell you just how amazing Junique is – I implore you to look on their website if you like absolutely beautiful art/homewares/accessories and THINGS. It’s one of those websites where you immediately generate a lengthy wishlist of things you want, particularly if you like stylish interiors (it’s basically all of my home-related Pinterest boards in one place, for sale). Despite all the drama, I am totally in love with the picture in our bathroom, and I’m glad I chose such a statement piece as it just brings together everything in the room. Anyone who visits always comments on it, and asks where it’s from.

We also have a big blank wall in our lounge above the sofa and I’ll definitely be picking something up from Junique to go in that space (I’ve already got my eye on several prints). That will mean the lounge is finished – I can’t wait to share it with you, it’s definitely my favourite room in the house now! Have you got any new home plans? (PS – just LOOK at Junique’s instagram, I swear that website is TOO MUCH).