Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Current status

Current status: very excited and slightly panicked.
Or is it the other way round?
Quite frankly, I change my mind daily.
Because I've dangled my foot out of my comfort zone, again. And soon I shall be taking a running jump. Or so it seems.
Why do I do this to myself?
Maybe it's due to the fact, for most of my life, I seem to have opted for the safe route. Worried about failure, fear of the unknown, these things have frequently held me back.
Well now I am definitely making up for lost time!
Some days my head is literally buzzing with ideas for the future. I seem to be living by my new moto - nothing ventured is nothing gained. And I aint getting any younger.
I don't want regrets. Life can be short, I aim to grab every opportunity I can. And I hope one day I can rock myself silly on my rocking chair (that is how I imagine myself as an elderly person, with white hair and a rocking chair), and laugh at all my adventures and plans.
This includes my Scarlet Moss Vintage open day.
I have decided to branch out in the world of vintage. Therefore, in two months time, I shall be opening my house to friends and family and turning my home and garden into a vintage heaven. Or so I hope.
I'm treasure hunting big time. Invites have been circulated and I'm running polls on Facebook and Instagram to see which items people are longing for.
On a good day I imagine the open day as a roaring success - the house is filled with laughter and Ella Fitzgerald, the garden is over spilling with guests praising my selection of cakes. Not to mention the vintage. Oh everyone is in awe of my collection; friends are literally fighting over purchases and everyone loves Scarlet Moss.
On a bad day - the house is empty. It's just my mum and I staring at each other, baffled as to why no one has bothered. Or the pitiful two potential customers, just look in horror at my offerings and make a hasty retreat to somewhere else.
Imagination, you take me to the best and worst places.
As if that wasn't enough, I have now volunteered to run a stall at Animal Aid. This is a local event, at the cricket green across the road, the day after we return from our yearly vacation. It's a particularly worthy cause. I also hope for more exposure for Scarlet Moss Vintage.
Please join me in the sunshine and optimistic dance.
Expect pictures. Maybe no sales. But definitely pictures, that I can promise you.
Wish me luck.

I shall leave you with personal favourites from my Etsy shop, past and present. etsy.com/uk/shop/scarletmossvintage

Friday, 8 June 2018

Why do our eyeballs never fall out?

Nothing ever stays the same, does it? In fact, it would be true to say - one thing that never changes in life is that things often change!
I was thinking about this the other morning, as I was preparing for my trip to the hairdressers.
Mark and I were discussing Tommy's school arrangements. Eek, school, how very grown up! One day I am changing his nappies and pushing him around the village, the next I am planning his school uniform. Well, it seems like that. Time has flown by. Obviously there were quite a few moments in between, such as returning to work almost in tears, his first words, his first steps, his adventures at nursery.
It's another chapter of our lives that we are embracing. My manager has agreed to my appearance one day in the office, and four days working from home. I am over the moon with this new arrangement. On these four days I can walk Tommy to school and collect him. I will also be there to cook his dinner and bath him, before daddy returns home from work and reads his bedtime story.
I am so looking forward to a new routine. Currently, I am in the office three days a week, and one day I work from my parent's house, and one day I work from our home and my father in law visits and plays with Tommy. Together we all muddle along. It's not ideal, on the three days I'm in the office, Mark and Tommy wait for me at the train station after my two hour journey, and we arrive home at approximately 7pm. Yes this is a little late, especially for Tommy. I forever feel guilty for only spending an hour or so with him before bedtime.
This is why it's so important for me to be there for him during his next stage. To walk him to the school gates, meet his new friends, and be at home to listen to the stories of his day. And for him to retire to bed at a decent hour! Presently, he will do anything to avoid bedtime and stay awake, sometimes due to the fact he's had a long sleep at my mums, and sometimes (I suspect) just to hang out with me and play with his toys.
Absolutley this new routine is necessary and very much needed.
Thus, on the morning of my hairdressers appointment, as I waved bye to Tommy, I was reminded of a time we had to distract him when I left the house, for fear of him bursting into tears. Oh how much easier life is now.
I popped to the new M&S cash machine, the village has an M&S now, how very exciting and convenient. Although I've already spent far too much time and money on M&S products. I walked along our road, admiring the flowers blooming in cottage gardens and around the duck pond, and remembered the days I would push Tommy in his pram when I was on maternity leave. Now I push him on his bike and he chats away asking me such questions as, why do our eyeballs never fall out, and how heavy is a witches house? He has a very inquisitive mind and wild imagination!
I arrived at the salon bang on time, looking forward to catching up with my hairdresser, and the beautician who shares the premises. Again, my memory cast me back, this time to my first appointment over five years ago, when I felt positively lost without Tommy plus slightly exhilarated to be out on my own.
I was shown my seat, offered a latte, and then my hairdresser dropped the bombshell. The salon was soon to be turned into flats! No more walking along the road for my streaks and trim. No more escaping for idol chat and new look.
"Nothing stays the same," said my hairdresser after explaining her new predicament and freelance venture.
"Aint that the truth," said I.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

You stole my heart

The Cotswolds stole my heart a long time ago. It's also tugged at my mum's heart strings, she's often visited with my dad and her best friend (my dear God mother) Auntie Wendy. As my dad is now 84 years young, he's not confident driving long distance; Waitrose and the bakers are his limits these days. So Mark and I decided to step in.
On Christmas Day 2017, I placed a rhyme in the Christmas crackers, announcing we had booked them a little trip for Spring 2018.

First stop was Burford.

I can't resist an antique shop, mindful of Scarlet Moss Vintage.

Here's my mum, window shopping.

Here's my dad outside one of the charity shops.

Love all the higgledy-piggledy buildings.

Thank you Auntie Wendy for treating us to lunch. It was delicious, especially the chocolate cake.

Check in time at our home for the night, charming pub at Burton-on-the-water.

Our rooms were situated in the court yard.

Next it was a look around Burton-on-the-water, a picturesque village with a river flowing. Tommy thought the ducks with their bottoms in the air were hilarious.

More quaint shops.

The evening was spent at the pub we stayed at, lovely cosy place.

After our meal it was back to our rooms. Tommy played with his toys, Mark and I opened the wine and put the telly on. Bliss.

The next day, after a hearty breakfast in the pub, we visited Stow-on-the-wold, with vintage fair and tearoom. See you soon the Cotswolds, I hope.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

You've got jam on your face

Sometimes, I think we all need a reminder of how far we've come.
Oh it's easy to think about all the stuff you want to accomplish, and forget to congratulate yourself for the marvellous things you've already attained.
I certainly needed to be reconnected and reminded of this.
Because I asked a white witch for a tarot reading. Depending on your attitude as to this being baloney or not, I have always been fascinated with the strange and unusual.
And I quote, if I may be so bold, from the very white witch herself:
Maybe you feel a bit lost or lacking in direction right now, or maybe you’re experiencing some challenges, and that’s why you wanted to reach out to me, but these cards are affirmative; you have got this, you’re doing what you need to be doing (or at least you’re facing in the right direction!) and you can access the kind of life that you dream of creating – in fact, you almost certainly will.
I'll be perfectly frank with you, I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard these words. I realised how much I needed those words. Whether you think there is such a thing as fortune telling, it was certainly necessary for me to reflect on this crazy path I have travelled upon.
And why? Well, maybe this is due to the fact in the past I've experienced many barriers, stacks of set backs. I'm not trying to form a sob story, no one experiences life without a few disappointments along the way. Yet I seem to have created this unfortunate way of worrying about the future, as if I'm waiting for something to go wrong, as it usually does!
Therefore, my happiness report from my reading was just what the doctor ordered. Stop fretting, start enjoying.
My life is not perfect, let's face it, whose is completely perfect? Or maybe that's it, maybe I need to stop comparing myself to others whose life is seemingly preferable (with more money, larger homes, bigger families), and concentrate on all my blessings.
For my current life is definitely blessed.
I live in a pretty village, in a quaint cottage, with a husband who loves me and a boy who's healthy, happy, and an absolute joy. I have a job I kind of enjoy (there are things I now hate about it, I am sad to say), but the powers above have agreed to me working one day in the office and four days at home, allowing me to accompany Tommy to and from school. This is very important to me, being around when Tommy starts school, and what's more he has been accepted into the village school. When I hang my washing in the garden I can hear the kids singing in assembly, that's how near the school is, we just open our back gate and there it is. As if by magic.
And I have my vintage shop, I am proud of this and relishing the knowledge I am learning and the pleasure I am giving to others (and myself).
Thus, it is safe to say, as I sat in the garden one sunny morning, counting these blessings, eating my toast, and reading my tarot report once more, I realised my life is bang on track. So to speak. I am of good health, merry manner, and loved. I am achieving, I have achieved.
And then husband brought me back to reality, as he wondered why I was sitting in the garden, grinning like a loon, and exclaimed to me, "You've got jam on your face."

Saturday, 14 April 2018

When Tommy met the Easter bunny and other such traditions

I was determined not to allow the rain to ruin this year’s Easter egg hunt. Therefore, the annual event was an indoor affair, due to the heavy splattering of typically British weather.
I was left with no other alternative, it was time to improvise.
In other words, the night before Good Friday, I sat in the lounge, until the undignified hour of 1am, shredding green tissue paper (fake grass, if you were wondering).
Alas, the weather forecast all week was rain, rain and yet more rain. Okay, I'll be honest, I was merrily catching up with Coronation Street and sipping Pinot, whilst shredding and planning (in case you were starting to feel terribly sorry for little old me).
Usually I am tucked up in bed at sensible o'clock, so it's fine if every now and then I let my hair down. Yes, strangely, embarrassingly, tissue paper, Coronation Street, and wine, does it for me these days.
I digress, feeling a tad peaky the morning of the big day, I temporarily forgot, 4 year olds do not lay in, I decorated house and whatsapped my visitors 'due to the rain, the Easter hunt will be indoors, after sandwiches and cakes'.
The giant toadstool, the paper carrots, the tiny gnome, they were all placed strategically around our cottage.
There was nothing left to do, but wait for our guests.
As prior mentioned, after sandwiches and cake, I ordered Tommy and his cousin Will to wait in Tommy's bedroom, whilst I hid Easter eggs in as many imaginative places as possible.
Personally, I was disappointed that we were not running around the garden searching high and low, but honestly, I think as long as they found chocolate, the kids didn't really care.
Oh and Tommy met the Easter bunny the very next day. "Mummy, I thought he was a toy, I didn't realise he was real!" he literally screamed in a very excited voice.
This is why I love Easter with all my heart.

Part of the indoor Easter egg hunt.

Tommy and cousin Will. Friends forever.

Optimus Prime and bumble bee.

We spent Easter Saturday at Audley End, participating in the Easter woodland trail, followed by the steam train to meet the Easter bunny. My friend Eve and her lovely daughter (who Tommy adores) joined us.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Tommy's first airplane adventure

Nowadays, my definition of time tends to be split into two parts - before Tommy and after Tommy. Affectionately hereafter abbreviated as, BT and AT.
BT, I used to go out. A lot.
AT, I rarely set foot outside the house without small child. (Apart from my commitment to the work place, which alas is compulsory to enable us to afford life.)
Not that I'm complaining. I am now with the opinion of, going out is overrated.
AT, Mark and I barely venture out together either, without small child. If my memory serves me well, AT we have participated in one wedding reception, one all day wedding (no kids allowed), and one very nice meal at Indian restaurant with friends. That's all folks.
Not that Mark and I mind one tiny bit. We are fortunate in the fact we have friends in similar positions, "Bring the kids!" they all say. Or, sometimes, only sometimes mind you, we socialise without each other.
Mark and I may not actually be bothered about date nights and such, but one date we have promised to always celebrate and make a fuss of - our wedding anniversary. And we are perfectly happy to share this with Tommy. In fact, it wouldn't be the same without him.
For our 5th anniversary we decided to visit Portugal again, which just happens to be where Mark proposed to me, and also coincided with Tommy's first airplane adventure.
Would you like to see my pictures of? I shall show them anyway.

The night before the airplane adventure to Portugal, we stayed at hotel near airport, due to very early morning flight. It was a charming hotel, stunning grounds, albeit noisy.

Have I got the best sister-in-law ever? Prosecco and card displayed in room, upon arrival.

And it was a huge room. Did I mention it was noisy? It was fine though, Tommy was beside himself with excitement every time we heard a plane, which was approximately every two minutes.

Tommy showing the camera his transformer.

Tommy and his first airplane.

Our fab apartment in Portugal.

Tommy made a friend. On day 1 she was shaking her head and saying no to his dance moves. Luckily on day 2 she forgave him.

And he made friends on the beach. Tommy is very cautious around adults but ever so friendly with kids. i like that.

Taxi to the old town.

Old town by night.

Our 5th wedding anniversary meal. Couldn't get them both to look at the camera at the same time.

Other nights out in Portugal.

Homeward bound, he skips when he's happy. I love it when he skips.