February 28, 2015

goodbye February, you actually looked pretty good

The short, cold month of February is slipping through our fingers again, but this year I have been having some small adventures and working on some new jewellery designs as well as celebrating two of our kids' birthdays, and it has been just fine.

I have made a little promise to myself to always have some foraged greenery in the house whatever the time of year, and however simple and plain it is, it is always very cheering somehow. I have learned so much about celebrating simple moments and the value of noticing the smallest gifts of nature from my very dear Norwegian friend. She always has some natural, botanical loveliness in her home even in the depth of a Scandinavian winter. Anyhow, this is how I have styled the season this month, just really simple snowdrops and hyacinths mainly. Couldn't really be plainer, but it feels good that way.




The hyacinths have now moved into the house, filling rooms with their amazing scent, but it was rather nice having them growing quietly in the greenhouse while I pottered about in there, tidying it up for the seed planting which will start soon.



There have been some incredible blue sky days in February, and the hubby and I have taken off into the countryside to explore some ancient foothpaths and drovers' ways that we are only just beginning to really get to know, not far from where we live. This has been a big part of my small adventure in health - making my half hour dogwalks into 2 hour hikes with a man who walks at my jogging pace and doesn't slow down going up hill!He is inbetween jobs right now, but I am hoping it will be enough of a habit by the time he is around less, I will keep doing it on my own.  This combined with a much cleaner, semi paleo type diet is really starting to make changes in my body shape. But I'm only making changes I know I can realistically do for the rest of my life, so I do allow myself treats, I just control them more and then get back on track. The reality is you can't constantly indulge your every sweet-toothed fancy and expect a healthy, lean body in middle age, that is the honest truth, so I'm making some practical changes that are really making a difference, (bread only at the weekend for example), and three tough little workouts a week along with the walking and yoga - and I already feel stronger and healthier. It feels hard sometimes because habits take some breaking, and new ones feel unfamiliar and sometimes irksome but it is so worth it. I'm loving the exploratory side of the hiking too, really getting to really know my local landscape and the network of paths that lead from the lower, flat arable land into the chalk escarpments and rolling hills of the Chilterns. It feels like I am examining and experiencing  the physical roots of the landscape I call home. And, of course, it is feeding my creativity and seeping into my new jewellery designs and plans for new collections.





To keep track of all this inspiration, I have started writing a creative journal, to investigate the way that experiences and adventures, sights and sounds translate into creative ideas. It is a bit scary and feels a bit silly sometimes, but I'm going to think of it as part record, part play, and see where it leads. It is my small adventure in writing and observing, and I am quite excited to see if quite what gets scribbled, noted and sketched in its pages. Back to some paper and ink - maybe I'll post a few pages here. 



February looked a lot like this to me, it feels a lighter, happier month for our family than this time last year, and I am so grateful.