January 01, 2015

2015, some hopes and intentions

Well, hello 2015, all shiny and new, full of potential and fizzing with the unknown and unwalked.

I've taken some time in the last couple of days to wander my local footpaths, field margins and woodlands, just to think a bit, unwind a bit and consider what I'm looking forward to in 2015, particularly outside of my working life.


I stood by these trees and looked out to the setting sun, and really pondered what is important looking forward. Not in a heavy, solemn sort of way, certainly no resolutions, just a wondering about what is out there, calling my name for the year ahead.


I find there is absolutely nothing like walking to still the mind from niggling worries and enable a gentle firing of the imagination and creative thinking. Nature never seems to fail in providing beautiful moments to offer a bit of perspective and peacefulness. Like tea, it seems to energise and calm all at the same time!


So, what is closest to my heart for 2015? It is a bit of a cliche, but I do wish for health for myself and family - 2014 has been a very challenging year on this front for some members of my family and ended with 3 months of coughs, colds and viruses. I have had enough and am at least taking responsibility for myself in the form of 2 months of Rebelfit because I cannot seem to trust myself to put exercise and a seriously healthy diet at the top of my priority list and I really need to start looking after this body of mine! I am not foisting this on my whole family but I am going to pay closer attention to what we are all eating and doing in order to have as healthy and energised a year as we can.

I also want to make time to read more. I LOVE reading, enough to have taken English lang and lit at university, but a busy life seems to have made it a rare treat these days. So, I am joining in with Laura from A Circle of Pines blog, who runs #theyearinbooks which will encourage me to read at least one book a month, and write about it here. I hope to share with you some amazing books, fiction and non-fiction, so perhaps you might be inspired to join in too? I'd love to hear any recommendations you might have for cracking reads? And isn't midwinter a wonderful time to snuggle up on the sofa with a great book and warming drink?


(These handmade ceramic beakers by Dove Street Pottery are my favourite for cosy, winter quaffing!)

Which brings me on to blogging. I have slightly lost my way this this blog. It started off, several years ago, as a way to journal my adventure of turning our little field of a garden into a productive cutflower and herb garden, and then more general wanderings crept in, and then of course, the jewellery has become my main creative pre-ocuppation. So what exactly is it now and what is it for? The thing is, I love writing and taking photos, and I really value the lovely conversations and friendships I have struck up in this warm little corner of the blogosphere. However, in the last few years the blogging world has changed dramatically. Instagram and Twitter, (and Pinterest) have all taken off, and at the same time blogging has shifted towards a highly styled, professional, money making instrument for businesses, book deals and e-commerce to flourish.  Have you felt this shift away from interaction and commenting? This professionalisation of blogging is all fine, and content is often of a very high standard and the blogs beautifully, (often expensively) designed, but the community of smaller, not-for-profit, personal blogs, with lovely communities of interesting folk who comment regularly and interact and support and befriend eachother sometimes now seem to find themselves on wobblier ground. Wobbly, partly because the audience expectation is now for the highest, professional quality design and photography standards and the fact that visitor attention is now spread over so many social media platforms with reading and interacting habits having become formed by super quick, bite-sized responses shaped by Twitter and Instagram. I suppose my blog has a commercial element because who I am and what I do is part of the 'brand' or 'face' of my jewellery business, but my blog is purposely not monetized, there are no sponsers or affiliates although many have offered, all views are entirely my own and I don't see my blog as an income stream, my business efforts are squarely focused on my jewellery making. And I don't think that makes my blog any better or worse. The question is, what is it for, and what do folk want from it? I keep going back to the fact that a lot of people have said to me that they read it because it is a place full of serene photos that provide a moment of reflection and slowness, a little bubble of nature and its beauty, in busy days. And you know, that is really enough for me. If this blog provides a little reminder of how beautiful the world outside your back door can be, and the importance of soaking yourself in it now and then, I think it has found its purpose! If it can occassionally make you think about something in a new way or provide a different angle on something familiar, and spark a conversation - then that is even better. I hope that a monthly post about a great book, and another about bringing the outdoors in and celebrating the changing seasons (#StylingTheSeason, #natureinthehome, #wanderandgather), will provide a bit of structure and inspiration. The hashtags are Instagram and/or Twitter groups that have been set up by some wonderful, creative people and by blogging my contributions to them, it feels like it might bring together my blog and those other social media platforms I use. If you like using them too, please find me on IG at Belinda@wildacre and Twitter at @B_wildacre. So, my plans for blogging content this year are; continued celebrations of nature and growing cut flowers, how to use grown and foraged natural materials to celebrate the seasons in your home, some writing about wonderful books and writers with some philosophical ponderings, a smattering of delicous food because who can resist, and updates about my jewellery ..... does that sound worth doing? Too scattered or are you ok with that?

If in doubt, please always feel free to come and visit here to remind yourself that, whatever hardships life throws our way, there is still beauty in the simplest thing, and that beauty is laid out for you anew every day, if only we have the eyes and intention to find it. Let's practice beauty hunting and gratitude in 2015, and please be part of the community here, celebrating and sharing it. Wishing you so much happiness and health in 2015. xxx



11 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you. My blogging has really become erratic over the last couple of years and I am not interested in twitter or instagram (and pleased as it would 'waste' more of my time...). Popping in to visit people in a virtual way is both sociable and antisocial and I appreciate blogs which are honest and thoughtful and funny. Not necessarily all at the same time. Wild Acre blog is perfect and I will read however often you post. Thank you for spending the time to share your thoughts and making your blog so attractive. Hope 2015 is happy and healthy, Ax

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  2. I felt calmer just reading your post! I always have some trepidation in the first few days of January.. Need to find my feet!! Great post and look forward to reading it! Off to bed with my book now...reading is my sanctuary !

    See you soon at Petersham xxx

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  3. too scattered?
    No, it's you and that's what we come to read and look at on your blog.
    A gentle or brisk walk in your countryside, seen thru your eyes.
    Yes please!

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  4. So glad you decided to hang with the blog, which i have followed since your first or second post - Flower Jane introduced us! I am one who loves both your gardens and the serenity of the fields and woods around your home. You are also my cutting garden guru! Still a long way to go on that, but this summer i will have more time and have some plans ... One of the things that i like the most is seeing how different your English climate is from my Virginia climate, and seeing what blooms when for you. It largely explains why the so-called "English cottage garden" is so desirable (and difficult to attain) here.

    Every winter i find myself at a loss for things to write because my blog is even more focused on the garden than yours is. Perhaps in retirement i will develop some new interests that i can add, but if not ... so be it. I shall continue to enjoy visiting with you whenever you feel like posting something. Happy New Year!

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  5. That all sounds about perfect to me. Have you read the Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey excellent winter read:-)
    Take care,
    Alison.

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  6. Belinda, just come across your blog again - and as remembered, lovely to read - talking of which, thankyou for the link to Laura and the Year in Books, which I would love to join - looking forward to your posts in 2015!

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  7. wishing you a very happy and healthy new year Belinda, and I am so looking forward to a year of visiting here with you, celebrating beauty and gratitude sounds perfect.

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  8. Belinda, blogs like yours are the absolute best - fresh, genuine and personal - so please keep it going! Your plans for it for the coming year sound perfect, and I hope you get as much enjoyment from writing it as I know I will from visiting! Happy New Year x

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  9. I think there is a core of creative people out there keeping not-for-profit blogs who are struggling in the same way as everyone has become obsessed with twitter and Facebook these days (is it just me or are these sites relentlessly boring!?). I've battled myself with thoughts of getting rid of my blog but in the end decided I would just do it on my own terms, as and when I please, because I enjoy it. Keeping a personal edge to things in this digital age counts for a lot in my book. Have a great 2015!

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  10. You have not seen a scattered blog until you read mine. I write about a variety of things==a movie or book that touches me, things I do, people in my life, my photographs, my first date (hilarious!), dreams, anything. I like that personal touch.

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  11. Yes, please stick with blogging despite the blogosphere evolution. I'm planning on starting a new blog in the US - I've missed it so. I'll check out the link - I'm getting ready to start 'All The Light We Cannot See' - it's supposed to be amazing. Happy New Year!!

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