I started writing a blog post in November, believe it or not, but somehow November morphed into December and we were without internet for a good chunk of December and the first bit of January too (thanks BT Openreach…). But here I am and I have every intention of getting back into the blogging groove once more. I must apologise for my cryptic absence – which some of you correctly guessed – Mr VP and I did indeed have a visit from a stork in the summer. I say stork as a euphemism for the ideal birth experience, which in no way reflects how the whole birth thing actually went down (because that was fairly traumatic in and of itself) but hey ho, we survived! Just.
Now here I am resurfacing. Gosh, it feels weird. I wonder all the time ‘what did I DO with myself before this?!’ as ‘free time’ is now an odd and confounding concept – and one that I am happy to surrender to the whims of my own tiny human. And really, motherhood? It’s pretty amazing. But it has been the sort of all-consuming task that has required every inch of my being and so blogging, and many other things, have been put onto the back burner. It hasn’t been helped by my thyroid finally – finally! Going since 2012! – giving up the ghost and meaning that I was winning prizes for falling asleep all. The. Time. Thankfully now I’m on thyroxine, and am working on increasing my dosage, I fall asleep less often and feel ever-so-slightly more with-it (a distinct improvement, let me tell you!)
Merry Christmas – I think I should get that in there, and a very Happy New Year too. Christmas was a whirlwind of unwrapped presents and twinkling lights; a bit of a weird day, with a kitchen role reversal and a fourth person to cater for and a living room that looked like ToysRUs had set up a franchise. I had made Delia’s Christmas cake some weeks earlier, and I hummed a lot of this, while we pacified and entertained a Christmas first-timer.
I was planning to give NaBloPoMo a go (hahaha) when I first started the bare-bones of this post in… November, but realised that the chance of me actually finishing were slim to nil, so I might as well dibble a toe rather than leap from the diving board. So, that’s a (tiny) fraction of what’s been going on over here. It feels so alien to sit here and hover over the ‘publish’ button that it’s taking me a while to get my head around doing it! Anyway, enough about me, how are you all doing?
Ahh, where has time gone? Last time I blogged it was the start (or the height) of summer and I was enjoying the scent of roses and warm sea breezes on the air and now we have been catapulted into autumn with its long, dark nights and chilly days. In the ten years (!) that VintagePretty has been running (I managed to spectacularly miss my own blog’s tenth birthday!) , I haven’t ever taken a break of such a length. So what precipitated the break? Well, quite a lot. Things I won’t necessarily share on her immediately as I don’t feel quite ready yet to holler everything from the rooftops, but it is a Very Good Thing indeed and one that has been by turns anxiety-inducing, time-disappearing and life-changing all at once. Things are good, just unbelievably busy and my days are now full in a way that I didn’t know was possible until recently.
So a big thanks to all who have emailed and commented asking whether I am still alive – I am indeed, even though some days I can’t remember the month or the day of the week (so don’t rely on me for punctuality or ability to remember my own name half the time!).
Oxalis that open and close with the sun.
Lobelia cheek-by-jowl with geraniums and fuschias.
A rose I’d forgotten all about until the other day; her name is Felicite Parmentier and she is an alba (old rose) x damask hybrid from the 1830s. She smells divine and flowers at midsummer.
This is Rosemoor, never a health rose in my recollection, but it seems to be doing quite well, though it needs a jolly good prune.
Fox and cubs growing on what used to be one of the vegetable beds in the bottom of the garden…
…Which has sadly become overgrown with brambles and goose grass. This is on next year’s to-do list, though I am looking forward to the blackberries!
Nippewort growing amongst the fox and cubs.
Finally, some of the proto-apples on our Katy apple tree that we bought home from our trip to Scotland. With any luck, we’ll see fruit this year!
Love is a funny thing indeed; it makes us do things we wouldn’t do, pushes us, nurtures us and gives us a place of refuge when we can’t see the good in ourselves. It’s a pretty wonderful thing and something that can be so easily overlooked, however hard we edeavour not to. I am extremely grateful for the love Mr VP shows on a daily basis and the care and dedication with which he nurtures our family. In the last year, our lives have taken some very surprising and wonderful turns and I am so glad that he is a part of them and here with me to share these epic changes that neither of us could have foreseen. I’m also hugely grateful for my best friend and soulmate at times when life pushes us to our limits and tests us to the nth degree.
Whilst going around the garden and doing a little inspection, which is the height of my gardening abilities these days, I came across this little fella on our Prunus incisa ‘Kojo No-Mai’ tree. After much time spent searching for him online, it turns out that he is a mottled umber moth caterpillar (Erannis defoliaria – the ‘defoliaria’ is a wee bit alarming!) and is, like quite a few moth caterpillars, much brighter and more splendid than the moth he’ll become! I think he really suits the tree he’s sitting on, though, as he matches colours perfectly with it. One interesting fact about this moth is that whilst the males have wings, the females don’t! I had no idea that wingless moths even existed, but apparently they do. I’m sure there’s a gender-biased evolutionary thing going on there (hmm…!). It really is true that you learn something every day!