Location:United Kingdom

An avid tea-drinker who likes nutmeg in her coffee and warm lavender-scented quilts. She knits, crochets and partakes in random acts of craftiness (and kindness). She likes obscure works of literature, philosophy and the idea that her mind exists separately from her body. She enjoys moving furniture around, literary criticism and baking bread. She writes haiku about nettles, would like to swim with seals and become completely self-sufficient. She writes as if her life depends on it, listens to beautiful music, and loves her darling husband Mr. VP.

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Wednesday 31 December 2014

The Old Year: 2014 in Review

You’ll have to excuse me while I panic at the thought of 2014 being over – I was just getting into the swing of things, and last I heard, it was September!  Time it is a-flying.  It has been such a lovely, if challenging year.  It started by joining a gym and taking up swimming again, which I really enjoyed.  I took a lot of power-walks along the rivers of Cambridgeshire, we had an amazing weekend in Southwold at the beginning of March, and then we were thrust into the rush of packing up and moving in March/April.  Before we knew what was happening we had found a delightful rental house, moved, Mr VP had changed jobs and we were ‘back’ into our new and exciting life in Northumberland.  We arrived just as the last of the blossoms in Cambridgeshire were fading and the first of the cherry and hawthorn blossoms were beginning to flower up here – we had the longest, most luxurious spring in my memory.

Summer was a holiday for both of us, and just what we needed after a stressful move.  We visited Coquet Island and saw puffins and seals, we spent our wedding anniversary picking strawberries, we walked for many miles along our favourite beaches old and new, and we made the most of every spare moment we could.  At the beginning of September, we began the mammoth task of house renovation.  This turned out to be not only extremely stressful and difficult, but also very educational and I know a lot more about things I didn’t even know existed (like building regulations and how best to choose decent workmen).  After three months, we moved in to an almost-finished house and that’s where we are now.  We’re still mostly living out of boxes as we’re still waiting for the floor to be laid, but with the lights on, candles lit and the fire going, it is very homely indeed.

If 2014 was about movement, then 2015 will, I hope, be about growth.  Moving house twice in seven months is unbelievably stressful and having to pack-up one house and oversee works in the other is tear-your-hair-out worthy, so I would like to settle down in 2015, yet still grow and develop. At some point I plan to return to my studies, either this year or next, and I would like to increase the time I spend doing good and useful things.  It sounds obtuse, but it means me taking on more challenges and making more committments to myself and the life I would like to create.

I always have a bit of a panic at the end of the year, as I worry about the future and what is to come.  I suppose it’s the not-knowingness that New Year represents that worries me the most, but each year I keep trying to let that worry go a bit more and spend a little bit more living as in-the-moment as I can.  I have had such a glorious year in 2014 that I am eager to see how 2015 will pan out and how we’ll grow and change to meet the year.

So that’s it for 2014.  Here we sit watching Guardians of the Galaxy (Mr VP’s pick), having nibbled at some of the buffet food I’ve made (the homemade sausage rolls and olive palmiers have gone down a treat!) and toasting ourselves in front of a warm fire.  We might not be awake come midnight, but we’ll usually be woken long enough to welcome the new year by the fireworks going off around and about!

To all the lovely blog readers who stop by, I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2015 for you and yours.  Thanks for reading and see you in 2015! :)

Sunday 2 November 2014

NaBloPoMo 2014: Day 2. Sunrise

Pastel pinks and blues, oranges and purples never look this good on paper.  Oystercatchers, seagulls, cormorants flying and squabbling at the surf line or flying overhead.  Solitude.  Northumberland waking up to this glorious morning, which we got to see and feel first-hand.  At times like this, when I’m stressed and full of worry about day to day things, I am so glad to be reminded of the greater world that is going on and will keep going on, just outside my door.


On a side-note: Today Mr VP reminded me that we might not have internet access for the last week or so of November, due to us moving…  It might be difficult, or even impossible to continue, but I’m going to try to keep NaBloPoMo going – we’ll see how it goes!

Tuesday 11 February 2014

February Photo Challenge: Day 11 – Home.

Some people say that home is wherever your family is, and that is true. I can do a lot of things, and bear a lot of things, as long as I am near to those I love. But there will forever be a part of me that lies along this coastline and there will always be a part of me that considers it home.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Morning Twilight

This last week we have been on holiday, and what a holiday it has been! On the whole, we usually holiday in May or September and each time the weather is mostly of the summer variety and it still feels like summer. However, holidaying in October has a completely different feel to it. Each morning I would look forward to moments of morning twilight; that sort of sleepy awakening, when the world is in that hazy, first-light, blinking state. The picture above is the view from our window, a view I never seem to tire of.

I witnessed these glorious morning moments staying in our favourite barn in the Somerset Levels, which is tucked up a two-mile-long dirt track, used only by the occasional farmer and lost tourist. It doesn’t get phone reception and WiFi is something that has yet to touch the ancient peace of the area. It is that kind of place; a place so rare to find these days, a place of rest and of peace. It was a salve to our weary souls, a joy to our hearts and we had a marvellous time there.

The worst bit of a holiday is, as ever, coming back to reality and what a sudden change we have had. We left Somerset yesterday in bright sunshine and arrived in Cambridgeshire just as the skies opened and the wind whipped the rain around us. Since then, the constant patter of the rain is only broken by the churning stop-start of the washing machine and the gentle clicking as the radiators expand and contract. It is indeed now autumnal weather, enough to warrant the use of heating and our heated blanket at night. We were so lucky that most of our week away was bathed in sunshine and warmth.

While I should be doing Things-Domestic, I am sitting here and fervently re-living the holiday through the photos, memories and diary entries. For the first couple of days of our holiday my friend came up to stay with us as the barn we stay in has a spare room and as I hadn’t seen my friend for such a long time, we spent hours catching up, doing all manner of girly things (homemade hair masks!), pizza-making and just having a laugh. It was great and also much-needed.

But for now, though I am working my way through endless loads of laundry, I am formulating ways to tell you about the very interesting things we saw and did and people we met. It’s all up here *taps temple*, just waiting to come out. Until then, I hope you are all enjoying the glory of autumn as much as we have been and will continue to do.

Oh yes, and the winner of my giveaway. Despite having a lot of interest in the blog post with the giveaway (or so my site statistics tell me), there was only one entrant, Jo, so you are the lucky winner! I will contact you in the coming days to organise the details and which picture you would like!

Monday 27 May 2013

Going Home

This weekend, Mum, Mr VP and I all went up to Newcastle and Northumberland for her birthday.  I felt a little odd going back, because the old adage of not knowing what you’ve got ’til it’s gone is true.  Not finding one single redeeming feature in Cambridgeshire, it comes as no surprise that to re-visit our old home brought pangs of desire and memories flooding to the surface.  I miss it.  I miss it a lot.

Though we only had three days, we managed to pack in an insane amount of activity into our days.  We visited all of our old haunts and I drove around as if by muscle-memory, knowing the roads and the twists and turns as if I’d never left.  We visited RE:Found Objects (‘RE’ to locals) and enjoyed it every bit as much (I wished for some more money to spend there).  We visited National Trust houses. We visited Roman sites.  We saw how towns had changed and grown up; how people were the same and how nothing stays the same but is forever changing.  We did beaches.  Boy, did we do beaches.

I got up at 4am and left our hotel just as the sky was lightening to go and watch the sun rise.  I hadn’t done that for five years and it was the best thing in the world.

We saw a concert at the Sage in Gateshead.  Josh Rouse and Sean Rowe.  I last saw Josh Rouse five years ago on the same stage.  It was one of the loveliest nights of my life, last night.

The weekend was a salve to the soul.  It came with its own stresses, of course, and memories, but it was just what we needed.  I also managed to take 606 photos on my dSLR alone!  We made some decisions and talked a lot, us three.  It was wonderful.