The nice thing about sharing my blog with the lovely friends that I have met over the past ten years is I get to think about our friendships and when they started. Some I can remember easily, others I have no idea. Chris (aka Thinly Spread) seems to have always been there but if I had to guess I would say that I met her in 2010 at a blogging conference or perhaps as a group of friends. The fact that I cannot exactly remember generally means that it was sometime between 2009 – 2011 when I was in full baby mode. Chris is simply lovely, and very wise, I always know if I need advice she is the one to ask. I love to hear her tales of her children and imagine what it will be like when my two are older. Anyway, over to Chris.
Life with 3 teenagers and a nine year old can get pretty hectic. It’s not like it was when they were little and life was a blur of nappy changing, feeding and primary colours, but it can get overwhelming with exams, hormones and trying to keep up with who is doing what, where and when. I sink into life’s simplest pleasures, things which recharge me or make me smile, things which make me stop a moment and breathe. Here are my Top Ten sanity restorers.
1. A really hot cup of Earl Grey Tea, sitting on my favourite bench under the apple tree, curled up on the sofa under a blanket or wandering around the garden. It doesn’t have to be accompanied by a biscuit or a slice of cake, but it helps.
2. Climbing a hill. My youngest has a favourite hill which we all love striding up – I can see for miles across the Somerset and Wiltshire countryside from the top of it and the air is clear and fresh. Guaranteed to blow away all my cobwebs.
3. Getting the washing on the line to dry. When they were little this seemed an insurmountable task and if I did it, and it didn’t immediately rain, I could get quite giddy with the pleasure of it. Now they are older and have begun to leave, the clothes are gigantic, the task is easy but it still makes me smile – especially when Number 1 is back from Uni and the line is full of slogan tees and skinny jeans.
4. Growing plants. I love gardening, sticking my hands in the earth grounds me on the most chaotic of days and nothing makes me happier than raising plants from seeds. There is something very special about biting into a tomato or chopping spinach and knowing that I grew and nurtured it myself.
5. Browsing in an independent book shop. I have two local favourites, one in my little town and one in nearby Bath. As a child a trip to the bookshop was one of my favourite things and I haven’t grown out of it. That my eldest went into Bath on a recent visit with his new girlfriend and spent his birthday money on books in Mr B’s Emporium makes me grin very widely indeed.
6. Cloud watching. Throwing a rug onto the grass and lying on our backs to see what shapes the clouds make as they meander about on a summer’s day is a favourite family pastime. We’ve ‘wasted’ many a happy hour doing this one!
7. Sailing. We own a boat and sailing out to sea away from all the demands of our everyday lives is just the best thing.
8. Star gazing. Anchoring off a beach while the sun sets, watching the people pack up and make their way back home and then curling up on deck, with blankets and a glass of wine to stare up into the heavens, is possibly my favourite thing. Getting away from light pollution, watching the whole Milky Way appear before my eyes, counting shooting stars and spotting constellations makes it very difficult to go to bed!
9. Bed. I love bed. As I get older going to bed early is a treat and I no longer worry about ‘missing out’. Fresh line dried sheets and a book – heavenly!
10. Baking bread from scratch. I have a bread maker but I much prefer to make bread myself, the smell of it rising and baking and the feel of it as I knead away calms me completely. And then…I get to eat it! Warm from the oven with a smear of butter. Perfect.
I have asked ten bloggers to guest post for me in the run up to my 10 year anniversary at the start of July. I really hope that you enjoy these posts, and visit their blogs to say hello, or wave on Twitter. Each one of them has been a special part of my blogging life and I am so honoured to call them my friends.