Home ~ A Year On

Coming back home the other night, I was met at the front door by the first opening bud on our rambling rose bush, winding upwards and standing tall. It reminded me so much of seeing it emerge this time last year – when we had only been in our new home a few weeks, everything still felt very strange and new, and we were just at the very beginning of settling in. I had been waiting to see what colour the roses would turn out to be when the buds opened, and I remember loving the vibrancy of them when they did.

Seeing them at the same stage again just transported me back and it’s strange to remember how different everything was then. When we moved in I worried I’d never love it like our last little house we’d been in so long – and yet in the one short year we’ve lived here it has been so poured full of memories and family life that it feels like we’ve been here forever.

We’ve had our first summer; watched the rowan berries appear – and the delighted starlings “disappear” them as quickly as they did; the autumn colours creep in, with the busyness of harvesting going on in the fields all around; our first Christmas, lights twinkling in the windows; an extra-long winter with history-making snowdrifts and village efforts to get dug out during the “Beast from the East”; a long-awaited spring, white and yellow daffodils lining the fence… and are now back in the season of days in the garden feeling the warmth of the sun.

Home in all its seasons

I remember the first time I watched the sun rise over the town in the distance – up early for a flight for work and needing to leave for the airport, but not wanting to look away for a moment.

Now, I’m so used to the view, watching the sheep graze outside the window and the windmill up on the hill whir and catch the fading light while we’re settling the little one down every night.

This year has been a whirlwind and there have been lots of changes as we’ve made our house our own. The utility room has become a totally practical space for laundry, storage and most of all our little rat boys – it’s the perfect home for them being so cool and set apart from the rest of the house but still accessed all the time, and they enjoy the coming and going so much. Upstairs, it’s been lovely to transform the spare room (briefly host to an air bed and a grand total of two overnight guests) into a bedroom for our daughter, enjoying decorating and adding new little bits and pieces all the time. There’s been a flurry of activity in the garden too since the weather improved, much-appreciated family team efforts to a build a shed and a fence to make it safest for when the era of toddling begins – and adding brightly coloured flower boxes, which caught Jasper’s attention on an early morning coffee in the garden before the rest of the house woke!

Life moves on at such a pace it’s hard to keep up with the passing of time, and I can’t believe it’s a year – and a good bit more now – since we arrived here. It is so lovely sometimes to pause and look back at the journey and appreciate it all – and catching sight of the bright pink of our roses once again gave me a jolt and a moment to do just that.. ♥️🏡

Have a lovely week all xx

Little pieces of home ❤

Having recently moved house, for the first time in several years and out of the very first home I shared with my husband, into our second; I have been thinking a lot about home in the last few weeks. 

I have always been a big homebody, always loved nothing more than pointing the car homewards at the end of the day, and felt such a huge joy just turning the key in the lock and exchanging shouted hellos as I come in. 

I’ve also always been a big believer in a house being just that, and a home being the people and the moments and the heart of what you make of it. Still, in the first couple of weeks in our new house I did struggle to detach from our old one, which I had loved with all my heart for all the years we lived in it. 

I knew we were taking with us all the memories we made there, and moving on to make more; and our new house couldn’t have been more suited to us and our life together, and even offered things I’d always dreamed of, like the chance to watch the sun set over the hills and sheep graze outside the window on summer evenings. Still, I panicked that this house wouldn’t feel like “home” the way our tiny tumbling cottage where we took our first steps in our life together had.

Slowly but surely, though, as I always knew it would, the heart of our home has followed us. One of the main turning points, after a week of moving boxes in, building furniture and laying everything out, was bringing our pets along and settling them in their new room. The daily routine of making my way to the pets of a morning to greet them first thing – already adapted from jumping down the two steps into our old kitchen to making my way downstairs and opening the door to the utility room with the same usual shout of good morning – is such a big part of my day and brings so much balance and grounding to it. 

As other parts of our day-to-day life began to take up residence in the new house too – Saturday morning coffees in the garden, Friday night takeaways watching favourite box sets, evening walks before bed, hanging washing out on the line first thing – it began to feel more and more like home. Having friends to visit,  choosing books from the shelves and finding a cleaning routine, day by day we slotted into life here. 

The last few weeks have made me more sure than ever that a home is all the things that matter most. When I look around our house it is the gifts from friends and family that are so special – the sunflower our friends brought over when they came to stay, the painting of our old home our talented neighbour gave us as a wedding present, the letter-opener my dad whittled sitting by the mail – and the frames all round the house filled with photos of people and moments that mean so much. 

“Home” is such a huge part of my life, something I love so much and feel anchored to wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. Making a shift in where it is is a big adjustment, but ultimately doesn’t change it at its very heart – and within just a few weeks, I’m pointing the car at the new location with the same sense of happiness. ❤

Have a lovely weekend all. X 

Home ❤

Six years ago this weekend, I packed up my much-loved little flat in town, along with my girls, Smokie and Peatie, my first rats since childhood; while my husband (then boyfriend) and his handsome and hilarious lionhead house rabbit Simba did the same in theirs; and we all moved into our home together for the very first time. It’s strange to think that it’s been that long – sometimes it seems like no time at all and at others when I think of all that’s happened in the last six years it feels forever. 

I still remember so clearly sitting down on our first night in our new home, late on – all our lovely helpers gone, books arranged, key turned in the old door for the first time and the remainder of the boxes left for now – just enjoying the space we could call ours. The girls were down in the kitchen getting acquainted with the new view from their cage, and I always remember Simba, who was as big a character as we’ve ever had the privilege of sharing our life with, making us laugh so much lying very regally in front of the fire even that very first day, happily acclimatising to his new spot.

Five years ago, on Valentines Day in 2012, after a year of living the five of us, we brought home our first pet together, Grace, our little hamster. She was again one of the most wonderful personalities we’ve come across – she was 4 months old when we met her and had been recently rescued having spent all of her life until then in a little plastic box. She was much smaller than any other Syrian hamsters we’ve had, and had lost one ear, but if any of that should have dampened her love of life it certainly didn’t – Grace approached everything with so much enthusiasm, climbing to the top of bookcases in a heartbeat, rocketing on her much-too-big 12″ wheel with no effort, and was incredibly friendly and affectionate. 

The years have tumbled by and life has moved on in so many ways – we’ve begun and ended whole careers, got engaged in our little kitchen, come home as newlyweds, hosted family and friends, seen the blackbird couple come back every summer, lit the fire every winter and seen so many beloved pets come and go. It has all been such an adventure. 

Two years ago, we brought Ty and his brother Harvey home on the same day we moved in, and in fact named Ty in part for the Gaelic “Tigh” meaning “home” since he arrived on such an appropriate day. Sitting with him in our home this evening it is lovely to look back on so many memories.

Not just in our house, and our home wherever we come to make it in the future, but in all of our life, our story has been enhanced by all of the characters in it, including our pets. 

Thought I’d take such an opportune chance to share a couple of them – our beautiful Mr & Mrs rat couple who were a much-loved gift for our wedding and who stand in pride of place in our living room:

…and our wedding horseshoe, one of Charmer’s own, decorated by my very talented friend..

We don’t know where the future will take us and what lies around the corner. I love to celebrate our home-aversary even if one of these years it is our last in this house, as I know whenever we move on it will be all together and to somewhere just as loved and just a new chapter in our life together – as another of my favourite home pieces says, “What I love most about my home is who I share it with” – wherever it is. ❤

Just a few pictures of some very favourite moments here over the years.. 

Whether you are celebrating Valentines Day, light nights, Friday finally being here, anything else or nothing at all, hope you all have a really lovely weekend. X