There are 8 days to go until Christmas and I am feeling the least christmassy I have in years.
In an attempt to find my Christmas spirit I am writing cards today and posting them out. I’m going in search of something to make a wreath and table decorations from. I am buying ingredients to make something sticky, sickly and sweet to give as gifts. I have Christmas songs on repeat. I WILL channel my inner Mrs Santa.
I’ve even ordered some more presents, but it bugs me to admit they are from Tesco. I wrote a while ago about trying to keep our presents from more local suppliers, but I have to say, I have really struggled. There is a shortage of suitable gifts for the boys. I could get some home made dolls and clothes for my daughter, but for the boys – nothing. Admittedly they want things like video games, dvd’s and cds. There are no independent shops supplying these so I am stuck. It really shows that if we don’t use our local shops the monsters take over! Due to financial reasons we aren’t buying for one another this year, and this is the one place I could get some items from those lovely little natty shops. So there go my grand ideas of supporting local. Piff paff poof.
There is a local Christmas market which we can head to tonight, I hope there are plenty of stocking fillers there to ease my guilt and turn me into Mrs Claus. Or an elf, at the very least…
Failing that, pass the champagne.
Those of you who know me will tell those of you who don’t that I like nothing better than to plan. Nothing pleases me more than organising an event, a birthday, a party, a coffee with friends… So it will come as no surprise that I have already started thinking about what I would like to achieve next year. Who needs to wait until New Years Eve to decide on their resolutions?
In truth I was inspired by a meeting with Lizz from DJ Archer photography, who told me that she has a board on Pinterest where she keeps all her aims and desires for the year ahead. It sounded like a logical and easy way to visualise my dreams, so I decided to have a go myself. I’m approaching 36 and until now I haven’t done this, I figured what have I got to lose? So I started by looking at the things I had ‘pinned’ over the last year or two. There were some very clear and obvious themes – I want to get fit and fabulous. I want a holiday and to aim towards our dream house. I thought about Typical Type and where we would like to be at the end of next year with this and DH Joinery, our main business. I’d like to learn more about flowers and interior design, both things I have loved for a long time and never really got around to studying.
One thing I did want to improve on is keeping in touch with friends and family. It’s so easy to take everyone for granted, especially when you have been friends since school. But when you are all working, with husbands and families it is hard to arrange time. So watch out girls – I will be waving my calendar at you and making us book dates in so we can spend more quality time together.
If you want to see more about 2014 take a look here and feel free to remind me to keep striving towards them – they won’t get themselves.
Some days there are so many things happening it is hard to know where to start. Some times these are the days when nothing really seems to get done at all.
Yesterday two exciting things happened – firstly a job The Dazzler is working on, with his business DH Joinery may feature on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. Understandably we are overly excited about this, as although we realise that we probably wont feature, their should be some recognition of his work and we are hopeful this might lead on to more work of this kind. Failing that we are just very excited for our friends whose tiny space it is.
The announcement that this may be happening sent me into a tizz. Yet more marketing, websites, twitter, blog and facebooking to do. More ideas, communicating and record keeping. Don’t get me wrong, I really love it all, but I was just finding my feet with Typical Type and now I have to do it all again for our ‘real’ business! I’m looking forward to sharing our progress with you and hopefully you may even be able to see the results on the television one day!
The second exciting thing that happened was we decided to offer individual letters for hire too. After I said ‘no, no, no’. I eventually said ‘Yes’ and then my mind went a bit blank.
That’s why I’m now off to paint a letter C and E. At 8.30pm on a Tuesday night. The joy of being self employed.
One day at the beginning of the year we suddenly discovered there is a Waitrose in Preston. We were impressed, and maybe a little in awe. Eager to enter this all hallowed ‘shop for posh Southerners’ we were in a rush to get in. I admit, we were easy targets for the RSPB sales lady, stood in the lobby. Yes, of course we will give you £5 per month, no, we hadn’t visited the local bird reserve before, no, we don’t know our blue tits from our great tits, well not the bird variety – now LET ME IN…
Anyway, fast forward 9 months and we have just had our second trip there. It recently featured on BBC, as the home for their ‘Autumn Watch’ and inspired by the recording of the ‘Murmuration’ we decided it would be something spectacular to see. The staff at the reserve are very lovely and welcoming. The birds are plentiful. The cake in the cafe is generous. Some of the regular ‘twitchers’ are just rude. Yes, my children were a little noisy and excited. I apologise that they asked questions whilst we were in the hide. But they are children, enjoying childhood. Remember how that felt?
The murmuration was just beautiful, next time I will remember to take a fully charged battery…
Yesterday was Cartmel, today was Hoghton Tower. Another place I came across whilst researching wedding venues for BIG LOVE. It looked pretty special and this weekend I saw they had a Farmers Market on.
If you are looking for a place with a ‘wowsers’ entrance then this is it. You turn into the drive, which rises up majestically to the tower. Even on a dank day it looked quite stunning, with the beech trees lining the drive, flaming in their autumn glory.
There was an impressive array of stalls, despite us arriving late. We came away with the most amazing looking layered pie, a cheese and onion pie, chutney and bread. We dined on the last available burgers. Apparently the next market is the 15th December. Before then the Snow Queen arrives. I suspect she will be rather spectacular.
I’ve been relentlessly researching wedding venues to approach to let them know about our lovely BIG letters. Goodness, there are some crackers out there.
Naturally we love The Midland, Morecambe, where we held our reception. I can honestly say the staff at The Midland surpassed our expectations, which along with the sea view and stunning building we recommend it highly. Ahh, to do it all again…
Now, the others… If we were to do it again (And The Midland didn’t exist!) we would be checking out the following places. New House Farm, Cumbria looks stunning. Tucked away in a lesser known part of the Lake District, the word idyllic springs to mind, it looks perfect for small, intimate weddings, or those who want to make a whole weekend of it.
If we happened to have a large plot of land I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Papakata. They supply the most stunning marquees – we attended a friends wedding in one a few years ago and I fell in love with the tee-pee style tent. If you don’t happen to have a spare patch of land to hand, then they have a list of eligible places, wherever you are in the UK.
Other places we would look at are East Riddlesden Hall, Yorkshire and Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn, Lancashire.
Do you know, the list could go on and on. I suspect that as we visit more places there will be further ideas and inspiration. For now we will have to keep internet stalking them… And remembering how magical our own wedding was.