Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Settling


Hello there! It's been too long, I miss blogging, I miss you lot. We are staying with John's family in Durham at the moment and I'm taking advantage of their internet connection to have a quick catch up and share some recent photos. Our broadband should be connected this weekend and then normal online life can resume, thank goodness. 

I am glad to say that we are settling in to our new home, and much more quickly than I thought we would. I guess that's because we've had the keys since the end of January and one or other of us has been there most days, paintbrush or drill in hand, and so now we're actually living there is all feels quite normal. 

The kids keep saying "It's the first..." about everything; the first meal, the first bath, the first hair wash, the first night's sleep. They love to count things, how many nights they've slept in their new beds, things like that. I was amazed how quickly they settled down on the first night. I was braced for either giddiness or tears, and just had two kids very glad to be in their familiar beds. 

John and I have been enjoying "firsts" too - the first fire, in our much longed for wood burning stove. I can build a fire now, I know all about kindling and seasoning wood and all sorts. We've only lit a few, and now spring seems to be well and truly here they may be the last until next autumn.


The first big food shop. After three months of staying with my parents, I really enjoyed the autonomy of shopping just for the four of us, of planning the meals and then going and buying the food, of exploring a new supermarket. I spent much longer filling the fridge than I normally would. I am just enjoying being back in my own domestic space and doing the tasks and chores I would normally rush through.


The first crochet project. It will be a blanket for Bella, in colours and a pattern entirely of her own choosing (a rainbow zigzag). I started the dreaded foundation chain and first rows today and hope to finish it by next autumn. Set realistic goals, that's what I've learnt with blankets.


Our first Easter. There wasn't time for much in the way of decorating, but I did find the box marked "Easter decs" and put up a few things around the house.


We ate our first roast dinner on Easter Sunday, a leg of lamb, and invited my parents to come and share it with us. It was so nice to be able to cook for them; they've been brilliant these last few months, steadfastly supportive, loving and helpful, and we owe them a great deal. 


For pudding, I made my first lemon meringue pie. I even made the pastry! Clearly that pastry below is homemade, I mean look at the state of it.


It came out well, although I think a sweet shortcrust pastry base may have been nicer than the plain one. Good meringue-peak-action though, I was pleased with that.


Our living room is coming together. Most of those boxes behind the sofa, in front of the window, held books. 


As soon as John had bolted the bookcases to the wall I spent an idyllic few hours one evening unpacking and alphabetising the books. They are divided into fiction, poetry and reference. Sorting books into alphabetical order might be a lot of peoples idea of hell, but I can tell you that it was both soothing and satisfying. I worked in a bookshop for some years before having the kids, and I like to think it's a habit I learnt there, but in truth I suspect I'm the kind of person who would alphabetise them anyway.


However the cookery books, which are kept in the dining room for ease of access in the kitchen, I arranged by colour. I don't need these to be alphabetical - I don't think I have that many and can find them all quickly by their spines. This arranging was as pleasing and enjoyable as the A-Z fiction, let me tell you. 


When I come downstairs in the morning and walk from room to room, opening curtains, switching on the kettle, I can't believe this house is ours. I love it so much. It thrills me! It's coming together and I am happy.

44 comments:

  1. Your home is looking great and I'm glad to hear you are all settling in well. Have a good break in Durham. x

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  2. You sound so, so happy Gillian! I'm delighted for you. Settled is a wonderful way to be. Bee xx

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  3. How wonderful everything is looking!! I really like the colour organised cookery books! I am sure that you will know exactly which one you want and where it is. How great about your fire - and the mantel that I saw too!! I know that you will be itching to decorate it!! So pleased for you that you are all so happy and enjoying your home so very much!!! xx

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  4. Things are looking brilliant and I'm delighted and excited to see you settling into your new home. Much happiness and health there for all of you.

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  5. *waves* welcome back to Durham.....I'm here too. I wonder how far you are away from me? (Which feels slighly surreal). I bet you are missing your gorgeous house while you're away. It's looking wonderful

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  6. Lovely to see that you are enjoying your new home so much. Look forward to seeing more pics!!

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  7. I am glad that you are getting settled and enjoying the hard work you have put into your lovely new home.

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  8. Everything looks beautiful! I am happy to hear that you are settling in and enjoying your new home. I look forward to seeing more photos!

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  9. Your house is looking fab, Gillian! I love your Swedish stove! Have a great time up north, Pati x

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  10. Missed you! House is looking fab!

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  11. Wonderful post, and good to "see" you so happy!
    Alphabetising books... I was originally trained as a librarian (a long time ago!) and have that "ordering streak" ingrained in me, no matter what I do. Like you, I find it soothing and satisfying.

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  12. Gillian, your home starts to look soooo beautiful and cozy!

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  13. This is such a lovely post and has made me feel really happy to read it. Your new homes is wonderful and you are making it really special for your family. Take care Gillian, have fun with the new blanket (now you have got past the dreaded starting chain!)
    Sam xxx

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  14. your happiness to be making your new house a home leaps off the screen xxx

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  15. So good to hear you're settling in ! I still am amazed at the pace of your house-switch... To think you got the keys in january... And now, everything painted, everything moved in... That is fast !!
    Enjoy your "renewed domestic bliss" !!

    Ps your meringue pie looks heavenly :-) !!!

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  16. The house looks lovely. I love the French windows into the garden, so much light, and the fireplace, gorgeous. Xxxx

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  17. Your new house is looking absolutely fantastic. Reading this post has made me think about the jobs I need to do round my own messy house today and made me realise that I should be grateful to be busy and absorbed on making my house as fresh and inviting as yours. X

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  18. Gillian, your new home looks gorgeous, very warm and inviting. xxx

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  19. Looking at our book shelves, we have quite a few by the same authors so our books tend to have been arranged by author, although not necessarily alphabetically. For us, it was putting the books out that made the difference and we felt that we were really home. I love lemon meringue pie and haven't made one for such a long time. I feel the need coming on! xx

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  20. Gillian, it looks wonderful, and I can really feel your excitement at moving into a beautiful new home. You've made a fantastic job of creating a lovely place for your family. I'd be in heaven arranging the books as well. I sometimes think I'd be very happy working in a library, putting books back in the right place on the shelves all day. And I love the cookery books arranged by colour. You have a very good eye for this stuff. Have you enjoyed your internet break in a way? Enjoy the rest of the week. CJ xx

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  21. I am glad you are happy in your new home. I am ashamed to admit that our books are completely randomised, which makes it difficult to find any particular ones. I do love the colour sorted cookery books, I think I could keep this up. x

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  22. It looks so stylish already. I look forward to more peeks xo

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  23. I am really enjoying seeing this house come together! Keep on with the updates, I love it!

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  24. It looks like you are settling in well, I never sort my books out into alphabetical order much to the horror of my husband. I rather enjoy the surprise of coming across a different book when looking for another. Your pie looks delicious, I know people who pay good money for a similar look. xx

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  25. Oooh, it's looking lovely. I'm a book arranger too -- there is something fabulously soothing about sorting out books into bookshelves. Controversially, I now have all my fiction arranged by spine colour too. I find it a rather enjoyable experience remembering what the book looks like in order to find it, ha ha.

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  26. You look to have settled in your new home really well. I envy you that wood burner, how cozy your winter evenings will be. Your Sunday lunch looks so good, I can imagine how good it is to shop and cook for your family again. Looking forward to seeing your progress on the rainbow blanket. xx

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  27. You look very settled already - a lovely calmness emanates from your pictures! And I have total stove-envy - it looks so right in your fireplace.

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  28. Your new home is looking wonderful already. We have a variety of ways to organize our books from me, who just puts them anywhere they will fit, to my eldest who arranges them strictly in alphabetical order. Threats of sneaking into her room and moving them around while she is at uni can bring her out in a cold sweat! Your lemon meringue pie looks delicious. Here's to many more firsts. xx

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  29. So happy for you all that you are settling into your new home.
    Mmm Lemon meringue, what's not to love!
    Lisa x

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  30. I'm so glad to hear that you have settled into your new home so well. It's exciting to move into somewhere new and enjoy putting your own 'stamp' on it. It's also lovely to know that the kids immediately feel happy in their new space. Enjoy it. It's also the perfect time of year to be settling somewhere new! xxx

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  31. Recently found your blog. You are doing an excellent job of making your new house a home. You sound like a happy family, I wish you may happy years of making memories there..xx

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  32. Isn't it a lovely feeling when you really love your home? We love ours, too, and have been in it for almost 30 years, But colour-coordinated books? Yes, it's fashionable to do this these days, but it wouldn't work for me. Fiction must be alphabetical, and non-fiction is in groups, such as history, social history, art, antiques, and so forth.
    Love the new fireplace and stove.
    Margaret P

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  33. Your new house is looking so lovely and homey, and you have the wood burning stove you've always wanted. Can't wait to see more photos soon! X

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  34. So look forward to your blog posts Gillian! You are my favourite blogger. Your new home looks really great and I know how important those tasks like filling the fridge are! Looking forward to lots more photos. Happy Days! Xx

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  35. Way ay Mon, have a good time in Durham. And it's lovely to read how much you are enjoying moving in. Much as I hate moving house, the nesting into a new place is a lot of fun.

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  36. Hey Gillian,
    Oh it's all looking so lovely already. It must be great to unpack and re-discover all your lovely things. I am very, very envious of your wood burner. I shall use this post as more ammunition in my 'how to persuade Marc a wood burner would be a very good idea.' I like the idea of re-stocking the cupboards too. No more dodgy looking condiments lurking in your fridge.
    Leanne xx

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  37. So happy to see that you are settling in! If you make a lot of pies you can get good (and quick!) at the crust. I was good at it once upon a time, but now I am bad at it again. I love all the light in your new house!

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  38. It looks as though everything is coming together beautifully Gillian, what an exciting time it's been. Love the colour sorted cookery books! xx

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  39. So pleased you are all feeling settled in your new home, I really love the log burner and have longed for one for ages, but our house is modern:((, I love the light in your house so bright and the pie you baked looks so yummy. Enjoyxx

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  40. Hi Gillian :)
    What a lovely house you have ;)
    Have a greta weekend
    lots of Love
    Lulu

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  41. Your house is looking amazing. I am so glad you are settled in and are so happy.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  42. What a lovely home you are creating, so exciting to hear about all of your firsts, may you have much happiness there x

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  43. Your home looks fab and how nice that it feels like home already. I love the colour coordinated books, I am thinking of reorganising mine now. My cookery books are sort of in size order at the moment but I feel a reshuffle coming on! xx

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  44. It's looking great Gillian! I love that wood burning stove... My mom-in-law recently gave me a rainbow zigzag crocheted blanket, that her mother-in-law made. It is VERY colourful but Sam loves it especially now that it's getting chillier. I'll have to take a pic and tag you on Instagram so you can see it :-) x

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