Saturday, 27 October 2018

Self Care


Hello! Everyone ok? Thank you for your comments on our newly decorated living room, I am glad you like it. We're just coming to the end of our week long half term break here. It's been busy and inevitably dominated by the decorating which is progressing slowly because we are doing everything ourselves. What was just "knocking out a wall" has turned into quite a major renovation project involving plastering, laying a floor, restoring a stair case and a lot of painting. I heartily wish we could have just paid a builder, carpenter and painter-decorator to do all this, but never mind. the feeling of satisfaction will be immense when it's finally over!


DIY aside, it's been a lovely week. No big, expensive days out or trips to theme parks, but lots of pottering around at home, walks in the woods, baking and catching up with friends. The weather has gone from one extreme to the other over the week; last weekend it was unbelievably warm, still t-shirt weather, and on the beach on Sunday people were actually swimming in the sea, whereas today we woke up to a hard frost and 2°C temperatures. I think there may even have been snow showers in the north! It meant that it was finally cold enough to light the wood burning stove last night though, and we all cosied up on the sofa to watch old Pink Panther films.

I've been thinking a lot about self care lately. By that I mean deliberately and consciously making time to do something for myself, for my mental, physical and emotional well being. It's something I am really bad at - I'm sure most of us are - but it's incredibly important so, over half term, I have been trying to do something for myself each day, big or small. It can be as simple as getting outside in the fresh air or going to bed early, something I am hopeless at doing. 

I have gone back to bed with a cup of tea and book on the occasional morning. Just making time to read in the day feels like such an indulgence. Whippet optional, but he is very good at cuddles and very happy when he's allowed on the bed. 


I am still crocheting this Goldenrod Sweater. I crochet almost every day anyway, but in the evening and usually when I'm tired. It's nice to work on a project in daylight.


I have made time to bake, then sat down with a cup of coffee and a magazine to enjoy what I've made, rather than cramming it in standing up in the kitchen while rushing on to something else. (These are pumpkin and carrot bars from Have Your Cake and Eat It. I do like a bit of seasonal baking.)


I have made time to get outside, every day. Walking Ziggy makes this a necessity but our daily walks in the woods have been delightful over the last week. 


I have also made time to learn a new skill: weaving. It is hugely enjoyable, quick to do and very addictive - I predict that wall hangings will feature heavily in my handmade Christmas gift repertoire this year. 


Add to the above: coffee and laughter with your dearest friends, sitting in front of the fire in your slippers, playing monopoly with the children, painting your nails, reading crime fiction novels....

In other news, a couple of things have happened lately which, while wonderful, have pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Our home was featured in November's issue of Home Style magazine, which went on sale at the start of October. I am so sorry that I forgot to tell you about this sooner (this is indicative of the usual state of my mind, ie, very forgetful and distracted) and I think it's still on sale, but I have photographed the pages and included them in my Press and Sponsors page for those who might like to look.


Yes, I am on the cover. No, I'm not very comfortable with it.

The other thing concerns the Amara Interior Blog Awards, for which I was shortlisted for a fourth year in a row.  I decided this year to attend the awards ceremony as, for the first time, we were actually able to make it. I didn't win (I am forever to be the bridesmaid as far as the Amaras are concerned, I suspect) but John and I got dressed up and ready for an evening in a swanky venue up in London. It was all a bit of a mad rush, not helped by South West Railway's industrial action resulting in packed trains and a reduced, late running schedule, and we got lost and were almost late, but it was so much fun. I got to meet a couple of blogging and Instagram friends in real life, always a treat, and avail myself of the free gin bar, not to mention the goody bags handed out to John and I on the way out. I felt a bit lost amidst all the London marketing and PR types but after a couple of G&Ts it was all good.  But, while I was there, it hit me like a ton of bricks that nights like that are most definitely not the reason I blog. I do it for the connection with you lovely lot.  I like the idea that I am just sitting here at my kitchen table, sharing my thoughts and makes and family life, and that there are others - bloggers, readers, friends - who might sit at their own kitchen tables and read it and smile, and that's the connection, right there. Thank you all so much for reading. I know I blog infrequently, answer emails tardily and comment sporadically, but my heart is still definitely in it. 


21 comments:

  1. That's the way I've always felt about my blog and after ten years I still plug on blogging even though I only have 51 followers, but that doesn't matter.

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  2. What a wonderful post. Your blog is always such a treat, visually and verbally. Well done on the self care. I'm rubbish at it too, but you have reminded me that I thought to put some more effort into it. You're right, reading in the day is such an indulgence. We have half term this coming week, so I shall try it I think. And maybe make some of those carrot and pumpkin bars too. Now all I need is a whippet. Enjoy the rest of the weekend Gillian. CJ xx

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  3. May I say Gillian that your blog is lovely,it is a real treat when a new post pops up! Don't worry about posting sporadically, your posts are worth waiting for - quality over quantity! Keep up the great work, enjoyed all the way from Oz x

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  4. I'm so glad you had a relaxing week. I'm with you; the one time I accepted an invitation to a media-industry event, I felt very weird and out of place. The wine, gourmet meal and "swag bag" were very nice, but I much prefer the way I share my life with others - at home, with my mediocre projects and photos, in my own humble way. I didn't fit in with the media world, and that's okay. Congratulations on your magazine feature, it's so nice to see you being recognized.

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  6. Just a quick 'well done' at the moment because I am rushing out of the door to visit mum and collect Little L who is to stay for the week whilst hopefully baby brother or sister is going to make an appearance in the world! I smiled at your self care as I prepare to do the mad dash up to North Yorkshire this morning and have little time to write this comment even - just wanted to congratulate you - I will come back and read again and look at your pictures. x

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  7. I love your blog and look forward to reading your lovely posts and congratulations on your magazine feature! I'm hopeless at self care too; I'm always to busy LOL However, next Friday I'm booked into a hairdressers for the first time in over 9 years and I'm going for a full chop! My hair's gotten quite long, but it's thin and straggly and looking very unattractive :/ I don't wear makeup, but I'm thinking of treating myself to a lipstick. The weather here has been warm and sunny, but very windy. Best, Jane :)

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  8. I couldn't agree more with your last few sentences.
    Whatever is, feels or sounds optimistic and sensible makes me feel happy. For that I rarely comment on your articles but enjoy reading and watching them.

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  9. What a lovely way to describe blogging. I agree. When I first started blogging, I really took to heart something The Pioneer Woman said : write like you are talking to your sister.

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  10. It's Sunday night and there is a niggling feeling that Gillian will have posted. I log on and am treated to a little snippet of your blogging life. Thanks Gillian. Jo xxx

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  11. So true - our blogs are about sharing, not about getting our five minutes in the limelight. Still, congratulations!
    Reg. doing something for yourself, well, I must admit I can not fully relate to that, as I have never had to care for a family. Most responsibility (other than for myself) I have ever had was for my cat, who died of old age more than 5 years ago. Therefore, I am used to looking only after my own needs before and after work during the week, but enjoy spoiling OK when he is here every other weekend (it is the other way round when I am at his place).
    Autumn is such a good season for some self-care, isn't it!

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  12. That was a lovely catchup post & I'm sure infrequently posting is better than never & I've always so enjoyed your blog for the 5 or so years I've been following along. Taking time out for yourself sounds good & something I wish I'd learnt to do when younger. I'm looking forward to seeing your weaving endeavours & wondering where you purchased the small frame? Congrats on the magazine article & hopefully because we get the UK magazines much later, I'll find one in the coming months. Take care & huggles.

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  13. Hi Gillian, I’m a very longtime follower of your blog and have gained so much inspiration over the years from house to holiday ideas. Yours is still my favourite blog to read, your posts always give me the Hygge feeling without this being a result of the endorsement to buy some product, very rare in today’s social media landscape. Well done on the self care mission, early nights are key to my overall feeling of wellbeing so I don’t know why I find it so hard! x

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    1. Can I just say,Ellaby,that you summed up everything,that I wanted to say,beautifully.Gillian,your blog and instagram,are an absolute joy.Thank you,for letting us,on our journey x

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  14. I have read the article now Gillian but had a chuckle as it’s all changed since then!! DH and I did everything except the central heating and double glazing when we bought our home in 1988. (We moved in on the day of The Lockerbie plane tragedy) Our is a 60’s built bungalow and over the years we have replaced everythin and put on a kitchen extension which DH fitted out to my exacting standards. We are now nearly 70 and I feel we may soon need help with devorating etc but I am always disappointed by the standard of workmanship we seem to get despite being willing to pay eg our new hardwood door was so poorly fitted that me and him indoors took it off, planed it, sanded it down and repainted it within a few days. I always enjoy your blog because I love the things you make be they edible, wearable or lovely to look at.

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  15. Congratulations! I keep checking in, so please keep blogging.

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  16. Congratulations , you must keep your Blog going it's a real slice of heaven and your pictures are incredible!

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  17. Congratulations for being featured in the magazine! Your blog is always a must read for me as it's packed with various inspirational ideas and is very well written. Thank you and keep up the good work. x

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  18. The very best sort of half term, I think. Ours was similar (minus the decorating. Which oh so really needs doing, and will need to be done by us, but somehow the will is lacking!) Do hope you are managing some self care now term has started again... I love this half term, with the run up to Christmas! Congratulations on your award - totally worthy and I think that is because you are blogging from the kitchen table, showing your (rather stylish!) everyday...

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    شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل
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