Sunday, 24 November 2013
It's not all Homespun...
Recent comments on my Instagram and blog have compelled me to write this following piece. I've had people mention to me how lovely and 'country bumpkin' like my blog is. And how idyllic I make everything look, but I can't help but feel a slight sense of guilt when people say this to me.
My friend Lauren recently posted a little piece about me on her blog as part of an Introduction to her sponsors, and she quoted me saying “...I wanted to create a space for people to come to, that were looking for something down-to-earth and simple, which didn't make others feel inadequate.” And, I feel, this has hit the nail on the head.
For myself, a Homespun lifestyle is not about creating something ripped from the pages of a John Lewis catalogue, situated in your home that was featured on Escape to the Country and has been photographed for Homes & Antiques magazine. If that's your bag, then brilliant, but, I'm looking for something a bit more realistic here. 'Homespun' and striving for that lifestyle is about taking note of the little things, counting your blessings, and being content with what you have...all with a healthy dose of dreaming thrown in.
Yes, my life consists of dog walks in beautiful Autumnal settings, and Christmas crafting with a hot chocolate and an episode of Nigella, or baking cinnamon cookies on a rainy afternoon but, these are all situations that I create for myself in an attempt to un-wind, switch off and slow my brain down to a nice steady tick, rather than the Energizer bunny mentality that threatens to take over quite regularly.
I dream of a little house in the countryside somewhere, with ample chimney space for a wood burning stove, surrounded by leafy lanes to walk a dog down, and nearby parks for our as-yet unconceived children to play in. But, for me a Homespun life is about appreciating what I have, and realising just how darn lucky I am to be in a steady full-time job which allows me to make a home with my fiance, pay the bills, and save for our wedding.
Our flat may be rented, and not entirely ours to do with as we please but, when I kick off my shoes at the end of the day, and slump onto our slightly uncomfortable Ikea sofa, I am home. The chimney breast may have been blocked up and replaced with an unsightly plastic air-vent but, I have the remains of a chunky Welsh slate hearth on which I can rest candles and pine-cones, creating a seasonal display for my enjoyment only. Yes, we have gorgeous block wood flooring and high-ceilings throughout the majority of our space reminding us of it's Edwardian heritage but, the skirting boards are drafty and we've been going to bed every night since October with a hot-water bottle because the rooms are so tall and expensive to heat.
So, what I guess I'm trying to say is... Please don't envy me, because I'm really not worth envying. I'm just a 24 year old girl, trying to appreciate the finer things in life, and not get sucked up into a world full of the latest gadget, the latest beauty treatment, must-have fashions and parading my perfect life around on the internet.
I am me, and you are you...and I think that alone should be celebrated, and shouted from the rooftops.
It astounds me to think that this little space of the internet I created inspires people, and makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But, don't look at this site and think “Oh I wish my life was more like her's” because to me, it already is. You just need to slow down and take a look at what you've got right infront of you.
A few little tricks to help me on my way are...
-If you're fresh out of milk, DO NOT jump in the car and fight your way through the crowds at Tesco. Grab a couple of quid from the jar by the front door, and head down to the corner shop, say “Hello” to the local shop keep, and pay into the pocket of someone who lives a stones-throw from your door.
-At the end of a long day in work, try not to veg on the sofa watching trash all evening, still in your uniform. Get into your pj's, put the kettle on, and drag out a film you haven't seen in ages, or watch that documentary which you know people will think is a bit dorky but, you find it really interesting.
-Leave the gossip mags on the shelf in WHSmith and instead, save that couple of quid you would have spent on reading about Kim Kardashian's baby weight battle, and put it towards the latest Dan Brown or Sophie Kinsella novel, and accustom yourself with the writings of someone who didn't get their source material from the paparazzi.
- And finally, if it's a miserable day outside and you don't know what to do with yourself. Please don't trapse around a shopping centre or retail park, along with the rest of the country. Get the Pritt Stick out and do some crafting, or put on your wellies and take a walk in the rain until your nose is red, and your toes are numb. Then come home, put some warm clothes on, heat up some soup and thaw out. Trust me, it's bliss!