Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Great Welsh Experiment

Over the last three months there have been massive changes going on here which I've only been able to allude to for fear of jinxing things. So it is with no small amount of relief that I can finally shout (or type in very annoying capital letters), WE'RE MOVING BACK TO WALES!

Oh that felt good.

We've sold the house, quit our jobs and all being well we should be moving in to a beautiful little cottage in a few weeks time. It feels like it's taken an age to get to this point, when in fact it's only taken us three months. And by the time we move in, it will be just over four, which is actually insane. 

This is also why I've been letting The Dress Tree cruise on auto pilot over the last couple of months, so I could focus on the challenge that is chasing estate agents/solicitors, cleaning, clearing, traveling to and from Wales and school hunting. I'll be back on it once we're settled and will be listing new things again in May.

As for now, the rest of March is looking to be a blur of packing, cleaning and tying up loose ends. Oh and Alessi's birthday is in there too somewhere to add an extra dusting of chaos.

There's going to be a lot of change and muddling through. Not knowing if this will work for us long term. And for once, I'm at ease with the not knowing.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Chicken update

We're on lock down here at Casa Bliss as are all chicken owners across the country at the moment.

In case you hadn't seen it in the news, cases of bird flu have been confirmed in the UK and as a precaution, all poultry owners have had to make sure their birds are kept indoors where possible.
And if that isn't, then to take precautions to keep them away from wild birds. I'm not able to keep my three indoors, but they have an enclosed run so they've just been kept in that. I hate it though. This run is big enough for them, but I preferred to just keep them in it when we weren't around and let them roam freely when we were. Not being able to give them this extra freedom hasn't been too bad over the winter as they prefer to stay in their coop during bad weather, but now that spring is just around the corner they've started to become restless.

This lock down is in place until the end of February, but this date has been pushed back twice already since the they first announced it back in December and I suspect it will again.
If this is the case I'm going to make them a larger enclosed run so that I can add more things to keep them entertained. At the moment I'm relying on straw for them to scratch about in and various treats.

It's doing the job, but it's a pain having to remove the food scraps each night. And to be honest, I think they just miss the company. Keeping them under the apple tree is great to shelter them from the worst of the wind and rain, but it's at the bottom of the garden and they like company. It's why bantams make great pets and are so tame, anyone remember Snowball jumping on my shoulder last summer for a snooze?
Fingers crossed it doesn't last much longer, I miss having my girls bumbling around the garden. And Titch is extremely pissed off about the situation. Chickens have personalities and while the other two are fairly laid back, she is not happy and likes to make sure I know it. Mainly by shouting at me. Look. I even caught her in the act. After three months of being cooped up, she wants more than straw and turnips and I can't say I blame her.

On a brighter note (and a sign that spring really is just around the corner), Tufty Sue and Snowball have started laying, no more shop bought eggs for us! Alessi loves going to the coop each day to see if there are any waiting in the nesting box.
She asked me to take a photo of her with the chickens the other day and was all ready to give me the thumbs up, but when I took the picture what I'd actually captured was all eyes on  her snack! Even Titch was momentarily quiet.

So all in all the chickens are getting on great, considering they're cooped up. Their first winter was a lot milder than I had thought it would be and the coop has stood up to the elements well. Fingers crossed we'll be able to let them out again soon though.

Sunday, 1 January 2017


Follow my true North
There is a difference between what you want, and what you believe you should want and I've caught myself getting the two mixed up far too many times last year. 

Celebrate my accomplishments. Again
I didn't completely fail at this last year, but I didn't manage to make a habit of it either. So I'm going to try again because when I did manage it, it felt brilliant. 

Start saving
I have a very specific goal in mind, but more on this another day.

And there you have it. I've been sat here writing this list for nearly two hours and this is all I've come up with. Three things. The truth is, for this year as I see it, these will be all I need.

Happy new year everyone. 


Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 Resolutions - Results

Work, keep it simple
To do lists were kept short and focused. I made a plan for the year and stuck to it. I even recognised the need to stop making kimonos in the summer so that I could work on new stock ready for the autumn. Resisting the urge to keep up with demand is something I've usually struggled with. I would keep on saying yes ultimately biting off more than I could chew.

Time with Alessi, make it count
Meh. Sort of.
By the time summer rolled up. She was over it. Over nursery, the games she used to love playing, her toys. The lot. Those last few months were a struggle. I do think we made the most of it, but in the end it looked closer to making the most of a bad situation than the rose tinted images I had in my head! 

Accept myself
NAILED this one. 
From my post pregnancy body, slowly aging face, constant need for solitude and finally accepting that I just don't like wine, I'm more at ease with it all than I ever have been. 

Big. Fat. Fail.
I don't think I've read a single book. Well not for myself. I've read hundreds of children's books over the year though. It doesn't quite count, but seeing as the whole point was to keep Alessi interested in books (and she is), I'm not losing too much sleep over this one.

Celebrate my accomplishments
Hit and miss.
Ok I'm a little annoyed about this one as I did (and still do) believe that it's important for people to do. I achieved a lot this year and in some cases, surpassed my own targets, but often failed to celebrate them. Reasons included not having enough money (to treat myself), not making the time and just generally not organising myself properly. 
I still feel the same as I did this time last year in that I believe this is an important habit to get in to so I'm going to carry this resolution over to 2017 and hopefully with practice, it will become something that comes a little more naturally.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions at the start of the year and if so, how did you do?

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