so long

And so I say farewell to this blogging space. Hope to see you over at my new home really soon.

My first post has just gone live.



a new venture

I have a new home for this blog, this blog I love so much.

After three years of writing The Blooming Times, I was surprised to find that I wanted to keep on writing regularly and also that I had the time(!) and wanted to expand and do new things that wouldn't work so well in this blogspot space. So after much deliberation I have decided to move to a dedicated domain, www.potterandbloom.com, and a new host, squarespace.

I have loved this blogger host, it could not have been kinder. It's such an easy system to use especially for complete blogging novices such as me, three years ago, green at the gills and more than a bit stupid and confused. Blogger is not only completely free but I have never had a problem with it, not one, in all the time I've been using it. It's fair to say that I will be sad to see it go.

But my new space is just fricking awesome! I love it and I love my new name which is a combination of my real and my blogging surnames (I have a blogging surname, I'm such a dick!). I've got new stuff going on; a compilation of all my favourite quotes called love notes, a free 100 lovely lists workbook for subscribers, a new facebook page and all manner of stuff and nonsense.

I hope you will be happy to join me over at Potter & Bloom. You can follow me on all the usual readers such as Feedly and Bloglovin or alternatively you can subscribe by email thus never missing an issue.

It's been a ball.

Peace. Out.


a weekend away

Iggle Piggle came away with us last weekend. We went to Center Parcs at Elveden Forest. He loved it especially when he realised Makka Pakka came too.

This weekend is one of those funny life anomolies because I don't particularly like Center Parcs. There's the silly spelling, its Centre Parks really, too many people, too many children (argh other people's children! en masse!!), too much 'organised' fun (you bloody well will have fun or else!), it's most definitely NOT my holiday destination of choice and yet I have been there too many times to mention.

Just don't ask me why I've been so much, I simply don't know the answer to this question.

we saw peacocks and shit
It is however one of the best places to go on a group holiday, which is precisely what we did. You can have lots of fun if you are with the people and the dogs you love and you get to do ridiculous stuff like play crazy golf with a toddler.

Can you imagine how this went down, picture the queue of people behind us waiting for their turn. Waiting patiently for their turn with hard metal clubs in their hands!

And you can take your dogs, although the irony of being in the middle of a massive forest and not being able to take Tilly off the lead was not lost on us. The dog walking area, the only place dogs are allowed off the lead, was smaller than our kitchen!

Tilly loved it though, in a confused, what the frick is going on way. She has been really poorly recently, had a lot of very painful trips to the vets and had been every day in the run-up to this holiday, so she couldn't relax. She was expecting to be taken back to the vets at any minute, this expectation making her shake all over so badly that her teeth chattered! Oh my lovely girl.

Tilly chattering notwithstanding, we were able to enjoy ourselves; ate a lot of food, played trivial pursuit, swam in the 'mega pool' (I didn't though, no way, I saw a poo in there once!), did drawings on blackboards, ate cake, chips and pancakes, sang Happy Birthday a few times and watched crazy brave critters come right up to the patio doors. How do Center Parcs arrange that, is the wildlife on the payroll?

I am one ugly ass deer

great wifi, zero mobile phone signal
We chilled out, I tried to not let it bother me that Betsy was chalking all over my amazing flowers!, and it was lovely.

It was great spending some time away and more importantly the wifi was amazingly fast!

The villas were lush, very Scandinavian, warm and lovely and we were lucky with the weather (can't write a British holiday post without talking about the weather for frigs sake!), given that it was tipping down when we arrived and tipping down when we left but lovely for the whole in between bit. Awesome.



Home is where I can be alone. Be myself.

Home is where I feel comfortable, warm, happy and secure.

Home is calm. Home is peace.

Home is solitude and familiarity.

It isn't about the stuff that fills it, it isn't about the bricks and mortar. It's the essence of home that I crave, the feeling of home, the comfort of home. I could live in any house and feel at home just as long as my loves are living in it with me.

When I was younger, wilder, and adrift in the world with no safe place to go, I had a fantasy home imprinted in my mind. This home was a tiny cottage at the base of a hill, it is winter time in this fantasy and cold outside. There is warm light in the windows and smoke curling out of the chimney. This was accompanied by a feeling that I belonged to somebody and they were on their way home to me. The atmosphere was calming and peaceful and I wanted those things so badly, it would often make me feel sick.

They call it homesick for a reason. At school you would sometimes find yourself floored by a wave of homesickness, the feeling coming out of nowhere in response to a smell, a sound or a memory. I would often feel homesick in the dinner queue, or watching the Eastenders omnibus on a Sunday. One summer term, when I was ten, I felt homesick every single night and had to be given 'sleeping tablets' by matron which seemed to work and which I later found out were nothing but paracetamol.

I have that longed for comfort now, so I cherish and guard it with a passion. I try not to be away from home for any extended length of time (yes holidays are a wrench), or socialise on consecutive days. When the weekend calendar is empty, I rejoice, for sitting on the sofa with a book reigns supreme. I am happy when it's raining outside because it means I have an excuse to stay in all day and when the snow comes and traps us in our houses, you will find me doing a dance, I am in heaven.

I used to feel embarrassed that I felt this way, being an introvert in a world of extroverts can be difficult at the best of times. But I'm too old to be embarrassed of who I am now, plus you get to forty and realise that you don't give a shit what anyone else thinks anyway.