A fresh start

I’ve never been one to make New Years resolutions but there is certainly something about this year that gets us all revved up with good intentions and plans for the year ahead. I’ve really enjoyed reading blogs with everyone’s plans and projects for 2015, many honourable intentions and ideas. Before I could make my to do list for the coming months I needed to Look back on the past twelve.
It’s taken me the last couple of weeks to really reflect on the past year.

2014 was an emotionally strenuous year for me and passed in a bit of a blur.
Illness and eventually the passing away of elderly relatives made the first few months a very sad and distracting time, both Rowan and I losing grandparents within a couple of weeks.
Spring arrived and brought new hope, with a mortgage offer (which we never thought we’d get) Rowan and I were able to put in an offer on our first house.
Within the same week my parents put the family home on the market and after an intense weekend of TV-reality-show worthy transformation they received an offer on their first viewing! This left us with the daunting prospect of sorting and packing the possessions of (mostly) my mum, a life long hoarder. No small task.
Every inch of my life seemed to be swamped with stuff. Stuff from school, college, university, ex-boyfriends, old jobs. Every time I went round to help my parents I’d come away with another carload of stuff. We waded through the rooms and rooms of belongings unearthing precious memories, forgotten treasures, and inevitably a lot of detritus.
I slimmed my work schedule down to the minimum and prepared for both house moves, six weeks we were told for our house. But spring gave way to summer and we were no nearer our purchase.
Then followed the summer of weddings. Several of our dear friends tied the knot and I was very busy at work (making both Wedding dresses, Mother of the bride outfits and throwing together quick wedding outfits for myself), not to mention taking on the unusual and somewhat daunting task of being Best man!
My hobby (singing in a band) really took off and the band had the busiest year we could imagine with gigs every weekend this meant we were running around all over the county to play at weddings, parties, festivals and pubs. All spare evenings and every weekend was taken up with gigs, any chance of a social life went out of the window!
Every new week brought a new set of deadlines and commitments, all the while we knew we may have to pack up the house and move house within a month.
My parents moved out of their house and into temporary accommodation. Two removal lorries, numerous trips to the local recycling centre, and many pints of beer later and they were in, belongings split between storage, and their new lodgings above the local pub.
Summer faded giving way to autumn, but still no progress on our house.
Autumn was in full swing, classes were really busy with that ‘Back to School’ feeling, and our mortgage offer was about to expire!
They say buying a house is stressful, and I’m no stranger to stress, my job is all about inflexible deadlines and dealing with people’s insecurities, childhood dreams and (sometimes unrealistic) ideas. But buying a house (the only house within our budget that had come up for sale in the past 3 years none-the-less), was taking stress to a new level. Finally, two days before the mortgage offer ran out I got the call from our solicitor.
Stood in the high street on a blustery day at the end of October, she rang with the good news and I burst into tears. What a relief!
November was an exciting but frustrating month. We handed in our notice on our rented cottage and prepared to move. The first task in the new house was to get the plumbing up to scratch, it was a bit of a doer-upper. There was no heating and the toilet wouldn’t flush, but with all the delays in the purchase our plumber couldn’t fit us in during normal hours and so it was done gradually in evenings and weekends pushing back our moving in date (luckily our landlord is very understanding!).
On December 14th we finally moved in, the heating arrived the following week but we were just so relieved the move was all over that a few days with hot water bottles and thick jumpers was hardly going to dampen the mood.
After months of uncertainty my parents completed their house purchase too, and moved on the 22nd of December from lodgings at the pub to their new home. What a crazy year this had been!
Rowan and I took well-deserved time out over Christmas and enjoyed mooching round our new home and playing host almost daily during the Holidays.

The concept of ‘New Year’ has never had so much resonance for me as it does right now.
There are just so many ideas floating around my head right now, there’s the new house- I’m designing the interiors, doing all the decorating and tracking down bargains and making all of the soft furnishings. Then there’s the knock on effect of having moved house, I have less storage space and therefore must downscale my embarrassment of clothes (my own collective noun for too many clothes). Which in turn means I’m trying to design a more streamlined capsule wardrobe (this is pure fantasy), but even once I’ve had a massive cull, my ‘wardrobe’ will still consist of 4 metres of hanging space, several chests of drawers and the wall of shoes! Not to mention all the storage boxes of accessories under the bed and the boxes of ‘costumes’ and fancy dress in the attic…
Then there are all my ideas for my studio in the coming year, new projects, new commissions, new blog posts, new classes etc. etc.
I don’t really know where to start with all these ideas, but I thought writing down how far the last year has carried me would help, and you know what?
I think it has.

If you are still reading this, then thank you for listening. I hope 2015 is kind to you and you achieve some (if not all) of your dreams for the coming year.

Happy 2015, Becky X

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