a little rest

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I enjoyed a little retreat at the weekend. Two nights away in a beautiful place I have been to before, which is so peaceful. Westwood Christian centre in Yorkshire has a little place in my heart. I seem to have stayed there at really key times in life; in celebration and new beginnings and in despair and disappointment. Its simple, comfortable flats never fail to host me with loving arms.

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I spent the first night alone, enjoying silence and time to think, pray, write and read. The centre’s welcome book had helpfully included some questions to prompt reflection, such as ‘what significant things have you noticed in the past week, month, year?’, ‘where do you sense your attention is being drawn?’ and ‘what is on your horizon…and what obstacles are in your way?’ I found these a good starting point for my thinking and listening, although I reread my answers and wonder where to start!

The following lunchtime, two special friends arrived and we spent the rest of the day talking and sharing. Literally 12 hours of talking and knitting, stopping occasionally to eat, make more tea or pop open the champagne (of course). We laughed and dreamed and wondered and shared. There was so much to share, so much goodness and also struggle. We had a ‘rite good natter, as they say in Yorkshire! Isn’t friendship such a blessing, when you really know each other, when you can pick up where you left off, when you know what the other is thinking? And they’ve both become serious knitters, though someone forgot her knitting so her commitment to the handcraft is now in question! Lucky I had my colouring book to keep her hands busy.  There was much excited chat about the wonder of alpacas. Most blokes just don’t really get this stuff! I was inspired to step up my knitting and challenge myself a bit more. There was a little sadness in my heart that I’m not closer to share it all with them more often and I shed a few tears when it was time to leave. My, I love those girls. We got so stuck into chat & knit that I forgot to get busy with my camera so most of the memories are in my head.

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It’s really good to get away from home, from your work and all the normal stuff, to look at your life and listen for what’s next. And to be thankful. We had a few nice days with family before and after the weekend, and it was so lush especially to spend time with my nieces and nephews and smell the cheeks of the newest babe…delish!

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Oh, and he loved the blanket – apparently, its his favourite colour. What was I so worried about? 😉

It took a few days to work through that depressing transition of coming back home from holiday when you just have to get on with it all. Do a lot of laundry and be at places for an actual specific time and work out what everyone is going to eat today. And I forgot just how hard work a puppy is, after a week away from her. It felt like a bit of an uphill struggle towards the end of January.

The snowdrops and spring buds are teasing me but there’s still a fair bit of cold weather left. Some sunshine would be really great right now. Holiday to New Zealand anyone? Let’s keep dreaming…

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bonfire night

 

This is the closest I’m getting to a bonfire tonight. 

Do you find that, if you try and hide somewhere in the house for a bit of peace and rest, the kids sniff you out? Mine do. 

They can (sometimes) play and amuse themselves for ages if I’m busy doing something, but stop for a minute, sit down with that cup of tea, open the newspaper, stare at the wall…and they want me!

I took myself upstairs for a bath….a candlelit bath….as soon as Matt arrived home from work tonight. It has been one of those days….

I enjoyed a few minutes alone….bliss. Perfectly hot water, gorgeously scented candles. Breathe. Think. How can I make tomorrow easier?

In comes one child…’oooooh, what’s this, Mum? Can I come in?’ No time to answer. Clothes off.

In comes another one….’oooooh, what are you doing? Can I join you?’ Clothes off.

It was quite nice to share it with them really….and then Rafi got up from his nap and he came in the bath too. And we had a gorgeous cuddle and feed in the bath. What a treat.

Feeling much better now and continuing to indulge my senses…

Maybe today wasn’t so bad after all….

This is the best thing you will EVER smell…The White Company, Wild Mint (Ignore the hole in the beautiful pot; kids broke it).

But if you spend too long writing your blog post….

It’s bonfire pizza! 

 

I usually love bonfire night; getting wrapped up to stand around a fire, the pie and peas, bonfire toffee, sparklers, apple bobbing, beautiful firework displays. But I’ve not got any Mojo for it this year…not with a baby. Matt did a litte fire pit on Saturday. Sparklers, marshmallows, hotdogs. I think we’ve got away with that this year.

One day my photographs will not have any plastic tat in the background.

I think they enjoyed it….. I lay on the sofa and read the paper!

Thankfully we have an amazing view from the upstairs of our house and have watched fireworks from there tonight.

Hope you have enjoyed your bonfire night, whatever you’ve been doing…