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wardrobe

At Narnia – the exhibition a few days ago.

This year has been a bit like that…  Stepping through the wardrobe into somewhere really lovely – with a sting in its tail that is an adventure of sorts, but not quite what you anticipated.

It’s been a brilliant year really in so many ways, and after the last few – which have brought various upheavals of the good and temporarily uncomfortable kind, it has been, so much more settled.

This time last year, we were still tripping over boxes, and had turfed SO. MUCH. STUFF.  In our move here.  Whenever anyone asked what I might like for Christmas I’d say ‘for someone to just come and just take a box away’.  I spent my holidays rooting through boxes – trying to clear corners, throwing things away, and adding to the queue of things to go in the recyling bin when the full one was emptied.  It was exhausting.

Last year , we decided to buy a fake Christmas tree to go in our new house.  It took me a while to talk myself into it, but summer can be brutal, and often by Christmas the beautiful pine smell of a real one, had been replaced by a dusty dead one, with dry pine needles in every corner, a possible midnight topple (don’t laugh), and a child breaking bits off trying to reach an ornament being ongoing threats.  Dismantling a dried prickly tree and disposing of it is not fun at all.

This year – on December 1st, we just trotted down to the shed, unpacked it – the kids assembled it, opened the box of decorations and we were done.

wardrobe tree 001

No trip out to buy one.  No painstaking picking pine needles out of the car seats for weeks.  No more money to spend.

It has no smell, but is the loveliest tree I have ever seen in my life, and as the year draws to a close, I’m hoping this ease and enjoyment, is an indicator that next year will be a bit gentler.

Because 2012 has been a seemingly non-stop haemorrhage of money.  HUGE bills.  Non stop.  Huge grocery bills, huge gas & electricity bills, one kid that grows as you are watching, petrol prices that vacillate wildly, and a long way to drive to work.  A kitchen that was budgeted for, but ended up costing way more than expected.  My car needs a service.  There are dental maintenance bills that will need to be paid, and a cat (MUCH loved), that is expensive to run.  The list goes on…

Crikey it’s been harsh. Fun but harsh.

But FUN.

Personally, I have reached a new kind of settled, where my heart isn’t racing at a million miles an hour.  Where I’m not jumping at sudden loud noises, where for the most part life is predictably entertaining in a gentle way, and I’m not torturing myself with guilt at doing something for myself.

It is super good.

And, while the set-up is hard work, and still going on, this garden caper is proving to be magnificently relaxing.  We are helping it to grow (and it’s thriving), but actually it’s us that are doing the growing.  It’s feeding our souls, and our eyes, and our hearts, and hopefully, sometime in the next few months, will feed our bodies too.

I’m ready for 2013 to be a year of harvest – of enjoying the seeds we have sown in our home, art and lives, and to bloom now the settling and has happened.  It’s going to be a good one and I’ve got an empty box (or two) ready.

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