In the rushes

 

Okay, so I’ve started this post twice now – let’s hope third times a charm. Initially I was babbling on about how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world and how we never take it for granted and blah, blah, blah, you get the picture. Then, I began talking about what’s really on my mind (my Dad’s illness) but it felt kinda strange pairing the horrors of cancer with an outfit post. I guess that’s the existence I’m living right now though. On the one hand I’m trying to get on with things as best I can and retain some sort of normality whilst everything else seems to be spinning out of control. And on the other I’m fixated on trying to make sense of it all. Conclusion being… you can’t.

 

When all else fails, however, long walks in Cornwall definitely do help clear my mind – but(!!!) only if I’m wearing the right gear. Feeling cold and damp do not make for a pleasant afternoon’s ramble in the brambles (or rushes, as the case may be) so I’ve had to come up with a suitable hiking uniform that does the job of keeping me warm and dry without dispensing totally with the style factor. Of course, style being what it is (personal and subjective) means that I may be the only one loving the turtle neck/lumberjack combo but hey, if it keeps me happy and all that. The classic chelsea boot is universally loved, however, so I reckon I’m safe on that front. Truthfully though, I was just delighted to find a vegan winter boot that didn’t break my bank balance (I adore Wills Vegan Shoes but they’re beyond my budget right now) and fitted like an absolute glove – I’m seriously tempted to go back for the black pair. Husband, you didn’t read that, ahem.

 

what i’m wearing… black ‘Binx’ highwaisted jeans/topshop … cotton navy sweater and pleather bag/zarapleather Chelsea boots/new look … beret(old)/h&m … lumberjack coat/vintage (possibly beyond retro) … sunnies/wild pony vintage …

 

 

I struck gold (or should that be navy?) when I spotted this Margaret Howell-esque (yes, I’m obsessed) turtleneck in the Zara summer sale (no guesses why it was 3.99) although my only regret is that I didn’t purchase it in cream and grey too, grrrr. It might just be the perfect fall/winter sweater, which obviously means I haven’t had it off my back in the last fortnight. Seriously though, why didn’t I buy it in cream and grey?!!!

 

Snug as a bug and happy as Larry walking across the wilds of Cornwall (kinda – does a well kept path still count?) has got to be the best way to spend any Sunday… in my humble opinion. Here’s to many more.

 

 

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Patio Palazzo

 

I’ve been wanting to shoot a little blog post in our teeny tiny patio since we moved in. Granted there’s not much to it but I simply adore the pretty arch and painted gate, and it’s just the right size for us – to be honest having any sort of outside space is a like a little piece of heaven after our garden-free London life. Not only do we have this patio but our spare bedroom also boasts a pretty sizeable balcony that probably should be used for sunbathing or something but truthfully it gets a bit too hot up there for my liking so I tend to stay downstairs.

 

These palazzo pants (a recent charity shop score) are a perfect manifestation of my current floral obsession – although this is the first time I’ve actually worn them. I’ve had a penchant for wide-leg trousers for years so I was thrilled to nab a pair that were able to fulfill both my need for comfort and flamboyance… even though I tried to counteract the crazy with some chambray.

 

 

The weather’s been a wee bit haywire over the last week so today was the first chance I’ve had to don these badboys – and may I say, they were the perfect option to wear to lunch… even after a hefty midday meal I had plenty of room to breath. I know I’m sporting yet another denim shirt but am I the only one who’s building a serious collection? It’s a problem that shows no sign of stopping – not that i’m complaining.

 

what i’m wearing… trousers, shirt and shoes/New Look … belt/vintage … jewellery/various

 

Afterwards, I realised that even though I’d bought the garments in separate places including ASOS they’re actually all the same brand (New Look) – unusual for me, but I guess I’m liking their collection at the moment. Not to worry though, our local vintage store has a pretty good selection right now that is bound to reset the equilibrium in my wardrobe.

 

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Same but different

I can’t quite decide whether I’m currently in a ‘style rut’ or developing what is most commonly referred to as ‘a signature look’. Whilst I seem to be acquiring jeans and shirts at the rate of knots these days (I promise these are different black jeans to the ones featured in my last ‘style post’) i’m still unequivocally drawn to quirky retro pieces too… it seems vintage is in my DNA – like a moth to the flame, as they say.

 

Take yesterday for example. There I was happily going about my daily errands in town when, whoops, all hell breaks loose in every charity shop in the vicinity – the ‘hell’ being my penchant for thrifting and the ‘loose’ being the seemingly slack reign I have on this terrible affliction/addiction. That’s not to say I don’t go through periods where the last thing I want to do is shop but there’s always that devil on my shoulder whispering sweet secondhand nothings in my ear – after all, today could be the day I chance upon that perfect pair of high waisted trews or sweet 60’s summer dress I’ve been searching for forever.

 

Anyway, needless to say, I didn’t chance upon that sixties dress nor indeed the perfect high waisted pants but the awesome vintage ‘Aquascutum’ midi skirt, summery pantaloons and double vinyl score (mint condition Doris Day and Judy Garland) more than made up for it – oh, and how could I forget the delightful Laura Ashley straw hat I nabbed that was practically made for those imminent summery strolls.

Truth be told, because of the samey nature of this outfit and my last offering I was a little loathed to even press publish. But! This blog is supposed to be a glimpse into my life and this somewhat uniformic ensemble is pretty much what you’ll find me in these days – simply swap the shirt for a Breton top and that’s essentially my daily attire. I have, however, been getting back into my headscarves in a major way (I have so many now it’s almost a crime not to wear ’em) and this one is a new favourite – the subtle dusky pink hues are the perfect casual daytime option especially when the sun’s not shining. I needn’t have bothered bringing the chunky knit though because whilst the sky was somewhat overcast, it was a wonderfully humid evening – indicative of these parts but not something I’m yet used to, and so the cardigan always comes in tow.

 

what i’m wearing… denim shirt/jcrew … mom jeans/topshop … sandals/h&m … headscarf/vintage … cardi/urban outfitters (old) … bag/primark (old)

 

And so, here we are then with a ‘same but different’ outfit to mull over. Not exactly awe-inspiring but one that neatly sums up my current state of mind… content and decidedly uncomplicated. Part of that mood is letting the little things wash over me (I refuse to get irate at silly nothings) and relishing in the world we are building for ourselves down here (it’s official, I’m head-over-heels in love with Mousehole). Of course, the pressures of life are never too far away but so far we are becoming pretty expert at appreciating everything we do have as well as cultivating an environment that isn’t reliant on anything other than the love and respect we have for each other. Add friends, family and a beautiful home, and that’s all that really matters. Well, that and foraging for bargains in Barnardos.

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Pineapple Head


 
Guys, it’s no secret I have a thing for glasses… prescription and sun. It’s actually kind of a problem (one that my Husband tolerates thankfully) and often means I turn a bit magpie-like whenever I spy a new style – I honestly think I have a sixth sense when it comes to spectacles, it’s kind of impressive. Living in Cornwall seems to have exasperated this unfortunate affliction because people wear glasses here all year round – fine by me! When it comes to shape, I often switch it up and don’t affiliate myself with one particular era – in fact my own collection contains the big-ass 80’s sunnies I’m sporting in these pics, as well as the typical hipsterish roundies that take their lead from those 60’s Beatnik babes we all adore so much. As far as brands go though I do have a penchant for the wonderful Warby Parker (and I know I’m not the only one!), so when I spied their latest ‘Spectrum’ collection my magpie tendencies went into overload – they’re like a better version of the vintage ones I already have, especially with the gradient lenses…. er, love! From the painfully pretty ‘Hall’ Cherry Blossom style to (my personal fav) the ‘Minnie’ in Eucalyptus (obvs!) – ack, but I also love the super cute ‘Downing’ frames too, what’s a girl to do? No, seriously, I need help on this one, which pair would you opt for?
 

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what i’m wearing… original breton top & handmade necklace/wild pony vintage… sunglasses/vintage… pineapple/the supermarket

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Messy House, Messy Head

 

I’m definitely one of those people that can’t think straight when the space around me is cluttered and messy. Too bad then that our house is somewhat coming down around us at the minute as I hurry to finish my cookbook and begin to qualm the all too predictable nerves that accompany the release of such a thing… what will people think, say and (let’s face it) criticise? Yep, I already know there will be a few ‘haters’ (as the tinternets like to call them) but I hope there’ll also be more than few ‘lovers’ too (is this an internet term, and if not, why not?). All this worrying coupled with a recent facebook request asking what our favourite book is brought my rapidly depleting memory capcity back to an old classic I use to love – namely, the hilarious ‘Lucky Jim’ (written by the wickedly witty writer Kingsley Amis). Along with the title we were also encouraged to leave a quote from said book and this is where the planets suddenly aligned in my brain as I (bingo!) realised the world really hasn’t changed all that much in the 60 yrs since it was first published… in essence, we are still dealing with same s**t we always have been and probably always will. And in case you are wondering what the hell I am wittering on about, here is that exact (light bulb alert!) quote I am referring to…

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“Haven’t you noticed how we all specialise in what we hate most?”

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In addition to this little epiphany and discovering a site that seems to specialise in slagging off successful bloggers (I have made a vow not to read it again – too much hate makes me ill), I’ve come to the conclusion that there will always be people pointing out your flaws or trying to tear down your achievements. I’m not saying I don’t have negative thoughts now and then but I always try and focus my energy on the good in others and what they do -and anyway, doesn’t it make people unhappy being so critical all the time? So yeah, I’m not perfect, and what I do may not appeal to everyone but at least I know I’ve given my all, my everything, my best, and really, what more can I do?

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What I will say is ‘the more you give, the more you get’ so I’m determined to put out as much positivity as I can muster and hope that I can spread a little joy (as well as getting some back, ahem) in the process… c’mon, don’t lie, we all want to be loved and accepted! I’m pretty sure these chaotic mind bender moments really aren’t being helped by the stack of dishes in the sink, ramshackle bookshelves and unpacked suitcases – maybe the moral of the story is to keep the place tidy lest you (meaning me) risk falling into a pit of darkness and despair. If you’ll excuse me then, I’m off to sort my house and head out – and perhaps do a spot of really bad crocheting too. Yep, feel free to laugh yourself silly at that top pic because a knitter I am most definitely am not but as they say…  ‘God Loves a Trier’. Peace out x

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Spring Uniform

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Well I definitely got my Vitamin D quota today that’s for sure… and much needed too seeing as I’ve holed myself up this past week trying to complete the last of my recipes, which are due on Monday, eek! Deadlines aside, I was in a pretty relaxed mood – probably aided by the first throes of Spring that have sprung up around us much to everyone’s delight. Whilst I was tempted to don a skirt or even a pair of shorts (I have some newly acquired vintage culottes I am dying to wear) I thought I would ease myself into the warmer weather by simply switching up my jacket for something a little lighter and this pink 60’s one was just the job.

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Practicality wins out every time for me (as you may have gathered by now) so the lace up trainers were a no-brainer… long walks equal sensible footwear for me and I steadfastly refuse to compromise comfort for fashion. The headscarf was also a necessary outfit addition (there’s still a breeze and my hair is in desperate need of a trim) and the stripes ‘n’ jeans combo are just an obvious uniform choice that I (and many, many others) rely on way too frequently. Fine by me because as far as I’m concerned you really can’t have too many Breton tops.

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I’m sure we’re in for a bit more bad weather here (it is Britain after all) but for now we’re happy lapping up these gloriously clear skies – Cornwall truly is different beast when the sun’s out. Not long now before we’ll be spending our evenings languishing on the beach. Might be time to invest in some more Spring-appropriate attire but that means I finally must get around to selling my bulging bag of vintage cast offs on etsy… that to-do list just keeps getting bigger and bigger but I suppose once my looming deadline is dealt with Ima gonna have a lot more free time to fill so watch this space. How exactly did I get from deadlines to closet clear-outs? What can I say, spring will do that to a girl.

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what i wore… breton top/h&m… ‘mum’ jeans/topshop… pink 60’s jacket/mondo trasho vintage… trainers/coolway… satchel/nica… sunglass/wildpony vintage… scarf/vintage… iphone cover/c/o iconemesis

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Keeping it Real

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what i wore… organic cotton dotty blouse/jackpot clothing… sweater/vintage… beret and jeans/h&m… raincoat and wellies/seasalt cornwall… vegan satchel/nica… socks/tabio

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Could it be? Are we about to experience what is commonly known as the first blooms of Spring? After all this horrendous weather we’ve been enduring I can tell you it is more than a little welcome… and from the crowds in Cornwall today it would seem we weren’t the only ones languishing in the unexpected rays. People were out in their droves, lapping up every second of unbridled sunshine that brought the entire county to life again – sand bags and gales begone, we officially have had enough. This, my friends, is just a tiny glimpse of why we moved here – even though it may have taken until now for us to fully appreciate it. It was enough for me to put my LFW woes to the one side and embrace our ‘not quite new but still getting used to it’ lifestyle with full force.

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Talking of fashion week(s), I’ve been loosely following the shenanigans on and off the catwalk, and whilst there are always a few designers that catch my attention, a lot of it has happily passed me by this season. Margaret Howell, Orla Kiely and Hunter were all fabulously practical, which shows you exactly where my head is at right now in the style stakes. I’m all for embracing our topsy turvy British weather and that definitely means macs, knitwear and wellies… let’s get real here, most of us live less (ha, if ever!) in Louboutins and more in jeans and tees than we care to admit. As a blogger I’m sure I’m not alone in saying we feel under pressure to dress in a certain way for our so-called ‘outfit’ posts – although I’m not even sure if many of mine even fall under that category. I mean, here I am in the same wellies and raincoat you’ve seen before and will probably see again. That’s. Real. Life.

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I want my blog to be more of a reflection of what’s going on in my world than a contrived dressing-up exercise that is neither honest nor ‘me’. I never want to dress myself with the intention of blogging about it – what you see is what I wore that day and occasionally I like to take a photograph (or ten) of said ensemble, even if a few of the items have already made an appearance. Call it lazy, call it predictable but when I like something I have a habit of wearing it to death… just like these wellies and raincoat. That’s. Real. Life.

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Storm’s a Comin’

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I think the weather is totally in tune with my emotions of late – huge swells, moments of calm and in between not really knowing what might come next. Whilst the weatherman (or woman) can often be wrong, they got it spot on this weekend; although on Saturday I was hardly taking heed. Despite storm warnings and the knowledge it may be borderline baltic (oh, and it was!) I ventured into St.Ives in a knitted gettup, that contrary to how it may look, did not keep me protected from the elements. Rookie error. Although, as ever, the light was insanely bright – hence the sunnies… in case you’re thinking they were solely for posing purposes.

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Yep, it looks like I haven’t quite got the hang of this coastal dressing melarkey just yet or maybe a part of me is still in denial – we ain’t in Kansas London anymore. Now that comment may seem as if I’m missing my London lifestyle but the opposite is closer to the truth – I’m bedding in nicely to our new existence, and am slowly getting into the Cornish groove, which namely means lots of long walks and braving the bracing wind on a regularly invigorating basis… bring it baby!

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What I definitely don’t regret about this outfit is the headscarf. A Christmas gift from my Husband, it’s a genuine Mary Quant (isn’t he clever?) and I am officially in love. Scarves and me go back a very long way, and I have a ridiculous collection of them, but this one has superseded any others as my fav…. the print and palette are perfection in my opinion. Too bad I was practically frozen to the bone, which somewhat impaired my nonchalant St.Ives swanning enjoyment that would usually include some imaginary scenario that involves some of those old school St.Ives artists of yore (how I heart thee Barbara Hepworth) – or, more appropriately given my writer status, Daphne Du Maurier. That’ll ruddy teach me to forfeit the raincoat and wellies, won’t it?

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what i wore… cardi/sweater/skirt/shoes (non-leather)/scarf/bag – vintage … sunnies – wildpony (Falmouth) … tights – topshop … knitted scarf (synthetic fibres)/h&m

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Suffice to say the weather took a turn for the worse right after these were taken and we headed back home (via Portreath – well, we had to have a nosy) to hole up whilst the waves did their worst – at times like these I’m kinda glad I don’t live right on the beach, even though that’s my ultimate dream. My mood too went ever so slightly downhill… you know, the usual; feeling inferior, thinking that everything I do is a wee bit crap in comparison to so-and-so and such-and-such. Nothing a good soak in a hot bath and a brisk walk the following day couldn’t fix but those moments of doubt are never too far way. Instead of giving in to those ‘why bother?’ moments I invariably dust myself down and get back on the metaphorical bike, hoping that these ridiculous thoughts will keep getting less and less. Unfortunately though, I fear it’s the price one pays for working in the creative industry (there’s always someone better, smarter, more talented) and so all you can really do is to just keep plodding on in the hope that one day, it will mostly make good or, at the very least, make some sorta sense. In the meantime, I’ll always have St.Ives.

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Brooding blogger

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“I refuse to give up the faux-fur until at least March!”

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WAVING HELLO TO 2014

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I’ve been brooding on this post for quite some time now (looooong before New Years Eve even reared its ugly head) and even as I sit here, having given it a relatively significant amount of thought, I’m still not entirely sure what I should be writing. You see, I’m not really the resolutions kind of person (it’s just never been my thing) and, in fact, I can pretty much count on my right hand how many times I’ve ‘celebrated’ the New Year in the typical champagne quaffing/dancing till the wee hours fashion, having always preferred a more low key event to wave in another twelve months of who-knows-what; and none of it came with a do-to list either. With that said, I feel it would be rude not to put my thoughts on paper, as it were, regarding what 2013 has meant to me and how I hope 2014 will unfold. After reading several terrific posts on the matter (Bonzai Aphrodite, Joy The Baker and Oh Dear Drea said it the best in my opinion), I’ve at least got a starting point. I think. Bear with me, this might not be pretty.

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“Cupboards full of crockery makes me happy”

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SAYING NO TO RESOLUTIONS

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Cutting to the chase, I will be making (count them) zero resolutions, which may just render this post null and void already but stay with me just a second longer to let me explain further. Of course, I’m not saying making plans is a bad thing – I make plans all the time (ALL THE TIME) and I have the countless notebooks full of lists to prove it. However, I understand ‘resolutions’ (and correct me if I’m wrong) to mean something more than simply planning for ones future whilst remaining firmly in the present… as I see it, they certainly have the air of feeling more binding – and in some ways negate the way you have thus far chosen to live your life. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with learning a new skill etc. the pressure that comes with ‘New Year Resolutions’ automatically makes me feel like a total failure – perhaps that’s a silly reaction to such a positive initiative but I can only be honest about my attitude towards such things, and it’s quite clear to me as I iterate it now that my attitude clearly stinks. And, for me, that’s fine.

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Please don’t mistake my intentions here because it is not to rain on anybody’s parade. I actually admire those who embrace the New Year with this gung-ho, feel-good, head-on action but I know myself well enough to realise it’s just not for me. All of this doesn’t omit me from the reflective mood everyone seems to be in though, and indeed it’s made me realise how little need I have for so-called resolutions in my life right now. After a reasonably eventful year (moving to Cornwall, getting a book deal were just two highlights) and becoming ever more comfortable in my own skin (currently loving my thirties), I’m confident the only thing I require in my world is what I already happen to have… my Husband, family, health and happiness.

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“Christmas drinks are still on the menu in our house”

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LIVING IN THE PRESENT

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I’m excited for the future but am so firmly in the present right now, it’s difficult for me to think more than a few days ahead, which is why I’ve put a line through the resolution thing and I can safely say I’m all the better for it. This self-called ‘stinky’ attitude has even extended to my eating habits (no cleansing diets for me – hurrah!) and work ethic (I never miss my deadlines, so why the unnecessary stress?), which means I’m not even fully acknowledging the Christmas period has officially ended. Delusional, moi? Sure, I’d like to bring my violin skills back up to scratch but what matters more to me is simply enjoying playing again, as well as regaining my love for an instrument that permeated my life for so many years. And yes, I desperately want to write more, and am hoping my creativity will manifest itself in a film script I’ve put on the back burner for way too long now, but (but, but, but!) I’m more interested in finding a great writing partner that I can collaborate with because I miss bouncing ideas off another brain. Okay, so I’ll semi-concede that these ‘loose plans’ are maybe, possibly (in that they totally are) actually resolutions masking themselves as a no pressure mini to-do list but the great thing about ‘loose plans’ (which these emphatically are) is that you have nothing to lose… and right now that is music to my resolution-phobe ears.

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“Refamiliarising myself with a very old friend”

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At present, I feel totally comfortable in letting 2014 organically unfold. Quite honestly, I am just eternally grateful for everything I do have and whilst I’m anxious (in a good way) for what the new year will bring, my happy-self remains firmly in the moment… which, when all is said and done, is all we’ve really got. I’ve never been sure about the reckless nature the ‘live every moment as if it were your last’ sentiment promotes but I can totally get down with Whitman when he said:

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Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour but this hour

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Right on Walt. Right on.

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“Getting back to basics with some old school writing tools”

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Celtic Christmas

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If you follow me on instagram it will be fairly obvious we have made our way to Ireland for Christmas to spend the Holidays with my family. In fact, I’ve only ever been away from ‘home’, as it were, two or maybe three times in my thirty-two years on this planet. It always seems a little strange not to be in Derry at this time but my Husband has been hankering after a Cornish Christmas for a while now so I think next year may see us spend Crimbo in our new home of Falmouth.

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We’d made our little cottage so wonderfully festive, it was a bit of a wrench to leave it – even though we’ve spent the last three months struggling to settle in. Of course, it is so lovely to be with my parents and Sister (who arrived from her Celtic Woman US tour just this morning!) at this time and we will definitely be making the most of our very Irish Christmas.

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In honour of our current location I thought it only too appropriate to don a little symbol of the area, namely the Tara brooch you see pinned on my sweater here in these pics. As an aside I feel I should say the light is especially bad at the moment, which is making taking any photographs really challenging, hence the retrofied hue I’ve given each photograph to compensate for the general darkness that looms over the city (rain, rain, go away). I sometimes forget how terrible the weather can be in these parts, especially when we now live in such a mild climate.

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Anyway, as I take a brief moment to type out this rather hurried post, my mind is full of what I have yet to tick off my list with regards to dishes already cooked and those yet to prepare. I always think I’m organised until about now and then panic tends to set in (breakfast bread and, more importantly, my meatless meatloaf are still presently non-existent, arrrgggh). Add to that, the fact I have to share the kitchen with the other cook in the family (my Dad) who is in charge of all the meaty things we won’t be partaking in, and you get one reasonably fraught cooking scenario. Thankfully we seem to be working around each other more easily this time around (must be all those years of practice coming into good use!), which is making for a reasonably laid back evening of cooking… exactly how I like to spend my Christmas eve.

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One more sleep everybody, one more sleep!

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what i’m wearing… midi leopard print dress and sweater/charity shop… tights/topshop… faux patent boots/h&m… tara brooch/belongs to my Sister… wind up watch/vintage store in Falmouth

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