November days

November days

I do like a Pinterest hashtag as a blog post title.

We're still getting the odd bright, freezing cold day here and there but for the most part it's grey and windy and wet. I enjoy the gloom; a cloudy day is far better for taking photographs. Ask me again in January though and there's every chance I'll be desperate for light and sunshine.

I'm already thinking that, once we settle in our 'forever' house on Skye, we'll have to follow the Nordic tradition of whitewashing all the interior walls. Possibly white-painted floors too. And mirrors all over the place. I have a lot of mirrors - not because I like to look at myself (quite the opposite, as it happens) - but because I have a bit of a weakness for them, particularly old ones.

The winter days up there are very short indeed. But I'm not going to get ahead of myself with interior design ideas. Because first we'll have the whole Caravan Experience.

In other news, Joe has been cast as a carol singer for the Nativity. Slightly disappointed he hasn't got a speaking part but he knows all the words (and actions) to the songs. And at least he only needs wellies and a bobble hat for his costume.

Christmas isn't really off to much of a start yet here. I generally refuse to acknowledge it until December anyway but I'm a bit torn this year as we'll be moving right in the middle of the exciting part. For me, the fortnight beforehand is my favourite: buying nice food, reading poetry, listening to festive music, watching films, walking in the cold. It's all about the anticipation.

So maybe I'm letting a bit of Christmas in. The odd cookery programme, a mince pie or two. Joe's had some chocolate biscuits shaped like reindeer and Santa. And, of course, he's thinking about presents. Thinking aloud. Often.

We won't be decorating our house this time; the baubles are ready to go into storage along with most of our other belongings. My lovely tidy house is slowly filling with boxes. Seeing all the adverts and magazines depicting the perfect Christmas is, to be honest, making me feel a bit glum. Why do we always seem to end up moving house in winter?

Still, we planned to do it this way. I'd imagine moving in the middle of summer, when Skye's groaning with tourists, would be hard work. And we'll be having a modest and pared-back Christmas. There'll still be fairy lights and candles and greenery, good things to eat, walks (by the sea!)...

I did treat myself this morning though. Judging by other blogs and Instagram accounts I follow, I'm not alone in my having a Thing for Nigel Slater's books. I love his recipes and his stories, the evocative prose and gentle writing style. Comfort reading.

I've got a lot to pack ready for the move. We've already been thinning out our belongings: unwanted books and clothes. The toys may require a delicate negotiation or two. But it feels good to bag these things up and donate them or to take a car full to the recycling centre. 

I've been having get-togethers with my friends. There's a coffee date after school today and on Friday evening we went out for a meal and drinks. It's going to be the hardest part of moving; these are the people I turn to for support and who helped during the hard times. They're the ones I see the most often, whose children go to school with Joe, and who make me laugh. 

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But we do plan to come back and visit both friends and family. And they'll be able to come and visit once we settle.

I've also met some people online who live on Skye: mums, Instagrammers, fellow creatives. I'm looking forward to seeing them in person. When one door closes etc. Except I'm keeping it ajar because it'll be important to maintain all these relationships despite us being 450 miles away.

I'm planning a few little trips to my favourite places before we leave. There's a list which I'm trying to keep quite short but I'll be taking my camera with me so expect some pretty pictures over the coming weeks!

Enjoy the rest of November before the festive madness begins... Although it's the school Christmas fair on Saturday and snow's been forecast. I like the idea of that.