spring things

Oh, hey there!

*waves*

Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve been hibernating. And reading. And writing. And thinking about writing (more than actually writing, woops). And just generally muddling on through this weird time.

Spring is well and truly blooming here in the UK and its arrival always sparks a shift in me. Things feel lighter, brighter, easier in my heart. My head feels clearer. Possiblities seem to blossom, grow. The year stretches out ahead like one big adventure. And all this blossoming and adventure and growth has got me thinking about some of the things I want to do this spring.

I want to…

read twelve books. Books just had to feature somewhere so here they are right at the top. One for each week of spring is my kinda pace. And, so far, I’m on track to meet this target…

watch twelve new (to me) films. Apart from when I’m reading and writing, I tend to get quite restless when I’m sat still, so watching a movie (unless it’s really, really good) can sometimes feel like torture for me and my wriggly legs – which means watching them is not very high on my list of things to do in my spare time. But films – the good, the bad, and the ugly – are great storytelling lessons so I want to watch more. I think it will be good for my writing, if not my legs. (On track with this one too!)

be a good plant mum. Historically, I have been worryingly bad at looking after plants but I am DETERMINED to get the hang of it this year. So far, I’ve managed to keep alive a spearmint, a peppermint, and a holly fern; regrow two supermarket pak choi from their bases; and start off quite a few seedlings. It turns out that remembering to water and checking the weather forecasts for frost are surprisingly simple and effective ways of not killing off plants. (Who knew?) Slowly and steadily, my fingers are getting greener…

yoga four times a week. I love yoga and always feel better after a session – but it is sooooo tempting, as with most things worth doing, to put off doing it until the evening, until tomorrow, until I feel more energetic, until I have a bit more time, until, until, until ad infinitum. I want to be more consistent with my practise this spring and stretch myself (pun fully intended). I’ve been steadily working my way through Yoga With Adriene‘s videos on YouTube since the beginning of the year and can definitely recommend them for practising at home.

start project for baby nephew. I’m going to become an auntie in July and I am so excited! ❤ My sister has already knitted a blanket and my mum is sewing a quilt, which means I’m very far behind in the “welcome to the world” crafting game! I need to get a wiggle on and come up with some ideas…

go camping. As much as I feel very lucky to live where I do, I also feel very much like I need to escape where I live. After the last few months, I want to explore and I want to spend as much time outside as possible. Camping seems like the best answer to both these wants. And it’s bank balance friendly!

go paddleboarding or canoeing. I think I was a mermaid (okay, maybe a whale) in a previous life because I am obsessed with the sea and rivers (and having too many baths) and finding excuses to spend time in/on/by them. Most of the time, I’m boring and just go for a swim but this year I want to be more adventurous. I last went paddleboaring in September, but haven’t stepped foot in a canoe since I was eleven. Either activity in the next few weeks would happily tick the “find an excuse to be in/on the water” list…

take part in a litter pick. We’re lucky to have loads of beautiful coastline and countryside in Dorset, which means we get a lot of visitors in the spring and summer – and, unfortunately, some of those visitors leave more than just footprints. Last year, I got angry; this year, I want to actually help.

make a recipe folder. I loooove cooking and baking (and eating) but I’m so disorganised with recipes. I want to keep better track of new finds and old favourites, plus it feels like a great excuse to get crafty. I’ll be the one in the corner surrounded by glitter glue…

What have you been getting up to so far this spring (or autumn!)? What have you got planned?

Fine Lines

Who knew shopping for a new moisturiser could be so emotionally stressful?

There are so many dramatic, confidence-coroding words to wade through. Defying. Minimising. Reduce the signs of. Fight the signs of. Repair. Fix. SOS. Anti-wrinkle. Anti-ageing.

Anti-life.

The lines of my body and the lines of yours are the storylines of our lives – and I’m so, so tired of being made to feel like I have to fight the signs that I’m actually a living, breathing human who’s lucky to be growing older, and maybe even growing wiser, every day. I’m tired of the impending sense of fleshy doom companies drip feed me from all angles. Tired of heart-deep skin worries. Tired of filters specifically designed to “beautify” and hide “flaws” and distort features; filters that mess with the insides as well as the outsides of our heads. I’m tired of airbrushing. And I’m tired of chasing unattainable, ever-changing perfection.

No cream, no balm, no serum, no filter can substitute for the storylines of a life well-lived.

These are some of my body’s lines…

Little cardboard cuts scratched across my fingers and forearms – the bane of supermarket workers the world over. Palm lines that hold my future and my past, or maybe they don’t, who knows? Teeny, tiny fingerprint lines, all mine. Spidery blue lines just below my skin – beating, flowing, rushing lifelines. Hairband lines – most days one found on my right wrist, some days one found right round my tresses, the ugly ghost of a ponytail. Centre parting line, something I have always, and will always, refuse to change no matter what hairdressers say. Anklet lines, my inner bohemian/hippie/magpie released. Bracelet lines painted against my pulse. Watch strap lines telling fleshy time. Tan lines, pale moon-white skin versus slightly less pale and freckle flecked skin. Sometimes, fake tan streaks. Occasionally, wonky eyeliner. Most days, lipstick smudges. Sock lines dug into my calves. Worry lines etched deep on my forehead, maybe even carved down into my skull, from years of not knowing how to let anxieties go. Smile lines that crinkle by my lips, always ready and waiting to make an appearance, from years of knowing the best family and friends. Teary mascara streaks across my face when it all gets too much. Bra strap lines that dent my shoulders and stretch across my back. Uncomfortable underwire lines that trace up to my armpits. White dashes on my fingernails and jagged, broken lines of varnish. Burn lines, guilt infused. Bleary red veins that creep and crawl in the whites of my eyes after too little sleep, bleary red pillowcase creases that thread across my cheek bones after too much. Stretch marks, silver tiger prints blooming on my thighs, my hips, my breasts. Bikini line, ahem. Crinkles above, below, behind my knees. Little lines on my ears from earphone wires. Face mask lines on my nose, something new to get used to. Mini crosshatched lines tattooed to my hands and knees from my yoga mat. Muscle lines – be careful, I’m stronger than I look. Big lines from chair edges pressed into the backs of my thighs. Lines of book page edges printed to the fleshy bit below my thumb. Necklines – higher, lower, what will people think, why do I even care? Jean seam lines, waistband lines, cuff lines. Careless ink lines slashed across my hands. The whisper of crow’s feet lines beside my eyes, memories of laughter.

I could go on and on.

These are some of the lines of my life.

And they suit me just fine.

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