This year I hosted Christmas for the first time since moving to King's River Cottage. It was a relaxed affair with my boys, my mum and dad, and for the first time ever I extended the hospitality to a non family member - a friend who was going to spend the day alone. It felt right, and kind, and that felt good. The fire was lit, the tree sparkled, the table looked beautiful, there were presents to unwrap, a perfect (if slightly late) Christmas lunch, and I spent my day enjoying it rather than photographing it.
Just a few days days later, it all seems so long ago. The days between Christmas and New Year have taken on their own unique pace like they do every year. For me they are a strange blend of anticlimax, relaxation, contemplation, slight restlessness and forward planning.
Yesterday I took some time to tidy the house and blitz the studio. I was completely pooped before Christmas - juggling running a small business, the school holidays, Christmas shopping, and all while solo parenting. I had just closed the door on weeks of mess. It seemed the best idea at the time.
Today I was back at the bench for a while in my refreshed clean and tidy space. I have a few pieces of jewellery that have to go out in the next few days. I have also started thinking about 2017, at least for the business. At the end of last year I invested in a Kickstarter campaign by The Design Trust who have produced the most amazing action planner called Dream Plan Do. Full of useful prompts, and spaces to scribble. I do find it most helpful to be directed through the process of looking back, then looking forward. Thinking about what you achieved, what you want to achieve, and how you can go about making it happen.
2016 has been a hard year, and there is no question, I will be glad to see the back of it. It felt like a year of standing still instead of moving forward, but already I am beginning to realise that wasn't the case in so many ways. Roll on 2017.
I will leave you today with a photo of the Bauble Bushes in our local park. (now at the top of the post) We took a chilly walk to see them this afternoon. Every year the baubles appear, young families add more, and then just as quickly they disappear. So glad to have a moment to visit them before they are gone.