Wednesday 24 March 2021

Eight years ago today...

Um, well, hello. No idea if there's anyone still out there (or indeed, if that actually matters). 

8 years ago today I started this blog and just over 3 years ago I just kind of...stopped. 

The obvious reason is lack of time; Lily's 5 years old now and in some ways is a lot more independent but in other ways, still takes up a lot of time and energy. I might have also just sort of ran out of things to write about - although that's probably not really true, I still have lots of ideas and pre-COVID we still did lots of things. I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind I just wondered if anyone (apart from family) actually wanted to read what I wrote - in reality, my life is probably no more interesting than anyone else's so why bother sharing it? I mean there's always the line that you shouldn't write a blog for anyone else, just for yourself but if that was the case, I'd keep an offline (private) diary. The many times I tried writing in one of them as a teenager though, by March it'd become, "gone to school, came home, spoke to xyz friend" etc, etc. Having a "public" diary does encourage me to write a bit more than that which can only be a good thing.

Secretly we all know that it does give us a sense of...excitement? pleasure? satisfaction? when someone likes what we've written or shared, whether on a blog, Twitter or Instagram. I don't think I'm any different to anyone else like that - I like taking pictures, I like people liking my pictures. I still take hundreds now just don't always share them as much. But I would like to keep this blog and share things on here occasionally and if anyone else wants to read it, then that's great. Theres might be one reader at least - hello mum :-) 

And the blogging world has changed I feel - not that I could ever claim to be any sort of authority on blogging - but it seems like *lots of people* don't post as much any more, or maybe there's just as many blog posts it's just that the "tribe" (for want of a better word) of internet friends I followed when I started this blog have grown older and moved on. Perhaps there's still an amazingly active blog scene but it's all filled with people 10-15 years younger blogging about skin care and fashion hauls. Although I'm aware that sounds very cliched and apologies to anyone I've made a massive generalisation about.

And the world's changed you know? Without wanting to get too political, Brexit is a bad idea, a lot of what the Tories do are bad ideas and people around, certainly in my area of England just seem to be that little bit less tolerant of others. Pre-COVID I spent a lot of time in our local town going to various children's groups, taking in tea & cake at Costa or browsing charity shops and you overhear things and I don't know, people just don't seem to be as "nice" as they were anymore. And I'm sure there's always been nice and non-nice people and my judgement is probably off completely. Just like everyone at the moment (and over the last few years), I suppose it's just the whole concept of being tired. Or older. Or something. 

And COVID obviously hasn't really helped with that for anyone. I'm aware of how fortunate our situation has been though - I've been able to work from home for a year (and for the foreseeable future) and Andrew was furloughed from April to July meaning he was able to spend time at home with both Lily and me. We had picnics outside, rebuilt our veggie patch and grew lots of things and that was nice. We were also very lucky in having two holidays last year - one in August and one in early September, both to Scotland. We were incredibly conscious of not wanting to play any part in helping spread the virus so we planned a trip where we cooked our own food for breakfast and dinner and just occassionally collected a takeaway. We bought a Remoska cooker from Lakeland which was expensive but absolutely worth the money. Our activies involved mostly being outside (not near people) and driving around to see the sights (in our own car). The only indoor activity we did was a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh becuse someone Andrew works with very kindly gifted us tickets as his mum works there. It felt safer in Scotland, it was noticeable people wearing masks more frequently and generally being more social distancing-conscious than in England. Which again, might just be my perception and people who live in Scotland could quite legitimately tell me it's not like that but that was just what it felt like to us. 

Down here in England, I've only been inside 4 shops since 13th March 2020 and all in December - once to buy flowers which couldn't be bought online (for a present for one of Lily's kids club teachers); two charity shops because we forgot her coat on a day trip to Weymouth and needed to buy a new one; and a visit to Home Bargains on the same day with a huge shopping list of things we needed for Christmas. We've tried to do or see hardly anyone - my mum was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June 2019 so we've tried to keep ourselves "clean" so to speak to we can still visit her (which is allowed within the current regulations where we are - as providing care and assistance to a vulnerable person). 

I don't know what to feel about 2021 - on one hand it feels brighter because the vaccines are doing something, even if it's not quite as good as the government are trying to make out but on the other hand, you only have to gesture wildly at the corruption, cronyism and culture wars rampant in Westminster and think, hmm I'm not so sure. 

I'm aware this whole post may have come across very pessamistic - and I'm not, I promise. I tend to err on the side of being positive but realistic. And I'm naturally someone who doesn't hugely enjoy socialising or large crowds (my MBTI group is INTJ after all) so lockdown has been a gift really. We grew vegetables, I taught myself how to make clothes and I've been lucky to work from home throughout it all. 

Photo an hour is still going on each month and I've been taking part in that now since 2013. I have lots of pictures to share from all the photo an hour days so for the sake of completeness I'm going to try and post the missing years, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Don't worry though, I'm not going to do 36-ish posts, instead I thought I'd try and cram each year into one post. I don't expect anyone to read them, I'm only doing it for my own mind, if I don't post them, they'll just be "unfinished business!" 

As I usually do when I finish one of these "blog return" posts, I'll ask "what's new with you?" It's kind of a rhetorical question, feel free to answer it if you want, but I really won't be offended if there's no replies! :-) 

PS. A special mention must go to one person from the "tribe" of bloggers I followed and chatted with years ago - Sarah Rooftops - we actually met in person back in summer 2019 in Aberdeen and I can confirm she is absolutely lovely and friendly in real life! xx


  1. Hello, Louisa, X
    and Lily x.
    Lovely post,
    nice to see you back!
    Love from Mum. X

  2. Hello! I'm still blogging (although I'm not sure you ever followed me anyway(.

    I think the UK will get back to some kind of normality before Switzerland (and most of Europe!) based on the rate of vaccinations. I keep hearing from friends and family in the UK that they've got theirs while Switzerland is still stuck on over 70s.
    Like you I did relatively okay last year though. Luckily I work from home anyway and my partner has been able to as well. And I never really saw anyone anyway. Not being able to see my family at all has been hard though - my mum's was supposed to visit last June but obviously couldn't.

    1. I do follow you! You're even in my Blog Roll (and you're one of the few people on the list there that do still actually post things occassionally) :-) Glad to hear your year's been not too bad as well, I hope your mum is able to visit this year at some point xx

  3. Hi! Its good to read your blog again and hear whats going on with you and your family. Glad to see you back again! Helen x

  4. I think I've been around just as long, maybe a little longer. I definitely still feel the compulsion to blog. Can't help it! Though I mostly blog about walks these days. Anyway good to see you back and glad Lily is good, you certainly made the most of lockdown as a family, it has certainly been a good thing in some ways. X

    1. Thank you! I still feel like I'd like to write or share things, just need to find the time, lol! :-) x

  5. I loved seeing this pop up in my feed reader this morning! It feels like more people focus on Instagram these days which is a little sad tbh, I love reading blog posts.

    1. Aww thank you! I know what you mean, there definitely seems to be more "action" on Instagram. I like reading blog posts too, I may not have posted anything on here for yonks but I have still been reading other people's :-) x


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