There is something almost ironic about not having the time to take stock.
Even when I do try, it always seems to turn into a ‘to do’ list making exercise.
What I’ve done being met by, then clouded over by, what I haven’t – yet.
credit Peppercorn Photography
Being busy is something we can all relate to. It is just the reasons vary person to person.
Lately I’ve been learning a lot, including that I didn’t really know what ‘busy’ was.
Aren’t the lessons which come with owning your own house are numerous and broad?
Anyway, rather than talking about rewiring, textured wallpaper and weeds (you can find more than enough of that in my weekly columns) I thought I would take the chance to look at the shiner side of life – quite literally – and do a must overdue update for my magazine section.
June (I know, I know) is a tough month to pick a favourite article from, namely because it is the month of our food special.
I really enjoyed getting to know the Hastings-based Baked by the Sea girls who offer cream teas by post, and meeting the mastermind behind the wasabi vodka and watercress gin of Winchester’s Twisted Nose.
It’s a tough job isn’t it?
credit Peppercorn Photography
Then there was the beautiful fashion of Shoreham’s Sula, beer making in Brighton, spending time at Caroline’s Dairy’s ice-cream empire and being inspired by the hyper-real artistry of Janine Shute.
In the end, I went with the one I find myself talking about the most – partly for its quirkiness and partly because spirits are having a great time of it at the moment.
So for more of my chat with Paul Bowler, founder of Twisted Nose, and his work to offer a tipple with ‘a real home, real roots, local flavour and a local story’ see HERE.
July was a slightly easier task as I fell head over heels for Christmas Cottage in Hampshire. I mean just look at it ..
Picture: Fox & Sons
Fox & Sons
And the amazing interior remodel was inspired by a pub.
AND the owner was really lovely and offered me a game of boules next time I was local.
It was just the full package, as you can find out HERE.
Pic: Mi Elfverson
Pole dancing, arts festivals and illustrator Lauren Child made sure August was far from dull.
But as someone who spends far too long at their desk, a chance to get out into the countryside made for an extra special piece.
The story was about Walk&Talk4Success, which does what it says on the tin really offering business mentoring and support but on the move.
I met the group at Wakehurst Place and spent a lovely walk sharing ideas and solutions.. it was simply brilliant.
If I am being honest September was a two horse race for the title of ‘favourite’, in the running is Amanda Saurin and her amazing company As. Apothcary who opened my eyes to natural beauty – in the best sense.
Then there’s The Future Kept which isn’t given justice by the description ‘online lifestyle stop’.
I pretty much want to own everything it sells and live in the photos on the website.
The Future Kept
The Future Kept
See what I mean?
But, seeing as my list has some home but no skincare, As.Apothecary has to be the victor. And, in a job where I get to meet some amazing people, because I openly admit if I had to work anywhere else it would be for Amanda.
Something arty would have to sneak in my list somewhere, and for October and November I was lucky enough to have my two passions come together – seeing me write about amazing creative people.
Kate Sherman captures time passing through the laborious medium of painting – a contrast I just really, really, like…
John Napier might be a name you don’t know, but chances are you’ll know his work.
He’s created sets for the likes of Les Misérables, Cats and Starlight Express. The helicopter in Miss Saigon? Also his.
Not bad for someone who admitted to me for November’s magazine, that he once believed theatre design ‘was about drawing rooms, choosing the colour of the sofa – I thought that was pretty much it’.
John Napier. Picture: Julian Napier
For someone who edited an annual food special this year.. (me).. I feel like we could do with something edible on the list. For December this is a choice between Kyoto Kitchen, a Winchester restaurant giving its own twist to Japanese cuisine, or the Sussex Food and Drink Awards Young Chef cook off – which was a mouthful in more ways than one.
It seems right to choose the one which made me think more about my cooking, and only one made me want to mousse a pumpkin. .
Seems a good a place as any to end this post, and year.
Roll on the next one : )