A cold, misty morning in December. I’m sitting by the window with a steaming mug of tea watching the swirls of mist sparkle as shafts of sunlight cut through the trees. The cat is asleep on the chair beside me and I can hear the muffled barking of hunting dogs and the occasional shot ring out in the distance. I think they hunt for wild boar around here. I’m not sure. It’s going to be another beautiful day. Blue skies and sunlight attempting to warm the crisp cold air. It’s so good to be back.
Back at our favourite housesit, looking after the cat and the small château he lives in. He’s a pretty privileged cat, but then so are we to be able to live here in such calm peaceful surroundings. I feel like the geese who fly south to overwinter in milder climes. Cool misty mornings and bright sunny afternoons followed by lazy sunsets turning the sky everything from lavender and apricot to orange and blood-red as the smell of smoke from the woodburner permeates the air. We don’t live in the château we look after, but in the smaller cosier coach house. This is our second winter here and coming back a few weeks ago felt like coming home. Like a big sigh of relief.
The familiarity of the place and surroundings gave me a tremendous sense of calm. Having lived a pretty nomadic life for the last couple of decades, I’m not so used to feeling familiar with places, people or jobs. But coming back here felt like coming home after a long holiday. A seven-month break where you’ve had a great time but where it feels wonderful to be back home.
I was quick to rediscover all my favourite things. Walks through the woods, suntraps for lazy afternoons, my favourite mug, a throw for the bed, a little nook in the garden to set up a cold shower. The Monday morning market in the local town for all our fruit and veg, the local butcher, the cheesemonger, the milk vending machine where you fill up your milk bottles from the vat which comes straight from the farm. Our favourite routes for cycling. We even know which dogs will give chase and which will just bark half-heartedly before settling back down on the front porch. And of course, there is the undeniable charm of the château itself. The grand rooms and cosy corners. The sweeping views and sunny veranda. We are lucky to have this place as our temporary home.
It’s difficult to explain why all this is such a big deal for me. I’m sure a lot of people live with the familiar all the time and would love an adventure or two. It may seem odd but with all my wandering and chopping and changing I had forgotten the comfort that can be found in the familiar. I arrived here just under three weeks ago and have managed to slip back into things easily and swiftly. When you’re moving around every six months or so you only ever feel that you’re getting in the groove with something when it’s almost time to pack up and leave. Right now I feel like I’m in the groove already and I’ve only just arrived. Hurray!
My desk is set up. On one side I have my essential oils and potion-making supplies and materials, and on the other side I have a sewing machine to hand with a pile of sewing projects to work through. I’ve set up a little art space in one of the outbuildings and am already stuck in to a couple of paintings, painting being my new therapy after I re-discovered it this last year. I have my computer, my camera, some reading material, journals to work through. I’m all set!
Set for what, I’m not really sure, but I have the next five months to figure it out. Writing, painting, taking photos, sewing, potion making, blogging, yoga time. All have been a little neglected of late, but now, back in the warm fuzzy comfort of the familiar, I feel free to create some more.
Happy creative December to all. Leave me a comment to let me know what’s going on in your corner of the world ♥
PS. You will now see an instagram feed on my blog. I’m very new to instagram but if you would like to connect you can find me here.