It's been an interesting week. Last Wednesday I went to collect Joe from preschool and they told me they were closing down. A combination of flooding, a bad Ofsted report and staff resignations meant the owner had decided to call it a day. They'd been going for 26 years and despite Ofsted branding them 'Unsatisfactory' (mainly due to issues with administration) I'd always been perfectly happy with Joe attending.
I managed to get him a place, that evening, at another preschool in an even smaller village but just as close to home. It has a great reputation and he started there on Monday. He's taken to it like a duck to water.
We won't go into the amount of crying I did on his last day at 'Janice's'. It's the end of a chapter and the staff were so lovely.
There are children joining the new preschool from the old one, so he'll have some of his little friends with him. I'm currently collecting lots of splashy paintings at the end of the day. He's definitely inspired by the upheaval.
Speaking of which, I've been making the most of my fifteen hours per week of child-free time. Drawing, painting, attempting to build a new website (although I'm going to have to bite the bullet on that one and phone the Squarespace support team).
I'm also looking into the craft fair calendar for 2016 and am on the brink of signing up to some. Quite a few, actually. Selling direct means I don't have to lose as much in commission. Plus, I get to meet my customers face to face and to speak to other makers.
So right now it's all about jotting down ideas, planning displays and getting lots of stock together.
I'm still thinking about the house. Pictures are slowly making their way onto walls. Rooms are gradually getting a bit of personality. And I've discovered a new aesthetic.
Anyone who's seen my Pinterest account will know I love all things Nature. And things with a story to tell. Recently I came across this board though - and I'm suddenly into pattern and eclecticism. I've always been a fan of early to mid-20th Century literature and design, but the thought of a truly individual home filled with creativity and books and art holds huge appeal for me.
Joe had a 'settling in' session at his new preschool on Monday. I stayed for a few hours but they then suggested I go off for a few more while he had lunch and played outside. So I did.
A cream scone, a hot chocolate and a chat with a lovely lady in the tearoom of the local antiques centre was the perfect escape. I had a browse around all the lovely things and admired the William Morris wallpaper, the old fireplaces and the tiny wooden mice carved into the door frames. There's something very relaxing and reassuring about slipping back into the past for a little while. Probably explains my love of Marple and Poirot. Nostalgia fiend.
I then returned to an excitable boy and we went for a walk. All you can hear is water at the moment: the river, the drains, new springs and streams trickling away down the hills and through the trees.
You know I only like to use pretty pictures on the blog, but I thought I'd show you why we can't take one of our usual routes. It's really awful to see things like this at the moment: collapsed bridges, rubbish washed up everywhere, houses with sandbags outside and ruined furniture awaiting collection.
You also know I like to end things on a positive note. It's cooled right down here and last night we had a dusting of snow. The snowdrops are making an appearance in the garden. There's pussy willow on the table and vases of daffodils all over the place. And - gasp - we have a weekend approaching with a forecast of bright sunshine. No plans, no visitors - just us three. I can't wait.
I hope yours is dry (or snowy, whatever you prefer) and cold outdoors, warm within.