We seem to have reached a bit of a crossroads, Mitenska and me. But that's not really how I view it. A crossroads suggests I have to pick just the one road.
In reality it feels more like I'm standing at the top of a mountain, looking down at a vast and varied landscape. Lots to explore.
As you know, I've been working on Frond and Feather. I'm currently running two Instagram accounts, a Facebook page which needs sorting out, two blogs, a rather neglected Twitter account and a few Pinterest accounts too.
Which suggests I need to simplify things somewhat.
It would make sense to just move everything to Frond and Feather. For the most part that's what I intend to do. But what about Mitenska? Do I just archive everything and move on? I'm not sure. It's different from Frond and Feather. More personal. Little stories of my life. Family memories, photographs. Thoughts and small celebrations, but also times of sadness and worry. Travels, what we eat, walks in the woods.
I don't think I want to let it go just yet. I think it'll stay here and I'll post maybe every few weeks. I want to keep this record going so I will.
The whole 'choices' thing applies to my work, too. I keep questioning what I should actually do (and do well). Printmaking? Illustration? Photography maybe?
Truth is, I really love all of them so I'll keep doing them all. Everything is inspired by nature so there is a thread running through all of my work. And if I want to try new things (current obsession: hand lettering and watercolour wreaths) then that's fine too. Surely it's a healthy thing to want to learn, to explore and experiment.
Joe finished preschool yesterday. I was surprisingly OK with it (alright, I did have a little cry afterwards picturing him having one last cuddle with one of the staff. She's usually very businesslike but shed a few tears as they said goodbye).
There was a teddy bear's picnic and treasure hunt through the village, then all the little leavers were presented with their files and a gift.
And now we have the whole summer ahead of us. I'm torn between panic (six weeks of entertaining him) and sadness that he's growing up. We already have most of his school uniform ready for September. He doesn't turn four until late August. He's still so little!
Cue all kinds of misgivings despite much reassurance from friends, family and teachers.
We have so much to do. My work's going to drop way down the list while I've got Joe full time. But we're painting downstairs white (partially done), I want to repaint some furniture before autumn arrives and I do need to keep things ticking over on the work front.
But, to use that overused phrase, it is what it is.
I'm fortunate enough to be with Joe for the summer holidays, the last time he's a preschooler. I intend to spend as much time outside with him as possible. We have a key to the school grounds so we can go in and maintain the raised beds. It's somewhere safe for him to practice riding his bike.
On wet days - this is England, after all - we can walk in the woods. I suspect there will be many picnic lunches eaten at the little railway station, too.
We can get together with friends and play in gardens or go for ice cream. Or visit Wallace the goat up at the animal sanctuary.
Jay has booked us a night in Edinburgh in a few weeks. Just us two (while Joe stays with family). The thought of that is quite exciting - because much as I love my little one, there's something extremely freeing about time off.
We're still hoping to move to Scotland next year. The plan is to put the house up for sale in the spring and to see what happens.
But right now we're going to enjoy what we have here: lots of friends, a happy house, village life.
So, quite a view from the top of that mountain. I'm enjoying it.
And I'll continue to blog here (how regularly during the holidays remains to be seen) but at least I've made one decision: I don't want to leave Mitenska behind. It may change a little but it won't be mothballed any time soon.
Have a great weekend. We're just heading out for a picnic (as the clouds roll in)...