From The Beginning. In the Middle.

By Alison June 8, 2011 38 Comments 5 Min Read

Hello Darlings, thank you for your patience during this brief hiatus: it has been such a pleasure to go away knowing I had your support to step off this lovely polka dotty gravy train for a while…
It has been a month stuffed full of big decisions and decorating. A month when I have realised that blogging has become a part of my life that I can barely do without: a way of both thinking out loud and scrapbooking all those things I never want to forget, a way of acknowledging daily who I am and who I want to be. And while it has been somewhat liberating to ignore the call of the keyboard if only for a while, I miss the routine of turning up to my lifes work daily, the rituals I have established to make that work possible and above all else the celebration of what it is to be a Vintage Housekeeper with like-minded women across land and choppy sea.
One cannot, it seems, escapes one’s authentic self too easily, especially when one has given over ten years in pursuit of her!
And so here I am. Suddenly deeply aware that I am given to making grandiose statements on a whim. That I court drama and flounder in the aftermath. That the answer to refreshing enthusiam for what turns out to be a life-long passion, is not throwing in the towel and trying to re-invent one’s own wheel, but in standing back and assessing what has already been created and furthermore simply dwelling on how to move forward with all that in ribbon-tied tow.
We cannot and should not try to shake off what is ours, but we are absolutely entitled to take time out to decide where that which we already own can better fit into a future taking shape all by itself.
And so here I am. Ready to acknowledge that I lose my way. That sometimes the need to monetise BrocanteHome renders me exhausted, leaves me feeling shy, uninspired and worse, often as if I have sold my soul to a money making devil, but further ready to acknowledge (out loud) that I am trying to teach myself that I, like everyone else on this planet, am entitled to fair compensation for that to which I dedicate my time. That I am entitled to a roof over my little boys head, and shoes on our feet. That this is my art, and one has to find a comfortable space to dwell in between the ranks of starving artist and flashy salewoman.
So I am trying. And I am writing. And I am seeking unobtrusive ways of financing Brocantehome and I am full of new ideas and aware that I already have a lot to offer and do not need to constantly seek to re-invent myself at every turn because I lose faith daily or find myself embarrasing. though clearly I am embarrasing, as my seven year old little monkey will confirm should you be rude enough to ask him!
So here I am. It’s been a busy month and as, I’ve got a lot to say I rather think a few little lists might just be the way to sum it all up, because no Vintage Housekeeper worth her salt can resist a good list now can she?

Things I’ve been doing

* Decorating the living room. Now a serene snuggly rose-sprinkled haven complete with cream carpets, sofas and curtains. Because I’m asking for trouble.
* Visiting Finn’s new school and worrying myself silly about the whole business, while never feeling quite so absolutely certain that I am making the right decision before.
* Making the move from a PC to a whole host of Mac computers as Richard begins to take over my technological life. And thus rather feeling as though I have moved to a mean foriegn country.
* Swanning about in quite the most divine of Lake District hotels. I absolutely adore the Lake District. Two of my best friends actually got married in the Lake District’s best wedding venue, so this part of the world will always be special to me.
* And buying a tent big enough to throw a party in because all of a sudden we plan on being professional campers.

Thinks I’ve been thinking about

* That I have to keep on keeping on. That turning up is ninety per cent of the solution whatever the problem.
* That cream anything isn’t a great idea with a kid like Finn around…
* That pre-empting what you want to see on Brocantehome isn’t the way forward and that more often than not I get it wrong. That it is more than ok to be myself here.
* That if I am going to drive Finn to a school twenty five minutes away instead of tumbling down the lane, I am going to need to start driving again. Pedestrians beware.
* That my Kindle is the best thing that ever happened to me that isn’t people shaped. I am currently absolutely adoring the Patty Fairfield series and can barely wait to climb into bed with my new best friend.
* And that I have too much to say to try holding it in ever again!

Things I’m going to be doing

* Spending another glorious five days at Cornbury again. In the company of my sister, her partner Louis, the kids, Richard, James Blunt, Cyndi Lauper and Deacon Blue. I am stocking up on festival port-a-loo anti-bacterial gel as we speak…
* Writing. Instead of talking about it. Or planning it. Or wasting my life away in pursuit of an app to do it for me!
* Transcendental meditation. Part of the deal with the Maharishi School is that all pupils and parents commit to learning to meditate, and so before Finley starts in September we will all be attenting TM courses. Expect a new calmer me…
* Stripping out the kitchen ready for new everything and living on fish and chips in the meantime.
* And resisting the urge to take Brocante off in yet another new direction, and instead consolidating what already exists and moving forward with a smile on my face…
Hell’s bells I can’t half talk can’t I??
You will I am sure, be glad to hear that, that is it for today. I am away to poke at the salad growing in the garden, put pretty white gypsophila in a pale green spotty jug, bake cherry flapjacks while I have still got an oven, and start listing all my junk on ebay…
Ooooh and for all those of you wondering:
* The next chapter of Muse will be in your inboxes tomorrow.
* And Richard has asked my Dad for my hand in marriage and he said NO. That he would not be held responsible for inflicting me on a man as decent as Richard, and thus be it on his own head, should he choose to get down on one knee.
Ye gads! I’m nearly forty, You would think my dear Daddy would be delighted to off-load me on anyone willing to have me!
Have a lovely afternoon Darlings.x


  1. Victoria says:

    So good to see your back, you've been missed.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Thank you Darling, it feels good to be back.x

      1. Shelanne says:

        Congratulations, so thrilled for you. Have missed your musings madly. Maybe I'll phone deliberately very soon and you can tell me all the details of Maharishi, marriage and Macs (two of which I am actively considering myself!)

        1. brocantehome says:

          Ok I'm guessing marriage and macs not the maharishi??? Yes, ring purposefully soon!x

  2. lazy h says:

    Oh Alison – congratulations!

    1. brocantehome says:

      Thanks Helen.x

  3. Victoria says:

    Sounds like something my dad would say!! So excited to share this next journey with you!
    Victoria xx

    1. brocantehome says:

      Dads can't be trusted can they??x

  4. Janet says:

    Congratulations and welcome back! I've missed reading about your life! Bless your Dad for having such a wonderful sense of humor!

    1. brocantehome says:

      He's a terror Janet…

  5. brocantehome says:

    Lol. Have just noticed that I typed "Thinks I've been thinking about instead of "things". It made me laugh so I'm leaving it there. Anybody else got Thinks to think about??

  6. brocantehome says:

    Lol. Have just noticed that I typed "Thinks I've been thinking about instead of "things". It made me laugh so I'm leaving it there. Anybody else got Thinks to think about??

  7. Barbara says:

    Hooray on every count!

    1. brocantehome says:

      Thanks Barbara, it's always lovely to find you in my comments box!

  8. Terrie says:

    Oh it's so good to land on brocante and find a wonderful new post – and with such good news too! Congrats!!

    1. brocantehome says:

      Thank you Darling… I do wish he would get round to the proposal though… a person could die holding her breath for this long!

  9. Ann Wainwright says:

    Hi – I have tried finding the Patty Fairfield books on amazon but i can't find kindle editions of them – are they by carolyn wells and what did you type in the search box ?

  10. Love, Mimi xxx says:

    Oh Alison, welcome back! I was prepared to bear your absence because I know you needed it for you, but I am so pleased you are back! Never, ever apologise for being just who you are here, it is what makes Brocante Home so fab! Dont worry for a moment about what we want, I love learning and exploring as Brocante Home evolves. And don't worry about monetising it either….there is enough free content to please anybody, and the paid for stuff is worth its weight in gold!
    Now, tell us more please, is there to be a formal proposal, any signs of twinkly rings yet?

  11. Jenny says:

    I am SO VERY glad that you're back! I've really missed you and your insight and humor and gentle nudging. Phew! I agree with Mimi, that the paid for stuff is worth it's weight in gold. Thank you.

  12. Love, Mimi xxx says:

    Ps I forgot to say….do share your ebay name so we can all go bidding on your treasures! x

  13. Mrs Homespun says:

    Delighted to see you are back! I know you needed this time to sort things out but I selfishly missed you! Best of luck and congrats.

  14. Megan says:

    Very happy to have you back, this is all such wonderful news. Megan xx

  15. Missed you and glad you're back!

  16. Missed you and glad you're back!

  17. Heather says:

    Yay! Alison's back-at least for today. You have been sorely missed.

  18. Hausfrau says:

    I say hooray to all of this!

  19. Carol M says:

    Just checked in by chance, and what a wonderful surprise to see your post. My, you have been busy. It all sounds wonderful – marriage, new school and a Mac. I entered my second marriage 13 years ago when my son was 12 (I was 40) — best decision ever for me and my son! And trust Richard on the Mac issue –I switched a few years ago — I will never go back to a PC. So glad to hear all your fantastic updates. I've missed your posts. Today is a good day!

  20. Dori says:

    How lovely to find an Alison post. Such a delight on a somewhat lazy, puttery afternoon!

  21. Diane says:

    YAY, you've made me a happy girl, Big Love to you 🙂

  22. Gill says:

    So please to have you back, I missed you. Congratulations on your wonderful news, it made my day even though I don't know you!

  23. Joanne says:

    Alison, welcome back! I am SO pleased you're here. And Finn's school looks amazing – I love that they meditate twice a day. It would be great if all kids learned this skill from a young age. Can't wait to hear all the details of your upcoming engagement (unless Richard has now been scared off by your dear dad)!

  24. Ali H. says:

    That was one of the funnier posts you've done in a while. And very thoughtful too. Life is never one placid pond. And how dull it would be if it was. So, when's the nuptuals?

  25. Valerie says:

    And I really seriously thought you were going away! But I'm glad you didn't. I'm like you… I feel myself needing a break, but then there is still so much I want to say. I guess I'm just a chatty kathy. I blog it so my husband doesn't have to hear it ALL. And I'm the one who is always curious about these new directions you sometimes want to take brocante in but decide not to. Do tell.

  26. Valerie says:

    And I really seriously thought you were going away! But I'm glad you didn't. I'm like you… I feel myself needing a break, but then there is still so much I want to say. I guess I'm just a chatty kathy. I blog it so my husband doesn't have to hear it ALL. And I'm the one who is always curious about these new directions you sometimes want to take brocante in but decide not to. Do tell.

  27. Jessmarie says:

    Yay!!! I love you Alison!

  28. Sasha says:

    Wowzers woman! What-a-lot you have been up to! It's really good to see you back……….I was getting worried, and missed you!
    So glad your life laundry hasn't been too drastic, and sounds like the break away has done you the world of good.
    And BIG BIG BIG congratulations to you and Richard! (I knew it…..). Your Dad is super funny too!
    PS: A Mac is the only way – you'll wonder how you lived without it (I've never had a PC in my life)

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