Autumn has most definitely turned into Winter. I look out of the window at the mist and the grey, and I know that it was only days ago when there were golden leaves hanging from branches and crunching underfoot. This morning I slip-slided across the brown slime of decaying leaves to the frost covered chicken house and let my small friends out into the crisp air.
The chicken hierarchy has changed. Our dear lovely Sandra died in the middle of the month. She was a good leader. The cleverest chicken I’ve ever met – she was inquisitive and funny, she enjoyed a cuddle, came out in the car with me, helped me with admin, won trophies, survived a dog attack, beat up a jackdaw, knew all of our neighbours and would come rushing down the street to me when I called her. She also went by the name of Trudy and spent a lot of time down the road with a nice man called Jonathan.
Of course we’ll miss her, she was a wonderful being, but something quite magical happened. People sent their condolences, online – well over a hundred people, and then elsewhere – at an event in Cambridge, when I was working in London – people from all over the world who barely know me, knew her!
How utterly incredible that a chicken can have such an impact. What a fabulous and beautiful creature she was, and a reminder – if a chicken can make a difference, then surely we all can too?!
With the Autumn colours seeming so vivid this year, (we think because there was little wind and the leaves stayed on the trees for longer) I made sure I took time to walk and observe, tucking pretty leaves in my pockets for later and pressing them in a big old book on the sideboard.
It’s been another busy month. Busy, busy – aren’t we all?! I do think that at this time of year people start to get a bit panicked – maybe it’s the pressure of Christmas, or a list of jobs looming over them that they’ve been trying to do since June and want to push onto someone else before the month is out, or maybe they’ve re-discovered their list of New Year’s resolutions and cacked it because they’ve failed themselves. Who knows!
I’m bringing back The Midwinter Movement – I’m embracing the season, I’m being kind to people (of course!) and I’m taking time to reflect. Let’s fill the darkness of the winter nights with light and joy and friendship, not stacks of plastic crap from B&M bargains, right? (Have you seen those terrible adverts?!)
I’ll be sharing my little bit of beautiful, magical winter on instagram, with the hashtag #themidwintermovement and I would love it if you would join me in that.
I’m also happy to share cheese and gin if there’s enough to go around. (The Blacksticks Blue cheese we had with this sloe gin was so delicious.)
I’ve been up to Manchester to speak at the Hard Focus Symposium, and down to London to take part in the totally wonderful Photomonth Portfolio Reviews. I had a brilliant night out with Banke at the Vuelio Awards and went to a lovely evening event with Cambridge Contemporary Art. The guys at CCA even gave me an advert calendar… awwww, I love it, but I am also impatient and somehow I already know exactly what is behind each unopened door!
Do you remember when I had my unicorn horn removed earlier in the year, and I went to RUSH Cambridge for a hair cut beforehand? Well, I was lucky enough to get my hair cut by the nicest hairdresser I have ever known, and when she, Gen, or Gentiana Restelica to use her full lady name, mentioned that she wanted to do an event to celebrate the first birthday of her business, I couldn’t help but get involved. I was delighted to co-host ‘Winter at Rush’. We brought together a lovely bunch of people, with lots of prosecco, canapés and cake, chocolates and popcorn, and a good measure of hair braiding, fringe trimming and luscious lock styling.
And then we had the last Shutter Hub Meet Up of the year, at the Green Man at Grantchester. I thought I would open up the invitation to stay to dinner as Olivia and I planned to get food. Fourteen people stayed! It was wonderful. Like a big photography family round the table, chattering over candle light and feeling perfectly at home. My roast pork belly dinner was delicious, it didn’t photograph well, so instead of a picture resembling an intestine, I’ll not give you a picture at all!
Hmmm, maybe I will distract you with a few soothing photos from my article Reasons to Stay in Bed. If you’ve not read it yet, I (of course) recommend it. Need an excuse not to get up in the morning? I’ve got plenty for you. Require some help sleeping? I’ve got some great tips. Want to know how to lure a cat? I can help.
Oh, and, before you go, can I ask you a favour?
Actually, it’s two favours, double whammy. Sorry. Thank you. I’m assuming you said yes!
I Don’t Like Peas has been nominated by some kind soul (thanks mum!) for the UK Blog Awards in the Lifestyle and Photography* categories, and I would massively appreciate your vote. I don’t write this blog for anything but fun, and I am always amazed and happy that I get to share my stories with so many people – some of you I know in person, and some of you I’ve never met, and all of you play a special part in my funny little life. So, if you can spare a moment (it takes around 8 seconds) would you please vote for me here? http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2017/entries/i-dont-peas
And, that’s not all! Shutter Hub is up there too! Got another 8 seconds on your hands? Please vote for Shutter Hub. I am incredibly proud of what Shutter Hub has achieved, and all of our lovely photography gang, so anything we can do to get the word out there is a good thing by me! http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2017/entries/shutter-hub
I am grateful, thank you.
*Please tick Lifestyle and Photography in the drop down box. You are allowed one vote per email address, and voting closes 10am on Monday 19th December. Big kisses!