26.01

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U N P L U G .

You might’ve noticed a little gap in posting around these parts last week (okay, and on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram…basically online in general!), and the reason was that I’d been hit with a pretty severe case of the January blues.

And they hit me hard! I don’t think I’ve ever felt as uninspired, as lacking in creativity, and as just plain old down in the mouth as I have over the past ten or so days.

But you know, it’s nothing that a few days sans-Internet couldn’t fix! I got cracking on a little life admin instead, switched off from all things notification-inducing, and recharged my batteries.

I hope you didn’t mind too much that I went totally AWOL (I had a serious case of blogger guilt!), and that jumping back in with a few photos of last week’s glorious frost will make up for things!

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If I’m remembering correctly, this walk was Elsie and Teddy’s first outing together.

It would’ve been a lovely one anyway, just seeing the two of them bounding along together, but the layer of sparkling frost that had settled overnight made it all the more beautiful.

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The ground crunched underfoot, frozen-over puddles acted as ice rinks for little paws, weak sunlight shone through the trees in misty beams, and the whole forest glittered more beautifully than my camera could capture.

And the very best part of it all?

The frozen ground, usually a sea of the sort of claggy mud baths that Teddy’s always adored and Elsie’s fast learning to, kept all eight of the paws in my care blissfully clean and dry.

And since the littlest spaniel shares her brother’s hatred for post walk hosings-down and likes to make them as arduous as possible, it really was a relief…

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02.01

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W E L C O M E ,   2 0 1 6 !

Elsie had me up at 7am on the morning of the 1st, and so I watched as the 2016 dawned bright and frosty. It felt as though winter had finally remembered that it’s supposed to be crisp and cold, and not as rainy and grey as it’s been throughout the end of the previous year.

Our first day of 2016 began in exactly the same way that almost every day in 2015 had done- with a walk, of course!

Jason and I had hosted a very chilled out dinner at ours the night before (just family, my best friend Jo, and several bottles of fizz), and so woke up a little bleary-eyed on the morning of the 1st.

Jo and I left Jason on puppy-duty (a role that involves hyper vigilance, a lot of saying ‘no…’, and also some deliciously cosy cuddles too), and headed out with the main man…

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We’ve been holed up at home the past few days with the pup, so getting out with Teddy and blowing the cobwebs away felt so lovely. Also, getting some distance from all the delicious food that seems to be on hand 24/7 at the moment is probably pretty good too…

Jo and I stomped our way through the mud on my usual route through the woods, talking over the goals for the year ahead.

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I decided at the start of 2015 not to set myself up on the first day of the month with a whole host of New Year’s resolutions, that I’d inevitably struggle to succeed at and then feel guilty about for the rest of the year. Instead, I tried to focus on the little mantra ‘I am enough’.

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It wasn’t always easy to keep in mind, since comparison and self criticism tend to be so very easy to come by, but on the whole, I think it was a pretty good mindset to begin the new year with.

I’ll be trying to keep to it again this year.

Continue to plug away and work hard at the the things that matter most to me in the world, and focus on improving my organisation and productivity, too, but remember always that simple affirmation of ‘enough-ness’.

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So, my friends, here’s to another beautiful year. Full of happiness, and contentment, and progression, and adventures, and, of course, peaceful walks in the forest.

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Coat || Jumper || Hat || Jeans || Boots

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13.10

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A M B E R   A U T U M N   L I G H T .

Jason and I decided to revisit one of our favourite autumnal pastimes from last year on Sunday, by bringing a flask of hot chocolate along with us on a dog walk and pausing for a cosy picnic.

Very little’s changed from this year to the last. Well, I guess there has been one very major change, but apart from that (and aside from both my hair and Teddy’s coat being longer and more unruly than this time last year), we’re just as content with these quiet, peaceful sorts of days as we ever were.

Still more at peace in the countryside than anywhere else, and more fond of being bundled up against a nipping wind than we were of the balmy summer days just gone.

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The weather was so delicious and dreamy all day long, and all I could think of over and over was how I could live forever happy with year round weather like this.

The light was warm and soft and hazy, the wind picked up my hair a few dozen times over and tied it in knots around my neck, and the sun had just the gentlest touch of warmth to it.

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We veered off the main path to a fallen tree tucked just out of sight in a patch of fir trees and heather, took up seats in that weather-beaten tree trunk, and poured out two mugfuls of dark, sweet, thick hot chocolate.

The wind couldn’t reach us, shielded as we were by firs all around, and those tin mugs of hot chocolate alone were enough to warm our chilly fingers.

But really, my fingers were all that was cold- the rest had been taken care of by that dreamily cosy roll neck…

M Y   O U T F I T  - Roll neck poncho || Shirt || Jeans || Hunter boots

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J A S O N ‘ S   O U T F I T  - Shirt || Khakis || Barbour boots.

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22.09

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A   Q U I E T   S U N D A Y .

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve written about, and shared photos from our weekend walks in this particular patch of forest. There’s something special about this woodland though, that I can never quite put my finger on.

Maybe it’s the fact that we see more wildlife there than anywhere else we walk (deer, pheasant, birds of prey, and on this particular walk, a little rodent of some sort scurrying to safety in the undergrowth), or perhaps it’s how quiet and peaceful the area always feels.

The quiet only really gets interrupted by Teddy as he crashes through the bracken and brambles, or by Jason and I shouting a desperate ‘NO!’ at said dog as he bombs towards a particularly stagnant-looking puddle. (I’d say he stops and listens to us maybe 60% of the time. Not bad, given how obsessed he is with dirty water.)

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We’d spent the previous day with my brother-in-law Russell and his other half Clare, and all stayed up late watching the rugby and marathoning The Walking Dead (have you seen it?! I’m obsessed but also totally repulsed by it!) and ended the day with a spectacular Indian takeaway from a local place Jason and I had never even heard of before. (P.s. Vegetable dhansak is my order. This one was so hot it almost blew my head off, but was all the better for it!)

And so, having had such a late night the day before, Sunday began slowly. We spent the morning lazing around with coffee in one hand and magazines in the other, then finally got ourselves layered up and headed out to the forest.

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The coat I’m wearing here is a new one from Joules, and I can already tell it’s going to be a favourite for the season ahead. The cut is so well tailored and smart, and I love the earthy-toned tweed. In fact, even just putting it on this Sunday, along with one of my most loved tartan scarves from last winter, made me feel the first flutterings of excitement for the long months of cosiness we’ve got ahead of us.

With our walk over, we headed home for a lunch of hot soup and warm buttered toast and enough biscuits to feed a small army.

Sunday done right, if I do say so myself.

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Tweed coat || Grey skinnies || Tartan scarf || Tan knee highs {similar}.

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