It is hard to believe we have been living here, in Northumberland for almost five weeks now. Of course the first few weeks went by in a blur of shifting, unpacking and procrastinating over cardboard boxes and in truth we are not quite there yet. But the house is starting to feel like home and with a bit of elbow grease and a lick of paint we are ¬†making our way slowly from this …

1

to this. So much nicer I think. Homely and comfortable – just the way we like it. We had a few unexpected glitches – our rather cumbersome couch refused to be forced in the sharp turn at the front door no matter how the removal guys tried to manoeuvre it so that had to be ditched and I ended up choosing a lovely small sofa from IKEA which I think suits the space perfectly. Our kitty cats Munro and Milly were rather traumatised by the 4 hour journey in the car and their wee holiday in a cattery over the days of the move. That was one of the most difficult things for me, feeling like I had abandoned them but they have soon settled in, knowing that their home is where we are and discovering the joys of a slightly bigger garden and the fact that here, in this small town, surrounded by lots of other gardens there is a huge amount of bird-life to watch! We hardly had any birds where we previously lived in the city and I can’t wait for Spring to be able to keep the back door open and hear the bird song which is a constant chatter even in this cold weather.

3

As for Mark and I, we just can’t believe we are here. The last few years have not been easy in some ways and it was time to make a change and make a new life for ourselves. I don’t think change comes naturally to either of us and we are still amazed we actually took this leap. We still feel like we are on holiday (albeit staying in a somewhat chaotic holiday let such as it feels with suitcases and boxes still to unpack and rooms to organise) but at the same it feels like home already – the house, the street, the town the whole area. We have been out and about exploring more in the last five weeks than perhaps in the last five years of our previous home and we have to keep reminding ourselves that we don’t have to do everything at once. Again, we have that holiday feel of thinking we are visiting somewhere for the day but remembering that we can go back, time and time again now that we are living here.

6

The sea is not even a ten minute drive away and despite that fact that it is freezing here we have been bundling ourselves up, eyes watering with the wind, boots sinking into soft sand, ears aching and skin tingling and loving every single second of it. I am afraid there will be lots and lots of photos like these on the blog in the future ; )

2016-02-14 15

We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the places we would like to visit and plan to explore a new place on my day off every week for the near future. I know this is going to have a huge impact on my inspiration and artwork in the coming months and years and excited to see where this takes me.

4

Speaking of work …. Up until a couple of weeks I could not even get into the room that is to be my temporary studio until I find a space to rent – boxes were stacked right up to the doorway! But gradually we have been making progress – this was how it looked about a week and a half ago until we managed to clear and organise it even more and now I have been able to start painting once again after what seemed a lifetime of packing and unpacking. This room is quite a bit smaller than my last workspace (about a third of the size) and I have only been able to unpack a small fraction of my supplies and work but there is actually a great freedom in that. Limiting myself to drawing materials and oil paints – I will share what I have been up to soon.

5

On that note, I have a lot of catching up to do … Will be back soon!