Last week, North Wales experienced approximately 19 minutes and 43 seconds of sunshine. Enough to enable me to set up my first styling the seasons post of 2016 and take a photo or two ... I hoped. Photographs light enough not to give you the impression that I live in some kind of deep, dark, grainy cave. On a side note, I'm beginning to think that the sun has a second job. What do you reckon? Where does it keep disappearing to? It's definitely up to something, I just know it. Anyway, knowing those minutes of optimum light would tick by quicker than the life expectancy of a current favourite character in Game of Thrones, I pressed play on Kung Fu Panda to entertain my littlest dude, and got everything ready.
And just as I was happy with my little January vignette and taking my first shot, the clash of the curtains commenced. Apparently, effective viewing of panda programmes necessitates complete and utter darkness. No bribes accepted. Not even jelly beans. So began a pushing/pulling tango of curtain opening and closing. As the clouds became darker and my three year old became more insistent, I knew I had to give up the ghost and pack everything away for another day. Don't be fooled by the small stature of a three year old. They are fierce. And they are deceptively strong. And yes, I'm also a bit of a pushover (with a fondness for watching Kung Fu Panda, too).
While clearing everything away, I decided to indulge in a little January decluttering session. We have a sideboard that sits in our living room. It doesn't 100 percent fit as it was bought for the huge, open-plan living space we had in Zürich. However, it's so lovely and oh so practical for hiding all the tea cups which I buy and don't tell Paul about, that we're (I'm) happy to have it squashed in corner of the room, right next to the sofa. Recently, it's become a fight to cram everything in, though ... harder to slide the beautiful door shut. When better for a sorting session than a cold, dark January day with a family-friendly film on in the background?
I got everything out, wiped down the inside of the cupboard and studied every item, weighing up its merits for future inclusion in my 'cabinet of hidden treasures'. I'm not overly sentimental and I tend not to collect many things (house moves, country moves, and two lively children are not kind to dainty items) but crockery is so hard for me to say goodbye to, I don't know why.
There's the Cath Kidston teapot which I bought for myself after my eldest was born ... a reminder to take the time for a proper cup of tea in the midst of the all the newborn chaos. The hand painted goblets and tray with the lemons on them were a wedding gift from my aunt, chosen by Paul and I on our first holiday together in Capri ... a place that we're heading back to for our joint 40th birthday lunch, later this year.
The white teapot with the blue stripe was the first thing that Paul ever bought me. I've actually never liked it but I like having it. Crazy, right? And that teapot sits atop the four Father Christmas plates which caught my eye in a Swiss supermarket. At the time, we were a family of three but I took a leap of faith and bought four ... one each and an extra one for a cheeky, little boy who was then just a dream.
And then there's the copper mugs which I bought from HomeSense when I took over their Instagram feed ... a reminder that I really must perfect a Moscow Mule. The cute, little milk bottles which the boys like to use when they're feeling fancy sit inside two limited edition Starbucks mugs which my friend, Franziska, sent over from Zürich for us. They match a piece of art (you can read more about it here) which we shipped back from Switzerland to remind us of our time there, and seem too precious to use. I'm thinking about saving them for the boys for when they're older ... something from the country they were born in.
After much deliberating and sorting and moving things round and tidying, I waved goodbye to a single wineglass. A wineglass which I think was actually put in the cupboard in error. The rest? Well, what's with this current trend for decluttering, anyway? I'm no longer sure it's something which I condone. In fact, with some careful manoeuvring, I'm sure I can fit in a few more things over the coming years. There's a little bit of spare space there, right?
This is my January in a not-quite-so-styled way. I promise to try harder in February ... sunshine and curtain-closing-obsessed children permitting!