Monday, 5 January 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

We saw the New Year in, with a heated game of Trivial Pursuit.. chasing the last piece of elusive 'pie' well in to the early hours of January 1st whilst sipping some bubbles and raiding the remnants of the 'Roses' tin ( my willpower has yet to kick in)
A certain frenzied competitiveness drove me on until I plucked from the dark recesses of my memory some obscure bit of trivia and became the champion of the board winning my Arts & Literature piece of 'pie' with triumph and great relief..as it meant that we could finally stagger off to bed at 2 a.m.. way past my usual bedtime.
New Year's Day found me somewhat floppy and my only real desire was to hug the roaring fire that had been thoughtfully made by our hosts long before I had managed to prise my eyes open..
We were staying with Mr Custard's family up in the darkest depths of Cheshire and had settled in to a lovely routine of dining on fine homemade fayre and perfecting the art of flopping and lounging around in the large squashy sofas, giving me a chance to catch up with my book 'Revolutionary Road'.. as I am keen to finish it before the film comes out..
Our hosts own three Labradors that require a certain amount of exercise (unlike me of course) so we were finally wrenched from our cosy nest and set off .. clothed in every imaginable style of hats and scarves.. to walk in the wintry wonderland that lay outside..I soon remembered what my legs were for and tromped happily around the frozen fields using my new camera to snap at the beautiful landscapes and particularly these magnificent forests of Hog weed..So delicate ... and hard to believe that they can inflict a very nasty rash if one touches the sap of these giant plants. As they were just the skeletons of the plant .. I found them un-menacing and beautifully sculptural..Our brief flirtation with some exercise in the great outdoors.. found us with rumbling stomachs and it was home again to eat large dishes of homemade fish pie with lashings of mashed potato..stick to the ribs fodder... and all part of the detox diet you understand!
On arriving back in Bath at the weekend.. I was greeted with 52 emails! How could this be?
I don't even know 52 people so my immediate thought was.. goodness... could this be work coming in... or is it just tin loads of Spam! No... it was much more agreeable...32 of these emails were comments from my lovely blogging comrades.
I am ashamed to say that I have only replied to a handful of these friendly visits and it has really given me some concern that I find I have less and less time to return your kind words..
I have been considering for a while now.. about having a blogging break..or simply switching off my comments option.. but this troubles me .. as it seems churlish and unkind to keep you at arms length..so to speak.
The reality is .. I have to knuckle down this year and really make my way in the world with my Cowboys & Custard business ..it is a sink or swim situation.. so I fear.. somethings gotta give!
I simply don't have enough hours in the day to sit down and visit all the blogs that are so precious to me and have given me new purpose over the last year ... so I will have to compromise which means .. less blogging and more lurking!
I value every one of your comments and love to read your thoughts and digest them and I hope you continue to visit me on the sporadic occasions that I update my blog...
I shall sign off now .. but wish you all well and will look forward to visiting you all.. as and when I can...
Wishing you all a truly Happy New Year....
A bientot
Michele xx

41 comments:

Ragged Roses said...

Are you still in those pjs mon amie? What a winter wonderland to walk about in, beautiful, beautiful. No time for detox when it's weather like this I'm afraid. I wish I could put so eloquently in words as you have just done my quandries about blogging too, I'm sure your many blogging friends will understand and empathise with your dilemma, it's hard to find the balance at the moment isn't it. Take care, enjoy your cosy home today
Mx
How come my chocolates exist? I was hoping that you would say they were a figment of my imagination ... just looked out the window and it's snowing again, yippeee!!!
I should have emailed you all of this ...

Gingham and Flowers said...

Lovely pictures. Totally understand your comments on the blog. I am thinking very much along the same lines. Like you I absolutely have to make a go of my business this year. Either that or find another real job! Which given the current climate will be difficult and I want to work for myself. I've been seriously thinking about giving up my blog for a while as I really need to concentrate fully on other stuff. Maybe I'll just write once a week and like you I'll be doing more lurking. Obviously starting after I've left this comment! Happy New Year and I hope Cowboys and Custard goes from strength to strength this year. Fiona x

Redwoodhouse said...

morning Michelle, what very beautiful pictures the winter weather can be so very magical can't it.....I know what you mean about the time spent on the computer, I sometimes feel quite quilty with how much time has fled by when I log off. One advantage for me is I never eat when I am on the computer so I suppose I had better stay on it a lot longer!!!!!

julia said...

Happy new year to you Michele, fab photos, hasn't the weather been fab!
I've been having exactly the same thoughts about blogging. Having the break over Christmas made me realise how much time blogging takes. However I do love keeping a record of life so I have come to the same conclusion as you, I'll keep on but I won't be able to comment as much as usual. It does make me feel guilty when people leave lovely comments on mine but we'll see how it goes.
Have a fantastic 2009, wishing you all the luck in the world with Cowboys and Custard (the stocking fillers you gave me at the fair went down a storm!)
Julia xx

Simone said...

Lovely wintery pictures. I really need to cut back on the blogging but it gives me food for thought when I read about other peoples lives. I hope you acheive a work/blogging balance this year.

Tea with Willow said...

Lovely photos! It's really hard to find the blogging balance isn't it?! As I'm fairly new to it all, I know I was spending far too much time on the pc, but I seem to have reached a happy balance of having a quick round-up of my favourite blogs in the morning, while I have my cuppa, and then popping in occasionally when I have a spare 5 mins. I do hope you continue with your blog, even if just to post now and then ... I love to hear all about your business and, of course, all about Mr Pickles!

Willow x

carolyn said...

Lurk away Michele!
happy New Year to you and yours.

Kitschen Pink said...

I don't need a reply! I see my comments as a reply to the blog post! They should rename them 'replies' not comments.
I'd really love a copy of that detox diet you're on. Fish Pie, Mash and Roses chocolates - sounds an extremely healthy option to me! Very best of luck with C&C this year - and don't mind me, I'm just here for the view! t.xx

Gina said...

Happy New Year. I totally understand what you mean about the comments. So lovely to receive them but too many to answer thoughtfully but I'm sure most bloggers are in the same situation and understand. Lovely just to come and read and see what you've been up to! The photographs are stunnning!

Country Cottage Chic said...

Lovely photos Michele!
I'm sure we'll all be quite happy if you at least post occasionally so we can keep up with the Custards!
Maybe you can teach Pickles to type?

(Just don't unleash Nurse Flo on us too often!)

Lucy B - Vintage Floral and Gingham said...

Happy New Year!! What great photo's!!

xx xx

The Whispering Poppies said...

Oh my goodness, that scenery looks like it is right off the pages of a fairytale book! How fortunate you are to see such beauty up close and in person! Your photos are a delight!

Have a lovely, enjoyable first week of 2009, Michele! =)

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Happy New Year sweet Michelle! As always, I marvel in your posts and so enjoy how your words seem to dance around in a happy chorus of descriptive bliss.

Sounds like you and your family had the most relaxing of New Years celebration. Nothing beats a little brain exercise - if nothing else, though it sounds as though you had a happy time out in the elements. Lovely, lovely photos!

No worries here about visiting. I completely understand and wish you all the success for your business. I will be by to visit to keep up with your travels.

(((hugs))))
Becky

Kissy kisses for Mr. Pickles from the fur clan here.

kristina said...

What beautiful photographs. I'll miss you, but I know what you mean about the amount of time blogging takes, and it sounds like you're making a really good decision for now. Please feel free to lurk (terrible term!) on Jolly Hockey Sticks! K x

funkymonkey said...

You can lurk as much as you like!

Dana and Daisy said...

I certainly understand your dilemma. I have thought of breaking loose from it a bit myself.

It can interrupt the activity of the physical world around us.

Love and always a fan of yours.
Dana

April said...

Hi Michele, Happy new year to all your family. I'm just popping over to let you know that you have won my 200th post giveaway so come over to my blog and have a look

April xx

Shabby Chick said...

Lovely pics, must have been a lovely walk even if it was freezing!

It is hard to get a balance with blogging, I started it just as a way or getting my thoughts down - I wasn't especially aware of comments and things - but I do enjoy the community and coming into contact with people with the same interests. Loads of good luck with your business this year xxx

LiLi M. said...

Hello Michèle, I do love these wintery pictures, all those greenish greyish colours, it's beautiful!
About giving and receiving comments: I think getting comments is the sugar and spice of a blog, so don't put that off. Of course you are busy, everybody understands that. The fact that I comment your blog doesn't mean that I expect a comment back, I have outgrown that for a couple of years. Just do as you please and as you can, don't go beyond that, you will make no one happy with that. Family and business first, blogfriends second or third, true blogfriends will understand that.
Good luck with Cowboys and Custard in 2009!

The Thrifty Gluten-Free Mom said...

No need to reply. If you find your business slow going, maybe you could open a health spa with your innovative new diet and exercise philosophy. I'm sure you'd get a lot of clients willing to submit to your regimen.
Wendyxx

Margie said...

Michele, thanks for sharing those wonderful photos, and best of luck with the business. Happy lurking! hugs margie.

Josie-Mary said...

oh no don't stop blogging... I look forward to your posts & the lovely Mr Pickles.
The photo's are beauitful... I'm really enjoying this cold snap, as long as you're dressed up warm it's lovely. :)

This Vintage Life... said...

Happy New Year Michele!
I completely understand your concerns...blogging v 'work' as it were, as I am having exactly the same thoughts. Blogging seems to take up more and more time and if you sit in front of the computer a lot as I do anyway it just becomes a chore making sure you've been round everybody and commented....it should be fun! I don't want to give up blogging all together but turning off comments does seem rude somehow. I've thought about blogging more often but shorter posts! Having said that I think turning off comments is the preferred option and I tell myself that my true bogging friends will understand and stick with me as I know they would with you Michele. If you do decide to take a break or turn off comments we'll all still be here reading I'm sure.
Deb xx

cocoa and blankets said...

you can lurk at mine when ever you want...Polly loved the badges...thank you...I am feeling the same as my hectic show term looms with productions and coursework coming out of every you know what..love the pictures has someone got a new camera???? love H

Things Hand Made said...

happy new year. Great piccies

flutterbypatch said...

Absolutely Michele..go for it girl. Wishing you all the best and I'm sure C and C will go from strength to strength in 09. Love Eli.

Rosie said...

Love the photo's. Do what you have to do but do keep us updated from time to time with what you are up to.x

Garden Girl said...

What ho old girl...TOTALLY understand your concerns. I am far too busy making cakes and being important to read your blog anyway...heehee! Somehow I feel you won't be gone for too long. And if you are, I shall be proud to have once known you before you got even more famous-er-er.
Lots of love, oh wise one,
xxx

OhSoVintage said...

Hi Michele
That's what Christmas hols are all about isn't it? A lovely walk in the cold, warm fires, lolling around reading and eating, socialising. I totally agree about the blogging and did, in fact, have a break. All we have done is just give ourselves something else to feel guilty about! It is lovely reading others blogs, making new friends etc. etc. but it is so time consuming. Maybe we should all make a new year's resolution to only post once a month....
Happy New year to you and wishing you continued success.
Ruth x

Frances said...

Hi Michelle

Lovely pics of the frosty landscape, don't you just love this cold weather... Oh I wish it would snow here in Somerset.
Who would imagine the giant Hog Weed seed heads could look so beautiful, especially when they can be so spiteful. Years ago when Phillip & I lived in a tiny village in Wales he was splattered with the Hog Weed sap whilst strimming, he was covered in horrible blisters almost within minutes... do you know it's an offence to knowingly have Hog Weed growing in your garden (In Wales that is)
Stay warm & cosy
Frances

brocobelle said...

Glad you had a good New Year, love the snowy photos; don't stress about the blog, sure everyone appreciates how busy you are with organising the V&H Fair as well as running Cowboys & Custard. Looking forward to seeing you at the end of May, am busy sewing these dark evenings. Cheers.

louise said...

I love the close-up shot of the hogweed Michele. So glad you are returning back to good health after your bout of flu, and that you have your appetite back! I have been absent from my blog for a while, not that I want to be, but there really is not enough hours in the day, when there are so many priorities to take care of in everyday life. I would hate you to vanish completely Michele, your writing is so creative, and your posts always bring a smile to my face, you are so talented. No worries when time is short to leave a comment, just pop over to the blog if you can. Sending wishes to you for a very Happy New Year. x

janeyre said...

THAT'S INTERESTING THAT A LITTLE BIRD TOLD YOU THAT I WILL CROSS THE ATLANTIC AND ATTEND YOUR FAIR! IT'S TRUE AND I CAN'T WAIT! AND I CERTAINLY WILL STOP BY TO SAY HELLO. BEING FAIRLY NEW TO BLOGGING, I'VE READ THE REPLIES TO YOURBLOG ON SPENDING TO MUCH TIME BLOGGING, AND MY FIRST REACTION IS: NO! NO! THEY ARE ALL TOO LOVELY TO STOP. THEY ARE FOOD FOR OUR SOULS! COMPARE IT TO EATING CHOCOLATE AND CUT BACK A LITTLE. LOL!

Frances said...

You have a lovely site, and it is easy to see how many, many folks love to visit and comment.

Also very easy to see how difficult it is to fit in everything into a mere 24 hours a day. Grand to have talent and inspiration and friendly instincts and positive energy. Very good new year's decision to try to find a new way to juggle it all.

Best wishes to you in keeping your creativity foremost!

The Hobbit said...

Hello Michelle,Happy new year to you.I understand about the sink or swim but,bloggers need each other for support and encouragement.Although you might not be able to stop and speak with us as often as before you are still family and should keep in touch as we all love you.

Rowan said...

Hope that Cowboys and Custard goes well for tyou this year, only so many hours in the day so reining back on the blogging makes sense. I did wonder what part of Cheshire you were in as. it's my home county

gingerwine said...

Beautiful photographs...I do love visiting your blog..
Samx

Hemma på Landet said...

Very beautiful pictures.:-) Stina

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...

great photos!!!

asti said...

Hi Michele..
Isn't it interesting that so many people feel the same ? Me too ! I love to respond to comments but it's all so time consuming...that I end up avoiding the computer. The head in the sand approach, then I feel terribly guilty..what to do ?! You have put it very well and we all seem to understand where you are coming from. Hope that you have a wonderful year with your business, good luck with it all .
asti xx

JuicyFig said...

ahhh, such is life, but an ocasional blog is better than no blog at all.

Fantastic photo's!

Kath
x