Archive for the 'Essex' Category

Never Ending Winter

I don’t mind winter. I prefer the cold weather to the hot weather. If the news is anything to go by then we seem to be going through a mini ice age. “It is snowing in March!” the news commentators are saying. Yes, so? I’m sure it has snowed in March before. Even in April. There isn’t much we can do about it – when someone can control the weather then it will be the end of the world. The main issue I have with winter is dry skin especially my hands. No matter how much I moisturize them they still end up looking like old lady hands. Another sign of getting old. I still remember that advert from the 80s where a lady would moisturize a dried-up brown leaf and magically the leaf would be soft and supple again. I doubt that the hand cream ever worked like that.

This cold snap seems to be here for a while and I’m embracing it. Today’s walk with the dog was really pleasant – the sun even tried to break through the dense clouds adding a slight warmth. Nature is trying to break through winter with buds on trees and the birds are starting to build nests. Nature will always win with the weather, whatever happens, whereas us humans just moan about it. Or should I say the press/news readers want us to moan about it with their propaganda reports.

Blimey, I’m moaning. Sorry about that. As I’m trying to get back in to writing I’m going to try more happy, positive notes. *smiley face*

Last weekend

Last weekend we went to South Weald Country Park, which considering it is so close to where we live, we haven’t been there for years. What I love about the park more than anything is that you can see and feel the history behind the land, which used to be a private estate. Landscaped areas, ponds, tree lined avenues for riding horses, deer park, fields for grazing cattle. Shame the big hall for the owners of the estate was demolished in the 50s but lucky for us the land is now a wonderful public space. Unfortunately, we forgot the camera this week, when we went back but it was just as beautiful as the photo below but without the blue skies.

Work life

This week I started a new job, which sounds a bit weird to me as it is for only six hours a week. My new part-time job is at the holistic centre where I was going for help over my anxiety and I guess I will still need some ‘healing’ now and again but I’ll be able to have the appointment after work – handy. As someone said to my husband I have a new boss “who is understanding”. The good thing about the job is that I’ll be out the house for two days a week and my office looks over the most beautiful garden. It is early days but I feel it is going to be a good job, working with a lovely friend. The work isn’t anything fancy like healing people or doing aromatherapy massage but what I’m good at, admin work. So, I will be working to update the website, booking appointments, bits and pieces of typing and answering emails. As I’m only working three-hours per day then that gives me a chance to get home, walk the dog and catch up with any other work that has come in from my other clients.

So, in all work life is going well. I just need to keep up with everything including housework, food shopping and all the other things that I like to do. Sewing and baking. Getting organised is what I need but no lists. Foolishly I went back to writing lists after quite a well of not doing so but they just seem to make me panic and then I procrastinated even more on the work I had to do. From now on I won’t be writing anymore lists, just waiting down things that I need to remember. OK, I hear you saying “but that is a list”. It’s not a list in a normal sense because I won’t write down everything just the things that I know I might forget. Of course, if I forget then it isn’t that important or something will remind me. No more lists then! Happy Friday.

Waiting for my chickens

Last month for over a quite a few weeks we were negotiating with an estate agent about a piece of land we liked. It was back and forth with the agent over what felt like months and in the end the owner didn’t accept our last offer. I’m sure the estate agent didn’t help matters and in the end, maybe the owner thought he could get as much money out of us as possible. That is his choice. If it is still for sale in November then we might start the process again but this time looking at the land with the agent and look inside the house that is planned for demolition. My holistic therapist says she has a feeling that November would be a good time to go back – when the weather is rubbish and the owner might be feeling like he would like some money in his bank. Of course, all of this would depend on if the land hasn’t been sold before then or maybe another house or land came up for sale on the Island of Mersea.

Though, as much as we were disappointed by not getting the land, it was quite a relief to know that we wasn’t moving. The period of limbo while talking the agent was quite unsettling. A calm has come over the household now and we are just enjoying the summer while looking forward to a holiday. It’s not a case of making do but realising that what you have is great and there is nothing bad about where we live now. The veg is growing really well in the garden (including 40 onions to pick soon & store?!) & we have everything we need. Actually, too much stuff – I’m gradually de-cluttering but it takes a lot of time and energy (and I like pretty things). So, the short story is that I’m appreciating what I have and enjoying it one day at a time. Taking it slow until the right house in the countryside comes available and the mayhem begins that comes with moving home.  Then I will get my chickens!


That’s me, a do-gooder. Last week I volunteered four days out of seven. Not full days but on top of my regular Monday afternoon I also went in for about three hours on two extra days on top of helping out on Sunday at a summer festival. I would have stayed all day if I didn’t have to pick up my husband after he had just done a 58-mile charity bike ride. Since I started back in April I now feel part of the team and very much at ease at being at the centre where I ‘work’. The fear of being there is disappearing and even the habit of being nervous beforehand is going. So much so that I’m quite happy to go in on other days to help out and when I saw my holistic therapist last week I said to her that if I didn’t have to earn money then I would do more volunteering and less paid work. Then again it might just be the fact that I’m enjoying getting out the house and talking to other people. Working with real people.

Don’t get me wrong, working from home has its advantages, like being able to have a dog and baking cakes. Though I do really miss interacting with other people. In an office. Or at the forest centre. Talking and laughing. Keep my mind busy. I think one of the main reasons I like being at the forest centre is that is surrounded by countryside. People are relaxed when they come in to the centre. I could have ‘worked’ in a charity shop but I can’t stand the smell of charity shops and I have memories of years ago working in a clothes shop, it is pretty dull work. At the forest centre, which is a charity and completely run by us volunteers, I get to work on the shop, which stocks crafts, books and educational items, doing orders and stocktaking but also, I’m helping out with creating forms, editing documents and sending out emails. I know how ‘computers work’ is often associated with my name. The next thing is some training on the new website so I can make edits or changes when needed. Now, that sound be fun and definitely will keep my mind busy.

Where I go to 'work'

Normal blogging resumed

I’m hoping that normal blogging has resumed. Well, it is really only down to me to get it going again. I miss writing on here but as I have said before I’m finding it hard to get the words written down on a regular basis. So, what has been happening at Chez Best. Quite a lot but I’m feeling like I don’t want to write everything down in this post because then I won’t have anything else to write about for a couple more weeks. I think I will write a anxiety update post later in the week and I’ve been to London Town twice since I last wrote. Both of those deserve their own post especially seeing Bright Eyes at the Royal Albert Hall (swoon!). Other news is that we didn’t get the land we liked on the Island of Mersea. As far as we know no one else has purchased it yet so we are hoping that come later in the year the owner might change their minds over our last offer. If not, then it wasn’t meant to be and something better will come along.

I’ve been busy volunteering at the Forest Visitor Centre and paid work is keeping me in new music (when I can find some to buy that I like that is). We have a holiday booked to the Lake District for August – wasn’t at all planned but family have booked to go there and we just decided it would be nice to join them. Later in September I think we will look at booking a holiday to somewhere in Yorkshire. Also, I’m thinking that as my anxiety is slowly getting better next year we will do a camper van holiday around Dorest, Somerset and Wiltshire, which I talked about doing this year but never had the energy to plan it. The pup is doing well and is very well trained (not) though she is very good for a cuddle. So, that is a very small catch-up but I will write more ‘normal’ posts soon like I used to when I first started this blog. Happy (Manhattan) Friday!

Not quite middle of nowhere

See that small white house in the middle of the photo… well, that is the derelict house that is on the land that we are thinking of buying. Next to a farm which is now a bed & breakfast and a field with horses. Not quite in the middle of nowhere but near enough. Beautiful and full of nature. The sort of place I would like to live even with those negative voices from relatives about how isolated I will be. But I know I won’t be. We won’t be. The anxiety won’t be forever and we need to start living our own lives and not worry about others. PS – it is only 50 miles away which is nothing compared to some friends I know whose family live many more miles away from them.

As it is Friday I have the need to say… Happy Friday!