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LIFE Midweek Musings

Midweek Musings: New Year, New Everything?

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A very happy new year to you all! I know I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve just got back from Dartmouth in Devon, where I spent my 35th birthday. I’ll gloss over the whole ‘turning 35’ thing because to be honest it REALLY doesn’t seem important anymore – just a bit random. Like, I remember every now and then how old I am and think ‘huh, that’s mad, how did that happen’ then carry on doing whatever it is I was doing. Age is just a number blah blah.

Dartmouth was Chip’s first official ‘holiday’ and it went pretty well, all things considering. Four-month-old babies certainly don’t travel light – we managed to squeeze her buggy, cot, Sleepyhead, Perfect Prep machine, baby bath and car seat in my old Golf, along with ourselves and our own luggage of course. She coped pretty well with the five-hour journey, bless her, although she did decide to do a poonami both on the way there and on the way back, meaning we had to try to change her at the side of the road twice. Top tip: the parcel shelf makes a very good changing mat.

I’ve already written about Dartmouth so I won’t go into too much detail again. But it was lovely to have Chip there with us in our favourite place, and my parents and sister also came down too so for once I had my whole family around me on my birthday. Oli and I even got to go to the cinema (Star Wars – can’t remember a dicky bird about it now) – the first thing we’ve done together without the baby since she was born!

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Best of all, I got to visit my favourite art gallery, Baxters, and bought myself a new piece of art – this serene lithograph by Alan Stones. I’m going to hang it above my pink sofa, instead of the triptych of Vogue ladies (they’re framed in cheap Ikea frames and the mounts have gone a not-very-attractive shade of yellow).

Anyway I’m quite glad to see the back of 2015, although all the bad things that happened pale into insignificance when I see my little girl beaming up at me first thing in the morning. But 2016, I have high hopes for you! Namely: we need to find a new home and I need to find a new career. No pressure then…

LIFE

Dartmouth: my happy place

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I’m alive! (As you will know if you’re unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter, where I never shut up).

Apologies for the ENTIRE MONTH I had off from blogging, but quite frankly I needed it. Things have been super brilliant, scary, exciting and stressful over at Decorum and we have, in fact, *drum roll* just moved into our very own office. This is rather unbelievably exciting, because it’s a bit like all my childhood fantasies coming true. Do you remember playing ‘shops’, ‘post offices’ etc as a kid? No? That was just me then. Well, just BELIEVE ME, there can be little more exciting than a Staples-run to buy stationery for a real-life office, that you can set up exactly as you please – it made me feel about eight again as we stacked envelopes on shelves and opened packets of highlighters.

However, the success of Decorum has meant that I’ve developed a bit of an allergy to WordPress. I look after six blogs for work now, all on WordPress, so the thought of spending my free time also resizing images and fiddling about on this delightful platform became less and less appealing. Hence me avoiding poor Life by Lotte.

But it’s 2014! January means one thing to me: getting older. Last week I celebrated my THIRTY THIRD birthday. This is very strange because I definitely haven’t been alive for that long. But anyway. For the first year in forever, I decided not to have a birthday party. Instead I escaped to my happy place: Dartmouth. I hope to die in Dartmouth. Weird thing to wish for I know, but I am weird – I wrote a book about suicide.

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O and I spent two nights staying in the wonderful Dart Marina. We always stay in the apartments because they are only a little bit more expensive than the hotel rooms and it means you get a bathroom each (which is always nice eh girls), a proper kitchen for making snacks, a fire, a cosy living room and you don’t have to stress about having dried your hair in time for breakfast. I heartily recommend it.

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Dartmouth is the best place in the world. I don’t really want to talk about it too much because it already gets busy enough and even mentioning it makes me nervous of even more people turning up and hogging it, but there’s nowhere on earth like it. It’s stuffed full of independent boutiques, restaurants and lovely people with dogs who chat to you as you walk past. And opinionated seagulls.

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The air is fresh and the views are incredible. I spent my birthday eating coronary-inducing amounts of cheese and cake and buying myself things from the wonderful galleries. It was perfect, and the perfect start to a new year.

2014 is going to be brilliant.