Saturday, February 16, 2008

Still here!

Well where did January go? and February seems to be slipping away at a rate of knots too. Not that I'm worried, that means that spring will be here before we know it and I LOVE spring.Signs of spring are everywhere here. The sun has been shining, although it is now cold again, and our daffodils are all coming out.

January was actually very hard for me. The illness I suffered over Christmas dragged on for 3 weeks and combined with my situation with my ex partner, it left me feeling down and despondant. It was hard just getting out of bed each morning. I felt like I was in a long dark tunnel with no light at the end. This came as a great shock to me because I am not normally a 'down' person and it took all my strength and the support of my mum and a few good friends to pull me through it. It's not somewhere I fancy going again, very scary.

On the upside work has been very busy with the New Year bringing new opportunities and lots of new customers who are always so excited to have found me. I am busy making preparations for an open house sale in Spring, 3 days, so that people can come and visit me here. I get daily requests from customers to know how to get to 'my shop'. They are disappointed to hear that the physical shop doesn't exist and that the business is primarily on-line. This will be a great chance for customers to come and visit and have a good rummage through my stock (of which I have masses!). I am hoping that the weather will be nice by then so that I can have it outdoors, using my Cath Kidston gazebo, as well as indoors. I will be serving teas and coffees as well as home made cakes and cream teas. It will be loads of fun. If any of you want to come please let me know and I will send you an invitation.

I have been househunting in Exeter. I have decided that this would be the area I would most like to move to and although we have not yet sold our house I have been using every weekend to do reconnaisance missions to check out various areas around Exeter to see which would be the nicest to live in. So far I only like Topsham which is just gorgeous, a small but pretty town just a few miles from Exeter. Nowhere else has grabbed me yet, If any of you have any knowledge of the area around Exeter and can help me please let me know. I can't decide whether I want to be right in the city so that I can walk everywhere, something I can't do here, being so remote means driving everywhere, or to look for a cottage in a village nearby. I have a yearning to still be in the countryside and a small rural town like Topsham seems to offer both options.

I have taken on the services of an independent marketing expert to help with the house sale. He can tell us if there is anything we are or are not doing that could help to market this house to the right sort of person. In my opinion we have not yet had the right person through the door. We had one lady on Thursday (our first viewing since before Christmas) who was the most likely candidate so far. She loved my house, loved all my things, but her husband wanted to be right on the coast. We are just a little too far from the sea for him. oh well. In the meantime we are taking the advice of the marketing chap and making a few changes to our details, new photos, and the interior, changing the room layouts in some rooms and reducing the price. Wish me luck!

I had a visit from my lovely friend Amanda. We managed to drink a few bottle of wine between us, stayed up 'til 2am putting the world to rights and then went for a long walk on the beach to blow away the cobwebs. Bleary eyed photos attached (at least Amanda had the good sense to wear shades!). I love the beach this time of the year. One thing I do know is that I don't want to be far from the sea.

Alfie has been having skateboard lessons from Jack. It's a real benefit for him to have a cool older brother figure to do things with. He really needs positive male role models at the moment.

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grumpy old woman said...

Oh hurrah! You're back AND blogger is allowing me to comment .....

Loved the pics. Alfie looks cool on a skateboard, doesn't he?

Looking forward to your sale - what fun.


Gena said...

Hi Donna!(GOW I have not been allowed to comment of late either!)Wow, but your hair has grown! you look lovely despite being so horribly ill,and I am deeply sorry that you have been feeling so low,depression is a terrible thing to get through,I know this from experience, I hope springtime brings you a whole new mindset,the only way is up,I am not being trite here my Darling,its a cliche I know, but calm always follows a storm,I am sending you a virtual hug, and if only I lived closer! I would be at that sale for sure!take care Donna,much love.xxxx

Janice said...

So glad to see you back at the blog and that you are feeling better. I so enjoy reading your blog and I so wish I could come to your sale but you're a bit far away! I'm in Western Canada lol. Take care and look after yourself.

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Donna,
I was sorry to read that you have been feeling so ill. It's good to know that you are coming out the other side and feeling more positive about the house move. I'm sure I have been to Topsham, as we love Budleigh Salterton, which is close by, but I cannot recollect it at the moment.
I hope you have some good news very soon and find a buyer for your house.

I would love to come to you sale - Sue mentioned it to me....(I posted a photo of the three of us on my blog today!)

Take care of yourself - I hope you have lots more lovely spring days on the beach with your kiddies,
Niki x

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Donna, January isn't a good month at the best of times, I think, never mind being ill and having other stresses, glad you're feeling better though. I'd love an invite to your sale, good luck with the house-hunting too, that's exciting, anyway!
Lucy x

andsewtosleep said...

Hi Donna
so sorry to hear that you have been ill - I've been 'lurking' and wondered where you were. I hope you continue to get better and move forward with lots of new beginnings. I too love Topsham - especially the Antique centre on the Quay. I live in Exmouth so very often pop to Topsham for coffee. It really is very pretty. Since I am in 'your neck of the woods' I would love an invite to your 'shop' please!! Do take care and stay well.

Sivle said...

Oh Donna!

Well the good news is that you look that fantastic, despite feeling down, ill and drinking late into the night!

(Alfie looks cool too)

And there's GOW... Hi GOW, I've missed you! x

I was considering buying that JSP book myself after hearing her chatting about it on the radio. Is it any good?

Excellent that your business is doing so well. :O) You should be very proud of yourself.

Take Care

Suzie Sews said...

Oh Donna so good to see a few words from you, what a rubbish January, my heart goes out to you, when you get in that tunnel its pretty tough to get out again. But the light is here and spring is on its way. So many exciting plans, here's to new beginnings. How I would love to visit your open days...I am sure it will be a fab event. Take care.
Suzie Sews

claire Maraldo said...

Glad you are feeling better. January is s**t at the best of times.

Oh, how wish I could come to your House sale and buy vintage lovelies and eat cake. Sounds like heaven!

Good luck with your house hunting. I hope you find something nice soon.

lettuce said...

you do look fab Donna, despite all the late nights and booze! (nice to see Amanda too - glad you had such a good time with her)

so sorry i wouldn't be able to make it to your sale, i'd so love to.

i'll email you about Exeter - my parents used to live eastwards from the city.

lots of love to you


Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Donna

Thanks for your comment and I'll certainly come if I can. It won't be for want of trying!

Sue xx

Lily and Agathe said...

I think Topsham is an area Guy and I looked into many moons ago, I think! Great photos xx

Clare said...

Hi Donna

I'm sorry to hear your illness lasted so long and that you have been feeling down - as has been said already, January can be a depressing time of year - at least now we have real signs of Spring and brighter, longer days ahead!

Sounds like you had the perfect medicine by way of a chill time with a good friend!

Best Wishes

Clare x

Rose Vintage said...

Hi Donna, so glad you are feeling more like your old self...friends and family are all you need to make yourself feel better. I would love to come to your sale..Could you send me an invite?


The Devil Makes Work said...

Hiya HoneyBun, Blogger hasn't been letting me comment, but today it has! I would love to come to your Open House - if I can get there I will!! Topsham is nice. An ex of mine went to Exeter Uni, so I was always down there. I seem to remember that Mortonhampstead was nice, but maybe a bit far out? Also really liked Bovey Tracey, there's a great Craft Centre there in the converted Mill. Haven't been down there for Donkeys Years though!! Hope you get sorted soon with the house though and I am going to email you in the next few days anyway. xxx

Anonymous said...

Exeter is an OK city to live in. I live in Exeter and have done for years. If you want any help with areas within Exeter then feel free to mail me and I will try and help. Happy house hunting.