Little Women, The Snow Queen, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Few Changes and Two Perfect Words: The End #LittleLoves

It’s been a while since I shared a Little Loves round up, having had a brief hiatus in December. With this in mind, some of my ‘loves’ span both December and January, so please forgive me if you see the odd glimpse of a Christmas tree, or some fairy lights, in here! It’s been a busy old spell, with the usual festive celebrations, followed by a January packed full of family birthdays, including a 16th, a 50th and a 70th. It’s also been a busy spell for me personally, and I’ve finally added ‘two perfect words’ to the novel I’ve been writing for an age now.

The End.

Relief beyond relief.

Picture of typewriter and manuscript
No, I did not write my entire manuscript on a typewriter. I bought it so I could enjoy typing dramatic things like ‘The End’ and ‘To Be Continued.’

Coming to the end of such a lengthy project has left me with a bit of space to ponder some of the other things that I do, and ultimately, question how much value I, or other people, might be getting from them. Every now and again I go through a period of wondering about the value of my blog, and the time it takes up in my daily/weekly life. When all’s said and done, I still love blogging, but my real dream has always been to write books, stories and/or articles that might at some point be published (either traditionally or via self-publishing). Recently I’ve found myself questioning whether the amount of time I allocate to my ‘blog life’ really achieves anything towards that end.

When I think about the sorts of articles I really enjoy writing on my blog, they tend to be magazine or feature-type pieces like those I’ve written on topics like coorie, connection to place, and inspired living. And when I think about the type of articles that inspire me in other peoples’ writing, they tend to fall around similar themes. When it comes to blogs I like reading, I find myself less drawn to articles in the ‘what I’ve been up to lately’ bracket (even if I feel a little selfish saying that), and more connected to topics that might inspire me in terms of lifestyle or my overall way of thinking.

And so…..with all that in mind, I’ve decided that this will be my last Little Loves post. I hope you understand!

I’ll still of course, be blogging – no change there, then ๐Ÿ˜‰ – and will continue to share my monthly round ups on all things bookish. And if you do enjoy the Little Loves stuff I share on here, you could always follow me on Instagram, as I often share details about what I’m watching/making etc., on Stories or on my feed.

But for now, I think, a change is in order (I did tell you, I think, that my thoughts for the year only tend to appear after a bit of rumination…. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So here they are, the first and last Little Loves of 2020.

Ready to dive in? ๐Ÿ™‚

READ

I’ve had a fantastic period of reading over the last couple of months, and you’ll find all the things I’ve been reading lately in last week’s reading post. I’m now onto To Kill a Mockingbird, and this pile of lovelies I collected from my local library last week. All further evidence, as if I needed it, that I cannot seem to exit any kind of bookish establishment without an armful of paperbacks.

Library Books
My library haul

My name is Gail and I’m a book addict.

There are worse problems to have, I’m absolutely sure.

WATCHED

Likewise on the watching front – there’s been so much to entertain us over the winter. I LOVED the new Little Women adaption – if you haven’t seen it, hurry to the cinema right now! Granted, you might find the split-time format confusing if you haven’t read the book – all the more reason to read the book, and THEN hurry straight to the cinema. I’m not surprised it’s been nominated for so many Oscars – I really hope it wins!

Other watching highlights this season include The Witcher and Marriage Story on Netflix, and His Dark Materials and Looking for Alaska on BBC iPlayer. Watching the latter inspired me to go on and read the novel – the eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed it in my library haul above. My husband and I also enjoyed a rare trip away together to watch the Scottish Ballet’s adaption of The Snow Queen – we absolutely loved it. We’ve already booked tickets to see The Nutcracker when it visits Inverness again. (I think you might be able to watch a recording of the Snow Queen on iPlayer, actually, if you’re keen).

WORE

This month I’ve been spending a lot of time in this Bax and Bay sweatshirt I’ve had for a few years now, because: rainbows. At this time of year in Caithness, we sometimes need all the rainbow-ness we can get. My youngest son acquired a unicorn hoodie for Christmas, so together, we are an unstoppable force of brightness.

P.S. I’m not a big fan of taking pictures of myself, but if you do like taking selfies, my top tip is take them facing towards a window. Natural, diffused light in seconds. And me, giving out selfie-taking tips. Will wonders never cease?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Me and my rainbow

MADE

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking – it might sound old-fashioned, but it’s one of the ways I enjoy showing love and care to my family. Over the past couple of months, I’ve made all sorts, from sausage rolls for festive buffets, to slow cooked chilli for cold evenings, cookies baked to say ‘thankyou’ and a 70th birthday cake I made for my Dad. Most of my other making has been confined to bullet journal spreads – and making up stories about mermaids, selkies and faeries. As much as it’s been a relief to finish my novel at last, I’m now straight on to planning the next one. I just hope it doesn’t take quite as long to write it. The Never-Ending Story has an apt ring to it. Unfortunately, I think that title’s gone.

Sausage rolls
Excuse the Christmas tree
70th Birthday Cake
Dad’s 70th birthday cake

HEARD

While I’m doing all that cooking, I enjoy listening to podcasts, and two of my favourites are Dr Chatterjee’s Feel Better, Live More series, and The Worried Writer – all the episodes are consistently good, I find. I also enjoy listening to music – mostly easy-listening stuff – and at the moment I’m enjoying the dulcet tones of Gerry Cinnamon, Jack Savoretti and Paolo Nutini (Paolo, if you’re reading, I don’t know where you’ve gone, but please come back, okay?) I’ve also been listening to my husband and son trying out their new acoustic guitar skills – our eldest started going to lessons before Christmas. There’s been something very soothing – and very coorie – about hearing them strum away in the background to our winter. (Even if my house is a mess of flying music sheets and wayward guitar picks. You can’t have it all, I guess.)

Playing the Guitar
Being serenaded – well, almost

And speaking of soothing activities – that’s a wrap on Little Loves.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting and liking over the last few years.

I’ll be back again soon, with lots more of the sorts of things you’ve come to expect from Wellies on the School Run.

Plenty of new ideas, a not-so-different me.

Gx