Happy half term!

The one that I didn’t have to think about though, that is the first thing that pops into my head when someone asks me what is important to me, is family.

It’s half term! This is the first school holidays I’ve not been an employee so get to be at home with the kids all week.  I had visions of board games and baking but the reality is…erm..a bit different!  I have employed my best United Nations peacekeeping skills and when that has failed I’ve just resorted to my favourite parenting clichés (read ‘if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all’ etc.).  However after much coaxing they did finally tidy their room and we had a fab trip to the cinema to see Dr. Dolittle which I would definitely recommend.

As part of the business planning process one of things that everyone agrees on is that you need to start with your values.  They are your guide when making decisions and keep you true to yourself.  I started to think about what do I value most in life, what things really push my buttons or light me up.  This is not easy, there are so many things! So I used a handy list of values and narrowed it down.  The one that I didn’t have to think about though, that is the first thing that pops into my head when someone asks me what is important to me, is family.  I was part of a small immediate family growing up, just me, my parents and one brother.  I had a pretty idyllic childhood in my memory.  We didn’t have loads of money and my mum and dad both worked hard to give us opportunities but our house was always a happy one, a place where my friends always felt comfortable hanging out. 

We lost my dad to cancer almost 16 years ago when he was only 60 and I guess that has made me closer to my mum than ever.  She is integral to my life. She has always looked after my boys one day a week for me while I’m working and lives round the corner.  This year she has very kindly offered her my shed as a workshop. 

The workshop/Mum’s shed. Still a work in progress…

It required A LOT of clearing out but it is a space my dad built as a workshop for him to build his model aeroplanes in and, being an engineer and technical drawer, he had it all wired up and well lit – it even has a huge drawing board, perfect for cutting and painting glass.  And, most importantly big enough to house my lovely new kiln. I think he would be happy to think it was a place for crafting and making again.

Mum has even taken the kids up to London to a Van Gogh exhibition today (my 7yr old loves Van Gogh – is this normal?!?) so has given me a whole day in the holidays to work on my glass.  Today I have been working on a new idea combining brush lettering with fused glass.  I’ve been looking at words that are meaningful to me so look out for a launch of our new hand lettered range coming soon. 

Today I chose ‘joy’ inspired by this podcast with Kim from Totem & Arrow (https://open.spotify.com/episode/3gwzk6dkW1tz9JbR0CgLtu).  Joy sounds so indulgent but doing things that make you feel joy, no matter if that is the holiday of a lifetime or a bubble bath, have to be good for your mental health. 

Sneak peek of going into the kiln today

The second word I chose today is ‘rebel’.  I am probably the least rebellious person out there, I like to be liked and am not good with confrontation – I realise this doesn’t make me sound very ‘cool’!  But I like the idea of being rebellious and reckon we all have a bit of a rebel in us deep down, even if it just wearing my days of the week socks on the wrong day – rock ‘n’ roll!!  I think I will work on bringing out my inner rebel a bit when running the business, just going for things without worrying too much what people think if it fails.

Anyway, they will be home soon so need to crack on.  And tomorrow, I will remind myself what a fab little family I have and take the kids out for the day (Egyptians at the British Museum – this is one of our more cultural half terms but that is one of the things I love about living so close to London) without nagging and just enjoy each others company.  Well that’s how I imagine it will be…

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