Monday, 13 April 2020

Five Years Old

Today is exactly five years since I published my first ever blog post on this little corner of the internet. An insignificant, mumbly piece on a day out at St Andrews beach but it felt like releasing a breath I didn't know I'd been holding. I started a journey I didn't even know I needed to and I had no idea where it would lead to but thank goodness I did.

Only a few months before starting my blog I met my now husband. A shy, quiet and rather attractive red head who caught my eye the minute I saw him at our church. He walked me home the night that we met and I soon discovered a funny, cheeky and kind soul who would later become my biggest champion. It was he who helped me through that hard and confusing time. My soul reaching out for something different, a different way of life and this desperate urge to create. I shared my dream of writing with him and he spoke confidence and belief over me. For the first time ever some one else believed I could write too and so I did. Life With The Roof Down was born.

I was inspired to start a slow country lifestyle blog after discovering On Serpentine Shores and Sarah's wonderful blog which I think at that time was called The Salty Sea Blog. I wanted to share my love of nature, the countryside and a desire to live slowly even though I didn't really fully understand what that meant. I just knew something wasn't right in my life. I spent so much time in busy cities, running around believing the lie that busyness equals success. I was studying a Social Work degree in Oxford, my third attempt at trying to find a sensible enough degree to please those around me. I was to study something that would lead to a job but my heart could never find joy in that.

The name of my blog was born from a place I could find complete joy. A few weeks prior to starting the blog I took my second trip up to Scotland to visit my now in law family. It had taken all of about three minutes that winter morning I first woke up in Balmerino village to realise I'd stumbled across one of the most beautiful places in the world. A small jumble of Scottish cottages lying on the banks of the Tay estuary surrounded by woodland full of deer, rabbits and the odd red squirrel. The 17th century cottage my in laws live in affords a view like no other from the window on the landing. The Tay rippling gently, beaches and woodland following along its stretch to hills and mountains in the distance. Early morning and sunset are the best times to gaze out of the lead paned glass window.

It was this place I had found complete solace and joy in. The discovery that people do indeed live in cottages, with chickens in the back garden and stunning dog walks on their doorstep. And it was this place I spent a week driving around country lanes going to beaches and woodlands with my husband in his vintage Mk1 VW Golf convertible. Roof down, sunglasses on, Audrey style headscarf tied and sun shining down on us. It was a feeling of total happiness. I was in love with a wonderful man and I was in nature where I truly belonged. I wanted that feeling to permeate everything in my life and so I named my blog after it.

The blog has been many things over the years as I grappled with my own identity. It started as a slow lifestyle blog before becoming a beauty blog, a vintage fashion blog, a sustainable fashion blog to finally what it is now and what it has been for the last few years. A wonderful expression of who I feel I am now and who I am happy being. It's been a long journey of discovery for the first part of my 20s and there have been some real unexpected hardships but unlike the girl who started this blog I feel totally at ease with who I am and what I want. A writer, activist, crafter and christian working from home whilst living sustainably and slowly in the countryside.

There is still much I dream of and things I cannot wait to achieve but I am very happy and grateful for all I have now. I live the homegrown, handmade and slow life I always dreamed of, the reason I started this blog in the first place and the catalyst for becoming who I am today. There are a few of you who have been here, reading my thoughts and following my life changes since the beginning and I cannot thank you enough for subscribing all those years ago. Without this blog, without your belief in my writing I would never have created the life I wanted. To those of you who are more recent you are just as important and I thank each one of you for your support.

And so onto the next five years and all that they will bring. I can't wait to share it all with you and to keep living Life With The Roof Down.


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