There have been loads of posts recently in the blogosphere about resolutions and hopes for the coming year, and it’s been pretty inspiring to read some of them. I’m afraid I’m always guilty of saying I want to do more of this and that, less of something else, and generally conquer the world whilst standing on my head. And I never do it.

We’ve had some ups and downs in 2012 and I’ve been inclined to look back on the year as having been ‘difficult’ and ‘sad’ and whatever other glass half empty adjectives spring to mind. But, when I go back over the photographs we’ve taken of all the good and happy times we’ve shared as a family, I realise that these are the moments that define us and give us strength. And I start to recognise that in fact, this last year has truly been a good one for us. We’ve been fortunate to have each other, our family and our ┬ábrilliant friends to support us and to make us laugh. A lot. And to have a warm, happy home in a beautiful part of the world.

My hopes for the coming year are modest, I hope… We have much to look forward to. Like a few others out there, I’ve been scribbling along with Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead to try to make some sense of my feelings and aspirations. And it’s felt pretty good to write everything down. But I’m really taking the pressure off myself this year.

So my hopes are, firstly, that can find the clarity every day to recognise the beauty in my life and to cherish and nurture it and the wonderful people in it. And, secondly, that I  make decisions with a sense of freedom and positivity.

2012, you have shown me many truths and taught me some important lessons. You’ve given me another year with my beautiful, growing family. You’ve led me on adventures to some favourite places and some exciting new ones. You’ve blessed me with some pretty amazing friends, old and new, and I’ve watched my little girl starting out at school and making friends of her own. I like her choices. You’ve fed us with produce from our own garden and allotment, and you’ve given us an abundant and happy home. You were pretty right on.

Violet in the snow on Brackley Lane with Grandma



Violet and Ant keeping score at cricket

Baby girl number two, due in April

Violet in the rhubarb patch

A walk in the mountains with Oskar in Vinje, Norway

Layla and Violet in the gardens at Ascott House in Wing

Bug hunting at RSPB Pulborough Brooks with Iris

View across the Tove Valley, Abthorpe

Feeling right on at Stowe Gardens

Achnahaird beach, Wester Ross


King of the Castle at Ashridge Estate

It's been an exhausting year