|Pigeon Vintage's 2016 Best Of Nine|
According to Timehop, a year ago today, I said "This year I lost my marbles and found them again..."
Let's all pause there. I don't think anyone I know has marbles to lose or find or look after. My most popular blog post this year and most shared was "We're All Mad Here", where I wrote candidly about being a miserable mentalist, diagnosed with "Post Natal Depression"... Hmm...
It seems all the people who shared the post felt a point of relation, which suggests to me that none of us have marbles to gather, line up, look after or lose anyway.
This year I've seen a lot of articles, hash tags, statuses and books dedicated to the idea of "self care" or "self love". For those of you who don't know, this translates as "look after yourself a bit more". A hard notion when you're a mum of a super cute bossy and time demanding toddler. I'm yet to use two facial vouchers that I was given for my birthday 18 months ago. Self care sounds and feels like a bit of bollocks to me, but I can see how it's working for some people around me and I'm pleased for them (and a bit jealous). Personally, I don't think lobbing a fancy bath bomb in a warm tub, drinking a glass of wine and reading the latest meditation guide is going to help the majority of us through what has been a strange and disastrous year.
It goes without saying that this it has been a weird one and I don't need to list why, because, like me you're probably sick of online articles or blogs having opinions on why everyone is dying or turning to the darker side of politics. Let's just agree to leave behind all the bad bits and wake up tomorrow with a different perspective: feel more, think less, be kinder and more energetically proactive (says the 7 month preggo).
I started 2016 with a fresh mind, thanks to the Scunthorpe and District Athletics Club, who taught me how to run properly (yes, properly! See blog post all about it). This lead to me having a fitter body, cleaner mind and better understanding of my capabilities and determination. My goal was to run 6 miles non stop and I did that. Once, but I did it. And I felt such a huge sense of "well done you", with no external pressures, no exams to pass and all the encouragement of a great gang of runners. A week later I found out I was pregnant, so stopped running. That "well done you" turned into morning sickness, extreme tiredness, elation at the pregnancy and a touch of sadness that I wouldn't be running again for a while. Alas, I had bigger things growing that needed my attention and running will always be a goal again!
2016 saw the Pigeons being part of the ever amazing meanwhile gang. A group of traders and artists who worked unbelievably hard against all odds to open the first vintage emporium in Scunthorpe.
We all dream of playing shop; having quirky shop fittings and making top dollar flogging our wares. Truth is, it's bloody hard work. Even with the best and most supportive gang of people behind you.
Running meanwhile opened my eyes to some interesting revelations:
* People saying they're desperate for vintage in Scunthorpe doesn't always translate into them parting with their pennies. As much as we loved the friendly nudges of support, we needed hard cash to make the shop work, and that wasn't flowing as freely as the buzzing excitement of the people visiting for a mooch around the new emporium on the High Street.
* Small businesses can be run by some very bitchy fully grown adult men. Yes; men. I'll not go into the finer details, but let's say that my perceptions of supporting small local businesses have been skewed somewhat, and that feels a bit pants because I'm a huge supporter of shopping and supporting smaller businesses.
* Meanwhile traders were cheaper than charity shops!! Go figure.
* Meanwhile was such a lovely community. We made friends close enough to call an honorary family and joined a growing army of independent co-ops in Scunthorpe who work hard to make the town a better place to be.
* Meanwhile wasn't just a transitional period for us, it was a starting point that will hopefully lead us onto other pop-ups in the future... Once Alfie Robot Retro and I have popped out our new sprogs.
* Meanwhile made me wonder whether vintage is really worth all the hard work put in. Traders spend our "free time" travelling, sourcing, buying, fixing, cleaning, styling, photographing, loading, unloading and eventually selling at fairs/pop ups, for very little financial gain. It's not become the extra pocket money me and Mr P were hoping for, but more of a bind. I love being a trader, but it's blooming hard work keeping up with the big guys. Hence why we're are thinking differently for 2017... More to come on that one ;)
And so onto: The Shed. The Pigeon Hole. My new "me space". The place of dreams. And... Full to the brim as we pour more stuff in there to get sorted for baby. We started with marvellous intentions for Pigeon Hole and still have those, but with the winter setting in and my ever expanding belly, actually spending time in the Pigeon Hole hasn't been the easy reality we'd hoped for. I spent a lot of time in there preparing for An Indie Kinda Christmas and it felt so freeing having a space to be Miss Pigeon again. So, I fully intend to start dedicating a full day each week to being in there; making, repairing and photographing stock to sell online during my maternity.
2017, be kind and gentle, sleep All Night Long and bring me some calm when I need a minute to visit the Pigeon Hole alone. And fill my heart with love and strength for me and all the boys in my home. Peace out.