It’s the merry month of May and although there’s still a cool breeze in the air, Cornwall is a-bloom. Our lane is overflowing with cow parsley, gorse, wild garlic and primroses. The orchard has sprouted wild orchids and the woods are filled with bluebells. We sat amongst the trees, upon this violet carpet earlier in the week. Trying to be as still and silent as possible, as we watched a set of badgers scuffling about just a few metres in front of us. Evenings like this are my favourite. Dusky but warm and spent outdoors. I don’t really care if the midges bite, they seem so quintessentially aestival, shimmering in the patches of gold light. Like the magical midsummer in a movie.
We’re now going for walks after dinner again. Eating ice cream straight from the tub again. Finding berries on elderflower trees and talking about making our own drinks from it. I hope our talk becomes more than just talk, I would like more hedgerow cocktails in my repertoire. Matt is also always making friends with whatever is in the local fields. I am regrettably more hesitant. If I suspect it could trample me I require a fence-distance between us before I’m willing to offer my hand for a stroke.
Once Easter has arrived the beaches near us become busier. Over winter we’ve become accustomed to having them to ourselves, so we now find new ways to pass sunny afternoons. Treading footpaths we’ve not trodden before, Matt remarks we should get to know every nook and cranny of our peninsula. Every field. Every forest. When in the space of one walk we stumble across beautiful old stone cottages, a hidden cafe and treehouse straight out of a fairytale, I can’t help but agree with him.
So I thought it was time to address the changes that have happened around here. If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed my blog got a fringe. Well my blog got a figurative fringe. You know the kind. The fringe you get when you’re feeling kinda uncertain or unsatisfied with the way you look. When things need shaking up a bit you get a fringe – or at the very least you seriously contemplate getting a fringe.
For a number of months now my blog hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. I’ve felt uncertain and unsatisfied. I’ve felt a need to shake things up. So in the space of a day I migrated to WordPress and changed my layout. With all the Spring cleaning gusto, I wanted to fling open some metaphorical internet doors and let the sweet summer air blow through this stuffy online space. Out with the old and in with the new. Although honestly for about an hour (as I got to grips with the new interface) I began to whisper repeatedly under my breath “what have I done. what had I done. what have I done” – you know the typical, after an impulsive trip to the hairdressers – before realizing just how much more versatile and accessible WordPress is. Anyway this most probably isn’t the “final product”. I’ll still be making a few more little tweaks as I investigate the furthest reaches of WordPress’s customization settings – so don’t get too comfortable just yet.
Along with the visual-layout-shaking-up, I wanted to readdress what I was doing on this space. Admittedly I don’t think I’ve ever known exactly just what I wanted for or from this blog. There’s never been a clear vision; just an urge to write and share and take photographs and tells stories. From day one I’ve been figuring things out as I go; exactly what it was I wanted to communicate on here and how best to express such ideas online. And if you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know it’s changed. I’ve tried various different formats and styles; sometimes shaped by other online influences but also simply establishing what feels organic and authentic to me. And well right now, whilst it’s still not quite a fully-formed-clear-cut-mental-image, I’ve settled on the idea that I want to provide beautiful imagery (to the best of my ability) alongside some kind of insight into my life. I want to talk about weightier subjects and issues and ideas that matter; but I also want to document life, to tell stories and share memories.
Whilst processing these thoughts I created a survey. Eager for criticism and feedback I wanted a fresh perspective. I wanted to hear the thoughts of someone behind another laptop, someone who was outside of my head-space and worldview, but also a regular reader and digester of my blog. Interestingly when the responses came in, there was very little in common between them, with only one question out of the five showing any clear trends. In one sense this was disheartening. Although I’d gotten the honest feedback I wanted, it felt sporadic and random. I hadn’t gained the clear unified guidance I was hoping for. Still in many ways this lack of direction was equally liberating; I felt free to choose whichever direction felt right for me. But more than anything, these responses reinforced my understanding that we are a diverse and heterogeneous online-people. That whoever you are, whatever it is you do, whatever story it is you have to tell, there’s connection and community to be found. There’s someone out there who would genuinely like to share in it.