Running for the hills…

Sometimes you’d really like a holiday, and sometimes you really NEED a holiday, like a kind of clinging on to the edge of sanity by your fingernails need a holiday. Last week I was truly on the edge of insanity; drowning not waving, that kind of thing – so what better than to pack roughly a third of the contents of our house, put three hot and sticky children in the car and drive a couple of hours up the motorway (“mummy, PLEASE don’t use the SatNav, you know it always gets it wrong, and then you shout…”) to sleep on very narrow bunk beds  (“mummy are you sure the top bunk is strong enough for you? Perhaps you should go on the bottom bunk…”)  and share a kitchen with some German students?? I’ve never had a better plan, frankly.  Perhaps it is living in Bedfordshire (land of the flat, flat countryside) that means I get this urgent need to see some actual hills once in a while,  but once we had arrived in the peak district I slowly felt my sanity shuffling back.

And whilst we were releasing the children into as much open space as we could find, drinking malibu and coke, admiring the view every five seconds and trying not to run sheep over, I started thinking about loads of ideas I’ve got for Sarah&Alice that I’ve had for ages, and they started to feel like ideas that might actually work out, rather than the butterfly-like flimsy ideas that had been hovering about for so long in my head. The ability to get some perspective and to think clearly is one of those incidental benefits of going away, I think. Just removing yourself from the everyday clutter of home (clearly I don’t live in one of those minimalist, open plan loft apartments, it is literally crammed full of child-related detritus here,) makes a difference to how you think about things.  Top of my list was making this blog more of a place to show off our stuff, as well as highlighting other childrenswear bits and pieces that we come across, charity projects we’re interested in, childrens’ books we love (there are many…) and other general creative stuff that inspires us. Expand the adventures of Sarah&Alice a bit, to cut a long and waffling explanation mercifully shorter.

(Next on my list, incidentally, was pj’s as childrens’ daytime-wear. I will waffle on about that next time. Just as a warning.)

So, I had my little epiphany (whilst crammed onto the bottom bunk of a family room trying to read whilst the children sang, loudly, to themselves, ) but had no phone signal or internet access, and so it just stayed like a long line of good ideas in my head, like a little row of fairy lights.  And when I got back and had made a reasonable (debatable) effort with the unpacking, I reacquainted myself with the outside world via the internet. As you do. To my excitement, but also slightly annoyance, I found that Lauren Laverne had tweeted about a book which a week earlier, I had chosen to read at storytime in the park, which was actually going to be my first book recommendation on here (and, stubbornly, will still be my first recommendation!) Not only that, but  Caroline Wise, of Wise Social Media and the Bedford Network Blog, had just posted a helpful link to a brilliant design blog, which was pretty much the model I had in my head of how I want ours’ to work: random finds and creative things that inspire the author. That was it. Other people were doing it. I just needed to get on with it. So right now, I am rolling up my sleeves, tucking a pencil behind my ear*, and getting on with it. Enjoy.

*somewhat unnecessarily.

The brilliant John Hegley (performed at BedFringe recently as well as the Castle Quay Festival last year, so local hero, basically) has written this lovely half-poetry, half-prose story about a boy and his stick. It is, as Stanly would say, fantastick.

Stanley’s Stick Stanley's Stick

We had a welly-emergency on holiday as Polly’s handed down a few times wellies developed a hole, (this very much qualifies as an emergency in the land of the six-year-old drama queen.) In a massive Sainsburys near Ashby de la Zouch, (birthplace of Adrian Mole, no less) I found these lovelies for just £11. Nice work, Lord Sainsbury & Co!

And to show off one of our upcoming designs, here’s a preview of a new t-shirt design by the very talented Mr Lloyd Lugsden. Get excited, foxy fans!