I wasn't intending to return to blogging for at least another month - and then two things happened. First I received a lovely comment from my sweet friend Diane at Always Crave Cute, making me realise how much I miss everyone in the blogging community. Then I was sent a wonderful email from Patricia in California -a fellow paper doll enthusiast. Together they have prompted me to put together this post.
One of the first paper doll books I posted in my blog was a set by Saalfield I called Little Ballerina Paper Dolls. This was back in January 2011 - the post has remained a popular one and is currently one of my top 10 most viewed posts of the month. When I bought the book I realised some of the ballet costumes were missing that I remembered playing with as a child. I kept searching and found this book. It has some of the additional outfits, but there are still 3 more dresses to be accounted for. Both these books are originals, not laser reproductions or recent compilations so there must be at least one more bumper version out there - the book I originally played with!
As I haven't been blogging for a while I thought I'd also give an update on my swan family. They are still in the park and I'm hoping they have become such a feature of the place and favourite of everyone who visits that they will be allowed to stay. At Christmas there were seven - now there are six. I have no idea where the missing juvenile swan could have gone - the day before this happened another adult appeared in the park unexpectedly so perhaps they flew off into the sunset together.
I'm not anticipating any new baby swans this year - but if these 6 stay I'll be happy!
I took these photos the last morning I was able to go to the park. I now have a much longer commute into work I used to complain that it was bad before - now I have an extra half an hour each way! One of the things I have had to give up is my early morning stroll and this time spent with the swans. I can still go there at lunchtime but I miss these quiet moments in the morning tremendously.
I no longer live in the mountains that in a short year had come to mean so much to me. The move was sudden and unexpected and I'm still feeling a bit bruised around the edges. Instead I now live in a vale - it is a magical enchanting place in its own right - and has made me find life quite baffling. If I had come here a year ago I would have been thrilled. For reasons I'll give on another occasion the fact that I am in this particular place is actually quite remarkable - in my lifetime I've travelled a long way and it has been quite an adventure. I don't always feel I'm controlling events but I usually recognise the pattern that emerges - I hope in time I will detect it here. I will just need a bit of time to get past the sensation of dislocation - I miss the atmosphere of isolation, the absolute silence and darkness at night and the sweeping vistas. My heart and my spirit are still wandering in the mountains - in time I'm hoping they will join me in the valley.
Before we left we were snowed in and could not move from the house for about a week. This was one of the last photographs I took - it is my favourite!
Please forgive me if I don't visit or comment with any regularity for a while and if my posting is a bit erratic. I still have a lot of things to straighten out and organise and I feel about 100 years older than I did this time last year!
But I've put my big toe back in the water - with any luck before long I'll wade right back in.