Whenever I go to the Lake District I can’t help but be reminded of Beatrix Potter at every turn. I think this probably started after I saw the film “Miss Potter” when I was 12 and saw all the beautiful locations where she spent her later life. It was around that time that my parents decided we would go to the Lake District every year in autumn for holiday. The film Miss Potter definitely piqued an interest in Beatrix Potter, I loved how much of a rebel she was and that she was writer just as I wanted to be. I can definitely see why she chose to live in such a beautiful place, for a writer it offers endless inspiration and I imagine when you get one of those annoying writers block moments a nice stroll around the cumbrian countryside will soon get the juices flowing again.
Unfortunately “Hilltop” the house in which Beatrix Potter lived was closed when we went due to it being out of season so instead we went for a wander along the shores of Coniston. It was absolutely gorgeous and again a very easy lake side path. On our way back home however we happened to pass Yew Tree Farm Cottage which I remembered as the cottage they had turned into Hilltop for the film “Miss Potter”. A while ago I came with my Mum for afternoon tea and read all about the filming process that had taken place here. Unfortunately they no longer serve afternoon tea and instead Yew Tree can be rented as a holiday cottage, but I still wanted to have a little wander around the front of it. The house is framed by stunning hills behind it and I can imagine it would be an absolutely amazing place to live. I think if I was ever to live in the Lake District this would be exactly the type of house I’d want.
It felt very fitting to be wearing my little book dress for our day of tracing Beatrix Potter’s steps and I think she would have approved of the design. I hope we can go back at some point when Hilltop is open and have a look around, I don’t think I will ever get bored of looking into Beatrix Potters life, she was a great feminist, writer and helped to conserve much of the Lake District so it is still as beautiful today as it was then, she’s definitely one of my big inspirations.
Oh Autumn I cannot get enough of you! I know some people can’t wait for summer, for bare legs, bonfires, beach trips and sun kissed skin but for me there is no better season than autumn. I spend the summer months waiting in anticipation as autumn creeps closer and closer. Although I was watching very careful autumn in Oxford definitely suddenly appeared. It seemed one day it was beautiful September sunshine warm enough for ice cream and sandals, and then over night the temperature dropped by 10 degrees and the bright orange and mustard colours began to appear in every tree. It seemed autumn was especially prevalent in Hereford last weekend when we went up to do wedmin, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. We had decided to spend Friday and Saturday inside doing wedding jobs and then take a day off to enjoy the season outside on the Sunday. Luckily we were blessed with the most amazing weather, my absolute favourite type – bright blue skies, cold crisp air and low golden sunshine. It was glorious.
We decided to go back to one of our favourite spots to go walking in Hereford, the Brockhampton Estate and were extremely excited (well as least I was, not sure about Russell) to find out it was apple day! The National Trust definitely put on some of the best events and this was one of them. We enjoyed wandering around the house where we tried spiced mulled apple juice and sat in the 1950s sitting room – my outfit that day definitely blended into the surroundings. I’m wearing my lovely new dress from Lindy Bop that I got in the sale, I wanted some clothes in more autumnal colours and this definitely fitted the bill. We then wandered through the court yard where the cider pressing had been going on and got a good whiff of apple. After having a look around the shop we went in to the orchards and spent the best part of an hour jumping around trying to grab the shiniest juiciest apple on each tree. I have never actually been apple picking before so it was a new experience for me and I absolutely loved it. We decided to get one of each variety we thought looked the nicest including a massive apple almost the size of my head.
After carrying our apples back to the car we went to the lovely little tea rooms in the old apple store, we decided to continue our theme and bought a cider for Russell and an apple juice for me with a scone to share. By the time we’d finished it was almost five o’clock and the sun was beginning to descend and glow golden over the fields. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and even stumbled across a private Georgian mansion which I decided must be Netherfield Park (I really wanted to knock on the front door and ask for Mr Bingley).
To end our day we piled back into the car, turned the heating on and drove part of the way back to Oxford stopping in the Cotswolds for the most amazing meal at Bitter and Twisted in Chipping Norton. I love living so close to the Cotswolds, everything was lit up with beautiful fairy lights and for the first time this year it started to feel really Christmassy.
The days are getting shorter, the weather colder and the leaves are starting to turn, my favourite season is definitely on its way. I am so excited for wellies, hot chocs with whipped cream and kicking leaves but we still getting the odd summer day as you often do in September and I have to remind myself to get my legs out and enjoy it whilst it lasts. September is a gorgeous month with golden sunsets, bountiful harvests and an air of excitement as the seasons change and we get closer to that special day in December. I’ve really enjoyed being on holiday these first few weeks of September watching the seasons change and soaking up the last few rays of sunshine.
These photos were taken on a very golden 1st of September in the beautiful grounds of The Brockhampton Estate. Owning National Trust membership me and Russell often find ourselves here when in Hereford as its only down the road and a lovely place to go for a walk. Last time we came it was quite a lot wetter than expected (we got totally soaked through in the woods) so it was nice to see it bathed in golden autumnal light. We arrived late afternoon and enjoyed soaking up a bit of warmth in the gardens. We both felt it reminded us of a fairytale cottage where you might find the sorcerer and his apprentice. I quickly made plans to come back another time with a suitably fairytale dress to take some magical photos.
We really enjoyed our little week away in Hereford, it was a really lovely chance to just catch back up with each other and relax just the two of us before the craziness of the next 4 months ensues. I am so excited that our wedding is in 4 months but this holiday definitely feels like the calm before the storm. I am just going to keep reminding myself to enjoy this time and be present in every moment.
August has been busy! I feel slightly like a headless chicken running around, moving house, planning our wedding and trying to start a new job. Its been a good month but also for some one with anxiety, dealing with a lot of things all at once isn’t the best. Luckily I was clever enough to book myself some holiday time at the end of the summer before the madness of Autumn begins. We have taken two weeks off in total and spent one in Hereford and one in Scotland. Its been really great to get a bit of chill out time just the two of us and catch our breath after the business of the last two weeks of August.
Some of you may remember I left my job in June and took a massive leap into the dark, spending the summer the writing has been amazing but I am also quite relieved to start a new part of my life. I will be starting a job later on in September as well as a part time course in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford which is very exciting. I honestly didn’t know what a summer of writing would mean for me or what God would do but it has certainly been a learning curve and something I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve also found that staying around in Oxford during the summer has been quite good for me as I’ve discovered a way of enjoying my time here. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about my struggle with living in the city in the South and so we have decided to move out to a village outside of Oxford which is quieter and suits us better. I’m hoping this will help me to learn to love Oxford and not be always pining for the wild countryside of the north.
We took these photos just before going out for dinner and it was then that it really felt like a holiday, the air was warm from the last few rays of golden sun and we both had that satisfied feeling of having relaxed all day. These few weeks off have definitely been needed not just to catch up with each other but also to catch up with myself and spend some time feeling like me again. I’m excited for the next few months but for now I am just enjoying the last few days of summer.
I’m back! Sorry for the lack of posts in the last two weeks, it wasn’t planned but when I went on holiday for a couple of weeks I decided to take a break. I had planned on posting whilst on holiday but I soon decided actually the best thing would be to have a bit of time off from the online world and I really enjoyed spending the week just chilling on the sofa with a book and walking round the beautiful hills of Keswick. I’m sure I will do a post on my holiday in Keswick and share some of the photos I got but for now I wanted to share these gorgeous photos Russell caught the other night.
We decided to go for a picnic after he finished work as the weather in Oxford continues to be bright and warm so the two of us grabbed our picnic rug and some fish and chips and headed over to Shotover. Its a beautiful park on a hill that over looks Oxford and its a great place to watch the sun go down. We sat in the warm evening sun enjoying its golden light whilst catching up, we are both really excited for our wedding but it does tend to dominate your life and so it’s quite nice to take a bit of time away. After taking one week of my two week holiday to do wedmin it was nice to actually not talk about it and just enjoy each others company.
We love being able to get away from the business of the city and enjoy a bit of calm, I have started to enjoy our time in the city more but I still spend my days longing for open countryside however, evenings like this help to keep my cravings at bay.
And the summer continues! I am loving this glorious weather and not just because it gives me a chance to wear all my pretty summer dresses. Unfortunately Russell is working full time at the moment to save some money for our wedding/honeymoon and so he has missed a lot of the sunshine but we are still managing to catch the odd day off and the warm air tends to continue into the evening here. I’ve really enjoyed our new summer habit we’ve been making of going for a walk after dinner, its a great way to get some fresh air, catch up and sort my thoughts out a bit before bed. The city seems a lot calmer as dusk falls and we’ve even spied a few rabbits whilst watching the sun set in the distance.
These photos were taken on our last day of our mini break to Rutland, we decided to extend our holiday by stopping off at a few places on the way home and of course that meant a National Trust. Lyveden was an interesting National Trust and very different to most we’ve been too, it’s a beautiful Elizabethan country manor house that was never finished due to the owner dying before its completion. It was very interesting to wander around and see where floors would have been or fireplaces and I thought it would make a fabulous location for a fairytale style photoshoot in the future. The gardens and grounds around the estate were very pretty with a moat surrounding one half and we enjoyed the beautiful wild flowers everywhere as we wandered around. It was a lovely stop off on our way home and I’d definitely like to go back.
Finally some real real sunshine! Not in Oxford unfortunately but in Rutland where me and Russell have been enjoying a few days holiday with his family. We stayed in a lovely little cottage on a golf course surrounded by streams and woods and fields full of wild flowers, it was a nice change to busy Oxford for me and a chance to catch up with family. It was also a week of excitement in the Bearn household as Russell’s sister graduated from medical school!
This summer I’ve worn a lot of black and white but I feel like this is the time to be in bright colours and so have been trying to make more of an effort to brighten up my wardrobe. So when I saw this gorgeous blue skirt with bright yellow roses whilst at Spitalfields market in London the other day I knew I had to have it. Its a great length for me as I don’t like anything too short and it nips me in it at the waist which is always a plus. The sun was out in full force that day and whilst on our walk Russell and I decided it looked a little bit like Tuscany in the surrounding fields and the weather definitely made us feel like we could be sunning ourselves somewhere further afield.
Having a few days off away from Oxford has definitely been good for me and Russell, we are both trying to make big decisions particularly about my future and taking some time out from the stresses of daily life and the worries of decision making has been nice. I feel that since Mondays post, where I felt a bit lost, things have sort of begun to fall into place. There is still a lot to do and I am still doing a lot of soul searching but I feel God is teaching me through this time. I am reading, praying and learning so much more by seeking God rather than an answer to my questions. I am still worried and confused but I am trusting in him to lead me down the right path.
I have struggled with the direction of the blog in the past few weeks becoming a little obsessed with numbers and I have found it necessary to take a step back, look at the big picture and remember why I started. I’m not going to be like every other fashion blogger with hundreds of outfits, a fabulous instagram account and millions of subscribers because thats not me. This blog is about sharing a love for a Christ filled life and all the beauty and wonder that brings. I love fashion, food, lifestyle photography and travel and I love to share those things on here but the most important thing to me is God. And so yes I could just share those things but then I wouldn’t be doing what I want to do, what I feel God has set me out to do. Maybe I won’t get as many followers or likes as other bloggers but thats okay, it’s important that I be who God designed me to be and not what the world tells me to be.