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Let me introduce myself
and a commitment to show up wholeheartedly.
I’m really enjoying creating this space here on Substack but it occurred to me that I just dived in and started writing, without ever really introducing myself. I’m quite a shy person by nature so sharing things about myself and my life doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me, but here goes…
Please forgive the quality of some of the photos, they’re too old to have had the benefit of a retouch on Lightroom!
- I’m Claire. I live in Northumberland with my husband, two boys and two dogs. At the time of writing this I’m 39 years old. I’m very okay about turning 40 later this year. I’d even go as far as to say I’m looking forward to it, which is quite a turn around considering how much I panicked when I turned 30! But I think coming through the panic, something shifted in me. I feel much more content with who I am these days. I’m a lot more forgiving and able to show compassion to my younger self. I’m also much more confident in setting boundaries to protect my energy and worrying way less about trying to fit in.
- I started gardening around 8 or 9 years ago. To begin it was very much a case of buy a plant, kill the plant, replace the plant and repeat. Luckily I got better at it and now I’m studying RHS level 2 in Plant Growth and Development. It’s fascinating and I’m loving pouring all of my new knowledge into creating my dream garden, although I must admit, learning the botanical names is hard!
- I garden first and foremost to support my wellbeing. I find it relaxing and good way to manage my anxiety. Plus it gives me a deeper a sense of purpose. I approach gardening like a form of meditation, focusing on the process and on being mindful rather than getting too hung up about the end result.
- My garden is approximately 7m x 11m and faces South West. It’s an absolute sun trap in the summer so one of my current projects is to add more height so I can create some natural shade. I’d say my gardening style is cottage garden meets wildlife haven. After years of opting for instant gratification I’m learning to take a slower approach and now grow most of my plants from seed. I shared a post recently about the transformation of my garden through the years which you can read here.
- As a child I spent most of my life at the stables where I loaned the most gorgeous skewbald mare called Lucky. She was generally quite laid back but had an occasional grumpy streak and loved letting me know when she wasn’t amused. After she passed away in 2004 I did own another rather flamboyant Haflinger mare, but once I’d had my first son, time and money meant I had to give up horses for a while. I keep saying I’ll go back to it someday but who knows. I’ve had various other pets over the years. Hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and dogs. We currently have two cockapoos called Olly and Macy. Luckily they love walking and exploring the woods as much as I do.
- One of my all time favourite tv shows is Ghost Whisperer. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure but I just adore the clothes, the houses, the spookiness and small town vibes. It’s my comfort show and I wouldn’t like to count how many times I’ve watched each episode. My other favourite is Friends. Of course.
- If I could meet any famous person it would be the comedian Billy Connolly. I know his language can be a bit coarse but I love his take on the world and his absolute sense of awe when he travels and learns about different countries and cultures. I’d also really like to meet Alan Titchmarsh, because well, gardening legend.
- I once abseiled from the Tyne Bridge for a local charity called Disability North. It was absolutely terrifying and amazing at the same time. I’ve also complete the Great North Run, although I was nowhere near fit enough. I’d love to do it again someday but I’d have to actually take up again running first.
And so that’s me…
Since joining Substack I think one of the beautiful things about it is that not only is it possible to show up and share all the parts of yourself, it’s encouraged. The main topic I like to share is gardening and all the ways it supports my wellbeing, but that’s not all of me and I want to make a commitment to myself and to you that I will show up in this space in a wholehearted way.
I’d love to get to know you a little better so would love it if you’d share something about yourself in the comments section.
Wishing you a wonderful week.
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