In The Pink

  

October is the month when our surroundings change colour. Leaves on the trees turn shades of red, orange and brown. The grass scorched by the summer sun becomes greener again. Evening skies are no longer a hazy blue but darker and darker.

Then comes the bursts of pink. Look around the shops and you'll see a veritable array of pink products and decorations to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

We want to do our bit too. If you buy one of our pink pictures this month (choose from the striking flamingo or the fun Fiat 500), we will donate 10% to Breast Cancer Care who do such wonderful work.

This October, please go pink to help people with breast cancer now and in years to come.

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High Days And Holidays

The surprisingly warm weather we’ve experienced of late has been an eye-opener. It’s made us love where we live all the more. Undoubtedly, our happy place as a family is at the beach. You could say that we do love to be beside the seaside.

February is the month that we dread. In our minds, it is the hardest month of the year. Its only redeeming feature is that it is also the shortest month of the year. Generally, it’s cold, gloomy and downright depressing. This year has been a revelation. The sun came out and our spirits soared. The change in us all was noticeable. Instead of staying indoors planning our binge-watching sessions, we’ve been raring to get outside. Energy and enthusiasm levels have been boosted and we’ve explored new places and enjoyed old favourites.

Half term can often cost a fortune, taking kids to soft play, the cinema and endless other expensive attractions. But the beach, the woods and the parks are free. Our son can spend hours on the beach, digging holes, making sandcastles and finding special shells and stones. Meanwhile, we can sit, breathe in the sea air and relax.

One good habit that we have instigated on our beach visits is that we have to pick up at least five pieces of litter before we leave. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to do this, but the reality is that it needs to be collected. We love our beach days but we hate the rubbish that people leave behind. Fortunately, we’re not the only ones doing this. We’re so pleased to see increasing numbers of people cleaning our beaches and general environments to make them safer and better places for us all to spend our happy times. Now that is showing your love for where you live.

Love Where You Live

Are you lucky enough to love where you live? We do hope so. It is a life-changing state to be in. When you really believe that there’s no place like home, you can be so much more content and at ease with your situation.

We are lucky enough to live in the UK’s ‘happiest place to live’ – Leigh-on-Sea. It has a good community vibe, estuary walks and seaside, easy access to London and the list goes on.

It’s not just Leigh-on-Sea that has a fond place in our hearts though. We’ve been lucky enough to live in several places that we love – London, Bath, Brighton and Sydney for starters. Each of those cities has a special place in our hearts and memories of our lives there make us smile.

The downside to that is constantly missing something about a place when you’re somewhere else. Whilst we do love Leigh-on-Sea, there are days when we’d love to hop back into our lives spent in the sun, sand and surf of Sydney. But when we lived there, we’d have dreams about English countryside and traditional, old pubs. It’s that old saying about the grass being greener.

Wherever our current home is, we always carry a piece of our other homes with us. It could be a treasured photo, a piece of artwork, a significant song, a memento and, most importantly, our precious memories.

This February, the month of love, make time to celebrate the place that you love. Walk along your favourite track, visit your much-loved café and pub, explore the new stores and browse the old faithfuls. Just make time to enjoy your happy place.

If you love where you live, or know somebody else who does, why not treat yourself or them to a local print of your special place.

The Year Of Adventure

The first month of the year is drawing to a close (finally, it’s been such a long month). How are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? I’ve noticed that the gym car park is no longer overflowing each morning. I suspect a number of those who committed to Veganuary are counting the days until they can bite into a bacon sarnie oozing with tomato sauce (that’s if they haven’t succumbed already) and dry January could be about to get a whole lot wetter.

This year, we vowed not to make any of those resolutions that are oh-so-easy to break. We made one that we really want to stick to and that will make an immense difference to our lives. We resolved to have more adventures.

That doesn’t mean that we’re about to fill our backpacks and head off travelling around the world. Been there, done that and bought the tie-dye t-shirts. But it does mean that we’re going to visit new places, try different things and enjoy new experiences.

We started simply – a winter walk in a previously undiscovered woodland, a spectacular Sunday lunch in a pub we’d heard so much about but never quite got to, an intense new exercise class and a challenging online course.

Then there’s the fun of researching and planning the adventures to come – camping weekends in summer, family trips overseas, new recipes with unusual ingredients to try and, of course, the endless list of pubs for Sunday lunches all over the UK.

We still dream of loading up the campervan and meandering round unknown territories, but for now, we have more simple adventures to plan and enjoy. Now that’s one resolution worth keeping.

Secret Postcard Sale

This is one secret that you shouldn’t keep to yourself!

We’ve created a unique postcard which will feature as part of the Made in Essex Secret Postcard Sale alongside 99 other fabulous creations.

The sale will raise money for an incredible local project run by the charity, Metal, providing art classes for people living with dementia. Follow @metalsouthend and their #netparkwellbeingproject for more info.

You’ll find all 100 postcards (including the Art of Adventure one obviously) on display at 70 The Broadway, Leigh on Sea from Sat 26th Jan – Fri 1st Feb. Pop along and check them out. They’ll also be online afterwards from Saturday 2nd Feb.

If you want to get your hands on a Golden Ticket and the chance to own one of the mini masterpieces, you’ll need to get in early. Tickets go on sale on Saturday 26th January on made-in-essex.com and you’ll also find full details of the fundraising initiative there too.

Makers Market added to our Christmas list

We have just had confirmation that we will be at the following Christmas market In Leigh-on-Sea:

When: Saturday 15th December, 11am – 3pm

What: Makers Market

Where: Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea

More info: @LeighGeneralStore

Christmas Lists At The Ready

The sound of sleigh bells is growing closer. Any moment now, lights will be going up on trees and children will be hanging up their stockings with heady excitement. Yes, that’s right, Christmas is coming.

We’re going to be joining other talented, local artisans at a number of Christmas markets over the next few weeks. Here are a few dates for your diaries:

 

When: Saturday 3rd November, 11am – 4pm

What: Midwinter Artisan Market

Where: Fisherman’s Chapel, New Road, Old Leigh

Website: http://fishermenschapel.org.uk/midwinter-artisan-market/

 

When: Saturday 11th November, 12 – 4pm

What: Leigh Pop-Up Christmas Designer Craft Market

Where: Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea

Website: http://www.leighcommunitycentre.com/events/271/Leigh-Pop-Up-Christmas-Designer-Craft-Market

 

When: Saturday 1st December, 11am – 4pm

What: Christmas Fayre

Where: Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea

Website: http://www.leighcommunitycentre.com/events/357/Christmas-Fayre

 

When: Friday 7th – Sunday 9th December, 10am – 3pm

What: Christmas Gift Fair

Where: RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford

Website: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall/viewevent?EFID=849&ESRC=CMS

 

When: Saturday 15th December, 11am – 3pm

What: Makers Market

Where: Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea

More info: @LeighGeneralStore

 

We look forward to seeing you. Shop local this Christmas and support small businesses.