2016, You've been a whirlwind
2016, oh my what a whirlwind you've been...
Aura to mark a new year...
The year started with a puppy - which in my opinion is the best way to start any year! Aura was this tiny loving little creature and having her in the pack was such a blessing. In parallel with welcoming her into our lives I was still working 5 day weeks (shock I know) on a fantastic large project with a group of people who I truly admired.
Alongside my project work I was writing for a fantastic cause - the genius behind the Argus app. As the year progressed in terms of content I was knee deep in fantastic recipes and working with some great brands as a result.
As ever, I am in parallel, with two parts working separately but in sync. My creative enthusiasm but at the same time a strange innate corporate steer towards building something bigger than myself.
The months and weeks passed quickly with project work coming to a head and contracts delivered for a client I have aligned with many times over the last decade.
Then came the WISPers...
At heart I am historically a dramatic whirlwind romantic and chapters begin and end with suspense, drama and revelation. Perhaps it's time or evolution or age, whatever it is, has led me to stand back and relinquicsh myself to whatever happens.
Previously I had fought fate, thusperhaps in turn stirring up the drama and disorder. As a frustrated artist I have been led into the thinking that chasos must first exist for greatness to come. Not this one though, and it felt that I was completely out of control as the pages turned. Then, over an order of pizzas in a meeting room late into the night. Everything clicked.
Steve, a friend, colleague and mentor and blast from the past in Lesotho where we shared a past and must have met, simply asked "what if weput all of our expertise together?" Many of us were subcontracted, working on bolt ons to a much greater project we had worked painstakingly to deliver difficult packages of work and had established relationships whereby we could have very difficult conversations and push one another within our limits, always delivering above and beyond.
Focused weekends and time with one another later, and there we had it WISP Global was born.
Then, as one contract finished another appeared and I stepped up into another role. Again, working full time to deliver work. This time I made a promise, to complete at least one year on this contract. I don't often give my word to time frames - I deliver the work not fill a seat. However on this one it felt right taking acceptation.
Over the past two years we've been restless, pursuing new locations and a wild life. Many are unaware but we've been looking at homes in all sorts of ridiculous locations. One of them being on a hilltop just on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales, it was a huge farmhouse in disrepair with something like 8 bedrooms and outhouses and a giant sorage reservoir leaking into the basement. Uh...
Anyway. As the summer months drew closer we spent more time further southwards with friends. There were a few villages that I fell for, loving their quaint buildings and long gardens and easy access to London and the motorways.
One felt perfect and we took a punt and made an offer - however we hadn't yet sold the loft so our offer was declined. A week later and we had 5 offers, 3 at asking price for the loft, we called the agents just to let them know, and wondered if there were others that fitted our parameters. There weren't.
Three weeks later, at 8 am fuelling up at a service station on our way to the other end of the country, the phone rang.
The sale on the cottage had fallen through - the agent asked if we'd still like it, she apologised for the early nature of the call but she knew we were early birds and felt that she just wanted to have a chat with us first. Oh, by the way, she is now our neighbour but one and the loveliest!
We took a few minutes to think about it over a coffee and lemon and poppyseed muffin. We could have played games and pitched lower than our first offer, it was a perfect situation for it. However, that just didn't feel right. Our original offer was accepted.
Four months later, we were moved. It definitely felt like a long period and Andrew ran with it, managing everything. He downplayed all the game playing on the other side of our sale because he knew that I can be a ferrel dog with a bone if someone is not true to their word. For that, I am entirely grateful. The house is great, the community is wonderful, and having endless walks within easy reach is a great luxury.
In the background of setting up a new company, moving house and starting a year long contract in a new team, we got married. Twice.
It had to be small, if it were a large all encompassing event, I would have cracked. We sent out a few texts and our nearest and dearest met us on the coast for cider, pizza, headwear explorations and relentless laughter.
Then, we piled up our parents and headed to a beautiful French Chateau where after a second spiritual ceremony, we spent a week in the sun, climbing, playing tennis, swimming, sipping coffee, strolling markets, ahh complete bliss!
I can't promise what 2017 will bring. However, after a year of hectic restlessness, it would be great to just lay low and recover.
Great things are happening and it feels as though there is a whole lot of motion. This pending year feels like one for putting everything in place for another great leap. Ideas are seeding in the depths of my mind, one of which is buying up a little coffee shop in the village, but many things need to be in place first. This year we may proceed with the work on the house, subject to a lot of external factors - planning being the biggest.
Travel remains on the agenda as always - seeking new locations and exciting opportunities. I would love to explore more locations with the dogs, perhaps travelling around like a #vanlife nomad.
One thing I've become very much aware of is that I can make plans and plot out goals, but if the universe has something else in mind it will remain stubborn. After so much in 2016, all I want is a peaceful existence. So, I'll relinquish to it and go with whatever direction I'm pushed in.