Friday, August 9, 2013

One year at home

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of receiving the keys to our home. Sometimes it seems surreal to think we own this little piece of paradise in between Dalston and Stoke Newington.

In the year since we purchased our home, I've learned a lot about what 'home' means. Of course there is the Pinterest moodboards about what your *perfect* kitchen looks like and mindlessly accumulating inspiring images of artfully placed vintage crates. But there is also what you do in your home – the entertaining, the hosting of guests, the visitors from afar, and the respect you show to your surroundings that makes it a nurturing refuge from a big global city.

Owning a home is so much different from renting in so many ways, but I think this notion of respect is central to it. Everything takes on so much more meaning when you completely control your surroundings and are 100% responsible for everything in and around them. What might have been annoying before takes on an offensive character, and what might have been a nice to have previously is suddenly an imperative. And vice versa.

But I think in the year that's gone, what I realized is just what I need for a place to be a home. A lot of things – actual things, like furniture and decorations – are exactly the same as they were. We're still lounging on the same IKEA sofa, and we're still eating from the same IKEA plates. They might not be of the highest quality, or the best of their kind, but they're ours and they've become symbolic of how The Irishman are choosing to spend our time: watching box sets together (West Wing, from the very first season!) and hosting dinner parties for our nearest and dearest. It's funny how things you thought you'd get rid of as quickly as possible actually become sentimental.

Overall though, I've spent exactly half of the year since we moved in NOT blogging. And I realized that I don't need nor really want blogging in my life. So I've made the decision to shutter Bloody Brilliant. Or at least, no longer update it. The winddown will be slow – I'll treat you to photographs of the final kitchen, once we find a tiler, and a few other shots of the house, and give you the update on our summer so far. My last post will be at the end of the month, when The Irishman and I depart for our two week summer holiday to Portugal. We've not had 2 weeks off, together, without family, friends, or other commitments in 3 years, so we're pretty pumped for this break. This seems like the perfect time to bow out gracefully.

I know there are a few of you who will be sad that Bloody Brilliant won't be an active blog any longer; I know there are more than a few of you who won't really mind! I'll write a post or two about how blogging helped me in my expat life, and what I think is great (and not so great about blogging). But I wanted to thank all of you who have, past and present, commented on the blog and reached out to me. It's been really wonderful to have you. The next few posts on here will be for you, and hope you enjoy them. xx


  1. Hi! I totally understand :) I will miss you in this space, but will follow along on Twitter and such!

    Will you keep the blog "live" as an old resource for expats? Have you thought about getting it printed as a keepsake? I did that with JTP and really love having it on my bookshelf.

  2. It will definitely suck to see you go but life is for living and not necessarily blogging it all. Earlier this year I thought about shutting mine down too. Not ready for that yet but very close. Are you going to delete it all or just stop posting? I went back to your house series posts and really enjoyed those. Best of luck with the house and everything, it has been a pleasure reading.

  3. Oh no! This is sad, but it's always the author's decision and if you don't want to blog anymore then the time is right to stop :) Good luck with the rest of the house stuff. Looking forward to the next few posts.

  4. I am sad to read that! You were one of the first expat blogs I found and read regularly - I have missed you on the internet. But I bet that the realization felt good? In a funny way, I'm kind of looking forward to getting there. ( I KNOW Jon's looking forward to me getting there!) Thanks in advance for the next - last :( - few.

  5. Hi guys, so lovely to hear your comments. I'll go into more detail about the decision in posts to come but I wanted to know how much I appreciate hearing from you xx

  6. Your home looks so beautiful. It must be such an amazing feeling to live in here. I am looking for some serene places to go for a holiday next month. I will be booking my tickets with Lufthansa because this airline provides individual attention to each of their passengers and i find that very unique and nice. I hope i finalize on some place to go to soon :)