We've been submerged in the slow and arduous process of accumulating 'stuff', albeit necessary stuff like a dining table and chairs, wardrobe and bed. Our new house is coming together slowly but surely, and I've learnt to be patient - it'll be a little while yet until I can class things as being 'done' -(although I'm not sure if things are ever done around the house are they?)
In the fog of depleting bank balances, house teething problems and frustrating broadband suppliers, I've been concentrating on appreciating the little intricacies of our new life here, as the gradual ebb and flow of daily routines uncover little gems that we weren't aware of before. So today I thought I'd share my little gratitudes. Hopefully the next time I'm ready to punch a poor call centre worker, I can read back over these little things and remember that I'm in a better place, a happier place, than I was six months ago. Sorry for the decidedly mediocre phone snapshots, which I'm having to rely on until I can upload my camera photos (did I not mention we've been a month without internet?!)
 I don't think I'll ever tire of the morning sunrise streaming through our bedroom window, with the Peaks lining the backdrop in the distance. I'm itching to tug on my walking boots and get out among those hills, but I'm trying to be sensible and wait for slightly warmer weather! In the meantime, the puffs of pink, red, gold and orange, interspersed with electric blue are enough to keep me smiling.
 Whenever I move to a new area, one of my first tasks is to scout out a decent local, with a particular emphasis on yummy Sunday roasts. Just a short walk from our house we found said local, and spent a blissfully lazy Sunday munching our way through Yorkshire puddings, sipping cider and playing Scrabble.
 It might seem a little strange to consider DIY a gratitude, but we're very lucky to have lovely landlords who are happy for us to rip off wallpaper and paint to our heart's content. We chose sage green with white woodwork for the bedroom (following a mad flurry of Pinterest pinning) and I LOVE it. Having managed to nab some beautiful art deco walnut bedroom furniture (which I tweeted about here), we've nearly completed one room. I also bit my lip and splashed out on a new bed and good quality mattress, which is so darn comfy I never want to get up! Links to the bed and mattress are here and here if you're in the market for a new one and need a recommendation.
 Early starts and early finishes. As much as I have to drag myself out of bed at 6am every morning, more often than not in the pitch black shiver of the morning, my 8am starts and 4pm finishes mean I'm home at 4.30pm with a long evening stretching before me. So far I've been filling my time with DIY and cleaning duties, but I can't wait to get out into the garden and sit at my desk to blog as the sun goes down.
 We're based on the edge of Didsbury, which means we have plenty of walking country around us. We've already ventured into the woods for an afternoon walk, laughing at boisterous dogs, squelching through mud and admiring new tree beds dripping with dew. I'm looking forward to getting out more into the countryside to find some peace and calm.
 I have a few DIY projects on the cards that should be quite exciting, should I not make a mess of things. We inherited this art deco dining table and chairs, which is in serious need of some TLC, so I put in an order for sandpaper, steel wool, upholstery fabric and boiled linseed oil, and can't wait to get scrubbing (and of course wield a staple gun...)
I've also bought an old Singer sewing machine table (rather like this one), which I plan to use as a writing (and blogging desk) in our little office. It arrives tomorrow and I'm struggling to contain my excitement. We decided when we moved to invest in antique furniture for our new house because it's so much more durable and attractive than the usual Ikea offerings. We soon discovered that they're not that much more expensive either, and we know we'll keep and cherish them forever. My favourite piece so far is probably this retro sideboard, which is sitting happily in the lounge and is the most useful piece of furniture I own. My unwavering excitement over pieces of furniture is clearly a sign that I'm happily embedded in my 30s!
Hopefully I'll be able to slink into a regular blogging routine by next week. In the meantime I'll continue with the scrubbing, hammering and drilling that seem to be firmly on my daily agenda for now.