Intentions November



October was momentous for several reasons. I finally got rid of the last packing box. I finally visited Frome Independent market (which is wonderful and very much worth going). I finally found an old vintage style cabinet for the bathroom. All these things have been on my ‘to do’ list for an entire year. I sorted the china and even painted a table, which I am sure was on an intention in July. Hurrah for October and I finally got a hair cut.

I am sharing very bad selfie photos in taken poor light. To give an idea. Before; far too much hair (v.bad hair day). After; slightly worried but less hair.

hair Collage

Due to the hair cut I am currently obsessed with finding hair product nirvana. When you tuck your hair back and out-of-the-way, a multitude of sins are ignored. OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner was recommended by Caroline Hirons. Shampoo is just the start, curl creme, wave enhancing spray, hair oil – I’m on a research and purchase mission, I’m even plopping! Any recommendations products that suit thick but fine, wavy/curly hair, gratefully received.

I did the things I intended to do at the start of the month. The blog was five. We walked in full autumn colour. Photographing and writing around it was a joy I’ve not found in blogging in a while. Note to self: do more of that.

Intentions November


On a sunny trip to Wells over half term I was given two books. I love Wells, it has a relaxing pace, even on busy market days. There is great vintage emporium. The cathedral is a marvel, stepping inside gives a sense of place in time, it was built in the 12th century, entering you can almost feel the ages flick back behind you like index cards. I try to imagine all the many feet on the worn floors. In a technologically filled world where almost anything feels possible, I am awed by the scale and build. In Wells, the Mr. bought me two books. I was aimlessly wandering a bookshop moaning that I needed a book, my head is very cluttered at present, I need something to focus on, an alternative to the noise. Marilynne Robinson was discussed on Woman’s Hour in glowing terms, the man behind the counter in the bookshop described the writing as ‘sumptious’. I was sold. I’ve taken to dark night bedtime (which is early) for reading time, wrapped in my big green scarf.

I am embarking on a small project to make the house more sustainable, environmentally friendly. It’s something that is really important to me and I’m really excited about sharing more about it here on the blog. I hope to say more in November, at the moment, I’m thinking more plants and curtains to keep the heat in, cardigans and warm clothing instead flicking the heating on.

My Dad visited in October bringing 3 boxes of home grown apples, cooking with apples in my November project, crumbles, muffins, pies.

CHRISTMAS!! There I said it. This is my opinion on Christmas; it must not start too early. Christmas displays in September make me want to kick them over. There is no festivity in Christmas in September. Christmas in December is like a hot coal, it must be handled with care, left too late it cools and with it enthusiasm. In my book, there is nothing worse than late Xmas shopping, the palpable anxiety, the crowds, relentless “I wish it could be Christmas every day” on a loop. Chilling. Catch Christmas hot and warming. There is a fine balance. December’s Christmas coals are kept hot by saving December for Christmas activities, parties, plays, carols, mulled wine, sherry, christmas trees. Those are hot coals to warm even scrooge’s cold heart. November is about stoking the coals, shopping, organising, lists. Get in before the crowds and fully enjoy Christmas in December. The silver book is my book of Christmas lists. It has begun…….

Goodness, next stop December!


  1. Midlife Singlemum

    I love your new hair style. I’m afraid that for me all festivals are contained entirely within their month. We don’t do Christmas but I do have a cd of Christmas carols that I listen to during December. November is too early and January seems silly. We have our big festivals in September and April but I still keep them within their month. 

    1. helloitsgemma

      I would like to keep Xmas in it’s month, but it’s such an over bloated thing that preparation in Nov is the only way. December the shops are awful – we are too commercialised. I am imagining your festivals may be truer to their original meaning. 

  2. Emily

    Wow! That is a serious haircut. I love it. 
    I totally agree about Christmas. My loathing for it starting early usually sends me in a petulant rage and I don’t do a thing until December and then am seriously stressed and end up weeping. This year I am doing presents, buying and wrapping and cards, buying, making and writing in November, leaving December free for school things and food planning. 

  3. Karen Barlow

    I love the new hair, you look very sophisticated darling! My favourite hair products are by Kevin Murphy, they smell heavenly & are made using naturally derived products, no chemicals, animal testing & recyclable packaging, so would be perfect for you! I use their motion lotion which encourages a curl if you have non, obviously this is not your problem, but they have so many products, you’re bound to find a suitable one?
    I like the sound of your more sustainable home, my husband would applaud your idea of wearing a thicker cardigan rather than turning the heating up, our house feels like wuthering heights sometimes. We all delight in turning it right up when he’s out 🙂 

    1. helloitsgemma

      Thank you Karen! I’ve read good things about Kevin Murphy and you have just elevated his products to the top of my list. Top tip. 
      I love your heating rebellion btw. X

  4. Over a Cuppa

    Your hair cut looks fab, really suits you despite your face in the photograph had yet decided that fact!

    Hoping to make Frome Independent market in December, that will have a nice Christmas feel to it.
    Wells is a very lovely place, a very different town to many for sure.

    I totally hate planning ahead too much, it is a serious problem for me which this year for Christmas I want to overcome. So I am hoping to be able to start Christmas thoughts, planning and some shopping in November so like you I can enjoy the nice stuff of December. Which with two teens I have yet to figure out what that is, strangely there is a blog post rattling in my head about that one! 

    Enjoy those apples,  perfect too for Christmas chutney or my new favourite homemade granola made with apple compote and it is still crunchy! 

    Have a lovely November x 

  5. Purple Ella

    I wrote my Christmas to do list this week. I’m with you on planning, collecting ready in November and beginning festivities and nice things in December. The haircut looks lovely, I should have commented on this today but my attention to detail isn’t the best. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.