Back to Basics


An Open Letter to All My Readers.

 There is something about November that has me wanting to wipe the slate clean. This may be down to rising panic about seasonal obligations. A feeling of confinement brought on by relentless rain and battering winds. A sense that I have been incapable of keeping the promises I had made myself in September and thus must take more determined action.

Did you ever feel as though you were trying to keep too many balls spinning and instead of balancing them with grace and eptitude, you find yourself dropping them left, right and centre, and even occasionally throwing a few away because you just can’t juggle them all? Yes. Haven’t we all? But this is where I am currently at. Feeling overwhelmed. And a little bit silly. And fed up juggling. and sick of the circus and desperate to join the convent or other place of deep, silent, peace.

In the ten years that BrocanteHome has been online I have juggled and juggled and juggled. And Brocantehome has grown expotentially. And I have found myself losing sight of what it is I want Brocante to be, and instead drowning in the kind of admin only those mad enough to let ambition override sensibility could ever face all by themselves. And sometimes crying out of sheer frustration. And worrying non-stop about things I haven’t done and things that have been abandoned in favour of all that is more pressing.

Though I am now out of the other side, the past two years have not been easy. I have suffered dreadfully and I hope I have had enough dignity to do it, for the most part behind the scenes of my lovely blog. But Brocantehome has unfortunately suffered the slings and arrows of my own emotional trauma and in the midst of holding myself and my business together I rushed to create all kinds of new avenues and cul de sacs here on the site and in the process caused myself, and no doubt you, much befuddlement and confusion!

While it is true that I have felt positively demented about the site this year, 2013 has actually been a significant one for Brocantehome: I have written and released to my readers and Superstars, three major downloads including Blogging the Brocante Way, The Housekeeping 365 system and a new Housekeepers Planner, as well as having Scrumptious Treats for Vintage Housekeepers at the top of the interior design spot in the Kindle charts for months and re-designing the entire site. Though I frequently beat myself up about what I haven’t achieved I very rarely stop to reflect on what I have which is probably why I get so frequently overwhelmed.

Over the past few weeks I have spent many hours in discussion with real friends and blogging friends, readers and family about the future of BrocanteHome and I have finally reached my conclusions: I do not want it to end, but I desperately need it to be more manageable if it is to continue to inspire you, and so I am going back to basics – back to Etsy and a simple newsletter. Back to blogging here at Brocantehome as often as possible and keeping my darling, precious Superstars happy in their own dedicated Ning community space without spending countless hours always trying to better systems and log ins and file storage instead of actually doing what needs to be done.

Brocantehome is very special. I know it holds a dear place in so many of your hearts but I also know that I am quite the most frustrating of blog mistresses and that I have driven some of you completely up the wall and back down again recently. While I am deeply sentimental about you all, I also realise that Brocantehome is a business and that when a business isn’t working we are obliged to gently steer it in the right direction again in order to prevent it going to the wall. I don’t want that to happen and I hope you don’t either so I truly hope that you will understand why the forthcoming changes are absolutely necessary.

The blogging landscape has changed enormously since the advent of the e-reader and I want Brocantehome to reflect that. The accessibility of the Kindle and the iPad have caused enormous change in how people read and what they expect to pay for it and I want the Brocanthome of the future to reflect all these changes and more than that, embrace them.

This is exciting. And maybe a little worrying. but my head is much clearer than it was and I look forward to carving a few more, deliciously scrumptious, hopefully inspiring years out of BrocanteHome. If any of these changes affect you directly I will be in touch by email, and please, please rest assured that I am fully aware of existing obligations and that nothing, oh but nothing at all will affect my lovely Superstars….

Love Alison.x

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14 comments on “Back to Basics

  1. Thank you Alison. x

  2. Do whatever you need to, some of us would follow you to the moon!

  3. Sheelagh on said:

    Alison, you are an inspiration, and I for one can empathise with all you say above! Loving your books, they make me very happyxxxx

  4. Alison, I’ve been reading Brocante Home since Finley was still in a high chair and I’m not about to stop now. I’ll be here as long as you’re writing.

  5. I was reading your lovely book on Carl’s kindle last night, and it struck me, revisiting posts from days and years gone by just how much you have been through these last years, and how even though you have shared authentically with us, Brocante Home has always been a beacon of joy. I can’t imagine life without it, and have loved how it has evolved over the years, and will be here to see how it evolves in years to come. xxx

  6. Whatever you do darling it will be fabulous…sometimes you just need to go back to basics 😉 x

  7. Alison, I have been doing much the same as you with last year or two, and it is very hard to keep all the plates spinning. You have my sympathies and my admiration. Looking forward to seeing the newest iteration of Brocante Home.

  8. Do what you need to do darling. I’ll still be here reading everything you write. 🙂

  9. You make me feel at home here Alison always have, always will. Lynn x

  10. Plain and simple is just as good as overdressed and sparkly! Sometimes, even better!!!
    I do hope you will continue to amuse us and abuse us as I am sure that we can take it.
    I don’t know you from Adam but I love reading what you have to say and how you say it. I don’t follow your prescriptions for house cleaning or puttery treats but that is my differing opinion. They are all good by the way and I do share them with the right people. I am a homemaker but just not a fussy one. As long as the floor is swept and the trash is out I am OK! I have fairy lights but no candles. I do love what I do for my family as in keeping the home comfy and inviting, having tasty food and making memories, and having scads of books to teach and amuse ourselves! Your blog and its growing pains have been a joy to be a silent partner of. You have an amazing ability to keep us wanting to come back for more, all the time.
    As long as you keep up the book list I really don’t care what else you change!! Bunches of love to you and Finnn.
    And by the way, it is ok for you to tell him that with all there is to keep track of, you really don’t thave the room in your brain for every bit of Dr. trivia. Remind him that it is great that he knows it but to not expect you to as well. That is not fair for people to do that to others. Now, haveing a Dr. night is ok once in a while, but all things considered, not everyone enjoys the same stuff all the time. Some people don’t like broccoli while others love it! Blessings!

  11. Whatever you write or do, wherever you go, I’ll still follow your puttery life. Keep on. Hugs, Sally

  12. I started to read your blog in the summer and am now only 20 pages from having read the whole of your archives. I feel as if I know you and we have so many similar interests. SBB is my favourite writer too and Simple Abundance is my all time favourite book. I became a Superstar and am gradually getting my house in order, literally and figuratively.
    You have a real gift for writing from the heart, telling the truth and showing your true self. You inspire me every day and I just want to say thank you!

  13. Karla Neese on said:

    Here with you through thick and thin. Carry on m’dear!

  14. Your writing is lovely I’ve been reading your blog for years and I for one don’t think you need lots of bells and whistles, what you write and how you write is so engaging and uplifting.