I think it all started to get real in the summer of 2022 - we had talked about moving to Wales for years, a plan for when Glenn leaves the RAF, and we needed to find our ‘forever’ home.
But being by the sea was never on our tick list. I always thought of myself as a tree bather, not a sunbather – I wanted to put down roots near woodlands and meandering trails, not at the seaside…
During lockdown and the period of uncertainty that followed I found myself being more and more drawn to the water – first as just a walk or a run alongside the river Thames, but later with a growing ‘need’ to actually get in it!
Our holidays usually took us to Wales, and most of the time we would gravitate towards the Brecon Beacons and the surrounding parks, but last year we ventured to a small Welsh town on the coast. And it planted a seed we were becoming increasingly unable to ignore – we all wanted to live near the sea.
So that was that! We were finally leaving military accommodation after 15 years of postings and moves. We were finally choosing where we wanted to live, where we wanted to bring up our children, and where we would (hopefully!) grow old – and it was HUGE!
Whilst the wheels of our move were put into motion, I took up my pencils for the first time in years and started drawing again – partly to calm my busy mind, but also because being by the sea had reawakened a desire to create and express myself.
‘Babbling Brooks’ started as my visual love letter to how being near the water made me feel. At the time I was just doodling in the garden during an unusually quiet summer’s day, and as we had only recently returned from our seaside holiday in Wales, I wanted to capture the elements of calm and serenity while I could still feel them.
But as I started to add the text to my illustration, I couldn’t stop thinking how good it would look printed on clothing. And my organic cotton apparel supplier had just launched a beautiful dip dyed hoodie which I knew would be perfect!