Our Christmas Carport Makeover

Stand aside! There’s writin’ to be rescued!

Okay. This was supposed to be the Day Three post of my self-imposed, pre-Christmas blogging challenge.

I wrote most of it—then lost my mojo and my faith, got distracted by Christmas preparations, and, erm, abandoned the writing.

But it’s never too late to rescue our darlings, is it?

So here’s what I wrote!

Day three! The most rushed blog post in history .

BUT, I’m here, I’ve got my bum on the seat and, while Himself cleans our windows (he LOVES shiny, clean windows for Christmas), I’m going to scribble some final lines.

The thing I really want to show you, dear reader, is our before and afters of the shed. Or as we like to call it, The Grotto.

It’s the old carport on the side of our 1950s garage (the same garage that’s going to become a studio in 2023).

Once or twice over the years, we have snazzy-fied The Grotto.

Once for a Winter Solstice, comfort food night with a bunch of friends. Everyone brought curries and stews and upside-down pear cakes and we had a fire pit and sparklers and it was freezing and heavenly.

Another time we zhuzhed it up for a Mexican night with the same friends. We even had a pinata. I think it was a donkey. Or a monkey. Or a …fish?

Either way, we forgot to whack it and release the stale lollies. We were too busy scoffing tacos and burritos.

It were a rainbow. 😉 #photosearch

Then lockdown came, the spell was broken and The Grotto fell into, well, it was just an old carport again. Spiders, cobwebs and earwigs included.

But last week we hit it up.

We hosed out the dust and cobwebs, painted the cacky green a shiny dark grey, hung fairy-lights and tinsel, threw around some secondhand furniture and vintage blankets, and voila!

Comfy as!

I LOVE this space now. It’s has such a lackadaisical, Australian holiday vibe.

We even have a retro radio out there and have been lounging about in the arvos, sipping iced tea and beer, listening to the (rather dodgy) cricket. Poor, dear South Africa, I do feel sorry for them… 😉

Alrighty, dear reader. That’s as far as I got before I rain our of steam and quickly became swept away in the Chrissy preps.

But I must say, when I logged back on today, I was surprised to see how much I had actually written.

Is there a lesson here?


I guess the main thing is you can always pick up a project (whether it’s creative writing or visual arts), something you thought you’d wrecked or abandoned, and breathe new life into it. If you feel called to do so. If, on some level, it still jingles your bells.

Have you got anything in your bottom draw or ZZZ folder, that might be worth reviving in the New Year?

Or maybe you want to kick off with a shiny, clean slate (like Himself’s Christmas windows).

Either way, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear where you’re up to in your journey!

Meantime, stay creative, stay engaged and stay curious. I will see you again in the New Year.

With love and sparkles from The Grotto.

Jen xo

PS Hey, hey, hey! Are you on my mailing list? I sent out a link to this new freebie, (a booklet of my creative writing Insta transcripts), last week. Here’s the link again in case you missed out!

To make sure you always get the freebies (I’ll be creating way more in 2023!), the latest goss (stuff I don’t share here on the blog), plus updates and early-bird deals on the courses and programmes I’m running, hop on my mailing list here.

Yes, please. In 2023, let’s take this friendship a little further! 😉

7 Replies to “Our Christmas Carport Makeover”

  1. Your new space looks gorgeous. Planning to work on a new pb with help from my 8yo granddson. Plus a new book of 100 word flash fiction stories (for grownups) accepted for publication. 💕

  2. Looks fab! I love the atmosphere you created. No plans for next year yet because I’m in the daydream phase. 🙃 My word for 2022, was ‘Allow’ and I’m allowing it to play out to the end. 2023’s word seems to be ‘Renew’ and that promises all sorts of who-knows-what. Dusting off the cobwebs on some half baked stories may be on the cards along with some new ideas that are sure to pop up. Blessings Jen.

  3. Another fabulous day 3 blog, thank you. Just what I needed to reinforce my believe to keep my purpose simple and achievable. I am sitting on a balcony surrounded by snow at a ski resort in Banff Canada. A far cry from my home in Australia. My purpose is to put the final words to my first children’s book before the bells ring in 2023. There is nothing like the excitement and joy of watching my grandchildren ski on the slope below me. The enthusiasm and simplicity of youth is inspiring, and I am so grateful to be in this place at this time Very best wishes for a wonderful 2023 and may we get a step closer to worldwide peace. Xx

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