New beginnings - a pause and reflection

My husband and I packed up our children and possessions and took the train up to Cumbria - to live – forever. The first purchase was a car, the second was waterproofs and thermals!    

It seems so long ago now, but its been less then two years.

Despite spending my childhood up North I had become acclimatised to that old, yet accurate, cliché of the soft south. During our first week my son announced he would go out to play “when it stopped raining”. I couldn’t really explain to him how problematic that sentence was.

We had just become the very proud owners of ‘Pure Lakes Skincare’ and apprentices of the ever so patient founders of the business Iain and Sandra.

The products are all handmade and we have been plunged into a world of weighing, measuring, stirring, heating, pouring, mixing, labelling and we are (literally) immersed daily into a heady mix of essential oils and lotions.

Here’s what I have learnt about myself, and my new life, so far…

Focus and Breath

It is vitally important to be exact when weighing and measuring ingredients – a ‘smidge’ or ‘dash’ of that and a ‘sprinkle’ of this it is not. Take my time, breath. Do not let my mind stray into what the children might be having for dinner. Read the instructions and again avoid approximations – not a good word to hear in connection with skincare.

The new gym workout

Hand making skincare is a sport unto itself - up there with mud wrestling in my opinion. Oils and liquids are heavy and never has the sweet smelling aroma of geranium oil been so aggressively interrupted by gym inspired grunting and gurning as a jerry can is hurled onto the counter with a triumphant war cry.

Mathematics – oh my poor brain.

I inwardly curse my 15-year-old self for day dreaming my way through Pythagoras’s theorem. Percentages/ long division/multiplying are now all a part of our daily language. Huge relief when told there is a rigorous double-checking system in place for every equation reached.

Know your Latin

Skincare is still legally obliged to provide Latin names on their product. Yet again cursing myself for daydreaming my teenage years away.

Ph reader 

And I will say it once again – why didn’t I concentrate more in chemistry class? Every product made is ph tested (twice). Vague memories of alkaline/acid float to the surface.


Making the products from scratch is a lengthy, intricate – yet hugely satisfying – process and I can honestly say I have never left an office smelling so good, ever!