Really simple! A few little crab apples and a candle on a shelf or a table..
This kind of decorating - in the American sense of the word - I love!
The kind that involves emulsion and rollers and stepladders I'm not so keen on. Here in UK we talk about DIY (do it yourself). I'm not so keen on that either I have to admit.
A chimney leak in one bedroom, a burst pipe in the loft above the other and insulation which involved cutting holes in the bedroom walls all impacted on what were nicely decorated rooms, and now that most of the clutter which does provide a distraction, is gone, I am noticing the worn paint and the chips and marks.
Laura when aged about 13 once told me I had 'an attitude problem'. It still makes me laugh (she happened to be right!).
So, how do I change my attitude towards this problem?
..that the closer I get to finishing the more obvious it becomes that the whole house really, really needs redecorated!
What I passed off in my mind as sort of shabby-chic can now be seen for what it is. Plain shabby.
You can tell I hate decorating, can't you....
In the light of my recent state-of-the-world angst I was glad to receive this poem which made me laugh -
Things had been going so well
That he took an anxiety break
To keep centred.
Idly running my fingers through the bronze grass carex buchanii yesterday morning, some strands came away in my hand...
It was the work of moments to weave them into a little circle.
And add a leaf or two from an acer.
See 'Autumnal 1' here.
You can make a little wreath from almost any flexible stems, and a more elegant result is achieved by weaving in new strands all in the same direction....
This one is now pinned to the wall on the stairs with a single dressmaking pin.
Dainty, pretty, and free.
Though you might not think so..
Heather showed me round the campus of Strathclyde University in the centre of Glasgow.
There are lots of 'pocket' parks and green spaces..
Well designed little landscapes, well maintained and well used on this lovely sunny day.
A little bit of humour is always a good thing!
I've started an Italian class at Glasgow Uni - friendly group, excellent teacher. Love learning something new!
Are you learning anything new this autumn?
Only grey squirrels in Glasgow - this friendly little red visits our garden most days..
I tried (and failed) to take a complete break from the news lately. (See this post.)
It was very hard!
They've got me hooked. I'm interested in politics and how the world works, and I suppose I like to think I'm a well informed, dutiful citizen. I'm a quick reader and good at skimming and I skim The Times, The Guardian, Time magazine, The New Yorker and BBC news on iPlayer. I've not had a television for a very long time and I don't listen to the news on the hour every hour on radio. (I truly believe we humans were not designed for this and that it is probably very bad for our mental health!) So I maybe spend about 30 - 40 minutes a day on news and current affairs. And you?
That felt still too much lately.
The photographs of dead children washed up on beaches - what can I say? You too were distressed and haunted by them.
I realized that I'd gradually got into the habit of checking the headlines every time I was on the computer.
I did cut back to once a day at a time of my own choosing, and I missed a few days altogether. I felt the better for it and behold! the world carried on in it's usual way without me. Huh! Imagine.
So my break wasn't really a break but I think I have a better perspective on how much I really need to know what the world's bad news is (and it's mostly bad). Reassuring in an odd way as it is only because it is out of the ordinary that it is news. If the deaths/traumas/disasters/cruelties/political scandals and other horrors were the norm they would not be news. ('I feel sure there is a flaw in this argument - feel free to explain it to me....)
I may try mini-breaks. Avoiding media at week-ends perhaps.
I want to thank you for the supportive comments on the 'Hard To Be Light' post. Lotta's words were particularly interesting and helpful to me. I love that this blog is a two-way thing.
On a lighter note - this is how the acer by the grey shed looked at sunset recently. Luminous. Even the swans were pink.
..but the moon rising
On our way home from the city we stopped on the sea front in Dunoon with a fish supper from Anselmo's (fish and chips wrapped in newspaper - very British!) and watched the very red moon rise over Gourock.
We have had a week of amazing sunsets and harvest moons, with warm sunny days. A lovely end to September.
And an end to my 'media break' which turned out to be much more difficult than I imagined.
Lovely to be back!
Watching the lunar eclipse.
Thick mist on the loch to our backs but the sky is clear over the forest.
Profound silence and not a breath of wind. It is not cold, and we watch until the sliver of moon goes down behind the trees....
I wonder if some of you are watching too.
10am There is a wonderful collection of photgraphs here - do look on full screen!
In the studio this morning, looking at sunlight on ordinary things I felt a surge of joy and realized it is joy that makes me want to paint....and take photographs.
And share them.
I am taking another week's retreat before I begin posting daily again.
And if joy strikes you, en-joy it to the full!
I wonder if you know this song?
Halfway down the stair is the stair where I sit
There isn't any other stair quite like it
It's not at the bottom
It's not at the top
But this is the stair where I always stop
The new seat half way down the path reminded me of this and I have a mind to go and sit there every day.
My 'media break' I have decided should include blogging - I hope you will excuse me for a week, or maybe two....
..when the news is so heartbreaking.
I may take a media-break. Have you ever done this?
I think I can justify it on the grounds that a sane me is more likely to be able to do something helpful than a stressed-out me....
Such a lovely word, relish.
So, I am still relishing the colours in the garden. Are you? The hardy geranium Ann Folkard is a star plant, flowering as it does from June till September and spreading gently for yards around but never suffocating anything else. It's young leaves are a delicious limey green.
It is beginning to thread its way through a bed of black grass (Ophipogon nigrescens). The colour in the first photograph is more accurate.
I have just committed to opening the garden again next year for Scotland's Gardens Scheme (Eeek!) and I think I shall extend this area and make a greater feature of it.
..some Indian Summer weather and the last of the flowers.
They are extra precious gifts the late flowers. This is an unexpected second flush of Campanula lactiflora. The colours seem more intense in the autumnal light, or do I just see it that way, lingering over them knowing that they will soon be gone.
At the beginning of September I was turning my attention indoors, but we are relishing the chance to soak up some warm afternoon sun, to eat outdoors, to pick some posies, to eat some seasonal foods....
What are you savouring these mid-September days?
Do you like their slogan?
And the police box?
You may remember it appeared in another photograph in April...
I wonder who decides to repaint it, and who chooses the colour.
Fuchsia Pink next I predict.
Do other cities in UK paint their old police boxes wonderful colours?
Well, what do you know there's a website!
It was dark and late as the old vaporetto chugged its way to the Piazza San Marco, calling in at dimly lit stops on the way, the buildings only appearing out of the hushed darkness at the last moment, and one or two people embarking or disembarking quietly as the rugged engine changed sounds. and the sounds floated over the water of the lagoon
We disembarked and walked across the empty silent Piazza in moonlight and the two unseen figures struck the bells of the clock high on the Clock Tower: midnight.
I always knew I would go back.
if a bit less sunshine..
Short posts this week, but sharing the joy in the little things.
I hope you are finding sparks of joy in your days too.
You might like Leo Babauta's latest post How Not To Do It All.. (especially for Maggie).
The season slowly changing - the swallows gathering, the berries ripening, the butterflies (at last!) flitting around the late flowers.
What are you watching?
(I'd like to pass on a compliment I heard lately. Someone spoke to me of 'the great group of women who comment frequently on your blog.' I couldn't agree more, so thank you all for the thoughtfulness, generosity and kindness of your comments. I really appreciate and value it.)
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)