Both inside and out.
At 6.20am recently..
At 9.30 pm.
I'm always looking at lighting whether natural or electric or candlelight.
It is so important to me in a home. Pools of light, shafts of light, spotlighting, romantic candlight - they create atmosphere and warmth. Gail used the word 'cosy' about my style recently - a word I wouldn't have thought to use - but it made me look around and I realised that if I do get that effect it is by the use of lighting.
Do you create different effects with the lights you choose, and with controlling how much daylight gets into your rooms? And how much do you think it affects your mood and your wellbeing?
Since I decorated the bedroom I have been savouring the simplicity of it and apart from flowers by the bed, have added no paintings, patterns or decoration of any kind.
But I fell for this.
One is enough.
(Today was good barbecue-on=the-beach weather! See yesterday's post.)
Pretty! The poppies were getting soaked and battered in the garden so I brought them in and invited a friend for tea
PS The story of the teaset is in this post.
...still. It is taking a lot longer than the six months she suggests.
Marie Kondo encourages you to envisage life after Kondoing, but it's the vision of life after Barry that eludes me really.
But every now and then, like this morning early, I move about the house doing some ordinary thing and finding almost everything in its place and working - there's a pleasure, a fluidity, a calm, a 'this is how it's meant to be' feeling. A sense that my house and garden environment is supporting me rather than that I work to maintain it.
The feeling is fleeting, but it sends me back to her book to help me keep going and to think about and refine the way I see my future..
When it is too wet to garden, as it is today, a few leaves and flowers around the place give me my green 'fix'.
I wonder if any of you had the same feeling as I had of being slightly de-skilled when first using a smartphone to take photographs?
Leaving my much loved and used Olympus SP700 behind when I went to Colonsay was like going without my friend! It is a fairly simple digital camera - not much skill needed really, but I missed the little ritual of fetching the camera from its soft leather case, finding the tripod, adjusting the height, choosing the most appropriate setting...I hadn't realised how much I enjoyed this until it was no longer there and I took my smartphone from my pocket, switched it on, clicked camera and pressed the button. Oh. Is that it? I thought, feeling vaguely disappointed!
Of course I wasn't disappointed when I saw the results on the laptop, and some skill is still required to edit which I like doing. The clarity and ease of use was one of the reasons for getting the iPhone in the first place, and I will surely come to love it.
Are you happy with the camera on your phone? I wonder how professional photographers feel about it.
Here are a few recent shots.
Joey Alexander is eleven years old in this lovely recording....enjoy.
..with rosy light..
I choose to get up earlier so that I can start my day with ginger tea and some writing.
I love looking out on the forest and opening the window to feel the morning air and hear the birds.
How do you start your day?
Can you create a little morning corner? If you don't (yet) have the view you want you might put a picture of one beside you as you enjoy a quiet cuppa and read or write for ten minutes before the family stirs or the alarm goes off and the demands of the day begin.
Happy Easter Sunday!
..I was a minimalist at heart, I now know I am. I had the two bedrooms which had been damaged by a leak in the roof decorated this week (didn't do it myself this time - bliss!).
I just loved them bare and almost empty.
I am thinking very carefully about what goes back in..
Tables (I may paint them), lamps and plain white bedlinen - definitely.
White cotton curtains? I swithered for a bit as there is a blind, but I like the softness. I don't even mind that they are so old they have a few little holes - call it wabi sabi..
Rug, mirror and clock.
Birds and writing lamp too.
Beautiful raku pot by Peter Sparrey
flowers by the bedside. Always.
Barry's side too.
Maybe i should have stopped at having all the books in the one room, all on the shelves, and only one deep, but my other aim was that they should be easy for find, so it was logical to try to organise them into categories as after all the shuffling around I couldn't be sure of finding anything!
But I have to say it's quite exciting. I love our books and it is becoming easier to know which spark joy so the giveaway pile in the hall is getting higher and higher...
It's taking hours and hours but it's becoming a room I want to be in, and work in. I am so lucky to have the space.
Does anyone still use the lovely old reference books which have been a much loved and much used part of our book collections for so long?
For International Womens Day I'd like to send you over to read Lotta's poem Challenging Assumptions...
Chester is a favourite piece of furniture (so called because my daughter when she was little misheard chest of drawers and called it a chester drawers). It's 16 drawers hold a lot of stuff!
And the bookshelves in the study now hold a few less books. Books are now all in the one room, and all on the shelves (none on the floor).
Do you ever wonder where 'there' is, and what you would do in the unlikely event of reaching it? Maybe it's the click point and you just sit with a beatific smile on your face....
There is at least one very healthy mouse living in my compost bin and loving my juicer as much as I do. I lifted the lid to find it sitting up looking at me as if to say What have you brought me today then?
I wonder what Sue Blackwell would make of it. I can imagine a cross-section of the bin with elaborate tunnels and apartments and a whole family of mice living in warmth and luxury....
The last few days have flowed, for which I credit Alex Beauchamp's Do Manifesto as I call it. (See this recent post.)
Another favourite mentor, Marie Kondo, has me thinking about the click point. She says -
As you reduce your belongings...you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you. (Page 144 and 145 in my copy of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying.)
Have you experienced that point? That click point? It's a magical feeling! Stressfree and calm. It makes you smile and also feel rather proud of yourself because it's an awful lot of work getting there! (Well it has been for me..)
I experience it now in some parts of my home and I want and need to get to that point with the whole house and with the garden.
That's this year's work, and what I will focus on in the next few posts.
Meanwhile the kitchen looks like a harvest festival every day since I bought a juicer.
When a friend said she wanted me to show her 'my Glasgow' I thought first, of course, of the Glasgow School of Art but it is covered in scaffolding after the disastrous fire in 2014. The nearby Willow Tea Rooms also by Mackintosh have a beautiful facade, but it too is currently covered in scaffolding for a two year refurbishment. The Burrell Collection? Closed for four years. The great little cafe in the art deco Glasgow Film Theatre surely. No, the cafe no longer exists, replaced by a bar on the first floor minus the decor which was a big part of the attraction. The National Trust for Scotland own a typically Glaswegian tenement house. Closed for the winter!
The Duke of Wellington is still there though with a new view (but the same hat!) since this shot in 2013.
The authorities eventually gave up on removing the traffic cone hat put there and loved by irreverent Glaswegians. The image now appears on postcards and T-shirts...
A lighthearted quiz
Are you a secret minimalist?
I got fairly, which is fairly correct...
What will you get?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)