..and I'm taking a little blog holiday.
I leave you with an image of the first of the primulas to brave the Arctic cold, and wish you a warm and happy weekend wherever you are this Eastertime.
Should you find yourself in the West End of Glasgow do check them out - www.kemberandjones.co.uk
(They are not just about cakes! I had a huge pear, blue cheese and walnut salad - delicious.)
Forget all this waiting for spring! Let's just go straight to summer. Gosh, eating outside in warm sunshine seems such a long time ago..
If you did not watch the added extra on yesterday's post do check it out now - with the volume turned high!
Doesn't that just nourish your soul?
I've watched it about five times. There is the generosity of the players, the reactions of the audience (it is well edited), the thrill of the music which sends shivers up your spine, and the joy of being so fortunate to live in a part of the world where this can happen....
Back to nourishing the body. Here and here are posts where I share things I have learned about simple food - I would love to hear what you think.
I started this blog with a post under the category Simply Eat (see here)
I'm not sure where to start reviewing Simply Eat.
In three years I've learnt a lot about food and made slow but important changes to the way I eat, influenced in part by David Servan Schreiber's Book Anti Cancer - A New Way of Life. He says we should eat foods which 'nourish the life in us'. Makes sense to me! See his video here.
EXTRA!EXTRA! five minutes of joy to set you up for the day. The well named Best Coin Ever Spent video (thank you Laura).
Next up is Simply Eat - I've really made progress here....
Slow down you're going too fast....this is for my friend who, in her own word, hurtles through life..
Simply Chill is a really important category in Live Simply Simply Live.
It is about relaxing, savouring time, picnics, pottering, reading, days out, silence and stepping back.
Lots of links - I hope you have time to click (on the coloured words) and look, or to browse!
How do you chill out?
Continuing my review of my own blog...If Simply Beautiful was my favourite Category, Simply Bin It is one of the more useful!
There are only four posts in Simply Bin It. You might like to check them out (see sidebar) if you think you may have stuff to bin....
Throw Ten Things was great, and I still do that every now and then, and I enjoyed reading Paul Graham's take on modern day problems with stuff. He says one of the difficulties is that the people whose job it is to sell you stuff are really, really good at it.
Do you have a problem with stuff?
Two more Simply Beautiful posts - both with links to short videos if you have time to watch.
The first here has a link to a trailer for the film Microcosmos which I think is worth having on DVD and should be shown to all children of every age!
The second is of a charming, relaxed and knowledgeable volunteer talking about the Chagall windows in All Saints Church in Tudely in Kent. Lovely. (Click here and go to the link in the post then click on Chagall video.)
Tomorrow I shall try to answer Liz's question in yesterday's comments. Thank you for all the good wishes!
A big thank you, on this the third anniversary of my blog, to those of you who read it, and especially to those of you who have stayed with it all this time.
It has been the greatest fun to do..
I truly value your interest, and your comments, so thoughtful and so encouraging.
Since I am doing a review of the blog this month I thought it might be good to link to the second anniversary post here, and to the first anniversary post here.
Although I don't know who most of you are (though I know from the stats that you number in the hundreds every day - it's amazing!) I do feel I know those of you who leave comments and think of you as like-minded friends.
As in previous years, I raise a glass to you all tonight....
Edward de Bono in his book Simplicity says:
The lazier a person is, the more likely is that person to seek simpler ways to do things.
(He might be right..)
On to Simply Beautiful - probably my favourite Category. See here, and one of my own favourite posts here.
I hope, if you have time, you will enjoy a browse through Simply Beautiful. (Scroll down to categories in right hand column.)
Does beauty sustain you?
Just a few weeks into writing this blog, in 2010, I wrote a post about what I hoped to achieve - see here.
I decided that living simply was an attitude to be acquired.
That I have to some degree acquired it, I put down to the habit I now have of asking myself often 'Is there a simpler way to do this?'
The answer is frequently 'Yes' which always pleases me....I like simpler.
'Twere ever thus.
Talking of a different perspective on things in yesterday's post and comments....you may find this quote interesting:
The condition of man is already close to satiety and arrogance, and there is danger of destruction of everything in existence.
You may find the date of it even more interesting.
It was written, in Strabo's Geography, in 327BC.
I had the lovely experience a couple of years ago of a flight in a sea plane over the area of the west of Scotland that we live in - a special anniversary treat.
The weather was glorious.
Our village is just visible left of centre.
Looking down from several thousand feet, the logic of the way man uses the land here struck me as pretty intelligent really, all things considered. The Shore Villages, each with their pier, are strung out along the level land on the shore, there is deciduous woodland on the lower slopes and the hillsides are forested.
The rivers and lochs are fished.
Sheep, and some cattle graze the glens. There are no arable crops. The odd rough field may be cut for hay.
On the barren tops are windfarms I didn't know existed!
Everything links up, the springs and lochans, burns and rivers, the paths and farm tracks and forest roads and shore roads, the ferries, buses, trains and cars...the orderly houses and factories, schools and hospitals.
This is the ferry which we take to go to Glasgow.
Single track, B roads, A roads, trunk roads motorways....
The plane lines up with the river and you come, at a very steep angle, over all the bridges and land right in the heart of the city. I stopped taking photographs at this point - it was too exciting and I wasn't going to miss the thrill of the moment!
Back to where we started, by the Science Centre in what were the old shipyards.
From that different perspective, what I came away with was a pleasant sense that, actually, everything was working pretty much as it should.
Current thinking has it that we have trashed the planet but maybe, just maybe, there is hope yet!
I certainly felt it that day.
In Live Simply I like now and then to get away from the minutiae of my own life and look at the bigger picture....this was a post where I did just that.
I asked yesterday if things were really so different today from 200 years ago. In our hopes and aspirations maybe not so much, but take a look at the four minute video - an illuminating and positive view of the way that things for most of us have changed for the better.
I loved this quotation and it made me wonder if things are really so different today.
What do you think?
Yesterday's links are now working. Yay!
There have been times when I have felt I was being tested about just how simply I really could live! See here, and here.
Power cuts and winter storms when the ferries are cancelled.... I think your focus changes to the minutiae in these situations, and towards food!
Have you had experience of living very simply?
How do you feel about it? Is it something you would choose to do?
The idea wasn't about self sufficiency, but we generate some of our own electricity, and grow some of our own fuel!
Meanwhile I am thinking about what I was after in this simpler life. Being real is the thought which keeps coming to mind and part of that was not being as physically sheltered as I was living in the city (we moved from the lovely city of York). Experiencing the land, the sea, and the wind and the weather, and all the subtleties of the changing seasons - all at first hand, seemed then, and still seem, important to me. It is hard to believe it was twelve years ago....
I feel more fully alive in this place.
Do you feel more fully alive in some places more than others?
Around ten of us planted about 1500 snowdrops this morning in Coronation Wood. (see yesterday's post.) It was freezing !
I've been re-reading my posts under the category Live Simply.
Hankering after nature and a more simple life, and wanting to paint full time, I came to live in a wooden house in a small village on a single track road on the shores of Loch Long in the Cowal region of Argyll, in Scotland, described here. I'm not sure I was really very clear what the plan was, except that it had something to do with the real and the authentic....and headspace..
Today I am redirecting you to elsewhere on the blog....
Tomorrow we are planting 1100 snowdrops in our lovely woodland community project . The forecast is four degrees, strong winds, and snow on the tops - wish us luck! Click on Coronation Wood at the top right of the page under the banner photograph to find out more.
(Come to think of it, I never took any photographs of the wood in the snow - perhaps there will be another chance and I should welcome it.)
It is almost three years since I began this blog, so I thought that over the next month or so I would review it - looking back at the different categories, to see what I have learned, and to see if my life is indeed Simpler!
I re-read the posts in the category Simple (see the list of categories on the sidebar to the right if you have time for a browse). Click here for The Many Meanings of Simple....
I hope you will enjoy!
Looking forward to summer i must ask your indulgence if you already know about Drawing For Non Artists, my five day intensive learn-how-to-draw courses in June and July, at a beautiful setting on the west coast of Scotland.
For full details including drawings from past students click on www.drawingfornonartists.weebly.com If you know of friends you think might like to learn to draw from scratch, I'd be most grateful if you would forward this to them!
Do you have any plans yet for summer? We are going to visit Harris in the Outer Hebrides for the first time.
Thank you for your interesting comments on yesterday's post about visual calm in your home being compatible with having a large collection of books. It occurred to me that if your books have to live in your sitting room, you could at least have them behind your sofa or favourite chair if you need to rest your eyes of an evening....
Cath raised an interesting point in her comment on yesterday's post. If we love books, which come in assorted shapes sizes and colours, but we also love a calm and serene environment how do we create this?
For ideas on book storage click here - gorgeous rooms filled with books, but not one of these is restful to the eye.
We've made one of our bedrooms into a study, and all our books are in there, covering two walls. Two desks, a comfy chair and a lamp - this is my ideal arrangement. See here, and here. Of course I sometimes take a small stack into the cosier sitting room, and there are always a few beside the bed.... A dining room or a guest room might also double as a library.
You could organise them according to colour! This is the header photograph from the Danish blog Style Files but I do like my books organised by subject..
If it is not possible to have a separate room you might have some of your bookshelves with doors - sliding doors, to hide a television, or books, take up less space; or blinds, or a Japanese paper screen, or ceiling mounted curtains - but solutions would have to be thought through carefully to balance accessibility with visual impact.
Lovely challenge, isn't it!
PS If you liked the Worst Ice Skater Ever video on Saturday's post, you may have missed at the end of the video it says 'click here for a longer performance' - I think it's worth watching. About 8 minutes. Clever, and funny.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)