Lick the bowl.
..for clearing the excess stuff.
I've used Marie Kondo's method of asking 'Does it spark joy?' and the 'one in, one out' method. Fly Lady treats clutter clearing as an ongoing task so it doesn't accumulate in the first place and Margareta Magnusson in her charming book with the less charming title of Death Cleaning asks this great question -
Will anyone I know be happier if I keep this item?
The sheer entertainment value of a young unknown Japanese woman with an approach from a very different culture, an American with a very down-to-earth common-sense attitude and a Swede aged 'somewhere betwnn 80 and 100' with a gentle sense pf humour, not to mention the various minimalists along the way, have kept me pretty much on the straight and narrow. 'Make it fun, it will get done' says sensible FlyLady.
Hyacinths in almost every room of the house. Amazing colours, diivine scent - how romantic is that?
THOUGHTS ON THE BLOG. Sandra mentions peace here on Live Simply Simply Live. I decided that conflict and controversy would have no place here, no matter how exercised I feel about current afffairs. I try to remember that there are millions, billions of little pockets of peace on our planet. This is one of them.
..thy name is Freda. (I used that line once before!)
It's still true that I want to look good in my clothes, and I want to feel nice in my skin.
Losing weight is really hard.
Exercise is even harder. Basically I am quite lazy, but I need to be fit.
I have been doing a short (very short) exercise routine for a couple of weeks. Isn't it strange how expending energy gives you energy?
I need to be strong enough to push a wheelbarrow and to lift heavy pots of bulbs onto the front doorstep, so will keep doing the exercises!
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BLOG. First a note about errors! I dictate my replies to your comments and the machine sometimes makes utter nonsense of what I say, as Susan in Dorset will have noticed! I was trying to say - I in fact did say -'That's a very good word for what blogs can provide'. Susan's word was companionship. Perhaps simple companionship is undervalued today? I leave that thought with you..
..and shedding 'stuff'. One seems to have led to the other.
I have the equivaalent of one of these still to lose. It is astonishing to think that I was unwittingly carrying around three big bags of flour for a couple of years!
I have also shed a small wicker hanper, various jars and ornaments, some hats and gloves, a pair of tartan pyjamas in which I looked like Coco the Clown and the most boring pair of trousers I have ever owned. Two single duvets are going to a group which organises start up packs for young people finding their own accomaodation for the first time.
I'm on a roll!
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BLOG. I am so touched that my blog should mean somthing to other people as your kind comments show. I'm a bit overwhelmed and will answer your comments over the next few days. :-)
..the thirteenth anniversary of my blog! (See first post here.)
I can hardly believe I have been wittering on for thirteen years, and no doubt repeating myslef. Since the loss of ny central vision my posts are shorter as it makes me very slow (and I am not very patient) and I know I make many mistakes. I am however awarding myself a gold star for trying!
And to those of you who have become my treasured readers and blog friends I award triple gold stars.
My head is full of ideas about what to say on this occasion but prthaps it is best to keep it simple and just say a heartfelt
Afer a winter of buying flowers I love when it's time to pick my own These are February Gold though they mever appear in February here.
I have watched the harrowing film Mr Jones and have been thinking about how fortunate I am to be able on the whole to pick my own surroundings, my own thoughts, my own pastimes, ideals and values. To have so much freedom of choice is not to be taken for granted I think.
Ater an excellent (rather expensive) lunch in Sylvan with a lovely friend and neighbour who has just moved back to the city, we wandered around the Park Circus area looking at the elegant houses and interesting juxtapositions of old and new and at the converted mews lanes. And at the Mercedes, Aston Martins and Ferraris!
I like this house within a house.
The West End of British cities is the posh end becasue the prevailing winds in Britain are from the west, so the more desirable houses were away from the smells and noise of the factories and mills and tanneries which in many cases would have created the wealth to build them.
One stormy day some years ago I stood watching the ferry coming in. It took some time to dock as the water was choppy and the wind was strong and I chatted to one of the stewards - an older man who always wore a hat which had corks on strings around the edges of the brim. The weather forecas was uncertain, and so was I and I confided that I was not sure whether I should get aboard or not. 'What if the ferries are cancelled and I can't get back?' I asked him. 'Well' he said cheerfully 'You'll have a wee adventure!'
I got on the ferry.
He's long dead, that kindly man, but I often hear his voice.
The shops are full of vibrant colours and I could not resist the plate, mug and carrier bag, I just had to bring some of that vitality home with me today.
If yesterday's photograph represents the peace and quiet of home, this one represents the little jolt of city buzz which I need every now and then. I am so lucky to be able to have a bit of both.
Can you see the moonlight reflected in the ice on the water bowl? And of course there is also the reflection from the open door to the kitchen, and me standing there.
We Brits love talking about our weather. Today there is a diffetence of 27 degrees between the north and south of the country.
In our little corner of Scotland we have had the nnost remarkable run of sunny days. 13 days I think! On yesterday's trip to the city the sun spatkling on the water of Loch Long, Holy Loch and the River Clyde was beautiful. Blue water and blue sky.
I have had several breakfasts outside and one lunch in the greenhouse. At night the stars have been brilliant and the moonlight bright as day, transforming the landscape into some magical realm.
Loved this unexpected spell of sunshine and feel completely re-energised by it.
Full sun forecast for tomorrow, though it may snow on Sunday..
A new watering can, gardening clogs and gardening gloves, and some pretties to grow on for the greenhouse in summer. I'm all set to go! The continuing sunny weather has energised me.
A splendid hellebore, a small sarcococca which is scenting the greenhouse beautifully, and a witch hazel will fill the gaps in my future winter gardens.
It's my word for the year after all, not just for February.
It struck me this morning that a good synonym for romantic in the wider sense that I am using the word could be life-affirming. Thank you Rosemary who described the image of my outdor breakfast as life-affirming and put this beautiful word into my head. It makes me want to do a series of paintings of life-affirming breakfasts!
I digress (as ever-the format of my blog allows full rein to my grasshopper brain).
I intended to write about a romantic home. Flowers, a certain amount of order, treasured things around, and for me, frequent small changes to keep it fresh and full of good gentle energy.
My bedrooom is very simple (all 'stuff' is out of sight). Softly lit, only one painting, plain bedlinen but I love to change the pillowcase with the seasons - from snowdrops in winter to daffodills and bluebells, then there is a summer one and an autumn one.
Add a bit of Mozart and it is a very romantic and life-affirming and peaceful place.
I am so grateful for it.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)