A recent visit to nearby Benmore Botanic Gardens was refreshing and uplifting.
Have you been able to be in nature?
..not Tiffany's but at The Boat House.
Super organised and super friendly, it was a real treat to have someone else cook!
You can see from the angle of the sign on the bike how strong the wind was!
On the tidying front I was thinking how boring this task was but when we had a power cut last night I felt, if not a spark of joy, at least a pulse of pleasure that I could lay hands immediately on a torch that works and candles and matches....
I bought a pair before breakfast today! (Well there has to be some fun in life when you are tidying in Marie Kondo's komono category ..... )
My post yesterday made me think What if they discontinue my favourite shoes?
It happens doesn't it? You spend years finding the perfect shoe/pen/shampoo/bra/whatever and before you think of stocking up it's discontinued, or they make a new version, or change the formula.
A friend sent this phtograph of a childrens' shoe shop in Bruges. Thriling. Better than a sweet shop!
Back to my favourite shoes. See this post. I have them in lime green and in blue and have just ordered them in red (half price in White Stuff sale) - all of which go with my neutrals navy and grey, and can be matched with my new necklaces!
I just need somewhere to go now!
Among my copious notes I found this advice -
If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour!
I photographed this shop window in Venice one evening and planned to visit it next day, but next day - lockdown!
Oh well, I couldn't have afforded to buy every colour and would have had a very hard time choosing...
The paper tidying has been challenging and tiring and I have just jammed the borrowed shredder!
I seem to have kept copious notes on everything I have ever done, never stopping to sift through them before hurtling happily on to the next project - teaching notes, garden designs, notes on my reading, notes on everything! Processing one's past is draining.....
I should perhaps have stopped with the house, but I have tackled the studio too. Not sure that was wise.
Some gardening provided light relief.
And some aesthetic pruning was theraapeutic. I cut off the fronds of the ferns which were touching the ground, and those which were distorted by growing against the wall, then thinned the rest for a lighter, fresher look to the sitting area.
Then I took some drastic action with the hostas..
I used the hedgetrimmer! Hope they grow back..
How was your weekend? And your paper clearing?
I have only got to number four on my list of eight desert island discs. Would love to listen to your fourth choice too...
Sorry this has an ad (definittely mundane!) at the beginning.
Hear first three choices under Simply LIsten.
A fellow student called me that once (and it wasn't meant as a compliment!). Well, he was young. I forgive him :-)
So here goes with Marie Kondo's method with paper. She says the ones to keep all fall into one of three categories..
So I cleared off the table and added two categories - already have a home and out and I set to.
Do you know I believe she is right!
Making good progress...the thing is not to engage with every piece of paper - I remind myself I am only tidying, not dealing with what's written on the paper. That's a whole other job. Focus! Don't get sidetracked.
PS If you are interested in the Keto diet do read Swissrose's comment on this post.
When I bemoaned the fact that I couldn't keep the garden the way I used to, my daughter responded 'Lower your standards'
I think I managed to lower my standards in a creative way. I changed the character of the garden to a wilder, more natural look, and I have probably gone a bit far! The only thing holding up the fence at the moment is the honeysuckle, and ferns and reeds are appearing in the borders as I have had no help during lockdown but - it evolves, and it's interesting, and there are moments when it looks idyllic as well as moments when it just looks messy.
But it was the wisest thing to do really...
I know, I know. I contradict myself!
But there are times when lowering standards is the wise thing to do. In a crisis the housework might go hang. Obvious.
Can you think of an area of your life which is causing you stress, where lowering your standards might be the wise thing to do?
..to lift your spirits.
This has rarely failed to work for me
No matter what you happen to be doing, do it better! Up your game a notch or two.
Making yourself a cup of tea? Serve it like it's served in a super cafe. Add a flower.
Cleaning the bathroom? Make it sparkle like the bathroom in a boutique hotel - add your best towels, fresh soap...
You get the idea? Whatever you are planning to do after you have read this....raise your standards and lift your spirits. Tell me if it works for you too.
..and the study is at that desirable click poinFeels good!
Papers are next on the Kondo 8 week challenge. ! procrastinate more over paperwork than anything else and I don't know if it is really possible to deal with them in a week.... There is quite a backlog.
But it's all progress in these limbo like times so I will give it my best shot!
I am experimenting with the Keto diet and autophagy to see if it improves my eye condition. I have AMD (age related macular degeneration).
I now call it AMR - age related macular regeneration as that is what I am interested in and I do think that regenerative medicine will be the medicine of the future.
Autophagy is the the body's self cleansing mechanism, and it appears to be activated by a combination of the Keto diet and intermittent fasting.
All healthy stuff, and weight loss and great energy appear to be a bonus (I have been doing this for just 3 - 4 weeks). It is fascinating.
Good starting points for research I have found are academic research papers, Drs Jason Fung and Michael Mosley on YouTube, and the work of Nobel prizewinner for autophagy, Dr Yoshinori Ohsumi.
am writing this at sunrise and another lovely day is forecast..
Though maybe not helping out because I am just meaning in the greenhouse!
A keto meal - baked salmon in butter and lemon, steamed broccoli served with butter and toasted almonds, and thick creamy yoghurt. Dill both n the plate and in the vase. Yum.
(I should explain that here in uk the government has introduced a scheme of subsidies on the cost of a meal out to help the industry to recover. Their slogan is Eat Out To Help Out.)
A sunny warm morning after two days of solid rain is always special.
I did the little Marie Kondo meditation before having my first coffee and
Contentment washed over me..
Too often our buttons are pressed, our cage is rattled, or our outrage is triggered.
We can observe or create our own paradise moments to counteract this.
I believe paradise moments happen all the time.
You have to be alert for them, they can be brief and easily missed....
Have you noticed any lately?
I sent this photograph to my sister, commenting that they are British grown. I wondered whereabouts in Britain they grew and was saying Not in Argyll. I was dictating the message and predictive text wrote Naughty Naughty girl.
She wondered why she was being told off by her big sister...
Curious, I Googled and found this nice feature.
Some we choose, and some are thrust upon us!
Some are overwhelming and hard to understand or accept, like this pandemic.
Have you noticed changes in relationships? To have been in lockdown together must have tested many relationships to the limit. But even less intimate relationships may have undegone changes as people respond in their different ways to the new situations.
I wonder if introverts have become more introverted...lockdown and social restrictions could feel like permission to be an introvert! To be an exttrovert may be even harder in these strange times when so many social norms have been upturned.
Many people have changed their online habits, abandoning social media and taking a break from blogs, both reading them and writing them. One poll said that only 12% of British people wanted their lives to return to the same as they were before the virus hit.
Have you found that some friends have gone very quiet? (Hard not to worry about them,) And that friends from way back have got in touch? Lovely to know you are remembered fondly and to catch up with their lives!
Have you learned new things about yourself? I have always been happy with my own company on the whole, but I realised I need human contact more than I knew when I didn't have it for a spell. Those early days of strict lockdown were lonely. I have also realised that one of the reasons I like to be out and about seeing other places and people is that I like to be looking at things which are not my responsibility! Much as I love my house and garden and am grateful to have them, I am very aware that cleaning and maintaining them, insuring them and managing them, the responsibility of all of it is all up to me. Do you think this must be why holidays can be so important to us?
Last week I met friends in town for an outdoor coffee in the sunshine. Wonderful!! Will a holiday be next?
How are you finding the changes? Annd have you changed do you think?
It's all very interesting (though I wish it wasn't happening!)
..if you grow this!
The scent is heavenly but the leaves of the heliotrope have given me fingers which burn. I've had an allergic reaction - my index fingers and thumbs, and my nose cheeks and forehead where I have touched them are bright red and painful. Gloves are a must now when I am handling this plant!
Has anyone else been Kondoing? This week is books. I have an awful lot of books. I love my books, but I can't read so well as I used to.....
The thing is they might come up with a cure for my eye condition! (AMD). So I think I must ask of each book If I could see again clearly would you still spark joy?
Letting the grass grow ha saved me hours of work over several months, and I have loved the wilder look, but meadows do need managed and it's time to cut them now.
Mouse nests and little mouse routes are revealed after the first cut (with hedge trimmer - I can't manage the strimmer). If the little creatures only had the sense to stay outside!
It's really important to remove all the cuttings - you get more wild flowers if you keep the fertiltiy low...Good ecercise!
..that there are buds on the sweet peas?
My three big black pots are usually planted with lush and fulsome bedding plants, but the usual choice was not available this year and I have filled them with lobelia from the supermarket, and all the straggly little seedlings I managed to raise! A few cornflowers, poppies which were in an envelope marked Dark Plum (they are red), dill, gypsophila which must still be hidden in the middle and my feeble sweet peas.
The effect is quite ethereal and pretty and if the sweet peas flower I will be very happy with it.
It quite suits the wilder look of the rest of the garden.
Have finished Kondoing my wardrobe! There is a surprising abount of stuff to part with...
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)