My new favourite word. I only discovered it recently. It means the warmth of the winter sun. I
Do you have a favourite word by any chance?
Unable to sleep I scrolled through all the photos of the garden under Simply Grow.
This was one of many moments of magic..
The little collection of inspiring photographs of the garden are certainly helpful as all the jobs in the garden just now are muddy ones. The paths and steps have been power-hosed, the black pots scrubbed, the greenhouse door washed and the table and four chairs cleaned, some roses pruned, some leaves raked up...and I have put in the first yew of the new hedge. It's nine days since I decided to do a job in the garden every single day. So far so good!
Wht I really want is to fall in love with the garden again. Is that possible do you think?
I looked at yesterday's photograph and thought what utterly different worlds the three parts of it represent.
The World of the Imagnation. Oil paint on canvas - created from inside someone's head (mine in this case), a fantasy, a fiction of a kind, unique.
The World of Nature. Narute which sustains us all. In the wild are these exquisite things food for some creature? Or do they just exist to be stunningly beautiful?
The World of the Internet. On this small neat device on my table in my quiet house on the loch in Scotland, I communicate with hundreds of people on our planet from Texas to Japan, from Switzerland to New Zealand. I have no real idea how.
My mind is truly blown!
I may have to go and lie down in a darkened room :-)
..with Eliot. April is not the cruellest month. February is.
As many of you will know, I've always had a bit of a problem with February. (Low moods/dreary weather/mud season/ spring-will-never-cone kind of thing). But since I Istarted to look at it differently (see here and under Simply Write ) it has become a very interesting month for me. Perhaps I learn more about myself in Februaries than in any other month.
I began calling it my Writing Month and I had such fun with that. Last year I had Romantic February and so enjoyed the suggestions from you for music and films and books - it was a lovely time.
This year I am creating Colourful February and have ideas for Generous Febtuary, Extravagant February, Fun in February, Foodie February - should I live so long! Philosophy February. Philosophy Phebruary? Now I am getting silly..
How is February for you? And what would it look like if it was your very best month?
It seems to me that there is a fine ine between 'drapey' as in soft and flattering, and 'droopy' as in saggy and ageing and I think how I accesorize these new htings will be important.
I won't be wearing a floaty skirt and dangling earrings - that look would be much too boho for my taste and would accentuate the already droopy lines on my face! (When did that happen?)
Instead I will wear a sharp pair of straight leg dark navy jeans (I like Sienna Straight from M^S), simple navy ankle boots and a neat crisp style of earrings. Like these vintage Swedish ones. A subtle balancing act. A nice challenge.
I am really liking my new clothes fron Kettlewell Colours. I bought the first short cascade wrap and infinity scarf a few weeks ago, and they felt so right for me that I ordered another of each in different colours.
They work well with my standard round neck long sleeved T-shirts.
You know those things that when yu put them on you just feel like yourself and you can forget you are wearing them because you feel confident that they are right for you? That is, you don't feel self conscious in them, just very comfortable both physically and psychologically. I think when you find them you stock up!
Tomorrow making sure 'drapey' doesn't become 'droopy'..
The Kettlewell site has a quiz to help you decide what colours suit you best.
There is so much that is beautiful in our world.
I find this website inspirational and beautiful. I suuggest you scroll down to the video. What do you think?
..and a totally free and almost instnat kitchen makeover.
When I unpacked the shopping today I kept out on view everything that was yellow and put out of sight everything that wasn't. I put things I wanted close at hand in a yellow carrier bag and hung it on a handle. I found my yellow apron and chose a few yellow cards from my lovely collection.
Just for fun.
Next week it may be red. Or green.
Tomorrow I will go and find some branches to put in the yellow pot.
,,on the garden spring clean - MIT for the next few months. (Most Important Task.)
Bright sunshine had me up and about early this morning. There was some snow on the tops. (Hoping for more!)
A wet autumn and winter have meant a coat of green algae on the garden furniture. Scrubbing kept me warm.
I've decided to focus a lot of energy on the garden for the next few months by doing a miniimum of one task a day, even if it is a small one, and having as much paid help as I can afford.
To inspire me I have put a small pile of photos of t.he garden in the kitchen and I will prop a different one up by the kettle each day, and I am making myself accountable by stating my intention here! This helps us stick to our commitments it is said. Probably true for me. Does that work for you?
I do like having paper photos and you can get 45 of them a month free from Freeprints. (How do they manage that?)
Thank you for all the recent links to colourful shoes ad slippers! I have recently discovered Kettlewell Colours and am awaiting my second order from them. They do have a sale on just now..
Meanwhile there is colour around the house to enjoy.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift
That's why it's called the present.
I am enjoying Gretchen Rubin's book Life In Five Senses. There is a quiz (see here) to identify which of your senses you may be neglecting. Mine unsurprisingly is touch. I don't have pets and the babies and little children in the family have all grown up! So I think through February I will focus on the sense of touch.
A nice little meditation which yu can do almost amytine and anywhre is to just take a pause and take note - try it now - of what you can see, what you can hear (as I write I can hear yet another gale buffeting the house), what you can smell and taste and touch....
It brings you into the here and now and reminds you you are alive!
Let's make February really colourful.
A little branch of cornus which I had picked for the January nature table because of its lovely dark bark has begun to burst into not just leaf but flower in the warmth of the room.
So I picked lots of small branches to see what will happen - prunus, azalea, rhodedendron, skimmia, and I don't know what else as it was windy and rainy and I was just clipping randomly at anything that looked promising.
Spring will come and if I can bring it on a little earlier so much the better!
I couldn't resist adding the little bird to the collection when it arrived in the post with a packet of poppy seeds from a friend..
I know some people have a Dry January, avoiding alcohol for the month, but I am going to have a Wet February - not with alcohol but with water!
I am lining up six glasses of water each morning and will drink them throughout the day. I know it benefits my health and I know I rarely feel thirsty and so forget to drink enough water, so....
Painterly is how I woud describe this photograph. The textures and the subtle greys contrasted with the zingy lime green, which is the same green as the leaf of the snowdrop.. this appeals to me. The composition is not quite balanced. The subject is down towards one corner, and is nearly, but not quite balanced by the dark tone on the top right. This creates a tension which keeps me looking, in a way that a perfectly baanced more traditional composition would not. I know I won't get tired of looking at this.
I will print it out quite small - just a few inches and frame it simply with a large white mount. I will hang it somewhere I will see it every day.
I won't title it The Suffering of The World though (even though it has those connotations for me). Can you think of a more poetic title which still suggests that fragility/resilience association it has for me? Perhaps conveying the idea of strength in adversity, or compassion for those who suffer.
I have loved your wonderful comments on this thread. Thank you so much for making a most interesting conversation.
.. if you have had enough of my obsession with this image!
I was looking for things for my January nature table and my daughter proferred two tiny snowdrops (the green pot is just one inch high). The flowers were still closed and as I looked at it a wash of tenderness came over me, felt really towards my daughter but projected by me onto the snowdrops..
I decided to photograph them outside even though it was minus four out there. The frozen window of the shed looked like a good place but I had to prop up the little pot with a pebble on the sloping ledge. I knew as I was doing it that the stone was not quite right, but it was so cold I just made it do (it was interesting how many of you picked up on this). I was struck by the snowdrops' fragility - why does it flower in January? But I was also in awe of its resilience. Frost, snow, gales and rain - nothing stops it flowering. The recent wars have cast a long shadow on us all, and the images of suffering are seared into ur minds, and the two little bowed heads conjured up unbidden, media images of children fragile and vulnerable, so that the photograph became for me soomething deeply moving and precious.
What a heavy weight of meaning to put onto two innocent flowers!
But I think this is what we do. The Quakers have a saying that something speaks to your condition. Each person brinngs to a work of art their own history and unique sensibilities.
Tomorrow I will write about the aesthetics and why I am having it framed, and then I will change the subject. Promise!
A lovely weekend visiting friends and family and looking at art (here and here ) and also looking at people looking at art prompts another question.
If I give the recent snowdrop image the title The Suffering of The World how do you then look at it? What do you bring to it? What do you see? What has channged even though the image has not changed at all...
..of your interesting and thoughtful comments on this image which I will leave up for a few days and perhaps
garner a few more comments (should you feel so inlcined!) I am fascinated by how we look at art..
I am so taken with this image I will be writing more abuot it..
On this Burns Day I leave you with a quote from the bard -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)