I am trying for a new take on Autumn (season of mists and melancholy for me).
OK I contradict myself! I said I love all the seasons but let's just say Autumn is my least favourite though I do find things in it to love..
Looking up Autumn on Wikipedia I found this rather good piece on Associations.
I chanced on this site and enjoyed My Autumn Happiness List
I will make one of my own.
I will try to take photographs about Autumn which don't involve 'feuilles mortes' no matter how beautiful they are.
It seemed a good idea to listen to the song and I almost lost the will to live (only kidding!).
Yesterday's photograph showed decay but I felt there was also strength and endurarnce in it. I am looking for a feeling of resilience. As well as dead leaves falling to earth there are also seeds with their promise of new life.
Another association which I like is that of a new term and learning something new. I've not decided yet what that will be ...
Instead of buying them a little at a time, I will stock up fully with candles and logs in preparedness for winter. I think just looking at my stash will be very satisfying. There may be some foodstuffs I can hoard in the same way. There are lots of brambles on my path to the shore...
I can also get some good preparations for winter and spring done in the garden. I want autumn to feel active and strong and probably pretty busy! I did think at one point I'd just like to skip it and go straight to winter but I guess that's not really an option!
Will you make an Autumn Happiness List too? (And do you know any cheerful songs about Autumn?)
I do love all the seasons, and the fact that we have four, and I have always enjoyed changing things in my home to reflect the seasons,
I like to do it slowly. Incrementaly. The bowls of fragrant quince are on the summer rug - soon to be changed for the winter thicker one.
I've bought a new jacket and am wearing it with a summer scarf at the moment. Autumn is very much about textures isn't it.
Have you nade any seasonal changes yet? To your home and/or your wardrobe?
A lot going on today but not the work that was planned! - Angus's van broke down and the job is rescheduled for Monday. :-(
Thoughts start to turn to those hygge things - the kindly light of candles, the woodburner is lit in the evenings now, and one of my favourite smells greets me in the morning. I put quince fruits on the east facing windowledge in the bathroom where the morning sun warms them and scents the room. It's hard to describe scents - the quince ripens in early autumn but still retains a cool llight and sweet fragrance that says summer! Which is lovely for somoeone like me who is still trying to hang on to that season.
Talking of which...
It arrived today and I hung it, adjusted it a bit, and lay in it for five sunny minutes - we shall see how much use I get from it while I resist the coming of autumn and winter for as long as possible.
I like my grassy driveway.
and treacherous! Each winter seems wetter than the one before and the drive turns into muddy puddles (or puddy muddles as Scott put it) and the grass gets more and more slippery, so before someone is injured...
Angus arrives with his machinery tomorrow.
..of what's left of summer.
A glimmer of sunshine and I am out there for breakfast!
It is certainly autumn here, and raining as I write, but this morning with a sniff of the odd sweet pea or two, the late swallows twittering all around me and wearing a cosy jumper I savoured breakfast out of doors.
I'm sure it tastes better. Would you agree?
Out of sheer desperation to avoid television I have begun painting again!
I'm only half joking. I have watched more television since Barry died than I watched in the previous 25 years! We didn't have a television and didn't miss it. (I still don't have one but I do have my laptop and iPlayer.) Of course there are some very good things on television and I don't criticize anyone for watching it, but I always had this uneasy feeling that it was like living at second hand and, for me, just not worth the time it took up out of my life.
A few days ago I spent some time with a friend who is a writer who is not writing and I am a painter who is not painting so we decided to encourage each other by discussing why we are not doing it....and why we had tried and failed to take it up again. It was an interesting and deep conversation. One question we asked was If we were working what would it - our practice - look like? And could we set it up anyway.
I decided it would be part of my every day and that I would work as I had at the beginning of my life as a painter twenty two years ago - at the table, even if that meant clearing it off for every meal.
I feel more like myself already.
I have a lovely memory of Barry leaning against the door of the studio watching me work on a series of collages after a trip to Harris, and when I glanced up enquiringly (because he usually left me alone when I was working) he said with a warm smile 'You really love this don't you?' He supported me in everything I wanted to do. I know that if he exists in any shape or form he would be smiling at me and supporting me still, and that comforts me and makes me feel peaceful. Peaceful enough to paint again.
Are you a singer who doesn't sing?
A dancer who doesn't dance?
A poet, a baker, a potter, a knitter, a woodworker, a creative of any kind who is not creating?
If you believe your creative self is your true self, and you are not being true to yourself can you ask yourself why? And take a tiny step to set up the situation in which you can be that creative person? Perhaps you need a new mindset or you need some materials - I bought a small set of Designer Gouache paints because I have been thinking for years about playing with the contrast between translucent and opaque watercolours....
Written, pen on paper, early this morning....
By the real world people often mean the world of politics and business and the high drama of the media world but taken literally, my real world right now is this....
Woman sitting writing at an open window in the early morning. Blue sky thin high clouds.
Sound of one pigeon in the forest and the click of the heater under the desk warming up. Taste of tea - the first cup of the morning. Smell? Of cool clean air coming off the forest and the sea loch. I feel the softness of my dressing gown and the warmth of my feet on the wooden floorboards. I am touching the smooth glass of the desk top and holding a light pen that fits my fingers nicely.
This is my real world.
I will engage with the media world again later today. I've been both fascinated and appalled by the current political theatricals, but I am anchoring my deeper self in this real world which is unique to me, and precious.
How do you anchor yourself in turbulent times?
This video by Loretta LaRoche had me laughing out loud..
She says 'Do something incongruent with your stressor' and suggests as an example saying what is bothering you out loud and doing a twirl at the same time....guaranteed giggle!
Why not try it now?
Giving yourself a standing ovation is a good trick too.
First choppy passenger ferry crossing of the season yesterday and I got seasick! Nauseous and earache which hasn't quite gone away nearly 24 hours later.
So, how was your summer? (Forgive me if you are reading in the southern hemisphere - it must be a bit annoying!).
I wrote about designing my summer in this post. Did you do lots of exploring Julia? And I know Cath got to the artist's Open Garden and was planning on working on her dreamer/creative side - was that fun? Lucille was 'bowling along' listenening to Gretchen Rubin until the video froze - I have a feeling from your latest post that your summer might have been like that too Lucille!
I have been scrolling through the blog to remind myself how my summer went. It's wonderful to have this record - one of the joys of blogging!
I did have a sociable summer. A Midsummer Party with weather good enough to barbecue on the beach, and I met up with friends in the city and had several friends to stay. That was lovely but on the whole the weather wasn't! A lot of rainy days, and quite a few cold ones. I rarely went far without and extra layer and an umbrella in case....For a long spell we seemed to have alternate good and not-so-good days and I didn't eat outside as much as usual, or have as much time in the hammock as I'd hoped for, I didn't have one picnic and only once paddled! It was significant that my one summer purchase was a scarf.
There were sunny warm days and some of my favourite afternoons were sitting on the doorstep. There were some beautiful evenings, spectacular dawns, a goodly number of G&T's on the porch and some magical moments in the garden when the light and beauty took my breath away.
Do you have any special memories of this summer?
On an evening walk I saw this magical effect on the water when the waves were coming in in one direction and the surface ripples were going in the opposite direction - I hope you can see the effect in the photographs...We stood looking for ages.
Eat your heart out Bridget Riley (must see the exhibition in Edinburgh).
Coxwold and the gardens at Shandy Hall.
I love both the English and the Japanese look. Why has it taken me so long to realise that I shouldn't be mixing them in the garden!
I will keep the Japanese aesthetic to the perimeter and the English look close to the house - I can see this will work better. Have started already...
The Japanese Garden at Tatton Park.
Infuencing my plans for my own garden....
This development under a motorway flyover is made of old shipping containers. There is a stage, table tennis, a cafe in an old bus, small smart shop/business units, a green wall and lots of healthy looking plants.
Do you know of any developments which make imaginative use of what is usually dead space?
From the welcome in Urdu
to the parents lying on mats with their babies on a gallery floor or playing games outside
beautifully proportioned vistas, quality materials
Thought provoking exhibitions - contemporary and from the collections.
and the most elegant drainpipe ever seen
I love what they are doing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.
Take a look at their Natural Cultural Health Service.
I could have spent the whole weekend there: in the park, the gardens, the cafe, the galleries, the shop. Free, family friendly, well-used on a sunny Saturday - well done my old University of Manchester! I liked to go to the Whitworth when I was studying but it was darkish, and old fashioned with a played out park outside and very few people inside and the cafe consisted of two tiny tables in the entrance way.
I love a holiday that includes both!
A North Yorkshire market town and village, a glimpse of medieval York and a look at Manchester.
A week of contrasts in the company of good friends.
Nice to be home too.
Do you feel that after a holiday?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)