What to do...
..last night as I was too busy chasing a tiny mouse around the sitting room and kitchen! I managed to catch it and put it out into the garden, but an hour later it was back again.
What to do...
An online shopping spree that is. To be honest it's because my free trial of Amazon Prime is ending tomorrow so I bought in advance of need woodstain for the shed, white exterior paint for the walls, concrete floor paint for the studio - a job I have already started. My kagoul which hangs by the studio door fell onto the bit I had just painted, so I also ordered a new kagoul.
I got some citronella candles which smell so awful I can't imagine using them, even outdoors, some nice paper to line the kitchen shelves, and a doormat which makes me smile.
Last of the big spenders me..
Colour is key.
With white or neutral walls a makeover is as simple as changing the dominant colour..
I chose yellow for the kitchen, bringing out or leaving out everything that is yellow and putting in the cupboards everything that isn't!
No cost and no time at all.
You can do it with a whole room or with a shelf or a bedside table.
sparks a little joy for me.
..along with comfort food are the order of the day as 40mph winds and rain give the garden, and me, a shock.
Thank you so much for your comments on yesterday's post (and for the phrase 'comfort books' PennyL!) I am enjoying investigating the book titles and have already ordered Wintering by Katherine May - thankyou Gwendoline.
I didn't want The Salt Path to end. It was a thoroughly good read. Raynor Winn's next book launch has been postponed sadly (see here) but will I am sure be worth waiting for.
Do share more book suggestions here - a friend has already consulted them and I am still enjoying exploring them with a view to ordering another one or two, and my book group are reading The Salt Path.
Or justt say a quick hello - there is comfort in knowing you are all okay :-)
There are often gales when the oriental poppies are out but so far they are still standing..
Having at one point been counting the days to easing of lockdown I find myself not in the least eager to go anywhere!
I have spent all my time in the garden and had all my meals there. It feels normal. I can forget the outside world. The garden is the same as it always was - it hasn't changed with coronavirus. I can relax in it. It feels natural. I feel grounded and centred.
Whereas if I go and do any of the very limited things I am now allowed to do here in rural Scotland, there will be awkwardness and it will feel most unnatural - how can I tell a much loved 10 year old not to come near me! How can I see family and friends and not give them a warm hug. There will be disinfectant, markings, masks, notices and warnings, anxiety and unease.
Our hearts are hurting, are they not?
This doesn't mean I don't accept the reality or I won't handle it. We do. We adapt and we cope. I am full of admiration for the way people are coping with harsher realities than mine and truly terrible situations.
I know I am one of the very lucky ones and I may just stay in my garden sanctuary for another few days...no rush.
How are you feeling about things where you are?
I woke at four o'clock this morning!
Home as sanctuary, or a prison depending on yur circumstances.
I am so fortunate to have space to call my own, filled with things I love and cherish which in turn nourish me. Although confined to it at present (though thankfully I have a garden too) I am liking thinking of it as a cocoon, protecting me, helping me gtow, and making me stronger (my word for the year) for when I can emerge, blinking, into the 'new normality'.
My grandaughter visited a few months ago and sat herself down on the floor with a smile on her face. What are you thinking? I asked her. Happy memories she replied.
I want to have happy memories associated with home in this period too, so I have given it some extra care and loving attention. Outer order, inner calm. Flowers, music, books, candles, a little extra cleaning here and there, a few minor repairs....it's a bit shabby and perhaps a bit spartan, but I do love it.
Have you been sheltering in place? Has it changed the way you feel about your home?
The architecture of my front garden has very permeable walls.
I've considered the floors here and the roof here. Walls in a house serve the purpose of protection and privacy (as well as holding up the roof!), and in the garden they could be said to servie a similar purpose. They protect from the wind to a degree, create some privacy, and have openings for access and for views.
We renewed the original picket fence around the perimeter. It is now held up mainly by the honeysuckle which growns on it! In a way the fence is a declaration of ownership. It keeps strangers out and pets and children in. See here. Over time and by growing plants on it it has become merged with the surrounding landscape - the 'borrowed landscape in designer-speak - making it feel much bigger than it is.
Clearly defined entrance from the drive and the fence between gardens is covered in plants. Trees in every direction.
Privacy too from the neighbours on the other side and a magnificent forest backfrop.
The yellow gate (purely decorative) faces the yellow fron door and the view of the bluebels in the forest is lovely at this time of year. There is a road between the fence and the forest but you are not aware of it until the occasional car passes by.
Openings give views to the forest and to the field (far left) which seem to extend the garden into the countryside around. The borrowed landscape.
Prospect and refuge are both provided for. A view to se who is approaching and enough sense of enclosure to make you feel safe. Ancient traditions which still apply.
The house meanwhile does not have permeable walls and has thankfully kept out the wind and the rain these last few days and feels rather like a cocoon...
I always breakfast outside when the weather allows.
I was enjoying a pot of fresh coffee and eating some awful little scones I found while rummaging in the depths of the freezer. I was also looking to see if A C Grayling had written anything illuminating about guilt - specifically survivors' guilt. I didn't find anything, but as always found lots to engage me.....and the sun was just beginning to warm me nicely when from the forest I heard the unmistakeable hoot of an owl!
Did he know I was seeking wisdom?
Just for a moment I was out of my own head and in the trees with an owl who was heading home.
What kind of a night had he had?
The warm summery weather here seems at odds with what is happening in the wider world, and it's hard to know what to write about....a disturbing disconnect.
There are butterflies around, I have strung up the bunting and had an afternoon nap in the hammock, but an air of unreality hangs around, and wonderful though social media is in these circumstances I long for the real contact with friends and family.
This article which starts with the news that half a million people have recovered from coronavirus has a lot of interesting facts and figures...
What are you up to?
Are you doing things you dnn't usually do?
I have unpacked (so glad to wear some fdifferent clothes!), lifted a big rug and moved furniture, rehung a painting which had fallen off the wall, covered the sitting room floor with white paper to see if I would like a white floor in here (I would), set up the heated propagator in the studio, sown five lots of seed, soaked sweet pea seeds, potted on some dahlia tubers which survived the winter, scrubbed out the garden water dishes, started clearing the middle bed, watered many pots - the weather is warm and quite sunny, started cleaning the greenhouse, brought out different vases and paintings, and cushions, cut some tall birch branches and put them in my biggest jug. Paid some bills. spoke with neighbours, sent lots of emails, had toasted cheese and a glass of wine, brought in logs, still have to juice lots of vegetables and cook some food before it goes off....
Then hot bath and early to bed.
My phone is still talking to me in Italian, which is a bit disconcerting.,.
..Well, not literally thank goodness! If you could choose what scary storm Dennis - or whatever wind is blowing in your part of the world - could blow away, what would it be?
I've just been out to blow away some cobwebs (sitting still far too long). It worked! Though I got back indoors and sat down again to write this!
But, I am going to bake, do some ironing and cleaning and some of the other plodding things which must be done, so that when the weather does improve I can be out in it getting some much needed exercise and vitamin D.
I would like storm Dennis to blow away my lethargy and low mood, all the flood waters, all lying politicians, all petty worries, all the junk lying along the motorway verges, all the misery of the people whose homes are flooded, all warmongers - I have no idea where it will all go but .....Blow yourself out Dennis! Unfortunately it is set to blow all night and all day tomorrow here.
I do hope you are not affected.
(February's not my best month. I expect you can tell?)
I did ask politely if the bright new health and safety notices could be on the other side of the poles? Just a little bit lower so they were not visible from my windows? Maybe just below my hedge?
The two guys doing the job were very sympathetic 'They'll stick out like sore thumbs, won't they!' they said - which is the whole point I suppose. They explained the regulations patiently.
Rules is rules I guess.
..about this blog.
Weebly has served me well but can I point out that the format doesn't always allow comments on comments to appear where I want them to? They can appear out of sequence - sorry about that!
I also can only reply to comments on a post for a day or at most two - I simply couldn't keep up otherwise. I absolutely love your comments - they are what make this blog a conversation rather than a monologue. Thank you for brightening my day, every day! I also like that you communicate with each other here; after all, we have a lot in common.
I read a Wordpress blog recently and found ads in it - which It had never had before - and which the writer would never have chosen. Has anyone ever seen an ad on my blog? I hope not but if you ever do you would let me know right away?
Am storm bound today and the noise of the wind is very distracting. I plan to stay home and cook and bake and juice and fill the freezer with good things.
Hope you are all warm and dry too, with lots of nice food in your cupboards and freezers.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)