The ice on the water bowl was thin by the time I photgraaphed it, and althugh we got about twenty minutes of snow yeasterday, it is about to turn to rain again soon.
The cosy throw is back out of the cupboard. Be warm and safe wherever you are.
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..
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.
A little travel, a new window in the studio, and a Highland funeral in the beautiful village of Tayvallich.
Thank you so much for all your thoughts on the fence. I will be pondering..
That's the Scottish equivaalent of snuggle down which is what I am doing these cold days. The top of the hill on the right is north and the north-westerlies come loud down the glen..
..so I coorie doon by the fire for yet another lazy, cosy day, making plans for when the weather changes and spring comes.
..but it is mostly in cupboards and drawers, some of which are way too full.
Here is some advice Professor Gustavsson gave a student who was deciding where to position a tree in a landscape design. 'Honour it with its own space'.
I think the principle applies in the home. You might like to experiment with the idea. Choose an object which is really special to you and clear off a shelf, a table or a worktop and place just that one thing in the space and live with it for a few days.... For me it creates a feeling of calm, and a fuller appreciation of the bowl or jug of flowers or whatever item is chosen.
You might try it in each room of the house.
Take a before and an after picture! It helps you to see it more objectively.
..can go a long way. They are the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning
and are in every room of the house.
The huge bunch of gypsophila I bought on the 6th of December dried naturally in the vase and I now have them in the bedrooom. I love the different textures.
I also see this first thing.
Do you see something beautiful when you first ope n your eyes? Something to start your day with a smile?
The house lurches at this time of year from minimal to maximal! I absolutely love this look but it only lasted an hour or so as I fixed the mirror to the wall (it has rested against the wall for a long, long time)...
As I prepare for visitors and Hogmanay it now holds a pannetone, wine, raspberry liqueur, bread, biscuits, lettuce, cheese, garlic and herbs,, candles, matches, candlesticks, tea towels, a grater and a lemon squeezer.
Are you ready for 2023?
Maybe my word for 2023 could be minimal.
..as a stepping stone to Christmas.
I enjoyed this little video (Am I right in thinking that in the UN list of happiest countries UK didn't even appear? How very sad!)
I was tempted to buy a lovely white table wreath I saw lately, but I looked around at home and used this little 'running foxes' garland I bought cheaply in Ikea some years ago.
by listing the ingredients needed for some delicious holiday food. I am going to make this this week.
Tonorrow I will check what I have got - ingredients for recipes, wrapping paper etc, stamps and cards, and I might get the decorations box out from the cupboard under the eaves...
Nice things to do on grey wet November days.
What will you be doing?
I loove that the exquisite facade of Mackintosh's Willow Tearooms has been so beautifully restored. It is hard to beleive it opened in 1903. One of the delights of the city.
I also love that I can walk out of my front door into this..
I am so lucky to have access to both.
Town or country? Do you have a prefernece?
The ceazier the wider world, the more I relish creating order and calm in my narrow domestic sphere. A stack of freshly laundered towels, a linen cupboard all in order, a newly defrosted and organised freezer, well stocked, a pretty table setting and a home cooked meal.
I have control in my little world and it feels good!
Are you in charge in your home and is it your sanctuary where sanity can rule? (Even if it isn't always tidy.) Does that feel good to you too?
The view from the sofa..
A friend who lives on one of the islands was coming for lunch, but the weather was so bad (Cowal had 50% more rain than usual in October) that the fierries were on amber alert, so the visit has been postponed. I was of course disappointed but as I had cleaned and tidied and baked and cooked I decided to light some candles, put my feet up and further conemplate yesterday's post.
I dug out the candle ring I like in winter and picked some ivy from the pot at the front door to decorae it.
I sampled the home made biscuits and lucnhed on the courgette, pea and mint soup
with German ryebread, and the hot plums in spicy syrup with Greek yoghurt and toasted almonds.
I listened to As The Season Turns - always delightful - as the rain lashed and the gale howled.
As they say, it's an ill wind...
..in my own cupboards, I came across this. I stitched it some decades ago (it's not my own design) and it's been in a box of odd things ever sinde.
I found a little frame and put it on the shelf for a bit.
I like it. What do you have in some forgotten drawer or box or cupboarrd that needs to see the light of day?
I bet there is something!
You may remember we used to have ywo very tame robins here, and that last winter I ttried to tame a new one. I seemed to make no progress. The robin flew away whenever I moved and seemed extremelyy shy.
Could this be the same one, now older and bolder?
It flew past me on the porch and in the open door (the first day of autumn was warm and sunny) and investigated the study and the bathroom before settilng on the top of the door for a full five minutes!
The more I am told winter is going to be miserable, the more determined I am to have a great winter (brings out the defiant streak in me!).
I am going to be warm this winter. Stacking the wood has already warmed me once, and I will take a weekly walk in the forest and collect kindling from the forest floor.
I will enjoy all the subtle shades of the season in little collecyions of natural things, like a school nature table. All for free.
I think I will try to write a Superhygge post each week of autumn and winter - all your ideas most welcome!
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)