Friday, October 03, 2014

It's just one day

Kitchen prep
It's my special day to myself day, each Friday beckons all week with its promise of plenty of time to do exactly what I please and yet by the time it arrives there are so many things to do (both a little dull and a lot lovely) and honestly, no energy for anything much. I'm finetuning the balance, starting a few chores, doing a little bit of a job to chip away at it, focusing on fun things. Above all reminding myself that it's just one day and a big part of the plan is to rest and recuperate! All of that perspective is a lot easier as I've 'achieved' something and got all the prep done for tonight's dinner of Aubergine-Almond Enchiladas. It was lovely, slow kitchen time that suited my mood perfectly. There have to be special somethings from these days so that they don't just disappear but the magic seems to be in trying out and finding the right something for the day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

On the curriculum

Lime tree seeds

First falling plum tree leaves

Lime leaf turned golden

Aestlight in Warm Pixie

Autumnal flourishes everywhere I look and I want to really dig in and notice the order and the pace with which the season arrives this year. It seemed to hasten in during August with heavy clusters of berries and more falling seeds than I associate with that month, perhaps the chill in the air made them seem more significant. Not much chill so far this month except for the slight edge morning and evening, a pleasing stroke of coolness that reminds me that wool really is rather lovable.

Stalled on another Aestlight, though past the lace and it's a simple garter border that is giving me pause. A question about which course of action to take, to rip back to fix a discrepancy in numbers or knitting a few stitches together and carrying on. This is one of those grey areas for me. I am not a knitter who has to know it is perfect to enjoy wearing a knit, nor yet one who bashes through all but the most terminal of 'adjustments'.

 I can sometimes enjoy a knit all the more for its vagaries, if it reminds me of a moment of its creation or just that perfection is not a standard that means happiness in life. Sometimes though it's deeply pleasing to have everything in order in at least the knitting. Ripping back and reknitting this won't take more than an hour I would guess which given it should last for years seems not much of an investment.

Though honestly will I ever notice or remember whichever option I take? This September will have other stand outs in the memory banks: a family wedding, the start of a new job,  a weekend away in Glastonbury. Without this blog acting as a flower press this moment of consideration would be just one of the many tiny decisions which flow through my life almost unheeded. I sometimes think I am decisive, big decisions seem to be made without too much agony. I sometimes think I am so indecisive, small decisions seem to take remarkable consideration.

Perhaps that is why I love these betwixt and between days so much, perhaps they are me more than I realise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Knothing

Blue and gold embroidery on calico
Oh the crispness in the air, the ripening of berries, the reddening of apples. Autumn is just around the corner and I am looking forward to the cooler days and cosy evenings. By the end of any season I am a little tired of the old one and ready to welcome all the special elements of the next. The transitional days between the seasons make me so particularly happy. The surprise of what you might get, the echoes of the season on the way out and the messengers of the one creeping in. The nostalgia, the gathering up of memories of what has passed and will never be again and then, ahead, excitement at what is around the next bend. The sense of here and now, balanced betwixt and between.

Summer 2014 has been a a real summer and while I welcomed the blue skies, long days and being able to be outside so much I've also struggled health wise, and particularly with the energy to get things done, to get to work, to get home with any thought of doing anything and the heat has not made getting around any easier. Oh but I wouldn't wish away the hours in my new chair, under my trees. A wonderful gift. Always that slight bittersweet tinge of regret for what is going, going, gone and what didn't get to be but mostly, anticipation of the new possibilities.

One of my favourite souvenirs of this season is the french knot. This summer I finally learnt to make an intentional knot in my embroidery thread and feel a real thrill at those little swirls, bobbles balanced, work suspended. I've lost count of the failed learning the mystical knot attempts there have been and can still remember feeling a great sense of relief when reading in her beautiful book that Caroline Zoob had never mastered these tricky little creatures. It let me off the hook but  didn't quite remove a yearning to have bested them. So when Squam cabin mate extraordinaire Austen came back from class one day to show off some exquisitely formed knots I readily took her up on the offer to teach me too. With her clear explanation and demonstration it really was, finally, simple. The knots just stayed where I put them. I don't really understand the magic, I suppose like all of these thread wrangling activities,  it's really about how you tension the work as you carry out the actions. Whatever the charm I am still enchanted by these dainty carbuncles. Threading the needle to create a few more is my favourite current pastime free from any should, must or need. Simply twiddling my fingers and thumbs and watching what appears.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Holiday snaps







Sweet memories of a quiet, mellow, rich week lost in the Welsh Borders. Cuddling creatures, cooking in a fabulous kitchen, eating breakfasts pondside with the most phenomenal view.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Warm and mellow

Dappled sunlight

A moth awoken

Pelargonium

Gathering plums

Perfect garden seat
Feeling very deep in summer here today. Soft and relaxed. In theory I am shining my house to look new pinnish so when we return from holidays it will wow me with its unexpected tidiness. Instead I am drifting and lolling and gleefully gathering evidence of the benefits of indolence.

The bright pelargoniums planted last year have been telling me for months now that trying too hard is often destined to back fire. I managed to get around to replanting one of their companions to overwinter indoors, it of course rotted and died. Those I mercilessly left to that fate survived our very mild winter to flourish as the stars of my haphazard garden this season.

Time in the chair has revealed a secret treasure I would undoubtedly have missed if I had been more endeavoursome. Tucked in the crook of two branches with about half a dozen twigs is a nesting collar dove. It looks impossibly vulnerable from my seat and yet its very slight nature is the perfect camouflage and it is all but invisible from any other angle.

Simple pleasures that come when I let them. A special kind of magic in not doing and just being.
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