– 31 – poetry Monday

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I always thought the best way to judge a man was the way he treats his children… it turns out that it’s only half of it… you should also judge a man from the way he treats his parents…

Alzheimer's  (Bob Hicock)

Chairs move by themselves, and books.
Grandchildren visit, stand
new and nameless, their faces' puzzles
missing pieces. She's like a fish

in deep ocean, its body made of light.
She floats through rooms, through
my eyes, an old woman bereft
of chronicle, the parable of her life.

And though she's almost a child
there's still blood between us:
I passed through her to arrive.
So I protect her from knives,

stairs, from the street that calls
as rivers do, a summons to walk away,
to follow. And dress her,
demonstrate how buttons work,

when she sometimes looks up
and says my name, the sound arriving
like the trill of a bird so rare
it's rumored no longer to exist. 

– 30 – my studio, part 1

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I was going to start by apologising for the number of photos I’m going to post… but I won’t… because in a week, when the place will once again look like a bomb site (post explosion) I can look back and reminisce … and remind myself of the way it can be.

With me?

So anyway, let me start by saying it’s a huge room (9m by 5), bigger than some of the whole flats I lived in when I was single.  I know I’m lucky.  Stupidly, pinch myself lucky.

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On the wall there’s a mix of things made by me and by people whose work I really enjoy.  (Mandy Pattullo,  Cathy Cullis,  and Wendy Crabb who used to blog under the name Green Girl Art but know I’ve lost her)

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Yeah… this is AFTER the cull, after the streamline operation of the last two days.  I just can’t do minimalism.  It just isn’t me.   Let’s accept it and move on.

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Ah… my yarn cupboard.  I love it.  It was an old medicine cupboard in its youth, now it holds medicine of a different kind… yarn, fibres… good for you, right?

The two old bookcases next to it were salvaged when Mr M purchased its offices.  Left behind and abandoned in favours of  more modern and sleek office furniture.  One man rubbish… blah blah blah…

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On the opposite wall there’s a hanging wire (from IKEA, if you’re interested to know) with a constantly changing arrays of quilted things.  And my bamboo quilt ladder.  I love my bamboo quilt ladder.  I love it so much that I bought another one which is our master bathroom with the master towels.

 

So there you have it.  The other half is still waiting for shelves and a coffee table and a proper tidy up too.  Keep watching.  But don’t hold your breath… I might be a while.

– 29 – ladies who lunch

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Yesterday I had the enviable chore to HAVING to pay a visit to Burford Garden Company (had to, it was an instruction from Mr M in order to find interesting plants for the new lounge shelves… pictures to come…).  The place lies halfway between me and Ali… so meeting up for lunch was a no brainer.

Whilst waiting for her I had a good mooch around:

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(hashtag crochetblanketgoal)

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(I need more green in my life)

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(really loving this huge lampshades/mudhuts…)

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(I’m totally copying this)

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(this is only part of the plant haul… I love white flowers…)

 

And then we had lunch, which I didn’t take a picture of because we were too busy catching up and putting the world to right.  As you do.

Chicken with three salads.  Very delicious.  Green tea.

 

Ali that candle I bought? Smells divine… but tooooo relaxing…

 

 

 

– 28 – rearranging

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… why oh why the week we come back from holiday and I have mountains of washing, and after a weekend on a full house (fab by the way), and hockey tournaments, and after school clubs pick ups, and new furniture deliveries….and when I’m still trying to catch up on Homeland series 6…. do I decide to move my studio around?

Bonkers.

So far so good though.  I’m feeling good about the changes and about the de-cluttering I’m able to do.  I’m trying to be ruthless and I’m even thinking of getting rid of my huge jar of buttons (remember when buttons were ‘the thang’?), and the box of ric rac (remember ricrac/rickrack ric rac? what can I do with it now?  Do you want it?  And why oh why do I have a bon maman jar full of drawing pin when I don’t have a drawing board?

Madness.

A new ‘vintage’ cabinet should hold all the miscellaneous fabric and shelves in the useless alcoves should hide all the ugly stuff … I hope… because I removed two cupboards which are now in the hall and will have to be transported into the garage by children and husband.

Better think of suitable culinary bribe.

 

Full reveal in due course.

– 27 – poetry Monday

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I guess my recent book has made more of an impact on me that I realised because when I started thinking about today’s poem this one pop right up in my mind.

It’s by Mary Oliver (again… but I’m not apologising), from the collection called “Why I wake early”.

“Mindful”  by Mary Oliver

Every day
      I see or hear
            something
                  that more or less

kills me
      with delight,
            that leaves me
                  like a needle

in the haystack
      of light.
            It was what I was born for —
                  to look, to listen,

to lose myself
      inside this soft world —
            to instruct myself
                  over and over

in joy,
      and acclamation.
            Nor am I talking
                  about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
      the very extravagant —
            but of the ordinary,
                  the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
      Oh, good scholar,
            I say to myself,
                  how can you help

but grow wise
      with such teachings
            as these —
                  the untrimmable light

of the world,
      the ocean’s shine,
            the prayers that are made
                  out of grass?

 

– 26 – C is for Cutler, Howard C. Cutler

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Continuing with the A to Z / year of reading theme we move onto letter ‘C’.

I’ve had this book by my bed for a few years, this edition was published in 2009 and was the 10th Anniversary of the original.

No idea what possessed me to buy it.  Not my usual choice of books, I’m more of a fiction person generally, but I’ve also always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama, by his history and his religion and his spirituality.

I don’t know why I’m surprised by I have to say I really enjoyed this book.  Howard Cutler is an American psychiatric who knows the Dalai Lama well and through a series of long conversations we are given practical advices and are shown little nuggets of wisdom on how to achieve happiness, how to overcome anger and negative thoughts.

It’s not one of those ridiculous ‘how to achieve eternal inner peace in ten easy steps, whilst having it all and running a marathon and without smudging your mascara’ kind of thing, not at all.  Being happy, living meaningful, fulfilling, happy lives, takes great efforts it’s the message… but it’s possible.

Which, I guess, is all we need to know.

 

On that note, I’m trying to conquer my current small (actually quite big) mountain… the post holiday laundry mountain… I know my inner peace will be definitively improved by the effort.

It’s the little things, people.  The little things.

– 25 – postcards from Cervinia, day 6

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You’re all probably fed up with picture of snow and blue skies… so how about some hotel stationery?  I don’t write as many letters as I used to… it feels weird (and a little silly) to write about your life to someone that already knows about it because they ‘follow’ you on social media… I mean… no?

But I do LOVE stationery.  Love it.  And I’m a total sucker for stationery from hotels… the printed address… the thick paper…   It reminds me of old movies, I don’t know why and matching coats and hats, gloves and handbags and shopping that was delivered to your door in boxes.  Long old cars and cocktail  hour.

When I turned sixteen my big present was a big set of letter writing paper with my name printed in red at the top of the A4 sheet.  Glossy red, slightly raised… Thick thick paper… with a water mark …  I felt so sophisticated and grown up.

Anyway, I may or may not have sneaked some of the above in my suitcase… That’s for me to know and for you to guess…

What else?

Oh yes…

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One thing I had never seen before is tea capsules.  There is a Nespresso machine in the room (love Nespresso, we’ve had our machine for ten years at home, thanks to my parents who were early converter to the thing)… but tea?  I tried the green tea and was very pleasantly surprised.  It tasted really good.

Apologies to the purists out there.

Anyway we stayed in a very lovely hotel this year, super friendly and attentive staff, gorgeous food (too nice) and our room was huge!

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(post skiing action shot)

The lobby/lounge area is full of wonderful painting of Mount Cervino (or Matterhorn if you prefer) and big comfortable sofas…

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… and wooden statues… and cupboards full of old china on display…

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C’mon… how cute is that?

 

Sadly though we’ve come to the end of our fabulous week, which it’s very depressing and none of us is ready for real life … a part from my waist line that is, I swear to you that my ski pants couldn’t have taken any more …

So it is with feelings of great gloom and woe and despair and desolation… that I’m going to give you one last mountain photo…

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… just because… I had to.

 

(we stayed at the hotel L’Hermitage, in Cervinia, a great family ran hotel)