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Thursday, 31 October 2013

thankful thursday

thankful for time with family, a change of scenery and a change of wheels. for time to get organised, time to plan and time to do. for holding plans loosely enough to be firm but not set in stone and for the knowledge that all things are held together not by threads but by design.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

seven things i learnt in october

october - the month where british summertime ends, where trees dazzle us with their colour changes before their golden leaves become autumns red carpet and where long shadowed sunshine filled days are a gift not a right. 

i was certain this month i hadn't learnt a lot but when i looked at what i'd jotted down i was surprised by how much attention i had been taking when i thought i was too busy to notice. so here goes seven things i learnt in october:

1. this month i loved the film sunshine on leith but what i didn't know was it was a play before it was made into a film. i have no idea how this passed me by. if you haven't seen the film yet - go - you won't regret it. and speaking of films:

2. the great gatsby actress carey mulligan is married to marcus mumford; lead singer of mumford and sons. 

again, i don't know how this passed me by either. what i love about their story? they were pen pals in their childhood and apparently passed letters through their churches. and speaking of childhood:

3. children's writer roald dahl has his own museum and story centre in his home town of great missenden, buckinghamshire. think you know all there is to know about charlie and the chocolate factory? try this "splendiferous quiz." fancy taking a peak at where he wrote? click here. and speaking of writing:

4. one of my favourite food bloggers; molly wizenberg at orangette wrote this month about hedgebrook. hedgebrook is a literary non-profit who support female writers. located on whidbey island in the usa, it sits on 48 acres and offers writers the opportunity to stay in one of its few cottages affording them the space daily to write and meet with each other every evening for dinner. dinner is cooked for them mainly from produce grown in the gardens and in an effort to be able to maintain this arrangement they have released a cookbook. and speaking of food:

5. rhubarb was first considered a laxative not an edible fruit.

6. while watching a documentary this month i learnt that one in four people in the uk have a tattoo. i googled and found that as of mid 2012 the uk population was 63.7 million - that means that almost 16 million people in the uk have a tattoo. 

7. ever come across the word pogonophile? according to the urban dictionary it means "the love of, or attraction to, beards." i stumbled over this on my (bearded) brothers facebook page. this is a picture, taken by my sister, of her son trying to look like him. it made us all laugh. a lot.

however this is my brothers picture, showing what they really look like.

and no, they are not two of the one in four people in the uk with tattoos - they are proudly showing off temporary tattoos of my brothers' company logo. got to love the creativity.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

thankful thursday

thankful for impromptu dinner invites, lie-ins, rainy days that demand movie watching and comforting food, catching up with friends in person and on-line, impromptu family sleep overs, october sunshine illuminating autumns grandeur, fruitful conversations and plans made to look forward to.


Monday, 21 October 2013

weekend rainbow



this weekend i popped in at my sisters house. i drove there as the light changed and raindrops splashed across my windscreen - i made it indoors just before the heavens opened. a little while later my eldest nephew arrived back from his shopping trip with his dad and announced "there's a rainbow outside" to cries of "is there?" or "we've seen it" he proudly announces "it's a double rainbow." cue all of us getting up from various rooms to congregate under the cover of the open garage door and survey the view. some of us got wetter than others - not pictured - my youngest nephew splashing in puddles wearing only his socks. but there was no doubt we all marveled at the sight and the bearer of the good news was the happiest of all.


Sunday, 20 October 2013


This weekend the colours in the kitchen and the colours outside have caught my eye.

Each has been a small gift, and something that has brought pleasure after a busy week. I'm struck again how you don't need big things to make the difference in how you feel, it's just having the time and being able to go slow so you can appreciate the things around you. My head at times has hurt in reaction to the lists from the week, spiralling and fighting against all it has been challenged by, my body telling me to slow down, enough is enough. And in the letting go of lists, worry and the next thing; I notice the beauty right in front of me.

Weekend, rest, peace.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

thankful thursday

thankful for deadlines met, for time to relax with friends and time to relax alone, for just enough energy to get jobs done, for the handprint of the maker on the tapestry of life and for the hazy pink hue oozing through my white cotton curtains prompting me to get up early and rewarding me with the image of beautiful skies.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A trip to the theatre

This weekend we went to Manchester, and covered those 183 plus miles to stay with Emma.

Apart from seeing Em the main reason to visit was a trip to the theatre to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This theatre is special, it's the theatre that inspired my love of plays, where I first had that moment watching a play when you are so transfixed you don't want it to end, of sitting hanging on to every word. Walking back in the memories come flooding back, of trips with my parents, school and friends, and of scenes that have taken the audience to a different place.

It's also in the round, intimate, small and in amazing building that used to be the exchange in Manchester.The building is one that you walk in and can feel the history in the walls, plus get a buzz of what's going on there today. The lighting is beautiful, as your eyes are drawn upwards.

We saw an Arthur Miller play, who also happens to be my favourite playwright. I love the hidden undercurrents all his plays have, the family tension and most of all the exposure of broken ideals. At heart I'm still an idealistic art student, and his plays always makes me think, and that's what I love about art, the capturing of emotions, the desire to be more.

I 'll leave you with some Arthur Miller, from All my Sons, to get your creative side going for the night, and thinking about your star.

“...he'll come back. We all come back, kate. These private little revolutions always die. The compromise is always made. In a peculiar way. Frank is right-- every man does have a star. The star of one's honesty. And you spend your life groping for it, but once it's out it never lights again. I don't think he went very far. He probably just wanted to be alone to watch his star go out.” 


Thursday, 10 October 2013

thankful thursday

these last few weeks have been dominated by a looming deadline that seemed not only unachievable but totally ridiculous to try and attain. whilst the finish line is still yet to be fallen over, the majority of the work has been done and that which is still required is slowly falling into place - i might even dare to dream that the deadline will be met. as it has closed in it was tempting to give up my rhythm of resting on sundays to give myself a chance to get ahead without adding more stress on top of an already stressful circumstance. but this week i am thankful that i kept the routine - it has shown me more than ever the importance of rest. if i had carried on working on sunday and turned my six day work, one day rest routine back to a seven day work one i know i would have been on my knees - i was running on empty. taking time to get out of my house to go and see a film, spending time with family and friends and finally flopping on my sofa to watch the next episode of downton abbey was just what was needed. suddenly the workload that lay ahead on monday seemed achievable. and achievable it was. 


Monday, 7 October 2013

weirdly, home

my parents were born and raised in aberdeen, scotland. my brother and i were born in edinburgh but we can't claim to be raised there as we moved as a family into england when i was eighteen months and my brother six months old. 

as kids we went back every year in the summer holidays - staying for two weeks with our grandparents. the journeys were long, my mum driving six to seven hours with by then three kids with as few stops as possible. we would always watch out for the "welcome to scotland" sign and as family tradition dictated promptly stop at gretna green services. after using the facilities we would all pile into "the canny scot" the gift shop attached to the services which stocked all things scottish. there we would spend our pocket money on anything with tartan on it but mainly on sweets and edinburgh rock - although edinburgh rock is nothing like its blackpool counterpart - it is soft not hard as the name would suggest - a fact that always amused. i spent the car journeys either staring out the window listening to music on my walkman or curled up with a cardigan over me trying to get some sleep. as the years passed the scenery became familiar, i'd watch the yellow rapeseed covered fields turn into purple heathered mountains and as it did so, i knew i was going home. 

it's a weird thing to feel that somewhere you lived for only eighteen months as a baby feels like home. maybe it's the childhood year on year collective family memories, maybe it's the teenage years spent with friends at the edinburgh festival or perhaps the times spent there with my dad in my twenties when he relocated to the scottish capital. but i know the feeling within me when i arrive and depart scotland is a feeling i do not experiance anywhere else in this land. perhaps that is why when english friends try to tell me i'm english as i've lived most of my life there i struggle to explain to them why i know i am scottish. 

this weekend i went to see a film called "sunshine on leith". there on the screen in front of me i saw edinburgh in all its sunshine soaked glory, i don't mind admitting i was a little teary for it. if you want a pick me up, feel good film that is beautifully and poignantly written, shot and acted or if like me you have ever seen the proclaimers perform live and wondered how on earth they made a film incorporating their music go and see this i guarantee you will not be disappointed. 



Thursday, 3 October 2013

thankful thursday

this week i am thankful for memory making. my brother, sister, their partners and their kids - all of us - playing, chatting, laughing, eating - together. did i mention we live almost 200 miles apart? these are the days that will form memories i hope my nieces and nephews will carry with them always.