28 Feb 2014

with open arms


• bluebells • green shoots • longer days • shorter nights • new things • in like a lion, out like a lamb • daffodils • a touch of warmth in the air • but still the chance of frost (or snow) • flasks of tea • woolly jumpers • colour • buds • catkins • lambs • waterproofs • wellies • walks in the woods • goodbye winter • sunsets after 6 • bright things • optimism • light • mud • frogspawn • red sky at night • salty sea air • plan making • green fingers • breton stripes • more outdoors, less indoors • busy days, cosy nights • 

March is here. And about time. 

20 Feb 2014

a song to get things done by

It's been a long, hard week. I've not been outside since Sunday. The kids have been ill, I've been ill, we've all been flopping around the house with aches and pains and runny noses. I've had more than a few moments when I've felt a little stifled; sometimes my patience has been a bit short, sometimes I've had to give myself a kick up the bottom to get myself motivated to cook for the kids, to bath them and keep them in clean pyjamas. So I put on some music that helps me do that.

Like this one here.

It's one of those getting things done songs. 

And you gotta love Karen O, don't you think?

19 Feb 2014


How is it the 19th of February? HOW?!

I'm constantly surprised by the date, the time, the year even.

Winter is almost over, and I'm hoping that's going to mean the weather is going to get better. I'm naive like that. 

What do you want to do when the weather gets warmer?

Last summer I had a tiny baby and so the gorgeous weather we had kind of passed me by. I was in baby mode, I remember a few barbecues in the garden, I remember a couple of days out... um... I remember a baby mostly. Which was clearly the important thing.

But this year... do you think we'll get a little sun for s/s 2014? Because I want to get outdoors. I want to drink wine in the garden, I want to swim in the sea, I want to sit in a beer garden, I want to go bike riding, I want to make the most awesome picnic ever and spend the day in the park with the kids. Normal stuff, but normal stuff that doesn't involve umbrellas (unless they are in a cocktail) (no actually not even in a cocktail, just give me a bottle of wine or a pint of lager, sod the umbrellas full stop).

Because right now it is certainly not looking much like spring. It's looking like it's raining outside and there are ill children lolling around the house wiping their noses on their sleeves. It's looking like it's been 4 days since I've been outside. It's looking like me in a pair of leggings and a stained hoodie trying to sort out the house insurance online. In short it's looking a bit bleurgh.

But these days can't go on forever... we'll get better soon and the weather will get better soon and I'll throw my leggings into the sea and dive in like a mother fucking mermaid.

6 Feb 2014

slap it on

I'm painting again. In little snatched doses. I can coat a canvas in 15 minutes, leave it to dry, return to it later (or even the next day) for an hour or so. It's fine; that way of doing it suits me although it's tough dragging myself away when the baby starts grizzling. 

You know that slogan 'do what you love' (which actually annoys the hell out of me, if only life were so simple), well, I love painting. Just getting stuck in, not thinking about the outcome too much. It's my meditation. 

I get a little high while painting And I don't think it's the fumes. It's the marijuana (note to my mother- that's a joke).

Paint; beautiful, colourful and responsive to my every impulse. 

It's just lush.

5 Feb 2014

the killer draft

image by me, illustration by me...

So my new plan is to work in the evening, to design, blog, make, plan, do and organise after the kids are in bed. And it's tough. I'm lucky to grab an hour or two a couple of evenings a week before I have to drag myself to bed. Griff is teething and not sleeping well right now, which of course means that I'm not sleeping well either. But it is lovely, having an hour or two in the evenings for myself. I feel so content sat at my little desk in a quiet room with a candle on and no one shouting 'MUMMY! I NEED YOU!' Bliss. Our new desk is in it's place in the corner of the middle room. It's very compact and leaves much more space than the last desk to use the rest of the room as we want. But the draft there from the floorboards is beyond cold. It's Arctic. The other night my feet got so icy I got chilblains. And I'm not a person who feels the cold now that I'm a dress size up on 2008. Bloody baby weight. And, erm, bloody cheese.

Anyway, the cold corner. Tonight I'm clever enough to wear slippers.

And a cashmere cardigan helps.

And a hotwater bottle.

And a cup of tea.

And now I'm toasty.

And ready to work...

So I guess that's the cue to sign off.


4 Feb 2014

lipstick, cigarettes and car keys

When I was a small child I loved watching my Nan get ready for a night out. The smell of her perfume (Yves Saint Laurent Paris), her lipstick (Estee Lauder), the cigarettes that she held but rarely puffed on (Regal king size) and the drinks her and her friend Winnie sipped as they chatted (vodka? gin? Not sure), these things make up such strong memories for me. 

To me she was the height of sophistication. 

Remember when you were a child and you got to peep behind the curtain into what you thought was the adult world, that glamorous grown up world that you eventually realise doesn't actually exist at all? The smells, the silky petticoats, the snatched fragments of conversation that only make half sense. For me, the symbol of adulthood above all others was a set of car keys. I wasn't interested in actually using them to drive, I just wanted to jangle them about in a self important way. Of course they had to be my keys, not my dad's or my boyfriend's, that just wouldn't have the same impact. I managed to achieve my ambition at the age of 33, just 16 years after passing my driving test. And yes, it does make me feel like a proper grown up holding those keys, I'm in the club now.

Things that make me feel grown up. 

My kids
My car keys
Having a pot plant that hasn't died yet
Radio 4
Having a dog

Things that make me feel like a kid
My hair
My mess
My parents
In fact, mostly everything else

Is that the same for most of you? 

Do you feel grown up most the time? Or just like me it it only really when holding a set of car keys?