2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work


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Gossamer Days

SpiderwebThey’re certainly not to my taste, but proof that even spiders can seem beautiful when viewed in the light of a golden afternoon…

PS: My arachnophobe OH disputes this and says he wants a ‘dislike’ button installed!

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September and new starts

IMG_2819Wow, that was a long break from blogging – work and life just kind of overtook me. But September always feels like a New Year to me, and so it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and get going on this again. Truth be told, the blog had been starting to feel a bit samey – having gone through a full year on it, I felt like I was going over old ground and wasn’t getting the same buzz out of posting that I had been. So I’m looking forward to getting started afresh, and sharing the things that bring joy to my life (apart from my OH as that would just get nauseating), which at the moment are:

  • Sewing – new hobby, but am inordinately proud of the messenger bag, tote bag and cushion that I’ve made recently. The curtains could have been a leap too far…
  • Cooking – great recent discovery was the blackberry, almond and cardamom cake in this month’s Simple Things (seriously good) by Signe Johansen. I just used the crushed seeds from 5 cardamom pods as I didn’t have any ground cardamom and it was perfect.
  • Being outdoors – walking in the dunes this year has been such a release (and was the source of the aforementioned blackberries)
  • Reading – recently rediscovered the ‘Merrily Watkins’ series by Phil Rickman and am re-reading them from the start – they are brilliant, hard to categorise stories – they’re often in the ‘crime’ section at the library but in fact are keenly observed stories with a supernatural undercurrent about Merrily’s work as a female vicar and ‘deliverance consultant’ (or ‘exorcist’) in the Welsh borders. Sounds a bit bizarre but they are wonderfully down to earth and believable – do try them if you’ve not come across them.
  • Inspirational stuff – haven’t come up with a better title than this for it at the moment, but I’ll just say that if you like listening to great speakers head for the Do Lectures, and for a great online read you can’t beat Holstee – their theme for September is ‘Balance’ and am so looking forward to reading it.

Happy September everyone!

 


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It ain’t over till it’s over…

I might have called it a finale a few days ago, but it’s clear that autumn is hanging on for a few encores. It was absolutely perfect today, although a busy work schedule meant I only had a brief chance to pop into the garden for some photos, as well as shiver at the sudden drop in temperature. Every bit of colour today was pin sharp – even the puddles were reflecting the corals and oranges in the garden:

IMG_2226But the reality was even more dazzling!

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IMG_2227Cherries have two glory moments in the year – the week when they flower, and the week when they drop their leaves. The rest of the time, you don’t look twice, but it’s worth the 50 weeks of dullness for the two of such beauty you can’t help but gaze at them. Even those on the ground are glorious.

IMG_2229We’re at the cusp though – in the shadier part of the garden, even thought the sun was brilliant overhead and not a cloud could be seen, winter was pushing at the gate.

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Autumn finale

Managed to squeeze in a day in the Lakes yesterday to catch the last of the autumn colour. It was a bit of a grey day, but the leaves were still amazing and it’s always so relaxing just to get up there and walk around.

IMG_2188The piles of leaves were huge, and lovely and crisp to crunch through.

IMG_2194This view is such a contrast to the last time we were here in June when the slope was full of bluebells

IMG_1404Summer’s lovely, but I’m quite looking forward to the winding down of autumn into winter now and the arrival of frost, snow and icy, starry skies.


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Some days, you just need to run…

I have been so grateful recently for getting back into a regular running practice. I’m still only doing short distances – about 2.5 miles – but it’s getting more each week, and I just love the way that everything else fades away once I set off. There’s a lot of stuff getting me down right now, but running is one thing that really helps. Especially on a day like today where the sun is warm and colours seem extra bright.

IMG_2051How can anyone not be cheered up by those amazing primary colours?? And how great it is that some planning person back in the thirties thought about planting trees on the streets that I run through every week! One road near where I live is lined with apple, pear and plum trees – they’re getting a bit old now and have noticed that as the council remove them they’re replaced by non-fruiting ones. I suppose they’re more concerned these days about being sued by someone slipping on windfalls, but what a missed opportunity to encourage people to pick and eat fruit.

IMG_2052Not that the other trees aren’t lovely too – this rowan was dazzling in the sun.

IMG_2053I do find that taking photos makes me look at things more closely, just like drawing does. The range of colours on this tree isn’t obvious at a distance, but when you get up close it’s just mind boggling.

Half an hour and a couple of miles later, things were seeming much better. We may not get fall colours like America does over here (if you want to see some truly stunning foliage shots have a look at Rowdy Kitten’s blogpost earlier this week), but it’s not half bad 🙂