Today is the last official day of summer holidays and what a lovely time I have had. The sun has been shining, the days have been warm and the evenings long. I have spent time with loved ones, danced the night away under the stars, eaten a crop of home grown berries, built a new wardrobe, enjoyed evenings in London and swung in the hammock. The new greenhouse is filled with beautiful green sprouts and cuttings, the garden make-over is completed, my shed is clean and tidy and ready for the next round of creative endeavours. Just as a summer ought to be…work starts in earnest next week.
Blooming geraniums in my new greenhouse.
Striking rosemary cuttings for a new mini-hedge in front of the shed.
The 2014 red current crop.
Richard building the new raised vegetable bed from Australian jarrah sleepers (not so relaxing).
Standon Calling Festival, Hertfordshire.
A well deserved gin & tonic.
Chuck D and Flavor Flav hip hip hip at Standon Calling Festival.
Ron and Richard at Downham Market Cricket Club.
Ryoji Ikeda, Spectra, London.
Moths in the light, Ryoji Ikeda, Spectra, London.
Super Raspberry at Woody’s Cafe. Perfect.
The reality of running away with the circus means many long hours animating in my studio. But since the clocks changed to summer-time I have been walking along the River Lee at 6am after leaving Richard at the train station. It is exquisite. The mornings are quiet and still and beautiful. Every day the world unfolds in slightly different ways. The swan swimming down river with its wings extended like an ice sculpture, mother duck with her brood of 15 tiny fluff-ball babies, the heron flying low and purposeful, the muntjac grazing unconcerned at the water’s edge, the conjunction of the rising sun and the setting moon, the hammering of a woodpecker and in the last two days, the first cuckoo of spring calling out to celebrate the morning. Perfection.
Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
I am a predictable creature, every April the desire for spring cleaning begins and by the third week a juice cleanse begins. No exceptions this year, the green juice detox began yesterday, three days of juicing and minimal eating, I am allowed oat-bran porridge with dates and rice milk and a soup with a home-made veggie stock base. Day Two is always the hardest, I am tired and lethargic today but looking forward to being bright and energetic in a few days time. All the leafy greens are collected fresh from our garden, there is dandelion leaf, sorrel, land cress and two types of kale. They make a very intensive green-ness and both my liver and spleen are very happy about it.
French & Godbold have returned from their summer adventures in the fields of Cornwall and a delightful tour of Paris, Brittany and Normandy. We have had a lovely summer. We’ve returned feeling refreshed, inspired and ready for our next round of creative endeavours. Our garden is filled with a plump late summer harvest, tomatoes, basil, quinces, pears, apples, beans, figs, cucumbers, peppers. There is an autumnal feeling in the air, the moon is large and golden in the sky and Michaela has begun baking again…what a lovely time of year.
I have found myself with a strong desire for spring cleaning this week, I love when this feeling arrives, it means the winter is truly over. So in the last week of glorious sunshine I have washed all my winter woollies, overhauled and tidied my loft studio (its warm enough to go up there again) and started juicing and eating foraged greens from my garden. My world is cleansed inside and out. Very pleasing.
The tilt of the world is changing and the beautiful late afternoon sun has made its way around to the back of our house, making lovely evening compositions with my painting “Woolen Blanket [the colour of the sea] with Apples and an Intermittent Lighthouse Beam”.
A list of evidence suggesting that spring is truly and finally in the air in Hertfordshire, I feel much cause for celebration:
1. The magnolia tree across the road is in full bloom
2. I have dug the compost pile and spread its bounty over our vegetable beds
3. The plum tree is blooming after a somewhat brutal winter pruning.
4. The daffodils are everywhere.
5. Our peony has bravely shot up two new, very bold shoots.
6. Our pond is alive is with the annual frog breeding extravaganza.
7. My hair and fingernails are growing fast.
8. I wore shorts and a singlet in the garden all day on Friday.
9. The sun is shinning and the air is warm(ish).
10. It is 6.15pm and it is still broad daylight outside.
We have had three days, in a row, of the most beautiful sunshine. Pools of it are streaming across my floor, toasting my shoulder as I sit and write. I can feel my body soaking it up, the life begins to sparkle in my cells. The hibernation is nearly over for another year…..such happiness.
So far my new year has been busy, filled with fun and work and not much blogging. My resolution was not to blog more but instead to “think less and act more”. To this end, I have been overhauling my website and online portfolio rather than writing about what I am doing. Its not quite finished yet, there are plans during the next month for a new Esty shop, a line of T-shirts and a lovely range of new paper-cuts. I have many hours of fun ahead. I love the new year, it is rather like clearing out your wardrobe and in the space, creating the possibility of newness. Such opportunity….