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Friday, March 25, 2011

{this moment}

Happy Purim!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemamma. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nourish Me:: - Week Six - Bite Me

No, he hasn't killed and eaten someone with his impressive new teeth - it's the organic beetroot!

Right now, my nourishment is coming in sweet little bite size pieces:

:: watching :: a beautiful pregnant woman, in a stunning vintage dress, get married to a sweet guy; the biggest full moon rise over the dark hills; the glowing fire putting my overtired wee Bear to sleep; Beanie screaming with joy on a big ride.
:: loving :: the little moments of crafty fun I am managing to squeeze into my days (and nights); my quirky, loud, boisterous, funny little Bear and Bean playing chasey; the smell of wood smoke and the increasing chill in the air; the best ever recipe for chocolate zuccini bread...OMG it is SO good; our autumn nature table.
:: longing :: for a little quiet time to read; a little quiet time to knit; a little quiet time to plan; oh and a little quiet time.
:: looking forward to :: getting rugged up and going for a walk. Since camping I seem to be more at home in the fresh air than I am indoors!; a trip to the theatre to see a friend in a play - I haven't been to the theatre in over four years (motherhood tends to get in the way of my artistic pursuits!); a good 10 days of 'man about the house' when hubble takes a looooong break over Easter; receiving my craft swap items from persons unknown; Winter days at the beach; mulled wine; hot chocolate; open fires. 
:: heading towards :: new creative horizons with my writing and my business. Watch this space.
:: enjoying :: my bed; a little champagne; a change of scenery - oh I do love a rolling hill or six; time with friends with kids; feeling inspired; life through the eyes of my girl; coffee; my op-shop obsession; culling, culling, culling - books, clothes, toys, baby clothes, baby equipment - it feels so refreshing!
"Look mamma - it's a fairy house for sure!"
:: talking about :: being present; the future; a third baby - will we/won't we?; weddings we have known and loved; simplifying.
:: surprising myself with :: how much attention I am paying to my own nourishment because I know that I have to write about it; moments of real patience in difficult situations.
Daddy's fruit face - yup, making them is a little addictive.
:: feeling :: blessed, hopeful, inspired and just a little bit cheeky.
:: hoping :: you guys will share a little of your self nourishing with me, even if it's only now and then.
:: grateful for :: every moment.

How about you lot?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} inspired by Soulemamma - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nothing Compares To You

Wonderful (but just the tiniest bit tiring?)
Reading through other people's blogs gives me inspiration. I love the colour, the thoughtfulness, the raw edges exposed. One of the reasons I trained to be an actor was because I wanted to live all those other lives. Lives that were not open to me, that I would not choose or that I would. Lives that I admired and despised. And so it is with blogging. I visit, I enjoy, I swoon, I covet, I crave, I am inspired. And yet. Sometimes the very blogs that give me the most pleasure are the ones that can make me feel the guiltiest. Strange really. How something that can give you joy can make you feel bad about yourself.

Paint my skin with the poetry of truth.
I realise that for me it is in comparison that the folly lies. I compare my life to the (seemingly ideal) lives of women who, to me at least, are doing it 'right'. The women who grow their own veggies, make their own clothes, knit with love, clean their houses naturally, recycle, reuse, repurpose. All things I do or aspire to do, with varying degrees of success. Our veggie garden being one of my failures this year. Most of what we planted didn't grow and I didn't have the energy to give it sufficient attention. See, I WANT to be someone who loves gardening but I'm not. It's just one more thing to do. One more responsibility in a life that already feels over full. I WANT to be a grounded, down to earth mamma with nothing more pressing in my life than raising beautiful, happy children. Sometimes I can feel myself getting closer to that ideal but then my Rooster self pops up with a 'What about me?' and I slip into resentment and yes, guilt. It seems I can never convince myself that I am enough. I know myself only in the failures of my mothering journey. Never in the successes. It is a slippery slope of wanting to be more than I am and never quite getting there.

Comparing myself to these wonderful women is not inspiring. It is depressing quite frankly. I love the lives they lead. The quiet purposefulness of their approach to living and loving. I love their brilliant creativity, their beautiful prose, their still souls. Yet. I am unlike them. My soul burns with this restless fire. I long to create but when I do get the time, I waste it with seemingly important tasks which do not feed this creative fire. I am permanently dissatisfied. I have so much gratitude for the life I live and the people in it, yet it never seems 'enough'. I am part of the universal malaise that is a constant craving for 'more'. More what exactly? In lives that seem simpler, more profound with less - what is there to want, to need, to buy? And yet, there it is. In all it's shameful glory. This ache within me that wants more. More recognition, more time to myself, more time to create, more skill, more patience (oh yes please God - more of that), more wisdom, more stillness, more life, more passion, more money, more freedom, more space, more, more, more. I am never satisfied with what I have. Worse - with who I am.
I am an open book, in want of a reader.

I try. I do. I have come to this place time and again. I know myself to be a Rooster. A bossy, loud, disorganised, funny, colourful, lazy, impatient, sarcastic, know-it-all Rooster. But I want to be a swan. A glidy, quiet, silken, peaceful, compassionate, patient swan. Why? I crave peace. I crave silence. But when you go into the silence - hoo lordy - the noise that emerges could deafen you from 20 years away. And I ping pong back to reality and lose myself there with a million excuses so that I don't have to truly sit with any of it. And so, instead of 'doing' well, anything actually, I lurk around other people's blogs like some creepy cyber-stalker with one hand down my pants, and dream of being someone who home-schools their progeny, cans their own produce, eats well and takes fantastic photographs. Someone who exercises and loves it. Someone who loves their kids and never gets frustrated with them or swears bilingually at them. Someone who is splendid in her mothering and spectacular in herself.

Coming up for air.

But that's not me.

This is me:

  1. Overweight but too feckin' tired to do anything about it.
  2. Eats badly and craves too much salt, sugar and chocolate. And I'll admit it. I LOVE McDonalds. I do. I hate the business but love the food. Please don't hate me. 
  3. Is frequently impatient and grumpy with her beloved children and hubble. 
  4. Whinges frequently. (Well, I am British).
  5. Is never satisfied because the grass is always greener...
  6. Spends too much money (even though it's on charity shop buys and books).
  7. Says 'fuck' a lot. A real lot. With 'bollocks' inexplicably making a reappearance recently. (I do like that word though. It's satisfying in the mouth - if you'll excuse the horrible double entendre).
  8. Is driven crazy by her willful, beautiful, funny but seriously stubborn and feisty daughter. She  make me want to tear my hear out, cry and laugh all at the same time. Every. Day.
  9. Has a terrible, unseemly obsession with books. Library books, second hand books and new books. It's an addiction. Relentless Book Sluttery. I buy them and then they sit on my shelves unread. I currently have over 65 library checkouts (though some of them are for my girl). I think I have OCD.
  10. Am chronically sleep deprived yet often sit up until 1 or 2am being aforementioned online stalker of superior blogs.
  11. Hates cooking and is frequently found slumped in front of pantry bulging with 'stuff' unable to come up with any kind of creative combination that is edible. That hasn't stopped me buying beautiful 'wholefood' cooking books obviously.
  12. Loves the cloth nappy idea (and my gorgeous colourful itti's) but detests scraping retch inducing poop off nappies, before putting them in the washer, (over and over again), until the stains come off. The smell of ammonia is unbelievable and it is not water friendly in our drought ridden state.
  13. Loves plants. Loves the idea of homesteading. Hates gardening. 
  14. Loves to write but just doesn't.
  15. Has grand dreams and ambitions (and is often jealous of other people's successes even though she is glad for them) but does buggar all about them.
  16. Is a good friend most of the time but doesn't seem to have that gene that disposes one to be really thoughtful. I wish I did. I think of things after the fact and then am sad that I didn't do more.
  17. Is often creatively inspired and excited about some new idea or project, but then gets bored or discouraged if its too hard or if I can't 'get it' immediately.
  18. Is lazy.
  19. Irreverent.
  20. Judgmental.
  21. Loves her bed more than her husband and children. Almost.
  22. Let's her girl watch too many movies in an effort to have a moment to herself. (Or to sneak a nap with the wee bear).
  23. Is guilty of setting the bar way too high for herself in just about every area of life.
  24. Doesn't know how to adjust bar.
  25. Hates reading manuals. To anything. But has more parenting books that Barnes & Noble, Angus & Robertson and Waterstones combined.

The Naked Truth

However, this is also me:

  1. Funny.
  2. Excitable.
  3. Fun (at least, I used to be).
  4. Loves Nature and yes, that now includes camping. Who knew?
  5. Loves books.
  6. Loves poetry, literature and writing - even if she doesn't have time for any of them.
  7. Loves her man and her babies. A lot. A very lot. An inescapably, frighteningly, overwhelmingly lot.
  8. Hates letting people down.
  9. Gives generously when the mood strikes.
  10. Loves op shops (thrifting) and would throw them down by the fire and make sweet love to them if they were people.
  11. Is eclectic and let's face it, a wee bit eccentric.
  12. Is passionate about many things but mostly about being a good mamma.
  13. Is very creative. Even if what I make is shit by my own standards.
  14. Talks a lot but is learning to listen well.
  15. Occasionally takes great photos.
  16. Loves craft of any type.
  17. Is deeply spiritual but lazy.
  18. Always has the best of intentions but frequently falls short in their execution.
  19. Is soft hearted, kind natured and compassionate.
  20. Cries easily and often.
  21. Is dramatic.
  22. Is very adaptable and quick to pick up new things.
  23. Isn't afraid to try new things.
  24. Is charismatic, charming and engaging.
  25. Is inspiring.
  26. Is brave. Often. Because life often scares me.
  27. Tries really, really, REALLY hard.

So - there you have it. The truth in all its gory or glory depending on your perspective. I know that there is a way to find the balance and to not be so hard on myself all the damn time. I am not saying I know what that answer is but at least I'm searching for it. I'm trying. Even if some schools of thought think that trying is wrong.

The Doors of Perception

I am calmed by the sea. The flow of the water reminds me to breathe in and breathe out. And that really, that's all there is. Breathing, watching, walking, eating, loving, sharing, talking, listening, reading, hoping, wondering - it's all just one long extension of the whole breathing thing. And so I lurk and I read and I compare and I feel sad and then I remind myself that this is not all that I am. I am also the second list and that I have parenting wins sometimes. I remind myself that no-one could ever say I didn't try. I know that my roosterness will come in handy one day, I just don't know how yet. And I promise myself to spend less time looking through rose tinted glasses at other people's lives and spend more time living mine. Imperfect as it is.

So there.
Now that's more like it.
All photos courtesy of Bohemian Shoebox 
Please go there to see where the originals came from. Thanks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

{This Moment}

 A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemamma
A single photo - no words capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

(Ssh! She doesn't really have binoculars!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

February in Review

February in Review

This is my first month in review but I was inspired by Mon over at Holistic Mamma to start doing this little exercise. I think it fits perfectly in with the whole 'nourishment' thing I'm doing. It will give me a chance to see how things are changing and where I'm at with it all. So here goes...

February began with our last two days of camping. After 21 years of skillfully avoiding sleeping in the Great Outdoors - I was lured into it by a new tent and a lovely camp site. Now I'm bloody hooked!

A thought...
I spend way too much money.
A sound...
The sound of me biting my tongue.
A taste...
Fresh organic rasberries (it's Summer here!)

An image...
Doesn't it look like he's serenading her?

A scent...
Fresh Sea Air baby! (And coffee...mmmm coffee).
A word... (anything word related)Ow! (sunburn and bull ants!)
A touch...
My little bear sleeping in my arms.
A gift for me...
Discovering what nourishes me. 
A post you may have missed...
Nourish Me

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nourish Me:: Week Five - A World in Colour

Bing, Bong, Bing
I like black. I wear it a lot. Too much, probably but it suits me, it's slimming and, (after many years of being a Goth in my late teens/early twenties), it's a difficult habit to break. Plus, it goes with everything and that's important when one has limited wardrobe choices due to excess baggage of a wrinkly, skin coloured kind.

However, I love colour. I seem to need it  more and more. I have begun to surround myself with it in quite a lot of ways, without really being aware that it was happening. Red is my colour du jour right now. It just love how vibrant and exciting it is. Without wishing to be cliched, it is a passionate colour - hence it's association with all things love and sex related. But it is also bright and warm and welcoming. It's popular as feature walls in dining rooms - it stimulates appetites and conversation. So over the last few years I have been slowly accumulating things red.

The Red Tent from The Divine Feminine
This reaching out for colour started with a beautiful red chinese teapot and 6 little handleless cups decorated with cherry blossom. Then slowly it radiated outwards and collected red and white striped mugs, damask mugs, gorgeous little red cups and saucers with white polka dots, (my 'happy' cups). Then suddenly a red clock appeared on our white timber walls, then a red kettle for the hob, (we have an unseemly number of blackouts up here in the hills), so that the Brit doesn't die without tea when there is no power. Then a new dinner service arrived - not strictly red but white with a big red poppy on it and finally, last year, a red Ektorp sofa arrived for our family room. Then yesterday, on impulse we bought a massive rug for our family room to stop Finn from head-butting the slate floors more than is strictly necessary. Guess what colour it is?


That's right.

It's a lovely red persian style thing which beanie insists that everyone enjoy by removing their socks and really 'feeling' the carpet. "It's so soft mummy. Now I can play down on the floor!" Yes, we have evidently being abusing our daughters knees by not having a covering on the hard slate.

But that's not the only colour that is creeping into our house. Oh no. There is the heather coloured feature wall in our room. The heather and clover coloured walls of Beanie's room. There are the new cups that have appeared over the last year or two. A beautiful sunshine yellow and gold china cup and saucer for herbal tea, the little turquoise coffee set (6 mini mugs and saucers), I got for $3. In total. (I know!). And then there is the latest addition. My Chinese teapot and big cups had babies - three of them - three little handleless cups, decorated with cherry blossom in the colours of red (you guessed it), orange (aha! shock new colour!), green (wait! where is she going with this - it's multicolour madness!), and blue (it matches the turquoise. Kinda.). For these I paid the princely sum of $4. What can I say - I'm made of luck.

Mamma's special teacup. 
Suddenly I am surrounded by colour. I am drinking out of it, looking at it, wearing it, putting it on my nails, surrounding light-bulbs with it, hanging it on walls and on beds and surreptitiously squinking it into little nooks and crannies. There is a veritable flood of it and it's quite wonderful. I am being drawn to images that are colourful and bright and inspirational. That make me want to make stuff and create. There is not much inspirational about looking at too much black. Even the darkness has stars to decorate it.

And so this week I have found myself focusing on colour intentionally. How I use it, how it uses me, what colours I am drawn to (I think we've established I like red) and what they might symbolise, how different colours make me feel, what I instinctively am drawn to and why I think that is. It's been an exploration of the vividness and diversity of colour in my life and it's been delightful. I never fully realised how our choice of colours reflects not just our personality but also our mood. It is entirely possible to change how you feel by simply adding a colour that makes you feel up, or calm, or relaxed, or sexy, to yourself or your environment. I find that blue makes me feel calmer and more mindful, red gears me up and makes me want to connect, yellow makes me smile - it's such a sunny colour and its so damn bright. Green makes me feel earthed and held while black makes me feel mysterious, powerful and yes, hidden. Sometimes I need that. And then there are stripes (of which I am a HUGE fan), polka dots (second only to stripes) and patterned things. I even do subtle colours now though I will never really be a pastel girl - too flacid and pasty for me.

Oh my! Red AND Stripes.
The whole exercise has been so liberating. I have been influenced by my girl's colour sense, her crazy combinations, her multi-coloured wardrobe. I have stopped wanting to hide in black and have started to really surf the colour wave that has engulfed me. Colour makes me happy. It reminds me that life is not monotone - it is a rainbow peacock strutting it's wonderful stuff. It is a field of poppy's and the emerald green of the grass after rain. It is the toothpaste commercial colours of the sea - minty green and turquoise with foamy white. It is everywhere and it is available all of the time. So why limit ourselves with our habitual colour palette. Go buy something out of your colour comfort zone. Buy two things that blatantly don't match. Try something different and see how you feel.

And so, I drink my coffee out of my happy cups. I eat my cereal out of my poppy bowls, I put my compost in a little red tin bin and I bring flowers into my house whenever I can. It gives me a little lift and it makes me smile. What's not to love? Most of all though, it feeds me in some subtle way. It gives me energy to get through the day. It gives me just a little bit of courage to try something else new. It reminds me to enjoy life in all of it's hues - even the darker ones.

The Aurora Borealis
Coolest Style EVER! (can't remember where I found this, sorry!)

So, what have you been doing this week to nourish yourself?

As always remember to leave a comment with a link to your nourishment post and to link it back to me. I hope you will join in - it's a much needed gift to ourselves.