Things of beauty...

posted on: Friday, 29 July 2011

A Friday comes around again; I must admit my grasp on what day it is is slipping, life lacks routine at present. I am learning to embrace the sensation of waking up and wondering what on earth is happening each day.

I have read alot about 'Mindfulness' lately and prior to this new-found knowledge on the topic, my understanding of it was quite basic. I thought it meant stopping and noticing the moment. It can equate to that but it's also, I discover, a much wider doctrine that genuinely means stopping and breathing and attempting to 'just be'. Easier said than done I will tell you! I have been catching myself though, at certain moments thinking 'take this in; this moment, this sensation, this place' and try to momentarily capture the strength of that emotion. We've spent some evenings at the beach this week and I find these moments pour in much like the waves...sunset on the water (a moment), children's squeals as they jump in (a moment), a chilled coolbox drink on a warm day (a moment).

Meanwhile my husband and I had the privilege of attending a ball this week at Goodwood House which, I have to say, was pretty much the best party I have ever been to! Despite being dressed up in Jane Austen-esque regency costume (me in empire line, he in satin pantaloons!) we partied the night away in the most oppulent surroundings. I am here to say that I am becoming mildly obsessed (re-obsessed?) with 80s music; the band just played and played and I never left the dance floor. I love the 80s...! Danced and danced and danced some more - and now my feet still have a reminiscent ache.

And so to things of beauty...

via pretty stuff



Loren Hope designs via pink preppy lilly lover



love this cake...via style me pretty

via crush cul de sac



via this flickr...photograph from Red.co.uk

via Country Living


via crush cul de sac

via bippity boppity boo








My latest mantra: 'Let it go...'

Home thoughts...

posted on: Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hello! I am back, with a somewhat delayed re-surface on the blog. Not sure why...no time, no muse, no stillness with which to foster creative thoughts. Cornwall was...well it was very wet...such is the British summertime! A welcome break nonetheless, but it did not I fear, provide us with quite enough family time to feel we are back together. You know how you want holidays to be a salve for all of life's ills? Well a week was not enough! The Boos are broken up from school so a summer of tennis camp and days at the beach awaits them. If only the sun would stay out...

Fowey in Cornwall...
As for me, well the 'not working' experiment has made me slow down to such a snail's pace that I am not sure I will ever pick up momentum again. This can only be a good thing, but still, I feel I am lacking the sharpness that I once had; life is passing in a summer haze...



The Louise bubble...

posted on: Friday, 15 July 2011

School breaks up today after what seems like the longest term! So much has happened! We are off tomorrow to Cornwall for a British 'bucket and spade' holiday. We are staying in a cottage that belongs to Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall, allegedly where the Middleton family spent their New Year's Eve! It's a slower pace, which is what we all need right now. And after some lovely comments suggesting I share my photos, here is what is in the world of me this week...

...geraniums in my porch...

...deer running through the wheat field; they come up to the house each evening, mother and child...

...quintessentially English Cowparsley...

...school speech day marquee...

...roses on the trellis...

...sunny evening long shadows...

...Boo's oldest toy...

...blurry summer orchard moon...

...an old picture of the Boos, but nonetheless what Cornwall is all about for us; slowing down...

My blogging conundrum...

posted on: Tuesday, 12 July 2011

So, you know me, I have been doing a lot of thinking; mainly trying to join up the dots to see how I got on the path I am currently on. One theory I am developing is that a contributor to my pain is muscle tension, especially in my shoulders. There is an irony here as I have, for years, had pain in my shoulder caused by using the computer. I have mainly ignored it - despite it being like a resilient and annoying low hum in the background. It got much worse when I started blogging. I would, in those heady early days of my blog, spend hours reading blogs, sourcing images, scouring the web and of course writing. However I am starting to see that there might just be a link to the way I sit at the computer and the way my muscles now hurt...leading to the pain.


This leaves me with a conundrum. I love my blog. I love to blog. I am inexplicably linked to my apple Mac and the prospect of not typing for a while is, well, let's just say it seems more or less impossible. However I am trying to sit properly at the desk (no more hunching) and I am trying to limit the time I spend in that position. The net result is that when something enters my mind and I want to blog about it, I have to pause and think 'actually, maybe I shouldn't...' I need to see, you see, whether there is anything  I can do to make the pain reduce and it's slow progress.


I also appreciate that for weeks all I have written about is me, me, me and feel I am in a little 'Louise bubble'. Whilst it's lovely that you're willing to join me in my bubble, I do get the distinct impression I am going on a bit. And so, in the way of brief updates about me, me, me - today I went for a bicycle ride along the canal path, dodging fishermen. My children break up for summer at the end of the week and so I am cramming in every last bit of organisation I can, before I am accompanied by them for the next eight weeks. I am going to a summer ball on Friday, so I am trying to decide what to wear...long or short? I am spending a lot of time in my head, mulling stuff over, to the extent that I believe I have told people what I am thinking and realise that in fact I didn't, and it was all an internal mental conversation! I am thinking about old friends and old choices and things I have done.  I am observing my hometown, now flooded with summer tourists and wondering how it went from that sleepy town to a bustling city in the space of fifteen years.

Much of the time I think about blogging and so, if I am absent for day or two, I will be back, I am probably just deciding to give typing a rest and trying out my new ergonomically correct posture...



Coming up for air...

posted on: Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Things I have learned, now that I am currently not working. There is time...

I wake in the morning and normally I would, within seconds, be assessing whether it was a work day, who was going where, what I had in my schedule. Every decision would stem from that; how much time I had to do any given thing. I see now how time-obsessed I have been for so many years. Not unlike many, many women, I have worked since the day I finished University until now, punctuated only by two episodes of maternity leave, both lasting 8 months. Looking back, of course the time I was not working when I had my babies could hardly be described as 'not working'. Those early months were amongst the hardest work ever!

via sailboats and seersucker
The thing I notice the most is that my whole attitude to time dictated how I had to schedule every activity within an inch of its life. For example, laundry had to be done on certain days because if it wasn't no one would have any clothes to wear. I couldn't ever put it off as I knew that I would be working the next day. I religiously allocated slots of time to everything, constantly, and just that action over 10 years has, I can see now, been exhausting. I am exhausted with the scheduling and the logistics. Every invitation requires military decision-making on work commitments and their impact of school collection times. Every 'nice thing' could be slightly tarnished by the fact that I would have to move heaven and earth to make it happen. This particularly noticeable with the children, whose activities and needs I now find I can accommodate with minimal extra effort. It becomes a pleasure rather than a chore...

Yet - my mind is not still or passive with the relief of not working for a while. Not working is almost not natural to me. It's all I have ever done and I find my mind wandering to what my colleagues are doing, who is doing my work, what projects are slipping, what decisions are faltering. Then of course I remind myself that life goes on in the corporate world and not for one second would I presume that they can't live without me, be it temporarily or permanently.

This leads me as well to the working mother vs stay at home mother conundrum.  I feel like I can now look at both sides. Much like childbirth, which I experienced on one occasion with all the drugs and on the other with none. I can honestly say neither was better or worse, the experiences were just different. I see now how attached I have been for so long to the working mother crusade, as if I single-handedly had to champion the fact that women can work and be good mothers. I find this fascinating now that I can see it more objectively.

All the advice I have had to slow down in recent weeks does ring true now and I see that I was going too fast; dare I say dangerously so. My body and the pain I have been feeling (read: trying to ignore for over a year) have been telling me; it's time to stop. I spend my days now just trying to 'be' and when I write that, I really mean it this time. I have purported to just 'be' before on this blog, and I see that I was tricking myself in the belief that I was. Now - this time - is different.

I am left with the unnerving realisation that the pain is linked to the life I have been leading; in some way the stress and honestly, I had never thought of this, but the ergonomics of how I live have contributed to all of my muscles just seizing up. I try now to notice that my shoulders are hunched all of the time. I consciously have to drop them when I sit typing this or when I drive the kids to school. The tension is gradually seeping away but my goodness it's a slow progress. I tell myself: it took years to get this way, it won't stop in 4 weeks.

I don't really know what tomorrow holds, let alone the future. It is completely alien to me to be in this sort of free-fall; decisions unmade, life choices unknown. But isn't that the thing with well being? You can't rush it...

...dawn in the Isle of Wight...taken by my husband on his iphone...

My world today...

posted on: Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy Monday to you. Just a little insight into my world today, I am afraid it's rather suburban; washing lines and school spelling tests. It's a beautiful sunny day and I have been for an early morning power walk with my Mum through the countryside, reminding myself yet again how wonderful it is to live here. Only a couple of weeks left of school and then the summer off, who would have thought?

We spent the weekend looking at senior schools for Boo - now that feels like it's going to be the decision of the decade; where is it best to send her? Academic emphasis or sport? Ugh, if only I had a crystal ball. Sunday we went to the most perfect garden party looking out over the water, watching the boats go by. The de-stress continues in earnest...

...summer garden posy...

...a lavender haze...

...Wimbledon panama finds a temporary new home...

...wheat field flanked by camomile flowers...


...the red arrows flying overhead - from Goodwood...

...Monday morning sunlight on the dewy lawn...

...before-school spelling practice...

...washing line normality...

Things of beauty...but I'm lazy...

posted on: Saturday, 2 July 2011

Oh I have neglected you; it's been such a disjointed week. Another jaunt to Wimbledon (lucky me) and then Boo's away-trip which is thankfully now done. She is a little worse for wear but OK! A weekend on order now of not very much. The sun is shining, it is finally starting to feel a bit like summer. In the interests of minimal effort - here are some pretty but you-might-have-seen-before pictures to muse over...

I am thinking about our holidays, seasides and chilled drinks, my new spoon necklace (inspired here) which is winging its way to me. But mostly wondering what exactly I am doing with my little life!



photograph by Jamie Beck





via toast

via Cabbages and Roses

















If there are beautiful things, everything will be alright...
Related Posts with Thumbnails