Wednesday, 30 January 2008

God Speed Saoirse

Today, the 60th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Saoirse, set off from Bristol to walk to Porbander in India. He is travelling without money and will rely solely on the hospitality of those he meets en route. Saoirse is a freeconomist, committed to building a community based on love and mutual service as opposed to money and credit.

My reactions to this modern day pilgrimage are very mixed: admiration for his courage, hope for his success, fear for his safety, scepticism for his idealism, but mostly envy for his implicit faith in the intrinsic goodness of humanity. I hope for all our sakes he makes it.
You can follow Saoirse's progress at

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Let There be Lights 2

I love this gold tray (from Asda). It's the perfect base for a collection of candles - in this case waxed jewels scented with winter spices.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


I have decided to try and buy a bunch of flowers every week - to cheer up the house and perhaps inspire the girls to draw them in their sketchbooks. This week it's irises. They look purple in the photo but they are, of course, a vibrant blue.


This afternoon I made marmalade using a 'kit' from Riverford. It took me all afternoon and evening and undoubtedly cost me more than buying the equivalent number of jars from the nearest supermarket, but there is something so seasonally satisfying in transforming bitter knobbly seville oranges into sweet golden flecked preserve that will last us until it's time to make another supply next January.

Monday, 21 January 2008


I went to see the National Gallery touring exhibition this afternoon. The theme is Love. It was very busy and there was a queue to get in, so I only had a quick look. This is one of my favourites -Steppin' out with my baby (My Donna) by Amrit Singh. The artist has taken the Mughal miniature and given it a contemporary twist. The attention to detail is impressive and the colours vibrant. A jewel of a painting. Brilliant.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Let there be Lights

The Christmas before last Dad said that one of the enduring memories of his visit would be these lantern lights around the picture frame. It was the last Christmas he would spend with us.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Thank You

I was given this flowering plant as a thank you for organising our reading group. The flowers are quite exquisite. It's nice to be appreciated.

An Attractive Way to 5-a-Day

It's not always easy to persuade the girls to chose fruit over crisps or chocolate biscuits when they come home from school, but serving it in a glass tumbler makes it a more attractive option (even if they do then reach for the biscuit jar!).

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

A Thing of Beauty . . .

For those who chanced upon it, 3191 A Year of Mornings was an inspiration. Their subject material was very mundane: socks, coffee cups, fruit, toes etc but the composition was delightful. After a break of a few weeks they have returned with a variation on their original site, entitled 3191 A Year of Evenings, which promises to be just as fascinating.

It reminded me of a book I read many years ago entitled 'Hidden Art' by Edith Schaeffer, in which she encouraged the reader to recognise the potential for artistic expression in the most ordinary of contexts.

I have decided to see whether I can perceive something of beauty every day and , if and when I do, I shall post it on this blog.

I have begun with the lunchbox my elder daughter gave me at Christmas. Over the years I have received a number of beautiful presents from my girls, who demonstrate their remarkable perception in buying me things I love but would never buy for myself. This year and this lunchbox are no exception.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008


I'm not sure how I feel about the beginning of a new year, except the fear that if I don't do things differently it will be the same as last year and the one before that .... Not that there was anything desperately wrong with any of the last few years. Apart from the death of my dad in March, which still makes me feel very sad, there were many good times. But the new year is the time to take stock and move on and I'm not sure how to do so.

One thing I would like to find, which may prove to be crucial, is a spiritual home. Somewhere where I can stop pretending to be someone else and feel free to be me, vulnerable to others and to God. My local church is full of some lovely people but there is no space just to 'be' with each other - body, mind and spirit. There's always too much stuff in the way.

I have no idea where, if anywhere, I am going to find this 'home' but I am resolved to try.

Happy(?) new year!