Friday, 31 August 2018

Autumn approaches

Autumn approaches - the season of pruning, and harvest, and collecting seeds.

After our upheaval of the last year it seems fitting that my life should feel like I'm entering the season of autumn. I look at the garden we've inherited, which hasn't really been looked after in recent years, and am bracing myself for the hedge trimming and general pruning and tidy up that needs to be done in the next few months. The meadow we want to encourage needs mowing back and the seeds allowed to drop before raking in the clippings.

And it feels much the same for me. There are places that need pruning back because they are not where my future lies. There are seeds that need to be collected ready for planting in spring in readiness for a new crop. There is fruit to harvest from our last season which wasn't necessarily apparent when we moved on but is now ripe.

Autumn approaches and there are jobs to be done.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Wheel of time

The wheel of time is always turning whether we are doing anything or not.

Are you spending time or investing it?

Monday, 27 August 2018

Taking stock

Taking stock.

When you reach a certain age - and I'm fast approaching 50 - you look back on your life with a critical eye. What have I achieved? Have I made a difference? If I died tomorrow, would people notice? What sort of legacy will I leave?

It is good to take stock, not to beat yourself up, but to remember how much you have already achieved.

Friday, 24 August 2018


Sometimes it's all just a great big mess. 

Life isn't all Instagram-friendly. But it's not over yet, either. Push on through the mess.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018


It always takes a little time to settle after moving, but I draw comfort from looking at the plants. The herbs we bought and re-potted looked lost in their new pots to start with, but now they are flourishing, filling the new pots almost to the point of needing to be potted on again.

Our roots have been disturbed but they will settle again, reach out, grow new networks. Plus we're planted in a garden, a community, so there's no need for re-potting as we grow.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Little things

What seems inconsequential when we do it may create great ripples.

This page is full of small marks that go to make up the whole. It came about after we received a message this week. About ten years ago we were living in Lewes, East Sussex. We made some friends there who were over from the US to study for a couple of years. We did the usual things of drinking coffee together and bonding over food. Just the usual stuff that you don't really think about.

They have returned to the US, we have lived in Australia for over eight years and now returned to the UK, but all through our respective travels we have kept in touch.

Fast forward to now. My husband saw an item that he wanted but was only available in the US. He contacted our friends and asked if it would be possible to get one and post it over. We would reciprocate with something they wanted or reimburse them, whichever was best for them. Said item arrived, and when we contacted our friends about paying them, they said they wanted to gift it to us. They mentioned our friendship when they were far from home, and a specific instance (which we had forgotten) when we fed them and looked after them after a particularly tough day.

Those things that seem inconsequential at the time can create ripples. They seem small or ordinary to us, but to those on the receiving end they are much more. Small acts of kindness are never wasted.

And of course, the same applies to mean acts. The ripples they cause can be devastating. So watch your behaviour in the small things as well as the large.

Friday, 17 August 2018


Maybe... I just need to be available.

When you're not sure what to do, be available. Be ready to do what needs to be done when asked.

I have a lot of spare time in my schedule, but perhaps it's there for a reason. Perhaps - just maybe - I need to be available when people need someone to talk to.

How available are you?

Wednesday, 15 August 2018


Where is your focus? What distracts you from it?

I'm not above being distracted or procrastinating. I like to swipe through Instagram as much as the next person. But I don't let it take over - a couple of minutes to catch up on what people have been doing, and then back to the real world.

There is so much that can pull our focus from where we want it to be/where it should be. This world is full of distractions. Will you let trivial things pull your focus from what's important? Or can you put on the blinkers when necessary and move towards your goals with purpose?

Monday, 13 August 2018

She wondered...

She wondered how her head could contain it all.

Sometimes your pages - much like life - can get a bit overwhelming. This was one of those. A quick face sketch and a pushing back of the background by painting over it with dark green made it more manageable. The face is a little wonky, but that reflects how I feel some days :)

Friday, 10 August 2018

Colossians words challenge - week 1

Through August Mary, over on Found On Brighton, is running a word challenge. The 20 words are taken from the letter to the Colossians. I'm working in an A5 journal - half the size of the pages I usually create - and each page is done in one day, so they are a little simpler than my usual work. I've taken the word, done a quick study (by way of a mind map on the back of each page) and condensed it down to a phrase which is then journalled on the page.

Here are the the ones for the first 7 words. Above: Faith - complete trust or confidence

Day 2: Love - that which everything else should grow out of.

Day 3: Hope - the light that keeps on shining.

Day 4: Knowledge - do you know in your head or in your heart?

Day 5: wisdom - knowing what to do and how.

Day 6: Strength/power - for endurance and patience with joy.

Day 7: All - nothing and no-one is left out.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The great divide

The great divide: what I think I could do vs what I could actually do.

This page was going along swimmingly as I contemplated what I might do in the future. Having moved, and approaching 50, I'm having one of those times of reassessment. 

Then a black swathe made its way on to the page. Yes, I know I'm making it sound as if the paint just put itself there, but sometimes that's how it feels! I go along just making marks and sticking things in the way that feels right, and suddenly something arrives on the page that makes me stop and think. 

What is it there for? Why did I do that? What is going on in my head?

Why did I have a great black curve splitting my page? When the word 'divide' came to me, it started to make sense. This black shape represented the divide between what I feel I am capable of, and what I'm really capable of if pushed to it. It's easy to get stuck with thinking that, just because I've been at home for 20 years looking after and educating our daughter, I have no skills for the workplace. 

But that's not true. Many things we do as mothers and looking after a home are transferable skills. Sometimes we have to stand back and take stock of the skills we have and how they can be applied in a different area. You (and I) are much more capable than you think.