Saturday, 25 September 2010


I've been really miserable the last two days, and I can't quite explain it. Everything seems to be in a big old mess... boxes everywhere, moving date seems to be receding into the distance... every time I put a load in the dishwasher or in the washer another one seems to appear. I'm not keeping on top of the house, or on top of anything else right now. I've lost my diary - where I write all the reminders that I can't keep in my overstuffed brain - and lost any sense of organisation.

Yesterday was my last day at my 'office job' before I head out into part-time short contract world, a kind of transition step to unjobbing. I think maybe I feel sad because I put such an effort in for three years, to make things better there, and many of the academic staff didn't really even show any care that I was leaving. I did get some great vouchers for John Lewis, which was really generous, and a bottle of champers, but when I saw who had signed my card there was a distinct lack of academic staff on there. Just made me feel rubbish for battling and striving for three years, for nothing. But my boss and my other admin team who work in the offices next to me were great and we had a glass of fizz and a natter before I left.

Today I've been finding E really hard work. He seems to say 'no' to everything and doesn't listen when I ask him not to do things. He kicks me when I'm trying to change his nappy, climbs on the table when I have said not too, tries to get into the fuse box... he's just a bit wild at the moment, and I'm finding disciplining him difficult. I keep losing my temper, which I really don't want to do. I need to find a way of chilling out about it all.

I've got a lot coming up in the next two weeks. I'm registering at the new institution where I'll be doing my PhD, my teaching starts again, and I have some new teaching on a performance course. And of course the big house move. I wonder if my little brain can cope with all of this....

Image 'Young Girl Struck by Sadness' by Picasso

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Beautiful Losers

I recently watched the wonderful documentary 'Beautiful Losers' and was enthralled by listening to the late Margaret Kilgallen speak. Her work is absolutely stunning. I have often said that beauty is found in things that are off, or 'wonky', and that this imperfection is beautiful. She expressed that thought so much better than I could:

'I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is'

"Margaret Kilgallen" on Art:21,, 2005 (via Wikipedia)

(Images via The Initiatives and Visualingual)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Magical childhood: tips for parenting

I've been reading a wonderful article on parenting, which I wanted to share with you. It's given me a lot of encouragement that my journey as a mama is heading in the right direction and that I'm learning so much from spending time with E - we learn together and in a natural, unforced way.
As the author, Alicia, says

“…But more important, what parents need to know :
[…] Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them.”

Full article is available here .

Trying to build a magical childhood for my boy, trying to do the very best I can on that front.

(via Tralalere)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Vintage Vacations

Oh my goodness, I'd just love a cozy winter holiday in this converted tin tabernacle, on the Isle of Wight. Isn't it stunning?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Our new house!

We're moving! I'm super excited, although there are a zillion things to do before we move in about four weeks. We've amassed so much stuff since we moved in here four years ago.

Our new place is the one on the left. The garden is HUGE with a big veg plot, a greenhouse and three sheds! We've never gardened before so it's a steep learning curve, but my mum has been giving me tips and hints to get us started and is always on the end of the phone. And I can always rely on good old Gardener's World too!! (I'm so middle aged but I love it!)