The Smallest of Things

Then there are the shafts of light that suddenly seem to appear around the house. You walk into a room and there they are. Beautiful vignettes, each breathing new life into a forgotten patch on the wall or a corner of the furniture. In a brief moment, it holds everything in its path in perfect clarity as the edges around it gradually fall into shade. And if by chance the ray catches a nodding, humble flowerhead in its path, the moment is elevated into something more than mere light and shade.  

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Pie Crusts and Promises

For me, January is the slowest month. It has an honesty and effortlessness to it after the frivolities and chaos of December. Each day is fleeting, holding within it the briefest of moments, which fall untarnished and remain unmarked as the sun fades and time disappears into nothingness.  Despite the shorter days, I feel as though I have all the time in the world. There is nothing pressing to do and very little to occupy my mind. It's too early for my seedlings to appear or to start the ritual of spring cleaning the house and it's too late to worry about the things that I didn't achieve last year. The mistakes I had previously made and the worries that I had carried with me were put to bed as I turned over the page of my new calendar.

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Notes from the Aga

I think about everything, from the trivial to the profound. I can spend an entire hour wandering whether we eat enough fish or whether our duvet has the right tog count for the time of year. But just lately one question has dominated my thoughts. I live a small but important life. I end most days with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. But do I keep my life intimate because I like it this way or because I am fearful of trying something new? In the years to come, when I approach the late autumn and winter of my life, will I feel as though I have done enough? Have I grasped the opportunities presented to me and left a legacy on this world?

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A Contented Month

Autumn though is a time of contradictions too. The early darkness forces us to slow down, to retire the day earlier than usual. As the winds pick up and the air finds it's bite, we retreat. We batten down the hatches and wait, finding solace in our domesticity. Yet I often find that this time of year brings about a new vigour, experiencing a rush of energy and creativity. The crisp days lure me outdoors where I'm not startled by a squintingly bright light but instead I'm beckoned by a low sun that is soft and unobtrusive.

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Forever a Piece of England

I have always been an early riser. Those first few moments of the day, when the memory of slumber still lingers in my bones and my senses are gently stirred by the whisperings of a new day are my favourite. I will often wrap my grandmother’s shawl around my shoulders, pull on my thick, woolly socks and step out into the garden, mug of hot tea cupped in my hands and listen to the muffled choruses and rustlings of nature as it awakens around me.

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A Place to Belong

'I lived a 'suitcase existence' never forming an emotional attachment to any of the places we were sent to because I knew my time there was temporary. On our arrival at any new quarter, I would quickly unpack our boxes, place furniture and objects around the rooms and hang curtains and pictures. After a while this process became almost automatic, perfunctory. My only aim was to get sorted as quickly as possible so we could get on with the day to day routines. I wasn't building a home as such, I was simply filling the abandoned spaces with familiar things, which would one day be packed away again. '

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