Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Toddler's House Rules: Translated

  1. Open!
  2. Thiut!
  3. Down!
  4. Whee! All gone!
  5. Where'd it gone?
  6. Nang.
  7. Yuck!
  8. Teared it!
  9. All fall down!
  10. Wheeeeeee!
  11. Bup! Bup! Bup!
  12. MINE!
  13. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

A Toddler's House Rules

  1. If it's shut, open it.
  2. If it's open, slam it.
  3. If it's on a shelf, push it off.
  4. If it's full, empty it.
  5. If it's on the floor, put it in a shoe.
  6. If it fits in your mouth, bite it.
  7. If it doesn't fit in your mouth, lick it.
  8. If it's paper, tear it.
  9. If it's hanging, pull it down.
  10. If it's at the top of the stairs, throw it down.
  11. If it's at the bottom of the stairs, carry it up.
  12. If it's not yours, run away with it.
  13. If anyone tries to stop you, scream.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Digging Up Paradise

I have finally got round to reading from start to finish Sarah Salway's Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes, People and Poetry in the Garden of England (I've been dipping into it up to this point). If you live in Kent you will read about garden treasures that you didn't know about; and if you are thinking of visiting Kent you will discover delights to add to your itinerary; and if you aren't thinking of visiting Kent, this book will make you want to.

It's a charming scrapbook of essays, poetry and writing prompts that drew me in and sent me wandering down green paths that refresh and comfort and inspire -- so for me it was a lot like a walk in a real live garden.

There are plenty of ways to understand a garden and plenty of ways for a visitor to communicate their experience -- you can list the plants and seethe because you can't get them to take in your own garden. You can slip in at dawn to take photographs. You can sketch the designs or the plants themselves. You can use what you've seen to re-create the experience in your own garden. You can examine the layers of history, write the stories of the owners, their staff and their influences. Lots of different ways to respond, and most of them done and done again. But Sarah's meditative walks and patient observations have produced something fresh and fascinating that will continue to delight me for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: A list found in a notebook

Processing the camera gets done regularly because is important to me as I've heard too many sad stories about cameras containing irreplaceable images getting lost. Once the pictures are on the computer they are backed up and safe on the hard drive, in Dropbox and (eventually) on the external hard drive, too. The other motivator is that my mother loves to see pictures of the children!

Gretchen Rubin gave some splendid advice in Happier At Home about dealing with her backlog of photos -- she set herself to work at it for 15 minutes a day using a timer.

Processing my notebooks happens less often, mainly because I'm disorganised and have too many in too many different places. But here is something I found in a notebook.

It is titled '50 things', but I must have got interrupted halfway through.
  1. Indigo/cobalt blue
  2. Coast line
  3. Sailing ships
  4. Washing on the line
  5. Sleeping in the sun
  6. Leafless branches
  7. Running water
  8. Big blousy flowers carelessly arranged
  9. Wafer biscuits
  10. Seeds inside a fruit
  11. Vintage packaging
  12. Art deco swimming pools
  13. Frida Kahlo
  14. Willow pattern
  15. Mountains next to the sea
  16. Log cabins
  17. Embroidered images
  18. Radish flowers
  19. Shells
  20. 1940s bathing costumes
  21. Iron beds
  22. Dresses with big skirts and nipped in waists
  23. Chinese lanterns

Wendy House Wednesday: Caught

Process your notebook, camera or sketchbook. Look through your captures and see if anything inspires you.

The instructions are:

  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Jammed

Look over the spreads and jam in your larder and fridge. Are they in the right place? Are they still edible? Do the jars need a wipe? Update the shopping list. Now it’s toast time.

The instructions are:

  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Dark cupboard

What’s in your cleaning cupboard? Dispose of anything you no longer use. Wipe drippy bottles. Add almost empties to the shopping list. Done.

Our cleaner keeps me on my toes with this -- she leaves the empties in the middle of the kitchen table so I know what to buy in. I usually ask her for recommendations as I get overwhelmed by the supermarket's choice. She recently surprised me with her enthusiasm for old fashioned Cif bathroom cream cleaner.

The instructions are: Don't over-think. Spend no more than 15 minutes. It doesn't have to be perfect.