To live content with small means - to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich - to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart - to bear all cheerfully - do all bravely, await occasions - never hurry; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.

William Ellery Channing


on wearing a giant flower on your head

You are either the type of person who can get away with wearing a giant flower on your head, or you're not.

I clearly think that I am because I walked the streets of wintry England with this giant, pink flower on my head. I walked tall and I walked proud knowing full well that some people were walking past thinking blimey! I meanwhile was thinking that I looked the bees knees and no doubt about it.

I love this pattern, I'd been planning on making one for my giant head (it really is super big) for ages, since making this beauty, but I had to wait for all my Christmas knitting to be done before I could begin. Last year was a mega knitting year for presents and whilst I do love making things for people, it is quite stressful knitting to a deadline especially when you're not really all that good at it. I wish I was proper good at knitting but instead I knit in a state of mild terror that if I make a mistake, one, tiny mistake, then I'm doomed because I have a very poor record at fixing mistakes. What happens is, I try to fix said tiny mistake, but do it badly and cause another mistake and pretty much a minute later the whole thing is unravelling and I have to angrily frog and start again.

So to be able to make something where mistakes didn't matter was bliss. I sat on the sofa and knitted with relish, delighting in every stitch. There is something about knitting without a care as to the result that entirely calms the soul, focuses the mind and soothes like balm. Heavenly.

It's a good job I was so relaxed about this project because whilst I planned for the flower to be giant, wanted maximum impact, therein lay my fatal error.  I over-cooked the goose, so to speak. It's so big and heavy that it causes the headband to droop down over one eye, not a pleasing result and let me tell you that the last thing a lady wants is a drooping flower as she's walking down the street.

Epic fail.

But never defeated, this girl will start again, well remove the flower and try again, with less grandiose aspirations. The sad lesson being that sometimes the biggest flower does not win the day.


good stuff

Have you got good stuff going on? Are you organising, planning, having a clear out, dreaming up some good dreams?

Spring is on its way and I saw these perfect, purple lovelies on our walk today, it made me feel happy. I love when spring is just about to share her wonderful, flowery bounty with us, I feel ready for some good stuff.  She isn't my favourite season but I like her whisper of promise and the way she makes a bold statement about renewal.  Move aside crusty, dead leaves, there's some crazy ass pretty flowers coming through, I'm beautiful, I'm green and it's my time now.

I'm a paid-up member of team renewal having renewed and reinvented myself countless times over the years.  I like the process of clearing out the old to make way for the new, there isn't even a tiny bit of hoarder in me, if it stays still for long enough I will throw it. I believe that the space you make; in your life, your heart, your wardrobe, is what allows the good stuff to flow, what lets the magic in.

I'm walking proof of this, at 38 I was divorced, fabulous (obviously) and in a job I didn't so much hate as deemed pointless, constantly being told that I should stop being so 'emotional', so 'reactive' so 'me'.  Fast forward to today; 41, still fabulous (I know!), happily married, beautiful baby, dream house, the freedom to look after my girl full time and the space to make decisions about the future 'me' and you can bet the future me will use her emotions whenever she likes and react to whatever she damn well pleases.  I am the epitome of renewal, I am the poster girl for making good stuff happen.

So it is that after a deliberately quiet and peaceful January with a huge amount of planning, journaling, reading, playing, walking in the rain and relaxing, I'm now slowly starting to shift gears, emerge from my winter den, shrug off my winter coat and get more good stuff done.

Watch out universe, hold on to your hats world, I am primed and ready. Abundance isn't my word for the year for nothing.


in my head

What does your inner voice say?

Is it a constant chatterbox? Does it tell you that you should hurry up, do stuff, shouldn't do stuff, can't do stuff, must do stuff, mustn't do stuff? Does it say that if you do this then that will happen and if you don't then woe betide you and all that usual inner voice doomy type rubbish.

Mine does.  In fact mine would have me believe that I should always be doing something, planning something, making something, cleaning something or, failing that, bloody writing about something. It never shuts up.  Never. Shuts. Up!

My inner voice, lets call it Dave for the sake of this post, is constantly driving me forward, constantly driving me mad, always making me do stuff.  Dave has its uses of course but I don't always appreciate its running commentary on what I should be doing next and I don't happen to think it always has my best interests at heart.

Take last year for example.  I had a brand spanking new baby, so much joy, so much fun, so much work! And yet I found myself being constantly told by Dave that I should get a job.  It went something like this "a little part time job, yes, you know, it will get you out of the house and give Betsy time with other people, go on, go on, you can do it...blah, blah, blah".

So of course I get me a "little part time job" and whilst I do enjoy it, I don't enjoy leaving the girl and I certainly don't enjoy the palaver of getting her from A to B so I can go to C then back to B so we can go home to A again.  I find I'm missing her, I'm knackered and I don't quite know what I'm doing any more so I quit.

The thing is that around the time I started looking for that job I got toothache.  I went to the dentist, not a problem, he filled it.  Still toothache.  Go back to the dentist this time for a crown, now I'm broke and still have toothache. This went on for months and months and ended up with me reluctantly having a root canal treatment, I suppose nobody on earth has ever had root canal treatment willingly.  My final appointment for the tooth of doom was the same week I left my job.

Left the dentist, left my job, next day no toothache. Ta da!

Now some might say that this is a coincidence but I beg to differ.  I didn't even realise the two experiences matched until I was going back through last years diary to check out what we got up to (I had three haircuts, one trip to the cinema and eight (yes EIGHT) trips to the freaking dentist)! When I checked the dates everything sort of clicked into place, a big OH YEAH moment.

I think my body knows me better than Dave and it was trying to tell me stuff in its own body way ie. hurting!  This was to try and get my attention and to stop Dave from being in charge. My tooth was like "oh no, Dave's told her to go and get a job, better try and stop her, hope it doesn't take her too long to notice!"  Yeah.  Maybe next time I'll pay more attention to my body and less attention to Dave.