Friday, 6 November 2015

Back again

Eight months have past since I spoke here last. Words dried up as motherhood grew. I've been unable to get to that creative, clear headed space I need to form any sentences. But I feel a shifting in the haze. As I walk through crisp leaves and watch Queenie running before me, my heart longs to create collections of words, I speak internally, a procession of paragraphs, a pouring out of my heart.
I always struggle to maintain this space, or to keep up with my diary throughout the summer. My heart's outside. My creativity spent on the growing of food, in the garden digging, planting, reaping, learning. We're at the beach, in the sea. Mind free from thoughts, just experiencing. The camera roll on my phone is constantly full. Summer's beautiful and fun and fast.
And then each year, autumn falls. The darkness creeps in on both sides. We hibernate more and the burly sea winds rattle our windows and the rain is thick and vigorous. And with it, a need to create emerges.
A short walk with the children is vital -whatever the weather- but those endless days outside are few. I am looked at to form activities. Art projects. Baking for little fingers. And my hands are twitchy to knit, draw, quilt or paint.
This week Queenie began nursery. A new stage in our lives. More about that for another time, but as I look on at her growing independence, a little more headspace returns to me. 

Now, I will not make any promises. I won't even set goals. I shall let my heart guide my head and see what words befall me. When I can, the ink will soak paper, fingers tap keys, and if it feels right, here I will share. It's exciting but I am not putting too much weight on it. Life is full and I don't want this to become a burden as it has on the past, but as the pleasure it feels now. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sunday evening thoughts

I'm pretending I've sat calmly watching the evening sun warm my jars of spices, until the sky turned gold and then black. I imagine I pulled on thick socks as the air cooled. I would have embraced the stillness and quiet, sipping a cup of something warm and thinking how nice it was to listen to the sounds of the world outside.

But rather I stood in the middle of the kids room, rocking and singing, over an over. He's more unsettled than I've ever seen him, 'new teeth' I wonder. I stop a few times for him to have one more feed, sat at the end of Queenie's bed. She stirs and asks me to stroke her tummy. I oblige, balancing him on my knee. I whisper a love song to the pair of them. I'm exhausted right down to my very core, and it dull aches every part of me. 

At one point of my evening, while giving Jarvis some teething pearls and sips of water, I looked out our bedroom window and to the river, silver in the last seconds of daylight. That moment was enough beauty to have me grinning, grateful to God for showing me that sight. It energised me to keep going through the heartache of bedtimes alone.

I enjoyed reading sunshine & roses this morning.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Sometimes you come out the shop with two kids and a heck loads of shopping to find its started seriously chucking it down, it's not a great place to be. But then half way home you see the biggest drooping blossom tree and can't help pinching a few of its bouncy laden branches and all is good again.

Then you just have to (cringe) take some photos with it just 'cause.

Monday, 27 April 2015


Two photographs. One posted on instagram, the other not. Together they tell a story (she tried to pull up a young tree and when asked to stop gave me this look).

Now I'm back on Instagram the temptation to stop posting on here has returned. But I think words are important and I like sharing in this space. A series of photographs can (sometimes) have more say than a single square snap, and I want to continue pouring out my heart in this journal style. Words scrawled in my little moleskin are all very well, but sometimes it's good to share honest thoughts, to inspire, encourage or just the act of pushing myself to be a little braver and posting something true can help to grow us.

Friday, 24 April 2015


Liam took this top photo earlier this morning. By 9:30 they'd already worked with terracotta then with beetroot, these hands of mine. It's  great way to start a day, using my fingers to create things I love. Today, pots and beetroot burgers. Therapy.

I'm rather fascinated by hands. Not the perfectly manicured soft skin type, but the hands of makers. Tough calloused hands, that show the marks of their trade. Dents on fingers left from long days drawing, gardeners with dirt deep in the fingernails. The burns and food stains that a love of hands-on cooking brings, paint flecks on fingers. Clay imbedded deep into cracks and creases. I love it all. Old hands who've lived long lives, that show their age, their beautiful, beautiful age.
The more I write these words, my inspiration intensifies. This idea that was initially just going to be a post on Instagram feels like it's bubbling into a creative endeavour. We shall have to wait and see... 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Jarvis is one. A switch flicked and it dawned on me that he had been in our lives a year. The automatic reaction was to think, oh my goodness, how has this time last so quickly? But then I sit back and realise I don't actually mean that. Honestly, I think what, is that it? Was there ever life before him? He feels as though his little bald head and gappy teethed giggle has always been a part of my day. I struggle to remember a time where he didn't disturb our sleep and when his soft, round body not be the first thing I hold in the morning. 

We love this boy. A new love blossomed a year ago when I birthed him. I was struck by how deep I fell for him. The bond between mother and son was different to that of my love for Queenie. Not more, just different, maybe... soppier? I was able to see that this is the way Liam had been with her. He always calls and searches for me when he is in need, yet she will always ask for her daddy. 

He is funny and silly, proudly strutting around the house. He hides in his hands and gives the sloppiest of kisses. He loves guitars and clapping and watching Queenie dance. He's also got a bit of an obsession with her collection of baskets and her little wooden broom. He doesn't eat much at the moment, but will never refuse blueberries of frozen peas. He knows love and how to love, fiercely he dotes on his Queenie. Our Jarvis Oak.
In the evening we visited Roskilly's where we fed piglets, goats and chickens, oggled at calves and prancing lambs and watched the beautiful cows being milked. We gorged on delicious ice creams before ending the day eating stone baked pizzas in Coverack harbour. It was summery and totally perfect. He ended the day screaming with teething pains and cried himself to sleep on the journey home, a true sign to any good party!

We celebrated his birthday with pancakes and presents in bed. Queenie had requested she had bought him a present. Earlier in the week, I'd pulled down her money box, filled with coins she had collected and gathered and popped them in her purse. Her first shopping trip, and an important one, showing her the value and blessing that comes with giving what you have. She picked a leather coin purse in the shape of a fish, and a hand felted chicken. She wrapped them herself, the sweetest of gifts.

Thursday, 2 April 2015


Learning to share is an ongoing process.

Once a week we walk to the library and get a bundle of new books, storys for Queenie, a few board ones for Jarvis and I like to pick out a cookery or gardening book to flick through during a quiet tea break.

In the mornings, we pull open the blind and read in bed. Jarvis pours over board books while I just snooze. Queenie joins us at some point with sleepy eyes and an armful of library books, her hair fluffy. I made a decision that instead of turning on my phone or just slobbing out, I would use this time to get back into reading too. And oh my, it's blissful. 

Some nights I fall asleep reading, then next morning try and find at which part I'd slipped away. I am quickly working through People Of The Book, a beautiful story I started last summer then found it hard to keep reading once the holiday was over. It feels wonderfully indulgent to lie in a crisp bed, losing myself in a story. These small pleasures can start a day right.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Snippets of our new house

One month of calling this house our home.

Surrounding ourself with family and memories. Tiny trinkets gathered over the last six years are given little spaces to dwell.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Friday's pot of tea

I'm on the top step on our stairs and have set up a little painting area in the corridor. We've had the day out and the children are playing happily in Queenie's bedroom with trains. We haven't got a stairgate built in yet so I'm guarding the stairs from jarvis and yet giving them their own space to play. If I stretch my neck up I can see the river, the boats all beautifully waiting for their next adventure. The sun is golden and brightly glowing for its last hour before slipping behind the hill. I've got a small bowl of the lentil rice I made last night that I'm slowly working through and a cup of lemon tea. Poured from the most perfect little teapot I purchased with the last of some money I was given for my birthday. 
I'm buzzing to create after an eventful, inspiring day and so I've pulled out my sketch book and a rather beaten up set of watercolours. I have just dipped my paintbrush into the dregs of tea. Every time! 

The teapot was purchased at my new favourite shop. A wee space in a cobbled courtyard called Folklore. I've been dying to go in since we've moved but it hasn't been open. After sending an email we walked over today. Hannah, who runs it is kind and interesting and interested. She is real talented and after pouring over her beautiful ceramics, falling in love with each piece. I eventually chose this teapot. We carefully carry it home. Jarvis sleeps and Queenie chatters about her plans for a birthday party. Dark chocolate cake, doggies, green flowers and oh dear: pink. And she wants her daddy to be there. She asks for one of Hannah's 'white cups' as a present, beautiful porcelain dreams. Or maybe a bike like her new friend from next door has. 
We make it to our road and she is finished. It's too cold and she can't take another step. I bribe her with tea and one piece of my birthday chocolate. With screams of delight she runs home!  
We pop on the kettle and unwrap the teapot. With a small square of dark chocolate we sip our tea and it's the best cup ever. I pour my girl another tiny cup from the pot and we sit quietly, admiring it and mmmming at our sweet treat. 
Now the sun is almost gone, Queenie's oggling the sunset beside me and I'm going to finish my painting before a simple dinner just the three of us. 

(An afterthought/ note: I'm aware I may be a little sickeningly happy these last few posts. God is good and after an uphill struggle we arrived and stood looking out at a beautiful view with the sun on our backs. But to make you feel a little better, moments after I wrote this, we had little fire while cooking, so the kitchen stinks of burnt plastic and the cupboards are blackened. Jarvis is up every hour or more overnight. We are so, so tired. And I'm off instagram for lent, I hate to admit it but I'm so missing it! I aim to share honestly, including the good and the bad. Those bad things are minor right now but its ever changing.)

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Carrot and raisin

I baked this beautiful soda bread last week and it was so flipping delicious. It didn't last long.

We are unpacked. There's still have a few more boxes of donations to drop off at the charity shops, a wardrobe to finish building and a fair few shelves to put up, but this house is feeling like ours.

Yesterday I turned 25. I walked the short walk into town with Jarvis in the morning, and looking out across the water, thought how happy and grateful I was to be spending it in this town. We're already home in a way we never felt in Newquay. We know God's done a lot of work in us while we have waited, but it sure is wonderful to be where our heart is. Liam and I went out for dinner just the two of us -the second time in a week!- and it was blissful to walk the cobbled streets, hand in hand, giddy like the teenagers we were when we first fell for each other.