The Simple Things

I am reminded time and again of how much inspiration and beauty I find in the simple things…

Mondays are refuse collection day. I rise and dress without showering as I have learned from past experience that lugging bin bags down the drive when my muscles are fresh from the shower is never a good idea. I’ve gone twang all too often in the past. (The dogs now know that instant dressing means an extra morning walk and they become very excited when I reach for shoes rather than towel.)

The bin bags are collected around 08:30, so I try to get them out by 8.00. At this time of year that means crack o’ dawn and it is such a treat to be out and about then – as a normally slow starter, I rarely get this treat. On days like today it is especially good. It was calm and still, and thus feeling warm despite the fact that a frost was forming underfoot. There was a pretty sunrise, making a silhouette of the buildings at Elsness. The sea was halfway in/out and flat calm – sea birds bobbing about, little waders on the shoreline, and a couple of seal heads keeping their watchful eyes on my comings and goings. I paused, as is usual on such occasions, to take it all in – along with a good lungful of fresh air… and a hefty dose of inspiration.

Mornings like this always leave me with a burst of creative energy, though I rarely know how to direct it. It’s that old voice inside me, saying “I want to paint!” and arguing back  “but I can’t!” So today I am pointing that energy at the kitchen. Just simple stuff – making milk rolls and a pan of carrot and ginger soup for lunch. The weekend’s food has been rich and complex. Time to savour a few simple delights, I think -  to cleanse the body and the spirit.

There is simple knitting on the needles too. I am knitting a small shawl by The Shetland Trader, Gudrun Johnston. Simmer Dim is completely unfussy and makes a good match with the Malabrigo Lace yarn that I am using. I am enjoying every. single. perfect. garter. stitch. of it. There is such a purity about this shawl that I  love it to bits and back. I was originally completely unenthralled by the Malabrigo when I received it because it looked dull and flat in colour –  but it makes the perfect marriage in this shawl and it both looks and feels entirely magical. Synergy.

I love lace and am often inspired by the sheer beauty and complexity of it, but creativity need not be complex. It took Gudrun to show me just how wonderful simple garter stitch can be, and how effectively it works with just a touch of simple lace. I made her Aestlight shawl, then another. And another. And… I have now made five. I also made her Crofter’s Cowl. It was her Slipped Hours and Vaila that first brought her to my attention, and I have long wanted a Moch Cardi. More recently I have been eyeing up some patterns from Gudrun’s forthcoming book – there will certainly be a Norie in my future! possibly also a Laar

The beauty of Gudrun’s designs lies in their simplicity and functionality and those characteristics are amply demonstrated in her latest published design, spotted in the new Twist Collective this very morning. Skalva is just the perfect sweater for my lifestyle – simple, functional but beautiful, and it looks immensely warm and comfortable too. I need a Skalva in my life soon. It looks like just the thing to wear on frosty mornings for putting out the bins and seeking inspiration from my muses: sunrises, sandpipers and seals.

Recently, at the: Crooked House

Bare Naked

Bare Naked

We are home again, after a month-long trip away. A trip during which I completely failed to get my laptop out. It was good to come home. We were driving along, close to Le Dorat at the time, when I felt that “aren’t we fortunate to live in such a lovely part of France” feeling washing over me. I had a sudden urge to invite all my friends to come and stay and to shareContinue readingBare Naked

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

I am lagging on the Month in the Country prompts, and lagging badly at that. I have a list of prompts t be caught up on and I shall be working my way through them here, or at Scattered Thoughts depending on where the post most naturally sits. I have elected to tackle the prompts not in date order necessarily but to seize upon prompts that offer me space in which to write down the things that I am feeling the need to say. Even if I need to crowbar it in. The thing is, I am going to continue to be short of time and space in which to write and so a two-for-one is useful and I hope to do as many of those as I can. Seems like a plan? … Continue readingA Month in France: Nothing is Lost

Recent movements of the: Deux Escargots

October 22, 2020 at 01:21PM

Ah, the windy highway. The last time we came down here our awning blew open… Thankfully it’s not even close to being that windy today. Phew. Not so good now that the tolls have been removed and there are HGVs to contend with. A bit macho, your Spanish lorry driver.. #livereportingfromtheroad #Spain #autumn2020

October 22, 2020 at 12:22PM

Rather a different day today but still warm, with 24 degrees expected by the time that we reach Ribamar. Those Happy Hour beers will be tempting. Shopped this morning before leaving, to find the Christmas Turron had arrived overnight. I confess; we spent an inordinate amount on Turron and chocolate. #livereportingfromtheroad #Spain #autumn2020