I did warn you there'd be picture-heavy posts... Next week I'm hoping to lay off the collages a bit and start getting some more structure to things again. I like structure. Already I'm thinking about Food Memories posts, Elegant Economy ideas and so on.
This reflects the fact that things are slowly settling down after the last few weeks. It's still tough and there's much to do but the initial feeling that everything was somehow spinning out of control has started to recede.
And I've been giving a lot of thought to therapeutic things, small things, that help you feel a little bit more anchored when life gets stormy. Here's what's helped me cope a little better lately:
Noticing details. Particularly those outdoors: the petals scattered down from the tree next door; magnolias flowering (mine's just starting to and I'm on bud watch); leaves unfurling.
I did say small, didn't I? A tiny handknit for a tiny girl arrived in the post courtesy of Jay's auntie.
Swooning over flowering currant bushes. Maybe I'm a bit odd, but I do actually like the smell.
Creating. Drawing, making sun prints, carving a little stamp for home-made Easter cards. I find that this sort of stuff which requires a process is very absorbing and de-stressing. Same goes for baking: reading a recipe, weighing, measuring. And planting seeds and cuttings too.
Of course, I've written about the therapeutic benefits of walking outdoors. Of seeing and breathing in all that green. And yellow. And pink...
A few little treats don't hurt either. Jay bought me a shopping bag. My stepdad brought a miniature rose over on his last visit. And yes, that is another new notebook.
Spring has been awakening my senses. The colours, the (occasional) warmth, the breezes. And the sounds of running water, rain showers and birdsong. A family of birds are currently nesting right outside our bedroom window. I have to keep telling myself that incessant cheeping at daybreak is preferable to the sound of an alarm clock.
Pottering about in the garden is another thing I find relaxing. Yellow flowers aren't usually a favourite of mine but at this time of year I do actually like them. These yellow-tipped fritillaries are very lovely; we also have some Imperialis ones which have now started to die back (but you can read about them here in my latest Garlic and Sapphire post if you'd like).
It goes without saying that seeing Joe so full of happiness lifts me up no end. There's a particular lane full of the biggest, muddiest puddles and he loves to visit. Maybe we should film him splashing his way from one end to the other.
I'm not usually much of a pink fan either, but again... the spring effect. The peonies on the left remind me of rhubarb. And we've had rhubarb cake already. The leftover stewed fruit has been frozen into lollies.
I'm not the only one who goes seeking out little details. Joe's eyesight is incredible. He notices everything. It's lovely to see him making new discoveries. That sense of wonder... so sweet.
I'm a huge advocate of reading for escapism. Poetry always works, but I'm currently re-reading Rosamund Pilcher's September. It's slightly dull if I'm honest and very reminiscent of when it was published (1990). But slow books have a pleasantly soporific effect on me, a bit like Monty Don's voice.
And in keeping with the early '90s theme, we recently procured the entire Twin Peaks box set. It's a whopping 29 episodes long. You know when there are TV series you wish you'd watched but never did? Well, this is one of them. It's a bit creepy, a bit odd and that theme music sticks in your brain. But it's good to know we've got some enjoyable viewing of an evening.
Again, thank you for all your kind comments lately. They have helped, just like all these other little things.
Weekend's almost upon us. I hope you enjoy yours.