27 Feb 2012

The Annual Wardrobe Clearout

Does anyone else get the urge to have a good wardrobe clearance at this time of year.  Perhaps it is the sunny weather we have been having but de-cluttering the closet is uppermost on my mind.  How is it that I accumulate so much stuff when I have hardly bought anything new for the last 12 months.  If I am honest, I find having  a lot of clothes a burden - I would rather have a few good things that I feel happy in.  So, out with the overwashed T-shirts, the bobbly jumpers, the skirts that are a bit too tight or too long or too short, the same for trousers.  Out with the shoes that don't really go with anything, too high, too flat, too old.  Out with the jackets that don't quite fasten or are too big, the sleeves too long or too short.  And do you know what - it feels good.

My lifestyle doesn't call for fancy clothes

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)
 I prefer something more practical - this is more the sort of thing I would go for

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)
 or maybe this

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)
 or if we are going out for a meal or somewhere special  - may be this

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)

Pinned Image
via pinterest (click)

Of course, all the above pictures are a fantasy collection of clothes that I would love to own, but never will.

On the upside I do have two bin bags full of unwanted clothes waiting to go to the charity shop, and more space on my hanging rails and shelves -  and a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. 

All I have to do now is start filling it up again.

20 Feb 2012

Pisces - Greek Mythology

 Pisces - 18th February to 20th March

Pisces, the fish
Pisces, the fish wikipedia
 According to Greek myth, Pisces represents the fish into which Aphrodite and her son Eros transformed in order to escape the monster Typhon; they are tied together with a cord on their mouth to make sure they don't lose one another.  Alternatively, the twin fish were placed in the heavens in honour of their heroic deed of saving Aphrodite and Eros from Typhon on the River Euphrates.

aphrodite and eros

 Another myth of Pisces is that it represents the sea monster that Perseus defeated in Ethiopa to save the Princess Andromeda, and that Zeus was so pleased with his son's feat that he placed the monster's skeleton in the sky as a reminder of his heroic deed.
perseus and andromeda


My star sign is Pisces and my personality characteristics  are as shown here - compassionate, adaptable, accepting, devoted, imaginative (I like to think I am all of these things) but the not-so-good characteristics are - oversensitive, indecisive, self-pitying, lazy and escapist (unfortunately, I am all of these things also).  I like to think of myself as, shall we say, complex.

13 Feb 2012

Vintage Valentine

Pinned Image

I don't know about young people today,
but when I was a 'gel' Valentine's Day was anticipated
with an equal measure of dread and excitement.
If you didn't receive a card you had to pretend that the postman
hadn't delivered before you left for school.
Pinned Image
You had to receive more than one card, because if there was only one
that dropped through the letter box - it was bound to be from your Mum.
Pinned Image
In 1962 I received three cards
I was over the moon  - one was obviously from 'you know who'
I found out who one of the others was from because he told me
he had 'nicked' it from the paper shop especially for me.
But the third - well that remains a mystery - but it was
the biggest and best one I have ever had.

and I've kept them all these years - from 1962.
Who can beat that?


The best version of My Funny Valentine from
'The Talented Mr. Ripley'

The phrase 'wearing your heart on your sleeve' comes from
the Middle Ages when according to popular tradition
young men and women would draw chits from a bowl
to know the names of their Valentine
and would wear that name on their sleeve
for the entire week.


Pinned Image
via Pinterest

  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove
O No!  It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark whose worth's unknown,
although his height be taken

Wm. Shakespeare
Pinned Image
Je suis desja d'amour tanne
Ma tres doulce Valentinee

Duke of Orleans

He whom love touches
walks not in darkness

Pinned Image
via Pinterest
The first Valentine message is thought to be a poem from Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415.  He was captured at the Battle of Agincourt and imprisoned in the Tower of London to await execution.
Pinned Image
via Pinterest

Love is composed of a single soul
inhabiting two bodies

Happy Valentine's Day!
Pinned Image

6 Feb 2012

The Magic Apple Tree

If I was stranded on a desert island this is the book I would want with me
to remind me of home.
It is a 'comfort' book written by Susan Hill documenting a year of
her life in Moon Cottage
in a small Oxfordshire village during the 80's.

The Magic Apple Tree
Samuel Palmer

The Magic Apple Tree: A Country Year
The Magic Apple Tree
(A Country Year)
Susan Hill

Each season is illustrated beautifully with the engravings of John Lawrence.

"On clear winter nights, I go outside and stand underneath it (the apple tree) look up.  Through the bare, down-curving branches, I see the moon, ringed with frost, and the hard, bright points of stars in a cold sky.  The apple tree contains them within its shape and forms a shelter over me, it gives a framework to this place, the cottage, the garden, the near countryside, and to my vision of them.  I should not like to lose it".

"At five in the morning, I woke to a wonderful silence.  I went to the window and pushed it open carefully. A little heap of snow fell inwards on to the ledge.  A light wind was taking it now, moulding and shaping it against the hedges and fences.  Everything was bone-white, under the riding moon. I wanted to go out and walk in the fields by myself, to watch for owls and foxes and smell the night smells.  Dull common sense and tiredness prevailed.  I returned to bed and have ever afterwards regretted it, for such times come rarely and the countryside under the first, heavy fall of snow at four in the morning is a changed and an enchanted place, the imagination would feed upon the memory of it for ever after."

Apple Tree in Winter

"Fruits have been visible on the apple tree and on all the various trees around me, for some time, and now they are reddening, ripening and swelling and darkening.  Stand at the top of the stone steps , now, looking through the branches and they are what you first notice.  Turn your head.  In the wilderness garden of the derelict cottage, the apple trees and bending with fruit, berry-red and huge."

"In early October, the woods begin to come alive again, and that surprises many people, who think of them in autumn as places of decay and dying, falling leaves and animals hiding away for their long winter hibernation.  But it is summer there that is the dead time, in summer the air hangs heavy and close and still, nothing flowers, nothing sings, nothing stirs, and no light penetrates."

Apple Tree in Autumn

"From its shade, I look over the buttercup field, down to the stream, the willows beside it, and the rise beyond.  All the cows are clustered near the water, with just one or two grazing a few yards further off, and it is so utterly quiet, so still, that I can hear the soft slap of their lips around the grass, the tearing of it out of the ground, and then their jaws, munching and munching."

"Summer did come at last and, when it did, it was one of those summers of poems and stories and country pictures, a once-upon-a-time summer, it was hot day after day, week after week, so that we slipped into a dream, where we imagined it never ending, a paradise world of long, golden days."

Apple Tree in Summer

"The blossom opens slowly, slowly on the apple tree.  One day the boughs are grey, though with the swellings of the leaves to come visible if you look closely.  The next day and the next, here and there, a speck of white, and then a sprinkling, as though someone has thrown a handful of confetti up into the air and let it fall, anyhow, over the branches."

"But at half past five, I get up, slip out and set off with my bicycle in the glorious morning, up through the empty village, for on the bicycle, I can see over the tops of hedges and look down the rides, towards copse and meadow and all the flat Fen, I can go further than on foot through the lanes, getting off whenever I like, to lean on a gate or poke in a ditch, and I love the quiet, silky sounds of the tyres on the tarmac road, the click of the chain and the whir of the pedals, like wings, when I go fast."

Apple Tree in Spring

This book is like an old friend, and a constant companion - I have re-read it many times, each time finding another little gem, a perfect description or something I can relate too.   This is the book I would wish to have with me on a desert island - no question.

The final words of the book - "I picked up my log basket and went towards the cottage and, as I did so, the wind gusted off the Fen towards the apple tree, taking the last of the leaves, the last remaining apples, and leaving the branches bare.

I shivered.  The year had turned again.  It was winter.

I went inside quickly, and closed the door."

Susan Hill

All photos courtesy of Google Images