I really love my home. I love being at home. For so many years I rushed, working full time with the "littlies" and we had three growing children of our own. I can remember that our home was really somewhere that was just the hub. The scaffolding that supported our lives. A cleaner came once a week which made me miss the rituals of running a home. Sunday evenings were a whirl of ironing uniforms,making packed lunches and checking homework. It was like being a hamster on a wheel. I was not a very happy hamster most of the time. I look back at that time in my life as a kind of haze. Necessary maybe, but it did not give me much time to " smell the coffee!"
Andy and I now wake when we wake. He is always before me! We avoid early morning appointments and do not expect to be at any starting gate. A cup of cappuccino made in a proper machine ( a wonderful gift to us) is sacrosanct . Everything stops at 11.00 a.m and we sit together enjoying our coffee.
We love to walk every day. We garden. We have hobbies. We read. We love our family time .We love our life.
But since breaking my toe I have slowed down and "smelt the coffee" of our lives even more carefully.
I have moved about our home taking in littlle things, pausing,dreaming,remembering,reflecting, appreciating and loving.
When our house underwent an EXTREME makeover two years ago we de cluttered in a very major way. We took things to Charity Shops. We Ebayed.We gave away and then recycled. After moving out of our house for four months, nothing moved back in with us that we did not both love( well I am not sure Andy loves my wool) It was really,really hard but I have never regretted it. It was cathartic ,freeing,energising and made the things we do have so important to us.
So my hobbled wanderings these last couple of weeks have made me look again at my home and it's heart,as I see it. And I wondered if you would like to walk with me and have a peep at the things I love,and live with.
I used to sing in a choir and a wonderful lady who sat next to me became a real friend.
She was a potter and when visiting our home one day she saw Andy and I sitting in the garden on a "Jack and Jill" bench. That year for my birthday she gave us this sculpture.
I love it so much.
She has captured us completely.
Can you even see the little bows on Andy's Boat shoes?
We do have little pockets of space that are busy with things.
A windowsill full of photos.
I treasure these little ones so,so much.
My Mum, my brothers and me.
It would have been taken in 1955 I think.
The boys look so smart in their matching ties and my little dress would have been hand smocked.
I remember thinking I had the prettiest Mummy in the whole world when I was a little girl.
The next little bit of love is about a very special
print. It is called "Au Revoir" by Sheila Rock.
For us it tells our love story.
A boy from London meets a girl from Devon.
For three years they said goodbye to each other on stations.
But love has never said goodbye for us.
We even have a copy of this picture in our little house in Spain.
My Dad lived on Dartmoor.
He was a vet and looked after the welfare of the Darmoor Ponies.
When he became very,very Ill his last request was to see Dartmoor one more time.
He did,and his ashes are scattered there,in the place he loved so much.
The Christmas after his death Andy bought me this tiny print of Haytor which I love so much.
And Dartmoor is echoed with this other treasure I have.
I have been lucky enough to share my working career with some wonderful classroom assistants and Nursery Nurses.
Unsung heroes so very often.
When one, who was almost like a daughter to me,took up weaving she thanked me for our friendship by giving me her first creation.
Again my lovely husband secretly had it framed for me for Christmas.
It is hanging just opposite our bedroom door and I look at it every morning.
Some people may think this next little bit of my love a little sad,but I do not feel like that about this pot.
My Mum and Dad divorced when I was 16.
It was the end of a very unhappy marriage.
I do not think anybody thought I needed to take anything from the matrimonial home and I remember my brothers teasing me as I packed my childhood dolls.
It was traumatic,and years later I wished I had "things" from the home where I grew up.
I never said anything to my Mum but when she passed away I found this vase which she had packed away.
I remembered it from my childhood home and I had always loved it.
I am so happy that I have got it now and just having that one thing has made me feel so much happier about my early childhood.
And thinking of pots.
Our daughter made this vase at Primary School.
I have always loved it.
In the summer I put garden blooms in it and remember how she pressed her fingers in the clay to make the sweet decoration.
A real studio piece.
And thinking of daughters, our youngest is 27 this weekend and she is off travelling the world at the moment.
We are so proud of her and I love this happy picture of us both on holiday many years ago now.
And thinking of family photos. This little one must be my all time favourite. I think I look at it every day. We used to go camping in France and we relished every day of our holidays. A time when we could be together and just enjoy every minute.
I only have to look at it and the memories make me smile.
I really am not one for ornaments and these three live behind sliding doors in our bedroom which is minimalistic and uncluttered .
But every time I open the sliding doors these Hummel figures make me smile.
I had an Auntie who had a whole mantelpiece full of these little figurines.
She was the best kind of auntie anyone could wish for.
And she gave me the one with the little instrumentalists when I got married.
The little girl on the bench was a gift from my two brothers many years ago.
And lastly the one with the ABC slate commemerated when I became a teacher.
Last year for our wedding Anniversary we treated ourselves to this painting. The sea is in our bedroom as we drift to sleep and when we wake.
The seashore,my favourite place in the whole world.
It's hard to end this little wander around my home.
There are other things which make me happy and which I love very much.
One day I may walk again or maybe in a different direction but for now I finish with a picture which has hung in our bedroom for what seems forever.
Youth and beauty is indescribable.
It is like mercury in your hands.
It is the evening light and the stars at night.
It is the dawn and sunrays across the ocean.
Memories of love will always be held in this simple black and white picture.
Thank you for walking with me.