With the Covid restrictions allegedly pulling ever tighter (Am I the only one that thinks I can’t do any more than I’m doing which is just using plain, common sense? Back off Boris, you’re abusing my trust now; I shop locally, I haven’t been into central London, I rarely go out – I haven’t been to the cinema, the theatre, a sporting event – only the pub twice and an ice cream parlour. It’s not exactly living the high life, so pease put your threats of fines and the army away and just get track n trace and testing sorted. Pretty please. You’ve had 6 months. If you were an employee you’d have been sacked by now. So instead of hot air can I actually see the basics covered? You keep trying to fly when you can’t even walk. I’d prefer, at this point in time just to see a few, stable, confident steps, preferably ahead of the curve – but I know, with all your data that’s meant to give you such blinding insights, that’s asking a lot – because the thing with data, unless you’re prepared to follow what you don’t want to see, it actually has no use and is just a time suck away from what’s really important; I suspect you’re using it as a crutch – it helped you win Brexit, it helped you win the election – both things with a deadline. This is different. I wish you could see that. What’s needed now is clear and consistent. A bit like how a mother is with a toddler. Except I shouldn’t be feeling that you are the toddler as I watch you pick up things like toys – defence, the justice system, the civil service, the House of Lords, pull bits off them before discarding them again. What I am saying is you are destroying this country from the inside, the most valuable thing a society has is trust – what do you think makes money worth anything? What makes people stop at traffic lights, drive on the right side of the road, pay for goods and services, adhere to rules that are invisible? And yet because it is silent and can’t be seen, you don’t seem to be able to see it’s value. Shame on you. Please grow up. Quickly.) Rant over, deep breath, back to the start: With the Covid restrictions allegedly pulling ever tighter, here are some more of my favourite auditory escapes: This first one should be intravenously injected into number 10 – How to Fail by the gorgeous Elizabeth Day. Elizabeth has created a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right, because learning (shall I underline that word??) from your mistakes is ultimately what makes us stronger. A bit like Desert Island Discs, this is a treasure trove, dive in and discover interviews from people such as Gloria Steinem to Phoebe Waller Bridge to Alain de Bottom to Lean Sissay. Delicious.
The Stubborn Light of Things from Melissa Harrison is a calming, grounding reassuring presence, bringing the awe of nature to life. An antidote to anything toxic in your world. One to listen to at night, with the lights and sound turned low. A guaranteed good nights sleep.
Unlocking Us by Brene Brown is a multi-faceted joy. Brought to prominence by her famous Ted talk, Brene is an expert on shame and vulnerability. She covers the messiness and contradictions of what it is to be human. Listen for pearls of wisdom, listen for that Texas twang, listen to learn what it is to be brilliant and humble. Love her.
Enjoy and I’ll see you on the other side.
Laters, Kate x
Summer holidays: Pine cones, roses, lazy days, lemon sherberts, tottering piles of books, picnics, Victoria sponge cake, tartan rugs, muddy wellingtons, damp anoraks, salads, less but more, pots of tea, lashings of ginger beer, board games, walking, running, caring, but not caring, watching, listening, breathing. All summed up in this tiny cottage in Scotland that says come to me with it’s open arms of nostalgia and the warm embrace of simpler times.
This is the joy of summer.
Laters, Kate x
With the lockdown starting to fray, we wanted the kids to experience the stillness of London before it’s officially bubbling again, so we biked through the virtually empty roads all the way to Trafalgar Square, a 20 km round route (I have saddle arse to prove it). The only thing to interrupt our peace were the all the gear, no fear mamil brigade, the blinkers of self-interest firmly down. I saw three almost accidents, their speed seemingly taking precedent over a slower decision maker ahead. Given the freedom of the roads, the nature of the situation, it felt greedy and uncalled for.
Trafalgar Square felt like a movie set from a post apocalyptical film. It wasn’t just that there were no people there, the pigeons had left as well.
The weather wasn’t great, so I painted inside. Since completing Carla Sonheim’s online class on flower portraits, I’ve become obsessed with painting all things plant.
I think I want to do a proper painting, a large one: The dark filtered light down below, the open sky above.
Can’t for the life of me think what it represents…
Laters, Kate x
We’re heading to the slopes. Can’t wait! Although this will be the year that the children will leave me trailing in their fast floating ice crystals. But such is the natural way of the world – I will still fight them down the slope with good grace!
But of course, one considers all the cool outfits it’s possible to buy.
But the truth is, on the slopes, anything goes. Because you’re not there as a fashion statement – we’re all effectively wearing portable eiderdowns – but to stay warm and have fun, fun, fun!
I’ve been pulling all our ski gear out of the cupboards in preparation: My Jacket and salopettes are a cast off from The Husband and are over thirty years old, we have ski socks and thermals of a similar vintage. The Husband’s set marks thirty years. The children are now in my discards at a youthful twenty years. We’re given the message that technology has moved on and we need to move with the times, that this is progress…. but lets be honest, apart from when we were living in Italy, despite their age, none of these clothes has yet seen a years wear. And we schlepped all this gear to Finland last year, skiing in minus eighteen, minus twenty…it can’t be that bad: It proves buy well, buy once.
So whilst the above pictures look great and dandy and represent my dreams. This is more the reality.
(All pics Pinterest)
As is this!
Laters, Kate x
Top guilty pleasure: watching Escape to the Chateau. An intoxicating mix of laughter, love, creativity and embracing with full hearted wholesomeness all the best things in life, with a happy two fingers to convention. For those new to this rare delight, the programme follows a couple – Dick and Angel Strawbridge – and their transformation of a 45 room chateau into a business and a place of beauty. For those already under it’s spell, did you know Angel has started producing her own wallpaper, fabric and cushions commercially? All based on either old wallpapers found in the Chateau or her own design….
Heaven, sliced up and presented on a gorgeous vintage plate, garnished with love.
Laters, Kate x