Going shopping, flicking through fashion magazines even scrolling through websites I rarely find myself. There’s what I’m meant to aspire to, what I’m supposed to want, carefully curated projections of what I’m supposed to think. But there’s a big distance between me and what’s there. It’s like in the great desire to make money and consume, we’ve allowed ourselves to be swallowed up, and we’ve forgotten what it means to really be. And there’s a cost: somewhere there’s a dark hole of insecurity that’s been left to grow and spread so much of the sadness I see, because if we’re always meant to be striving for something that isn’t us, where’s the love for who we really are? Maybe that’s why I love this article so much, written in Toast magazine. They’ve found normal women like Susan Hay above, living extraordinary lives who’s style is inherent to them as human beings.
(Beautiful pictures by Elena Heatherwick, see Toast and Pinterest)
This is about women who have stood the test of time, with their wardrobes that have done the same: True inspiration.
Laters, Kate x
This post was edited from two previous posts to celebrate Bella’s eighth birthday and tenth birthday. I decided I couldn’t improve on the sentiment contained, except to say, you never think it possible, but the words grow more concentrated with each passing year x
Today is my daughter Bella’s eleventh birthday. She was my IVF baby, born after six years of heartache, seven miscarriages and 2 years of no pregnancies (which I am sure was psychological. But it really didn’t help). With her birth on this day all those years ago, I finally became a Mummy.
I still carry the scar tissue..infertility is a time I wouldn’t wish on anyone – you beat yourself up for the futility of hoping, nose permanently pressed against the glass, it becomes personal; A retina searing pain that makes you disappear under the burden of inner reflection..the only person to blame being you. Something so simple, so natural…so unachievable.
We literally threw everything we had at it..and we were oh so lucky. The tides finally turned and she arrived..the most beautiful baby I had ever seen..a fairy child.
And she remains the most beautiful inside and out child to this day, the rarest and most delicate of gifts. And now we celebrate her eleventh birthday..it’s hard to believe – it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital. I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you – you have your experience and that need to guide and help, but it’s just not true. Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother. There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all your imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?
I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail. I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – resilience has to be one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow. To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence – far more important in real life than examination certificates. I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation. I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong. I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.
Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..
Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them the world and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….
I celebrate and raise a glass to you our wonderful, amazing, incredible, magical daughter!
Laters, Kate x
Time..the beast that no man can stop. It’s almost the end of summer term, which has nearly the same madness of Christmas with it’s particular frenzy of Sports Days, concerts, exhibitions, class parties and Prize Days. The children finally break up on Thursday, we leave for three days glamping on Friday (yay!), arrive back on Monday..kids leave with their Grandparents for Greece on the Tuesday…(we leave the following week). It feels a bit like being in a tumble dryer. Or a piece of bread dough being pulled and pushed.
And I still need to get my swimwear sorted…I don’t think I’ll ever move away from the retro look..
It was designed for curves..
Best I’ve found so far are from Bettylicious..Great shapes, fab prints.
Now it’s just a matter of committing to one quickly as Sports Day starts at 9.30…
Laters, Kate x
The AW15 lookbook for MiH fell into my inbox yesterday. WHAT??
…Does that mean summer’s been and gone??
And nobody told me?
If so I’m perilously close to tears..
There’s enough time slipping away without anyone else turning the speed-up dial.
Honestly, halt with the Christmas lists already.
I just want to enjoy my pina colada on the beach.
Laters, Kate x
Time is a muscle that needs to be stretched and I’ve been doing my best to limber it up without running the risk of becoming a frazzled, urban melodrama. It’s a fine line.
– There’s the new fitness regime: I don’t want to hit that New Year winter coat without having done something, and I’d like that something to be a enjoyable, new, permanent addition. Swimming (good for the joints I hear) seems to be it.
– I’ve just done a massive summer/autumn clean of the house from cellar to attic (After the summer hols the house starts working as a dam of clutter and misplaced objet d’art holding back ideas n free flow, but it means wading through the detritus before calm descends. Which I thought it had, except now I can’t find anything. The calendar anyone?
– I have an Art Project with a deadline in November (more later).
– And the house – we hope to start renovations after Christmas, but it all needs planning and research..it’s the sort of thing that is very necessary and rather enjoyable but sucks the hours away. Thankfully I’m beginning to make interesting discoveries, like space-saving pocket doors – not seen much in the UK, but they are the perfect room divider. This initial idea came from Pinterest and is American, all the doors on the UK sites are very modern…I like the idea of vintage doors complete with beading and a bit of stained glass…I think more research is needed..
Now..What’s the time?
Laters, Kate x
Creative Coffee Mornings are still a regular Wednesday occurrence and a highlight of the week. These pics are from our ‘Sugar Art’ session..
Which included a variety of projects including making elderflower cordial..even the word ‘cordial’ makes me smile…
We also crystallised edible flowers..so simple and so effective..
You thoroughly coat each petal – back and front – with egg white, then cover everything in sugar. A sprinkle of very fine glitter helps with the final fairy effect. Then they dry out and can be kept for months in an air tight container, ready for a dramatic flourish when required.
And we made cupcakes to practise our icing skills on..
With a whole box of toys to play with!
The joy, the pride, the ability to allow yourself the time to be creative and the companionship of sharing the experience with others all feed in to make this time so very special. You literally zone away from real life – I’m sure it’s a similar endorphin rush to a serious gym workout. Just without the pain…
Next week is ‘homemade sausages’…..guaranteed a giggle…
Laters, Kate x