comfort and joy and bookish things

'tis the season.... img_1440


...for cosy places.


books are both Delightsome and Necessary.

and there may even be time for a festive confection or two....

i can assure you, that's EXACTLY what it looked like on the box. EXACTLY.



in the last couple of weeks, i've been gripped by the urge to further downsize and simplify.

it's an ongoing process, i think. sort of a slow treading of a spiral as i get more at ease with letting go of certain things.

this past session, it was my art supplies.

i've been hanging onto a fair bit of stuff -- bits and bobs hoarded acquired during my years of art-making - despite feeling mildly uneasy about it's cluttery nature and it's absolute lack of use. i've had a few minor clear-outs but there was still a part of me that held on, imagining i might take it all up again one day.

you know, the whole Some Day Principle.

but the truth is -- and enough time has passed and enough pages have been devoted to the subject in my notebooks that i know this to be absolutely true -- i won't be going back to art journaling or mixed media again. i doubt, even, that i'll pick up a paintbrush any time soon. {although i did hang onto my paintbrushes :)}

that was a different season of my life -- and it allowed me to shift a whole boatload of internal stuff and to plumb the depths of my psyche in rather alarming, although ultimately very healing ways. this past summer, all of that came to a head in the Mother of All Upheavals and i was left with a fresh perspective and a new level of clarity. i feel like all of the work of those preceding years, is what helped me get through that latest pile of soul-merde.

fast forward to a few weeks ago and an email exchange with Savannah's art teacher and i find myself offering up a few boxes of my assorted crap Extremely Useful Things For Which I No Longer Have A Use.  and because art departments are notoriously under-served in public schools, she leapt at the chance with great enthusiasm and gratitude.  so the school gets mixed media supply rich and i get to have a once-and-for-all clear-out.

very smug-making.

very burden-lifting.



i'm supremely fortunate, in our patchwork farmhouse, to have the luxury* of a Room of My Own** and it's one of those rooms that has had itself reconfigured on numerous occasions, according to my ever-shifting, ever-evolving whims.  i've always had a Vision for it, but the reality always managed to elude me. B gets a slightly hunted look on his face when he sees me standing in the middle of the room, pondering, because it usually involves trying to squash large bits of furniture through narrow doorways.

it happened pretty much like that.

last Sunday, as i sat sipping my morning tea and pondering the state of my newly cleared, and subsequently discombobulated, space, a Plan began forming in my mind.

and as we all know, a Good Plan has a clear objective - so i quickly scribbled my raison d'etre on a post-it note and stuck it to one of the remaining shelves. actually, it's the room's raison d'etre, but you get the point.

writing. writing letters. daybooking/sketchbooking. reading. resting.

and lo, the Vision becomes the reality.

a chair was moved out and a tatty old sofa -- which i find are the most comfortable sort -- that was left by the previous tenants,whose twin is also gloriously, tattily, comfortable and is where we sit to watch our evening program***, was commandeered from the closed-for-the-winter living room and stuffed through the door. a long work table was removed and my desk moved under the window; the shorter table was tucked into, what is now known as, Papery Corner -- devoted to all things ink-and-paper.

it's all extraordinarily brilliant.

i've spent every spare moment of the last week ensconced in my "new" room, gloriously relishing all manner of Quiet Activities.

reading, writing, napping.

and my new-found delight -- thank you, Jo -- audiobooks.

for the days when i want to read, but i'm too tired.

i'm listening to Storm Front - the first of Jo's recommendations.

because James Marsters.

#teamSpike #doesnotdisappoint

which brings me, via a rather unwieldy segue, to the matter of books and recommendations of such.

i am, first and foremost, a rabid reader. very frothy, in fact. and my tastes are wide-ranging. i'll pretty much read anything****.

but i've always been wary of making recommendations. the reasons for this are many and ridiculous -- more on that in posts to come -- but i'm at the point where i feel like not writing about what i'm reading is leaving a large whole in this space. especially since there's not much going on in the garden just now.

so i think i'll be mentioning books a bit more from now on. just from time to time. as you do.

because they are, to me, Utter Joy.

right, on that note, i shall be off.

[this post has taken me all week to write as there have been Extremes of weather which have blown our internets all about. there's a Special Weather Statement issued for tonight and tomorrow (SNOW!) so i'm extra-delighted to be able to burrow into my lovely tatty sofa. *beams*]

hope all is well, Dear Reader, and that your days are full of comfort and joy, howsoever that may look.

~m. xo

*and a luxury it certainly is. my first "room" was a dark and grotty alcove in the basement of our townhouse when we lived in the city. it was sandwiched between the laundry room and B's equally dark and grotty office space. but very good things came out of our little Art Cave (which i shared with the children) and i've only fond memories and deep appreciation for it.

**unlike Ms.Woolf, i don't believe one needs their own room...i wrote quite happily and easily at my desk in the corner of the living room for a long time...but it certainly is a marvelous thing if you can manage it. :)

***currently, the seventh series of Doctor Who

****there are notable exceptions. explanations planned to follow.