Tag Archives: art

57, and not planning to be out…

It is now almost 4 years since I thought I had only those 4 years and so I have been celebrating a birthday. I don’t care what age I am, whatever the age, it is truly something to enjoy. Every year feels like a bonus and I am happy that I am actually here to get older.

  • Dealing with each day as if it is my last has engendered an attitude of awareness of what makes me tick, big or small.
  • I am thinking myself “well”
  • Physical travelling has been indulged – in the past 4 years I have been on so many adventures and am loving it…Crete, Israel, Jordan, Deep South US, Salzburg, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, St Petersburg, Dublin, Saint Lucia as well as Hay-on-Wye, Brighton, Bath, Manchester, Harrogate, Liverpool.
  • Not sweating the trips or outings I have had to cancel
  • Perhaps more importantly I have also travelled from utter despair to contentment, albeit taking a rather kinked? kinky? tangential? route
  • Living life vicariously is not living at all
  • Family and friends (ancient & modern) have made the world a better place for me
  • I have reframed the challenges I want to undertake and have, finally, accepted that some you win, some you lose!
  • I also know how easily tired I get and am learning (or, more truthfully, am on the learning curve for) how to stop/opt out/cancel/take time out when head says yes and body says no.
  • Indulging my creative and academic sides through writing, art, silversmithing, photography, studying again….and on a different level altogether – nail art, taxidermy…the list keeps on growing
  • My new benchmarks for living – serendipity, psychotherapy, reading and laughing whilst climbing every mountain (as it were!)
  • I am not planning on dying with any regrets of things not done/achieved

Cramming it all in

Not been blogging because I have been picking up every conceivable opportunity 2016 throws up. Whilst part of me craves solitude, calm and time to reflect, my doppelganger seems to be running the show – plugging me into everything from online study (3 courses on the go at present) to travel, by way of theatre, fine art, friends, family, music, gardening (and oh yes…the doo-wop dolls).

If I thought I was cramming it in…I am but a lightweight. Today we, as a family, went to my recently deceased aunt’s house. We knew there was clutter, we knew there was paperwork but, thankfully, because we were together we could laugh and roll out the black bags. Absolutely everything…really…everything, from junk mail to pencil sharpeners was labelled and dated…date in, cost and place of purchase to date used…yes..a drawer of very neatly packed toothpaste boxes marked rather like a headstone with date of birth, date of death and an epitaph. There were dozens of these boxes and 23 of boxes of plasters (unused) going back to 2007…I (for a brief moment) wondered why you would buy more when you were filing them in date order and could see that even an emergency department could not use that many plasters in a year…but if I started to even mouth the word logic I was going to be a goner…so it was zipped lips (until now).

Every book (and there are many) has its own unique reference number – one of the books I have taken is “called” 020-8445 9975 which is neither the ISBN nor the Dewey Decimal system…maybe it will take me my lifetime to figure this out or maybe I will just look at it when I open the pages and smile as I remember her and this mystery.

Every cupboard, drawer, surface in the house is crammed yet nothing within them is visible, everything is packed in bags within bags and labelled in detail. There seems to be a classification code for which label to use for which type of product and a drawerful of labelling possibilities – colours, sizes, shapes galore.



It gives me pause for thought of what it looks like we leave behind, to others. Do our leftovers define who were were? Beyond this OCD and hoarding was an independent career woman who carved herself out a great life following any and every opportunity with grit and determination. She bought her own London flat as a single woman, long, long before this was commonplace. She was cultured..spoke Italian, lived in Italy, adored fine art, theatre, the opera and literature, good food and wine, travel and above all else she loved us. Amidst the incredible chaos, we were all there, we were everywhere – photos of us and our children at every stage of life, gifts we had given her and an overwhelming sense of what was for her, the absolute bottom line – family was THE most important and treasured thing.

and that feels, to me a fine thing to hold in my heart.