craft · family · health and wellbeing

Comfort

  

And so once again, it is all about to change.

Autumn is packing away its leaves to make way for Winter to unfurl its blanket of chill. It’s now with haste that laundry is whipped in before the early afternoon crispness descends and cats position themselves in ever diminishing wedges of sunlight. It’s not going to be the same as we have become accustomed to over previous months, we must now prepare for difference.

We all vary in our response to change – either shunning and resisting or welcoming and adapting. Either way it does present as a challenge and usually it is underlying fear of the unknown that creates the difficulty. These are the times when as humans we seek out comfort, immersing ourselves in rituals and activities that bring about a feeling of good.

Comfort of course is quite intangible, as the very thing that makes one feel good may not have any appeal to another. You do need to establish what constitutes yours, as it will serve as your armory in times of uncertainty. Defining your sources of comfort is a highly individualised exercise, but the time spent consciously and deliberately identifying these sources is time exceptionally well spent.

I have put this to task recently and have amassed a reassuring stockpile. Taking my cup of tea to sunny garden space (yes I am like my cats) is a wonderful mid-afternoon treat. Retiring to a blanketed sofa on a chilly Sunday night to be immersed in an 18th century Cornish copper mine saga, watching the protagonist Ross Poldark do his best to be noble, is a wonderful place to be. Pulling a baked dozen from the oven or settling the lid on a rumbling stew, provides an inner satisfaction that can not be manufactured.

Building a fabric of inter-looped yarn by rhythmic needle clicks, a pastime that calms the mind and rewards the creator –

 and then pulling such fabric on when the day’s work is over, only amplifies this simple pleasure.

Running alongside a sun-glistened bayside horizon, passing warmly jacketed dogs and masters while inhaling chestfuls of ion-laced breeze – magic.

And drawing the blinds on a task-loaded day to return once again to sun dried sheets and fluffed pillows.

Locate that irresistible journal or notebook that you knew you someday would need and gather your comforts. Pen them for referral, as times of change will always present.

 home bootsPostscript: If you would like to add these hand-knitted home boots to your comfort armory, here is a similar pattern to those I have made (which was purchased from Lincraft so cannot be reproduced here)

health and wellbeing

Brew

Goodness only knows why a cowboy wielding a frying pan dispenses my loose-leaf tea, but apparently the 1950s/60s Japanese manufacturers considered it to be the height of kitchen chic to do so.

Being a Twinings tea-bag girl, it’s not often that this canister makes an appearance from the back stalls of the pantry, but on the occasions when a teapot brew is called for, gosh it makes me smile.

Making a pot of tea signifies a break in the daily journey – a segment of life dedicated to ‘right now’. The ritual of tea making – warming the pot, allowing the leaves to steep and carefully straining as you pour – necessitates a slower pace and time to consider. There is nothing instant about this process.

It is no coincidence that a slice of fruit loaf tastes so good with a cup of tea – rather than when it is consumed unconsciously on-the-fly amidst email checking or grocery unpacking.  While your tea settles to drinking temperature, there is time and attention made available to savor each morsel.

In the company of friends I am more inclined to fill the teapot as it suggests multiple refills and an extension of conversation, an atmosphere the one-tea-bag-per-cup alternative fails to achieve.

It may have been a while since last you saw your teapot. If this is so, in the coming week I encourage you to seek it out, allow it to pour you a decent cup of peace and place that well-deserved comma in the lengthy sentence of your day.

Postscript: I’m sure my tea canister is one of a series, possibly having siblings named rice, flour and sugar – would love to organise a family reunion someday.

family · health and wellbeing

Contemplation

Have you seen the inside of a dead spider?  Ever tasted sausages with chocolate topping? Do you know what color the neighbour’s letterbox is?  Thought not, but there are masses of children who have and do.

The reason for this is they have the time and the inclination to find out. Lying on the grass gazing skyward for an hour or squatting over the heating vent fishing out long deceased insects are things they have space in their day for or simply bother to do. Maybe the contents of your ducting or an arachnid’s innards are not objects of fascination for you, but there are a range of lovely things around us that, as adults consumed by ‘task-driven’ existences, fail to notice or enjoy.

Life presents us with an abundance of complications that can consume our headspace, but it’s difficult not to smile when presented with a be-candled cake or discovering that the new shoots of the bean seeds have finally come through. And therein lies the fundamental motivation behind the creation of this blog – to highlight those everyday, plain and simple things that surround our lives, as a reminder of what we have, can do or can be.

Post script: There has been a lot of talk about ‘mindfulness’ these days and countless books and articles written about living in the moment. While this is certainly a healthy approach to living our days, it is really not a new phenomenon – just ask any child.