Authenticity even in sadness.

Sometimes it can be hard to see the wood for the trees, and then othertimes it's hard to even see the trees. It probably wouldn't have escaped anyone's attention that I've not had a good few weeks. It's not easy to explain why, because it's been a mix of all sorts - I've been feeling very low, confused, frustrated, angry...feeling lonely here in our new home town, missing our old way of life, miserable and helpless at the constant bad news from Gaza, Syria....plane crashes. The list has felt endless. 

I'm the type of person who feels human tragedy very acutely as if it were my own family involved. And I get myself in a guilt loop when I don't remember to feel bad for all of the other suffering. Even now I look at my list above and I know I have left off Boko Haram, child abuse in the UK, sexual violence...all the other news stories that don't make it to the headlines that leave me fretting for humanity, and wondering very seriously if I could bring a child into this sort of world. I have to stop myself endlessly reading the news and making myself upset. This is the type of thing I do behind the scenes, behind Blue Eggs and Tea. It's not quite a compulsion (though this is open to debate) but it's not always healthy either.

Why am I saying this? Well, why not I suppose. It's just me. It's just real life. It's the light and dark of a normal human being. I'm pretty assured that the people who read this blog are wise enough to know that life isn't all instagrammable photos and smiling faces 24:7. I think we all owe it to each other to be honest, and after all this is a blog about happiness and authenticity

And actually, I do think it's possible to feel burdened by real sadness and also to seek out the glimmers of happiness. A sad, lonely person is also able to smile and see the good in the world. My heart is very heavy right now, but I also feel a lot of joy. After all, We all know that poppies grow from damaged and poor soil. 

Probably within this blog is a point about the relativity of sadness, the uniqueness of it that means no one owns sadness by themselves. People are always struggling in their own ways and it's worth being gentle with people, supportive of them. It's worth investing the time in those around us to hold them up when they don't have the energy to hold themselves. Sometimes it's just simply worth asking 'will you be ok? and is there anything I can do?' without judgement on whether their heavy heart is justifiable. 

I hope in the middle of what the press calls a 'grim news cycle' we can all find our own peace, so that where it doesn't exist for others we can be a stronger, rejuvenated voice for good and kindness in the world. I certainly want this for myself. 

xo

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Fortnight (!) round up: tiredness, weaving, painting...etc.

This is not so much of a weekend round up, as a fortnight round up. I've been busy, tired, had heatstroke, been scared rigid over the Malaysian aircrash and generally in need of a break. I wouldn't say I've had one per se, but I do feel a bit less tired at the beginning of the week ahead. 

Outside of work what I've been up to is mainly cycling, cooking, painting and making in some form or another. I've also spend time with a good friend despite illness on her part, and forgotten train tickets and a dead bird on mine. 

We also had the big 4 0 upon us, but because Neil is so busy with work and study, we decided to keep it low key until we can go away properly and celebrate at the end of the summer. But 40 is still 40 and so I wanted to make sure we marked the day in some way. With so much stress flying around at the moment I figured the best thing I could do for him would be to relieve him of his usual jobs. So I took the day off work and did a bit of his thesis writing (references that is) and I prepared a 9-course taster menu a la Simon Rogan. Neil usually does all the cooking on the basis that I'm not very good, but it appears that little fib has finally caught up with me... 

I didn't use any recipes, I just designed the menu according to flavours I felt worked and then made them according to instinct. My biggest win was working out how to do venison carpaccio. 

Just a few of the courses I planned for the evening. I called the menu Flotsam and Forest...a nod to a menu that was all about the sea and the land, encompassing some of the flavours we've enjoyed the most over the years. 

Just a few of the courses I planned for the evening. I called the menu Flotsam and Forest...a nod to a menu that was all about the sea and the land, encompassing some of the flavours we've enjoyed the most over the years. 

Between cycle training for the alps this summer and tending the veg patch in the evenings (which is such a nice way to spend the evening) I've also been enjoying a dabble with paint over the last couple of weeks; painting all sorts of things with watercolour and ink. To be clear I've not used real watercolour paint for about 17 years, so I'm more or less satisfied with the doodles I've got on the page. Neil bought me some paints and they've totally got me hooked...

Iceland (which I ruined twice with smudges), mountains, forest, Yorkshire in miniature... there were more but I don't need to share it all (for that there's Instagram!)

Iceland (which I ruined twice with smudges), mountains, forest, Yorkshire in miniature... there were more but I don't need to share it all (for that there's Instagram!)

This weekend we've had a bbq for two, cloud-gazed, and got out into the Peaks briefly to the birding area around Carsington Water. I also made a weaving as a tribute to my spiritual home in the Cairngorms. I can't say it's amazing, but it kept me out of trouble and has a certain charm. I also got some orders packaged and sent out, and have been finishing up my commission pile. It sounds busy, but none of it required moving too far or fast!

This still requires finishing - I want to add definition to the mountains and maybe a small tent in the forest... 

This still requires finishing - I want to add definition to the mountains and maybe a small tent in the forest... 

I hope you've all had a good weekend too?