Thursday, April 24, 2014

happiness does not exist

'Happiness' isn't any kind of default state. We can't experience happiness without goals and plans and things to do and the next thing to complete on the horizon. The experience of doing and finishing these things *is* happiness. Losing the motivation to physically do things that bring us satisfaction is what leads to disaffection.. So rarely do I sit back and think "I am happy right now" but my life is undoubtedly so good at the moment. I want to focus on the moments between the busy-ness being more a time to reflect than a time for feeling guilty for not getting stuff done. I forget how much I am doing, though it never feels enough.

Luckily my motivation is endless at the moment - what else pushes anyone through this period of life? I have been thinking a lot about having another baby, finances, all these grown up things that feel so amazing to do, we are working, earning money, we have an increasingly lovely house that is all our own, argg how is this happening? It all feels right, like I was meant to be either a grown up or a child. I was definitely not meant to be a student, or a teenager. How will I do as a mother of more than one? As a middle aged person? Hopefully I will get the chance to find out..

The pottery I love is closing down and I only had the money to buy this jug. If I had more than £4 in my current account I would be down there buying everything I could lay my hands on.

A while ago, my father's wife generously gave me her set of vintage Le Creuset pans and shelf, I painted the shelf last year and it's up on the wall in the kitchen where it looks magnificent. They feel so nice and everything cooks beautifully in them (except scrambled eggs... for which teflon was definitely invented).
Speaking of no money.. does anyone want a rug? I haven't got one on the go and I want to have one to make! I will make you one for £25 and p&p, in whatever colours you desire.

We got a new sideboard from the junk shop! I want to change the door knobs because they are just offensive but otherwise it's perfect.

I just thought this was really lovely - the amazing yarn shop in town sells plants outside that you can use for dyes. I love that about where I live.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The first time I ever went to Tintern I noticed these abandoned cottages opposite the old mill. They used to be next to the mill pond (now a series of 'motel' style hotel rooms built into a revealing dip in the land) so I like to imagine it was the miller and his family who lived in them when the village was industrial. I don't know who owns them but the last few months of heavy rain have taken their toll and the roof of the outhouse has completely collapsed. I want them to be renovated and given new life, the damp from the sides of the valleys is disintegrating the stone and the ivy is creeping, creeping.

The sylvan Wye from a beautiful local walk we did a few weekends ago, to the 'Bread and Cheese' stones in Llandogo.

Some other things that have been happening:

- I scrubbed and sorted and conservatory, the gateway to our tiny garden. Taken a lot of stuff to charity shops, trying to reorganise and simplify.
- We have done a huge chunk of the work that needed to be done on the ground floor of the house. We passed the one year mark of living here back in February.
- Started back at work which has been really pleasing. I am shocked about how little money we have survived on over the winter considering I wasn't earning much. We have still managed to save, and Huw bartered, medieval style, for our decorating with a new website (not quite so medieval) for the builders.
- Planted courgette seeds, runner beans, sweet peas and tomatoes in whatever containers I could find. I might do a separate garden post because I like to look back on plants when they were small. I accidentally made compost in a bag of rotting garden waste I failed to get rid of so I've put it in the half of my raised bed that doesn't contain raspberries (which are coming back in full force already) in preparation for courgettes... should they survive!
- We saw a lamb being born at St Fagan's
- The lemon tree is flowering

Carpenter's workshop, if I could post a picture of the smell I would.

St Michael's Church, Tintern

The view from my conservatory on the day I went back to work

My mother's day present

Mostyn's first recognisable drawings!