Ode to Britain’s Sunshine

Today the sun woke up after a long and dreary hibernation. She warmed up the world with her rays. She flooded crystal light through nooks and crannies, brightening up what was once so dull. She ignited every blade of grass, and when you peered through the dry, wintry boughs, she set on emerald fire the bushes lurking between.

She set the fog ablaze, creating a mystic haze that was swarming with glittering fairies. She yawned, and her open mouth spilled gold onto window panes, shimmering starkly next to brilliant white and glorious red brick.

She brought colour into the world, is what she did. England without sunshine is a dreary grey slab. The cold sees fit to drape its frosty tentacles over the landscape, breathing air that is metal in its harshness, and making it so breathing is painful. England without sunshine is gum spots on pavements being too bright, and rubbish in the gutter claiming the centre of visual attention. England without sunlight is pink faces and rolling beer cans, its a world over which one has spilled dirty paint water, so all the colours have run together, merging into a desolate, muddy grey mix. England without sunshine is a dirty colourless filter over the world.

And the minute the sun beams down upon us, England is once again crowned in glory.

Oh, world, England is such a beautiful country. With her rolling hills, charming knotted trees and grass so green the emerald princesses are jealous. Even her little winding roads with the small wooden fences on the side, the fringes of grass over grown and the brambly hedges have a magical charm to them.

I had forgotten I lived somewhere so beautiful.

I hope the sun doesn’t wait so long again to show her face, less the desolation of winter seep back into life again. I know there is some rigorous scientific explanation behind happiness and sunshine, but I don’t want to think about that. I want to believe that the sunshine has magical powers, that it wields a paintbrush and a magic wand. That it turns squat houses huddled sombrely along an icy road in a grey stain into majestic, beautiful buildings with vibrant white trellises and bricks made from the finest clay and fired in the hottest ovens.

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They say only those descended from the elves can see the Dryads in this picture. Can you?

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Procrastination.

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I drew. Damian tidied up my rough edges and colour spillage. I’m the messy one, he is neat and meticulous. It was 3am. We were drunk on fatigue. Saturday night, laptop screens illuminating the room with poorly constructed sentences about topics neither of us cared about. We spent forty minutes drawing procrastinating.

There is something so divine and therapeutic about lazing about and drawing, taking turns together, knowing full well there are assignments to be submitted by 7pm tomorrow.

The house is dark and still. There is complete silence, save for the tap tapping of the pencil on the screen.

That List

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These are the things I want to achieve in 2016.

 

  1. Expand my painting skills by doing more painting. Especially with oil paints. I really want to be able to paint fascinating pictures full of colour and get the shadows just right, so I can put them on my walls.
  2. Write more. Oh, so much more. Finish my novel finally and try to get it published. Write ten hours a week to start with.
  3. Set up a website for my translating and editing business.
  4. Practise my Arabic reading and writing and grammar.
  5. Get really fit, and increase my daily cycling distance from 10 miles to 30 miles.
  6. Explore more places, now that I have a car.
  7. Walk for an hour everyday, while listening to informative podcasts.
  8. Follow my tastes in fashion, and stop looking like such a frump sometimes.
  9. Wear more colour, own more colour, create more colour.
  10. Be kind. Kinder. Be more open to humans. I am far too closed off and cold. Smile more.

 

That’s mainly it, really! There are probably more things but right now I am geared up to go. Well I was last week but it’s nice to start from day one.

Speaking of which, I saw so many runners when I went on my bike ride this morning. WAY more than usual. Looks like people have begun with their resolutions already!

Have you?

Is It Really Necessary?

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Well, is it?

You tell me.

An example. I wanted to buy a funky ornament. It was a motorbike (or motorcycle for you Americans) made out of old watch parts. Damnit. I wish I took a picture! It was stunning, gleaming and so steampunk. Also inventive, artistic and a fantastic way to use an old broken watch.

I could tell lots of care and attention went into making it. How proud the artist must be.

I also thought how artists and creative people gather a lot of clutter.

Before I married Damian and moved in with him my bedroom was like this:

Many tottering stacks of books from all genres in all the available nooks and crannies. Polished and varnished original floorboards with lime green vines painted on in one corner. A yellow wall covered in colourful postcards from around the country (also some from various places in Europe and three from Barbados when Aunty Jo was on holiday there).

These things covering every free surface:

Paintbrushes, pens, canvases, papers, scrapbooks, booklets, notebooks, doodles, folders, glittery pen holders, a ceramic hand draped with necklaces and rings and pretty bracelets, a glass bowl filled with beads, Sir Jiles Darcy (Lulu’s pet rock), pots and potions, purses, a teeny glass vial labelled ‘fairy dust’ and filled with superfine glittery sand (a memoir from childhood plays with friends), a large glass diamond, marbles, old coins, old stamps, lots and lots of keyring, fairy lights, calligraphy pens, mini globes, steampunk ornaments, candles…

I could go on all day. Honestly. I had so much, and always accumulated more. My room was warm and cosy and interesting and colourful and cluttered!

Now my room is clean and tidy, all my books are put neatly away, all my odd little trinkets have vanished, replaced by neat stacks of untouched paints and paintbrushes. The theme is white and grey and brown, compared to the blues and reds and yellows and greens and splashes of everything you could imagine before.

So today, I stood staring wistfully at the pretty watch motorbike, and I thought about all the things I have to pack away in boxes, and all the things I gave away, and the lack of colour in my home, but all the things I have to lug around with me as I move around the country living in many different homes and I said, aloud, “is that really necessary?”

Well, that is arguable.

Maybe it is not necessary in that I don’t need it. But I want it, I want interesting things to adorn my bare surfaces. I want things to look at and contemplate. I want colour and vividly and brightness and things, like thoughts, to crowd my room. It inspires me and gears my brain for creativity!

I think the state of my room now reflects the state of my brain. It feels empty, I am lacking creativity, my thoughts are stagnant and repetitive, I haven’t painted in years, I am not as witty as I used to be. Something needs to be done! I need to bring back some of my clutter! It’s too tidy!

This is my computer background, a delicious, colourful, vibrant mess!

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So I ask you, dear reader, is it really necessary?