Me and the kids have just had a week away on the south coast. Going away right at the end of the holidays was sort of like saying goodbye to the summer in a celebratory way. We were blessed with proper sunshine which certainly made for an enjoyable time.
I have been very stressed the last few weeks with the deadline of the book approaching and I felt like I couldn't possibly have a holiday with such a lot of work hanging over my head. Robert had been listening to an audio book called the Happiness Advantage, The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology which he lent to me and it made me realise many things, one of which was that I wasn't going to get anything much done with my doom and gloom attitude and I needed to get my head screwed back on properly (my words, I'm not quoting from the book there haha). Having some fun with kids and friends was going to help with that. Amongst lots gems of wisdom and scientific studies, the book encourages developing a practice of finding three daily gratitudes, training the mind to seek out the positives in our everyday lives.
How lucky I am that my work path has helped me meet so many amazing people. I met my friends Terri and David from Brighton years ago when they exhibited in the Hebden Bridge Sculpture trail and visited my open studio. We had a lovely chat and they invited me to show in their open house the next Spring. For the next few years a trip to Brighton in May has been a highlight of the year and I stayed in their beautiful house each time and made friends with these lovely people.
We have just stayed in their lovely peaceful house. Me and Ffion sat at the kitchen table with the French doors open onto the garden, drinking a lot of tea, Euan made the living room his domain and listened to lots of football. Ffion did some proof reading for me (working in a very relaxed kind of a way I might add). Which brings me onto gratitude number two. I am so lucky to have this girl and thankful that she is always so willing to help me. She is a good book editor (a newly discovered talent to add to the mix), she made a wicked carbonara and she always makes me laugh!
The Japanese Anemones were out in the garden (always grateful for the simple pleasures). The very plant that inspired my lamp design.
And we met Ed. Ffion has been writing singing and recording music with Ed Tullett, a prolific young singer/songwriter for the the last year but has never met him as he lives near Brighton. They met on Youtube of all places, commenting on each others videos and with the wonders of music technology they have been able to make recordings from opposite ends of the country. Fiction on his Vices album is my favourite of them both singing. They spent the day recording and making videos. Here's them singing Bon Iver. Bless them. Very inspiring indeed.
Another friend I am grateful to have made through my work is Wendy. She was my next door stand neighbour at my very first British Craft Trade Fair eight years ago. We were friends at first site and go down to visit her and her partner Chris in Hastings as often as we can. Did you read my post about going down to help them give birth back in June? Well here I am cuddling the lovely little boy. There were lots of cuddles. He's a darling.
My boy was as tiny as him once but look at him now. Lovely handsome chap. He was on top form on our holiday and it was great to have him a round. He nearly didn't come but I am so glad he did as it was lovely (and unusual) for us all to hang out together for so long. He and Chris played Forza on Xbox alot,
and he had a swim every day. Love that boy.
....and we had a cream tea with home made scones on the beach, and fished for mackerel (unsuccessfully) and made pizzas (well Chris did, we just added our toppings), and went to the car boot (it wasn't great) and just had a fantastically fun and relaxing time and I am grateful for these wonderful people who make it all all right......
Cheers! So, now we are back, refreshed and ready to get back to work in a much better headspace. :)
Phew that was a long blog post. All my family has gone to bed. Think I will go follow them. Night night x