A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.
- T.E. Hulme
I haven’t been here for a while. I’ve been doing other stuff, like getting married and getting a suntan and watching the Great British Bake Off. And turning 30. In that order. And I’m not sure that this season I am going to be the best at updating, namely because (excuses, excuses) I am moving to the country and working on starting a business and all my spare-time energy is going to be going into that. But I will try. Come spring, once the website is launched, I can promise you all an altogether shinier, cleaner, generally more ‘spruced’ blog to visit. This current incarnation is getting a wee bit tired – five years old and I think it could do with a makeover.
Other than getting hitched and the subsequent recovery from, and acclimatization to, being married (otherwise known as the honeymoon) I’ve quit nicotine and just-survived the sleeplessness and irrational anxiety and irritability that that entails, the highlight of which was winding up in a hotel room, alone, in Yorkshire when I was meant to be dancing at a family wedding, glass eyed and frozen with compounded sleep deprivation. It wasn’t pleasant. But three weeks in and I’m heading for the other side. I keep thinking – I will look back on this and LAUGH, because I will be a non smoker and those little nicotine goblins like they have on the ads for gum or patches or whatever will be VANQUISHED forever. For the record, I think all those ads and crutches are crap. Just another way to make money out of you and the more times you fail , and have to try again, the better it is for Nicorette. Cold turkey is the way to go, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the period of getting it out of your system and then the withdrawal, is painful and physically exhausting, especially after 15 years. If there is a secret to it, I haven’t found it, but I will say that repeated warm baths and a good book and a bloody steak certainly help.
It’s that time of the year again. My favourite, golden, foggy, smoky time of the year and everyone seems to be out wearing cardigans and picking blackberries and then baking them into pies. As usual, I spend a ludicrous amount of time browsing the new knitwear collections online and wearing ribbons in my hair and generally embracing blackwatch tartan and shawls and wellington boots. Last week I sat on a girlfriend’s sofa and drank vanilla chai and bored her to tears about how good it feels to have quit smoking, mostly to take my mind off the not-smoking, and then I walked home and it was a glorious evening and the sky was darkening and I could see into everyone’s kitchen’s as I walked along Catherine Street. I love looking into other people’s houses after dusk, when you can see them, but they can’t necessarily see you – couples curled up on sofas, socked feet entwined, children padding around in pyjamas ready for bed; rustic kitchens, messy student kitchens, humourless contemporary kitchens with harsh white strip lights. I am looking forward to living in the country, to the real dark and the sounds of pheasants on the fields, and the distance from the city. I am looking forward to nesting with my new husband and to this time ahead of us in which we can selfishly indulge in our long-dreamt of romantic idyll, when there are no pyjama-d children, and it is just us, and log fires, and walks across fields and through woods. But at the same time, I am going to miss this, walking around these Victorian-housed streets on evenings just like this. I’m going to miss nipping up to the offie in my nightie for emergency milk at 11.00pm. Grabbing my keys and popping down to Quarterhorse or to the Keen Bean Coffee Club. I shall have to perfect the stovetop method.
My first official floral styling job is coming up in October – a glorious, classic English wedding in the Oxfordshire countryside and it’s going to be a branchy autumnal extravaganza – rich velvets and fat David Austen roses and zinneas the colour of rubies. Hopefully some physalis in there somewhere too. I’ve invested in some beautiful cast iron urns with plinths that probably need a palette and a small team to shift but I couldn’t compromise on any of the lighter options – the fibreglass and ‘stone-effect’ ones I looked at seemed cheap and flimsy in comparison. I want genuine rust, thank you. I’ll heft them, and plug them, and it will all be fine and they will be beautiful. I find I am saying this to myself a lot, lately. It will all be fine, it will all be fine, it will all be fine.
For more regular updates, I will mostly be on Instagram. Hope to see you there!
I leave you with this beautiful short film Camellias by Ngoc Minh Ngo.