[caption id="attachment_2348" align="alignnone" width="300"]0113bebf3a1c579266d2cc4d0a6e75c8c4889c9072 Stuff on the bench.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2347" align="alignnone" width="300"]01f29075b4efe92102584eb1745ff629ef326a3c69 Stuff on the other bench.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2346" align="alignnone" width="225"]01e1e6f2b7f624bf6a419111089d9ccf91b2945b2a Even though I gave away nearly my whole collection of books, there’s still a mess.[/caption] Help is at hand however. I am doing an online course by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and have just listened to a lecture on perfectionism. Perfectionism is, apparently, fear dressed up in furs and high heels. It stops you starting, trying or finishing anything. Furthermore, it’s boring! Yay I don’t even have to try to be perfect. Regarding my bookshelves, the complete nuttiness I’ve seen “designers” do with books makes me feel better. One of them turned all her books to the pages side because then they looked uniform. It didn’t seem to matter that you couldn’t read the title of the book. Another one covered all her children’s books with the same paper so they would look “nice” and “changed them out each season” to match the decor. Now that’s plain weird. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="350"] Very pretty perhaps but completely stupid.[/caption] I’m wrestling with trying to do more good in the world. Some days I empty my pockets for the beggars on Queen Street and other days I avoid their eyes and walk straight past. Then I feel guilty about the control I have. I think I need to find my one passion and do that to make a change. I’m jut not sure what that is. I try one day to be frugal and charitable and the next I go crazy for some lovely material or thing. I need to get up off my socialist armchair if I am serious about it. I gave away most of my Christmas decorations to the local hospice shop but I kept my fairies and one or two other things that I love. When Sam was about 6 he came home from school with the advent calendar below. It even has little pockets to put lollies in. I find it so tender and special in its perfect imperfection. I picture him sticking on the pockets with great care and gluing the precious jewel at the top of the tree. I feel similarly about a bag he made for my knitting when he was at intermediate. 01b7883adc2aee53dc144c173ad01bb1597d06ff3701ab10a0c039e22f96dbd7d46402363b23e366bad7 As Sam was growing up my only request for my birthday was that he made the card. Whenever I come across them, they make me laugh and smile. I’ve no idea what I am going to do with these cards but I simply cannot de-clutter them. I guess I could photograph them but it doesn’t seem the same somehow. Again, their imperfection makes them perfect. I have never been a perfectionist as my friend Deb will attest to. I mean to fold the towels the same way and have them matching but I just can’t seem to manage it. I love it when other people do it though. So onward in imperfection. Gilbert’s point is that it doesn’t matter who likes your off skew pottery bowl, or they think your poem is rubbish. It is unique and your imperfect offering and the act of making it was a creative one.  I am not in any danger of becoming a perfectionist but it makes me feel better anyway. 011aaba90988f1ac15094e47ff13b53c6f1bc0b882 Gilbert is not the only one who suggests we just get started on something. Vonnegut has a similar point of view. 01b22725d7c748b7944cb8e536822355ef1ca4f790 FG]]>

Cambridge-who knew?

01b404ce36246e890d27817c500430cd83daba1301 The equine tradition was reflected in these mosaics all around the town.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2326" align="alignnone" width="225"]01cff5c0507a17577123846b3ad52ad0ef86dc3da2 The fire station had the old and the new ready for any emergency.[/caption] 01a00694e254732d38cc2de678db90923ed129bd49 01534b6a09fb24f024e104ab49508ff91f76943d36 I coveted a Jeff Thompson sculpture in the local gallery but the price tag was a Lotto-win kind of price. 0118be6ebcd112d4dbb4c7b1c0b5277e446d47ab26 0161eef80d8f8f3ab63c56af4307ecfe009a83a980There were lots of little antique/junk shops and gift shops to faff about in. I was determined not to spend money but that was an epic fail after about the first shop. The wind had got up so I simply had to purchase a scarf to keep me warm. I justify this on the basis of health and well-being. 01acb43cf27b24ee8e34af4312b2318197a2014eb6 This was closely followed up by earrings in the same shop… with absolutely no justification. 016dba1991d451ab92c22292fac333fdb34e3a52f5 and I dare not even mention the handbag… however, the next purchase is very easily justified as a friend has just had a little baby boy. How could I not? 01b3a2e511b14243e09bf095fa2c92345cb370cf42 I exercised restraint but only just, in the yarn store below. 0167ff43711455a48b8b7ae8433558135710bfb461 Earlier in the week though I did give away more clothes to the hospice shop, bought some boys’ toys for Caring For Families and donated some money to several charities. This is because I can whinge all I like about Trump and his ilk but I think I’m better to stop complaining and just try to do something local, pathetically small though it might be. I finally finished the first Ferrante novel between reading other things and can’t wait to read the rest of the series. They are called the Neapolitan novels and the first one is My Brilliant Friend. i also read a book that I heard about on Kim Hill called when Breath Becomes Air. It is the cheery but true story of a promising young brain surgeon dying of a brain tumour. Well worth reading but possibly not a beach-side book. .  Equally grim but an absolute must-see is Ken Loach’s latest and possibly last, film, I Daniel Blake. it is harrowing, all-too-believable but ultimately hopeful film about the human spirit in the face of ridiculous bureaucracy. It would be in my top two films of 2016. I started sobbing about ten minutes in. I am vaguely attempting to get in the Christmas spirit by assembling my fairies in the shape of a Christmas tree (as always, grateful thanks to my wing woman). [caption id="attachment_2336" align="alignnone" width="225"]01413ed324caae3c004419b78b523e31ad3f3a306b Halfway stage[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2335" align="alignnone" width="225"]016a86a2b00a38c9a837bc698bd6f86bb294519d62 Still smiling[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2334" align="alignnone" width="300"]01f67368562d288b3135b02ed0714389a162f5794b Finished with lights on.[/caption] Unfortunately I can’t see Sam getting overly excited about them so I hope a few angel fans call in before the 25th. A few weeks ago I was contemplating the dark grey wall on my deck and started some research. Short of the 7k Jeff Thompson sculpture which would look perfect I have had to look at cheaper options and decided on a living wall. They re made from recycled plastic plastic bottles. I am enjoying mine and have planted flowers in the top and herbs in the bottom so you can lean back and pick some basil for your salad while you eat. 01e875a41ce19ddaf0131761a0537fac2e316baf34 It also makes for a more interesting view from inside too. 0132c9c9d8b70ea5213acd1dbe2f01b2537bfad6b8 I’m contemplating Christmas dinner but am not coming up with anything exciting as Sam is a vegan. Hard to get inspired about tofu and chickpeas. Maybe I’ll just skip the main and go straight to dessert. What are you having? All ideas welcome. FG   .]]>