Monthly Archives: January 2013

Such days…

Today is one of these days…….

Such days, when trees run downwind, their arms stretched before them.

Such days, when the sun’s in a drawer, and the drawer locked.

From February – not everywhere by Norman MacCaig.


The fires are on & the soup is on the stove. The cats are in the dogs are sleeping. I may join them…


New art photo’s next week……

If you like Scotland (and Assynt) then have a read of – The poems of Norman MacCaig – Published by Polygon.

Art & Texture

Hadeland glass
Spent some time watching the ice and marveling at its beauty (see previous post…) Then I looked up from doing the washing up (I lead a glamorous life….) to notice one of our Hadeland suncatchers hanging in the kitchen window – was the maker inspired by the ice too?
Texture, shape & pattern – I’m taking notes from nature and I’m not the only one….

Art & Nature


Have avoided the snow so far up here, but the ice came in the night and painted our neighbours car with feathers and fearns…..




The Herd

Teak gazelles and fat lava

After mentioning Norway and the Yule Nisse in a previous blog I got to thinking…..why do these echo’s of my youth still hold such importance for me?

Looking around our house you will find clues to our past, the living room is a Scottish snug, antlers, comfy sofa, tartan blankets and deep red walls…a direct homage to my childhood in Aberdeen…. but look at the details, and you can read a fuller story of our past. There are vintage Norwegian Yule Nisse post cards framed on the wall – a nod to my time in Norway, as are the pieces of holmegaard and hadeland glass and Norge pewter. There are handsome Russian pre war prints first discovered by Pete through a friend studying Russian at University. Move through to the kitchen and you will find German ‘fat lava’ why? Perhaps because Pete’s family were posted to Germany in the 1970’s – there are carved teak gazelle’s and porsgrund turines, G Plan & string pictures – all reminders of childhood, of sad and happy times.

Look in the pages of any glossy interiors magazine and suddenly it’s all ‘mid century’ and ’70’s chic’ – but for us it’s not fashion that makes us love these things. 10 years ago we were questioned for our dubious taste, no its about something much deeper – we were nomadic children, both moving frequently because of our Fathers jobs. So perhaps these are movable roots? Things that give us a feeling of coming home……when there is no old family home to return to?

I have just read ‘Staying Put’ Making a home in a restless world by Scott Russell Sanders – a really interesting/great read – in it there is a passage on the meaning of the word nostalgia.

To paraphrase & quote – ‘Nostalgia was coined in 1688 as a medical term to find an equivalent for the German word meaning homesickness – On our lips, nostalgia usually means a sentimental regard for the trinkets and fashion of an earlier time, for an idealized past, for a vanished youth.  It is a shallow use of the word. The two Greek roots of nostalgia literally mean return pain. The pain comes not from returning home but longing to return’.

Interesting stuff…….gets you thinking…..

Staying Put – Scott Russell Sanders -Beacon Press, Boston.

Waxwings galore!

Mr Waxwing

Just a quick photo of a very handsome fellow who was not at all camera-shy – he posed for many photos in one of our Rowan trees – Assynt’s next top model?.

The abundance of berries along the west coast of Scotland this season brought us huge flocks of these colourful chatty birds.

Ding Dong!

Christmas hearth

As I’ve said before I’m nutty for Christmas, I just love it and hold it’s magic all year. I lived in Norway for a few years when I was little, and I’m sure the deep winter snows, glowing Jotul stoves, twinkling timber cabins and hand crafted decorations fueled my love for this time of year. I still follow the Norwegian Christmas Eve tradition of leaving a bowl of porridge out for the Yule Nisse. The Nisse or Tomte is a small elf like creature who looks after the hearth and home – throughout the year – he cares for your animals and out buildings too – our Nisse lives in the ‘blue sheds’ I’m pleased to say he ate up all his porridge, probably because of the added maple syrup, sherry, chocolate and cinnamon…..

Still picking fresh salad from the garden on Jan 3rd, has been mild wet and windy – even paddled in the sea on Christmas eve, made my feel tingle alright!

Watched the film Julie & Julia during the holidays and am inspired to blog each week and talk about the things that I care about –  and to upload pics of all my new work – as a record and also to spur me on. I have a good feeling about 2013 and my creative juices are flowing, painting, making, selling – I’ll share it all with you dear reader.