Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Road to Vegas.

In her book: 'E Squared'  - Pam Grout talks about Vegas as a goal and journey many people set out upon but few manage to complete. How many times I wonder have any of us decided to set off on the road to Vegas, getting maybe five miles along the track before some distraction altered our focus and attention.

Vegas, with all it's allure and sparkle will always be on the horizon though, in those quiet moments of yearning when you wonder how it happened that you never got there having set off with such determination and enthusiasm. There you are leaning in the doorway of your roadside life watching others make the journey too. Some give up before they've even begun, overwhelmed by what appears to be an impossible distance. A few stop by for refreshment convincing themselves there is plenty of time to dally. Others take strength in respite before setting off again, undeterred by lack of funds or faith in what they know in their hearts to be true.

And then there are those who simply board the wrong bus by mistake or occasionally because they believed it was the right bus until the years passed and they could not bare to admit their folly in the face of a dream now dead and gone.

Half a life is better than no life at all.

Fear plays a huge part.
Fear of failure.
Of change.
Fear of success which by it's nature invites change into our lives.

We want change until it happens and then we don't know how to cope. We would prefer to wake up one day and realise change has occurred without our ever realising. We can simply sit back and reap the rewards without effort or pain.

It takes courage to step out on that road and keep going no matter what. To have faith when all is doubt.

Courage and belief that you can get there despite all the odds.

Sunday, 17 August 2014


Having to adapt again,
This is the key
Whilst retaining all the positive peaks
Of spiritual highs and
Those heightened moments of creativity that at times
Were pouring forth from each
And every pore

Like a strong flowing mountain stream
As natural as the incoming tide
Clawing it's way back to shore.

Unfailing spirit,
You have been ignited once again.
Come - warm yourself by the fire and
We will fan the flame.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The World at Your Feet.

The beach is only a five minute walk from the cottage and depending on the tide you can either stroll to Robin Hood's Bay or turn south towards Ravenscar and beyond. The Cleveland Way is accessible via the cliffs, a well trodden path for keen walkers and lovers of the countryside with awe inspiring views well worth the physical challenge of the calf, thigh and respiratory workout required to ascend this magical realm.

Inevitably, any journey involving the beach will include a search for jewels - by far my most favourite past-time and I never cease to be amazed by the gifts the tide leaves behind. Armed with a carrier bag I will happily spend hours trawling through the shallows picking out odd shaped stones and pearly shells long since abandoned by their inhabitants, marvelling at the geometric design and the miniature world within.

 'To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.'

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence")
William Blake

 A pair of battered walking sandals serve me well in the ankle deep water as I cover maybe twelve square inches in half an hour. Around me, tourists hop-scotch over precarious stones and rocks in an attempt to preserve the whiteness of new holiday trainers. They call to their dogs who ignore them, mad with delight at being let off the lead; and to each other with shouts of: 'Where shall we go!  - What shall we do!' Their dogs tear over the rock pools to sniff my bag in the hope of food and are disappointed to find only driftwood and shells. Their owners rush ahead eyes darting, dragging picnics and paraphernalia as they search for the perfect spot, not wanting to miss a moment whilst unconsciously missing it all.

They gaze with expectation at the distant horizon and ignore the world at their feet.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Boggle Hole, Heal My Soul.

Almost a year ago to the day I wrote, Boggle Hole, Good for the Soul, from the very place I'm holidaying in now. As I write this post I am surrounded by panoramic views of the hills towards Ravenscar, banked by vast cliffs overlooking the blue, blue sea. The sun is shining between the clouds and sheep are munching contentedly. The only sounds are the wind rustling through the trees, the odd Bah from ramie next door and people in the distance who saw the road sign 2 and half miles away and decided to head down the windy lane in search of paradise.

I don't blame them.

This is a slice of heaven.

It's a quiet day for us today. Paul headed to Whitby early this morning to catch a sea-faring ride and has already caught various fish according to the text he sent earlier. I've spent most of the day in the garden soaking up the views and allowing nature to do her healing work. As for the girls...wild horses won't drag them outside although the youngest did venture before lunch.

They'll learn the value one day as we did before them.

Not long ago, the man on a neighbouring farm flew home in his helicopter. I can't remember where he works but it's somewhere city-based. Imagine. I think a person could put up with many things if they knew they were but a short ride from here although, something tells me he enjoys his work too and has mastered the art of living well. Good for him. We should take a leaf out of his creative book.

It wasn't my intention to write a post just yet. The table is spread with half begun craft-work and books. July's issue of 'The Lady' magazine has it's front cover missing. My sister gave me a few back-copies whilst I was in hospital and I quite liked them. They are a reminder that good manners and elegance still exist in the world and far from being out of my or anyone else's league offer lifestyles' to aspire to not just dream about. Mary Berry, ( I love her) has been cut into strips ready for rolling and collage work. She doesn't know it yet but she's destined to become part of my illustration for Dreaming in Colour  Landscape or balloon...? Not sure yet. I don't think she'd mind either way since it's all in the name of being creative. Besides, I noticed on the reverse a rather fetching photograph of cultured pearls so she might not make the final cut after all.

I found the pritt-stick in my artist's wallet and a flimsy napkin from some cafĂ© or other, probably last year, with my handwriting scrawled all over it. When in need... I must have been thinking about Paul when I wrote these words but they have a deeper urgency now more than ever. This is what I found.

And when we separate
(For one day we surely must)
I will look back and bless you
For all that we have been to one another.

I almost wanted to cry but the scenery here is far too perfect.