The slower end of my SUNDAY. A really strong and sweaty and challenging start with a 90 minute yoga class, then a spectacular lunch at Cornersmith with some of my faves, a cheeky taste at Grifters Brewery, and home to roast a chook and drink a little wine. I had Neko Case's 2003 set from Austin City Limits on repeat (which I can't find online, only the 2013 one) and the door and windows open, a few candles in the last of the evening light and a coupe of friends around the table. Lovely.
After the hustle of the last couple of months (December was BIG), it's been nice to catch up on some reading, some trawling and exploring and on-my-mind-ing. Here's what I came up with...
* The Big Sleep was an amazing read. Nice to see something different from SMH, something closer to long-form. And really, what a remarkable couple - so inspired by the way they lived their lives.
* Came across this old FVF again and fell in love again. Something about the space and calm, the golden light and all the books, the veggie garden, the mint green in the kitchen. I love it.
* Feeling super inspired by Bri's honest post and new ideas - what a difference. I have so much appreciation for the time and effort bloggers put into creating original content and pushing themselves artistically (as DLF always does), but to be honest, I'm much more drawn to a relaxed style and personal approach. I like the intimate connection, not the glossy projection. I'm really excited to see how DLF evolves again. Such a good reminder to step-back from life from time to time and think about what makes you happy.
* I've been home a couple of weeks and it's been nice. Cooking favourite meals in my kitchen, making big pots of tea, but as yet haven't had time for baking. Good thing Joy has my back - ginger and oats and bittersweet chocolate make for the kind of classic biscuit I need in my life about now.
* I have a BLOCKSHOP scarf that has long been a favourite, so big and soft and just like a hug, I wear it a lot in winter and in the autumn in-between. But their new little square-scarves are pulling at my heartstrings now too - especially this vintage feel pink print. I love the idea of it as a little kerchief or headband.
Here we are again. Another year ahead.
I used to think of new years as a wash, as just another day. But I was young and probably just liked being contrary. When it comes to new years these days, I feel an enormous sense of awe. Not the night itself of course - this year I was asleep by about 11 - but the days after. The in-between time before I'm back to work, and the days seem longer and I have time to think and dream and hope and wonder for the year ahead. And PLAN. I like to plan. I like the idea of resolutions and intentions because it reminds me of the bigger picture. They allow me to take a bit of control back from the day-to-day shambles I find myself in. Make active choices. Think about big-picture stuff. I like making small changes and refining things and working to be my best self. So hurrah for that!
It has been a pretty damn good year. I got a kick-ass promotion that's had me on my toes - writing lots and thinking more and feeling full. I saw the world - spending days alone in new places and days with friends in familiar places. I went on dates and felt loved and had quite a bit of fun with it all. It's been nice, really.
The main thing I'm hoping for in the year ahead is to TAKE IT SLOW. 'Slowly, slowly' as my friend Stella says. It's no small thing, but I feel like it has been a while coming. I'm desperate for some quiet. Slowing down for me means more time to myself, more time at home, more time to write, more time to think, more time to rest (my iron has been so low my GP has me on supplements). Slowing down from all the bustle will - I hope - give me some time to work at finding out what I want. There are other things too, of course. I hope to read more books and run twice a week and keep saving for a house, but they will come if I take it slow. Slow is the answer.
One of our last days at the beach and a grey morning to start. We took the girls for a walk along Willyama Beach, buckets in hand to collect shells and cuttlefish (or 'cuddle-fish' as Coco says, arms outstretched for a hug). We found all kinds, seaweed, dead fish, driftwood.
I like finding a stone, just one that is round and smooth and softened by the sand and waves to take home. It reminds me of my friend Jules who we lost last year - Stephen said she always picked stones from the seashore when she came to visit. He gave me one, a white-washed heavy Eastbourne stone when I was there in May. I like holding it and feeling the weight of it, the weight of this old world from tide to tide.
I didn't get a picture of this last Sunday. I don't think I even knew it was a Sunday till late in the evening, crawling into bed. I like that about the slow days before the new year. It was a nice one though, golly did it have it's moments.
There was afternoon light streaming in the old sash-window, sharing wine out of a dirty glass and the hours fading past, some talk about poetry and a bit of truth-telling, some nice laughs. I like friends who are honest with me and honest with themselves. It was a sweet old time.
A brief moment out in the world, post-yoga, pre-gardening and cleaning. A moment to see the beautiful new Incu space my friend Tola is running like a dream. And what a dream, they've done a stunning job and have the most beautiful collection of things to covet. None of it I need, but all of it would make me happy. Or distract me for a little while anyway.
The sea, the sea. Something about it that, as I get older, seems more and more to amaze me. I seem to be more drawn to it, more calmed by it, more at ease by the coast than ever.
I love being away and waking early, before the house stirs, shoes on and out the door down the little path that is hidden between two houses over the road from our rental, down over the hill to the cliffs. Gerroa is green rolling hills right down to the rocks of the sea, and I was passing through long grass and wild flowers till right when I wasn't, till it opened out to large stones and rough sand. A couple of surfers were out, walking across the rocks then timing their immersion between the crashing waves.
By the the I got home the others were up and drinking coffee and getting ready for breakfast. By the time we were done, the clouds had passed and it was nothing but glorious blue skies and an hour of luscious swimming at Seven Mile beach before the drive home. By the time I got home my day was made.
This is what not going for a run looks like. It looks like a no-pants on the couch Monday, old Shins songs, and catching up on some reading...
* Thinking I'll have to find an afternoon to bake these with Daisy when I'm home at Christmas. Harriet isn't patient or greedy enough for baking, she doesn't care for sweet things so much, but Daisy is a fiend like me and I know she'll like the icing on these babies.
* I watched Obvious Child the other week and loved it. And then I read this and wanted to watch it again, to notice all those small choices, those small moments that add up to it being such a beautifully made little film.
* Came across the stunning work of Maria Gil Ulldemolins via *DesignSponge and am thinking about getting one of the INNARDS diptychs as an (early) early birthday gift to myself. Since I've already got my eye on some other Christmas gifts to myself, it seems best to wait till April.
* I bought Meg's e-book today and am pretty ready to settle into bed early to read it properly. To give it some real time. I had a little moment with it this morning, and was floored at the few hundred words of the introduction, YOU ARE HERE.
* I am so obsessed with Mel's beautiful pictures of Annecy. I followed along on her brilliant IG feed a few months ago and kind of lost my mind, and now she has film pictures back and it's making me weak at the knees. I love how she captures that slow, hazy feel of holidays. I want to be in France, specifically there, at that beautiful lake and with some kind of dry riesling and a good book in the depths of summer.
A weekend at home, a SUNDAY for the memory bank. I flew back last week for what was supposed to be a surprise family lunch for my Mama's 60th, but of course she guessed the whole thing weeks ago, right down to the restaurant we were going to. She's good. And The Star of Greece is a bit of an Adelaide favourite. It's a kind of shed, on the edge of a cliff an hour's drive south of town in Port Willunga. Named after a shipwreck out in the gulf, it serves local and spectacular seafood. It's simple stuff, not too fancy, but high quality produce, brilliant service and beautiful local wines (though we brought a few bottles of good French champers my brother got his hands on, and then ordered a chablis which was so delicious I immediately regretted my decision to act as driver).
It was lovely to be home and reminded of how wonderful South Australia is, how we want for nothing down there in terms of beauty and quality.