Tag Archives: plot 44

Clearing with Sarah: Less not more

Some of the most popular posts I’ve written on here lately are the three linked ones called “The Clearing.” I’ve cleared books, activities and, since I wrote the posts, even a car over the past couple of months. And feel much better for it, thanks.

Well, there are two of us live here and Sarah’s been doing some deep and enthusiastic clearing herself. So here’s her take on the whys, wherefores and hows of living with less and how you get there.

Fair warning, fire is involved.

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If you’re a regular blog reader then you’ll know that we’ve been busy here – busy ‘clearing’. Clearing is the term we use for ‘getting rid of stuff that we don’t use anymore’.

And that ‘stuff’ can be literally ‘things’ like books and possessions (as in The Clearing). It can also be people and activities, yes that’s a bit trickier (as in The Clearing 2). And it can be about time too, a sort of extension of people and activities (as in The Clearing 3). But the end result of all of this clearing is less ‘stuff’, less clutter, and more space and time for you.

For me that’s involved clearing knitting projects, giving me more time to concentrate on the ones that matter – fingerless gloves. It’s also meant that I’ve had time to (finally) re-cover some chairs in a fabric bought much earlier this year.

And I’ve cleared out my recipe folder – amazing the amount of recipes I’ve printed or kept from a magazine and will never make, or have tried and didn’t like. So this clearing has given me the space to concentrate on a couple of recipes that I have improved – like cheesecake and (finally) apple tart.

And just because we are ‘good’ at clearing it doesn’t mean that we don’t own ‘stuff’. I do have stuff – although when it comes to clothes I will almost certainly never match the effortless minimalism displayed by Ronnie in his wardrobe – but anyway this is not a competition. But the point of clearing for me is that the ‘stuff’ that I have is stuff that I want in my life. Continue reading

The Meaning of Life: Change and Decay

I know I keep talking about the meaning of life on this blog. The preciousness of all of our times here on earth, including my own as I enter my autumnal days.

Today has been more of this, particularly reflective for me as I’ve spent much of it on Sarah’s autumnal allotment, itself changing and gently decaying now, long past the summer’s end as the year’s light declines.

In through the Secret Gate.

The light this afternoon being that particularly sharp, low in the sky light, that comes on sunny days just before we turn the clocks back.

Dogwood in the autumn light.

Bonfires of the summer’s growth all around us.

All the colours sharp like they’ve been turned up to maximum on some celestial control. Continue reading

Walking round Liverpool: On Christmas Day

Happy Christmas from Liverpool.

Happy Christmas from Liverpool.

dsc07850This has now evolved into a tradition for me. Not every year, because that would be annoying, but every now and then I like to walk round the centre of Liverpool on the one day in the year when all the shops are shut and there are hardly any people around.

As you’ll know if you read this blog sometimes I feel a considerable amount of responsibility for Liverpool. So looking around it on its quietest day is like me being the curator of an empty gallery or a minister in  a great cathedral before the congregation arrive, checking everything’s all right while I have the place more or less to myself. Let’s have a look round then.

Starting where we'll end, at the great cathedral.

Starting where we’ll end, at the great cathedral.

Continue reading

Walking in Liverpool: Early Autumn

Now the heat of high summer has gently cooled these are perfect days for me, walking in early Autumn.

Walking down to The Florrie.

Walking down to The Florrie.

One of the best views in Liverpool. From The Florrie, across the river to New Ferry, then across Wirral and the Dee to the hills of Wales. Beautiful.

And inside The Florrie?

And inside The Florrie?

There's a Jamie Reid exhibition on.

There’s a Jamie Reid exhibition on.

Continue reading

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

dsc06059Off  along Menlove Avenue on a sunny Sunday afternoon in mid-September.

A leafy boulevard.

A leafy boulevard.

I haven’t walked along here much this year, having spent most of my time in North and Central Liverpool.

I've come to Calderstones Park for this.

I’ve come to Calderstones Park for this.

Often to be found in Sefton Park or Croxteth Hall (where they’ll be next weekend) , this is the Artisan Network’s first go at putting on what they do in Calderstones.

So here we are.

So here we are.

In a public park and therefore free to enter. As it should be. Continue reading

We’re all light

I love all of the days and times of the year, but particularly this one. The throw the doors open, let the light in, eat outside, springtime. Like the first time you heard ‘Up town top ranking’ or ‘One day like this’ it gets me every time. The upsurging joy of spring.

Some of it though is so fleeting or so tiny that you can easily miss moments and wildflowers if you’re not looking for them. I’ve been looking for them, together with Sarah. And here are a few our cameras have gathered in.

Like last night as it finally grew dark I went over to draw the curtains and saw this, in the Liverpool sky to my west.

The Moon, Aldebaran and Venus.

The Moon, Aldebaran and Venus.

Sarah tells me that in asronomy this is known as an ‘occultation.’ Aldebaran at the bottom there (the bright star 54 times the size of our own Sun) is either emerging from or about to be hidden behind our Moon. So there.All Light - 38

But even better is the not dark sky of the springtime Northern Hemisphere. So much more light every day that flowers are blooming everywhere you look.

In the hedgerows.

In the hedgerows.

Continue reading

Walking with a camera

Walking with the camera30Walking with a camera is different from just walking. Me and Sarah found this many years ago when we’d run it as an exercise on the ‘Creativity’ courses we’d run back then. People would notice things they might normally miss and find beauty in unexpected places. Well I’ve carried on with this ‘exercise’ until it’s become a natural part of how I live my life. This blog being full of pictures taken as I’m walking around.

This week it’s been different though. For the first time since nearly the beginning of this century the camera in my hand has changed. The weight of it, the feel of it, the capabilities of it – all different and only just starting to be explored. Since my birthday on Tuesday when it arrived it’s actually come out with its much loved predecessor and worked most days. Good pictures in difficult circumstances inside a variety of people’s living rooms. It’s also been out walking though, and that’s what we’re looking at here.

Friday morning, walking out to work.

Friday morning, walking out to work.

Past the Mystery gates

Past the Mystery gates.

And The Brookhouse.

And The Brookhouse.

Along Smithdown, remembering being there with them at the start of Bulky Bob's.

Along Smithdown, remembering being there with them at the start of Bulky Bob’s.

Continue reading