Saturday 5 January 2013

January 2013

Parts of my blog are about to become much more like a diary from now on. Maybe one day my children will look at it, maybe one day my grand children will be able to have an insight into who their grandmother is. So this is for them and for any long lost friends who may stumble across me one day. Do get in touch by the way! Also this is for all my new friends in the making. 
Looking across from Falmouth to Flushing and back again. Photos gleaned from internet search but gives a general idea of where I'm heading. 
Today I shall motor, as we used to say in the 1930's, down to Cornwall with a boot full of books, art materials and potted plants in my new car and begin the task of downsizing. I am beginning to get an idea of it now, the downsizing aspect at least. I am going for the extreme version, really like being a student again. 
Unpacked and settled in. Very cosy and bijou, just the place for making the start of my adventures. My intention is to stay here for a few months and make jewellery, stock up my galleries, paint and revise my book plus explore the secret and hidden parts of Cornwall before 'the season' begins. 
My room is quite lovely and even though very small is just enough for my needs for now. There is a beautiful antique silver gilt bed that I intend to take detailed photographs of and develop into ideas for jewellery. I have a table under the window where I can work for now until I find a studio. It is quite amazing how easy it is to adapt everything in this little room. There is lots of storage hidden behind some gold silk curtains. It is very me! The bed may also double up as a sort of sofa with lots of cushions but if I need a sitting room, which I don't have here, I have been given the key to a friends house so I can go when ever I feel the need to be more civilized. Not having a sitting room does seem very strange but I am sure I will adapt.  Then in July move to Oxford and pick up on my story, one part of which is set just here in Brasenose Lane, where my elderly Oxford don sits in disguise and plays the violin to passers-by and meets the extraordinary Joseph.

Then on to Paris as I would like to wander round the streets and arcades in August when the city is half empty as residents take their holidays in the south. Nicholas Flamel figures for a while in my book so I would like to soak up the atmosphere near to where he lived. I have market stall holders and puppet makers, spies for an elite private banking family and various shinanigens. I also want to explore the souterrain, the underground passages of Paris. Underground passages are there in my story in Geneva and in Naples too. Here is a short video of the souterrain of Paris, just to show that it exists! Over 180 miles of it - so there is a great deal more to it than pop-up night clubs. Click on the photograph  of the Eiffel Tower to activate the video as it links to my Pinterest pages and then to Vimeo.

September will more than likely see me in Geneva sitting in the Promenade de la Treille in the Parc des Bastions reviewing the exploits of some of my characters. I find that I am continually amazed by just how stories and characters come into being. Venice in October is a possibility even though as yet no characters seem to be based there but there are references to the Black Nobility that I want to develop. But I simply love the place with a passion. 
There are lots of rooms to rent in Venice and I do not want to be too close to the centre. Walking and taking water buses to the other islands is what I want to being doing. Research, reading, writing and photography, drawing and thinking, conversations with strangers. Building the only banks that truly matter - our memory banks.

Then somewhere along the  Côte d'Azur for the winter but there is no detailed plan. I have many favourite haunts. I will see how it goes as it goes. Christmas will see me back in Devon and we will have to rent a cottage for a couple of weeks so that we can be together as a family but this will be OK for one or two years. Then back to the warmer south again I hope. I also would like to continue to travel and stay in other places in Europe next year too. I have a list! Whilst I am writing I will also be making jewellery to sent to my galleries, looking for new outlets and posting work for sale on my Etsy shop.
I will also be adding to YouTube videos.
I wonder who I will meet and how the curve of my life will shift. I could call it the trajectory of my life but I sense that implies a straight line and somehow I do not think that life runs in straight lines. Well, certainly not mine. 
I am looking forward to meandering paths, slightly off the beaten track with time to breath in the deep peace and inspiration of new mornings and to wander flâneur like through city streets and market places. My characters have all gone before me in my imagination. None are based on people whom I have yet met or on things that I have over heard. It is a work of the imagination. When I sit down to write I see for example a room or a street with people talking. I simply describe  what I see. These characters have now become good friends. I am merely joining up the dots, going to the places that they inhabit, checking out the street maps and seeing what evolves. Life is never boring!
Back in Devon at my cottage now and sorting things out. A few trips to the recycling centre and to Oxfam. The weather is bearable though has been wet but there is no time to loose. Today it has been snowing and is the day for packing books away. There are many. Part of me thinks 'do I still need so many?' but they too are old friends and when I set up another family home they will be needed to remind us all of who we are and where we have come from. Bella will be going to live with my son whom she adores as he does her so although I will miss her a lot I know she will be safe and loved. The hens are going to lovely neighbours and we are going to help to build the new hen pen as soon as the ground is workable again. If it ever stops raining.
So much for all that work I put into building their dream hen pen last year. The hens have had a lovely year despite the rain in our garden. Or perhaps because of the rain as their hen pen, being newly dug soon became saturated and rather muddy so I gave them the vegetable garden to roam in which as you can imagine they absolutely delighted in. The roses are just beginning to grow and to twine up the wire netting now and would have made a most beautiful, romantic and very practical shelter for them this summer but I  fear that is not to be. 
Dartington was once a thriving community filled with visionaries and free thinking, inspired individuals.  And oh how we need them now in a world of increasing bureaucrats where the prime concern is a tidy spreadsheet. Dartington as anyone who lives in the area will tell you is now run by petty minded, unprincipled flint hearted administrators. The true heart and soul is dying here these days and needs  more than a profit margin to restore it to the vision of Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst and of Maurice and Ruth Ash, their son-in-law and daughter. Maurice saw the potential of Dartington as a 'traditional alternative' to the role of the monasteries in medieval Europe; he saw them as great centres of learning and innovation and therefore as civilizing forces.
Of course I am critical after what has happened to me but I do have the advantage of knowing its history and of having lived here and have personally met some of these administrators. They speak about vision but I for one am not all that impressed with their actions or the results. 
So I wonder if they are going to ask me to take down the studio.  Hopefully they will see the advantage in keeping both. The studio does need a little more work but not much - a few windows and a couple of barge boards at the back but then it would provide the perfect office or studio for the next lucky tenant whoever he or she may be. It has cost me well over £2000 so far as it has been built with only the best timber. Wouldn't it be lovely if they offered to buy it? A little compensation for turning my life inside out. My little rant is over now!

The family home is very important but just for now is an embryonic dream again. I wonder where I will be in a couple of years. Somewhere in this area I hope. I love the South Hams and my daughter has all her school friends based here, even though most of them are busy trying to make their living in London, they all come back for holidays and to meet up again.
Snow today and I find that I am feeling 'under the weather' so taking it easy and hoping I can avoid being laid up with the flu that is going around. Not the best of timing. 
We went for lunch to friends, one of whom is a herbalist and she immediately gave me a hot brew of the most fantastically deep tasting and delicious herbal concoction. A few hours later and I feel fine again. I will take it easy though and conserve energy as its miserably cold outside and rather testing inside - so many boxes to pack + label.

Yesterday I went to my Classics group and we entered into the amazing world of Roman glass so I have been mooching around YouTube and have found The Corning Museum and their extensive videos explaining techniques and methods - absolutely fascinating - do take a look - I find that seeing the pieces gives me a better view into who they are through their sensibilities rather than through their war campaigns. 
Today is meant to be the day for building the new hen pen in our neighbours garden but I fear the weather is against us. I do hope all this is completed by the 31st January D Day. 

Friday 4 January 2013

The Alleys of Capri

The Lanes of Capri

Strolling around Venice

Reminders of Venice

Source: via Hilary on Pinterest

Source: via Hilary on Pinterest

French Country Living

Ideas to inspire -

Source: via Hilary on Pinterest

Source: via Hilary on Pinterest

Source: via Hilary on Pinterest

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...