Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

One of the great things about being a parent is that you can enjoy some of things that you may have 'missed out' on in your own childhood. Growing up we did not 'celebrate' halloween in our household. Since those early days, I have travelled and lived in North America where halloween is huge. Has the celebration become over commercialised? yes. But what is wrong with enjoying a little bit of creativity and meeting the kids in the neighbourhood?

We have recently moved to a new flat (this is a temporary move before the big move to Denmark in January) and a new neighbourhood. Our little boy is now 3 and old enough to 'help' with the carving of the pumpkin and handing out treats when the local ghosts, vampires, wizards (and princesses (!)) etc call by.

He loved it and we raced to the door to check out the costumes and offer chocolate treats. I have to admit that I loved it too. We cheated a bit with the pumpkin lantern and used the flashing bike light instead of a candle but this is the 21st century and I didn't want to risk a toddler's excitement suddenly setting the curtains alight...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Wrapped up warm in wool...

This week's sublimity is the joy of being wrapped up warm in wool on a crisp autumn day. I've been enjoying wearing some of my favourite knits to keep out the chills and thought I'd take some close up shots of the lovely woollen textures.

Detail from chunky knit wrap (Zadig & Voltaire)

Oversize (or 'boyfriend') cardigan from Sparrow (Anthropologie) - just the burnt orange colour of this cardigan makes it a natural choice for 'trick or treating' or a Guy Fawkes bonfire night party

Detail from my favourite scarf (nearly 3 m of crocheted warmth in an accessory that just keeps on giving!) and an absolute bargain from H&M 10 years ago

A burst of colour in a crocheted scarf - a Christmas gift from my sister (provenance unknown!)

They are all things of beauty - wraps, cardigans, ponchos, scarves. Be inspired and next time you look out of the window and see the sun shining but you know that when you set foot out of the door you'll see your breath in the air, stay cosy and wrap up warm in your favourite woolies!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

A breath of fresh air

One of the places that I will miss when we leave London is Hampstead Heath. An oasis of open space and woodland that draws tourists and locals alike for a break from the big smoke. I'm not going to pretend that it was a regular haunt or that I was a loyal and frequent visitor but it is a place that holds many fond memories. My husband and I walked through the heath on our first date, I trained for my first 10k run on the pebbly tracks and had my first open water swim in the ladies pond.  Like thousands of others, I've flown a kite on Parliament Hill and enjoyed many picnics in the grasslands.

Yesterday was a surprisingly bright and crisp autumn day and so we wrapped the children up warm and headed over to the heath for a breath of fresh air. The words of Roger Taber sum up beautifully how a few hours spent walking through the woodland and along by the ponds can restore the city dweller's soul:

On Hampstead Heath by Roger Taber

Glittering pools of light
among acres of grass,
swans in graceful flight

Crest to climb, fly a kite
on a city made of glass;
glittering pools of light

Ducks a common sight,
geese making room to pass,
swans in graceful flight

Trees voicing nature's right
to co-exist in peace;
glittering pools of light

Though dog owners bite
and parents fuss
swans in graceful flight

Of leafy going-ons at night,
it but whispers...
Glittering pools of light
swans in graceful flight.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The journey of a thousand miles...

...begins with the first step. And this is it: my first step into the blogosphere. This small beginning has been slowly taking shape over the last few weeks and months and today I finally take the plunge. For my benefit as well as yours (the reader, if there are any out there), I'll set out what I hope to do with this blog:

(i)  First and foremost I want my blog to be my contribution - something that I can give to anyone out there who is interested. I've read so many fascinating posts about everything from motherhood in the city of London to the inspiring recipes and culinary diaries of a foodie in San Francisco to style hunters in Scandinavia to knitting blogs in New Zealand, that I want to give something back.

(ii) Second, I want to participate in the world beyond my immediate surroundings. At a time in my life when I could, if left to my own devices, become isolated and introspective (we're moving abroad because of my husband's work and I will be leaving my paid work to stay at home with two young children in a country where I don't know anyone and don't speak the language), I want to challenge myself to keep my perspective focussed away from my navel!

And so, I shall endeavour to bring you a weekly offering of sublimity; something beautiful to share with you. By the way, I wanted to call my blog, 'these beautiful days' but someone else got there first!! My husband came up with the word 'sublime' as an alternative and I love it. Although I'm slightly worried that in these difficult economic times, it could be mis-read as 'subprime'....