[my artsy period circa 2007]
I’ve been blogging for eight years as of yesterday. Eight YEARS! It was a couple of months after my 33rd birthday, one month after the first anniversary of his death. It felt like such a daring thing to do (still does sometimes) but I knew I wanted to join in with the few friends I’d made online. I wanted to write stuff on the internet, too! I didn’t know if I’d have anything to say. I didn’t know if I’d keep at it. I only had a film camera so didn’t know how I’d share photographs. I worried that people would find out who I was so I never revealed my surname. I didn’t tell my mum I had a blog for the first three years. If I’d been able to articulate what I was searching for back then it I probably would have said I wanted to be seen. Not in a showy me-me-me way — rather, I was very carefully shedding the layers of invisibility my grief had wrapped me in. Starting a blog, even if no one read it, was my way of stepping out of my cocoon. It was my first public declaration of healing.
And it completely changed my life.
I don’t know how or why the universe guided me to find that first blog in 2006. Or why I left that first comment. Or how it was I found the courage to write that first post of my own. But it did, and I did, and now I am here. And it hasn’t exactly been a straight line from there to here, but this blog, in all its various incarnations, has been my constant companion. So while it may only be some words and pictures floating around on the internet, this space has come to mean everything to me. A virtual through-line that’s brought community. Friendships. Purpose. Direction. I’ve found all of this and so much more.
Thank you for being here. I’ve no doubt that I’d still be writing even if not a single soul passed by, but I gotta be honest — it’s more fun when we hang out together :)
The space that started it all (though, sadly, not the first post — this is probably the 10th):
Um, wow. What happened to this week?! There are three blog posts I hoped to start and a tonne of stuff I needed to get done and it’s all been shelved in favour of being sick. Again. That’s what happens when you help throw a birthday party for a darling 4-year-old boy and invite 30 of his little friends! While I lie in my bed and gather my strength *ahem* here’s some stuff I’ve enjoyed this week…
[video] A tour of the British Isles in accents | The London bookshop map
These amazing embroidered portraits | these landscapes
Things you don’t want to hear from the other room — I heart Jason
[a podcast] Dani Shapiro on mastering the craft of writing
The best time to write and get ideas according to SCIENCE!
I do love a bit of white noise (via Megg)
SO much goodness over at Andrea’s blog hop (plus a free course!)
Pinterest boards I’m currently obsessed with: Sacred feminine | Yellow is rad | Book friends (a collection of some of my favourite books)
[video] Loving Marianne’s yoga for bloggers taster
Woah. I watched an autopsy and it made me a better human
Happy weekend, loves xo
[video] How To Make a Courtesan au Chocolat
Wes Anderson palettes
An Eat This Poem recipe special: Li-Young Lee | Jake Young | Jane Hirshfield
I want to buy these in bulk!
Have you seen Tammy’s new book? It’s so lovely :)
Utterly charmed by this story about the Dalai Lama’s first ski trip
[video] I just really like Austin Kleon and his work ethic
So ready to pack up and move into this apartment in Berlin
Inspiring morning rituals (thanks for including me, Jen!)
[video] The Weight of Mountains
And finally, Journal Your Life starts on Monday!
Happy weekend, loves! xo
We’re coming up to my 8-year blogaversary and in that time I reckon I’ve shared all the beans by now. Let’s see…
1. I don’t have a driver’s license. Still. I’ve learnt to drive three times, and if you put me in a car right now I could drive the thing. But for some reason me and driving just hasn’t clicked long term. It’s something I regularly feel embarrassed about.
2. Having said that, there’s not much else that embarrasses me these days.
3. I let my bathroom sink get really limescaley before I give in and clean it. And every time I think “I should do this more often.”
4. I just hate doing housework.
5. I’m very tidy though. Bordering on obsessively so.
6. I know where everything is in my flat. It helps that I downsized when I moved back to London.
7. None of my crockery matches. My plates, bowls and mugs are a mishmash of colours and styles and it makes me happy. 80% are secondhand.
8. I’m always late. I’m sure it drives my friends mad. I just always think I have more time than I do.
9. I just had deja vu writing this list. I think I may have done this before. In fact, half the time my posts feel like a rehash of older posts. I worry I’m getting repetitive in my blogging old age ;-)
10. I never completed my A levels at school. 23 years on I can authoritatively report this has never mattered one bit.
11. I made a conscious decision to stop reading newspapers when the Tories got into power. Sometimes I feel I’m missing out on world news, but mostly I just feel a lot calmer.
12. My middle name is Catherine.
13. My next book for Chronicle is a photography book about London! On shelves spring 2016 (It would have been next year but our hideous winter meant we’ve had to put the deadline back.)
14. I own 5 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of trainers and lots of flip flops but no shoes.
15. I can’t walk in heels. At all.
16. I can do a good impression of being extroverted for about half an hour in a social setting but then I have to run away and recover somewhere quiet.
17. I have only ever dated extroverts. My three big loves were extroverts. Might be time to try something different.
18. I have no shoes, but I do have 150+ bottles of scent and perfume oil. Planning to write a post about that soon ;-)
19. I like and will eat pretty much anything, but I will literally spit out fresh coriander/cilantro. Even the smell makes me gag.
20. As a teen my favourite band was Wham, but now I pretend it was Duran Duran. #80steenshame
21. I’m currently on week 13 of wearing my Invisalign braces. I’ve wished for straight teeth all my life but must admit it’s not the most fun I’ve ever had. Eight more months to go!
22. Moleskine notebooks turn me on. I’ve used them as my journal for the last 11 years and love the uniformity of my stack of 28 black Molies. No. 28 is the Hobbit special edition.
23. I have never read The Hobbit.
24. Speaking of… I once met Leo Sayer.
25. My biggest regret is that I didn’t say I love you more. But I am so grateful to be here now, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Got any beans you want to spill? I’m all ears!