+ friday night supper outside + an early start saturday morning, preparing for a murder mystery party + our backyard transforms into the on deck lounge of a yacht harboured in a private bay in the mediterranean + six, fabulously dressed, guests who got totally into the theme and the mystery of it all + an afternoon of food, wine, questions, accusations + a ‘scene change’ – sofas & bean bags are moved outside + a mystery solved + some tears (okay quite a lot of tears) as i once again realise these amazing people that i call friends are going to be really, REALLY hard to leave + an evening of easy conversation & laughter + a pizza delivery + a sunday morning lie in before returning the furniture to its place in the lounge + and an afternoon spent picnicking in the park[weekending with amanda] – how was yours?
i have my fair share of “how on earth did i end up in this mess?” kind of days, however yesterday was not one of them.
feeling so very happy about the london sunshine, and having a day off work, i took the underground up to manor house, then wandered through finsbury park to meet up with xanthe (who took me for a lovely lunch at the haberdashery, then a swim in the ladies pond at hampstead heath, and for a lazy afternoon in the hammocks).
all photos iPhone 4s, processed with a vsco film preset[for photo friday]
+ a train out of london on friday night + magical moments with amazing friends, celebrating their northern wedding day + a stunning bride + and a handsome groom + a moving ceremony + stunning weather for bubbles and canapés on the lawn + a beautifully adorned barn + heart-felt speeches that had me in tears + sweets from new zealand on all of the tables, that resulted in lots of i’ll swap you some of these for some of those + the *best* first dance i’ve ever experienced, one where everyone got involved, with much laughing and whirling about + all the small details + great conversations that lasted long into the night + lots of so great to see you again and it’s wonderful to finally meet you + a walk on sunday morning along the canal + picking elderflowers + and watching a long boat pass through one of the locks (slow travel at it’s finest) + lazing about in the sun in-between catching up on laundry + taking a first look at all the photographs we made yesterday + prosecco and paperbacks + and making elderflower cordial[weekending with amanda]
So what if instead of fearing the power of dark thoughts, we used our minds’ power to create safe havens within ourselves to explore them. Maybe literally envisioning cocoons inside our hearts where we can sit before cozy fires, hot drinks in hand, and ask of our fear and laziness and depression and shame and lust and rage and whatever other thing we might otherwise try to ignore: What is it you’d like to say to me? What indispensable nourishment do you have for the Life of trust I want to live?
And… what if, instead of fearing the power of the dark thoughts Kristen writes of, i gather with my soul family(*) and sit before cozy fires, hot drinks in hand, and share my dark thoughts… giving them voice… allow them to be witnessed in safe company?
what if, in this sharing, i discover that i am not alone…?
and that these dark thoughts are to be made friends with; that there is no shame in feeling all of it…
that through connection, faith and beauty i find the truth of my life…?
(*) i gathered in such company over a weekend in a cotswold cottage with my friends emma, jo, lisa, meg, penny, sas and susannah.
where both the sacred and the profane were welcomed.
where fears are to be talked about and shared – given light.
where no part of me is shameful, no part of me is not worth listening to.
soaking up some california sunshine
catching up with old work buddies
thankful for the time i have right now to consider where my road is going
it is a gathering of friends… reminiscing, updating, creating new memories
it is the sweet warm smell of thunder brewing rainstorms
it is the sound of the city breathing in and out
it is scooters – arriving, leaving, arriving again – dancing with dawn & darkness
it is the feeling of being a part of it all for a precious, fleeting moment
it is backyards, doorways, laundry drying in the sun
it is SPQR, roman remains, a busy city carrying on
it is the endless rivers of umbrella-following tourists
it is beggars, holy water, opulent chapels, subdued light
it is rabbit in with sauce, squid in with peas
it is the curve of a building, nestling itself into the one beside
it is the magnificence of history, blowing my tiny mind
it is early morning light casting shadows on the kitchen floor
it is the man, pedaling his bicycle, sharpening knives on a turning stone
it is photos missed and photos taken
it is friday night entertainment in the piazza
it is messy sheets and messy lives
it is the silhouette of your body gazing out the window, the world alive beneath our feet
- rome is a VERY photogenic city and i haven’t posted all my photos here…. there are more on flickr if you care to look
- yes, the sky was that blue!
so many stories to tell about new jersey… we had an amazing long weekend, staying with kiki and her family in maplewood, new jersey and travelling by train into new york city each day. i am so pleased too that bella’s schedule meant she could come hang out with us for the day on sunday and that we also got to lunch with the lovelies elizabeth and christine. good times!
we mostly stayed away from the big attractions. we’d been up the empire state building last time we were in new york and didn’t want to queue for an hour to go up there again. we’d also already seen the statue of liberty, ridden the subway here, there & everywhere and been to times square, so we avoided those too, choosing instead to explore the meatpacking district and greenwich & east villages. here’s [some of] what we found….
cupcakes from magnolia bakery on bleeker street, greenwich village
stumptown in the ace hotel. great coffee, but poorly laid out premises. we’ll forgive them as the ace hotel has an awesome photobooth. i think i have a new addiction – photobooth shots to come in a separate entry :)
more photos of our trip can be found here on flickr
we are back from new york and i’ve got a backpack full of photos and stories to share with you though it’s going to take a few days to get around to sorting all the pictures i took!
we tromped through the snow getting cold wet feet to take this photo. and i love it.
more photos and stories to come…