almost august

this year is flying by for me. does it feel like that for you too?

there have been so many changes this year: so many times i’ve second-guessed myself, so many little moments to be savoured and so many things to be grateful for.

sometimes i get tired of words. often they don’t seem like they fit right, or adequately explain a mood, a feeling, a moment.

i sat looking at my website a couple of mornings ago, realising that it’s mostly been made up of lists recently. i wondered if i’d ever be able to form proper paragraphs again here and felt exhausted just thinking about it.

Susannah Conway - The August Break 2014

that’s why i really love august – as well as being my birth month, it’s the month when my friend Susannah hosts the August Break; it’s a way that i can still go on savouring – and sharing – little moments, without having to say a thing.

there’s a list of daily prompts that you can use (or not – there’s not really any rules!) and, this year, she’s made it even more fun by adding in a daily email with prompts and photographs from some of her friends… i’m thrilled, and humbled, to be one of them.

so… if finding just the right words is tricky for you too, or you just want a rest from them whilst still engaging in some creative play, come and join in with Susannah and the rest of the gang.

all the details are here: the august break 2014

(don’t worry, the august break won’t cost you a thing (except whatever time you choose to use participating) – the daily emails are completely free, you just have to sign up to receive them.)

» head on over and join in!

iphone photo essay











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).

the most delicious day rounded off with dinner with xanthe, susannah & sas.

all photos iPhone 4s, processed with a vsco film preset

[for photo friday]



coffee for one. polaroid sx-70, 779 film

Time alone is as essential as breathing.
– Susannah Conway. From This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart 


I lie awake staring at the ceiling; hear the soft rain falling, pattering a gentle rhythmic melody on to the scaffolding across the street. He is snoring beside me but I’m done with sleep for today.

I get up quietly, tip-toe to the kitchen closing the door behind me… switch on the kettle and grind some coffee. Today I choose the small handmade pottery cup I brought back with me from Mexico. I like the shape of it and the way it sits in my hand. It reminds me of the new friends I made on the trip.

Water boiled, I pour, then stir. The warm, earthy aromas of the coffee fill my nostrils and make my mouth water.

I sit at the table and savour the cup.


Thanks to all of you who are choosing to join Weekends Collected. The submissions are amazing and I love that I get a sneak preview of each one as I put it up and schedule it for posting. If you haven’t joined in, I would LOVE for you to do so… See the about page for details and spread the word.

Check out, and join in with Amanda’s weekending. Always a delight.

a top-10 list*

john bulmers north - 1
john bulmers north (via how to be a retronaut)

  1. helveticards.
    i have a pack of these to give away.
    if you’d like to be in the draw, leave a comment telling me what your favourite card game is.
  2. cuptakes – wallpapers for the girly girls
  3. time travel back to london, 1952
  4. peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. it means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.
    – unknown

  5. which famous writer do you write like?
  6. there’s a fab exhibition going on at CAMP in london at the moment. other people’s houses: a photographic exploration of the places we choose to live, features the work of some lovely people including bryan ferry (who is on my people-i’d-love-to-go-on-a-photowalk-with list)
  7. what is the easiest way to find out the fonts used in a webpage? well that would be the whatfont tool.
  8. i’m not one to sign up for every e-course that pops up, but i think i might sign up for the do what you love one. (the unravelling courses are still my favourites)
  9. how did i not know about the war of art and do the work before now? HOW?!
    (bonus for UK readers – the kindle edition of do the work is currently FREE)
  10. pinterest is about to release an iPhone app. distraction, the mobile version.

happy friday everyone!
* i’ve changed the name, as it’s definitely not happening weekly. too much pressure…

postcards from squam – courage

dear friends,

i promise this will be the last time i write about SAW for a while. for someone who doesn’t really write, there’s a lot of words that are falling out of me about my experiences there… not really postcard-size posts at the moment are they?!

today, i want to write about courage…
about how what i am learning is that what tell myself is infinitely more important than what i hear from others…

being surrounded at squam by a lake of creativity i started to believe the words anything is possible.

leonie wise - by susannah
rockstar me. by susannah. used with permission

and these three lovely wahine have contributed to my bravery, simply by being present with me; creating a space where i could safely explore myself and my creativity, whilst shedding some tears and having some belly-laughing fun.

1. elizabeth mcrellish – the squam goddess, creator of this amazing space.
so much has been written about her already. i love what denise andrade has written about her, and the photo she has shared is so amazingly beautiful that i’m just going to send you on over there to check it out yourself. elizabeth is one amazing lady i tell ya.

jen lee - by susannah conway
jen lee. by susannah. used with permission

2. jen lee – whose poem “don’t write” is one of my all time favourites because it speaks so deeply to me.
hers was my first class at squam and it was challenging to say the very least. the fear overcame me in such a rush that i was in tears for most of her class. i took it to challenge myself… explore some pieces of me as yet of the things i realised when i was at squam was that i’d never really sat and listened to myself. being there was just the space (and the quiet) i needed to start doing this and i’ve been surprised at what i’ve had to say! jen invited me to examine what it was that silenced my voice in the first place. i don’t remember the exact moment that i decided this, though i have long told myself that i’m not worth listening to, so i might as well keep quiet. i could stare into jen’s eyes forever, listen to her stories, fill myself up just being around her.

andrea jenkins - by susannah conway
andrea jenkins. by susannah. used with permission

3. andrea jenkinswhose post about ttv had me scouring vintage stores & camera shops around london for an old camera.
knowing i would get to meet her at squam was definitely a decider for me. her photos – ooh, ooh, ooh! i sense magic in every single one of them. she is so willing to share what she knows and learn from others. she is warm, so huggable and very very easy to fall ridiculously in love with. it was a class where learning felt like play, it was so natural, so easy.

really. my words don’t do these ladies justice. i love them dearly…

there were so many other amazing people i met there – i want to tell you about my wonderful cabin mates, the friends i made, the conversations i had over breakfast, lunch, dinner… words really do fail me about the amazing people, so i’ll just hold them all quietly in my heart and hope that they can feel it from wherever they are.

there was quiet conversations, laughter over wine, tarot card reading by torchlight, early morning swims, a rock-fairy, polaroids, acceptance, love.

send in the clowns
send in the clowns. ttv by me

and the other day,
for the first time ever,
i was brave enough to quietly whisper to myself

“i am an artist”

and it feels really, really good.

* polaroids of me, jen & andrea: captured by the ridiculously talented and beautiful, susannah conway. all used with permission.