The state of things

Some days I have no idea what I am doing, here in my little studio at ‘The Lighthouse’.

Today is such a day.

Recognising a certain state of lostness, a certain searching for an orderly state of things, I am reaching into the not knowing, the state of disorderly imperfection – in the wisdom that this chaos is part of the state of being.

Part of the human condition, if you like. I like. I don’t like. Things is as they is. Isn’t it.

This is my studio table. Sifting through the abundance and taking to pen and paper has brought me to the state of handwriting.

Do you still write? By hand. With a pen? On paper?

Is handwriting a dying art?

As a child I learned to write with pen and ink. Beautiful pens and beautiful ink. Slanted nibs and ink pots. I learned to write calligraphic Sanskrit (long story). I miss it… that practice. The unwavering eye on the nib, wet ink on page, the tiny details of the emerging script. Focus.

So in the chaotic moments that litter a self directed independent creative journey, the storms amidst the calm, I fancy a commitment to pen and ink as part of my daily practice. Streams of non-sense thought, typographic embellishments to decorate my studio with, penned letters to loved ones and signatures by fictitious characters.

So here’s to pen and ink…..

…and to the art of embracing imperfection.


handwriting study sat-0069


handwriting study cassette-0056


On getting started

It’s a funny thing, this space.  

More funny ‘strange’, than funny ‘ha-ha’. 

Some call it a blog. Some a journal. 

I’ve called this page of my website ‘Daily’ because the word ‘blog’ reminds me of toilet paper.

I have something a little more…. ‘parchment’ in mind.

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I am a Londoner.

“Born and bred” (as they say).

Possessing a strong desire to see the world and having had my fill of education in the academic sense, I set sail across the 7 seas. That was 20 years ago. The rest is a globally engaged life story and, true to wanderlust form, I’m still sailing those seven seas.

My recent 5 day trip to London (part family//part cultural) was both inspiring and confronting. The huge-ness, majestic beauty and thunderous traffic presence in all it’s many layers makes for heady intoxication.

The character, grime, grit, architecture and diversity all stitched together in the great ancient patchwork that is vibrant modern London rattles “There you are. You Actually Never Left” with each revolution of wheels on wet tarmac.

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I’m sitting next to the swimming pool. It’s early. The dog is curled up next to me. 

I’m watching lemons floating in the swimming pool to the sound of cockerels crowing. Happy comical lemons bobbing in time to incessantly jubilant cockerels. 

We have a poolside lemon tree. It is a position of great fortune. The tree. And us. 

Lemon love.

At this time of year I can’t collect them fast enough and every morning there are at least 20 more on the ground and a few in the pool. How beautiful citrus yellow and bright azure blue are. I think of David Hockney paintings. My thoughts drift and become fantasies of life in L.A circa 1965.

As I write, another lemon thuds onto the table, rolls along it and drops to the ground. Thud, roll, thump.

Lemons anyone?

It’s early.

It’s Saturday. 

I’m looking at the sky.

It might rain. 

That would be novel. 

It doesn’t rain much here.

I love rain. 

(I love lemons).

Waiting room



I pulled these four items into place early this morning (the clock says almost-ten-to-two 24 hours a day).

It speaks pleasing storytelling simplicity to me.

The waiting, the not quite 10 to 2, absolutely the red square boldness of the clock, the missing drawer handle (lost in transit), the curves and lines, shadows, empty chairs….. silence.

I think of waiting rooms.

This makes me wonder what waiting rooms look and feel like ‘out of hours’. No receptionist, no ringing phones, no social code to observe….

Nobody waiting.

Except the room.

Pears and feeling painterly

A study.  The pear.

I’m feeling very ‘right brain’ today, preferring painting and wrapping things in vintage silk over orderly, sensical writing.

Although my usual verbosity is not far away, I’m preferring a certain random occurrence of words from todays scene “A study. The Pear”. Yes. Little snippets of thought over full sentences. Feeling colour. Painting slowly. And why not?

As I sit, looking out over the mountain, I lay down a tumble of thoughts, feelings, sounds…

Infront of me, surrounding me…… these things…..

Vintage silk bloomers delicately embroidered by goodness knows who, goodness knows how long ago.  Pears and paintbrushes, the texture of watercolour paper, the delightful spread of paint on wet paper, lavender flowers on marble veins, the soft sound of brush on paper in a silent house, the light falling, literally falling through the window… crisp and present. It delivers itself, that light quality, with great aplomb. Chispa dreaming next to me, rapid little snorts and twitches. Thoughts of springs and autumns on far away continents. Lands in which I have lived and loved. Seas on which I have drifted and on which my dreams set sail. Tiny little paper boats bobbing in the great blue. Distant memories carried on whisps of scents and whispers of sensory.

You see. It’s a right brain day.

Thank goodness for such days.

Back to painting…..

pear painting overhead close up-0482


The Lighthouse

This great northern lighthouse throws its revolving light onto the bedroom walls of our ancient coastal farmhouse with perfect regularity.

By it’s very nature, it never ceases or changes it’s timing.

It’s a clock of sorts.

A metronome.

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