Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taking The Plunge

It's a leap of faith, a career into the unknown, a giant jump off the edge of our comfort, our stability, our financial security.

We're going to renovate our home.

We've engaged a team of designers and have briefed and chatted, floated ideas and coerced concepts, bent rules, twisted thought processes and baulked at boring.  We're really going to do it!

When I ask myself what was the catalyst, it was finding the right team to help us.  It's early days, I know, but so far they've fit the bill perfectly and have a keen understanding of all our once-secret hopes and desires for the home we love and are listening carefully to the home we want to love into the future.  A friend once said "just make your home what you want it to be" - good advice, we're doing just that.

It's definitely time.  My eldest son can regularly be found camped on my bed, next to my bedside table , using my reading lamp as his younger brother is "playing music too loud" in their room.  He can't wait to have a room of his own, he says.

But whilst we are determined to keep it modest - not overstretch either our imaginations or our budget, already I can see that it's impossible to avoid both.  It's like a "simple wedding", a "small gathering for my 40th birthday", an "innocent visit" into Emilio Pucci - we just don't seem to do things half-heartedly once we decide to do them, finally.

And what's the point in cutting corners anyway?  We've lived here for 12 years without doing a thing to the house so let's go the whole hog, huh?  Let's stretch the budget, the imagination and the relationship!  Let's throw it all on the line.  Let's make the grass green on our side of the fence.

Oh, did I mention our backyard will be cut in half?!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"A little sea-bathing would set me up forever."

The sea is a powerful thing.  It gives us all joy and solace in different ways.

Today one of us dives straight in, to splash and play in the waves; another dons goggles and begins an odyssey around the cove - searching and exploring the sea life.  Yet another eases himself in and moves gradually with the waves, slowly becoming one with the life of the ocean, his body adrift, gently swaying in amongst the seaweed.  Still others are content to sit under a shady tree and observe.

I begin to comb the beach for shells.  Something about their shapes, their strength, their gentle colours and textures, gives me comfort.  As does sinking my feet into the sand - problems seep into it's grains and my cares are eroded away, escaping between my toes.

Today it's a certain kind of shell I'm after.  Spotted years ago on the same beach, I remember it's shape fondly and begin to sift the surface of the sand with my eyes - alert only to its shape, its texture, its smooth white arc catching in the afternoon sunlight.  Before long, it's delicate fronds fill my hand and they jingle together like pennies in a purse - the sea's own currency on offer for those who care for such treasures.  Jewels created by the sea itself - time rolling by and tumbling endlessly to leave just the backbone of what was once the home of a faceless creature.

I discover ample pockets to bring home my treasures - carefully carrying my spoils to their new home, where their beauty can be appreciated daily.

The sea is a gentle thing.

Title by Jane Austen, from Pride and Prejudice