Bear with me whilst I indulge myself in this blog post...............
The recent issue of Country Living included a booklet on "How to live the good life"
According to Country Living the definition of "Living the Good Life" is to be self sufficient in fruit, vegetables and animals. Much like the "Good Life" TV show from the 1970's (yes I can remember it). If possible you should have a plot productive enough to sell the surplus at Farmers Markets.....
I read through the booklet and realised that
1. I wasn't a "part time producer" of veggies
2. I don't have my own hens (yet)
3. Neither do I have my own sheep, pigs, geese or ducks
4. I haven't built a smokehouse
5. I don't store my own fruit and veg over the winter nor eat my own animals
On the plus side I do
1. Grow my own herbs
2. Have a wildlife friendly garden with lots of wildflowers - all planned of course (!)
3. Have two perfect little composters called Skittles and Star (the rabbits)
4. Walk through the village to shop and chatter to several people I know so it can take an hour and a half to get a loaf of bread and a newspaper
I thought about all this long and hard this week. Had I achieved the "Good Life" I set out for in leaving London in 1994? I've been in Northumberland since 1995 and at this house for almost 9 years.
So the question is..............
Is it as defined by Country Living?
Am I failing?
The Good Life surely must be defined individually..... everyone's perfect life is different...... I'm not saying Country Living is wrong - its a magazine I've read for more years than I've lived here and when I was in London it fuelled my dream of country living.
I started to think of the good things in my life and (being a materialistic Taurean) firstly of the good things in my house and home....do take this tongue in cheek as I realise I have become quite stereotyped with my Boden and Cath Kidston etc!
I can wear purple as much as I like. When ever I like. As much as I like.
A bunch of flowers in the house. What is more beautiful?
I have a watering can that I love simply because it is cream. I can hang my Boden kaftan on the line to dry in the sun. I choose my pegs because I like the colours and I have four tiny little blackbird chicks in a nest by the back door (so tiny and sweet!)
My house is wonderful (though not perfect - there is still a lot to do) and the flowers are blooming (these are from the garden - the rose was a present from DH 10 years ago for my 30th birthday).
I've found a company that sells the most scrumptious gluten/dairy free lemon cake. I can eat this with my favourite strawberries (I love these red juicy fruits), my Cath Kidston mug of fresh ground coffee and my fancy mock ivory cutlery.
My house is full of beautiful things..... I have tea towels from Cath Kidston (I might keep these for when we have visitors - sad), cake tins from Emma Bridgewater, bean to brew coffee machine from Argos (OK I know that doesn't sound so good but it was £100 cheaper than John Lewis!). I have mirrored coasters from the Pier (I mourn their demise). There are chickens in the kitchen if not in the garden and my son and I collect pine cones and have a nature display area.....
When on holiday just two weeks ago (it seems like months away) I invested in a set of Craftswoman made porcelain stacking pots. Closer to home I can take a walk in my village (Wooler) and come home with a large useful pot from the Florin Gallery (like Winnie the Poo I love useful pots).
I can see a foxglove (my second favourite flower after poppies) from the kitchen table (where I am sitting today writing this) and I can see my washing blowing on the line.
And yesterday I took my son for a walk in the National Park, we went up to a hill fort thousands of years old. We laughed, joked, discussed and meditated on the life of the people living on this hilltop.
Here's a photo of the two of us.
I have a beautiful son who is growing up and getting more gorgeous by the day.
I love to see the way he absorbs knowledge and learns new skills.
My DH is also growing older and he's gorgeous too! (I had to say that!)
I have my studio and my art and I'm not tied to a "proper" job.
Oh what else? I have travelled to New Zealand and Australia in the last year, got back to having a professional SLR camera and lenses and regained a love of photography. I've sold some artwork, lectured and taught some wonderful people, organised a solo exhibition for 2010 and made some new friends.......
This IS the good life. Mine anyway.
Oh, and by the way.................. the Textile Goddess is almost back up and running.... we might get this blog back to textiles soon - Yeh!