Springing Forward, looking back

This month has probably been the hardest one for many . A combination of patience stretched to breaking point, limited services and life and the universe in a hug-less void spinning us in our strange little bubbles. Unless you are a guinea pig and then life has continued pretty much as before..

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How cold it has also been !. And alas, the joys of a lovely conversation over coffee in the warmth of a cosy café with a friend, or a winter’s sale to treat the soul, cheering the grey and bitter days with pockets of colour, seem like forbidden fruits to be savoured and dreamed about on repeat, lest we forget entirely the joy of the ordinary day..

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It was such a looooong month… Ironically after the last post being so upbeat and productive, mobility and health took a detour for a few weeks and I was grateful for the comforts of home and the nursing superpowers of my wonder child.

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Not only did the body decide to send an almighty great big flare up,  which ended up in an A and E emergency road trip , a week in bed , a covid test , two lots of very strong anti biotics , all the daily routine was in the hands of my young carer extraordinaire. ( who took great delight in this task being in charge of the kitchen cupboards and concocting numerous chocolate snacks for us.. (for lunch. )

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Like all of us, dealing with chronic conditions in a pandemic; we are doing it without the popping in of friends and the best medicine of company and laughter. Even the car gave up the ghost and needed a jump start to get moving. Thankyou to the Simmons family who were just amazing as tablet collectors, dog walkers, dog sitters and taxi drivers, and also to the monkey’s sleepover hosts, Steve and Jennifer. For a few weeks life ground to a halt a little bit. Although the basics just about got done in the Ark when the weather lashed against the windows and the studio was switched to the duvet. Thankyou too to Louisa for the book and chocolates in the post. Bear says ‘Could you just read the last two pages from your copy, as they were delicious.’

Snow and Covid grounded the decking and pergola building plans to a halt too, leaving a skeleton of four posts like a sculpture amongst the granny chic of the garden. Unfortunately, with very little to do in a small village, an unidentifiable wooden object became the overpowering curiosity of those with too much time on their hands.

May be an image of text that says 'Friends and neighbours Friends and neighbours of St abbs A story you are making Of what we might be building here Of rules we might be breaking Fear not those unkind words you hear are pointless and mispent A decking for artistic care And flowers is our bent We bring our colour to the place and further to the world If it is not your cup of tea Stare at some different girls..'

In times of illness, we are weakened in more ways than just our symptoms. It frustrates us to be in need of help, to be pitied, or seen as weak. Often we make a point of doing more than we should to override these assumptions . Losing health can feel like losing power. And bullies know this. Degenerative illness is complicated and different all the time. Supportive friends know the good and bad days or weeks, and can see the danger signs, when you say you are ok, but you really aren’t.

When those around you are behaving in a less than supportive manner, or worse chipping away at your peripheral vision like wearing dirty glasses with squashed mosquitos stuck to the lenses , the easiest feeling is to give up. Or become bitter, and sad, lonely, angry, bite back like a dog with a flea constantly biting its ear..

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But that’s not an option to preserve your future sanity and energy.

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Especially if we keep ourselves open to possibilities and looking at more than our shoes..

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One of the benefits of this time has been the ability for many of us to ground ourselves with aspects of life which had become consigned to the attic . Forced indoors with our belongings, and face to face with bits of ourselves we hadn’t seen in a while, has perhaps been cathartic, or freeing, perhaps complicated, but I imagine some of you have had an interesting time looking at old photographs, diaries, listening to music from personal years gone by.

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No matter how unwell we become, our physical bodies may grow week, we may go through chapters where one aspect of our life challenges us, but it absolutely does not topple every other domino in the game.

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If negative self talk, from our past, familial conditioning, those that we see and hear on a daily basis seep a drip drip affect into our minds which is left to fester, it not only poisons our joy, it physically weakens us, and our immunity. If you have illness already, this stuff can really cripple you. Allowing your mental energy to slump too is like handing your life support machine over to the enemy. It is difficult to override voices whose aim is to halt your progress, and curtail your mission in life.

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Finding a way to come home to yourself in the toughest times in this world is fundamental to your sanity. As crucial as breathing. Today after repeating myself to a 12 yr old about the importance of maths and geography schoolwork three hundred times , and the obligatory ‘DONT go on your phone mantra… I hid in my shed and looked through more lovely things. It helped. It was just a few minutes but the blood pressure gauge literally crept back down before my eyes!

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Within the mental health art group I support, we talk a lot about the value of sharing, that life and its ups and downs can overwhelm and overpower us to the point of stasis. And why having someone you can really talk to is so important. Today I talked to two people about things that were troubling me. It is usually me that does the listening. A huge weight felt like it was lifted by the simple gift of being heard. And not judged. Imagine , if we could all do this early on for every child. Or more importantly that every child grew up feeling it was safe to really say what hurt. Studies show that childhood trauma affects not only the mental wellbeing of that person as an adult but it can chemically affect and change their immunity levels and the likelihood of a serious life threatening condition. The irony is, those who have the least support as children, given the right circumstances, can turn into damaged adults who hurt others.

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Getting what is in, out of ourselves is a crucial step at any point on our journey to health. Keeping your head healthy by blitzing stagnant bits, is sometimes a bit unpleasant, like cleaning out the fridge, but always makes you ultimately walk that bit lighter. And in these cooler months, before our wellbeing gets extra oomph of vitamin D from being outdoors, learning more about ourselves, by clearing , reading, discovering again, who we were, who we still are is quite a productive way to spend these groundhog days.

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Time to discover what you are hiding up there

When I was young I had no concept of myself through other people’s eyes. I was never very sure of where I fitted in. Ours was a family who didn’t do much of this talking business, like most in the 70’s and 80’s and for me, it was a fairly lonely place. Being so creative, I threw myself into the arts, not really understanding how good I was or what my options in life truly were. It makes sense when I see these pictures now, that I probably wasn’t armed with the defences needed against imminent danger . The monster looming on the horizon. But looking back could it have changed anything? Would I have listened? Probably not! My head was full of all the things it was meant to be…mostly glitter, music and too much Taboo and lemonade… And when I think back, I was happiest then. Because there was everything to play for, and I hadn’t yet known true pain.

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Looking back over a previous period of time is sometimes a reminder that we have still existed in another dimension But sometimes it lets us know that there are aspects of who we once were which are just as alive now as when they were stuffed in a box in the attic. For many years these pictures and many other parts of my early adult life were boxed away. Some, I was even told by my ex to burn in case I presented the wrong impression to my Stepsons. After the monkey and I escaped, as survival took over, life was condensed into a different kind of sense of self, as Mum, ex wife, the single woman who was a little too dangerous to invite to dinner parties alone, just in case she stole a husband. The one with an illness nobody understood. And a new set of labels got plonked on. As they do, to all of us, all the time, wherever we go in life. Please don’t read this as a sad story. We share these stories in groups too because they are a universal experience. They have opened doors to conversations and new paths. Ours became the making of us, and we developed skills through experience which placed us better to help others.

It was too hard to look at these pictures for a long time . For the fear that this girl was gone . I remembered being on a journey , being so excited about what life was about, starry eyed and with a heart fit to burst. But the crucial missing piece was self worth. The thing you take for granted that you tell your children without thinking about it. In my case, the dragon swept in , in disguise and I believed his version of what the future would like like. I think my nurturing instinct took over too and made it harder to walk away . I remember feeling parts of my spark fading.. but also trying to tell myself to be brave. There is always a way to survive.

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I became moulded into a version of myself. A scared one . Friends I had at this time started to fade away. I didn’t understand why, but now I know they had been warned off. One or two clung on though, and trusted I was in there still, and one day would find the way home. They could see the 18, 21, 30, year old girl as clearly as the 49 year old I am now, and nothing in my life experience could block her. What I missed most was creating. I did Art, but it was hidden in sketchbooks and journals. Heavily judged and criticised at home, most of my energy for making and inspiring was fed into my pupils in my classroom. When After 15 years, I met up with one of my best friends Mark ( having not been allowed Male friends during my marriage) he was shocked. How did you survive not drawing or painting? Art for you is like breathing? He was right. I had pushed it so far under the highly vacuumed carpet I couldn’t feel it’s absence any more.

What do you see?

Nobody knows when they will become unwell, what the future will hold, or when we will need to search deep within ourselves for extra strength. If we knew what was ahead of us we might never leave our beds. But it is the not knowing that gives us the ability to hope, and dream, and keep making escape plans. The future is still waiting for us. All plans begin with a spark of fear or excitement and then reality hits. Whether good or bad the fulfilling of a mission is frightening and overwhelming, especially on your own. But little by little, even through illness we can do anything we set our minds on. Those sketches in journals are still being used in paintings now, and in the inspiration given to groups every week. And I know now that I was never on my own.

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Even in these tough months, like a stick of rock, you have printed your strength at your core . Sharing with one another in any way you feel able until you can physically get back together will really help get through any tough patches.

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Yey! you got out of bed again!!!

We can plan one route in life and another opens up, or a path that was only supposed to be temporary becomes permanent because of a relationship, a job or money . We move through life because of love or fear. And they can be so closely intertwined that one becomes mistaken for another. I have certainly learned through experience that this is true, but am grateful for who and what has happened along the way too.

What is essential is to hold onto a dream that you deserve and will live a life of utter completeness . A sense of peace that goes beyond what is happening now, in this pandemic and deeper. The life that was what you told the stars at night when you were six.

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The way you live your life, move through the world in your own perpetual motion, swinging in the trees, singing in the car, planting things in wellie boots, painting your garden path, sharing your food with neighbours and friends, blasting out lovely music, surrounding yourself with animals, only wearing blue, only wearing rainbow, only going out on Tuesdays, never going out on Tuesdays… IT IS YOURS. It affects nobody. If the flow of individuals is stopped at every junction by parents, teachers, neighbourhood bullies or your partner ; the affect is deeper than just one more miserable human in the world. All the people you could usually bring joy to, they suffer too..

Our life is paint-box and happy and we love it. And all the human and furry friends that join us.

 It has been lovely to remember a few of the art projects, and positivity our days are normally filled with.

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Image result for eyemouth art trailImage result for eyemouth variety wizard of oz

Life will slowly come back in whatever form it can take. The outside decking space at Skye blue House will become somewhere to host one to one art classes for wheelchair users and socially distant coffee writers mornings.

The house has squeezed every use out of every room this year…. Restaurant, hospital ward, schoolroom, art room, multiplex cinema room, zoo park, even pet surgery for sad guinea pigs in need of cuddles.

One day our rooms will breathe again, a sigh of relief that they will regain their one and only use, but also perhaps be slightly sad that they will never be quite so loved, quite so needed as now..

This little house has seen a lot.

This was the house that we bought in 2015

Skye Blue House Now

Normally our days would be filled with the zooming off to arty business here there and everywhere.. I miss teaching and people and faces and our community !!

It has been difficult even in winter to remember what Summer looked like here! and what the garden looked like in full bloom! A reminder that a little patience will see the garden bloom once more….

When we are scared we freeze. We lose things that are so vital to our wellbeing that we don’t know we need them until they are gone. I have enjoyed finding the things that have always been there and never changed as well as letting go of what no longer fits.

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This is a scary time. But it isn’t going to be forever and the things we love in our worlds are still there, waiting. We are still here . Having an opportunity to shed what doesn’t mentally fit any more is a healthy process . The universe will love that, an opportunity to open a door long since closed or finally get you to finish that symphony you were writing at 16. When we look at our past we can revisit chapters still left unwritten, and discover a fabulous version of the new old self we haven’t yet met. Please do share your wonderful new old selves with us on here.

What I do know, is even if the posts are cut down, there is a fabulous forest of marvellous magic waiting to grow in their place. With a giant bear at the gate

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Such a scary Bear

One of these mornings we will open the back door a keep it wide open….And even better, pop our bubbles and welcome home our tribes once more.

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To all your chapters thus far and the ones yet to come , this has tested us all in ways some of which we could never have imagined, but so too you have found hidden strengths and superpowers, maybe even a few funny photos. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to,

I love you.

Liz And the zoo xx

January Blues… and pinks and purples


I have just wrestled a feather bower out of my puppy’s jaw.

🎨🎨 | Vintage dog, Dog photos, Animal photo

This sums up life at the moment. Anything might happen. And usually does. As the days open and close in perpetual motion and seem to be on an endless loop, what we can choose to see as groundhog day, still contains the unexpected, bizarre, sharp and shocking moments as flashes of life affirming mini dramas unravel one by one. The mundane doesn’t stand a chance when our days are spent in a daily land-girl battle, not just against keeping the indoor life flowing, but keeping well, keeping everyone alive and keeping us all from going ever so slightly insane…

100+ THE LAND GIRLS ideas | land girls, women's land army, wwii women

In my life as a singe parent, a Teacher, an Artist and especially in current circumstances. I have an understanding, as I’m certain you do, of the value of routine in our home, week, and in each day. It’s what we all need to feel safe and sustained. Without an internal clock, a pencilled in timetable, no matter how flexible, we lose track a bit, lose purpose and even stop eating or sleeping properly. Nurturing everyone, even your pets, needs a tiny bit of stage direction. And a lot of appreciation for the unexpected quiet bits twixt the chaos.

This routine will be hugely different for you, your neighbour, your partner, your friends. Its personal. But stick to the bits that are working at the moment. Instead of letting frustration creep in, keep forcing the legs out of the duvet at the same (ish) time, go with the flow of however this is for you. It won’t be for ever. But the skills you find to cope, they will last you a life time

23 Inspirational Self Care Bullet Journal Page Ideas | Masha Plans
There is a lot of information to support healthy choices. Rake through what resonates, decide what you love , without any guilt, move on at your own speed.

A day in the life here can be turned on its head very quickly. One or more of this lot can sustain an injury, have a tantrum, break something, cover the floor in mud, escape or need sustenance
So my daily life is an extremely loose plan. My favourite and quietest time in the morning, is early. Everybody is either asleep or sleepy, including most of the world. Working on Painting or writing then, my head feels calm without the family zoo soundtrack in the background. The flipside to this at the moment with chronic fatigue is really early nights . But again, for now, this is ok. And gets the job done.

How to Fall Asleep Fast in 10, 60, or 120 Seconds

The morning begins with the all important cup of tea and half hr of TV. I like to draw or yank pictures from magazines, or write notes for an idea. This time is so precious, it gets super-multitasked! I usually end up with a dog on my sketchbook. Currently, there is a cat in my armpit. This lovely morsel of daytime quickly starts to need fuel so I graduate to very strong black coffee, without which, no limb would unfurl at all, and I would still be on the sofa at teatime.

One big mistake you're likely making when you brew coffee — and the easy  $15 solution - MarketWatch


There is then a lot of chopping vegetables for Guinea pigs, plus more for our dinner, whilst simultaneously refereeing excitable in-house paw to paw combat.. collecting up random strewn objects, changing everyone’s bedding, tidying up, and organising the creature from the black lagoon…I may have a bath which doubles as my ten page a day of reading time- any subject I am currently looking at. If it isn’t a high pain day, I will accompany the morning walk or try to stretch within pain limits.

Danielle Morgan (Flax Fox Designs) - 'Gentle Stretch' Yoga Gicleé Print

Finding ways of coping, with day to day health symptoms has become tough for everyone, with most routine care being cancelled or postponed. For those suffering with auto immune conditions, many are simply fending for themselves as not all are categorized as worthy of priority. But ask anyone with arthritis, m.e, fybromyalgia, endometriosis.. what having flu would do, on top of their already fatigue blasted system and they will agree it would make sense to include them, especially if they are also a parent.

The general attitude of many gp’s and consultants over the last five years has been to override what I knew and trusted about my body’s decline and symptoms, and to assume it must be in part negligence, an attitude of negativity and focusing on the pain itself or having nothing better to think about. This is quite hilarious, but also quite frightening. Frustratingly, it was looking like I had finally got somewhere, pre lockdown, after years of separate operations and worsening joints and mobility, it now appears that it should have been diagnosed as Lupus. Much like the p.d.a. diagnosis for children, the years of discomfort and fallout could and should have been seen. Standing in the way is the trust by our healthcare system that many of us DO connect the dots ourselves and know that we are not all suffering from a collective mania.

I know many people now struggling to get treatment. So it is imperative to be doing as much as you can for your own self care, investigate your condition and live well between appointments. If I have learnt anything is to be clear with your concerns, ask for what you need and keep on top of your pain with medication. Stay warm, wear pain patches, stretch, take vitamins and trust your own pace. Help is still there if you ask,

6 Self-Care Habits Of Happy Women | Glitter Guide


Next is emails, sorting the latest pictures to upload onto various pages or writing blog posts. Drawing to share with groups or for a new project, such as a commission. I listening to audio c.d.s from the library van usually, with one finger hovering on the pause button anticipating a disruption to the story every 29 seconds !! If this sounds idyllic, believe me, a run of peace to finish anything is rare . Once the Bear starts to wake up, I Manoeuvre a pre teen out of a pile of bed covered in old crisp packets, squidgy toys, and the folded washing that was supposed to be hung up yesterday; (to much gurning and grumping), the sun rises and the day’s particular subtleties begin. It is like getting on a bus ride on an American Highway with no toilet stops.

Asking for a Flexible Work Schedule: One Woman's Experience | Time



Medicine and pain patches keep the inflammation down somewhat, but winter isn’t easy for chronic pain conditions. Being cold, especially damp cold makes things worse. There is very little one can do about the exhaustion. My philosophy is to ensure most of what I eat and drink is healthy, adhering to what I have learned about my system. Which makes room for a square of salted dark chocolate, a dollop of mayo, a bagel once a week or a glass of vodka. Diets fail because in absence the mind creates a vacuum . Which naturally fuels desire. keep it topped up just enough to feel you’re still alive and you can concentrate on living.
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Jobs get done at Skye Blue house between hauling the child and pup into fresh air, and I survey the damage created in a short but fraught hour !! I then try to get any Artwork done in the morning when Bear has a post walk nap and Leah is either at school or now at home school..

By the afternoon, the limbs and eyes are painful, and my energy nose dives, so having things prepped like wood for the fire, having tea ready, and chores done is a useful routine.

These pictures show the little shed gallery I had intended as a presentation space as well as where my work was stored initially in lockdown. As more and more things have had to come back from galleries and shops, as will be the case for so many artists, I have taken the decision to store some of it, until such times as it can be seen together. However, a huge selection of prints and smaller, post friendly new artwork is available and I will be bringing you information about that soon .There is no stable source of sale flow for artists that feels safe. Other than online. And separate avenues are blossoming in an organic way which is lovely. I look forward to showing you a new website for these in the near future.

Having a bouncing pup and a child off school makes it quite tricky to achieve the quantity of Artwork which had begun when I became a full time Artist. ! It has been a transition time for us all. And that’s OK. . A good friend of ours Phil, a print maker told me once that good things grow in the gaps between times. And that always struck me as true. Often more is achieved drawing in a sketchbook than sitting in front of an empty sheet of paper for hours. And there is a lot to be said for the self discipline of accomplishing a small task a day towards each of your dreams- one drawing, or one box of sorting things out, or one page of writing, or one shelf in the shed. Sometimes any more is too hard. But chip away and your acorns do grow.

From little #acorns grow big oak trees on #mitchamcommon – Friends of  Mitcham Common


Artwork is done if possible, poems written in the bath, or at the sink, and in between the laundry is done, the shopping ordered, the post posted. Every day the whatsapp groups begun in March are chatted to, drawings are shared, and connections maintained. A couple of times a week we check on neighbours and add things to our shopping for them if needed.


If we’ve had to get food shopping, we go at 7.30 in the morning, and it is always a struggle for me. The tiny trolley overflowing as the large ones are too low for me to reach down into. Juggling, A toppling trolley, usually a random huge thing on top and on crutches. My hands are extremely painful at the moment, so packing things twice is also way too hard. However, the staff in Berwick Aldi often open a checkout so I can unload slowly before someone goes onto the till. Which as we all know, with Aldi express checkout skills, makes a massive difference. I want to thank the Aldi staff in Berwick for always being so kind to us, and making us want to recommend them.

ALDI BERWICK-UPON-TWEED | Neighbourly

Our other favourite places to shop in Berwick are for the zoo.

Direct Pets and pets at home in Berwick, both of whom have made us and Bear so welcome. So much so that on one very memorable occasion when I opened the car, bear clambered onto my head, jumped off, ran into the shop on his own, springing the automatic doors open. Luckily they knew him and gave him the biscuit he was after.
(Yes, I was ready next time.)

They took this picture of him for their facebook page, choosing his new bed. Look at this contrasting post from the Pets at home page in August…

Here at Pets At Home Berwick, you know we love a puppy!🐶This is 8 week old Bear having his first trip to pick his bed and some toys! He is a Poodle, Lurcher, Collie and Deerhound cross, and how beautiful is he😍😍

Image may contain: dog

Image may contain: dog


We are indebted to the lovely people everywhere that are kind, see a need and just help. Those opposite types are thankfully rare. And like certain public figures eventually their devious traits become obvious.

So, after wresting my slippers from bear’s mouth, cleaning the fire out, resting, feeding everybody again, and shoving child and animals into any available sunshine or box, artwork, writing, laundry and cleaning gets done in no particular order, until pit stop for lunch.

Afternoons are either hibernating, or occasionally out for a little vitamin D. One of the best places to take the Bear is our beach. On this particular day it had been lousy weather so we had it to ourselves, and then this gorgeous light washed the picture in psychedelic colour. We are holding on to these moments between the news bulletins, the sunshine between the storm clouds, even for a few minutes between naps…

Watching old home movies, finding colour and patience and snippets of funny kept us entertained over the festive season, and although I am not keen on too much technology for kids, it keeps us connected, and able too laugh with those we care about. As long as there is still a fire, boards games and a little conversation!

We move through the treacly days with as much energy as we can find and source little pockets of joy in between the have-tos and must -we- reallys…

We can’t do much, but we can make the most of what we have right now, we keep teaching our groups in this annoying technical format until we can make proper hand prints and sandwiches and hear the soft rumbling of pencils on paper and Radio Paradise in the background. And we yearn for the day when we are wrapped in so many bear hugs by friends we forget to draw at all.

Why You Should Get (and Give) More Hugs

The universe is certainly dealing a tough hand , reminding us we don’t always hold all the cards. Much as we like to think we do as a species. I know that my wisest and dearest friends all hold the common hope that we might just hold onto a few of the better aspects of having life as we know it being put on hold. There is still choices in each minute by minute we live through, and we have the strength of spirit we need to stay ok if we hold on .

Thankyou for sharing our day and sending you whatever superpower you most need to get through.

Rosie the Riveter's bandana gets a redesign for the COVID-19 era

Stay safe by listening to yourself. Much love,

Liz at the beach Hut xxx

Mulling it over

At this time of year we usually start gathering up memories of all the adventures we’ve had, the travels we have been on and the places we have explored. Scrolling through our face book feeds , we get used to being taken from country to country and restaurant to restaurant.

Science has worked out why you just can't stop scrolling through Facebook –  The National Student

This year we were more likely to have been transported into the living rooms and opinions of celebrities, old box sets and adverts for things which we might get back to, dreams to purchase or get a buzz from .. one day… one day …… Our t.v and actual diets have had to adapt, due to the limitations of the pandemic.

Happiness Boost - Hygge - Beverly Hills Therapy Group

My art group and plenty of organisations supporting those with mental health issues or, indeed, having mobility problems themselves; are pretty used to this need for acceptance and flow. In our conversations on the phone or during online get togethers every week for this entire year : although there have been a myriad of concerns, feeling isolated, having to be patient, waiting longer for someone to help because the usual support network isn’t there…. the skills gained from long term health conditions have primed many people for further isolation with a spirit of making do.

How To Design a Strong Week for Better Energy | by JD Meier | The Startup |  Medium
I know a lot of superheroes

Throughout the year, numerous artworks have been achieved by you, from everyday drawings in lockdown which you used as inspiration and which generated a wonderful community group, to the Artist’s collaboration with my poet friend Ruth which rippled out across several regions and included both written and painted work. Even a little science.

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The Facebook page for the Strawberry Juice project has this lovely photo by Carey Douglas- Carnegie on the profile, if you feel like a squiz..

Please visit our site SeaSparkle. Org to see all the artwork achieved by Artists, friends, clients, and groups this year.

In a year which created bubbles out of our houses and complicated rules for how to tango around a friend in the street with a mask on, one constant was our furry friends for company and good hugs. We lost two of the best you could ever hope to love , and still miss Skye and Pumpkin dearly. (see earlier posts) But these three cheeky faces have been a distraction and very welcome company, especially during these months stranded with no family on a clifftop!

We had a recent scare with Bear having a serious injury on Sunday , and cutting an artery in his foot. He needed emergency surgery on a Sunday no less.. An expensive fright. It has been incredible to receive all your support and we are very grateful.

He has made a good recovery and is milking the cuddles for all they are worth. Max and Molly the cats, and Sugar the chicken have accepted the newbies, and the evening love-ins on the sofa are a welcome end to the day, especially after yet another teenage bedroom battle.. and once I figure out how to dog proof my flower beds from the Bear, and my builder finishes the decking, (only ten months Dave) !!!! life and the garden will resume some kind of normal, in an un-normal time.

No tree is safe….

Scrolling through the ipad, we read another post on self improvement..

Pros and Cons of a good friend — Steemit

It makes us think of so many people in charities, groups, churches, food banks, community groups and neighbourhoods, working silently with no recognition or gold stars, no clapping or extra pay. Or even pay at all. The thing is, that people are actually doing incredible things everywhere and have either no time or no inclination to tell the world about it.. Thankyou for the kindnesses we have received throughout the year and for the people who have swept into our lives just as we’ve needed help most.

Antique Christmas postcard -Girl child, woman mother daughter, shopping presents  parcels, roa… | Christmas postcard, Antique christmas, Christmas tree with  presents

It is the loveliest feeling in the world when children start mimicking the positive things that adults do, and can still feel empathy when they have been let down. In a world that can seem hard to understand, lets hope they come through this being a little more patient and kind to their neighbours. They will certainly have gained endurance skills we can only marvel at, in this adapted world.

12 Intentional Acts of Kindness for Random Acts of Kindness Day ~ Vintage  Unscripted

The two of us have had a busy few weeks, making art for the local notice boards, putting together cushions from scraps sewn by a friend with dementia, helping a friend to still have Christmas when her festive things were in boxes from a house move, and surprising her with a secret tree, food and decoration delivery, and keeping up community art zooms and daily whatsapp chats. recording an online zoom nativity, and finishing off small bits of art for friends. If a few small acts of kindness became second nature even between teenage meltdowns, (one of which left a crack in the back door) something is going in!! ..

This year has seen a deterioration in my personal bone health with less hospital and go access than ever. It has now taken two years to get treatment. I’ll spare you the details but instead, focus on the lockdown art and what we’ve made from it. It makes me proud to show you the outcome of those months, time spent every day super early drawing so that other people could later join in too. Banking a range of pictures and paintings which have now become prints and cards.

It has not been an easy year. Several times our only plans have been cancelled. We were meant to travel three times abroad and couldn’t, have guests to stay, and couldn’t, go away for birthdays and couldn’t. As a young carer the events and groups were cancelled for her and replaced with a noisy but fun sounding trumpet lesson! We know and trust change is coming. The faith in ourselves and our stamina, our plans and what comes next.. have kept us warm and moving forward for many months. I feel certain you like us have felt a rainbow of emotions this year. Patience has been hard to come by when the timescale is a moving target.

I found a glove

We are all learning how resourceful we are and finding joy in the details of life

Land girls with veg baskets - Reaseheath College

Making and appreciating new friends has been a great benefit of this year. Sadly not every friendship we have will go the distance especially in a changing world as we evolve and grow into ourselves. And actually that is healthy. If being around a person in particular makes you feel flustered, sad, anxious, or scared; Take steps to remove yourself from that relationship. Even a regular friendship can lose its way sometimes, leaving the door open for new conversations. Making space will always create opportunity.

there's no time like the past | Henri cartier bresson, Bresson, Photo

We were extremely fortunate to meet a great group of women in the Cedar programme this Autumn. Our lives can always squeeze in a supportive circle of folk who truly get what you experienced. I have learnt that by being open, we enable this process in others and this gift can come when someone least expects, but really needs it. Please do reach out and speak to someone if you or they are struggling.

We all live our lives in our little houses. our little universe… but those friends that you meet along the way, that you bond with; especially now, hold on to them. They showed up .

THE SCHOOL FRIEND Annual 1945 HB - £7.99 | PicClick UK

In the next year, we will pursue plans to extend sea sparkle art and wellbeing classes whether that continues to be online or together.

and who knows what else might be up our sleeves

In the coming weeks of excess, and hope, colours, and expectation, take a minute to soak up a small miracle and the sound of laughter
Spiderweb Photo by Jim Lyle , laughing kids, mums own and one borrowed …

As we move into the next chunk of time anticipating or dreading Christmas, depending on our health, tier, situation, or circumstance we can reflect on one or two fundamentals….

Nobody ever got richer or cleverer sending mass messages to everyone on their friends list that need ten replies before sundown. Choose your scrolling wisely.

Unordered List Adventures: List: Charming Vintage Web Ads

Charity shops can no longer shift your stuff, so there is no point clearing out everything you own because a minimalist Japanese lady tells you to. Although, there is sense in a calm space.

At Overloaded Thrift Shops, Coronavirus Is Wreaking Havoc - Bloomberg

You already know what food makes you sick so stop eating it and wasting time going to appointments relearning the obvious. There are no g.p.s so use them wisely. Your stomach does not know its Christmas.

Transforming your leaky gut to a happy gut — Charlotte Hill Chill + Nourish

Not everybody will approve of your taste, style, decisions or way of life. So do stop trying to please them all. This pandemic gives us a global and a personal amnesty on all previous self sabotage. Check into a tribal bubble that has your back.

Safe In My Bubble – Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Your glove will find you. Your calling will come. The tiny beautiful things you do today will move mountains tomorrow

And a typewriter, to write heartfelt letters to friends and family. |  Vintage ads, Vintage advertising signs, Vintage artwork

Eat slowly, light nice candles, hug something, read all the things you always meant to, remember most things we need don’t cost much , see the top half of the glass, breathe slowly , write or share your thoughts, and remember to laugh. Wishing you the festive season you want and need , whatever that looks like. Thank-you for being a support for Lizatthebeachhut and Seasparkle this strangely shaped year.

We wish you the Happiest of Christmas wishes

Vintage Christmas Images and Illustrations Free CC0 Public Domain | rawpixel

love from Liz and the zoo xxx

A little light on life

The light around here has been incredible recently.

As I Flip through Facebook posts recently, I have loved to see the many walks my friends take and the things they see along the way, things that my legs don’t get to. Some of these things I saw before my body stopped playing, some I may get to one day if I win the lottery, and some of them I will never see. All of the above are ok with me.

we do not see things as they are we see things as we are - Google Search |  Wise quotes, Life quotes, Words quotes

We can travel the world to see the most glorious of sites. We can trek up mountains to see a new perspective we yearn for. Potential and adventure is wonderful. But if limitations are set, it doesn’t mean that life has to be less stimulating.

Postcard 'Tiny adventures' | ninamaakt

If circumstances change the rules, as they have for everybody at the moment, our fun radar has to look closer for things to appreciate. And for inspiration.

80s Actual: 1982: Invasion Of The Deelybobbers/Deelyboppers/Beeny Boppers/Bonce  Boppers/Space Boppers...

I got asked by a woman over the phone, filling in a medical form how many buses I could walk. ( length of) without stopping, and with sticks .. If you’ve never tried answering that one give it a go. I can walk 2 buses.

But, walk two buses, take a photo or two and then walk a couple more. You can get somewhere, or to your car, and then a little further… And then moments as incredible as any rare truffle are waiting. If your deely boppers are on.

And if that has to suffice until surgery or vaccinations happen it is a start.

The new normal looks different for everyone!

For some the routine has stayed reassuringly familiar ……..

And others of the more active variety have been growing like weeds…

And art has been created in the spaces created like little yawns in the day… where children or animals are sleeping, eating or otherwise occupied .


Next year will be a big birthday for me, and although I could probably still get asked for i.d without make up, due to being partly of the faery variety 😉 It will mean that, including teaching in America at 20, I will have been teaching art for 30 years. It has been a rollercoaster, not least for health reasons. But always the best part, the only part that mattered was giving something to kids that they did not have before.

My first teaching job was in a tough school. some of the kids (and staff) were hard work, and I was going to work full time whilst looking after two young stepsons and a big house. I was keen and sparkly, but at the time, was being knocked in more ways than one, both at home and at work.

HiDe BeHiNd My MaSk | Power Poetry

Now I think that girl was amazing. Then, I taught my socks off in a blur.
I didn’t know what the kids saw. But I knew I gave them everything because I always will. And I loved their inspiration as much as creating with them.
Eventually the politics of that post got too much. So I moved schools. Before arthritis got the better of me and I taught in high school for 18 years.


Out of the blue last week, I received a message on facebook from a great big bearded man, who I didn’t recognise. The picture showed him on his wedding day. He just wanted me to know, he said, that I had been an amazing teacher. That he still remembered what I taught him 20 years ago, and that he still tells his niece about being taught art by me.
How incredible. This was not something this man needed to do, or gained anything by doing. But I did. And how lovely to gift those words to someone years after they knew you. In a time where our identities are in question because we can’t be fully ourselves, always speak kind words when you think them.

How To Get The Most Out Of A Scrabble Words Cheat - Foreign policy

Thankyou to the wonderful Mickey. Keep doing those little things, especially in your own home. The universe and your wife will thank you! I know I do.,

A Lovely Man: Amazon.co.uk: Pavon, Mar, Vaz de Carvalho, Joao: Books

This poem was written for all of you who take the time to read this, for your heart and for your own self care.

winged heart | emojidex - custom emoji service and apps

.

In amongst the day to day routine keep an eye out for flashes of colour, a chances to reflect on the details when the bigger picture get too overwhelming. Savour every colour. They are only for you.

A flash of colour on a dull winter's day - Trevor's Birding

Children and seasons will change, so will this situation. For a long time my mantra has been to keep going. Clichéd maybe, but sometimes it is all you can do to put one foot in front of another.

DREAM ABOUT WALKING BAREFOOT - What does it mean? - Evangelist

Or one bus

Oxford Bus Company : Oxford Bus Company

Something today matters for a reason you don’t even know yet.

Autumn Leaf Heart Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr,  Pinterest, and Twitter

I am so proud of my groups, friends and some of the community helping one another to stay positive. To see artwork, share your Ideas or experiences with us.. go to facebook, liz at the beach hut and sea sparkle.

Live in colour

Rainbow with Clouds Clip Art | rainbow with clouds clip art | Rainbow  clipart, Clip art, Rainbow pictures

Love Liz at the Beach Hut xx

Pants


One day last week I found a pair of new knickers hiding in the drawer. Saving themselves for an occasion worthy of their debut. For a fleeting moment I almost put them back and then didn’t. And all day, because of my discovery , it felt like I was wearing diamonds..

1920s Lingerie History- Underwear, Slip, Bra, Corset
It’s the little things


Often we keep our finest indulgences for such times that we feel they are more deserving than right now. And we create subliminal rules for our hoard. -A magical time in the future, when the perfect us will appreciate and deserve luxury, and step into the limelight to a roar of wolf-whistles…

Vintage Glamour Daze Fashion Charity Event - Home | Facebook

Our nicest clothes, our best cups and saucers, our Christmas toiletry sets , indulgent hobbies we will do- one -day- when -we- have- time: even friends we promise we will catch up with one of these days -all are placed in a box marked future.

The Ultimate Guide to Bleach Your White Clothes - Safety Hacks! – Sonic Soak

Precious, abstract , future bubbles……
Thing is, such perfect time capsules do not exist; because the tides of life just keep sucking us back, against the shore of good old fashioned normality and remind us what and who we are, and what else is in the flotsam..

especially now..

Future Perfect | Grammarly Blog

There is no perfect . Whether in your longed for acceptance of self image, in the mysteries of your family , your crazy circle of friends, or the situation we are all in right now and how that impacts on the immediate world you had.. A lot of our choices are out of our control because they are too enormous. But what we can do, is choose some of the smaller things to keep or lose.

107 Quotes About Change in Life, Yourself and The World - Bright Drops

We have our bodies, in all their states of health and shapes and sizes and the choice in how to dress and celebrate them..For many of us, our clothes have become a uniform; whether through comfort, suitability for lifestyle or because they don’t suit us as we change in age or outlook. But sometimes, we simply forget what is under the pile, always choosing to skim from the top. It can be amazing to find what we used to love, or how good a well worn garment feels on your skin

Does going 'out' in pyjamas make me a lazy mum? - Confessions Of A Crummy  Mummy
Have you got the pyjama addiction too?
Cavalli e Nastri, the Milanese chic vintage boutique
Shop in your own wardrobe instead of buying the same things again.

Every day comes with its surprises at the moment. Today, bumping into an old friend was literally overwhelming and so poignant and lovely. Neither of us could speak but the silence was crammed with a thousand words which we both understood. I know it will keep me going on days when I hear no voices other than a pup and a grumpy pre-teen. So much emotion in those few seconds, and an elixir of wellbeing, much needed.

Unexpected Photography - Home | Facebook

The now is all about seeing what is under the surface and try to still hear the music

What's under the surface ? by Hi-TeQ on DeviantArt


Keeping good clothing and never wearing it is like advertising lunch for critters and a bit like keeping a freshly made loaf of bread and waiting two days for the first slice. Sometimes at the back of our cupboards, are gems that are perfect now. that still fit, that are desperate for daylight

How to Stop Moths From Eating Your Clothes | Real Simple

Because, come the time to use your perfect China, the cracks may have appeared in more than just the saucers. You should eat well, off the nicest plates and savour each morsel.

Take yourself on a picnic while the sun shines and your legs work.

Picnic Hen Party | WeddingDates Blog | WeddingDates.co.uk

Bear and I discovered that was just what the doctor ordered, when the day was dragging and my hands hurt too much to keep drawing. Ginger beer and a fresh socially distanced prawn sandwich , a few doggie hugs by the harbour, and a chat with a lovely old couple, and the sun came out literally and metaphorically .


Things are losing their importance more than ever. We can’t ease our stress with travel, or quick fixes. Internally we are battling with a fight -or- flight response versus the desire to sink -into- the -sofa- with- a- cushion- over -our- ears. Anything written about being in the moment might sound cheesy, but it really is the most important defence mechanism in your arsenal. Our Stuff should be enjoyed, have a place to be stored properly or shared with others. Loved or left go. We are living through a time where our values are changing, our perspectives are distorted like looking through a glass.

Unexpected Beauty
But are also much simpler

Stand still and see what is right there as your own personal gifts.

NCL-Hands-Almost-Touching * Nicola Amadora


Children and animals teach us to live in the moment

Why do animals play? | All you need is Biology

This strange and frightening pandemic is creating huge uncertainty. And causing everyone different concerns, and fears. Not knowing what will happen in this story is becoming frighteningly familiar now. It is understandable that we feel angry or sad. The loss of the contact with others, pleasurable activities, financial security, freedom to choose, is a grieving process. But because it is ambiguous, there is no finality, we can’t put anything to rest.

Björkholmen Gallery - Jack Pierson

To deal with Life right now, it is essential to limit the time spent catastrophizing on what may or may not happen. Things change all the time. including the rules on what can or can’t be done. As these things are out of our control, all we have is what we can do for our immediate world and , find the magic of everyday life, whenever we can. This doesn’t mean we don’t care, it means we care enough to keep going.

Everyday Magic by Harkale-Linai on DeviantArt


Don’t save your Sunday best for Sunday

Tip: Don't Save Your Sunday Best For Sunday! - Not Dead Yet Style


We didn’t know how lucky we were before. All those adventures kept for the future that are now much harder to plan for..

Unexpected Antartica Photography by Gray Malin – Fubiz Media


Life has stopped going in a straight line, and is more like a plate of spaghetti with more twists and turns than Sherlock Holmes. So now, more than ever, we have run out of excuses to save our best for a rainy day. Today’s rainy day is merrily chucking it down and we have little choice but to get out and get our feet wet. The time is literally now.

Wordless Wednesday: Get Your Feet Wet. Frame by Frame. | TINY LESSONS BLOG

Treat your self like you would want to be treated at the best hotel (In place of actually getting to one). If you were manager what would you say about a room with crumpled clothes or toppling boxes , and its effect on your customer’s well-being?

Boutique Hotels - best UK boutique hotels - Cool Places
Well, we can all dream…


My clear out has begun in earnest with a huge clear out of paper teaching resources and old paints etc. Teaching creatively is changing and hanging on to paper teaching resources is becoming harder. Most people I work with have their own equipment and we are on regular zooms.

However, There is no danger of us ever becoming minimalist

Marie Kondo, back off! Why this book hoarder refuses to tidy up - CNET
Not our actual bookcase, but it is scarily familiar

Just let’s be more organised hoarders!!

When RVing and Hoarding meet!  Yikes


Let’s chuck out old drainpipe Trousers, which will never go over our bottoms again, outdated slogan t shirts, most things with acrylic on the label, anything not loved, useful as hell or utterly fabulous or worth a mint ( ha ha) books we will never read, shoes that are too tight or too boring, broken things, things that should get fixed but never will… All got to go.

10 Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Junk | LoadUp

Let’s make do and mend a bit more

Beautiful display of vintage sewing equipment | Decoración de unas, Mesas  de coser, Rincón de costura


Things require attention and the more you have the more time they take up. It is far more rewarding to spend time fuelling a pet or a skill than a shopping habit. And slightly less waste disposal.


Personally of late I have had this constant feeling that I’ve forgotten something. Has anyone else felt that the lists we had whittled down to a fine art before, have gone out of the window, and even the days of the week are confusing now !!

There's no timetable, no one standing over you. There are no parents  demanding excellence, no teachers grading you, no co… | Inspirational  quotes, Motivation, Words

The simple fact is, most of the normal, planned activities, groups and connections are on hold.. So the requirement is to just be. And it is the hardest thing in the world to step away from the conditioned responses we have to our feelings and our desires. Our guilt to please the people we have already created a link with, on our journeys so far. To move away from should and towards could if you want to, that takes courage. We are so conditioned to our structures, our ways and our safety nets, and feedback from other people. These responses validate us. If you have stopped working, you might be losing more than just a wage. People around you every day remind you you’re still alive. Now you have to do that for yourself.

I'm very grateful that you exist on this planet Art Print by anicastillo |  Society6

This virus has changed things in strange ways. With far more emphasis on your own personal wellbeing, you will be able to potentially reach out your new found skills and resourcefulness like ripples in a pool into your future. Right now, tread water, steady your breathing and clear your mind as well as your cupboards. Swimming alone is scary, but opens up a whole new peaceful horizon .

Essential Advice For Beginners to Open-Water Swimming | Living Healthy and  Just Fine


Time to take the arm bands off

top 9 most popular inflatable armbands brands and get free shipping - a516


We are a resourceful lot. Perhaps finding out for the first time what exactly we are made of. What still fits and what we’ve grown out of . Or who.

What Are You Growing Out Of? - p.s. That's Life!


Are there people around you who you expected to be in contact with and who have disappeared? Is the new world looking a little lonely?

2560x1440 New World 1440P Resolution HD 4k Wallpapers, Images, Backgrounds,  Photos and Pictures


It has surprised and bewildered me how the playing field looks right now Some players in the game have walked away, off the pitch or are sitting on the bench. Some have moved to another team altogether. But I know the team that we have now are the ones we are blessed to have. And those that have gone before, have been important chapters in our story.

20 Inspiring Quotes To Help You Heal From Your Grief After You Lose Your  Best Friend | YourTango

Perhaps it takes a pandemic to know who you’re tribe really is. Who has phoned you recently? Responded to your Facebook posts, asked you on a zoom date, left soup at your door? Sometimes we need to let go of the old Christmas card list and be aware of who is showing up now. With an open mind and a willingness to see the glass half full, you might be surprised.

A Tribe Without Borders: Sisterhood through travel across the Middle East

To simply be, ok with your quirky bits, immersed in your own ideas, is your permission to be positive while the world does what it does. Whether blending in…

Self Esteem - Break the mould - be yourself – True Self
20+ Best wacky outfit day images | wacky, wednesday outfit, wacky tacky day

Or standing out…


Most people yearn for a different version of themselves in some way. It is what advertisers rely on and the diet industry swells its coffers with. But as necessity overrides luxury, it gives us a chance to see what we already have, and what , if anything, we really need. Under current circumstances, enjoying ourselves feels a bit sinful, but in actual fact, with limited access to the network of well-being services at your disposal, support groups, social groups and shops! there is no better time than now to stop being so self critical and celebrate the details of the unique collection of things we already have.

No Choice - Home | Facebook

A friend of mine never ceases to amaze me with her self nurture skills. She meticulously plans out her outfits , and in particular a fabulous pair of shoes , does her hair and make up and is a catwalk dream. Only, her audience is a zoom group , and in her day to day life, she is struggling with several medical and psychological issues. She hardly leaves her house. On our zooms, she chats from her bed.

Maileg Vintage Bed, Micro – My Sweet Muffin | Vintage bed, Maileg bed,  Maileg

It would be so easy for all of us to give up trying. Instead; giving yourself a few small moments of fabulousness will become an intrinsic part of the you going on your journey recorded for future generations as the hero you are. .


In the absence of a network or a way of life which gives you compliments, you must make your own..

How We Can Stop Being Suspicious of Kindness | NewHarbinger.com

We can’t know what this story will become . We aren’t used to not getting what we need quickly. Our seasonal adjustment disorder has gone wonky, with virtually no normality to Summer (apart from the changeable weather) It is tricky to feel grounded by the things which made us feel safe before…

Are You Grounded in Reality? (Or Living a Fantasy?) | Lead Like Jesus


This of course is different for everyone. But at the same time, is exactly the same for everyone. We need things in our peripheral vision that give us hope.
If nobody else can do that for you, you owe it to yourself to grab your best knickers, and stop over thinking.
The only way to make sense of the biggest things is to go into battle with a steady hand, and good pants. Surrounding yourself with what you alone love.

100+ Best Marvel & Comic Geekiness images | cool outfits, clothes, marvel


You know who you are, what you can do, and what you’ve always wanted to do .
Now, there’s slightly less reason to worry what anyone else thinks of that.
And make it
happen.

Trust your gut

Laura 🦋 on Instagram: “My plan for when the world has healed 🦋☁️✨” in  2020 | Quote aesthetic, Quotes deep, Best short quotes

Consuming and then having to find space for more and more things is a distracting cycle. And somehow doesn’t feel important any more.

100 Best Online Clothes Shops and Fashion Boutiques | London Evening  Standard


The diva, her pal and I went on a road trip at the weekend. We went shopping for a couple of gifts for various birthdays before the rules state we can’t drive more than five miles again, we had treats in food places certain to leave us sugar tongued and bloated . Delicious. I sat in the cafe while the girls looked in the shop next door . Every second of it was special. Already in the country, there are places where people are not able to do this. Already it is getting closer that an going an hour away could become a universe.

Where Is the Center of the Universe? | Live Science


There was an intensity to the day. The Starbucks was a minefield of masks and form filling, door codes and queue stickers… The atmosphere wasn’t condusive to staying a long time, food given out in paper bags, no listening to jazz or wiling away the hours on a laptop with a cappucino.

At home? You can still work from Starbucks with virtual backgrounds -  Starbucks Stories EMEA

But still, the sun was warm on my face through the window. I wrote this to you. My coffee tasted delicious and my cinnamon roll felt devilish and doughy and stuffed a gap in more. than just my hungry belly
I wore trousers I should have worn on the beach. A dress bought for a holiday, twice cancelled. Thankfully it still fitted.! Small blessings. Good job Starbucks is so far away.!
It is more important than ever to make things count wherever we can from our knickers to impromptu picnics on the park, as the girls did with their pizza and chips on the swings last night. Packed into paper bags like Deli food. Memories are cemented by fun versions of the usual stuff..

There is a feeling in the air that these normal experiences are not to be taken for granted. We ate lunch out and dragged bags and weary bodies into the car, grateful, tired and very aware that this wasn’t going to be repeated for a while.


Entering an Autumn cautiously and feeling grateful, we are mindful of the difficulties that these experiences are now attached to. Having looked forward to our trip, I have to say we are equally pleased to be safe at home.
Find new pants if you feel a bit pants; the maddest pants you can find and flounce in them like there’s no tomorrow. Even if nobody ever sees them. Before your knees go.

Gingham and lace vintage style pin up girl frilly jive dance | Etsy


If things don’t fit today, don’t wait until they do. A pile of things in your peripheral vision waiting for when you are smaller, healthier, fitter just gives you a headache.. Charity shop or dump them.

pile-of-clothes – Order in the House

If like me you have a degenerative condition, or something affecting your immunity, time is always your nemesis.

How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Pain—and End America's  Opioid Epidemic | WIRED

Covid or no covid, there are rhythms to your day and year which affect how little or how much you can get achieved, with a body that won’t play nice. Sometimes it feels like a race to complete as much as possible on a sunny day, with the clock ticking on the seasons and the unpredictable weather. Flare- ups and immobility go hand in hand with the cold. So having less stuff that requires attention is important.

Watch Your Weather Change -

Although here at Skye Blue House, life will never be minimal

Finding ways to minimise tasks or get help with hard to do jobs is essential too. I am at the moment, indebted to my new gardener, chopping and cutting things my hands won’t manage, and many offers of doggie walks with Bear. This virus doesn’t get dibs on being resilient- ask anyone with arthritis!Go on.. Put on your best hat on. The winds of change might blow away everything away tomorrow….

girl in blue and white dress holding onto her hat | Vintage artwork,  Vintage images, Vintage illustration

but then instead, let your hair go free

Woman Beautiful | Free Stock Photo | Illustration of a beautiful woman with  her hair blowing in the wind | # 8333

The future you will buy new clothes, meet new faces, learn different skills. and be eternally grateful you held your nerve right now whilst looking fabulous. The future is an unstable ground to build a plan on. But it will still be there hazily greeting the morning sun. The irony is, the more you make of this moment, and it’s set of limitations, the wider your path will eventually be.

Hazy morning sun | Jan Moons | Flickr

This painting was recently finished for Mum. After my Stepdad passed away. It is a fantasy place of lots of different bits of Greek islands they went to. Although she knows she can’t go back, it will take her there with him whenever she sees it. It, like everything we need to do now was achieved bit by bit, until it was complete. With painful joints, a final outcome was the top of a mountain I knew was there beyond the clouds. And yes, swearing is fine too.

Stay safe and keep your dreams fed and alive. Style it out and trust what you already know

You always got us! xxx

7 Meditation Tips for People Who Can't Sit Still | The Temper

All our love, Liz and the zoo xxxx

Puppy love

So ……….

Dog Paw Print Prints - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

I was noticing how much time I am taking up in the last week or two, and decided to write on behalf of my household. It is quite clear I am pretty much in charge these days and fill in the hours that must have been so empty without me by creating a never ending need for the carpet cleaner and a discerning taste for pyjama hems and ankles. I have a feeling that stuff must happen while I am in my fluffy bed, because it all looks different when I wake up . The big one that feeds me when I sit next to my bowl , splashes a lot of stuff out of tubes in the mornings. I tried tasting it but I just got a blue moustache and a telling off ….

Can Dogs Smell Paint? - Wag!

So, as usual, I am in charge today. Paw in hand I am giving Mum a break while she tries to explain to the smaller one (again) why coal, pencils, socks, cheese string wrappers, slime tubs, lipstick, hair bands and crisp packets are very delicious but I’m not allowed to eat them for some bizarre reason…

Messy Room Quotes. QuotesGram

Still… being a good boy (or girl) does have it’s advantages.. There are some pretty good hugs around here.. And the food is excellent. I would like to present you my first poem in appreciation of my new home. Hope you like it. x

Holding hands | Crazy dog lady, My animal, Paw hand

Poem by Bear

12 weeks

.
There once was a puppy called bear
Who lived in a home with sea air
His days were filled up with learning to know
which was the carpet and where not to go

He tried to make friends with the cavies and cats
And chewed all the corners off tables and mats


His paws were huge and his fur was all tangly
His eyes were like buttons, his legs growing gangly
She grumped in the morning when ankles were bitten
And thieving was common of socks, homework, mittens…
But end of the day when school end was done
It started to sink in that this was quite fun,


Big paws are great for a play and a cuddle
They make the room fun when parents see muddle
They take you for walks when it’s rainy or fine

and they curl up inside a warm bed around nine


It’s good being small you can hide under dressers
And shake all your toys till they spew out old feathers
Your mum feeds you lots when you do your big eyes
You have to remember to sit for a prize


Love is so easy to give to your tribe
They always still hug if you’re manic at five
I’m learning that hands are better for pats
My teeth are like needles, and humans hate that

English Phrase For I Dont Bite Much On Paper Stock Illustration - Download  Image Now - iStock


My best fun is paper to shred into bits
And icy cold carrots are a teething hit
I love My bed best when a heartbeat I hear
It makes me feel safe and I drift somewhere dear


I didn’t like feeling alone in my cave
The hall wasn’t great for my nightmares and fears.
Dogs are like humans, they need to feel safe
we need you to know it can take many years

Dog Siblings Who Love to Hug Each Other Will Melt Your Heart - YouTube

I am so excited for beaches and woods

Dog Walking |

for hugs with new friends and all that is good
life’s big adventures, fun and travels to come
But I like it best when I’m curled up with mum xxx

See you soon on the Beach ! Love from Bear, Mum and the zoo xxxx

Dog Paw Print Prints - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

Faith, hope and charity

Today my not so little girl, like millions of other children will go back to school. Its not primary anymore, where she is home by three and I go through her lunchbox , or the madness of home schooling, including the requisite ten spelling words and a project about the number of sultanas in a cake. This is the big.. Wide. World. Of high school.

Unless the government suddenly decide children aren’t safe there either and change the plans again!

First day of primary

I must admit to a tiny wobble yesterday… She is my right hand, (literally) my pest in a vest, my monkey, my friend. It is also wonderful and hugely exciting . We got through all these months, mostly on our own and we got to this huge day, with half an inch before she is as tall as me. . How wonderful is that. I might now get the occasional quiet thought …

Vintage picture of a mother & daughter. Find the perfect Mother's ...

Or ….Maybe not. After we lost our beloved Skye, the plan was to wait to get a puppy. A collie, a girl puppy. In Winter. Ha Ha.

The Best Laid Plans | Forever Young Adult

We have been blessed with a teeny new addition around here. She is a HE. He isn’t a Collie and he is here right now, with his big fluffy feet.

More paws. !!

Dog Paw Print, Dog Heart Vintage Style - Dog Paw Print - Sticker ...
How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples

You see making plans is crucial, but so is being able to see when a more ideal surprise comes along… Waiting for the perfect moment, home, person, pet, set of circumstances to jump fully in…. means we often don’t jump at all.

Welly Week is back! | R.A.B.I
And you gotta jump…

Sometimes all of our real life stories read like a Christmas day Eastenders episode. We wonder what madness will happen next, what crazy character will pop up and demand we use our hidden superpowers? . We could never have known what was going to happen as we sat eating our Christmas dinners last December, making plans for Summer holidays, and adventures with our families and friends..We don’t really feel freedom until it has been taken from us. Or appreciate our health, until we dont have it, or how wonderful our connections are until we feel lonely. This has highlighted so much for so many. Not everyone has had the same experience, or network. But your inner resilience will be full. And has given us all a chance to think who was there, and what we truly need.

Reflections on Freedom - Surviving Church

Throughout this lockdown we have held our loved ones so tightly. Consistently helped others, talked on zooms to maintain connections with groups and shopped for others who couldn’t get out. We have needed faith in there being an end to this , that there can still be learning and gaining positive skills from the limitations holding life back.

To sustain inner strength you need to know there will always be someone to hold your hand, or carry you..

Whether that might be through a friendship or relationship ending, circumstances of the pandemic, or through bereavement. Time with someone can still be cherished, no matter how the story ends.

In February, our charitable enterprise was in the midst of organising exhibitions, collaborations, venues for sales and ideas for projects with different groups. After lockdown began; almost every plan we were making was either culled or put on hold indefinitely.

It was just a different world and required a new trust. Between us we looked after the animals, and as a young carer, My daughter was great at helping with the weekly shop (the highlight of the week) and the dog walking. We drew, created, shared the artwork to the various art groups run with Sea Sparkle , did her homework, looked through old photos, fed our zoo, and each other and existed in our bubble.

Popping the bubble when we initially left the house after four months was a bit of a shock but a wonderful one. Determined to stop and appreciate the freedom of being somewhere other than the garden. Being unable to walk far, it was all the sweeter being able to drive to other places…

Throughout lockdown, conversations have been had making a plan or two for the future and these can now start to come to fruition. It takes a lot of faith to keep believing it will be alright. That the things we do every day, and chip away at, will bear fruit and blossom. They do, they will. It will be OK.

I have faith in the right people being in our lives at the right time. And that as life starts up, in a new way it might just be a chance to recalibrate.

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Find a different path

We can soon begin to reach more vulnerable adults through our Art Resources and get on with the new normal. As our children embed new experiences and friendships, another Autumn term begins for parents too.

How Much Is Your Old Vintage Apple Mac Computer Worth? | TurboFuture

We will shortly put together a small exhibition on our sea sparkle page to show what everyone has created.

Dream Houses from Small Stories exhibition at the V&A Museum of ...
Its amazing what you can do in a tiny space…

I hope that one day those of you who consistently read this will be at a table sketching and drinking coffee with us. That our shop becomes a physical one where your ideas also take shape.. All we can do is control our thoughts to be positive and carry on making baby steps towards our dreams. Being around close knit family recently might have impacted on these ambitions. Remember, even people who love you might not want you to succeed. There is safety in things staying as they are.

Hope You're Well': Emailing Through a Time of Pandemic | WIRED

But do it anyway…

Just do it MOTIVATION – Just do it speech Art Williams | Ryan Maynard

Because nobody knows what the future holds. Hold the present in your hands

Eat, Love, read and dress for you and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If this has taught us anything, it is not wasting time on anyone else’s fear.

Breakfast recipes | BBC Good Food
Today I get breakfast to myself….

I wonder how they are all getting on. Probably feels normal already. Kids have the fear thing sorted…

Stay safe and in the moment, Liz and the zoo xxxx

Skye Blue

We can learn so much from our kindred spirits, the ones that choose us, the ones that just appear in our lives and end up being indispensable, a life unknown before we met them.

The Cost of Owning a Pet | Animal Friends Pet Insurance

Our time indoors has intensified with our relationships, in so many ways, but with our animals, it has been a blessing to have such unconditional love and companionship.

Unlikely Animal Friends | Unlikely animal friends, Animals ...

I love the photographs taken by my friend Eve, of animals that gravitate towards her. She collects characters because they can feel her spirit, she isn’t showing fear, but approaches them as them. And to gain an animals love , they mostly just need respect. And she takes a cracking photo.

Our world at Skye Blue House has been made so much fuller and richer through our animal friends. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, fish, chickens… When a small paw holds yours at the end of a long day, things don’t seem so bad.

Hand in Paw, Best of Friends. | Animali, Animali domestici ...

So here is a little bit of dogs wisdom on the game of life.

1 Treat everyone as a potential friend

But use your instincts when someone makes your fur stand on end..

What does "the cat's fur was on end" mean? - Question about ...

2 Eat at regular times

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Even though there is delicious temptation everywhere

Delicious Foods Everywhere - 34 photos | Funny animals, Funny dog ...

3 Take plenty of naps

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No matter where you are

These cute pictures of napping dogs will melt your heart

4 Be free to run up mountains

Even if it is only in your sleep

3. A small dog that sleeps 4 legs in the air, and this one ...

5 Be photo ready

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At all times !!

6 Stay loyal

To the tribe you found. They are your family.

7. Keep your fur neat

Or you might miss a pat

Does Your Dog Love or Hate Being Petted? Do You Know Why? | Pet ...

8. Know your humans

Soon they will understand your psychic ability

WATCH: Pet Psychic Medium Connects With Dog's Spirit | The Dog ...

9. Avoid jealousy

And you’ll make best friends

10. Bathe occasionally

Humans seem to appreciate that

How to Really Clean a Dog | LoveToKnow

11 .Love with abandon

No matter the time you’ve got

12. Be you