All posts filed under: Personal

Grandad’s Garden

It’s hard to imagine as I sit curled in the armchair by the window, contemplating a chai tea to warm up, that these photographs were only taken last Saturday, in what may well have been the last of the August sun. I spent what felt like hours lingering among the coneflowers and tomato plants, staying outside long after my grandparents had gone back inside. I could hear their laughter through the open window as I took photograph after photograph of the dahlias striving towards the sky, trying to capture their height and essence of the sublime. I laughed too, for it was one of those fleeting moments where one feels rooted in the present moment, consumed by joy in the here and now. This was Saturday afternoon in Fred’s little garden on the fringes of northwest London.  I recently heard the words spoken “For what is joy if it is not recorded?” and the sentence made my heart quicken and flutter. For what is joy if it is not recorded, and what – the speaker went on – is love …

Soothing Those Mean Reds

Holly Golightly said it best. “You know those days when you get the mean reds? Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”  I’ve felt anxiety budding in me lately, dense and sly as weeds in a neglected garden. Beginning small as a pinhead, they hide in the dark, damp spaces, but given the slightest hint of air and light, explode into full, malignant bloom. I don’t struggle with anxiety very often (if you are a more frequent attendee, as many of those close to me are, you have my full sympathy). My common-law husband is the unruffled son of an esteemed psychotherapist (useful for putting worries in perspective) while my childhood fears of murderers beyond the windowpane and tragic plane crashes gradually morphed into a reliance on statistics and logic and a personal philosophy akin to what will be will be. But I do struggle with it sometimes. It often begins with a rational worry before somersaulting into the entirely irrational realm. I might find myself …

Graduation!

The last few days have been a blur of giddy, indescribable, bittersweet celebration. We graduated!!! Driving into Bristol with my parents (in tears – I was nervous!) four years ago seems both another time, another place – and to have passed in a click of the fingers. Both an eternity and no time at all. The day passed in a hazy, dazzling and wonderful fog of thirty-degree heat – the startling light and the steaminess of the air bathing the day in nostalgia even as it was happening. In my mind the day is made up of jewel-like moments, strung together on the necklace of time. Moments which I hope to always remember. The moment I woke up and didn’t remember it was graduation day. Getting up and realising, all at once, that – oh! I need to be in the car already! Where are my shoes? And is this really happening? The early morning drive to Bristol chatting with my mother. And the scramble to change into my monochrome dress (as rules stipulate) in …