Monday, 7 January 2013

no place like home

On New Year's Day we went for a walk to clear away the cobwebs spun by the late night and by glasses of bubbly.  We also wanted to survey the post pyro-circus damage.

Absolutely everywhere, there were empty bottles lined up and used to launch bottle rockets.

I'm always surprised not to see cars with the ends of rockets sticking out of them; or tendrils of smoke escaping from shattered living room windows.

Thousands of half-looped revelers with lighters and explosives. Amazing there isn't more damage, actually.

Someone's trailer was used as a launch pad.

In spite of the chaos, many citizens did indeed take their bottles to the crammed-full recycling bins and lined them up neatly.  Even sorting them by colour.  (!)

There were prettier sights along the Isar River.

There's one particular spot which is a magnet for swans and at any time of year you can go there and find scores and scores of them.

When they take off in flight, the sound is unbelievable, a swooshing thwap which makes you aware of just how huge and powerful these birds really are.

Geese and Gulls and Crows also frolicked.

All this under a Winter sky.

On the walk home through the forest, I found this tiny nest.

A book I'm currently reading and enjoying immensely has to do with forests.

Sara Maitland's "Gossip From the Forest: the Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales."
Maitland spent a year visiting twelve different forests around Great Britain.  She looks at them not only as important ecological entities, but also as what they mean for our deep story-rooted past.  At the end of each chapter, she rewrites a known tale.  I find her writing clear and witty and I totally agree with her Rumpelstiltskin - a tale I've always found frustratingly unfair.

Late one night in our indoor forest of one, odd sounds roused me from bed.  Turning the lights on full blast, I found the cause.

Earlier, when I told my husband that it would be fun when Molly first tries to climb the tree, he said that there's no way she could do that.

He's never had a cat before.

And now with the New Year already in swing, and the children (finally!) back in school, I can get back to work.  I've unfortunately had to move out of my studio.  It was a beautiful, old place that I took so much inspiration from, but I've had to leave.  (My landlord and I are having a disagreement, and I've - regrettably - had to ask for legal council over the matter.)

I've had very bad luck with studios here, so I'm going to paint from home from now on.  Our flat is very small, but people have - and do - work under far worse circumstances, so in the spirit of "counting my blessings," I've once again organized my room for work.

My collage shelves.

Paint shelves.

Paint trolley.

Work table.

I have two shows coming up, one for March and April, and another for July.  I'm upswing about that.

I've also joined a full-manuscript critique writer's group - a spin off of the Online Writer's Workshop for writers of Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-Fi.  There are nine of us, and we have a March 15th deadline.  That's perfect for me.  I've been wanting to get back to my fiction writing for ages, and now I've got the perfect incentive.

It feels good to start the year with all this momentum.
And I still stick by what I said in the last post: I do have a very good feeling about 2013.

(Gotta be better than 2012 was.)


  1. I love the picture of Molly up the tree, my cat has 3 legs so he wisely leaves tree climbing to others. He did manage to coax the new kitten next door up a tree. She had to wait sometime to be rescued.
    The studio business sounds stressful, I like the idea of a studio, I did ring up about a free caravan, number was wrong on the advert though. I have trouble with finding a suitable place on the farm I can justify heating.
    Otherwise you sound busy and it's good you have goals.

    1. I was happy she stayed up long enough for me to get that shot. Half a minute later, she and the star came falling down. Your cat *is* wise to leave that to others.

      You'd mentioned a caravan - shame that didn't work out. Heating can determine whether a place is affordable or not - whether it makes sense to use one of the places you might have on the farm. Frustrating. Hope you find something!

  2. Hi Lynn - Wonderful, full post! Especially fun seeing your kitty up the tree!! Pasha is a bit on the elder side to care about climbing the tree now a days, guess having a forest full outside lessens his urge to! And, speaking of forests, I'm heaing over to Amazon to look for that book, its RIGHT up the alley of a retreat I want to do here at RavenWood, thanks! So sorry about the studio, it looked sooo great. I hope everything works out OK with the legal stuff and hope you can work well from home. Happy New Year and good luck with all the shows!

    1. Molly has only been outside a few times and only for short, supervised intervals. (We want to make sure she knows where she lives and is a bit older before letting her out for longer and on her own.) So this was practically her first actual encounter with a tree. I'm sure Pasha has got his fair share of tree climbing behind him in his wild and furry past.
      I do hope you like the book. I hadn't read anything by her before, but she sounds like a fascinating woman who lives by herself on an isolated moor in Scotland. There's another book she's written which I must get called "A Book of SIlence." In it she explores, well, silence and our relationship to it - or lack of it.
      I was really saddened to leave the studio, and I'm still not sure what's going to happen, but I have my fingers crossed and I'm entering 2013 with incredible (and somewhat unusual) optimism. Think it's the year to banish my inner Eeyore.

  3. The last words of your post (in brackets) strike a chord! Oh YES to that a thousandfold. Please let this be a better one than the last. For all of us. Amen!

    Cat up a tree pics fabulous. Molly looks so laissez-faire up there! (I always take my rest in the topmost branches of a decorated conifer!) I hope no damage was sustained, to cat or precious ornaments.

    Happy New Year. Don't fret about the small studio space. You'll rise to the challenges and turn out little masterpieces!

    1. Yes, what is it about cats that makes them seem completely at ease and in control wherever they are. She did manage to take the star down however, before doing a slithering-fall Winnie the pooh like through the branches. (Nothing and no one was hurt.)

      Thanks for your kind words of encouragement about the studio space. I am actually looking forward to working in it now - especially since I already have the large pieces for the show completed, which would have posed a bit of a problem in here.

      I think many people are happy to see the the back of 2012. Happy New Year to you and may 2013 be a very good year for all!

  4. lynn, your pictures of molly are superb. what a trickster! and too bad about the studio. i wondered why there was no word about that wonderful place. but you forge on!

    1. I had a blast taking them, Velma. I just wish I'd got one of her and the star coming down.
      It is a shame about the studio (it was wonderful, wasn't it), but I'm all set up at home again, and - indeed - forging on!
      Glad to hear you're finally recovering from that stubborn flu.

  5. When I was a child, I had a darling little cat named Honeysuckle who loved to race to the top of the tree... She had a bad habit of sleeping in the cool shadow over tires and was run over by a neighbor. But she had a good frolic before that.

    I am admiring of your neatness in your studio and writing space.

    1. Sorry to hear the end your Honeysuckle came to! My childhood cat Charlie, met the same end, but also not before many a good frolic.

      I can assure you the neatness, as always, was short-lived!