Swings and simple things

swing sky

It’s a cool cloudy day in London, and I’m sitting at the window table of my favourite bistro, armed with a latte and wondering where the sun has gone. We had a beautiful weekend in London, it was 17 C/63 F yesterday and sunny, so that all of London’s parks and pavement cafes were bustling with carefree happy faces that come out of hiding when the sun graces us in the Northern latitudes. I drove south of the river, contrary to urban myth one does not need a passport for such an expedition, but it is advisable to pack plenty of patience for the heavy traffic and ‘weekend drivers’. The journey of 8 miles from my home to my brother’s can easily take an hour, so it’s also a good opportunity to play some music and sing my heart out in privacy, without inflicting my less than sonorous vocals on the world. Having been away from London for a while, it was a fresh chance to appreciate the city’s majestic beauty, as sun cast elegant shadows on the regency architecture and gleamed off the windows of the modern mirrored structures. The early blossom on the cherry trees shimmered gently in the breeze, and the pavements buzzed with more energy than the collected efforts of the numerous runners that pounded away, plugged into their ipods.

My arrival finally at my brother’s doorstep, was heralded with the cheeky grin of my niece M, who informed me that my Christmas present was still waiting for me to open it.. as she peered expectantly at the bags I was carrying. M is not yet 3 years old, and her sister Z is almost one; so obviously the most important factor of my most recent three-month trip abroad was that I had indeed missed Christmas. She had also been waiting patiently to devour the pretty iced cookies that had been freshly baked for the occasion. So after the important unwrapping with tea and biscuits, my brother and I left his wife in peace and quiet as we took the girls to the common (a rather large park). It’s only a short walk by adult standards, but when your legs are as long as the average three year old, that can be awfully tiring. So we stopped for a makeshift picnic by the bandstand, indulging in some people watching as M found an amateur photographer shooting his girlfriend with his very long lens fascinating; before heading to the playground with heady anticipation.

Both M and Z could spend hours it seems on the swings, in fact most of the children seemed very content to watch the world fly back and forth with demands of ‘higher, higher!’ squealed between giggles to their pushers. I’ll admit I wished there was an empty ‘big girl’s’ swing for me too, to feel the carefree lack of responsibility on a Sunday the sun shone again. Children are smart enough to appreciate the simple things, before they are corrupted with entitlement and expectation, and I wonder when and how we let things get complicated as we advance into adulthood. Maybe there’s a way we can find it again amidst all our grown-up-ness, if we stop worrying about the things we cannot change and focus on appreciating the little things. So as I write this on a Monday, and the clouds part to let the sun shine in, I wonder where the nearest park is, and if I can get there before school finishes ☺

I hope you have a lovely day, and if there’s a moment in between all your busy responsibilities, that you slip momentarily into the carefree child you once were, and let your heart soar skyward again?! Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words by Hayley Darby ©2014}

Good morning 19.2.13

de clutter shoes

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke slowly, as the mists of sleep gently cleared and left me drifting on the pillow. I let my mind wander for a while, and found myself seeking paths to simplicity, trying again to let go of unanswerable questions. I stretched and breathed in deeply, hopeful for the day ahead. I have some projects I am keen to progress, so I threw back the duvet and headed downstairs in search of coffee.

It’s another sunny day in London, and it seems that more than warmth and light spill through the window to infuse the house with cheerful positivity. I’m inspired by the prospect of spring, and have a strong desire to clean the house, and clear out all the stuff that’s really just stuff, and make space for simplicity. I think that spring is a great time for cleansing our lives, it’s easier to discard the no longer useful when we are feeling hopeful and abundant, rather than clinging on to clutter, just in case we need it again. I think in the winter we cling to comforting possessions, like the layers we dress in, yet when the sun shines, the feeling of lightness and freedom is more tempting.

So today I’m armed with bin liners, one for the charity shop and one for rubbish, and a whole host of good intentions. It’s not just the material things that clutter up our lives, but sometimes it helps to start with the tangible, where we can appreciate that getting rid of the old makes room for the new. I think those things we keep that are no longer of use, are just our fears manifested through the insecurity that stops us releasing them. And fears, like the clothes at the back of the wardrobe, no longer fit or suit our current situation, so they just prevent space for growth and clarity. For once we remove all that ‘stuff’ that’s obscuring the view, we can focus on the important things and make an impact where it really matters.

So I am going to get busy, searching for simplicity amongst the ‘stuff’ and I’m letting go of the fears along with the memories. Where we have been (and what we wore) may have shaped our past, but we can redesign the future ahead of us, and I’m choosing an elegant style of simplicity, in much more than just my wardrobe! I hope you have a gorgeous day and I wonder what you will shed from your life to make room for new opportunities too? Blessings & love ♥ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}