Monday, 17 February 2014

My heart's desires

It will be a small and cosy home, filled with light and love, laughter and peace; a place where my authentic self can settle and live. I will continue to live by and in the seasons, with natural materials, home grown and cooked food, handmade clothes and leave a light footprint on the earth.

There will be a wood cook stove in the kitchen, with a neat pile of logs and kindling beside, replenished daily; a singing  kettle on the top and a collection of vintage saucepans, bread tins, baking tins and kitchen implements, enamel and wood, hand carved wooden spoons in a wooden rack.  There will be a hand made rag rug in front of the stove, and a rocking char, a drying pulley above . Tea towels will be pretty and neatly ironed, and handknitted dishcloths will be stored in a wicker basket. There will be tea cosies and egg cosies, doilies, tray cloths, tablecloths of great beauty and age, lace trimmed shelves, painted cupboards and my beautiful very old pine kitchen table with a variety of interesting chairs, having hand sewn cushions on them and painted in wonderful colours. The floor will be tiles or wood with rugs, the dishes a hotch potch of mixed and matched, likewise the cutlery. All equipment will be to hand - the butter churn and the grain grinder, the mincers, the knives, the colanders, the baskets and mixing bowls.  There will be the scent of fresh coffee, spices and baking, and my big candle lit daily, flickering on the side.

 The windows will have patchwork curtains and geraniums on the sills in summer.

The living room will have comfy old sofas and a big arm chair, an open fire, log basket, rugs, crocheted and knitted throws,  hand-made cushions. A radio, many full-to-bursting bookshelves, baskets of projects being worked on, a beautiful mantelpiece, pictures of my choice and some by my own hand; pretty curtains, a candle in the window, oil lamps, small tables, bowls of shells and sea glass, found objects and bowls of fresh air so that the beauty of the bowls tells its own song. There will be a piano, painted in cream and decorated with pink roses, and my fiddles and guitars. My bureau will be neat and tidy, with pretty writing paper and a drawer full of recycled envelopes and brown wrapping paper; there will be stamps in the cubby holes, and a pretty pot to hold pens and pencils on the top. My looms and wheels will go in a separate room where I can have all my craft and drawing and painting materials to hand - it will be light and airy and full of optimism and creative thoughts.

The bed will have wool blankets, hand made throws and a patchwork quilt; hot water bottles with knitted covers, cotton and linen sheets and beautiful pillowcases scented with lavender and dried woodruff. There will be a pretty chair for clothes to pile on, and hat boxes on top of the wardrobe; plants and fresh flowers,  a bedside candle and a small pile of books on the bedside cabinet. Floorboards and rugs, a stunning mirror on the wall, hats on display, and jewellery too. There will be cotton covered coathangers and those with knitted covers, lavender bags and gorgeous nightdresses.

The bathroom will be scented with homemade soap; have soft towels, abundant greenery, white painted woodwork, pictures and candles, beautiful bottles of bubblebath and oils. The airing cupboard will contain neatly stacked bed linen and towels, and baskets to store soaps and hand knitted cotton washcloths in.

There will be a store room with lines of bottled fruits, packets and tins, equipment, sacks of bird food and beans, flour and grain, homemade washing powder and ripening cheeses, demi-johns bubbling and neat rows of prettily labelled home made wine, beer and mead, brewing equipment and bee keeping gear, piles of interesting magazines for reference and boxes of apples and vegetables in store

The garden will have a long washing line, and there will be a floral cotton peg bag swinging cheerfully from it, full of wooden dolly pegs and proper split gypsy pegs. The washing will smell of sunshine and fresh air.

 (painting by Jenny Jones, Rowles Fine Art)

And the garden - oh the garden!  It will be jam packed with preciousness and beauty - my favourite old roses, snowdrops, hellebores, auricular theatres, fritillaries, flowering currants, tulips, irises and paeonies. There will be fruit trees - apples of all kinds, greengage, mulberries, quince and medlar, hazelnuts................   a small stand of willows for basket making, more hazels for coppicing. There will be colour and life throughout the year. Fruit and vegetable and herb beds, chickens, ducks, bees.......................... A small greenhouse with wooden staging, plenty of shelves for flowering plants as well as starting off seedlings; terracotta pots and wooden plant labels, tins of colourful seed packets, old tools, water butts, planted sinks.  A pond or two, with irises and water lilies, bulrushes and duckweed - dragonflies and frogs.

There will be a beautiful front door made of wood, with flowers and roses and a welcome sign nearby, the steps will be swept with a real brush and the knocker polished and kept shining. The porch will have a doormat and a hanging rack for coats and hats, shoes underneath; a shelf to display seasonal flowers, small pictures on the wall and a light to welcome folk in the darkness. There will be a big key for the door.

This is the life I want for myself, this is the authentic me, and it's a life I shall have. The home may not yet exist in this form, but it will.



Tim & Nicky Jarman said...

I am with you on most of that but it is hard work. I have been trying for the last 3 years and still no where near yet. But is enjoying the journey that is important. I made my peg container from a recycled cushion cover and felt so proud (I am not a natural seamstress).

alison young said...

Sounds like the home of my dreams too!hope it becomes reality for you x

alison young said...

Sounds like the home of my dreams too!hope it becomes reality for you x

gz said...

You WILL get there...and there will be plenty around to help you on your path....self sufficiency is, oddly enough for its name, a Way of working with others.
As they say in Aotearoa..."caring is sharing, sharing is caring"...

Ali said...

If anyone can make a home as wonderful as that, it's you my lovely xxx

MrsL said...

Thanks all :) Tim and Nicky - I know how hard work it is, have been at it for 26 years and more now! lol It's really a case of moving my life from here - physically, mentally and emotionally - and putting it down in somewhere that speaks to my soul where I can just be me. I'm nothing if not determined :)

Mad Madam Mel said...

One day you will be sitting by your stove in your cottage and look back at just how far you have come :)

Shropshire Girl said...

This post describes my dream life and home to a 'T'. I try to do/live as much like this as possible, whilst working full time.

damsonsamba said...

I only have one issue with this - "a SMALL pile of books on the bedside table" - You? I don't think so. Other than that - idyllic. xx

Ian Hicken said...

That's lovely. I hope it will come to you soon.