My Friday morning view is no longer a sunrise cracking open the horizon line between where the sea meets the sky, it isn’t even a window with a view but the sight of two faithful, calm cats that have been two years and 12 different places of living, sleeping calmly, nose tucked into tail or paws in pockets. This may seem small and normal but for the three of us, it marks that we have come home. Even if my book is accidently placed upon Alfie, he does not flinch except to wrap his arm over his face, he is calm. All three of us have been like sprung cats for so long that I see their relaxed bodies and know that we have found a safe place and a place of our own to come and go as we please. They have their little door built into my door and we are settling into our own patterns. I have no idea where they go when they leave the flat, but they always return and they return to me.
What an honour.
This home is far from perfect – not in structure nor function, form or where I thought I would ever be but it is a place to build upon, a platform from which to go and return to, it will be a creative space when everything that is broken will be mended. It’s just a ground floor flat, in a block of three built in the 80’s with bad plumbing that will never be entirely fixed and a view of a waving silver birch and a brick wall over the road. The outside will always be communal and there is noise and quiet. After Shetland, this may appear a shocking decision but it was a very considered decision that was in my price range in these crippling house prices. I chose it for its location and that I know it because it is in the same set of flats that I lived in and sold to move to Shetland.
Irony or fate to return to the place of leaving? I reread The Alchemist, to try to understand this more. That the real treasure is under our feet.
I am back on the doorstep of The Peak District whilst having access to city stuff.
Yesterday, the brokenness of all of this became overwhelming but today is a new day.
I look at my faithful cats to take a leaf out of their books. Find comfort, lie down, rest, sleep. I have forgotten how to rest, if ever I did in the first instance.
My Friday morning view is of simple things that mark a journey of my life
Freshly painted walls
A natural, thick, heavy, old French linen bed sheet on a Victorian iron bed.
A memory filled, long loved, favourite silk ruffled dress that has been repaired hanging on the wall.
Original B/W photographs of Sheffield’s Park Hill flats taken in the 60’s, made for an exhibition in the 80’s by Roger Mayne
Ink drawings bought in the old lanes of Shanghai when I lived in China.
2 calm, sleeping cats
A glass bottle jar from Shetland waiting to be a garden
A lovingly made crochet blanket with over 1,000 tiny squares.
The books I am reading litter the bed.
Sea urchin shells from Shetland, all in a row
A beautiful painting of my knitting sent to me by French artist Françoise Delot-Rolando when I was low.
An etching copy of Hokusai’s The Great Wave bought from the studio at Monet’s Garden in Giverny over 20 years ago.
A dried flower ring of roses and peonies that I made in an attic room in Sheffield this summer.
I’m coming to terms with things. Challenges and changes. My view is a room that is finally a home, broken or not.