Sunday, 30 December 2012


We went back to the town I grew up in for a few days. My parents still live there. It's a small, unremarkable town to which I have very little attachment apart from my family home and my beloved parents.

We took the children to the local Rep
Panto in the theatre I used to work as an usher and scenery painter. It had hardly changed inside, it's a beautiful little theatre. The Panto was refreshingly low tech, traditional and even my two year old sat rapt, just a wee bit spellbound. It reminded me of the magic of theatre. I remembered working the whole run of Panto season and never tiring of the show. Even a Panto can become a world of its own, jokes changing, ad libbing and actors that were glad to bring the show alive. Sentimental and nostalgic I know -but it's what I do best here I think.

The next day D and I got a few hours to ourselves and had lunch in a sweet cafe, we could almost have been in Paris, it was that pretty. I tried to capture it in my picture.

Thanks for all your lovely wishes, I will reply to you when I have my laptop back. I won't be away from this space, I promise. It my day work I'm having an extended break from.

We are set to spend New Year with family we see so rarely and D and I are excited like children. If I'm not back before the bells, as we call them here, enjoy your celebrations everyone and once again thank you for reading my words. Jo xxx

Saturday, 29 December 2012

End of year days

I have actually come to like New Year. Safe to say in Scotland New Year is a huge 'big thing'. And anything with such weight of expectation can make a person feel anxious. But I have had some great revelations about life, about moving forward at New Year. We tend to relish the new start and getting the house back to normal, tidying and de-cluttering as we go.

I'm having an extended break this year to re-charge, spend precious time with my family, re-group and take some time to work on my writing.

I wish you all the very best for the coming year, I know 2013 will be a good one.

Jo xx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Trees, Magic and Biscuits.

So time is accelerating, and preparations are very much underway. I have tried hard this year to keep it in perspective and buy or make presents with care and thought. Avoided the consumer nightmare where I can, with respect and thought we create our own celebrations. As the children grow (2 and 5) it is great to experience the magic of Christmas together! We are very excited!!

I know I am lucky to live in Glasgow and lucky to live in such a balanced area with green spaces and water available within minutes. Last weekend my wee boy and I took time out for a walk to a local park, passing some lovely Victorian windows on the way. We always make time to get to our woods but recently we neglected it a bit with the Christmas commitments. I can't tell you how much we loved our walk. This park looks over the city and is so urban but still can magic you away to the Magic Faraway Tree in seconds. We returned home refreshed and embarked on our annual Christmas biscuit making.

Happy continued preparations everyone!

Folk art angels and beautiful self portraits - check out my talented friend Wendy's Arty Advent. Leave her a wee note she would love to hear from you, Jo xx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Winter Decathloners!

I have been slowed down by a horrible cold, but at last I got the turn today. My wee boy was ill so the three of us had a house day, watching Elf, Christmas decorating, snoozing and just taking time out. I think we all felt the better of it. It always seems like a marathon or some such extreme sport, life, at this time of year. Laurie Colwin called women 'winter decathloners' and I hear her through the years, indeed I do.

Love to you all and I have not commented much but I have really enjoyed all your own individual, thoughtful, stylish and heartfelt Christmas preparations and rituals. I know its going to be a magic Christmas! Jxx

{A few Instagrams of my morning frosted garden }

As ever check out the latest Arty Advent from Wendy Louise here.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

In my dreams I can fly

In my dreams I can fly.  I always have since as far back as I can remember.  I guess this is what you call a recurring dream but to me it feels like an extra skill! Well not one to put on the CV but its something I cherish.  I have flown across forests, lochs and mountains, round the room, the garden gate and beyond and always back home again.  I have on occasion flown to escape, never been caught and always, always woken happy that I can do this, I really can you know........

Well I haven't ever tried in real life, but in my dreams I just stand on my tippy toes, reach my hands to the sky and I lift, weightless, my will propelling me upwards.

I saw this beautiful illustration in a book I bought for the children at the weekend and it must have inspired my unconscious mind to take off.  I flew a wee bit last night but it was a bit hard, a bit laboured.  I hope that's not the end of it, I am hoping that its a bit like the magic of Father Christmas, you just need to believe......

{This post was inspired by Karen and her tales of Christmas books her family read - we have started the same tradition here so thank you so much Karen.}

{Thanks to Claire Fletcher for her kind permission to reproduce the image above from the book she illustrated for the author Angela McCallister 'The Snow Angel'.  It is sadly out of print but you can find a copy on Ebay or Amazon sellers if you look.  Go seek it out,  it is beautiful and check out Claire's website too, I am a little bit in love with her work.}

Please, please if you haven't already check out my friend Wendy's Arty Advent, an artwork a day through advent.  It is quite a special endeavour and she would love to hear from you if you fancy leaving her a wee comment! Find her here.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Art for Advent

Its been a while.... Christmas can overwhelm..... But as long as I keep it focused on family, friends and the real spirit of the season I shall be fine!

I wanted to share with you my friend Wendy's 'Arty Advent'.  She is posting a different artwork every day of the Advent season.  I can't tell you how happy this has made me already.  It's a genius idea from a very, very special person. Wendy and I worked together and although I miss her I am glad I lost her as a colleague for her to go off and seek out her true creative path.  She is only just beginning so watch this space, great things will surely follow.

I am going to keep her link on all my posts in December, so check back yourself to see what she is up to! Jo xx