Sunday, 24 April 2016

Bluebells and Paint Charts


A pretty dull weekend, full of chores and dust and cold winds, was completely redeemed by a walk in the woods this afternoon. I wanted to see the bluebells, and oh my goodness, did we see some bluebells.They were magnificent, even better than last year. It did actually take my breath away a little bit when we turned off the path and came upon them in the woods, and all the niggles and stresses of life lifted a little. 


But even on such a flat grey day, with no sunlight filtering through the trees, they were luminous and vivid and completely magical in the still, silent woodland. 


Bluebells aside, normal life continues. I've discovered that I like having all these houseplants on the living room windowsill. I can hide behind them when I'm eating breakfast in my dressing gown. The neighbours all look into our living room as they walk by (I'm not judging, I would totally do the same) and I feel like they give me a bit of protection. 


We've been trying to choose the perfect shade of grey. We've narrowed it down to three. 


This print, a Christmas present from my dear friend Abigail, didn't quite fit the IKEA frame I had so I ordered a mount online. I chose black which was a bit of a risk but I think it looks fantastic, and it might even get hung in the new kitchen. John and I honeymooned in San Francisco and it's a city we love and dream of returning to one day.


It's still daylight when the kids go to bed now and I enjoy looking out of their windows while they read. Bella has the best view in the house and the trees have burst into leaf over the last week. Suddenly everything is tinged with green and it glows in the evening light. 


Our temporary lack of kitchen is bothering me much more than I thought I would. Not just the irritations of reduced space to prepare food, the dust, the fact that the garage is freezing cold (the butter is always rock solid), eating rubbish food and having to boil the kettle to wash up. No, it's more than that. It's such an overused cliche, but the kitchen really is the heart of my home. It's the room I gravitate towards and spend as much time in as I can. Even if I'm not cooking it's where I want to be with a cup of tea and doors open onto the garden. Our evenings and weekends are different without this space. I'll be the first to admit that the kitchen is where I retreat to when I just want a little space on my own with just the radio for company, but John and I miss chatting in the kitchen while we cook together. And I have realised just how important cooking and eating - and in particular talking about cooking and eating - is to us as a couple, how it's something we share. On Saturday mornings we drink coffee and browse through cookery books, we plan meals for the weekend ahead, write a list and go shopping, and a large part of our conversation revolves around this. I think we're both surprised by how much we miss it. I am not moaning (ok, I am a bit) and I realise that this is a first world problem, it could be so much worse, etc etc, but gosh I miss cooking. 

27 comments:

Amy at love made my home said...

I hope that it is all done and you can get back to the very important heart of your home soon. I am all about the love of home so I get it! xx

Mimi from Brocante Home said...

Bluebells have a special place in my heart - they were the exact shade I wanted for my bridesmaids' dresses. (I managed to find some in Monsoon, but confusingly the dress was called 'Scarlet' although it was bluebell blue. Phoning around the shops asking them to put aside a blue dress called Scarlet was quite tricky!)

The shades of grey you are choosing between remind me of the covers of the Persephone books. I wonder if they have thought about releasing a paint to match them?!

I really hope the building work is finished soon and you can be happily back in your kitchen!

Susan Smith said...

Thanks for the beautiful bluebell pics as I've always missed seeing them when we are in UK because of the times of year we come. Hang in there with the kitchen reno as it will be worth it. The heart of your home will be even better and you'll soon forget the upheaval. Keep calm and take care.

Gracie Saylor said...

Except in lovely photos like yours, Gillian, I have never seen a field of bluebells...thanks for sharing, and your well framed San Francisco art piece is a treat to see as well. It reminds me of my many good visits to San Francisco, most especially when on our first date my husband and I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. I hope you will soon be treasuring time in your new kitchen space...a bit of moaning now just confirms to me that you are making a meaningful investment in the space :) xx

VeggieMummy said...

Those bluebells are so beautiful. Love your San Francisco print too - the black mount looks great. How lovely that you do the food planning, shopping and cooking together. I'm afraid it's all down to me over here. The family are no help even if I ask them for meal suggestions, although they do, of course, reserve the right to complain if it's something they dislike! I hope the heart of your home is soon beating once again. xx

Jan said...

Love your bluebells photos its a really good year for them. I totally sympathise with your lack of kitchen. I have had the builders here since January and my kitchen has been in a bedroom for the past six weeks. We are nearly there but is has been very frustrating. I am just looking forward to the summer when it will be finished and we can enjoy it. I am sure yours will be a lovely space and are looking forward to seeing pictures when it is finished.

Librarian said...

I understand very well that you and your husband miss all that's involved with cooking, even if it's "only" the talking about it. My parents are very similar in that respect, they even watch the odd cooking program on TV together and then try and recreate what they liked, and my Dad brings home fresh produce from the allotment and he and my Mum decide together on what to do with it.
For me, it is a bit like that with work; I need to be able to talk about work with my partner, and about the things I've been reading and he's been listening to on the radio.
At least you know not having use of your kitchen is only a temporary thing, and it will be all the more beautiful after that!
My "Big Switch" is as good as done; there are some finishing touches left for me to do, and the new settee is still to arrive (Friday), but I'm very happy about how it all turned out - exactly like I wanted!
The bluebells in the wood are indeed magical... I've still not managed to be in Yorkshire when that happens, and this year I'll be months too late for it anyway (July/August), but one day I am going to walk in just such a magical setting!

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

Do you know I had similar feelings during our kitchen renovation last year. We gravitate to the kitchen & it really hit home how I missed it last year yesterday afternoon. I was sat with Mike as he was making bread & we ended up dancing to the radio. Neither was possible this time last year. It will pass and those days will return xx

CJ said...

Gorgeous bluebells, it's a good year for them I think. Love the houseplants on the windowsill and also Bella's view, it's wonderful. I love to look out at tree tops, it makes me feel like I'm in a nest. I hope your kitchen is coming along speedily, I can imagine how much you miss it. CJ xx

Anonymous said...

You are lucky you have that sort of kitchen - big enough to be in, to sit in and to be a hub. Mine have always been shoeboxes - no room for a luxury like a table never mind chairs. My family always had to get out of the kitchen! I find it strange that often people (in my experience) with the best kitchens often don't even like cooking. Yet they obsess about what they look like so much as well as being oh so fussy about the equipment in them.

mrsrobinson said...

Do hope that you will be back in your kitchen soon - and what a stylish one it will be! I had great plans for us all to wander with the bluebells this weekend but was put off by the greyness of the weather - I shouldn't have worried, these photographs are still looking dreamy. Next weekend!

Mereknits said...

I went a bit bonkers when we had our kitchen redone, it seemed endless. And you are right that is the area everyone gathers. Hang in there,
Meredith

galant said...

You will love your kitchen all the more once it's been finished, Gillian! We eat in our kitchen but it's not a light kitchen as it's north facing and it has our huge walnut tree just outside - but who can complain about having a lovely tree in their garden? One that put down it's roots as the Americans were waging their Civil War, perhaps? And we have the wonderful nuts in autumn. It is not a huge kitchen, 16ft x 9ft but there is just room for a breakfast table for the two of us and we can get four around it at a pinch. Your kitchen will be wonderful when it's finished!
Margaret P

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I think the black mount works very well indeed. I've always wanted to visit San Francisco. It's got a lot to do with the film What's Up Doc/ with Babs Streisand. God I hope she doesn't die this year; my life will officially suck. And if Dolly pops her clogs, I'm retreating to that croft in Scotland. Your kitchen will be so worth it when it's finished. It all sounds very swish.
Leanne xx

Vesna Armstrong said...

Beautiful photos!
I know exactly what you mean about the kitchen. It is my favourite room in the house, it is where I just love to be. x

Liana said...

How beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Your window sill is looking great, as is the SF print. (We are going there this summer; so excited!) Beautiful bluebells captured here too. I'm sure you are missing your kitchen - I can vouch for the sheer pleasure of having one again after a long time without, i.e., it WILL be worth it :-) Grey is a very good 'foil' colour - we have F&B Hardwick White and Strong White (which are both grey) in our hall and living room and they work really well. Can't wait to see your end results! Sam x

Sharon - creativity and family said...

The bluebells are amazing. Abi and I are talking of going to our local bluebell woods later today if the weather stays fine!

galant said...

PS Love the black mount. I think it was interior designer Roger Banks Pye who said every room should have a touch of black. It's like a punctuation mark (or exclamation mark!)
Margaret P

lilysgrannie said...

The bluebell photos are lovely — except for a few along the highways in Texas I've never seen them like your photos. It's way too dry in California for them to grow so lushly. Your new kitchen will be lovely and you'll soon forget the mess and disruption. We lived through one last year and still marvel at how nice it turned out.

Emm.A said...

The weather right now is waaay to grey and wet and gloomy. Can't wait for spring to come. Apparently it should get warmer on the weekend. I really hope it does!

Sol said...

your pictures of blue bells are stunning. Hold tight its all going to be worth it. make a list of all the meals you want to cook. plan a dinner party to celebrate it being finished. Its going to be gorgeous.

Sarah said...

The bluebells are fantastic this year - I think it's the cool weather, at this rate they'll last until June. I love SF too and used to visit every February for work - it was the highlight of my working year. We have F&B Shaded White (also a shade of grey) in our sunny west-facing study and it is very calming and looks good with the oak floor. Borrowed Anna Jones' A Modern Way to Cook from the library the other day and have already made three things from it - what an inspirational recipe book. Hope everything is going well and that you'll soon be planning, cooking and eating in your new kitchen.

Jacqueline Beavis said...

Lovely pictures, the blue bells are so pretty and I really like your newly framed picture of San Francisco.

The Creative Academic said...

Those bluebells are stunning! I feel your pain with the kitchen remodel. Such a bind but not too long to go now... xx

Penny said...

Great post Gillian! The bluebell photographs are beautiful. How nice that you and your husband plan and cook meals together - and shop together?!? Wow. Impressed! X

Katie said...

lovely post Gillian, the hunt for the perfect grey was happening here too, for the nursery walls. The first was a beautiful dramatic charcoal but felt a little too industrial for the room, and the second a calm, dove grey was wonderful though started to look slightly lilac as it dried. Now the new carpet is in it is back to being a definite grey once more - good luck with your search! Our oven has broken in the last few days, and even that has disrupted my routine, so I can only imagine how you are getting on. We love our weekend mornings in the kitchen, and evenings around the table too. Soon order will be restored, only far more fabulous than before, and it will all be worth it! xx