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No. 9 on my list of ‘Can Do’ enjoyable things to do (see below) simply reads ‘roses & castles’. I’m enjoying a return to painting, and particularly drawing. More specifically I’m enjoying taking time to look, then look again at the work of both amateur and professional painters from the past as I try to ‘unpick’ their practice through drawing. Just sketching out their designs, learning from them and in doing so clarifying ideas about my own set of flowers designs. Drawing, or taking a line for a walk is a great way to hold my attention and encourages me to slow down and focus for a while.

The List:

Being a bit of a ‘list’ person, I’m putting together a list of things to do when I feel frazzled, each a simple means  of savouring life and slowing down. The only constraint to adding an action to the list is that it has to be possible now, that is accessible and realistic, so no foreign trips or expensive purchases. Here are the thirty or so ideas I’ve come up with so far, (the ones in brackets may ultimately have to be deleted as they may not always be possible immediately…).

  1. Make tea (in the Brown Betty pot…)
  2. Open the window…
  3. Take a lingering look at the sky…
  4. Walk and take time to look around…
  5. (Look up at night and see the stars…)
  6. (Make pictures with the kids…)
  7. Tend a plant…
  8. Pick up a pencil and draw
  9. (roses & castles…)
  10. Read a book, and enjoy thinking about the ‘tower’ of new books waiting in the wings…
  11. Have a poem on the go…
  12. Clear my desk…
  13. Keep nails short…
  14. (Asking C. to close-crop my hair…)
  15. Burnish the leather of my work shoes…
  16. (Turn the ignition, at start the next journey…)
  17. Ride the bike…
  18. (Take time to look at the pattern of the tiles on the path to home…)
  19. Go to a quiet place and close my eyes…
  20. (Run a deep bath…)
  21. Get a coffee…
  22. Savour trees in all Seasons…
  23. Learn more about native flowers…
  24. (Spend time exploring my books shelves…)
  25. Look at maps, plan to go (and then go!) boating / Inlanding…
  26. Take any walk by water…
  27. (Go on a train, look out the window…)
  28. (Build a BRIO wooden train track…)
  29. Trim my beard…    
  30. (Light the boat’s stove…)
  31. (Make toast on that stove’s hot plate…)
  32. (Visit The Arm…)
  33. Write often and enjoy keeping Journal #36. up to date…
  34. Drink a glass of (very) cold milk…
  35. (Work on catching up with the galleries of family photos…)
  36. Listen to the radio – Radio 4
  37. Stop…
  38. Grab a stick and whittle away…
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