6 July 2015

Little Pleasures








Oh how I'm LOVING this glorious weather!  I LOVE that I can get up in the morning, pull on as few clothes as possible, slip on my (new) flip flops (LOVE!) and that's it, done.  No make up, no faffing.  I am in my element!

I LOVE to have my first cup of coffee out in the garden.  I am an early riser and wouldn't miss my first blissful and uninterrupted hour of quiet for the world.  The early morning haze, heavy with promise of yet another beautiful day.

I have an old belfast sink just outside the back door and it's full of lemon-scented geraniums.  If I gently bruise the leaves between my fingers, it releases the most wonderful fragrance.  One of our favourite restaurants in Zakynthos last year had huge great planters full of them all around its perimeter.  If I close my eyes, I LOVE that the smell takes me right back there.

I'm LOVING snipping a few roses for a pretty bedside posy.  The bush is positively laden this year so there is always plenty to spare.

I am LOVING the song I Can Change by Brandon Flowers.  When it comes on the radio, I turn the volume right up and swirl around the kitchen like a loon!

I must tell you about my new toy!  I LOVE it!!!  It's a hand-operated wool winder which I bought from Amazon.  It reminds me of a 1970s Fisher Price toy to look at but my goodness it's fun.  It takes just seconds to wind an entire ball of yarn into the most pleasingly neat little 'cake' and I've even used it to unravel some crochet.  Uh oh, I can feel an addiction coming on!

It's far too warm to crochet with wool at the moment so I'm LOVING working with cotton.  I've always been quite hard to please when it comes to finding a cotton I enjoy crocheting with but I must admit to being quite taken with Rowan's Handknit Cotton.  It's not at all splitty and doesn't feel as coarse or 'stringy' as some.

♥ ♥ ♥

Please never underestimate the value of your own small pleasures, my friends.  Life is fragile and, at times, downright difficult.  Last week, I was so terribly sad to learn that Wink, writer of the beautiful and hugely inspiring crochet blog, A Creative Being, had taken her own life after a battle with depression.  Rightly or wrongly, my own sadness quite quickly turned to frustrated rage and I shared my feelings over on Facebook and Instagram.  I wrote ...

I'm sorry if this offends you or makes you uncomfortable but I'm so incredibly angry and I need to vent. Depression is a nasty, nasty scourge. It claims far too many lives. How dare it? There is still a taboo which surrounds depression which pisses me off. It is NOT a sign of weakness. It is NOT a guilty secret. It is either a chemical imbalance in the brain or a very natural reaction to adverse circumstance. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 18. It's tried its best to floor me but I'm not having it. There is far too much joy in life and I refuse POINT BLANK to let depression spoil it. I take medication and have done for nearly six years. I am whooping its ass. I have a feeling that creative people are more susceptible so I urge you, with every inch of my being, seek help if you are struggling. You are too beautiful and precious to let depression bring you down. I will be ‪#‎wearingflowersinmyhairforwink‬ and sticking a middle finger up to depression.

This is something I feel very passionate about and so, after some thought, I decided to share on my blog too.  Of course, I don't have all the answers but what I can do is talk quite openly about my own experiences.  If we all do the same, we can banish the ridiculous shame and ignorance that surrounds depression.  And it really is ridiculous if you consider just how many of us are affected.  Life is wonderful.  Please don't let depression fool you into thinking it isn't.

xxx

34 comments:

  1. Lovely ... I feel all filled up with gorgeous things now ! Thank you Heather xx - back to the invoices I go .... Kate xx

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  2. such a lovely post, thanks for your lovely thoughts!xx Enjoy the summer daysx

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  3. Lovely post lovely H. The sunshine has been glorious hasn't it? Loving your new flip flops, I live in flip flops in the summer months. Weirdly, I was listening to Brandon flowers as I started reading your post......but 'Can't Deny My Love' track. Ooooh that dude would be on my laminated list! ha ha! I went to see U2 in concert and the Killers were their support Band. OMG it was like a double whammy for me!

    There is something also so lovely about snipping a few blooms to put in a posy vase. I love geraniums (the only thing I cannot kill) so your lemon scented ones are intriguing me. Must go sniff some out (forgive the pun). Have you tried Montezuma's dark chocolate with orange and geranium? Uh my most favourite chocolate ever. It's like heaven in a bar.

    I didn't know Wink's Blog, but it's terribly sad to hear the news. I think deeply creative people have deep and complicated souls to match. In a way it's that that gives them such a creative genius, but it's a double edged sword. I still terribly miss Vanessa's blog. Her talent knew no bounds and it's so cruel that the illness takes it all from these creative people. It's always good to talk about it so the stigma of it all diminishes.

    Go enjoy the sun my friend xxxxxx

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    1. Hey lovely V.

      I'm so with you on Brandon Flowers - not so shabby, huh?!! ;-) I actually bought my geraniums as cuttings from a lady on eBay late last summer. Like you, I'm not very green-fingered but they have positively thrived against a sunny wall. Dark chocolate with orange is my favourite so I've written your recommendation on my shopping list - thank youuuu!

      Whilst depression isn't choosy, male or female, old or young, black or white, shy or outgoing, there does seem to be a strong link with creative types. It is a cruel illness but I'm quite desperate to encourage people to seek help because - and I speak from experience - it can be controlled to a certain extent. It's a battle but, my god, so worth it.

      Have a beautiful day my love. xxx

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  4. I totally recognise myself in this, I also enjoy the early hours on my own and I also know what depression is...
    So you don't have to apologize for being angry, I think you're right.
    Thank you for sharing these colourfull pictures, they're beautiful and make me smile.
    Sigrid

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  5. Summer is bliss, isn't it? Love your new flip-flops! Too cute. I have a wool-winder just like yours. I grew up with my mother using one to wind her yarn before she used her knitting machine. Last year, for my birthday, she asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I requested a wool-winder! My mother laughed and smiled - like mother, like daughter!! I use my weekly to turn tangly leftovers into perfect little short-cylinders of ordered string!

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    1. I've been having a big yarn sort out this very morning Bronwyn and done just the same with my scraggy half-balls. I'm wondering why it took me so long to buy one! If my daughter ever asks me for a wool winder for her birthday, I think my work here shall be done!!! :-) x

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  6. Have a glorious summer.
    You are right about depression, been battling it myself for 15 years or so. Wink will be missed terribly.
    With love from Texas

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    1. Thank you Raquel, you too. Keep battling my friend. x

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  7. Have a glorious summer.
    You are right about depression, been battling it myself for 15 years or so. Wink will be missed terribly.
    With love from Texas

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  8. Hear Hear to all you have said here and on FB. If we stand up and say " Yes I have been there" it helps so many others not to feel isolated. Middle finger!

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  9. My cousin took her own life 13 years ago now, she left her young family. The ripples are long lasting and wide ranging, the sadness is all consuming. Even now at family gatherings her absence is so apparent. Depression is an awful illness, it's so cruel to those living with it, and to those trying to support them. You're right to grab the good that's in life, it's all around us, but we need to be able to open our eyes to see it :) xxx

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    1. Oh Ada, I'm so very sorry to hear about your cousin. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it has been for you all.

      I do hope I don't ever sound flippant by being so bolshy about depression; it's my own coping mechanism and it really does work for me.

      xxx

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  10. What a great post, Heather. Love Brandon Flowers (what a fab surname!)... Some of the killers' songs are amongst my favourite songs of all time.The pics in your post are beautiful but the message even more. I love that sticking-the-finger-up to depression attitude. It is good of you to use this platform to speak openly about it as I'm sure many people will feel comforted by it. I'm crocheting with cotton at the moment as I can't stand wool in the summer but am doing a harlequin style cushion and it is taking me forever....Have a great week! Pati xx

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    1. Thank you lovely Pati, I really do hope so. xx

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  11. Bless you. My late husband struggled with clinical depression for all of the 39 years we were married. His death was not related, but he often said that if he had not had his God and his family, he would have ended it. It was always difficult and never pretty to watch the struggles he underwent. Depression is a killer and I love your attitude. If someone has a visible disease, it is spoken of openly. Let us open the windows and air this laundry, it doesn't have to be dirty. Thank you.

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  12. I have recently bought a winder the same as yours and I too love it :-) i have been sorry to hear about wink. My Hubby suffers with depression, thankfully he is man enough to recognise the signs and get help quickly. Too many think depression is a sign of weakness and won't get help. there are still people I won't tell about it though because I know they will Judge Hubby on it. x

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  13. Hello Heather, love your flip-flops and your wool-winder! Glad you too are finding reasons to be happy :)
    Fiona x

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  14. Oh Heather I am right there with you. I have been treated for depression for over thirty years. It definately hits creative people and is an awful scourge! Vanessa Cobhan's passing upset me deeply but when I read of Wink losing her fight I just cried all day. Another beautiful person snatched away from those who love them the most. Both ladies so young, beautiful and creative. It just shakes me to my very core. Thanks for standing up for those who can't fight through the darkness. Heather you rock girlie!!

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    1. I don't know what words to use to express my feelings, but here is my 'thumbs up' to your comment

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  15. Brandon Flowers is my secret boyfriend. Ha. I have the same wool-winder and I loooove it. It's especially good for thicker yarns that come as center-pull skeins; I find they get too tangled to use as they are so the winder helps me a lot.

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  16. Glad to hear you have yours under control and love all the little snippets you shared ......also, I have a blog post linked back to you as I've crocheted up the sloppy Sunday cowl, but it's in a very different type of yarn so it's come up looking really interesting...... I knew your pattern would be just perfect for this type of yarn. Please feel free to go take a look Heather. My blog is. http://www.counteyfragrance.blogspot.com and funnily enough, I actually have a bit on the post about using a swift and ball winder too lol

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    1. Oh Sharmayne, what gorgeous yarn! Your cowl looks fabulous - I'm so glad you enjoyed the pattern! x

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    2. Thanks Heather :) Wish my computer worked a little better ....... its getting old and is soooooo slow to load anything some days, so sorry I didn't see your reply so soon

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  17. That should be http://www.countryfragrance.blogspot.com - should have checked my spelling before I pressed the post button! ....sorry

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  18. Like you, I'm revelling in this nice warm sun that we're getting at last! Slightly worried by how small those cakes of Handknit cotton look after winding! Yikes it doesn't look much does it?

    S x

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  19. I'd not heard the Brandon Flowers song before, so I am listening to it right now as I type this message to you, I see what you mean it is quite catchy.
    I love your heart ring, very pretty. I too have one of those wool winders, isn't it just a dream, I wound up all of my balls of wool (and trust me I have a lot) and then they have all sat there, un-touched and un-loved ever since (we're talking over a year) I really ought to do something about that.

    I didn't follow Wink's blog and seem to have missed this sad and awful news. Life can be a real bitch at times so it is so important to cherish all the little things, after all the little things make up to be bigger things and it only takes something small to make a big impact on someone. It makes me so angry that people suffer alone and in silence, when like you say it affects so many of us out there. I can only hope that something shitty like this can somehow help others out there to speak out of their suffering and hopefully be helped through it unlike Wink. At least now she is free of her demons but it could have been so different. I can;t imagine what her family must be going through right now. it is so very, very sad.
    Gem x
    Gem'sCountryLifeDream

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  20. Great post Heather. I follow you on FB and was gutted to read about Wink, and loved what you said about it. Depression is a bloody vulture and like you I take meds and am in no way ashamed of it. I have one of those wool winders too - aren't they great (and highly addictive!) x

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  21. There are a lot us us creatives struggling with depression and taking medication to control it. Thank you for speaking out, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments x

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  22. Bless your beautiful photos that have lifted up my heart.

    And bless your "rant" about depression. My daughters and I have declared a "We Hate Cancer" club after the loss of several dear friends and mothers of friends. I think we will climb on the "We Hate Depression" bandwagon with you. It's a very cleansing feeling to come right out with the middle finger. So there, Depression, we will fight you!

    Thanks again.

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  23. Rant away! I too have had two or three 'blips' now - but generally speaking, on the up! It is never completely gone, but the signs of the downs become more recognisable. So sad that it has taken these young women xx

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  24. What a beautiful rose you've photographed. And what an important thing you've said. I'm so sad to read of Wink's death. I'm blessed with a Pollyannish take on life, but I have close family and friends who live with depression and I know how hellish it can be.

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  25. Depression sufferer here too, and I was really affected my Wink's death. I too am on meds and after many times of coming off them then having a relapse, I've decided to stay in them indefinitely. Still have plenty of bad days though. I really wish there wasn't this big hush-hush-ness surrounding depression. Can't help feeling if we all talked about it more it might help, or at least non-sufferers would understand better. Hugs to you Heather, Jillxxx

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