A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases: it will never pass into nothingness… by John Keats
Since I downsized from the house my children grew up in, I have let go of lots of possessions. There is simply no room for them in my new home, which is small verging on tiny.
At first, I found this ‘letting go’ hard, because every item tells a story. There was my late parents’ furniture and knick-knacks, as well as the paraphernalia that my adult children left behind when they move on with their lives. But now I realise that the experience has actually been a positive one. For, now that I am officially ‘old’, my mind is focussed on what I really value enough to keep. And also, I’m aware that my children will have to dispose of it all when I’m gone! So, these days I embrace William Morris’s golden rule:
“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
My photos today are of several things that have pride of place in my home and are, in my opinion, truly beautiful. They make me happy whenever I look at them and each one has its story.
There is a pot by the local artist Molly Abbott, that is definitely not practical but is so beautiful and vibrant in colour and form.
Next there is a beautiful piece by Daffyd Rouse. It was given to me some years ago by my daughter in law. She is a nurse now and was working for Headway at the time. Headway is a charity that supports people with traumatic and acquired brain injuries. One of her clients was Daffyd, a very creative and talented man. Sadly, Daffyd had a motorbike accident in 2005, which took away his independence and left him with serious head injuries unable to pursue his love for art, prose and pottery. He generously decided to sell his vast collection of work to raise money for charity which is how I became the proud owner of this pot. Sadly Daffyd died aged just 65 in June 2014, but the beauty of his artwork will ensure that his story will never be forgotten.
And, last but not least, is the gift I received today for Mothering Sunday.
This could be a melancholy time if three of your children live abroad as mine do. However, I feel very lucky that in my case it often means that I get three mother’s days ~ the Spanish one and the American one as well as the UK one.
I don’t know how she does it, but my eldest daughter always manages to send a gift from the USA that arrives bang on time. So today I was very excited when the postman knocked! Once I had opened the parcel I was thrilled to find an exquisite piece of ceramic art created by Claire Prenton.
Claire used to live in the Cotswolds, which is where she and my daughter became friends, when they worked together. Co-incidentally they both emigrated to the USA, Lisa to California via Vermont and Claire to Cincinnati via Seattle! They both share a deep love and respect for nature and animals ~ although they do differ in that Claire adores her cats, while Lisa can’t live without a dog.
Claire makes the most exquisite and delicate porcelain pieces, which she embellishes with features from the natural world. Insects, birds, flowers, leaves and twigs, corals, pearls and shells feature in the ornamentation. You can see them here in her gallery. Last year Lisa sent me a beautifully decorated cup and this year she sent a plate from the same collection. Claire tells me that her exquisite cup is tough enough for me to have my daily coffee in! But, of course I love it so much that I will never use it in case I damage it. I would rather just look at it and appreciate its beauty.
Lisa also sent me a beautiful card with an icon of the Madonna on. I have loved and collected these for years so that was very thoughtful. She also included a page from the colouring book which she has designed and created by hand,
Truly I feel blessed to be surrounded by such beauty and such love.