Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On butterflies, a holiday home, and a new place to live

'No one can be sad while they're using wrist and hand and eye and every muscle of their body. . . It was the hardest work I'd ever done, and, while it lasted, one could think of nothing else. I said not long before that work and weakness are comforters. But sweat is the kindest creature of the three - far better than philosophy, as a cure for ill thoughts.' - C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

OMGYOUGUYS. I'm currently working from the back garden listening to my favourite jazz playlist on Spotify and I KID YOU NOT as soon as Brubeck came on, a host of butterflies flew in and fluttered around like a bunch of maniacs. COINCIDENCE? I think not (she says as she begins to pen a paper titled 'The Brubeck Butterfly Correlation').

Sidebar: I'm currently expecting a work call that is leading me to answer the home phone that I always pretend not to hear and as a result, I've just been privy to a sales call about the value of insuring my home's boiler. EFF YOU TELYPHONE. Also, why do I keep asking this sales person more questions? She's calling back in a week now! Her name is Stephanie! My boiler is old!

Back to the business at hand: please indulge me for a moment while I attempt to explain - perhaps miserably - my blog-esque absence of the past three months. It has not been a NORMAL three months. There was a visit to America in May (San Francisco, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, to be specific). There was an attempt to finalise the French house in anticipation of The First Visitors Not Us. And all of this - busy enough as it made things - happened to time exactly with - spontaneity of spontaneities, how quickly things grow - a house move here in London. And in the midst of all this stress, Alan's wonderful, good-humoured and beloved father passed away and the earth temporarily halted on its axis and grief paid a visit.

It has been - needless to say - a very full time. But slowly things are starting to steady and boxes are getting unpacked one by one and things are becoming more or less okay, or at least normal-looking. Which to be honest, I will totally settle for at this point.

Onward and upward! Would you like to see the French place? I'm thrilled by how it's coming together, even though there's still a lot to be done.

This is our dining room. That stone wall is like a million years old. Also I'm excellent at history. Also we're getting more chairs so if you're OCD like I am, DON'T PANIC. 

What you can't see: behind that painting is a chimney! For the wood-burning stove that we don't have! But it will be done. Oh yes. It will be done.

Youguys, look at that 1930's art deco chandelier. I got it from a French flea market for like FORTY EUROS. That's like twenty five cents in Great British Pounds. Or LESS even.

I don't have any photos of the bedrooms yet because I feel like they aren't finished - that said, I don't know what they need in order to become so - but hopefully by the end of summer they'll be closer to where I want them and then I can show you the whole place.

Speaking of rooms unseen: we've officially moved house here in London. A beautiful opportunity came up for a place in (deepest, darkest) Hackney and - despite reservations about moving out of bustling, central, civilized Islington - we saw a back garden, we saw a bigger kitchen, we saw an extra bedroom, and we jumped on it. They say we're still in Zone 2 but guys, I swear we're out in the country. There are TREES on our street. Like big, pretty ones, not scrawny little well-ordered ones. The houses have bay WINDOWS. We've met the NEIGHbors. They've given us welcome-to-the-street chocolates and a CARD. A CARD YOUGUYS. Signed by their KIDS. WHAT EVEN IS THIS! I'm equal parts terrified and delighted.

Inside the house, however, is a small world of chaos: prints lean against walls waiting for hanging, a tv sits on the floor, our clothes have already overflowed the lone wardrobe, and shoes lie everywhere. But each week something else finds a spot and in this small way we're getting there. Home home home.

Not pictured: home.

I hope your summer of 2015 is going well, and all my heart to you.

Big hugs and lots of love,


  1. I absolutely adore your French home! Can't wait to see it in person!

  2. Love this new home...will you live there now or still go to London part of the year?

    1. Hey Linda! We'll still be primarily in London!

  3. Dwell called. They want their room back. ;)

    Looks amazing buddy. So inspired by how much cool stuff you create. x