Spring 2018 // Spurred on by my barefooted, best self


This year I learned a new phrase that I found a particular resonance with: “I’m sorry for what I said when it was winter.” And if this past winter was a long, tough, frozen one, then spring has been its glorious antidote. So glorious that it feels like we tumbled into summer weeks ago. And I am grateful, feeling that my barefoot self is my best self. 

There have been other highlights too, of this sun-loving season.

This film imagining what a toddler might dream of cuts through the chaos and calamity of the world with its innocence and beauty. I think I’m now on my fourth watching… 

The article ‘I am the One Woman Who Has It All’ is funny, frustrating and on the nose. 

I have been putting myself through series two of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’  on Channel 4. Margaret Atwood, the author of the original book, is one of my favourite writers, earning herself a dedicated section on our bookshelves. But I must confess, it is a section that I’ve been avoiding over the last year or two, finding her constructions just a little too real right now. The TV series is brilliant, and brutal, and definitely worth a watch.


I’ve found respite in the gentler and welcome worlds of Wendell Berry’s poetry and Laurie Lee’s reminiscences in ‘Cider with Rosie’. Descriptions and stories that mend the soul. 

I’ve been reminiscing myself, writing on World Ocean’s Day about dreams of becoming a marine biologist and how they shaped what I do today.


And, with weather like this, of course we’ve been out and about. Walking in Kent. Paddling in Whitstable. Swimming in outdoor pools, and thinking about venturing into the world of wild swimming (I’ll need to dig out the wetsuit). 


We have, of course, been gardening. It has been nourishing, but also a little heartbreaking this year. The casualties of war cut deep; seeds sewn and annuals planted that have fallen under the march and mouths of the slugs. These losses cause me an unreasonable grief. We’ve tried using ‘Slug Gone’ as a not too abrasive way to dissuade slugs from their land grab but it is, frankly, not proving particular effective. Any tips welcome! 

I foraged elderflower blossom for the first time from a tree that peers over our garden (from an adjacent car park, not someone else’s orchard). I’ve been experimenting with cordial (first batch a bit sweet, second lovely) and champagne (which we’ll try soon).


And we spent 24 hours in Rye. A night and a day of delicious food, good-natured conversations with strangers in cafes and museums, and a walk along the water to the sea. The sea! We felt the sand between our toes, the wind toss of our hair… Ah yes, barefooted I truly am my best self….


This is part of a regular series on the things that spur me on to keep going with intentional living. What has spurred you on recently?


Today’s soundtrack: Ben Howard // Noonday Dream 2


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