It’s 3:40am, I’m up and laughing at how LOUD the seagulls have just become out there on the rooftops above peoples’ sleeping heads while I’ve been conscientiously tiptoeing round like a tiny mouse. I don’t know why I bothered because they sound like tyrannosauruses out there.
Helensburgh has lots of lush nature and many unique stone houses. It felt special walking through the neighbourhood, especially with beautiful blossoms for company. I definitely felt windswept and alive. 😀🌬🍃🌸
I went on a trip to Helensburgh today. It felt expansive after the density of the city. The clouds were a treat and the weather very Scottish (hailing one moment, sunny the next). Managed to keep my fish and chips dry though hooray!
I love this as a concept. And I totally adore tulips. Their colours and sparkling petals brighten my day.
Sometimes I listen to the band Alcest. This song, Délivrance from their 2014 album Shelter has to be an all time favourite. It heavy, ethereal and spirals with strength up to some kind of bright heaven where I’m blown wide open by the sheer force and vitality of the music. Epic.
Easy peasy Mediterranean Fish Bake if you’re interested. T’was so yummy. And easy. My two fav words in cooking.
Just found a new DJ and I love her so much already. Miss Monique, a cute, smiley girl from Ukraine. She’s so smiley, it’s adorable. Looks like she loves what she does. This is a progressive/melodic house mix and it’s stunning. Absolutely gorgeous melodies and sounds. Dance on!
I’m not the greatest morning person. My body loves sleep. Today though, I was wide awake at 5:30am and thought what a blessing! Before my lizard had chance to get tired, I got up, got ready and got out into the city at dawn. Exquisite bird song awaited me as I roamed (it was more of a saunter actually) the streets, stopping to admire incredible 19th century architecture of Glasgow’s West End. Eventually the sun came up and I climbed up higher to greet its full golden light. My face felt warm, the air was sweet and the light sprinkling of frost melted away.
I used to run a wildlife sanctuary of sorts when I lived deep in the countryside of the Peak District. I bought lots of squirrel proof feeders (the squirrels had their own feeding station and it was fun to watch them get fully into the box with just their tail poking out). There were two giant silver bins in the shed where peanuts and seeds were stored and every morning I joyfully bounced round the garden flinging nuts and sunflower hearts far and wide, dancing happily to my own merry tune. I scooped up big handfuls and threw them all over the grass, all in the hedgerows and then I watched. Blue tits, gold finches, pink breasted bull finches, chaffinches, long tailed tits, blackbirds, woodpeckers, pheasants, sparrow hawks…they all came. There was a special needs squirrel who was blind and had possibly had a stroke - it still managed to feed and get through a winter before I stopped seeing it (always a forlorn moment to realise they’d disappeared for ever). There was a limping pheasant I named Sir Limpalot who was past his heyday and often got attacked by other pheasants. I’d always try and give him extra nuts when I saw him. I protected a fledgling blue tit, dazed and confused at its new life by making a little shelter with a roof tile and prayed it got through the night on the ground. It did and eventually became like all the others, loosing its fluffy pudge-like appearance so I didn’t recognise it anymore.
At dusk and during the night hours badgers visited, a whole family of them, squeaking and shuffling, the young ones bumping bums and wriggling about to get the best feeding spot. I’d hear them thundering down the side of the house, excited to find the tasty treasures. An anxious fox bravely came out the hedge and into the open, scared of its own shadow most of the time. Everyone fed together. There was a gang of rats who lived away from the house, in the compost bin. I’d see them scampering over the lawn to the bird feeders. They’d play and mess about in a big ball. Proper frolicking took place until a sparrowhawk swooped in and ruined their fun, sometimes taking off a family member in its wake.
When the snow came, I ran out of bird food and delivery vans couldn’t drive up to the house to restock. I improvised, cooking up pasta and rice, anything I could find in the pantry really. They weren’t impressed.
One day we found out we were leaving and I realised I had to wean them off all this abundance. It was sad for me. My way to nurture was to keep them fed and happy. So gradually the food got less, the 30kg of seed stopped being delivered and the feeders went empty. I hoped the next people would feed them a little but I couldn’t expect them to be quite so dedicated as I was.
Then off we went, on a cat sitting adventure and birds took a back seat.
Now, two years later, I find myself living in Glasgow, in a first floor tenement flat with my kitchen window open throwing out a few handfuls of peanuts each morning into the back garden, watching the waiting squirrel get showered in them and bury each one in all kinds of mad places (I’m expecting lots of peanut saplings soon). I love the greedy wood pigeons gulping them down, the magpies chattering together and bobbing their irridescent green tails as they vie for the best feeding spot. I love watching the little half coconut feeder hanging on the washing line gradually disappear though I never see who’s nibbling away at it.
In the city wildlife is tamer. No one’s shooting the animals for a start. No one’s trying to hunt them down and capture them. Wildlife in the countryside has good reason to be scared. I appreciate that every day as I hear the local robin sing to me just outside my window and see crows on the ground, in amongst the people. Crows are harassed in the countryside. Now I can see them close up. They’re gorgeous.
I love seeing the fox pass me by in the street on a dusky evening walking tall and proud. I love going in search of blackbird’s evening song which echoes along the streets of the sandstone tenements. Their resonance sounds suprisingly richer in the city because of the buildings that it echoes off - something I’d never experienced before and now totally adore.
That experience in the countryside lit a fire in me and gave me a poignant connection with the land, flora and fauna. I loved becoming a friend of wild things and even now, with just a handful of peanuts, it still feels perfect.
Time to go, the wood pigeons have just arrived.
Here’s my second digital diorama - Buzz Masquerades.
Buzz dances in the moonlight with alley cats, a chandelier sparkles above and a gasping pink peacock completes the scene.
Harp music - The Labyrinth - As the World Falls Down - David Bowie.
Listened to two epic sets today. The first was techno trance and the second was a hard trance set. Both by Bryan Kearney in his kitchen, having it large : ) Fabulous tunes and melodies drop throughout and it made me remember dancing outside with other smiley people. Can’t wait.
I’m here to celebrate a beautiful Saturday. Treacle tart and clotted cream for breakfast, a dance to pumping, uplifting trance for lunch, followed by my all time favourite Switch game - Rabbids - this time with Donkey Kong at the healm. Oh my goodness, the excitment abounds : ))
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is such a moving film. I love Mr Rogers and knew nothing about him until I watched this. Tom Hanks is wonderful and this sweet story serves as balm for a weary soul. Did you watch Mr Rogers growing up?
As I sit here in the park listening to wrens and goldfinches sing their sweet songs, as I watch the kids run about with light sabers, see parents huddled together in small groups and laugh at dogs whooshing in circles unbounded, I feel so wonderfully lucky for the life I lead and all the fun I have. I go where I want, do what I want, whenever I want. I feel so free. I can do anything. My creativity is flowing and I can’t stop making my own brand of magic. I want to keep doing this unhinged. Forever brighter. Forever full power Holly.
This realisation has lead me to making an important life decision. After thinking I wanted to have a baby, after imagining the story of me birthing and raising a child, I woke up one morning and realised I’m actually much more suited to life as a part time auntie than a full time mum. It was quite a moment. So many emotions came up. Confusion, relief, sadness, excitement. Ultimately it felt right.
I’ve read there’s a somewhat invisible pressure on women to have children. I guess with my obvious physical difficulties I didn’t have too many questions of that ilk over the years - except for people asking me - due to my natural body posture - when I was due?! How ironic. I look pregnant and walk pregnant, I’ve just never been pregnant. It’s something I’ve gradually gotten used to over the last twenty years. It hasn’t stopped - I was asked again last week : )
I was reflecting that despite all my challenges, I still put myself under pressure to have kids. I’m a woman, I should basically think about having kids at some point shouldn’t I? And time was ticking. It felt exciting. I was all for it a few months ago, I’d just never really thought about it much before that time. Like ever. I’d always had the gift of youth on my side. I’m 41 now. I’ve got a beautiful partner, a beautiful relationship, so now was the time I should definitely be thinking about having beautiful children. It was something innate in me and all around me. The romanticism of the idea was palpable. But so were the fears, the struggles, the unknowns, and the stress on my body was going to be a very real thing.
Motherhood must surely be a beautiful, profound experience. I was definitely attracted to it for a while. What a tight connection. What a life change. It’s such a big decision and so exhausting from the very first moment. It’s magic. It’s a gift, especially for the women (and men) who have always wanted it so badly. I can imagine how wonderful it is. Children are magic. But along with all the delight, it’s also incredibly hard being a parent. I can’t say this enough. I get it. It’s constant. I feel it. Bringing up children makes you forget about yourself. Bringing up children gives you a sleep deprivation I fear to experience. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Things can get dark for people, when there’s no support and so much burden - where emotions run riot and people can’t cope. For this I honour all parents for their sacrifice and strength.
I now accept I’m a perpetual fairy godmother, a mischievous Tinkerbell and a female version of Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up. I’m good with kids, (I’m an Early Years Teacher) so I’ll love kids and laugh with them when I’m in ‘Miss Honeychurch’ mode, I’ll give parents a break for a few hours, there’ll be lots of singing circles, lots of delightful joyful, rainbow moments but then I’ll say goodbye, go home to my other colourful existence where making harp music and exploring the depths of my creativity run riot. Because that’s my baby. And that’s just the tip of my iceberg.
I feel I’ve gained 20 years of life from this decision and that might be really hard for people to read, that might be a triggering thing to say, but I’d put myself under so much pressure to conform to being a certain type of ‘woman’ that I’d forgotten to follow my natural, innocent instincts. I’d forgotten to look after myself on the quest to grasp something out of reach. I think I could have been a good mother, but the desire to follow a different path was much stronger and I’m finally accepting of that. Without me feeling less of a woman. It makes me happy to do my own thing. I don’t feel I’m missing out anymore. And I’ll always want to be part of a community where I can help others when they need a break.
I want to lose myself in the magic of making things. I want to blossom and bloom like a flower meadow. I want to go absolutely bonkers in my free time. I want to dance the night away and get home at 5am in need of a serious yoga stretch in the early morning light.
As I love to nurture things I’m going to be a cat mama too. One day. Future catto - prepare yourself for some serious cuddling! I’m going to have an adventure cat to explore the world with. I’ve included a photo from my cat sitting travels and I look so happy with catto Spooks don’t I?
Thanks for reading. I wish everyone so much joy and happiness. You’re all fabulous.
It’s great to finally know who I am. Hooray!
May you all have freedom in your life. Whatever path you choose.
Let’s go make magic.
A sweet, gentle, ancient sounding lullaby (featuring a blackbird, a cuckoo and a couple of cats) for your Monday.
This is Dusk.
Stop the press! I went on a train to Bowling Harbour. First time out my local area in yonks. The air was fresh and the golden sun shone gently warming my whole body (new fav feeling - sun warming my knees). I even packed sandwiches and crisps. Simple things give me joy.
I’ve been having lots of fun making colourful videos recently. It’s an infinite creative exploration. I only wish I could make them faster. There’s just so much goodness in my heart I want to share. Here’s another one with a hummingbird theme in a mixture of Portuguese and English.
Just seen the coolest music video with David Hasslehoff and now I want to see the film Kung Fury. Totally digging the retro beats and David doing what he does best - being David. Let’s throw a dinosaur in there too. Bring it on.
Finally it’s finished yay! I’ve been working on my first digital diorama. There are flying hummingbirds, sparkly stars and Pickles rising up on a cloud of flowers. I’ve added a glorious harp lullaby to the scene too. It’s a sweet sound, full of colour and vibrancy. Full of magic.