The hardest part...
... of living is giving back what's been given.
I heard this lyric today on a Radio 4 interview with Billy Bragg and it struck a chord, for reasons that will become clearer. I quickly grabbed a post it note and scribbled those words down. Lying in the bath I then thought about the flip side of this and how I've spent a large part of the last few days looking at a view from my sofa and thinking how happy I am with my life.
So, these are a few of my favourite things:
Frog and I bought this map in Argentina last year. We had just visited the Missiones in the north of the country, before going to a best friend's wedding in Buenos Aires. I found the old map of the region in a handmade paper shop in the capital and framed it upon our return to Reims. We still haven't got around to hanging any of our frames so it sits propped up on the mantelpiece.
There are two photo frames here. Frog doesn't seem to want photos of his family around (I guess we see more than enough of them!) but I like to have mine around. The silver frame shows two older photos, one of me and my little half-brother in 1994. We're in a pool in Majorca and I was teaching him to swim. I think it's the only time we've been on holiday together. Next to it is a photo of me, my Grandma, my Mum and my sister. It was my Grandma's 80th birthday and her cousins were visiting. We're sat on my Grandma's sofa and it captures the moment after the main photo flash had gone off. My Grandma is looking at my sister and my Mum is looking at me, whilst my sister and I look ahead. We're all smiling and there's a beautful symmetry to the picture.
The second photo frame is a recent purchase, taken at our wedding by my friend Aaron. The photo is my sister, me, Frog and my half-brother. I know that everyone was feeling the chill from the wind that afternoon, but adrenaline and champagne are a potent mix and I felt fine!
If this were a photo in our study, you would strain to see the books past the postcards that I hoard and prop up on the shelves. The ones that have made it to the living room are a picture of cherry blossom trees, that was an Easter card from Mum, and a Christmas card showing the work of this man.
Frog and I fell in love with this bear on our honeymoon. He was made by an Inuit sculptor from Cape Dorset. He looks drunk and happy and, even if it broke the bank a little, there was no way we could leave him behind.
I bought these on Monday, two days after I miscarried at nearly ten weeks of pregnancy. It was a missed miscarriage and the heart had stopped beating a couple of weeks earlier. I can't explain how I feel because by the time I finish writing this sentence it'll have changed again. I do know that today I feel physically stronger than two days ago and emotionally stronger than yesterday. I love these lilies, they were all in bud at the beginning of the week and have now flowered, filling the flat with a strong fragrance.
I hadn't blogged for a while as I was desparately trying to keep the wonderful news that we received at the beginning of the summer to ourselves, until we reached the twelve weeks mark. There are many friends I haven't told yet, and I hope they forgive me if they find out through this post. I might not blog for a while, unless harvest next week throws up inspiration.