Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Motherly advice...don't wish your life away....

We spend so much of our lives, wishing we were somewhere other than where we are.

At home, we wish to be somewhere far flung and exotic. Me? I like to be somewhere where there's a grassy lawn and a lacy tent, and plump cushions upon which I can recline.

When away, we yearn fervently sometimes, for our own bed and home comforts.

When we're young, we want to be older and once we're old, we wish we were young.
When we're at work, we want to be home, and I bet right now, many of us would prefer to be somewhere other than at home. Thanks Covid-19. And whilst restrictions have now eased, we in Australia are not yet in our Winter, so the future is still an unknown.

What this may have helped some of us realise, that what we love and need for a happy life, is right under our nose. Movies have been made, songs have been written, and whole novels penned upon that premise!

I came upon some photographs of some of our holidays this morning.

There were several things that struck me upon viewing them.
Firstly, the things I enjoy viewing, and photographing, do not vary all that much. Whether home or away, I enjoy admiring a stunning sunset, I appreciate the thought, planning and sheer hard work in building and maintaining a beautiful garden, I adore the history of ornate or interesting architecture, and often file away local details in décor, to replicate upon returning home, so that a little memory of our travels is there at our fingertips.

The funny thing is, that the older I get, the more I appreciate that 'home' can offer the very same joys of far flung locations. The difference is, that when we are on vacation, we stop to enjoy the monuments, the sunsets, the detail on a building, and the unusual or thought provoking in an art gallery. I've learned, that as much as I love to travel, the experiences I seek out when travelling, are just as accessible here at home. We don't have the Eiffel Tower (although our city does have a miniature version in a café` district, so perhaps all is not lost!), but beautiful sunsets, fabulous local artisanal homewares, a gorgeous outlook from our back porch, and architecture that makes you appreciate the imagination of the women and men who've created it...they're all here.
Let's compare the sunset above, taken beneath the lacy ironwork of the Eiffel Tower...

....to this beautiful sunset, snapped just a few months ago in the Town of 1770 on our Eastern coastline, where Captain Cook first landed in Australia. Neither one is more beautiful than the other. And a sunset can be enjoyed any day of the week that you care to stop, and contemplate.

I loved this simple window treatment in a house where we stayed in the The Perigord region in 2008 so much....

...that I completely unconsciously replicated it, albeit in a prettified, lacy version, in my daughters bedroom, right down to the floral posy...crazy! I didn't even realise I had pre-imagined the idea, until this photograph surfaced today!

As for interesting architecture, well, I can't compete with French living in The Perigord....

....but my own suburb once had it's little surprises in this elvish house just 2 minutes walk from my home....

....it's unfortunately now been demolished to make way for a housing development....

....sad...but alas, that is progress. The sweet little cottage with it's European detail just doesn't live up to the modern day expectations of 'home'.

This was the outlook from the back porch of a holiday house we rented once. All misty mountains and mysterious vistas....

...a walk to my own back porch, yields a view of tropical palms and Poinciana trees. Sometimes it's misty too, but not today. Is one better than the other? I don't think so. But I rarely step outside to my back porch early in the morning to admire my own back yard, whereas on vacation, I have time to do so. I think it's time to revise my morning routine to allow for that!

As for interesting architecture...well home is not a stone home in the countryside of a distant land....

....but we have interesting architecture too...

I'm working on not always wishing I was somewhere else. Not that I do that in a belligerent, 'I'd rather be anywhere but here' manner, but rather that kind of 'I can't wait to travel again', that is the basis of my savings mentality, and that yields a healthy respect for money and the freedom it can provide.
A wise person once said to me 'You can only live in one place at a time'. It seemed an obvious comment back then, and I didn't really understand what they meant. But I guess they meant...do not pine for anywhere other than where you are, for what is the point? You pine for there when you're here, and for here when you're there.
Why not just enjoy 'now', wherever you might be.
Can you find similarities between where you are right now, and where you imagine you'd like to be?
Can you summon up a little bit of Paris by serving your morning tea in fine china? Could you fancy up your morning juice with a slice of pineapple and a striped paper straw, resort style? Could you lay out your own towel and toiletries for tonight, and pretend the housemaid did it for you? Little tricks like this, can truly add to your enjoyment of the minutae of the day, and help get you past wishing your life away.

I have several chandeliers at home. This beastie was rescued in terrible condition at a thrift store for just $60. It greets me, lit up in all it's glory, each and every morning, thanks to kind husband.
They remind me of the beautiful Parisian apartment we treated ourselves to just prior to the Pandemic...

I'm also currently trying to teach myself to make Canele`, which are little French pastries with a caramelised exterior, and a custard centre. We ate them in Bordeaux, and I've not seen them since. Being able to replicate them, means I can bring a little 'Bordeaux' into our home, whenever the mood takes me. Perhaps you could do something similar.

Longer term, could you plant a corner of your garden to resemble a favourite getaway spot? Could you introduce a detail into your décor, like my rescued chandelier, that reminds you of somewhere you've stayed that generated happy memories? Can you teach yourself to cook or bake a treat, like my Canele`, that is currently only available in a distant land?
Have you visited somewhere that really spoke to your heart?

Can you replicate a little of that this week at home?



  1. How true, Mimi. Now that I have retired I sometimes wish I was back at work. LOL! Not because I miss the job but purely and simply because my friends are still working there and I only get to see them on school holidays. It is lovely to see you are blogging once again.

    1. I hear you Chel. I used to wish I worked from home. Now I wish I was in the office! I'm happy to see you too. Mimi xxx

  2. When we visited Monet's house and garden at Giverney it made a tremendous impact on me. We have since created a Monet bed in our garden which zings with colour. Much better than a souvenir which needs dusting!

    1. I agree Penny! How lovely to have a mini-Monet garden. I can just imagine! Mimi xxx


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