I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.
Weekends are always precious, but as the days grow ever darker and colder, and the hours of daylight dwindle, the time available for adventuring shrinks to just a few hours. My Granny used to call them ‘ten-til-two’ days, these Saturdays and Sundays at the close of the year. I didn’t just inherit my curls and my love of baking from Gran, I picked up her love of a good day trip, too!
Last Sunday, we set off to spend the day at one of our family’s favourite haunts, grabbing a flask of tea, a camera (of course!), and as many wooly layers as we could find. When it comes to clothes, Autumn and Winter are definitely my favourite seasons. I’m fond of summer dresses and sandals, but it’s the comfort of thick tights, shearling-lined boots and gorgeous knitwear that really brings me joy.
In October, I read The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits. It was a beautifully written, intelligent and fascinating book. I really recommend it to anyone who wants to discover more about the concept of hygge. It’s a word that seems to be appearing everywhere of late, but it wasn’t until reading this book that I had any sense of what hygge is, and its deeper meaning which goes far beyond the brewing of coffee and and the lighting of candles, and encompasses a way of living and interacting, of noticing and creating moments of contentment, connection and happiness. For anyone who’s keen to learn more, Louisa Thomsen Brits is giving a talk in London later this month as part of the 91 Magazine West Elm popup. You can find out more here.
I’ve chosen Helen Dunmore’s A Spell of Winter as my November read. It was a recommendation from my friend Sara during one of The Year in Books twitter chats. Its one of those novels that I really feel as if I should have read before now, so I’m finally putting that right.
Since I launched my #littlestoriesofmylife project over on Instagram in September last year, over 180 thousand images have been tagged. It is a hashtag for celebrating and/or sharing the tiniest elements of the stories of our lives. Small doesn’t equate to insignificant: these are the little moments that add up to the narratives that carry us all. In Instagram’s frames of beauty or of emotion, we are each the teller of our own story.
This November, the #littlestoriesofmylife gallery is being sponsored by We Are Stardust, a greetings card shop where art and science collide. Cards are researched, illustrated and designed by Agnes Becker for those with wild natures, sophisticated minds, and loyal hearts. Each card captures a fact, story or curiosity, so that when you post a we are stardust card to your loved one, you gift them with a moment of wonder for the natural world.