A Touch of Spring

The days are noticeably lengthening, the air is light and warm and there is the soft  scent of new mown grass on the air.  Blossoms adorn the edges of branches that have been bare for too long – yellow flowers bob up and down the grassy hillock where Siddy runs on his daily walk.  He sniffs them warily, licks one bright head ‘hello’ and moves on.  The daffodil blooms on.  I skirt the still muddy areas of the park.  Ground laid bare by days of rain and frosts and ice and happy dogs turning it all to sludge.  Gone is the heavy padded jacket, the woolly hat, the scarf wrapped about three times for maximum warmth, the array of colourful Mimi mittens that have adorned my hands on our morning walks.  Gone the thick boots made for water protection, slip proof [mostly] and warmth.

I walk lightly – hatless, scarfless, gloveless.  Siddy looks up at me and smiles and we walk on both of us enjoying the warm still air, the golden light, the scents of spring.

Spring enters into my work room too.  My rediscovered love of working with beads evident everywhere.  Light catchers sparkle en masse in front of the window.   This is a wee peek at ‘The Purple Bohemian’ a new one destined for my shop, it’s really pretty!

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Beads scattered over the work table catch and reflect sparkles of sun light.

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I play with the idea of beaded bracelets – trying things out, working out how to arrange sizes, shapes and colours pleasingly; how to start and how best to finish things off.  I don’t know why I’m doing this.  Perhaps this first touch of spring makes me want to have some pretty beads to wear.

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I’ve read a few books this winter.  Not many, I don’t read as much as I used to – I don’t know why.  Again, for unknown reasons, I steered clear of philosophical or spiritual content and read only what I had been given.

I read a surprising amount of first novels

‘Wise Men’ by Stuart Nadler, his first novel.  The story kept me interested and I appreciated the writer’s ability to have his protagonist have an incidental real life while keeping us enthralled with the mysterious pull of times past.

‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel.  The Georgia Flu has wiped out 99% of the population and in this horribly realistic view of life twenty years after the event the author invites us to consider the place of fame, of theatre, of relationships, that reach through time and events and touch and sustain our lives.

‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton.  A first novel.  I struggled with this book – I kept reading a little more every night and in the end read it to finish it.  It is an odd tale, atmospheric yet cold.   Maybe not such a good thing in a novel.  Did you read it and feel differently?

‘The Paris Architect’ by Charles Balfoure.  Another first novel.  I generally don’t like reading about war and man’s inhumanity to man, but this novel grabbed my interest.  I loved how the story revealed the architect’s evolution from cool disdain  to caring about the fate of others and how in times of desperation, we find those we need to find.

‘Bits of a Boyhood’ by Bruce Goodman.  An on-line book found here   Written with integrity and honesty and not a little humour Bruce reveals what it was like growing up in New Zealand in the 1950’s.  I laughed and sometimes cried my way through this first part of Bruce’s autobiography.  I’m waiting for the next installment!

A man of fine education and not a little talent, Bruce blogs at Weave A Web if you want to read one of his [mostly] bizarre or odd little stories every day.

Finally – Siddy waiting for his fans.  Siddy does Hollywood

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did.

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90 thoughts on “A Touch of Spring

  1. Hi, Pauline! It’s so strange to read about you welcoming spring as we get ready to usher in fall 😀 But I love that the warmer days and sunshine are stirring your creative beadery. Hmm is that even a word? If not, I think it should be 😉 And beautiful beads they are – I especially like the inscription on the charm!

    Thanks for the suggestions on the books! I’m going to go look up Station Eleven at a minimum (I adore any kind of medical thriller). I’d say you did a good bit of reading!

    Enjoy the unfolding of the season ❤

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    • I like the word ‘beadery’ Stacy – it could well apply to the room that was once my art room – it is now the beadery!

      Station Eleven isn’t a medical thriller Stacy – much more a post apocalyptic look at society. But well worth reading I think.

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  2. It’s almost Autumn here, Pauline and with the moving, we skipped Summer. Can’t wait till Spring next year. Hope that we’re not that broken as we are now…and there’s still so much work to do, but we’ll survive 😉
    We loved your writing about Spring and your beautiful beads with the Angels. The colours are so beautiful too. Well, and Siddy steals the show today. You’re looking pawsome, boy..and in style 😀 Thank you for your encouragement at our moving. We appreaciate it very much. Pawkisses for a Happy Spring Day and one extra for Orlando 🙂 ❤

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  3. It’s almost as if those beautiful dangling bits of glass and beads hold a handful of magic. The metal trinkets are like tiny stories woven throughout the suncatchers. I would find myself staring at the strings and losing myself in thought, likely whiling away the hours, enriching my creative well, but putting nothing down on paper. I think I’d hardly mind. They’re so beautiful, Pauline.
    Happy spring to you and the critters. And as much as I love the welcoming breath of spring, there’s something quite enticing about the scent of leaf mold too.
    Glad you’ve tossed your hat and mittens. Time to feel that sand between your toes.

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    • Just as well you don’t have one – there are books to be written! 🙂 Thank you though for your lovely and generous musings on the Purple Bohemian – which has indeed found a new home. 🙂 I love Autumn too – after Spring it is my favourite season. Those other two tend to extremes that are best not thought about until one has to find a way through them!

      Happy writing my friend! xoxo

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  4. Oh beautiful. Love the purple! You inspired me to pull out all my beads and bits and I am going to try a suncatcher. I have been collecting stuff for years to make jewellery however rarely wear it so couldn’t quite get motivated but love these of yours. Nice to see Spring ay ?! 🙂

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    • It was lovely to see spring Wendy. It appears to have gone now, but i did enjoy it while it was here! I am so happy to hear you will make yourself a catcher from your collected items – that will be a wonderful project! I love my ‘dangler of international happiness’ that was such a great idea of Fran’s! Maybe you might consider something similar and we would all send you something to add in…….. Very cool! 🙂

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  5. YAY!! It’s so good to be visiting, and also to be sending belated birthday love and best wishes! I truly am saddened that I have fallen down on the job with birthday cards. 56 days cannot pace quickly enough!
    These words of yours said it all “I walk lightly – hatless, scarfless, gloveless. Siddy looks up at me and smiles and we walk on both of us enjoying the warm still air, the golden light, the scents of spring”. This speaks so much of joy and I’m so happy for you!
    You give so much joy, heart, and wisdom to those of us lucky enough to call you friend. You deserve massive doses of the same.
    Love to you, Pauline!

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    • I do feel like I have massive doses of love and joy and plenty Laurie – I’m so fortunate! I’m also exhausted from all the birthday celebrations and company and need a quiet day or two and a good sleep 😀 I really don’t know how you keep up your high profile life style! I’m really such an introvert! And do you know the past four days have been bitter cold again with even some snow falling. Winter is having a last hurrah and not letting us get too excited about spring staying around……… We were looking at photos taken this time last year when we all went to the beach with my little puppy and walked all day in sunshine and blue skies and calm seas and my spring garden was all planted up.

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  6. Another fun post! The beads and danglers are beautiful. Welcome to spring for you! I’m ready for autumn, and surprisingly, Hawai’i does cool off for winter, and the Humpback whales come, which I love. I know what you mean about not reading novels as much, although you seem to have done quite a bit. I’ve been reading Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport about Hawai’i’s history. It’s good, but long and a bit much. Still, I’m learning a lot. Hugs and happy birthday to you, as well. Are the 60s grand? 🙂 Keith turns 60 on the 13th. xxoo

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    • I still remember reading Michener’s “Hawaii’ back in the early 70’s I think. It probably still informs the way I think of the state now. The 60’s are wonderful and I highly recommend them – I wish I had them sooner 🙂 Somehow it all comes together in them. Happy birthday for Keith on the 13th! Much love to you both xoxo

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  7. That’s a lovey description of the changing seasons Pauline, we are headed in the opposite direction here. The nights are drawing in and the mornings are noticeably cooler…it’s time to wave goodbye to the summer!

    Your new purple light catcher is very pretty and I like the bracelets too 🙂

    Of the books you mention I have only read The Miniaturist and I too found it rather slow going – and I’m not sure I entirely ‘got’ it. My favorite book from the last couple of years is still the Book Thief, I would highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

    PS. Siddy is looking very dapper!

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    • Oh yes, I loved The Book Thief too Jen – it was a total surprise to read and remains one of my favourite of all time I think!

      I’ve seen discussed on several comment links here and on other blogs, the lovely way we all become aware of the changes affecting us in different parts of the world. I was aware that while I was writing this piece, others like you would be seeing signs of Autumn creeping in and your thoughts must inevitably turn to preparations for winter. Seeing all the NH ‘summer fun’ posts certainly kept my spirits up during these past months!

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  8. You really seem to be in a happy place with Spring bringing light and warmth and creative spirits. That is all gorgeous what you are making! And Siddy…so stylish!!! xo Johanna

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  9. Pingback: Progress On The Crochet House Project | the twisted yarn

  10. Happy Spring to you:-) Your Purple Bohemian reflects spring:-) LOVE IT! When you have spring it always means fall for us-I don’t mind Fall but the long winter I do not look forward to.
    Enjoy your spring days for they just pass too quickly every season!

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    • I know Robbie! And when I am grumbling about how hard this winter has been here it is always in the back of my mind that it is NOTHING compared to what you experience every year. And while it feels like it has been going on for ever it is in fact at the most a mere four months……….. which is longer than usual!

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      • It is still cold to you:-) lol
        I was thinking about that as our friends from California came to visit this past year. They feel cold when it dips in the 30’s but that is because their body is use to “that” being cold. shoot when our weather gets up to 30 degrees in the spring, I am throwing off my coat + working in the garden with a long sleever shirt-LOL

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  11. First of all, the act of licking one of the yellow flowers, weeds on the hill, by dear Siddy was so typical puppy that it brought me a huge grin.
    The warmth of the sun really brings me happiness for you finally seeing it, Pauline. I also like that you feel Siddy looking at you he is smiling at your lack of coat, hat, mittens and scarf. Could I dare wonder if he is just happy you are “ready to go out” sooner? 🙂
    I finished a book of detective short stories cslled, “Kinsey and Me.” This was written by the “A is for Alibi” author whose main character thru till “V” or “X” is named Kinsey. I may have mentioned a great art meets history book, “The House Girl,” by Tara Conklin? There is a lawyer in current time helping building a case to repay those who had slaves as ancestors, in a Reparation Act. Then, there is the story of a young girl taken from her parents to become a maid to the Mistress of the house. She learns how to paint and later, the history involves the art and a young man who may be represented by the case, who is a musician. I liked the way the fiction story involved the girl’s journey through the Underground Railroad.
    Of course, I am holding my breath that some of Anneli’s books get bought by my library. I will enjoy reading them. 🙂

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    • I think Siddy smiles up at me as we walk just because he is happy to be out walking in the warmth. He really does smile too! I am enjoying hearing about the books that are being read by you all who share – my book list is growing longer by the comment 🙂

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      • Siddy looks like he smiles in some if his padt phoyos. Is he still lining up his toys proudly? 🙂
        I did not tell you that I continue to enjoy your beautiful and colorful danglers, Pauline. The green beads in the bracelet are really pretty with their swirls of light and dark emerald. Bracelets are great for people who don’t have windows or places to hang danglers 🙂

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        • No Robin, he hasn’t lined up his toys in the bath for a while now – he tends to offer them to people [or animals] instead – he is a social wee fellow – and happy too! Thank you for the comments on my bead work – good thought about the bracelets 🙂

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          • Just had to stop by and say Mom was feisty at therapy. I am sure her incisions on hip looks much better. I would not look at them last week. 🙂 Nicki is happily running around at my youngest brother’s house, with the big Newfoundland and Golden Retriever. Nicki is a social butterfly, too. At the facility though, she hides and is shy. Maybe the wheelchairs and walkers scare her. Hugs and hello.

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  12. We had a few of those balmy spring days last week. But rain and cold are back again. 😦 Still, we have had a taste of spring and we know it is coming, don’t we? It’s in the air. I loved seeing your light catcher featured on Kerry’s post. You are bringing light and loveliness to the world one bead at a time. My reading list is mostly older books. I have just finished reading No Surrender by Constance Maud, written about 1911, I think. It is a fascinating look at the suffragette movement in the UK. I am now keen to see the movie Suffragette which will be out later in the year. Hugs to Siddy. Jack says he is loving spring and rolling round in the grass. It feels so good, he says.

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    • Thank you Gallivanta! It is so interesting finding out what everyone is reading – I must do more posts about my reading habits – it might encourage me to read more! Yes, the pets all have the nose for spring – it is so nice to see them head out into the sun and put their faces up to it like a welcome friend! I’m probably doing the same! 🙂 [I’m looking forward to that Suffragette movie too]

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  13. I KNEW IT! We have turned into the new NZ. Still cold here and we had snow within a hairs breath of Sidmouth this year! Good to see you out of hibernation Ms Pauline and back among the masses. Siddy will be glad of those sunny springy walks. Earl has soldiered on regardless through our frigid winter and appears to not have the sense that God gave him when he was born as he refuses to wear a coat in any weather whilst being somewhat close to being naked at any given time (very short hair that appears to only last on him for a single day and then evacuate like a rat leaving a sinking ship resulting in an Earl hair suit for anyone brave enough to come inside…) Kudos on reading at all. I have been attacked and bitten badly by the crochet bug. It seems to have invaded my senses as I just keep crocheting these days. It brings me joy. LOVE that purple beaded strand. Your work is getting better and better and that bracelet is gorgeous 🙂

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    • I think the Antarctic creep is moving northwards Fran, so even you who are normally safe are now threatened ……… It has been a long icy slog this past five months. Our mutual friends in the far northern climes would probably hoot with laughter at my claims mind! But man those winds were cold, cold, cold! I’ve caught a glimpse or two of your work on facebook on the rare occasions I’ve called in and must say I was terribly impressed. I can well see it is bringing you much joy to create -and without patterns – which is something I never got the ability to do until I’d been at it for about 25 years. You must be a crocheting genius! Thank you for noting my work is improving – I think it is too, Which is the whole point of the exercise isn’t it really. When I feel I have mastered it I usually give it up 🙂

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      • Your beadwork is scrumptious. Don’t give it up, it promises to be profitable and enjoyable, one of those rare events in life that you need to seize with both hands and don’t let go! :). Still freezing here but we dash between house and Brunhilda to car to TAFE and back again to our lovely warm house. The lucky dogs are able to lay in front of her all day!

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        • How are your studies going? Do they interfere much with your crocheting? Thank you for those generous compliments about the danglers too…….. 🙂 Do you remember those crochet baskets that you sent me the link for a while back? I have them in my sights to make. I’ve just gotten some cheap embroidery hoops in different sizes to be the rims.

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          • I hope you are going to post about them (or put them on Facebook). I love to see other people’s crafty endeavours :). Studies are furious and am working through my app development process now. Hopefully I come out the other side with a pass but this is the first time in my history of adult studies that I am not entirely sure that I will. Your danglers are really gorgeous and would be lovely ways to capture sunlight and reflect it beautifully in rooms. I love how you have added all sorts of custom beads so that anyone who buys one knows that their dangler is unique 🙂

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  14. That dangler is wonderful… more temptation!
    Normally the coming of your spring would make be feel a little blue about the waning of our summer, but this year I am hoping that my lovely indoor growing space will allow me to enjoy the winter a little more – with some fresh food and the chance to make the most of the light, even when it’s raining.

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    • Do you know I saw a cottage listed for sale the other day [I look even though I can’t afford to buy – it’s a hobby or a masochistic trait 🙂 ] It had a glass house attached and I thought of you and the fun you are having – so I saved that one to my watch list. I’m so looking forward to hearing how it goes over the winter and what you manage to grow and how you use it. I do love your Limery! ❤

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      • Even though we’ve only had the limery for a few weeks I already love it. I so wish you could fulfil your dream of a cottage… sadly art never pays much and so I suppose that we must content ourselves, as your picture reminds me every day, to ‘grow where you are planted’. Even so, it’s nice to think that one day you might be able to grow somewhere else.

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  15. Sounds like Siddy is enjoying the coming of spring as much as you are! Your reading may have slowed down but it sounds like you were quite productive in the reading department this winter. Such an interesting array of novels you consumed. Some of them not something I might have picked up but now I am intrigued. Thank you for the titles and authors, I may check a few out (or at least put them on my list). I love the little quote on your dangler in progress. Sounds like you are inspired to create more beautiful items, Pauline. I think that these would brighten your workspace and the enjoyment of completing them would be even more inspired by the sunlight pouring in. As we prepare for fall, I felt a tug in my heart for the beauty of spring as you described it! ♡♡

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    • I don’t think I would have read any of these books had they not been passed to me by my daughter – she chooses books she thinks I might like, or ‘should read’ for my own good! 🙂 I don’t usually write about my reading list – thought this might be a good chance to start that record. I love that quote too Jan – it speaks volumes doesn’t it. Do you live in a part of the States where fall is particularly beautiful Jan? I guess the upside of a long hard winter [well in our terms down here] is that spring is really appreciated!

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      • I have started reading again (finally and slowly) but still testing the waters as to what I want to read. No, fall here means brown hillsides, excessive heat, fire dangers, and the Santa Ana Winds. But then comes November and magic! Clear skies, cool nights, days of mild temps and abundant sunshine. Ahhhh, my very favorite month. ♡♡♡ We will be taking another extended road trip late next month so will be able to enjoy the fall colors in the Midwest. Sounds like you have true seasons? What is it like there? Despite all of my complaining I love living here! !♡♡ We live in a beautiful large valley (ignoring the crowds and traffic) with mountains to view, deserts and the Pacific ocean a 45 minute drive with rolling hills in all directions. The best part is almost of my family are very nearby. ♡♡♡

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        • For some reason I forget you are in California and am taken by surprise when you do posts featuring some local locale 🙂 My mind wants to place you much further north and on the other coast! I must have a serious talk with myself!

          Our climate is supposed to be temperate. We are mostly two long thin islands which means we have a lot of water both in sea, lakes, rivers and rainfall. Although I live in the Deep South [very, very different from your American Deep South] our seasons are still usually easy. Winter used to max out at -5C on a really bad frosty night. This winter we hit -12C on several occasions. Snow is a rare event and never deep falls here at 3 m above sea level. Summer is usually 22-26C; lots of sunshine and a little rain. Spring can be wet, autumn is usually dry. But things are obviously changing.

          The lack of native deciduous trees means the forest landscape is mostly green [think rain-forest and you have it] though introduced species fill gardens and parks and some locales which brings a little of the autumnal colour of other lands to us.

          New Zealand is supposed to have a little of every global landscape somewhere within it – which is partially why it is a tourists paradise. You will probably get wet if you come 🙂

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  16. Ha! I’m going to carry that image of Siddy around in my head all day–what a hoot! You sound so happy, with spring approaching, and you describe it all so well. Your beading is providing lots of joy, too–I can tell! And it has brought me a lot, too–I got my dangler and LOVE it! I did a post about it today!

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  17. Hi Pauline! Your danglers are so beautiful and I like the colors in the bracelet and the way it winds into a heart. So glad you’re getting spring after you awful winter. Isn’t it amazing how things spring back (no pun intended)? Derrick noted our contrasting blogs this morning–mine about last days of summer and yours about spring. I’m also interested in the books you mentioned, as I soon will be out of reading material. Now you mentioned some weeks ago you might not garden…Could that be true?

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    • The wonders of our connections across the hemispheres – our globe is becoming more united through our contemplation of each others time zones, climates, seasons and activities. It’s a wonderful thing! Re my garden, by this time of the year I have usually planted out a good part of it. By my birthday I usually have pots of blooming spring flowers and salady things under way. This year my garden still sports the detritus of last autumn………. and I have only just begun to think about planting. I shan’t go overboard as I did last year – when there was no room left to sit in the tiny courtyard due to the abundance of growth 😀 Just the salady things and maybe a couple of tomatoes and lots of flowers for me this year. The local Farmers Market supplies good organic vegetables and I shall patronise them. So no, it wasn’t entirely true – it will be a scaled back version of last years garden.

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      • Well, part of the pleasure of a garden is being able to sit in it!!! So I applaud your redesign. I do love this knowledge that somewhere on the other side of the world, seasons are happening on the same schedule, but not the same seasons! Will be sending you an email soon, as well!

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  18. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! I love this time of the year. I now have 8 lilies poking their heads through the ground – 5 white and three red. Every day brings new wonders! Thanks for expressing it so well. (And I’m still reading the Bronte Sisters – will I ever catch up?)

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  19. Thank you for such a wonderful post. Although I think however long I live, I won’t ever quite get my head around the opposite seasons in opposite hemisphere thing.

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  20. As your season is coming to its most beautiful, so ours is fading – the peaty smell of autumn is in the air; mornings are shrouded with early mist and leaves are curling before turning into shades of russet. I don’t mind Autumn but winter I could do without.
    Derrick is right – all this blogging interrupts the reading. I keep looking at The Miniaturist and for some reason, I put it back. I’m tempted but you’re not the first person I know who has struggled with it. I’ve just finished The Children Act by Ian McEwan – not everyone’s cup of tea but I love his writing. This was a good one. I’ve just started a first novel by Claire Hajaj – Ishmael’s Oranges. It’s looking promising….

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    • Jenny, I’m pleased to hear I am not alone in struggling with that book – I thought it might just be me! I’ve always struggled with the subject matter of Ian McEwan books I have read in the past and bypass him nowadays. I have heard good things about / of Ishmael’s Oranges though – I shall add that to the growing list!

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    • I used to have audio books playing when I was painting before Siddy came to live with us. Now there are always interruptions and those activities have ceased for the time being. Hopefully soon they may resume – he is getting older and just a little quieter these days …… I live in hope 🙂

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  21. Great to read you again, Pauline. This is a beautiful evocation of changing seasons. I know why I don’t read quite so much as I used to – it’s all this blogging

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  22. Pauline, its lovely to find a post from you here on Saturday evening. I’m so glad to read that spring is approaching in earnest. I love those early days when it’s warm enough that you can shed some clothes. I’m smiling at the thought of Siddy kissing a daffodil. He’s quite handsome with his virtual bowtie.

    I always enjoy your artistic endeavors. That’s a handsome bracelet with the tiny beads leading to an aqua heart. It does feel like spring.

    I belong to a book club that meets once a month and almost always read the book, but this year it’s been harder to find the time. I do so much blog reading and commenting these days that I find it takes up some of the time for other reading. We’re actually reading The Miniaturist later this year, so I’m intrigued by your review. We can trade notes once I’ve read it, though based on your description, it doesn’t sound like something I’ll enjoy. We’re reading The Golfinch next.

    Your Bohemian is extraordinary. The wheels are spinning now. I can’t wait to see it up in your shop. A joyful post, Pauline and a nice invitation to spring.

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    • I’m only sorry I can’t share the spring showers with you Alys, I know how much you would love them in your part of the world. I’m loving making these light catchers – they are getting stronger and longer and more ornate – heavens knows where it will all end up! 🙂 You have mentioned your book club before – it is such a good way of keeping you reading and thinking about what you are reading and sharing experiences too. I will be interested to hear how you get on with that book – I am prepared to hear that it was just me not being in the right space for it.

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      • That is lovely of you to say, Pauline. I’m feeling hopeful about the El Nino and that lifts my mood where the weather is concerned. Time will tell.

        You sound invigorated and happily immersed in your wonderful creations. I’m stunned to think that you’ve been officially retired for a whole year now. The time flies by.

        I would like to place two orders for customized danglers, but need to sort a few details first. Shall I simply contact you via your form at that time?

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  23. I am in love with the purple bohemian! That is so gorgeous and makes me smile 😀
    I am reading Bruce’s ‘Passing Showers’ novel and enjoying every bit of it, just fantastic writing. Will get onto the autobiography next. 🙂

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  24. You’ve really captured the approach of spring here. Like Frank, I must say that blogging has opened my eyes to the fact of different seasons north and south. Here we are about to enjoy what is probably the most beautiful season in New England, but after autumn….well, we won’t think about it now.
    I loved the beadwork and enjoyed your book reviews. For some reason, I don’t read new novels much anymore; non-fiction, history, biography and re-reading lots of poetry and old classics fills my reading time. I did read Bruce Goodman’s “Bits of a Boyhood” and loved it.
    Here’s to the change of seasons, and that real cool dog you have there!

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    • One of my daughters has a great longing to see New England in your fall – we see so many images of it and here there are few deciduous trees naturally. Our seasonal changes are muted to say the least – unless spent in a park or an exotically planted locale! My reading lists have changed dramatically the past couple of years and this is the first year I have simply read what has been put in front of me [a daughter in the book business] I need to read more!

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    • Thank you Frank, that was lovely to look at and listen to! Many of the images are things I have been standing and admiring on my daily wanders – the bursting flower and leaf buds on the ends of branches and the snowdrops especially were taking my eye this morning.It is wonderful how our connection and communication can make us more aware of the entire globe.

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