Scrumble of Life 1 – My Passions

Like finalists on The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, The Artist and I are ‘living our dream’.

Or are we?

After writing my last post, it occurred to me that – although all the elements are in place – there is something missing.

We have been so focused on getting it all together, that we’ve sidelined the passions that motivated us in the first place. Oh, the irony!

But, now there’s less hard work to be done, fewer practical decisions to make and life is assuming a natural rhythm – structured, without stress. Jobs done, we can turn our attention to nurturing our muses, allowing the ‘rapture’ to return.


So, what are our passions?

For me:

The first has to be writing – it’s the filter through which I view life. For a long period, when I hand-wrote ‘morning pages’, it helped me to sort out my feelings. Disciplining myself to write only three A4 ‘stream of consciousness’ pages was a challenge – some days I could have used up an entire pad! But, halfway through, after scribbling one and a half sides of gibberish, I regularly had ‘lightbulb moments.’ Once I could see, clearly, what was making me guilty, resentful or causing me pain, I was able to work out a solution, change my attitude, or simply ‘let go’.

I no longer do this every day and I’ve burnt most of my notebooks – this cathartic dumping is a snapshot in time and not for public consumption. It’s how I felt in that moment and could easily be misinterpreted, causing hurt – and the thought of that horrifies me, especially if I’m not around to explain.

However, I’m certain that this practice – designed to break through ‘writer’s block’ – is where I discovered my ‘voice’. I didn’t even look at what I’d written until later – and then I was astounded by how coherent and readable it was, so I’ve kept the best bits for reference.

Long before we moved here, I started a novel. But at 17,000+ words a computer gremlin snatched it away and all rescue attempts failed. But I wasn’t devastated – far from it. I saw it as a sign that this wasn’t meant to be and – as soon as I did that – I felt free. I’ve also written short stories and poetry – even reading out some of the latter at ‘Open Mic’ evenings!

I may do some or all of the above again – I’m ever open to inspiration. But, for the time being, I’m concentrating on blogging. It fulfils my drive to communicate through my writing and I find it immensely satisfying, particularly when I receive comments and ‘likes’. After a slow start, I’m beginning to build up a supportive network of cyber-companions, from countries all over the world. The potential is mind boggling!

Second on my list is my craftwork – scrumbling (free-form crochet) in particular, at the moment. Working with hook and yarn, blending colours and shapes, using different stitches and special effects, it’s art and meditation combined, refreshing my busy brain.

Although I haven’t dabbled lately, I’m fascinated by papier-mΓ’chΓ©. Originating in China, it used to be a closely guarded secret, regarded as a black art. I’m excited by the illusion; creating something that appears to be crafted from more solid material, like wood or ceramic, then finding, on closer inspection, that it’s actually constructed from rubbish! I’ve also made batches of my own paper – recycling junk mail and waste plant matter to produce an end product that I’m able to write on and with which I can make greetings cards.

My garden is also important. As I potter about outside, I think back to my mother’s rose beds and my Dad’s half-acre plot. He grew enough vegetables in it to feed us and our immediate neighbours, with ample left over to freeze. Even the man who delivered our coal left with boxes of cabbage, carrots, leeks, potatoes, onions and anything else in season. At the time I took it for granted – it’s only now that I realise how fortunate I was to be raised on home-grown, organic, produce.

Although we only have a series of small spaces – it’s sufficient, without being too much of a chore. I grow veg, fruit, herbs, flowers (including roses) and shrubs. With low maintenance as a priority I follow my intuition – the results amaze even me.

secret courtyard

These three pastimes balance my world – though I’m willing to down tools in a heartbeat to share time with family and friends. My beautiful grandchildren – twin boys and a girl – are fabulous creatures. I never imagined I could feel such a special connection with anyone but their parents. And it’s different. Free of the responsibility of first-hand parenting, I delight in the company of these perfect beings, from whom I’m learning so much.

And, then there’s The Artist. My partner in love and laughter; my mirror; my fellow Earth traveller, co-creator and best friend. My ‘God on a Harley’ – that says it all.

The Artist

What are his passions?

I’ll ask him and tell you next time. πŸ™‚

29 thoughts on “Scrumble of Life 1 – My Passions

  1. Your paper mache is making me want to have a go. I’ve done it before, I made a piggy bank. One of those that you can’t open, to save up for a holiday. Great fun. Also your colourful scrumbles are fantastic. You’re an inspirational lady, thanks for a great blog and your friendship Jacqueline.

    1. Yes, writing about it has made me want to make some of those pigs for my grandchildren, Susan. I have made a few and Martin painted them, Maybe I’ll post photos soon πŸ™‚

      1. And thanks for your encouraging comments on my scrumbling – I love the freedom of not following a pattern. I’m truly touched by what you say about me being inspirational, for liking my blog and regarding me as a friend – that’s how I think of you! πŸ™‚

  2. I love the photo of “The artist” and the description of him as your “God on a Harley”:-)
    I share some of your passions. Writing, gardening in pots on my small patio, and I’ve also had fun with papier-mΓ’chΓ©.
    About 15 years ago when I still lived in country #2 a friend and I met weekly at her house to work on papier-mΓ’chΓ© projects. I really enjoyed it, but haven’t done it since. No time no time…

    1. Thank you, Rosie, as granny1947 commented, he’s definitely ‘a keeper’! When we moved to this island, someone gave me a cassette tape of a story about a woman who was in despair and met an intriguing stranger, who transformed her life. It’s title was ‘God on a Harley,’ and – because, from the moment I met him, Martin (The Artist and my husband of 14 years) helped me turn my life around, I sometimes give him that title.

    1. Thank you, Joss, I love it too. I only have to tend it a little and nature rewards me magnificently. So I’m starting to spring clean my pots and beds – clearing weeds, trimming back, adding manure, compost and bark. When I’m out there working in the sunshine, I can feel the promise of a glorious summer in the air! πŸ™‚

  3. You write so beautifully, it’s like having a conversation though I don’t know you at all. Your garden pots are gorgeous. I’ve tried growing things in containers — some times it’s worked, but mostly, not. I try to intersperse vegetables amongst my flowers, but my passion for the flashy blooms tends to overshadow the edibles. One of these days I’ll find the balance.

    1. Thank you, so much, I’m really touched. It’s taken me a long time to discover that blogging is the way I can write authentically, from my heart. The photos I posted were taken a couple of years ago, later in the year – it’s all a bit bare out there at the moment. Nurturing nature has taught me that life is constant balancing act! πŸ™‚

  4. I felt as i read your words you were writing of my moment here too…
    add quilting and cross-stitch to the thread and hook and your balance is my balance…
    I met an intriquing stranger, he is “My God on a Harley ” so to speak, but he decided it was too hard to work to keep the “Us” …he is England and i in Texas, so it took awhile but I am back within my balance agiain and yes Blogging has been the way i found my way back to me…you are very fortunate to have a strong man that is a partner in balance with you..yes very fortunate….
    I laughed quietly at you burning your journals, when i got back from Germany my husband decided I needed to sever my past, I had written journals all my life( my grandmother and I kept journals of those everyday moments, and then when i joined the army, I really kept writing them for my sanity) so he built a bonfire with all my words, my thoughts poems, stories …my life in pen and burnt them…tiik my breath away…
    it took many years years to write again….when i started I mat my twinflame..the exact reflection of me flaws and all LOLs..
    another story I haven’t found the words yet, still hurts a little…
    I think I should put pictures on my blog of my living journals, you have inspired me to start opening more….
    Thank you for following my blog,I am in awe of Milen spirit…it is beautiful..and I am grateful she opened a window for me to see your thoughts ..
    I know I will enjoy wandering amongst the stars and cyberspace with you….
    and I do like your husbands harley, I had a Sportster awhile back..there is no other machine like the Harley, I shall have another ! LOls…
    Thanks for visiting my page and leading me hre..this has been a great way to start my day!
    Take Care…
    You Matter…
    I rambled on as if I knew you..LOLs sorry, I just got lost in the moment

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful ramble, Mary Rose, what a lovely start to my week! (I’ve been offline over the weekend; a spontaneous mini-holiday at home.) I do appreciate how fortunate I am to have found this groovy man I’m with now, as I spent over 20 years with a very different one. I can understand how you felt about someone else burning your journals – pillaging your inspiration. I chose to set fire to words that no longer served me, the experience liberating me from a role I no longer wished to play. Milena creates a wonderful conduit for like-minded souls through her re-blogs! I’m grateful she pointed me your way. Yesterday, as I walked through ancient Woods, you and your poetry came to mind and I felt a tangible connection between us. Our Sportster is called ‘The Piglet’, (because it isn’t as fat as a Hog!) My man has had hundreds of different bikes, (more about his passions, soon.) But he always goes back to Harley – this is his fifth, I think. I sit on the pillion, lean back, close my eyes and just ride on a wave of bliss.
      Take care of you,
      You matter too,
      Jacqueline πŸ™‚

      1. once you’ve ridden a Harley there is no comparison ..
        your post are making me think I need another one…LOLs

        I loved walking throug y’all’s ancient woods…there were so many spirits in the
        trees, I had fun pointing them out to Blue..all the years he walked in the woods, he hadn’t noticed the faces of Spirits watching him, he hears them, feels them, but had never see them…
        I hope he is still seeing them..they carry the whispers of hearts …

        Take Care….

      2. Oh and I so love your gardening space…
        i do alot of container gardening,
        as long as I have even the smallest of space I grow !
        yours has a wonderful energy flow….

        Thank you for sharing, !


      3. Another biker asked The Artist which bike he would choose if he had a million pounds – he replied that it would have to be another Harley, nothing can compare. I always see spirits in tree-trunks and, if you look closely, there are some in the photo of rock-face. Quite often they appear in Martin’s artwork. His mother once gave him a sea-scape he’d painted, asking him to paint out the face of an old man she could see in the spray. By the time he’d finished, two or three more had appeared (but we didn’t point them out to her!)
        Hoping to be able to get veggies planted over the next couple of weeks πŸ™‚

  5. I really reacted when I read you lost your novel. But then I read on and relaxed.

    You are passionate about life. Would you consider joining us on our 101 tasks in 1001 days project?

    1. Yes, it’s fine – the novel is still skulking around in the recesses of my mind but in a different form, maybe it’ll come out one day. Thank you for offering up the challenge – what would I have to do? I’m not jumping out of a plane, abseiling or potholing – but I could probably write about 101 diffrent things πŸ˜‰

  6. I can’t remember just how I found your blogs but I am glad I did. I too started mine to make to inforce my writing habits. And too enjoy the riches of more free time.

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by. I was told a writer has to have a blog, so I started one, then another and now they are my writing. I’ve found my voice and I’m using it!

  7. Your blog made me realise I’m a slave to the pc, especially in winter. I love knitting, and do none anymore, I like embroidery, and do none, I like writing and here I am…guess 1 out of 3 is OK for now.
    Your garden is lovely…enjoy

    1. Your writing is excellent and so varied, Christie, that’s time very well spent. I’ve let other things slide because I’ve been ….writing about them! πŸ™‚ But I’m trying to maintain a balance!

  8. Well, look at that, you have taught me a new word – “scrumbling”! Deep bows of gratitude (new crafting vocabulary is always welcome :)) Love your garden space too – happy passion pursuing!

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