Saturday, January 23, 2021

Around here



Matcha tea ceremony

Some fiction highlights from last year

Sideboard still life

Work-in-progress: John and Cillian

"She walks back, more slowly, the way she came. How odd it feels, to move along the same streets, the route in reverse, like inking over old words, her feet the quill, going back over work, rewriting, erasing. Partings are strange." O'Farrell, Maggie: Hamnet, Tinder Press, London 2020, p.214


|  I like to knit all year round, but often abandon it during the summer months. At the end of the year, while on an unplanned break from work due to a health complication (neither cancer-related nor COVID), I picked up my knitting needles again and have been knitting every day since. It can be addictive, and even though I am a morning person, I can see how my sister is able to stay up past midnight while working on a project. You don't notice the time going by, and the movement of your hands keeps you alert, albeit in a lulled, relaxed way.

|  I had been drinking matcha tea for years and John never showed any interest, until one of his favourite podcasts dedicated an episode to it, which prompted him to order a matcha tea set and introduce a weekly ritual.

|  Books are my weakness when it comes to acquiring things (outside of lockdowns I also use the library a lot) - even though there must be dozens of books in the house that I haven't read yet, I keep getting more. I always have several books on the go and make sure at least one of them is fiction, and I exchange books with friends and family and often pass on novels when I am finished with them.

|  Apart from the books that are scattered everywhere, I lean towards minimalism and try to limit clutter (of course everyone has a different interpretation of what constitutes clutter, and the definitions of minimalism are equally varied), but I do get aesthetic satisfaction from the objects surrounding us, including the jars of fermenting kale that are currently fizzing away on the sideboard (not pictured). The Irish Times recently featured Kopper Kreation, a Dublin brand that makes homeware out of reclaimed and recycled materials, and John bought a copper pipe candelabra. It has been brightening up our dinners.

|  A couple of weeks ago, when my energy had returned, I gave my little studio some TLC and am now back in there for hours every day, preparing videos for my art classes, finishing commissions, working on illustrations, and getting started on a new series of personal paintings on wooden boards - as much as I love the texture of canvas, I want to experiment with smooth surfaces.

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