Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Space and simplicity
I have just finished reading Margaret Forster's book Keeping the world away - a novel about the effect that Gwen John's painting of the corner of an attic bedroom has on the women who hang it on their walls.
It is, in part, a study of the yearning for simplicity and control symbolised by the spare, composed painting.
I enjoyed the book very much and was thinking of it today while I drove though the sublime landscape of deep cleft valleys and deep reflective lochs that is between here and Loch Fyne.
It is a beautiful, beautiful drive, I was on my own in the car and it is quite the most relaxing thing I have done this week. I was going up to The Tree Shop, run by the Ardkinglas tree nursery to pick up some beautiful white birch trees - Betula utilis "Jacquemontii snowqueen" which I am intending to use to make a small glade at this wedding in ten days time. The idea is that it will make the large space a bit more intimate and give a sense of enclosure for the guests who want to sit down after the meal away from the music.
At the moment the state of the house is getting to me. It is completely my own fault so I can't really complain - but I do. It isn't really a case of it not being clean - it is just that we have far too much stuff in a house with no storage and I try to run a business at the same time. Add into this mix we bought kitchen furniture before we have enlarged the kitchen and that we are all messy, messy creatures who can't seem to pick up anything off our seemingly magnetic floors.
The result is a feeling of camping in amidst piles of toppling stuff - it is driving me mad and I now want to move out into Gwen John's little attic with only a chair, a desk and a vase of primroses.