Make do and Mend or Have Back Ups?

While it is still January and as I realise that there is much to do in the house, sorting and getting rid of stuff. I feel that it is time to clear out things which no longer serve me.

Like the broken things I have not repaired. The clothing which has been mended over and again, if only I could not feel guilt over it. I don’t even know why I do.  But you know finally just chuck it out. If only it were that easy to do so but with a hoarders mentality I always consider the what if. I read an interesting article about things which held us back recently, it was a bit of an eye opener for me and I began to think that I really should. But I feel that I would have regrets if I cleared out all those useful things, or didn’t try to repair them. I have an issue with useful things unnecessarily ending up in landfill. It grieves me. No I mean that I really object!  What about the people who have nothing. Would they want them, well no probably not, people don’t seem to want old stuff these days, except for me. Could I make them better and they go on to eternity or at least a while longer.

I have just realised that I have five hairdryers for goodness sake. That’s just madness! Of course I can explain. One stays in the house in Scotland. One is a travel one (does that even count?) One I had at my partners, then I was bought one for Christmas as a gift one year and then another one was bought when the one I took on holiday packed up. Lately I’ve been getting that thing that happens from time to time when you are really fed up, it really helps the situation when you have somewhere to go and are drying your hair and suddenly the hairdryer packs up. So you haul out the reserve hairdryer and then within minutes so does that. I actually got the third one out the other day. Placed them side by side and said “Now let that be a warning to you!” Which is when I also took this photo strangely the second one has been going strong ever since. Bizarre but true. 

Meanwhile as everyone tells me so have too much stuff and of course they are right I look around trying to decide what things I will get rid of. It is inevitable that there will still too much for such a small place but I will never live in anything even near to a minimalist home.  At least I can say that I don’t need to go and buy very much as it’s probably all around here somewhere.  The replacements for this or that, purchased at a time when I had more disposable income.  This behaviour did not develop through greed.  It was borne out of necessity, when you are living in two, or more different places. You tend to make sure that you have the essentials where you are staying.

It is not just me though… My partner used to say if you find something you like, “Buy Two” he had this rule when he went shopping too. So you can imagine that he has amassed quite a bit too over the years.  Hmm and he wonders why the loft is groaning.

But as I try and accept changes which come my wayas I prepared a meal the other night I thought, I need a new knife for cutting the vegetables. I have been using the same knives in the kitchen for years and years, some of them I inherited when I moved out of the family home and have been sharpened and sharpened. I think I still have broken ones in the drawer, whilst the new ones languish in their packaging and cases and as I was thinking  out loud the other day as I got out the new hairdryer, what are you saving it for anyway?

Stop saving it for Best,  We have one life, Live it. 

The Daily Post – Replacement

Facebook


This week whilst I have been trying to find the motivation to do other things and my ears have been reminding me there is still a problem there. I decided to set up a Facebook page for “India Blue Author & Blogger” Since I do spend rather a lot of time on there anyway it kind of makes sense.

So should you wish to take a moment or to to browse the Facebook page it is https://en-gb.facebook.com/IndiaBlue.co.uk/ Please be sure to give it a like or a follow and I’ll be updating that regularly too.

I am also hoping that with a month to go I might encourage a nice round number of followers to my blog in doing so. I have 45 to go to reach my 200  by the first Anniversary.  Now I know it’s not about numbers but hey it would be rather nice to reach that goal.

I am also going to hope that my poetic mind speaks to me again soon. It has been over a month since I wrote any poetry whatsoever although I continue to write other things I need to gather more thoughts for my second book. I am probably about half way through writing the next hundred which will be whittled down as contents for the book. Some  I think will never be published. But that’s just the way it should be. But my mind is full of chatter and I am not entirely focused lately. I need to take a time out, a walk in the bright fresh air during the day to realign my senses, perhaps some meditation. I am not a child of the night I need daylight and on these bright sunny days I should get out there. It might just be the shove in the right direction that I am craving.

Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya – MNAC

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After my mother’s disappointment had become apparent when we arrived at the Barcelona Pavilion, we looked for something else to do. It took only moments to find from there. Looking up we found the National Museum of Art. High upon the hill with fantastic gardens surrounding it and the most wonderful far reaching views over Barcelona city and the Place d’Espagne.

The gorgeous building has so many wonderful features tucked inside, before you even get to the artwork.

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Although religious artifacts aren’t my thing, although there were some fabulous pieces in that section. I was particularly taken with a statue of St George, slaying his dragon. A mother and her boychild, then as I am a capricorn girl, I couldn’t resist photographing the last panel below.  As we were short on time, I wanted to get to the contemporary art section.

 

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We were lucky to find that there was a contemporary art exhibition on there, with such delights including doors and furniture by Antonio Gaudi and my particular something wonderful there some sculptures and sketches by Miguel Blay whom I had not heard of before, but will definitely look at more closely.


I was thrilled there was a photographic exhibition. I was cheeky enough to get a few pictures showcasing Marianne Breslauer’s career spanning the years 1927-1938 beautiful images of ladies for good measure before closing time, along with a few more monochrome shots from other photographers.

 

Lots of other photographs caught my eye, including a rather lovely picture of a starlet from a golden era.

There was a beautiful stained glass panel which I just have to share with you here, unfortunately I do not know who created it. But I must admit that glass is another of my weaknesses.

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As we left the gallery, we were met by the most beautiful sky and sunset. Like most of the other people who were leaving, we took photographs not of ourselves, just the scenery around us, it was exquisite.


The Daily Post – Exquisite

A Month of Thankyou! 

A month ago, the day I bought the ticket that would take me to see my friends before they emigrated to Australia I wrote this on the patio for my partner. It was to express my Thanks for such a lovely gesture. A month later, the word has faded out there, in all the changes of the weather that has hit it but my gratitude has not.

We have been together a long time now. Yet I am so thankful to him for the things that he has given me within the past month alone. The experiences which we have spoken of over the years and in recent months which he has pushed me into and I have enjoyed wholeheartedly but which I would not have thought of doing without his gentle shove. He motivates me you see, but in a gentle, supportive way, which makes me feel capable of the changes that are happening, in readiness for their arrival. We have found the last year tough on many ways and so I would not do something extravagant as I concentrated on just paying the bills. But he felt that I deserved a break from it all, well a couple of them in fact.

The best of all, he is there when I arrive home and so is our boy ready to welcome me and hear my news and for the first time in ages, I have some for I have been somewhere and done something and I am grateful, so grateful.

The Daily Post – Capable

Dali v Gaudi

I do feel the need to explain. For those die hard art fans out there, it is simply my own opinion and fighting my own inner thoughts why I had no desire to go and see Salvador Dali’s work whilst I was in Barcelona. You see, I have never felt entirely comfortable with what little of his work that I have seen.  My mother said it quite succinctly “Well, he was totally mad!” and thankfully she didn’t want to go either. I know there are lots of “mad” people out there who are great artists, however I have always felt more than slightly uncomfortable with his work. Yes, he was probably a genius.  But very little of what I have seen makes me want to see more.

The same could certainly not be said for Antoni Gaudi.
Although I only recently came across his work, I have an absolute thirst to find more of it, he was brilliant in his architecture.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I am in awe of the colours, textures and patterns and the skills that were used.  It was a later arrival to my Barcelona wishlist, once I knew that I was going there and I certainly did not want to leave without visiting at least one of his projects.

Casa Batllo, on the Passieg de Gracia was the place we settled upon visiting whilst we were there.  Well it had to be once I saw the front window alone. It’s curves and frontage pleading me to venture there and see what else it would show me, I was little prepared for it and as it turned out we were in for one of the biggest surprises of our trip.  I walked around the place in absolute awe, listening to the pre-recorded tour, eyes wide from what I was seeing and was totally besotted with the house. Mr Josep Batllo was a very lucky man to live and work there and commissioned Antoni Gaudi in 1904 as architect to create a fine home for his family.  In 1906 it was completed and over 100 years later, it is a celebrated Unesco world heritage site, which is privately owned and the upkeep and restorations now financed by the admission fees.

I can quite honestly say that I have never experienced anything like it before.  My eyes were drawn to the colours, the shapes and wondering how on earth they managed to do it all.

I probably took about 300 photographs whilst I was in that building, possibly even more.  I could easily split them into monochrome and colour sections but I will not, I think there will be some stills and also a slideshow for here.  There was so much to see, a glorious assault upon the senses, which left me dizzy and eager to see what was around the next corner, or in the next room.  I adore the place and have happily dreamed of living in a building like that, if only I were lucky enough to do so.

The sitting room holds the most beautiful windows I have ever seen. Being very keen on architecture this is quite an achievement and deservedly so. The large bay windows are cavernous and have stained glass sections in multiple shades all around the top, as have the doors within this section of the house. It is simply breathtaking to see it for the first time and my photographs do not do it justice.


We walked around the house loving the design, it was a touchy feely building, your hands are drawn to the curves everywhere and the warmth created by the honeyed tones of the wooden fittings I think that this place brings a whole new meaning to the term “love handles” here are just a few of them here and they were exquisite.


The handrails of the stairs strong yet smooth where possibly millions of people have done the very same thing grabbbed the rail in eagerness to see what is next.

This is a place to reawaken your creativity. It is exciting, both in it’s form and humour. Likened to a dragon, it is a great beast of a building, fascinating and makes wonderful use of my favourite colour throughout.

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The light well is central to the building and which houses the entrances to the various apartments, the staircase and elevator is something to behold and the colour blue deepens the higher you climb, being the darkest at the roof. It occurred to me that it must hold every shade of the spectrum in that one building.

If you like ceramics or glass in any form then you will probably love this place after all, What’s not to love? 

As the tour continued upwards throughout the building, I felt that the clever architect brought a new feeling of calm as I walked through the rooms.

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The staircases, the curves in attic bedrooms of the servants quarters were welcoming and I think at the end of a long day, I would feel safe and secure being looked after within it’s walls. Everywhere we went, the light was wonderful and so cleverly used throughout. There was no dark cramped attic rooms in here, they were white and bright and yet had such softness, it must have been the curves and the clever touches throughout for storage. Not as flamboyant or colourful as the main quarters but just as lovely.

The sunny terraces were at the rear of the building and up on the roof.  I remarked upon the similarities to the enamelled ceramic colourful plaques in the rear garden and the artwork that my mother had produced years earlier in art college. She said that at the time, she had no idea as to what was possible and this had opened her eyes to it. I have quietly hankered after one day owning a particular piece of her pottery from that era. The rooftop also housed the highly decorated chimneys and the amazing roof which curled around the front of the building like a sleeping dragon its multicoloured scales at the front.

 

I think that my hardest task was to capture photographs without people walking across them. But I have to say the other visitors were very accommodating and would wait if you were poised for a shot. All these photographs I took on the iPhone I will ensure that next time I travel I will take a battery bank or two as my only complaint was that it ran out on me too early in the day. I decided to purchase a book, it was not hugely expensive and the photography was lovely. It also gave a potted history of the house which I could show my partner upon returning home.

We walked out late afternoon elated from the experience, so pleased that we had been able to see it on our last day, the sunlight on the building casting yet more glorious shadows upon its curvaceous form. I felt that if God took me now, then I would die with a smile on my face feeling as though I’d lived and grateful for the experience.

The Daily Post – Interior

I knew it…Someday I’d get there

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So, how would I feel when it finally happened and was it different to how I expected it to be? 

Yes, totally.  I clearly did not know what to expect when I arrived at the place which I had longed to see.  It was my reason for wanting to visit Barcelona in the first place. To visit and pay homage to Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.

For those of you who do not know, it was the German Pavilion first built in 1928-29 for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain it was demolished in 1930 and later on, they figured that that was a bad idea. It was an important building and pivotal in the architects career.  So the foundation set about reconstructing the building on the original site, in 1983 and in 1986 work was completed.  It is now open to the public and can also be hired for private events.

At this news, I thought what a wonderful place to have your wedding photographs taken. I felt that the clean lines, beautiful chrome and glass and exquisite stonework, would only enhance the photographs from the best day of a woman’s life.

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We had tried to find it for three of the five days which we had planned for Barcelona and yet, it was not easy to find at all.  We went past the signs for it on the bus, but still couldn’t find it. I had seen photographs of the place, but I didn’t know what surrounded it, something to look out for and three different maps didn’t show us.

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Once we were inside, you could see the iconic Barcelona chairs displayed. I somehow thought that there would be more furniture inside it. My mother was distinctly unimpressed with the whole place and within a short time was clearly bored.  We had taken a while to get there and were both tired. She agreed that the building construction was very good, but that was it for her.

I wanted a little bit more from the experience, I had thought that I would have a little time to relax there for a while and meditate, but my legs were aching from the walking and I could not get comfortable or shut out the sights and sounds around me. For a moment I stood next to the statue within the place.  It was not quiet enough, but would have to do.

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Dawn by Georg Kolbe

Just Wonderfully simple.

The Daily Post – Someday

Well Here We Are….

So we flew in last night for a few days a little visit to Barcelona for my Birthday. Something else to tick off the bucket list. I am looking forward to getting out and about and us seeing some of the sights. Especially the Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies Van der Roe.

I must admit that on looking out of the window last night and being met by beautiful twinkly lights on a balcony opposite I thought, this looks nice and this morning I have apartment envy as there is a huge rooftop terrace which is rather lovely. One lucky man is wandering about on it with his coffee this morning.


Today we will get our bearings and tickets for travel and might save the Pavilion for tomorrow. We are tired today, the hotel is on a very busy city corner, so we were wide awake till 3am and didn’t sleep much after that either. I haven’t slept in a city for a few years now, it takes some getting used to. But I find that the first 24 hours we are always adjusting. It feels strange not being able to speak the language. My partner would be fine he used to live in Spain.

So as we wandered about for almost 8 hours of yesterday. We basked in Sunshine and blue skies on this fine January day, were serenaded by beautiful green parrots surrounded by fabulous architecture and surprises around almost every corner. My Birthday was wonderful. 

We are staying in the Gothic Quarter and it is a short walk to Port Vell which had some fantastic yachts in the harbour and a pirate ship!


It was the perfect day to wander along the quayside. 


My weakness is for the architecture and it doesn’t disappoint at all. Art Deco and Nouveau at every corner and beauty that jumps out at you. 

It was quite warm and the horses looked hot, we decided not to make them walk anywhere on our behalf. 

I had to photograph this Lion it reminded me so much of my Roki at home having a stretch.
In the late afternoon we were tired so stopped for some good food. After which we wandered around replenished and as we turned a corner of a side street were met with a beautiful sound. A man playing the violin in a square directly in front of the Cathedral all lit up and a full moon overhead. My phone had run flat earlier and I had switched it off and at that moment prayed for a photograph of what stood before me. I was blessed and got this one then listened to the music and went on my merry way. 


Although I had the grand idea of us dressing up for our meal out we were just too tired after walking all day so had coffee and cake late evening and went to bed.