Outside my window I see out-of-reach cherries glistening red and a flurry of bird wing beneath ample foliage. The cuckoo is making its presence known most audibly but after six springs in this house I am aware that as June rolls in the horse chestnuts trees will cease to ring with its rhythmic song. The month of May has been about strawberries - marinated in sugar and Balsamic vinegar and relished with a hearty dollop of vanilla-infused Mascarpone - fresh peas, artichokes, asparagus and fennel. It has also been about adapting to our family's new configuration now that my husband has fled the nest. I expected a rollercoaster of heightened emotions but instead I have found collective serenity to be the norm. Thank Goodness. Quiet happiness fills my days together with the long list of to-dos, fat files of paperwork and frequent scrambles to run errands. There are orange-tinged roses from our garden on our table, guitar music and a lot outdoor play and reading. And there is laughter. Again, thank goodness. If I look ahead I could become overwhelmed by the financial uncertainty which clouds my horizon (I'm tightening my belt until a judge compels my husband to provide for his children) but instead I see mostly blue skies and hope.
Blues have become increasingly precious to me during this family upheaval. Héloïse asked for a patchwork tunic, in the same style as her little sister's, for her nineteenth birthday and it had to be in blue and off-white with a touch of mauve. As I snipped and stitched I saw an array of Delft tiles dancing before my eyes as the squares and rows came together (this Liberty fabric was possibly my favourite). I used a firm favourite for Héloïse and Angélique - Suzanne by the French designer Citronille which exists for girls and women and is available both in French and English.
I subscribed to Selvedge Magazine for 2015 (a Christmas present from my parents) and have been delighted by its thematic approach, rich diversity in the domain of textiles and its undeniable quality. Lastly, I started reading Jessie Burton's first novel, The Miniaturist, set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, on my mother's recommendation. She had been enthralled by its opening chapters but disappointed by the ending and I confess I tore through the pages, my curiosity piqued by her opinion of the closing pages, wondering what I would find there. If you too have read it I would love to hear what you think of it.
I'm so happy to be slowly resurfacing into a happier world and will fortunately be able to visit your blogs with enthusiasm once again. Hurrah!