Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Accentuate the positives

I want to write about what is making me feeling good right now. But this is not a “Pollyanna post”.

I don’t like Pollyanna posts or blogs– you know the ones I mean. Pages and pages of unmitigated, manicured cheer and affirmations. Those blogs with posts which are light and bright and white and all the food has been styled, or there are pictures of bedrooms with pristine bedspreads (organic cotton, of course), with votive candles on the bedside table just next to a carefully-constructed stack of books about positivity and wellness. If your blog is a constant stream of in-your-face-Pollyanna-I’m-just-glad-glad-glad-to-be-alive images and text, well, I don’t believe you. You’re not living - you’re constructing life and you’re putting your constructed life out there to show others how superior your way of (constructed) life is. As the hashtag says I’m #notbuyingit.

My bedroom is not a restful sanctuary. Even at its tidiest, there are mismatched sheets and covers; books on/beside/under the bed; shoes lie where I kicked them off when I came in; cables all over the place where I charge my phone and lap-top; cosmetics, creams, lotions and potions on all available surfaces; dust on top of everything, because dusting? Really? who can be bothered? I bet your bedroom looks more like my bedroom. There isn’t a single tulip flung artlessly on a boho comforter and nary a self-help book in among the book clutter.

Now, the Pollyannas among you will clutch your hand-knotted pearls and gasp “How shocking! She must be desperately depressed. A bedroom should be a sanctuary of BEAUTY and REPOSE. Let’s crowdfund her a subscription to Home & Garden, forthwith!"

But here’s the thing: sometimes the bedroom looks like a bedroom. Sometimes it looks like a war between books and bedding with casualties on both sides. Sometimes I’m in an upbeat mood and all is good (and I’m a bit glad, but never quite to Pollyanna extremes) and sometimes life sucks/blows/bites/your oral metaphor of choice.

I like to write about both. Because real life. Not constructed. 

No edited highlights. More the positives accentuated to distinguish them from...everything else.

So here are the my positives:


Not the song from Fiddler on the Roof (although I do have a rather good story about that – remind me to tell it sometime), but the actual diurnal events. As it’s winter here, the sun is rising as I am heading to work and then setting as I am coming home. So I’m outside, with my iPhone camera, enjoying the colours, and the cloud patterns, and the messing around with Instagram filters to up the drama a bit. I like the contrast of the natural and the manmade. You will see lamp-posts, powerlines, roads, and other structures in my photos.

Once the sun has set, and I have put my camera away, I go star-gazing and planet-gazing. There’s a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter this evening. They are less the 3 degrees apart in the Western sky so they will look like one big star. Venus is about 260 million kms away from Earth and Jupiter almost double that, so the fact that I can see them so clearly when I, say…go to put my rubbish in the bins at the end of the day, is incredible to me.I feel a poem coming on. (No, seriously, I do. Watch this space.). Venus is my favourite planet because it looks so glorious in the sky; yellow-white and diamond-sparkly; named after the goddess of wuv, twuw wuv. In reality, it has a surface temperature of over 400C, sulphuric acid clouds, and an atmosphere so dense that if a human were to land there, they’d be crushed to death before they had time to be incinerated or poisoned. There is nothing Pollyanna about Venus. 

Down-to-earth, definitely not celestial, cocktails are good at any time of year, but in the winter they take on a new quality that has to do with coziness, that lovely heaty sensation you get when drinking spirits, and glamour. More often than not, they are  delightful to look at. The Negroni will always be my favourite - it is a song of ice (occasionally hand-cut) and fire (all the red and orange) in a glass. That said, my recent experience with a Honeycomb Old Fashioned has nudged Old Fashioneds into my personal cocktail second place.  For what it’s worth, I don’t food-style – I don’t have props or a light-box or any of the bells and whistles. I usually push any clutter out of the way, but you may sometimes see the corner of a menu or a beer-mat in shot and that’s fine by me. It’s the  real deal, the drink I actually drank – moments after the photograph was taken, that drink was probably gone.

So that’s me at the moment – head in the stars, glass in my hand, mess in the bedroom.

Gladdens the heart. :D

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