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Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Power of Purple

Success is meant to be the result of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But without that spark of inspiration there wouldn't even be the opportunity to sweat copiously, I'm lucky. I get inspired by all sorts of random things and not all of them lead to success but that doesn't mean I don't still love them. I particularly love colour! A splash of colour on a dull day can give me a real boost. And recently I seem to have been following a purple theme which is interesting because symbolically it is an inspiring colour and is meant to foster creativity as well as being uplifting and calming. This is exactly what I need as we hunker down for winter.

This purple scarf isn't new but it comes out every winter. It's lovely and soft to wear but just looking at it, touching it, makes me feel happy.

I saw these aubergines outside the greengrocers. They look like a work of art.

I bought some beetroot which I never used to like but it's amazing how your tastes change as you get older..

I eat it raw, grated with some carrot and maybe a bit of dressing. I love the earthiness of it. Sometimes I juice it too. This is a combination of beetroot, carrot, pear and root ginger.

In Russia and Eastern Europe beetroot is used to build up resistance and as a tonic for convalescents. Recently it has been found to be useful in helping to lower blood pressure so I feel that it's doing me good too which is always a bonus.

This piece of amethyst sits on the radiator shelf inside my front door. It is reputed to be a protective stone so is good to have in the home.

Amethyst is also meant to be good for the mind, calming it or stimulating it, whichever you need at that particular time. If you can't sleep a small piece of amethyst placed under the pillow can help and it can help you to remember dreams which is brilliant for writers. In fact one of the most vivid dreams I ever had (the colour was so bright it was like a Bollywood film) was when I had some amethyst under my pillow. It is also good for motivation and decision making so when I'm torn between different writing projects a small piece of amethyst is good to have on hand.

I still have some purple flowers in my garden - Michaelmas daisies.

And delicate verbena bonariensis. When the wind blows I'm amazed that it doesn't snap.

But even though it has gone over now my favourite purple flower has got to be lavender. This next picture doesn't look very exciting but it is really important. It's the lavender bag which I heat up in the microwave and use on my shoulders when they are tight after too long at the computer or painful as the result of a migraine. (More about migraines in another blog).

Lavender reminds me of my grandmother, it attracts the bees, it smells divine and it tastes pretty good too. In the summer I make lavender biscuits to serve with ice cream. The word itself comes from the Latin lavare (to wash) and who could resist a bath brimming with lavender scented bubbles. The Norfolk Lavender Centre at Heacham is a fabulous place to visit in the Summer and sells gorgeous high quality products too. They make brilliant Christmas and birthday presents.

Then a friend popped round who is about to bring out her first book and guess what? The cover is predominantly purple! Here it is Lizzie Lamb's Tall, Dark and Kilted, out soon as an e-book too.

There are so many different variations on the purple theme; indigo, wine, mulberry, mauve, violet, plum to name a few - all beautiful colours and all potentially inspiring too!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Autumn Inspiration

Recently I've been busy editing a book which is due out with Templar next June. Suddenly I've looked up from my laptop and it's autumn! Actually I love autumn. For me it's much better than the New Year and all of those wretched resolutions. Autumn has always seemed full of much more promise which I'm sure stems from childhood. I remember going back to school at the start of a new school year armed with new pencils and crayons and possibly some new uniform if I'd grown out of things from the previous autumn. Above all though I remember the feeling of beginning afresh, the feeling that this might be the year I actually got to grips with algebraic equations or was picked for the hockey team. So, now I am a grown up but the feeling that autumn is ripe with possibilities still remains.

So, here are a few of the things I love about autumn:-

I love leaves! The colours, the sound they make when they're still on the trees and the way you can catch them as they fall and make a wish or swish through them when they're on the ground. Brilliant!

Isn't this just the most amazing thing? It came in my organic box last week and to me autumn means the end of the cricket season and the chance to cook a proper Sunday roast again instead of providing brunch as husband and sons have to dash off for a one o'clock start to a match. We had this beautiful cauliflower with roast lamb.

Despite the fact that there was very nearly a frost here last night my dahlias are still going strong and filling the garden with colour. This Bishop of Llandaff has been full of flowers for months now.

But the holly is full of berries which makes me realise that Christmas isn't far away.

One of my absolute favourite things about autumn though is the chance to light a fire and curl up next to it with a good book.

And maybe toast a teacake or two.
So to quote George Eliot:-
'Delicious autumn! My very sould is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.'
Do you feel the same about autumn too?