Sunday 18 December 2016

Pleasant wonder is no loss of time

I'm not generally very good with change.
I like what I know, I like routine, I like the safety.
 But sometimes, a big old shake up is just the thing. 

 Before I moved, Nina asked both Simon and I whether we would be sad or lonely on the days when she, Claudia and Owen were at the other parent's house. We both replied with an amused but emphatic no!

I can't vouch for Simon, but for me, those days have a strangely unreal quality to them. Time opens up in front of me, space to be filled in any manner of my choosing. Of course work commitments continue, and all the usual chores still require attention, but there have been times when I have a day off, no particular plans, and I wake up without an alarm and lie for a minute in the dark, excited by the prospect of suiting myself, from start to finish of the day. I can't quite find the words to articulate how it feels - it's liberating, but slightly overwhelming, so much choice almost makes me anxious until I remind myself I don't have to cram a million things in, I'll have days like this on a regular basis now. 

It's... a bit trippy. 

1970s dress and cardigan - charity shopped 

Something I did on one such day was go for a walk in our local park and visit Meersbrook Hall, an 18th Century Grade II listed house. Since the 1950s, the hall has been home to council offices, but the Parks and Countryside department has now relocated and this year, the keys to the building were handed over to the Friends of Meersbrook Hall and local charity Heeley Development Trust. They plan to refurbish the house and develop it as a thriving community resource, remaining in public ownership. 

It was the first time I have ever set foot inside the Hall.

Nina's year group at school had an art exhibition on display, inspired by the work of John Ruskin.

Nina's picture. 

Walking home in the dimming light of late afternoon, the low cloud looked like mountains in the distance.
But as much as I am relishing some solitude, I am making the most of my social opportunities too...

well, it would have been rude to ignore this talented young man, don't you think?

My shop's Christmas do was a night out at a burlesque show. 

My feathers weren't quite as impressive - love those fans!

1950s cocktail dress - gift from Wayne at Mooch
Feather fascinator, bracelet and 1950s crystal necklace - charity shopped

With Heather, Mel and Jo - the most glamorous charity shop team ever!

And while we're on the subject of leggy birds in feathers - look at this beauty, spotted on the River Sheaf the other day. Watching him take off was a joy. 

Ruskin had it right - pleasant wonder is no loss of time.

Linking - for the first time in ages - to Patti's Visible Monday.



SAM said...

I might feel like that in just a few years when I am an empty nester. What fun to have the wardrobe to fit the night out, feathers and all.

Goody said...

We're all very impressed with Nina's artwork over here, and the resident bird expert in particular.

Love your holiday outfit (and the first one as well). Those dancers wish they had your glamour.

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

That feeling you describe of having the day to yourself and not having to rush is exactly what retirement feels like!! You have that to look forward to, too - albeit many years hence!

I love your outfits. The cocktail dress is so glamorous and what about your team? Glamour personified.

Lovely artwork from your daughter!

freckleface said...

You've just gone and made me pea green with envy. The thought of having the whole house to yourself, and a day off with no commitments, sounds like a lost dream to me. Sigh. But hey, you deserve it and I'm glad to hear these sounds of dawning contentment. I can just imagine Nina asking that question and you and Simon answering it. So long as you weren't TOO enthusiastic, I'm sure it will have made her feel less anxious about you both.
You look extremely sophisticated and glam in your xmas do outfit. Gift from Wayne? He clearly fancies you. Sorry Em, you lose!! :) xxxxx

Patti said...

Ah, a quiet morning (or afternoon) - what a delight. And you are looking marvelous, too - no wonder the acrobats are twisting themselves in knots to meet you. Thanks for linking up, xox


Sheila said...

What a lovely post! You look beautiful in your party dress, as do all of your colleagues. Having time to so strange. It's like we feel we must fill that time, but it's so important to rest and just take life in.

JanF said...

I am so glad things are working out well for you all. Best wishes.

Debberoo said...

The rhythms of your new normal sound promising! Loved the children's artwork especially Nina's little birds. Very fun night out you saucy lot! xxx

Unknown said...

What a lovely cocktail dress and I love that feather fascinate! :)

Suzanne said...

Having a full day to fill with as you wish is truly a gift to be cherished.

Fabulous artwork by Nina!

I love that you went out to a burlesque show. That is one of my favourite things to do. Your outfit was spot on.


Unknown said...

Hi Curtise, glad to hear you are enjoying your days to yourself. What a great idea for a Xmas party- burlesque! Nina's artwork is inspiring! Happy Xmas! Xxx

Vix said...

Ten years after leaving paid employment I still feel like that. What shall i do today? How will I spend my time. I love it. I think that's why I always walk around with a massive smile on my face and the locals assume I'm slightly puddled. Freedom. There's nothing like it.
Looking gorgeous in that vivid mini dress and the glamorous gift from Wayne. hope he's doing well, news on the vintage grapevine is that Mooch & Loulou's have had a bust up.
Meersbrook Hall looks fabulous, what a grand ex-council building. The window reminds me of Playschool.
What a sophisticated night out. Half naked chaps, feather and finery.
That's a fine looking bird but I think you're even more gorgeous.
Love you! xxxx

bahnwärterin said...

that hall is gorgeous - but the best of all is you in that pretty dresses and having fun!!!
ninas picture is so sweet <3
enjoy this days on your own. even if you just sit on your sofa reading novels :-) your night out looks fab!
p.s.: did you send me a email with a link? computer decided to put it in the spam file and because its a different address from what i have from you i don´t want to risk a bug.....

Mim said...

Wow, look at you all glammed up! You look fab. Do you know which performers you saw?

Those fans weigh a ton; never arm-wrestle a fan dancer because you're sure to lose. They're also really pricy. My dance teacher would let us use silk fans, but we didn't get to practice with the feathers.

Free time must be marvellous. Enjoy it!

Melanie said...

Enjoy your free time won't you, surreal as it seems! Love your outfit to the burlesque show, fabulously glam :) lovely heron, aren't they just a treat to see xxx

Polyester Princess said...

I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying your days of freedom. I'm not very good with change either, but I would certainly appreciate a couple of days to call my own. I'm loving your blue and green dress (a favourite combination of mine) and that 1950s cocktail dress is just divine. I'm admiring Nina's artwork, she is a very talented girl. Oh, and I'm adopting that Ruskin quote, it's so true! xxx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Hello dear Curtise! I know I have been rather absent from blog land of late, but I wanted to check whether you had posted. I'm so sorry you've been through the wringer...but I'm glad you have your own space and some "me" time to adjust to these big life changes. You're looking as gorgeous as ever. Big love to you my dear. Xx

Mrs Bertimus said...

Ninas art is so impressive!
And you rock those feathers Curtise!

diaryofapennypincher said...

Beautiful dress! The house is spectacular too, nice to see it is now accessible to all. Glad to see you are enjoying your new life, and the extra time it brings. As a bit of a daydreamer and procrastinator, I love that saying too! xxx

Forest City Fashionista said...

You are experiencing what my life as a single, child-free woman is like on the weekend, with no work commitments. Sometimes though, faced with the option to do whatever I want, I choose to do nothing. I like that Ruskin quote!

A night out at a burlesque show is a excellent way to celebrate the holidays. I hope you are able to work out Christmas arrangements that work for everyone and have a Merry Christmas XO

Natalia Lialina said...

Oh yes, our time with ourselves is precious! I love what Vix said - I feel very much the same after I completed my very demanding project a few years ago. Freedom to be who you are, to connect with yourself, to discover and choose for yourself and no one else! Like Beate, I also love staying at home and enjoying my own company.

Love reading about your explorations of your own city. The work by Nina is beautiful - she has a great eye (just like her Mum!). Both outfits are awesome on you! You have an incredible, fun and classy at the same time, feminine style!

Sending you lots of love!

Jazzy Jack said...

I hear this from other divorced parents. The week off is amazing!
Not sure I'll get divorced to test it out.
I just adore that building and Nina's artwork. What a great venue.
Your feathers added so much to your outfit. I would definitely be haunting your op shop after seeing you all together!
I love you in teal. Xo Jazzy Jack

Fiona said...

Change is scary sometimes, but after the event, it can feel exciting. No doubt you will adapt to the changes in your routine soon enough and enjoy them I hope. Nina's artwork is fab...I see a future at art college! Love both your 70's frock and your slinky cocktail're so glam! xxx

Porcelina said...

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your new vista, and are making the most of places like that hall. Lovely outfit for your night out, great colour on you x

Sue said...

My youngest son and his girlfriend had a work do at a burlesque/circus the other weekend. She loved it and said I would of, he just rolled his eyes as 21yr old males do!! Your choice of frock was stunning, you are one good looking woman. Enjoy those sleep in mornings, it is so good to have a what would 'I' like to do with 'MY' day moments. Love to you and yours always.

Lisa said...

Your work do looked like a wonderful night out, and how glam do you look in your dress.
I think we should all take those words of Ruskin into our heart and try and remember to do just as they say.
Love Nina's little birds and the building the exhibition in is a beauty.
Wishing you a very happy Christmas and may all you wish for in 2017 be yours.
Lisa x

Beth Waltz said...

Feathers and fans, and a witty lady in a lovely dress viewing burlesque! Curtise, you may find a smile in googling Sally Rand (and her 7' pink ostrich feather fans). This is the entertainer who "adapted" Debussy and Pavlova to a new audience, and said: "I haven't been out of work since I took my pants off."

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Mother of Reinvention said...

What a brilliant way to spend a day AND to have one all to oneself must be amazing. The hall looks very impressive. I hope that they manage to restore it to it's former glory. Nina's picture is gorgeous. I love birds and nice to see you in your plumed finery too. That is a wonderful dress. Burlesque is fun and you lovely ladies must have stole the show! Xx

Olga Rani said...

Oh, I know that lovely feeling when you are all alone in the house. When you know this is for a short time only you really appreciate and enjoy some solitude. You look marvelous in those feathers and cocktail dress Curtise! The show seems quite a fun to watch!

Annie said...

Great to catch back up with you, Curtise. It's been a funny old year all round, but I'm so glad you're back blogging. "Pleasant wonder is no loss of time". How lovely, and how true. Take care, Annie xxx

Señora Allnut said...

oh yes, that unreal quality when you're absolutely free with all the day for your own amusement, I like those days too, particularly because they're something extraordinary and I enjoy them so much!
Lovely landscapes, and fabulous outfits!, your festive ensemble looks stunning!

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Cocktail dress from 50's is really amazing.Best wishes:)

Trees said...

So lovely to see you blogging again (even if I'm taking a while to comment!). That old building is lovely and the burlesque show is so fun and I love YOUR outfit x

BadPenny said...

You sound so positive and good to hear the children are coping well. I like Nina's picture and glad you are enjoying some time to yourself. Your charity shop outing leaves our pub supper cold ! Happy New Year to you x

Joni James said...

Hello across the miles, Curtise! I've missed your blog postings so much. It's nice to come back and catch up on your life and all the changes you've been going through. I went through so much of the same things in 1992 when my kids were in middle school years. Being alone in a new place with all that new free time is liberating and melancholic at the same time. There were even times when I had to go back to the old family house to clean or do some last things, and I could barely drive down the drive way, let alone make it out of the car and up the front steps. And, life goes on, and the kids are fine. I'm better for sure. It's definitely an upheaval, a purge, a renewal, a re-definement. Exciting, and scary. I'd come and visit if I could!
You look wonderful here, like a burden has been lifted. I see it in your beautiful face.
Take Care,

Marjorie said...

Longtime lurker here wishing you all the best.

Melancholy and Menace said...

Looking as lovely as ever, Curtis. We all go missing in action from time to time but know there's always a welcome when we return to blogging. Come back again soon. Yvonne xx

Lynn Holland said...

Oh no how have I missed your blog posts. I need to catch up. I've not gone out into morning road madness for about 14 years as our office is at home now and I can't say I've missed it one bit. Only thing is I've no routine and end up fiffing and faffing about a lot.
Enjoy your free time Curtise and I'm glad to be catching up again
Lynn xxx

Beny said...

Great post! Thanks.