Crafting Peace

I‘m spending a lot of time on Pinterest these days. My baby sister (only 18 months younger) has already found and bought her wedding dress. She got engaged about 3 weeks ago. We had romantic ideas of twirling together in the dressing room as we tried on fairytale dresses. It’s almost 10 years since I did that myself…simply staggering to think how fast that time has gone. I was solo too, just me and Mum. Not sure why. But alas, I’m in rural Africa and my sister is in the heart of London. A little off-putting for our little girl dreams. Next best thing…Pinterest. Why didn’t I come up with the concept of Pinterest…pure genius 😉

I have to let you in on a little secret which I don’t think my sister will mind me sharing with you. I had started a secret wedding board for her a long time ago. You see, my lil’ sis and I have a lot of the same tastes. We haven’t always. She liked rats for pets, I had a hamster. She liked Eagle Eye Cherry and I went through a serious Backstreet Boys phase. But as we matured we started sharing clothes, I would style her for school friends parties, and she would love it! So I had been envisioning her wedding for a very long time. It wasn’t until I was officially let loose with wedding ideas that I jumped on Pinterest and created the most important board: the Dress.

Though bittersweet, the board succeeded at connecting us and she took my advice and went for something absolutely stunning, no doubt. (Obviously I haven’t seen it, not even a sly picy from the changing room). But if there is one person I trust with style, it’s her, because she learnt everything from me 😉

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Tonight I upped my ante on Pinterest. I renamed all of my boards, weeded out accidental pins and enjoyed once again expressing myself through images. I’m so over Facebook. If you want me you will find me on Instagram or Pinterest.

So as I sit here flicking through images of floral jeans and African inspired living rooms, I’m stuffing my face with Parle G biscuits. They are good. They are cheap and all the little packages containing 4 biscuits in each one are attached together. If you want to buy one packet the vendor will rip off one packet. We buy in bulk. So when I go to the cupboard I reenact the part in the movie Grease where one of the girls brings out her album of photos from past boyfriends. That’s me with the cookies. A good swish follows as I whip out my concertina of cookies.

I only had a mango for dinner. Because it’s getting hot here! The heat stifles your appetite as well as your will to live. So by 10pm I’m getting peckish. Pinterest and Parle G, that’s what I’m doing right now.

You see, I’ve decided that more often than not, a person’s state of my mind can be explained through what they’re doing. I was asked a few months back how I was doing. I said “we’re doing crafts.” And as I wrote that into my phone on What’sApp, I suddenly felt like that explanation was enough. It totally summed up in three words the state of my mind, the mood I was in, the state of my household, the mood of my kids, in fact.

When I do crafts I have to be in the zone. I have to be calm, patient, quiet, pensive. I have to be organised, the house has to be somewhat put together and clean enough to warrant sitting down for a while. You can’t do crafts with distractions, not in my house (well to enjoy it at least). Doing crafts is peaceful.

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A few days ago I was sharing this with a friend who is going through a difficult time. She got it, and straight away knew her thing. She said “when I’m in that place I’m making homemade bread for my husband”. That’s it. She totally got it! Some days I wanna go deeper and further down under my duvet. I don’t wanna talk French, I don’t wanna shake hands. You won’t find me doing crafts on those days. I doubt you’d find my friend baking bread either. That’s OK though, right? There’s nothing wrong with making the kids play Snap instead of pulling out feathers, glitter, lollipop sticks and googly eyes for an epic card making fest. And there’s nothing wrong with getting your househelp to make the bread today. Shoot Snap would be the perfect remedy for days when you’re tired and irritable.

I do urge you to seek out help if the craft-making or bread-baking days never come; in other words, if you lose the sense of joy in the things you love to do the most.

So what are YOU doing? What’s your thing? How would people know you were doing well or whether you’re struggling through your days?

Hi how are you?
Fine thanks!

That’s the old me. The new me says,

Hi, what have you been doing lately?

Greetings are big here. I’m nervous that when I go back home the kind lady behind the check out at Saintsbury’s is gonna freak out when I introduce myself and shake her hand. Or the friendly guy at the chippy who gets a shock when I ask how his wife and kids are doing before I order my cod and chips to-go. *sigh*. Community. Being involved in each other’s lives, as much or as little as they/we want us/them to be. Are we losing it or has it already gone?

No, I didn’t do crafts today.

  6Comments

  1. Ruth   •  

    Emily, I love this post and your photos. Just discovered your blog!

    • Emily   •  

      Thanks Ruth! Where in the world are you right now?

  2. David Spiby   •  

    Emily, very good – but what are Pinterest, whatsapp, instagram?
    Also awesome photos.
    love David S

    • Emily   •  

      David! Come on! Get with the times 😉 Ask Debby about Pinterest..she has to know, it’s right up her street. Whatsapp is free instant messaging on your phone. And Instagram, basically a glorified photo album 🙂

  3. JW   •  

    Love you, miss you, SO GLAD to “see” your life thru this blog. Can you ever post pictures of the interior of your home. Do you have a stove, oven, refridge etc?

  4. JW   •  

    BTW whatcha doing Em??

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