before i begin, may i draw your attention to my banner image? beautiful Lesley from Wisteria & Sunshine and Rosehip Hearth sent me a surprise interpretation, spawned [i believe] from this post. it had me clapping my little hands in glee. isn't it just perfect? i think the addition of the rose gives Mr.Raven a sort of cheeky bit of Jaunty, don't you?
anyway, Lesley has graciously allowed me to use the image which tickles me to no end.
i'm an eternal faffer when it comes to my digital spaces and if there's one big complaint i have about WordPress, it's how painfully restrictive it can be as far as customization.
i suppose i could fork out for a paid theme...
....but i'd rather buy books.
which is an awkward segue into my nattering de jour.
if you know me from The Instagram you know i've just weathered a rather full run of obligatory social interaction. we had a family BBQ last Friday, a house-guest from Friday to Monday and a baby shower on Sunday. in between, there was a Shopping Expedition, then, this past Wednesday, another gathering for nibbly bits and drinks.
the baby shower was, by far, the biggest ordeal seeing as how i don't seem to Mix Well Women*. i managed to dodge the tricky bits by fetching and carrying, tidying up and trying to be Useful.
my mum always puts on a grand 'do' [the shower was for my sister-in-law] so there was some superbly delicious grub, so that was a good thing. but, oh my word, it was a strain on my resources.
time spent with family is always Very Good. but there's just been so much of it lately and, as a card-carrying introvert, i Don't Do Well with excesses of social interaction.
even when it's people i know - and love - it can be trying. but when it involves Perfect Strangers [see: baby shower], well, that amps up the life-sucking-energy-drain.
my preferred coping mechanisms are tea, books and gardening**.
combining all three at once is nothing short of transcendent.
i'm currently eyebrow-deep in Miss Read - oh, how i could wax ecstatic on the topic of 'comfort reads' and immersing oneself in the deep, deep, joy of reading something which has such fond associations and happy-making inspirations-- but i shall spare you the agonies.
you're welcome :)
speaking of spared agonies - i'm all about the jolting segue today - in my quest to spare myself the spiritual abrasions of The Shouty People, and to curate for myself an altogether pleasant online experience, i've gathered unto myself <-- i was going to write bosom but thought better of it - a gorgeous handful of regular places which i visit and so thought i would take a moment to spread the love.
first and foremost, my newest favourite treasure - Wisteria & Sunshine.
despite my having a general wariness of Online Gatherings of Women***, i was enthralled enough by Lesley's beautiful site and her quiet, gentle, manner to take a closer look and i'm so glad that i did. everything that i'm currently working for, lives there.
you should go and see.
you really should.
it's an oasis of delight and speaks so directly to my particular values and philosophies, supporting all of the quiet changes i'm working toward making in my own world.....oh, i could gush excessively of it's attractions, i really could.
the only other, regular, online activity in which i partake is the reading of blogs.
i have a group in my Bloglovin' feed**** called 'friendlies' -- these are the places i go to be among kindred spirits.
if when i'm feeling weary of the digital world, i'll ignore everything else and just visit these places.
(i visit quite a few other blogs, too -- but not always regularly and mostly just as a lurker-of-eye-candy.)
those little corners listed above belong to people i've never met, and probably never will -- but i consider them dear friends.
the quiet corners are where the good conversations happen.
they're where real life happens - chronicles of the everyday; simple living and rebellious joy. they're where readers take the time to leave comments and where the writer will often respond to comments. in all of my many bloggy incarnations, that's one thing that i've always firmly believed in - the exchange between writer and reader. that whole trend of turning off comments was a big mistake, i think.
i really do believe that these, relatively small, unobtrusive blogs are the sort which will survive whatever is the next internet upheaval, the next new Thing. while the busy-folk dash off to make the Next Big Wave, the quiet corners will continue rippling steadily along.
and ripples, Dear Reader, are a powerful force when taken together.
*it's mostly a fringe-dwelling thing -- that whole lack of conventional thought and my preference for simple, non-acquisitive living that tends to bewilder the Upwardly Mobile and leave us with nothing much to talk about between ourselves.
**i was out digging new flowerbeds at 6:30am on Saturday and Sunday. we had a respite from the Ugly-Hot and it was all kinds of gloriously cool and perfect for soothing my tattered nerve edges. also, more flowerbeds!
*** several years ago i had a rather jarring experience within a small online group which left me dazed, bewildered...and hurt - so i've been more than a little gun-shy since.
**** i actually rather despise Bloglovin' but i've had no luck finding a useful substitute. i miss the old days of Blogger where i had a blogroll. i actually miss other people's blogrolls, as they were a super way to find new blogs. the term 'feed' is so off-putting, don't you think? i don't miss using Blogger though, just to be clear.