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comfort and consolation

I am a visual person, so pinterest has been a wonderful source for me, not only serving me creatively but also therapeutically. I find myself going there when I am out of sorts, so that I may soak up the loveliness of my collected images. Afterwards, my heart feels softened and my body dreams it is gently dancing.

credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

I tend to move in and out of two moods, the subtle and the soft, the wild and the peaceful. But when I am feeling tender, it is always the soft, the peaceful, I go to for comfort.

It is the same (although slightly less so) with books. Last night, for example, I drew out my old copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel and luxuriated in a couple of scenes from it. The begads and zooks and the sweetness of Marguerite's dear little toes do annoy me, but really it is one of the most wonderful romances, and Percy is one of my favourite heroes, despite his inability to talk like a real man. (Don't you agree someone should make this book into an updated movie? Same story, stronger language?)

I must admit, I feel a little nervous telling you this. There's a real sense these days that a woman can't love lace, blossom, and quaint romances and still be deemed strong and intelligent. I read an article yesterday about how "being a lady" is coming back into fashion - but infact all they meant was that the word lady had been reclaimed in an ironic sense by all the strong fierce rapping bitches (if you'll pardon my language - I was raised to never use such words in good company (although I certainly use them in private), but nowadays it's perfectly normal.)

Am I a twit because I love tea and roses and Percy Blakeney and little English cottages? If it reassures you, I also love bleak moors, combat boots, action films, and humour as black as the blackest coffee. And I respect any woman's comforts, be they yoga and mythic poetry or pistol practice on the range or whittling or salsa dancing.. I also envy you if you find cosiness and repair in something trendy or socially acceptable, because that must make it easier. It seems to me that much of the backlash against feminism (and I personally am in favour of feminism) is due to some women feeling their choices for the furnishment of their spirit home are no longer respected.

I wonder, if women aren't encouraged to seek softness and tenderness, how will we care for ourselves? No one can be forever strong without cracks beginning to show. No one should have to be.

sharing with roses of inspiration


  1. You are not on your own - I am an incurable romantic but strongly independent and my own woman - a curious mix, but then aren't we all.

  2. Oh no - you are certainly not alone in sharing these tastes, Sarah! I ADORE the Scarlet Pimpernel! Bcecause...well, I'm a little obsessed with 18th Century romances, (Georgette Heyer, Poldark, The Scarlet Pimpernell, et al...). My tastes have never aligned with so many of my peers, many of whom have always been bemused by what I love, and think it a little naff.

    And my daughter bears an very old-fashioned(deeply unfashionable) name that, to me, reflects old world romance. Also, as you may know by now, I love roses (ahem - compulsively), and cottages, and also black humour. And I'm unashamedly a feminist. But softness and beauty - to me these are never incompatible with any of that. For me it lies at the heart, it gives heart, and opens the heart to so much more.

    Eek. Sorry - that was a bit rant-y. xx

    1. I too love roses to a ridiculous degree - just bought some rose perfume today actually. And not a ranty comment at all.

      Poldark was so wonderful, wasn't it? Certainly inspired my writing! I loved how Demelza was a gentle but wild soul. They didn't make her fiesty and stroppy. And oh, her singing ...


  3. we are always a mix
    facets ever changing
    soft, strong, pale, dark, sour, sweet
    we are what we are
    and then sometimes or often we change again

  4. I don't know if it is because I love the book so much, or the adaptation itself, but I loved the Richard E Grant miniseries :-) worth looking up!

  5. Your treasures make perfect sense to me! Love the images too.

  6. Your Subject line..... It brought to mind an old song by Joni Mitchell... Not the same exact words, but still.... It came to mind. :-)


  7. I feel the same way about this, Sarah. Often I worry that people won't take me seriously because I love lace and flowers and romances... and even though I do support feminism, my definition of it isn't quite what many others think of when they hear the word. It's frustrating.

  8. I'm with you on the softness and lacey sentiments as well as the fiercer side of womanhood. I think we should just go ahead and be whoever we want to be without apology. (I say this as a serial apologizer/people pleaser, but I'm reforming. :)

  9. Agreeing with tonia...tho' I've never been a serial apologizer/pleaser. : ) I do remember feeling very self-consious as a young woman, but dressed the way I wanted to anyway. It did get commented on, but I was always surprised and figured the people commenting and criticizing must be awfully narrow-minded and conventional to pigeon-hole me as a certain way because of the way I dressed. Sometimes the scrutiny was hard, but it never went beyond not-unkind comments and staring. If I had been bullied or been treated unkindly in response, that would have been more affecting.

    I think that being short comes into it, too and wonder if you feel that way? My small height means it is just that much harder to come across as mature and serious since I dress in a feminine way...or so I suspect.


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