Sunday, July 29, 2018

Weekend Words

From  Sisu - The Finnish Art of Courage  by Joanna Nylund

It's a myth.  But it's also a reality.  It's a national icon.  It's a gut-felt quality.

Rather than the stamina to run up a mountain, sisu is the strength it takes to put one foot in front of the other.

Above all, sisu is a collective choice.  We are strong together. - Emilia Lahti, sisu expert.

Finns view silence as a resource, not an embarrassment. 

The Finnish work ethic in a nutshell: hard work pays off; loyalty should be rewarded; what you see is what you get.

Strong people, like trees, might break, whereas a person of sisu may bend but can always pull themselves back into place.

Facing and overcoming challenges is key to fostering sisu.

On the other side of endurance, joy waits.

Sisu is the reserve fuel tank we didn't perhaps know we had.

Sisu is a verb.  It invites you to act, to do, to grab hold of something.


And some thoughts from me...

One word to encompass sisu would be resilience, the ability to bounce back when life knocks you down.

The Finnish way of mindfulness is not so much 'emptying' the mind, but making the mind more 'aware', by observing the minutiae in your surroundings

Relax and observe in nature...the natural antidepressant.

While many of the other books in this genre (hygge/lagom/lykke) tend to focus on externals to give us a sense of wellbeing, sisu encourages us to focus on our 'internal' qualities and experiences.

And that really resonates with me.

From a rainy Sunday in Tasmania...

Here's something to brighten your day!



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

And so it continues...

The river was up again this morning after heavy rain yesterday...

And the boardwalk was under water again...

So I had to take a detour through the trees...

After finishing my morning chores, I worked on sewing up this pullover/sweater/jumper (depending where you come from) for one of the charities I support...
 and got in a bit of reading time

The Nordic Theory of Everything - interesting, informative and entertaining.  A bit more in-depth than the plethora of similar genre books around at the moment.

The Listener is my bedtime read.

Enjoyed in the comfort of my cosy /hygge loungeroom...

While dreaming of the sea...

She loved the sea.  She liked the sharp, salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizon, bounded only by a vault of azure sky above.  It made her feel small, but free as well.

- George R. R. Martin - A Storm of Swords


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Weekend Words

Stanley, TAS

Quotes from – The Book of Hygge – Louisa Thomsen Brits

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
- Henry David Thoreau

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc – is sure to be noticed.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Hygge is ‘fragile’ because the process, in a sense, is the goal. It comes through collaborative effort and can easily appear but also easily disappear.
- Carston Levison

It is in the shelter of each other that people live.
- Irish proverb

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
- William Morris

I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves – such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals that have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
- Albert Einstein

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Perhaps this particularly Danish focus on the ordinary and mundane, on ‘hygge’ and the creation of a space filled with familiar, comforting, ordinary things, cordons us off – albeit temporarily – from nothingness.
- Christian Hall

Material goods rarely alter our levels of happiness, unlike emotional experiences. Having can never replace being.
- Ilse Crawford

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our life.
- Annie Dillard

Hygge definition

Hygge is a kind of enchantment - a way of stirring the senses, the heart and the imagination, of acknowledging the sacred in the secular - a way of giving something ordinary a special context, spirit and warmth, taking time to make it extraordinary. Hygge is about appreciation.

This is my hygge sweet spot...
the deserted beach at Stanley, TAS

Friday, July 20, 2018

After the rain

The river is up...

The Tassie devil knows the best place to stay high and dry...
 it's a bronze statue!!

The ducks don't seem to mind...
 picnic anyone?

Guess I won't be walking this way...

Or this way...

Or this way...

This one is for the tree...

And this is normally dry grass land...

The second and third photos were taken early this morning, and the others were taken late yesterday afternoon. Same camera, same settings.  Amazing the difference in the light!!

And what better way to spend the rest of the day than to bake a cake...

Made it extra large so you could read it...

And I did change it a bit.  I know.  Hard to believe.  But...

I used about 3/4 cup of brown sugar, and replaced 1/2 a cup of the flour with almond meal. Also added some cardamom and allspice as well as the mixed spice. 

And I baked it in a larger baking dish, so it didn't take as long to cook as it says in the recipe.

That's it.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

When the rain tumbles down in July...

What do you do??? 

You could try...


Cold Tea Loaf...with variations...

Here's the original recipe:

Cold Tea Loaf

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup sultanas
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold tea

And here's my variations:

flour: 1 cup self raising flour, 1/2 cup almond meal, 1/4 cup rye flour, 1/4 cup spelt flour
fruit: chopped dates, chopped glace ginger, peeled and chopped apple
sugar: instead of 1 cup of sugar, I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar
tea: poured it over the fruit while warm to soften the dates
spices: cardamom and allspice.

Mix all together and bake 180'C/350'F oven for 30-40? minutes, depending on what size tin you use.  The original recipe said a loaf tin, but I used a small baking dish, so it didn't take as long to cook.

Just experiment...that's what I do!

And then enjoy!!

 still 'tying up loose ends'


 re-watch episodes of Northern Exposure

catch up on correspondence

If all else fails, cart in some wood, light the fire, and gaze into the flames...

And hope that it stops raining soon so you can go for a walk!!


Friday, July 13, 2018


this part was real

Faraway places...

Fancy food...

Forest trails...

Scandi type d├ęcor...


And remembering...

(all images from the above mentioned The Simple Things magazine - but the flowers are from my garden)

What are you dreaming of?


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

This far...

After the rain...


And to balance out the cold and rain, last Saturday, Marnie and I went and had a coffee at the Field Rabbit, run by the brother of Bec at the Brush Rabbit (where I sell my winter woollies).  It's a sort of man cave (but not as dark as it appears in the photos)...
 Marnie pondering the future of the universe

 some of the 'boy stuff' (bikes, boats and hunting knives)

the gallery/art area

It's a great place for a coffee if you're ever in Deloraine.  And then take a visit just up the road to Bec's shop (which has more sort of 'girl stuff', but still very 'arty')

And Ben has graciously provide books to browse (for those of us who don't want to have to actually talk to each other).  I was browsing a Leunig book, and was tempted to ask Ben if he would get in some of these...

While Marnie considered this...

And then last night I watched the final episode of Justified...

Such a great series, but not for the squeamish or fainthearted.  I'm sure I'll watch it again because the characters are so complex, and the plot so convoluted that I think I only got half of it this time round!

Started reading this book by Tove Jansson last night, and knitting charity blanket squares...
Note: it's always important to colour co-ordinate your book cover with your knitting :)

Hope your day is going well.  

For me it's 'that time of day'...morning coffee!!!


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Weekend Words

Freedoms of Simplicity

"Simplicity is one of those great words that can't be defined easily.  But it can be described and it can be distinguished from things that just look a little like it.  If we persevere, we can recognise simplicity when we experience it in others and, more importantly, when we practice it.

Simple living in not about elegant frugality.  It is not really about deprivation of whatever is useful and helpful for our life.  It is not about harsh rules and stringent regulations.  To live simply, one has to consider all of these and they may be included to some degree, but simple living is about freedom.  It's about a freedom to choose space rather than clutter, to choose open and generous living rather than a secure and sheltered way.

Freedom is about choices: Freedom to choose less rather than more.  It's about choosing time for people and ideas and self-growth rather than for maintenance and guarding and possessing and cleaning.  Simple living is about moving through life rather lightly, delighting in the plain and the subtle.  It is about poetry and dance, song and art, music and grace.  It is about optimism and humour, gratitude and appreciation.  It is about embracing life with wide-open arms.  It's about living and giving with no strings attached.

Simple living has fewer knots and more bows than scattered and cluttered living,  More standing on tiptoe, more quiet waiting.  More openness to the next moment.  Or the next day.  Or the next year.  The options are more obvious if one lives simply.  So are the choices."

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July Yarn Along

My Yarn Along catch up for this month...

Sewing the blanket squares together...

But if I need a bit of colour, I've got my charity blanket squares I can be going on with...

Knitting more headbands for Bec's shop...

Reading interesting books from the library...

I'm reading Everything That Remains at the moment.  It's a sort of memoir/biography...the background on them.

Then I'll read Essential, which are essays from their website.

A quote from their book:

"Love people, use things.
The opposite doesn't work."

And enjoying wintery walks by the river...


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Weekend Words


St Marks Church spire, Deloraine, Tasmania

If in God’s starry universe there throbbed

No heart but His and mine, I would not plod

With eyes earthbound, hungry of soul, and robbed

Of a sweet sense of nearness to my God.

For mystic notes that issue from His soul

Would wing their shining way in singing showers

Into my waiting heart, when spared the toll

Of intercourse with men that waste my powers.

Alone with God! My soul, invite the art,

As One who climbed the heights alone to pray,

And in the gentle stillness, heart to heart,

Let Heaven’s dew transform this house of clay.

Oh, God is everywhere. Yes, God is here!

Only my faith is dim...the world too near.

(Edith Alice Bang)

from The Nut, Stanley, Tasmania