For later


I wonder if she will remember this moment. The feeling of his vast hands cocooning hers. All the impetuous haste of youth, she had.

I can do it!

He tried to slow her down. To show her. With the wisdom of the knowing tortoise. (She didn’t listen, of course.)

I have saved it for her, anyhow. For later.

For when she is ready to remember. When she needs to understand who she was, and who she might be.

© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2013



© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2013

New beginnings



I’m sorry for the prolonged absence.

The past few months have been a whirlwind. Really. Almost too much. It’s true what they say it never rains but it pours. As the swollen Thames threatens to burst its banks with the recent heavy rains, we too feel the strain and stress of taking on too much. The Christmas break was sorely needed.

But, we have a new home. It is beautiful, and it is home (can I say that again?). Home. Seven years, longer even, in a distant shadow of our dreams we held it – or we tried to – but it refused to settle. It was always “one day….”

And now we have an “ours”, a “here and now”. We have walls. How delicious are blank walls? To paint, to hang things from, to do whatever. I love walls. Solid walls.

This is the house before we moved in: a blank canvas for the cracked fragments of our mosaic lives to find form. It was a sunny October day and I was exploring the way the light played with the surfaces.

I think, also, that this was the calm before the storm (I didn’t take any pictures of the storm).

Things are fine now; establishing, settling. We’re taking root, and I’ll be back properly in the New Year. I have missed you all and I’ve really missed blogging.

Best wishes for an exciting and creative 2013 to everyone!

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© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

My grandfather’s sitting room

I much prefer sitting room, to lounge. And it seems fitting here.

For more pictures of my grandfather’s house see here and here.

© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

My grandfather’s study

See here for my previous post about my grandfather.

© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

My not-so-neat nooks

There are two windowsills near my side of the bed. I tend to use them as temporary bookshelves/dumping grounds for various bits and pieces I haven’t found the time or energy to create a home for. I will say upfront feel I am exposing myself a little here, as quite a messy (and possibly also schizophrenic) person. I do like things to be clean, but my mess doesn’t really bother me (anyone else’s is another matter, of course). As long as I know where everything is (which actually isn’t always the case – I am always losing things) then I am happy.

Anyway, these are my little nooks of ‘stuff’ – my notebooks, my eclectic ‘current’ reading shelf, my going out bags, my library books, my (some unopened) recent Amazon purchases – which I like to have ‘to hand’. Although, I’m not sure about the gloves… really we haven’t worn gloves for a good couple of months. I do actually need to put them away.

So, where is your little nook? What does it look like? I would love to see pictures, but I’m not sure you can post pictures as a response on here?

© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

A portrait of a man

I have always been drawn to the idea of making a portrait of someone by photographing the things they choose to surround themselves with. I think that our ‘stuff’ has a lot to say about us. Our houses, our posessions and even the way we display things are all like little clues which reveal something about our personalities, our preferences and the way we like to live.

My grandfather is an actor who has had a successful and varied career. He lives alone in London in a beautiful Georgian house. It is a house full to the brim of objects (many of great value) which he has accumulated throughout his life; acquisitions he has made, things he has inherited. He is an eccentric certainly, and a horder; a collector who loves beautiful things. Messy, maybe, but absolutely meticulous. Visitors have to carefully negotiate neat piles of papers, documents, ornaments, nik naks and bits and pieces which perch precariously – everywhere there is surface – on tables and chairs, and scattered across the living room floor. Things surround him constantly – he likes to have it all ‘to hand’. Every object is cherished and important to him; he keenly relates the story of each sculpture, or painting, or piece of random kitchen paraphernalia with equal passion. I love to hear these stories they are so compelling; like extra clues which unlock secrets of his past, and in turn, of mine.

His house is a treasure trove – a true Aladdin’s cave, and I love to visit and just look around. There is always something fascinating and new to discover. (some people would call me nosey – I like to say curious!) His environment communicates so much about him as a person. It’s almost like it’s alive with his being. Every time I visit he seems to have shrunk a bit more; he looks smaller and smaller sitting there in his armchair amongst all the piles and the abundance of things. I guess one day eventually the house will swallow him up completely.

It’s funny because I would say I usually tend towards being the kind of person who gets a bit stressed out by too much mess, but I absolutely love his mess. I feel at home amongst it. (You may be forgiven for thinking we are very close – we are not, as it happens, but though there is emotional distance there is respect, and, of course a resonant familial connection).

These images were taken the last time I was there in November. They were some snapshots I made in the fading afternoon night of a cold winter’s day (I had an idea to test out some images and think about making a project of it at a later date). Everything was where it was (I didn’t place anything – I didn’t need to) and everywhere you looked there was a great photograph to be made. His house has vast, beautifully restored Georgian windows and when the light floods in the whole interior just reveals itself to you – it is just beautiful.

© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

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