Posted on June 1, 2015
First off, I’m sorry for the misleading title (it is about daisy chains, but there is no set of instructions I’m afraid). And whilst I’m at it, I would also like to apologise to regular readers especially for the overload of family pictures recently. I hope it’s not all too saccharine for your tastes (but you know I can do acerbic just as well as I can do sweet, I think). It has just struck me with some force, this spring holiday, how they are at such a magical age; on the cusp of knowing, discovering the world – their world – through their own eyes as they are. So many questions and misunderstandings tumbling from their tongues. At once categorically assertive and desperately unsure. I’m painfully aware also, as they bow their heads and giggle about private jokes and shared experiences which are theirs and theirs only, how much I am no longer a part of that; how every troubled thought, or stubbed toe nail no longer requires a kiss and a cuddle and soothing words as they learn to regulate their own emotions. Don’t get me wrong; I’m also glad for this. Very glad, that they are learning to forge the paths of their own world and navigate through thorny issues like fears and friendships. But along with that comes a distance. A gap. Only small just now, and still easily overcome when troubles spill over into tears and I am needed. But it is there in the closed bedroom doors and the occasional quiet withdrawal of hands from mine. In the silences to my many questions about their day. And then there are the rolled eyes, the But mummy, you wouldn’t understand, and Don’t take that tone/attitude with me! altercations which are now part of our daily patter.
But still they want the hugs, and sometimes stories at bedtime. Still they want to laugh and dance, and share silly jokes with us at dinner time, even though I’m embarrassing in front of their friends. So those precious in-between moments – the ones without the sulks and the temper tantrums and the arguments and when I’m not so tired I don’t have the energy (and then I kick myself for missing them) – I just need to reach out and snatch them, every so often, and hold them close by to my heart. I guess the camera is just the way I know how to do that.
So, last week, we were enjoying the beautiful spring weather at their great-grandfather’s house in London. His unkempt garden had a rich crop of fine looking daisys, so my seven year old asked me to help her make a daisy chain, since she didn’t know how. I thought, Oh my goodness I can’t believe you don’t know how? It seems like something every seven year old girl should *just* know how to do. And then I realised, how would she know if no-one showed her? So I did. And we had fun picking the strongest, tallest specimens. I took pictures, and then after a while on her request I put the camera away, and we carried on until the sun got too warm and we went off to find some shade.
There may be some kind of tenuous connection in all of that, between daisy chains, life, family and instructions, or lack of. But it’s a bit hazy. And I’ve never really been one for tying up the lose threads into a perfect bow. I’m happy to leave some questions unanswered, and accept that sometimes problems cannot be neatly solved, like algebra. Life is a bit like hair, really (those of you who are female and/or have daughters will appreciate this) – no matter how hard you try to create the perfect style and tie it up all neatly, after a while some tendrils will always work their way lose. And really, in the end, it doesn’t matter at all.
Edited to say: I intended to post this over a month ago, just after the Easter holidays, and somehow it never made it past ‘draft’ version. So apologies for the delay! I’m so jealous of that sunshine now as I type with my thick fleecy socks on, and a hot water bottle in my lap!
© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015
Posted on April 10, 2015
Jostling, whirring and bouncing in to town. A pair of dizzy bumble bees on the first sunny day of spring!
© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015
Posted on April 5, 2015
Happy Easter everyone!
Oh, and WordPress tells me that today is my 3 year blogging anniversary, so happy anniversary to me! 🙂
I’m looking forward to a day of eating and relaxing with my family. This adorable photograph is an old one of Alex’s, which I turned into a greeting card last year for Easter.
Hope you’re all enjoying the bank holiday!
© image by Alex Hughes, 2012
Posted on March 25, 2015
I love macro photography. It forces you to slow down, and take notice of what is around you. There is something really so wonderfully involved about focussing in on the minutiae of life. It’s a bit like discovering a secret world – the more you delve into it, the more you want to explore.
And suddenly something as small and insignificant as a blade of grass can take centre stage, and become, well, a thing of pure wonder.
© words and images Emily Hughes, 2015
Posted on March 11, 2014
Spring surprises me every year. Like a switch being flicked, the sudden buzz and hum of life at volume jolts me into attentiveness. As the earth shakes off its heavy, muffled cloak of winter, a veil lifts from my eyes, and instantly they start to sketch shifting forms cast by the wayward light. As the sun shone on our little garden yesterday, we dug to find relics buried amongst the clusters of sprightly iris and anemones proudly splaying their pert figures. I instantly loved the bare little skeleton leaves, which quivered gently in the breeze as they generously sketched and re-sketched their intricate framework against a canvas of rich coffee soil. I like to think the earth kept these little treasures safe for me, just waiting for the light, and for my eyes to open.
© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014
Posted on April 19, 2013
© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2013
Posted on April 6, 2013