And so the work begins….


(The tunnel of tress)

Last evening we went for a walk. There’s a farm lane at then end of our road and we followed it the first evening we arrived but there were signs and as we couldn’t read them (!) we turned back, rather than suffer the consequences of trespass! But our host tells us the signs only refer to hunters, so we’re welcome. We went off again last evening and found a lovely tunnel of trees. The tunnel led past a house where a man was carving a huge tree trunk into a deer with a bench. We waved our Bonjour and carried on to a lake. The lake was surrounded by other carvings by the same man. The path continued onto a paved road and eventual onto the main road where we were able to complete a circuit home. Considering how few houses we passed there are lots of paths.


(One wood carving was in the middle of the lake, might be  a seal?)

It’s the same with the roads we’ve been driving on. There are multiple roads leading to the local town and our sat nav seems to bring us on a different one or variations of different ones each time. It does mean you can get lost very easily but it also means you are never without an option. I like options but sometimes they’re not useful to me. They make it difficult for me to start or when started they distract me from continuing. This morning I started.


(That our nearest town in the distance)

One of the things I’ll be doing while I’m here in France is preparing for a course I intend to run back in Greystones. It doesn’t have a name yet (too many options…) but it’s about setting aside time for creativity. Lots of people think they’re not creative and the other people who know they’re creative often think their creations are not good enough. So, while the idea of spending time creating might be appealing, the mass of judgement heaped on any creative output can be painful and paralysing…. or at least that’s how it can be for me.


(Cattle over the hedge)

Usually, I take the time to get everything out of the cupboard and set up the perfect space and enthusiastically begin. But very quickly I can see that the beautiful idea in my head is not what’s appearing on paper. So I stop, I shove everything back in the cupboard and I firmly resolve to forget the whole creating thing! Funnily, I’m always drawn back.


(Not a great picture, the real thing is so amazing – stars in the middle of the country)

But there is another way. I am practicing that other way here. I started this morning, in the garden. Our host, Mara (from Australia…. where they speak English…) when she realised what I was up to, pointed me in the direction of her shed where a trestle table awaited. So, Denis and I took the table out and I set about doing creative time in a different way.


(The tools)

I have formulated a little routine. First I lay everything out around me – the paint, paper, brushes, books, magazines and whatever else I think I’ll need. Then I find a nice sitting place and sit there. I ask myself some questions about what I want to reveal to myself today and then I start being kind to myself. Only then do I begin the creative stuff. Very soon, no matter how I was feeling when I started I begin to feel relaxed, calm and settled. Eventually I hear myself let out a long sigh and I remember why I love making time to create.

This is the work I’ll be doing here, Mairead.

4 thoughts on “And so the work begins….

  1. Bon jour Mairead and Denis j,aime votre thought I had no French !! I won 3 prizes for my cross stitch. Hope your weather has improved. Not very nice here today, wind and rain.Keep enjoying your new home . Eilish.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Bonjour Eilish! Congratulations on your cross stitch! And if I had one i’d be giving you a prize for your French! Weather lovely today, thank you xxx

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