With the French lockdown coming into affect tomorrow and the generally pathetic display of judgement by the powers that be, re Covid-19, I am arming myself with an eclectic library of reading, from science fiction, fashion, tapestry renovations, to bohemian souls, poultry farming, no-dig gardening and French decorators. I wont get bored. My latest delivery has some fascinating lives, people who create, collect and push boundaries. Unlike the bland politicians we have who want to be loved, it’s a relief to read about rebels, outsiders and people who are happy in their eccentric skins.
Everyone has a bucket list I assume. Mine was never to bungee jump over a vertiguous cavern or meet Bill Clinton, although I have to say I admire the man. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when someone realized Clinton had never actually had a “Sexual Relationship” with that woman. He had the nerve and charisma to deal with the controversial. Today the leaders are beige, politically careful and wantonly stupid.
My bucket list was simple. I wanted a library, one full of books and one of music. I love electro jazz and funk. I wanted a farmhouse full of pawed and feathered friends, to wear second hand clothes that had design and flare and paint a huge mural for my living room. I wanted a garden with brick paths, a treehouse and a teepee. I didn’t really hold a candle to travel. France was my destination dream and maybe Japan as I loved their gardens and work ethic. Funnily my husband lived in Japan and by the sounds of it I shouldn’t visit. Trains that are on time could make me pee my pants in excitement. I probably wouldn’t ever leave.
As I sit here thumbing through these wonderful books filled with eclectic interiors and strong minded spirits, I realize the bucket list has almost been completed and I am now a free spirit too. I am lucky to have got to France a few years ago and now be settled. The virus has curtailed my friends lives in many ways, as they have children, mortgages and financial debts. Here we are mortgage free and have land to have a go at self sufficiency. I can leave my home anytime and walk my fields with no restraint by the government. Tomorrow we can only travel one kilometer if necessary. I can walk round my two hectares all day. The leep to leave England now feels even more right than it did back in 2015. If fate has a hand in my future, I am thankful today.
My new bucket list is to learn to paint again, to complete the children’s stories I began a while back and illustrate them too, to learn embroidery, master my Cannon Mark III camera and attempt to socialize within the confines of this virus to find like minded souls. Yesterday I found an artist, an impressionist painter who lives nearby. He is heading back to England for winter but returns in April. I have craved for years to find a mentor who is happy to teach me more about art. My art tuition got an abrupt stop at eleven. My parents were City professionals. Art was for bums. But I had it on my bucket list so there! Outdoor painting on a large scale. I feel energised already.
A visit to Aubussons tapestry attelier raised the hairs on the back of my neck. The skill and dedication of which I will write a post about soon, filled me with awe and a desire to maybe try my hand at this ancient craft. The colours and textures of the threads were so tangible in our very flat polyester world. At last I felt I was starting to understand what I really wanted to create. The artistic skills I had learnt as a child could finally come to fruition. The fear of the blank page had been a lifelong issue. I realized at last that painting wasnt all that was needed to create that large scale installation for my wall. A push next year to finish the attelier and no excuses. Mixed media is my friend. This new world of isolation just might help me too. It’s sad but I dont want my life wasted by politicians that have no grasp of the enormity of this virus. I have to get on.
Be safe. Be patient. Be careful not to stop dreaming. Make a bucket list.