The Day the Marigolds Disappeared
October Field Notes
I’m sitting in the darkness with Ash asleep on my chest, having just finished an early Samhain ceremony online with the Wild Academy. Samhain marks the end of an old cycle and the start of a new one, as we shed the things we no longer need and invite new thoughts in to take their place. As part of the ceremony, we had to write down what we wanted to let go of this Samhain, then we tore the page up into tiny pieces, ready to be burnt or thrown on the compost. I love the idea of letting these things rot away, returning to Mother Earth so they can take on a new form. I wrote down lots of things to do with workaholism, burn out, overthinking and digital clutter; in their place, I am inviting in balance, breathe, fresh air, slowness and rhythm.
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As I drove home this afternoon, I noticed our neighbour’s row of pot marigolds had disappeared; deadheaded, abolished for winter. I’ve enjoyed looking at them over the last few weeks, little suns clinging brightly against the encroaching dusk. Now they are gone and there is nothing left to do but embrace the darkness. The clocks are changing this weekend, and I’ve brought the clothes horse in from the conservatory because the laundry refuses to dry. I’ve also been cleaning and decluttering the house, the hibernaculum that will keep us warm and sheltered through the winter. I’ve hoovered up the skanky old cobwebs, sorted through Olive’s toys and deep cleaned the chicken coop.
Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I’m taking a step back from my newsletters while I enjoy the last few weeks of the year. Instead of once a week, my Field Notes will now arrive in your inbox once a month, full of the usual seasonal celebrations, project updates, thoughts on creativity, new recommendations and anything else I think you might like. I’m enjoying having some time off after a hectic few months, and I have lots to look forward to in the new year when I’m sure I’ll have recharged. The next step in that process is to soak in the ancient magic of Samhain next week - a time to slow down, introspect and eat sweets (obvs). I hope you find the time and space to do the same, and I’ll speak to you again in November!
Something I Made - Old Bones Unisex Tee
A bit of news for you! I’m closing my Papaver brand over the winter and relaunching next year, but instead of clothing I’ll be returning to my first love - stationery, prints and paper goods! I have so many exciting plans for the relaunch which will be happening in the spring, but for now, you have until 7th November to buy anything from my store before it closes. And if you fancy following the relaunch journey, I’d love for you to follow Papaver on Instagram here. Thank you!
Something I Like - I Will Not Fight poster by David Shrigley
You may have read about David Shrigley in the news this week. He’s pulped 6,000 copies of The Da Vinci Code and republished them as 1984, an artistic project that will also be raising money for Oxfam after the Swansea branch had to start refusing donations of the Dan Brown bestseller. I’ve been following David Shrigley for a while and coincidentally, I just bought this print for myself as a reward for finishing my latest book. I just love it! Whenever I buy art for the house, I’m very aware of the fact that my kids will be absorbing it every day, and this piece seemed particularly poignant in the face of what’s happening in the Middle East.
Recipe of the Week - Tiffany Mimosa
We’re having a Halloween party for Olive this weekend and I wanted to serve a drink for the adults that looked like a magic potion. Enter the Tiffany Mimosa! It’s basically prosecco and lemonade with a dash of curaçao and sugar around the rim. The name is a coincidence - I assume it’s named after the Tiffany eau de nil? Either way, it’s an easy-to-mix, spooky little drink to celebrate the lead up to Samhain next week.