When I was a teenager, I blue-tacked to the top of my walls a border made from stuck-together calendar pages. I almost never use calendars in a proper way (though am best friends with my scheduling diary – retro these days to have a physical one – we are halfway through 2017 and mine is already starting to fall apart from over-use). The images were all of nature themes – an insect on a dew-dropped leaf; a precise row of perfectly curved rocks leading out to an open ocean; a field of outrageously vibrant poppies (like in this photo I took the other day while out on a modelling shoot location), or an autumnal forest with a half-glow of light, a chaos of orange, reddened and chestnut coloured leaves, a soft bed in the forest. I used to look at them, one by one, and imagine myself inside their worlds. This was pre-instagram/meme-age, but each photograph had a quote superimposed over it for a casual bit of inspiration, and my all time favourite was this one:
‘Do not follow where the path may lead, but find your own way and lead a trail’.
When I was in Indonesia for the first time nearly two years ago, a healer asked me some questions, and one of them was ‘do you consider yourself a leader?’
I’m just back from a 2 month trip away (you’ll know all about this if you’ve been following my instagram account, which got a bit green and leafy and very very tropical – lucky me!) and am now deep in the throes of jetlag (generally feeling a bit upside down) and rushing off to things here there and everywhere… I’m excited to say I can now share a little travel-themed guest post I wrote during said jaunt for The Essential Life. In it, I detail 7 different go-to addictions of mine – natural beauty secrets, plant remedies and ingredients without which I simply would not be!
My friend has the ability to remember every detail of who ate what at which restaurant in which year; whether they liked it, who served us, who rode home in which car, which couple had a fight… I am continually amazed by her (and grateful, since she is the group’s keeper of history in technicolour detail) – it is dazzling!
When it comes to me, well, I’ve dabbled in useful/useless skill sets, but one thing is clear: I’ve always had a super-sensitive nose. Sometimes more of a curse than a blessing, I have fun with it anyway and I am realising now how much this sense of mine has begun to lead my life in new directions.
The sense of smell is deeply, deeply powerful; a host of both memory and small pleasures.
Dating sites are filled with flowery-dreamy ‘like’ lists which start so often with ‘I like how the grass smells after rain’. And clichés abound around wood-fires and salty sea air…