Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mayflower







My mother used to refer to me as her mayflower when I was little - a girl born as the first signs of summer were revealing themselves. Aside from the 'Mayflower' being a historical ship sailed by pilgrims; the encyclopaedia definition is "A name given to several plants that bloom in May" (usually refers to an array of anemones and hepaticas). However, I’m sure that bluebells could be introduced into the mix too.

In the time when I was small enough to be still growing my own roots and shoots, I used to listen enthralled as my dad told me tales of the tree rooted at the top of the lane behind our house. This trunk, with branches held in the perfect port-de-bras, stood on the edge of the bluebell wood pictured above. On nights when I hovered at my parents’ bedroom door and whispered "I can't sleep!", my father soothed me back into dreams through spinning stories about how the tree was a cosy house - complete with a warm pool and a hollowed out room where the rest of my family were waiting for me. What struck me about this marrying of the real and the imaginary was the safety and comfort associated with this 'magical' tree that watched over the surrounding valley as we snored.
The same sense of security is now found in visiting the bluebell wood that the tree is a sentry to. For a few hasty weeks, the skinny boughs are offset with a knitted blue blanket – patch-worked with squares of light in the late evening sun. Whatever worries, fears or anxieties are carried, walking across the field, these are cast aside on reaching the wood. The quiet and beauty echoes the sense of reverence on entering a cathedral – recognition that it is a place bigger and more complex than any individual. But, like picking one of the bell-shaped flowers, it is easy to take a snatch of this serenity with you after leaving for home.

This particular visit, although stunning as ever, was not quite as peaceful as in previous times. I had fallen down the stairs an hour previously – jarring my coccyx (and my nerves), while also twisting my ankle. However, as my mum helped me back into the house, I cried not because I was in pain, but because I assumed my camera had been smashed in the tumble. Some nervous shaking, a big hug and two ibuprofen later, it was back outside for a second attempt. It was only later that my mum noticed that my new shoes (from a market stall) were offset by a not so attractive swollen ankle....
And the camera? Alongside the (more important) full-frame sensor, the body is built like an armadillo. Well, an armadillo with a now quite battered shell.


Kate Bush once sang that ‘Mother Stands for Comfort’. In the aftermath of this tripping over, when I was trying to convince my mum that I was “absolutely fine”, there was something immensely reassuring about feeling her stroke my hair. It was the same sensation I experienced when I was in hospital, being lulled into sleep by my mum’s low voice reading ‘A Rose for Winter’ aloud, her hand gripping mine tightly. I think a large part of comfort is to know that one has someone else to rely on – a person who will protect you at your most vulnerable.

This photo of my mum was taken by me the night before my birthday. It is the second year I have positioned my mum among the bluebells, and it is fascinating looking at the differences between the first set of shots – and this one.

On to the clothes – a portion of the post that I often seem to neglect now. On this occasion though, the outfit is a perfectly appropriate illustration of my ramblings. I often talk of enjoying the way my deceased or older family members live on in their clothes, and this is no exception. I may never have been able to hug my paternal-great grandma, but here her arms are wrapped around me, covering my own in her dusky pink silk bed-jacket. And although I still can hug my maternal 93 year old great-grandma, whose silk blouse (and blue leather belt) I am wearing here, she sometimes doesn’t know who I am anymore. While I stood, with my mum taking photos of me, I realised that I was wearing my very own family tree.

The blue skirt was from a charity shop (I never tire of swishing side to side in it), and as mentioned above, the shoes were from a flea market – they remind me of the dancing shoes in ‘Singing in the Rain’). The little brass cartoon brooch on the bed jacket belonged to, and was given to me by my paternal grandma. 

48 comments:

Jessica said...

Great pictures, the shoes do remind me of singing in the rain too!


http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

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sacramento said...

My dear Roz, how do you touch my heart...
I can feel your pain when falling, the worry for your camera ( that would be more my husband´s worry), and your loving mother reassurance.
I agree with you in the need of having someone close enough to hold you when down. My two daughters do that for me now. Well, we do it to each other.
You both look like two Preraphaelite paintings.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Steffys Pros and Cons said...

lovely pictures, i really like your blouse!

<3 steffy
Steffys Pros and Cons

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San said...

Ouch on the fall, hope you are now alright.

Those pics are all lovely, in the second one you seem to float, therefore it is my favourite. I think your mom looks more relaxed now. This picture of her is fabulous. (The others were too.)

Ah and the story your father told you when you were little... I love such stories with a safe magic place.. They still help me to relax into sleep, my prefered stories are HP 1 and 2 and all four Mary Poppins books and a few of Terry Pratchetts books (The truth, Going Postal). To me they are safe hiding places from the crueler parts of the real world.

Enjoy your weekend.
San



http://hatsmakemehappy.blogspot.com/

Natalie Suarez said...

you look so beautiful, classic, and chic! love it :)

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Penny Dreadful said...

What a lovely post. The picture of your mum is fantastic xx

Sofie Marie said...

These are such beautiful photos,such a simple but classy outfit.I love the powder blue skirt....
Plus,as always great scenery-the sunshine and bluebells in these photos really sing of spring.
Sofie

The Fancy Teacup said...

You look like a complete dream! Mayflower is such a fitting name for you.

♥, Jamie
www.TheFancyTeacup.com

Libby said...

The reason I love C,C,C is because you are such a wonderful writer. To say you are wearing your family tree is such a beautiful way to put it.

Julie Khuu said...

Oh honey, what an incredibly descriptive and beautiful story...you have a magical way of representing your family tree, through your memories, your words, and now your clothes...Gramma should be so proud you're rocking her hand me downs with style and grace! Incredible story, glad to see you didn't let the little trip up get you down!

xo-Julie
Peace. Love. LOL!

Haute Khuuture Blog

alexandratherese said...

Roz this is captivating and very touching - the way you describe your family and that you're "wearing your own family tree" is a very perceptive and beautiful way of looking at things. I think posts like these where the source of the clothes doesn't take centre stage are charming as your ability to tell a story in such a descriptive and poetic way are perhaps more poignant than the posts where it's al about the clothes.

I feel for you jarring your coccyx - I did that in December when I went sledging and inadvertently went over a pot-hole - it was impossible to walk without the throbbing pain! Your mum looks fantastic, and I love her hair!

Alexandra xx

Viktoria said...

Wonderful pictures!
I love the skirt :)
And the blouse is beautiful, too.


http://fashiondanslacuisine.blogspot.com/

Kelly-Marie said...

You can see where you get your beauty from. the picture of your mum is gorgoeous.
I love the tree story your Dad used to tell you, it is like your very own family fairytale. I always want to live in your pictures, the scenery is always so beautiful. x

julis said...

such a romantic outfit-love it!

Kisses juli

http://itsstudded.blogspot.com/

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

These pics are so lovely! Everything about them is beautiful!

the Citizen Rosebud said...

More pics of mama, please!

Kate said...

The photos are absolutely beautiful, and I love how you say you are wearing your own family tree. I'm always asking my grandma if she has any clothes from when she was younger, but she just says she threw them out. I suppose it is like us giving our clothes to the charity shop because they don't fit or we don't like them anymore. We don't think that someone in 50 years might want it!
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

Caitlin Rose said...

Oh this is one of my favourite posts Roz. It's so wonderful that you are wearing your family tree. It's just so beautiful, I can't even believe it. And your mother looks like a pillar of strength. I know that I definitely still go to my mother when I'm feeling vulnerable, and I'm 24! She loves me more than anyone ever reasonably could. and I need her still.

Absolutely Lovely,

--

Caitlin Rose

the nyanzi report said...

Beautiful writing and pictures.

Pearl Westwood said...

Oh dear I am glad to hear both you and camera are unscathed. I hate that lurching feeling you get when you drop something, I am doing it all the time my camera and blackberry are covered in war wounds - same as me really!
We get bluebells in our front garden, it looks very over grown and wild as I can never bear to tidy it up when the bluebells are in bloom, they cover the beds but the entire path too!
Lovely to see you mum, she looks wonderful x

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

What a lovely childhood memory - you father weaving tales about a beautiful tree as you dropped off to sleep:))). And what a beautiful part of the world you live in Roz, it truly is so magical and you look wistful in your pale peach and blue colours. Your mother is exquisite in that beautiful green outfit:)) xo

Pralinka said...

amazing outfit, you have wonderful style!
I'm your new follower

Meena Dhuga said...

love your blouse and am so glad your camera is alright !! following :)

http://pinklemonsorbet.blogspot.com/

Meena xxx

Vix said...

Ouch! I hope you aren't too badly bruised.
What a exquisitely written and illustrated post. Your Mother is stunning, I can see where you get your beauty from. x

danniekate said...

this made me smile! i wish i was a jana, would your parents adopt me?! xx

Snow Black said...

You take amazing photos with your mom and are beautiful ;)

styleeast said...

You had me at the first line there, that's so sweet she called you Mayflower! These photos are stunning, including that gorgeous portrait of your Mum, you've captured the ray of light across her face perfectly and the bluebells are just so BLUE in the foreground! xx

Gabriella said...

Hope you're okay from the fall. You always take the most gorgeous pictures, you remind me a little of Alice in Wonderland here sitting next to a tree amongst the flowers. :) Love the picture of your mom as well, you're both lovely! :)

- Principessa Gabriella

CC said...

great photos and your outfit is amazing! also thanks so much for commenting on my blog i love yours so much!

styleintensity.blogspot.com

Reg Rodriguez said...

you look lovely and the story about your dad is beautiful:)

xx
heyrocketgirl

arctoswatch said...

I love your hair. Jesus, you are very beautiful.

RedPoppy said...

Such beautiful images, you write like poetry. I love the bluebells, your mother's gorgeous shade of red, and I hope you feel better after your fall xo
redpoppyfashion.blogspot.com

Lydia said...

Your mother is absolutely stunning. Beautiful post.

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Such lovely, lovely images. You and your mum just glow in the field of bluebells. I am still comforted by memories of the sound of my mother's voice reading poetry or magical stories to me. And there is nothing more magical than a mum's soothing kiss when their child stumbles. Hope you recover soon. (Oh, and I absolutely love "Singing in the Rain!")

awishisarainbow said...

Lovely pictures...of both you and your Mum :) I have been reading your blog for a while now...I even made my own Mummy's Scissors after seeing it here! I always enjoy seeing what outfits you put together :)

p.s. Have you been to somewhere called Oswestry recently? If not, I saw the splitting image of both you and your mother there today!

Maycie After Five said...

You write so beautifully! It felt like I was there. These photos look so magical and the lighting was perfect. Your outfit reminds me of Alice In Wonderland. So pretty!

Naima Amarilli said...

Really a great fascinating story... and the pictures looks like professional shots... (the ARE definitively profession, you're special!)



http://giocodidonne.blogspot.com/

It-Blogirls said...

Wow amazing style and pictures!
This looks stunning

Sigrid said...

your mother looks like a nymph or an elf! =) lovely!

you are goregous! and thanks for the birthday wishes! So sweet!
One, I love the way you paired this outfit! Love the skirt! and you are gorgeous in these pictures... as you always are.

I am gonna post ballet photos of me soon! =) you may like them!

also your feet are amazing and I wish I had them. you have the perfect arches every dancer would kill for! be happy! rock your heels with those arches ! <3

Love Sigrid
from

http://dancingsinginganddreaming.blogspot.com

Nikki said...

all of your photos look like they came traight out of a fairytale. very beautiful! you've got some talent! x

Comtesse de ferveur said...

Roz, such an exquisite post. Your photos always have me welling up, they're so beautiful. As are you - and your Mum. The bluebells provide a magical backdrop. I also love the idea of wearing one's family tree.
PS - Vintage bedjackets rock.
xxx

Junaluska said...

Your skirt is gorgeous [it looks so fluttery in the wind], and the bluebells are stunning. I wish they grew here!

As for the sketches, I do like having an art journal with me, even though I'm usually quite busy when I'm out. If I'm unable to draw when inspiration strikes, I'll jot down the idea.

Art is my therapy - it's so soothing, and when I finish, I have a beautiful drawing to be proud of! [Alternatively, a not-so-ready-for-the-museum piece that I still learned quite a bit from.]

Tara Fabienne said...

toller blog!
ich wäre froh wenn du auch mal bei mir vorbeischauen würdest! :))))

LG!

http://amyfabienne.blogspot.com/

Tweet said...

So completely gorgeous, the images look like fairytale illustrations! I am so jealous of your hair...

Love Tweet

x

alexandra grecco said...

these photos are beautiful, as are you!

xx alexandra

valncami said...

absolutely beautiful photos! I love your flowing skirt. Your mom is as lovely as you.
Every time I come to your blog I am amazed at the photos.
Thank you for you comment and come visit again soon.
Xx
abutterflybyday.blogspot.com

Mrs Bossa said...

What a beautifully written post, and so evocative. The part about the camera struck a chord, too; I believe I had a similar experience when I was small (and also covered in bruises).

TheMadTwins said...

wow these pictures are great! Your outfit is so lovely! That light blue and soft pink together is brilliant!