Mellow afternoon

I bought a John Coltrane CD on Saturday.

I had heard “In a Sentimental Mood” in a movie a few years ago and finally got around to looking it up and making a purchase. The Coltrane album I have has the version recorded with Duke Ellington (apparently the best-known version) and made for perfect background music as I laid on the couch and thumbed through a glossy foodie mag. Sigh… There is nothing better than doing that kind of thing on a weekend afternoon, especially when the weather is dreary. Pure bliss!

Lush melodies make
For a sentimental mood
As the jazz plays on…

© Leah Dowsett 2012

Advertisements

Cinquain Cat

After my last post a bleader asked me the question “Have you tried your hand at the cinquain?”.
The cinq-what?

Thanks to trusty wikipedia I learnt all about this type of poetry via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinquain. Basically, the style is the creation of a Ms Adelaide Crapsey using 5 lines with accents of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables. (And I think coming up with a haiku can be tricky!!) It seems there are lots of variations too with names like “crown”, “garland” and “butterfly” – trust writers to give them such labels.

So, always up for a literary challenge, here is today’s offering in the form of a cinquain instead of a haiku. Are you up for trying your hand at something different too? Go on, stretch yourself!
(And if you’re interested, that bleader’s blog is: http://literaryarms.wordpress.com/.)

Asleep,
The cat lies still
As sunshine warms her fur
And makes me jealous of her pose:
Peaceful.

© Leah Dowsett 2012

Springtime

I haven’t been well this week as I caught the work team’s cold bug which resulted in lots of sleep but no voice. What a way to feel part of the group! However, even thought I am still feeling so-so today it hasn’t dampened my inner enthusiasm for Spring and the anticipation of warmer weather.  I don’t enjoy the really hot days of Summer but I do love the balmy days of this time of year, coupled with bright, beautiful sunshine that makes me smile in spite of myself. What’s your favourite time of year?

The year’s first Spring day
Pillowcases dance on line
The sunshine is soft

© Leah Dowsett 2012

It’s been a while…

…since I last blogged. Life has been busy but blessed, fun but tiring, challenging but hopeful and…well, you know how it goes! So, I’m starting off with a small post to get myself back into the swing of things. Chat soon…

Being spun around
With such crazy momentum
Leaves a dizzy smile

© Leah Dowsett 2012

Tracking sunlight

There’s something to be said for sunshine….

There is such a calmness in waking early and basking in the first rays of the sun. I see them peek over the fence and then watch as they crawl across the bed, my arm, my cheek. There is a softness to them that brings warmth but doesn’t include that fierce heat that can come through later in the day. Lying in their path in a half dozing state, especially on a weekend morning, is bliss.

In the early morn
Dappled sunlight through the trees
Rests soft on my skin

Then time ticks on and I am up and heading out and about. I love those clear days where there isn’t a cloud in the sky, it’s warm but not hot, and you can ride with the car windows down. As I move from suburban roads to driving on the freeway the wind starts ruffling my hair and the stereo volume simply has to go higher. I smile as I sing along to the music and even put my hand/arm out alongside and have it be buoyed up and down like a wave by the wind as I cruise along!

Driving in my car
Sun is perched high in the sky
And music’s played loud 

When the errands are run and I’ve shared a lazy lunch with friends it is time to head home. The late afternoon has it’s own tangible feel as the sunlight starts to fade and long shadows spread across the ground. If I am close to the beach I can’t resist watching a sunset. In stopping to appreciate my surroundings I am reminded of the importance of taking the time to notice such moments. The dazzling red and gold or muted pink and grey colours are always different, always beautiful and always leave me feeling renewed and at peace.

Lingering shadows
Lengthen with the setting sun
Soothing my spirit 

© Leah Dowsett 2012

A day of treats

I’ve had one of those days that rates right up there with some of my great memories.

It involved the treat of taking a day off work to witness a fabulous French chef cooking a gateau. Sigh… Does it really get any better?!?!

The Frenchman in question was Emmanuel Mollois, owner of Choux Cafe and guest star on the occasional episode of Poh’s Kitchen. A 2010 Perth Now article about him has him pictured with my favourite French treats – macarons – for which he is also locally famous. He was very skilled, eager to share tips and tricks, had a beautiful accent and was quick to laugh. All wonderful qualities in a person.

I went along to sit with 23 other groupies and learn the secrets of making a Gâteau St Honoré. This involved him showing us how to make puff pastry, choux pastry, crème pâtissière, pate à crumble, caramel and crème légère! The result was truly amazing! Soft and crunchy textures coupled with light and sweet tastes…aahhh, I could go on and on!

He also showed us some sugar work as he is in training for the 2014 Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France) competition. (See the wikipedia explanation too.) I first heard about this award when I saw the documentary entitled “Kings of Pastry“. For the finalists it is a gruelling 3 day examination and not everyone is awarded an MOF at the end. Phew! Emmanuel said today that 500 people applied for the 2014 round and that group was cut to 20, of which he is one! The next cut for the final will be to 10 people. Go Emmanuel! :-)

So, it is now late in the day and I am still smiling. I am still remembering the sights, the sounds, the tips, the tastes, the fun and the french-ness… I am one happy girl!

Fabulous French chef
Custardy pastry gateau
Sweet, sweet memory

© Leah Dowsett 2012

Sleeplessness

When I get busy I also get insomnia.

Not the “gee, it’s late I’d like to go to sleep but I’m not tired” kind. The “wow, it’s 3.40am and I’m wide awake” kind. The exhausting kind. The kind were I am fully alert in the wee hours and then start getting sleepy again around 6.00am. Just in time for a brief snooze before the alarm goes off and the work day begins.

My busyness right now is work-related. Large projects, looming deadlines, lots of lists and long hours. Not that I mind working late when required, and not that the projects are awful or difficult – it’s the amount of tasks to complete and the lack of time do so that wears me down. In the end I think that too many ideas are swirling in my brain to truly let me unplug from the day and sleep deeply. Sigh…

I’ve just finished reading The Night Circus for my book club and it’s right about now that I wish I could go and visit it – a lyrically-described, wondrously magical black and white-coloured circus that “Opens at nightfall Closes at dawn”! But I can’t…

So, I read or pray or web surf or catch up on my social networking until the yawning begins. Even now as I type my eyes are beginning to to feel droopy and I know it’s not long until blissful sleep will come again. Of course, that’s also because it’s now 5.42am.

Sweet dreams everyone…

An early waking
The pre-dawn hours are quiet
Except in my head

© Leah Dowsett 2012

%d bloggers like this: