Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Great Indoors

The rain drummed against the thin window and its droplets ran like miniature rivers down the glass and slowly, they filled world outside so that it was an underwater world. She sat by the sill and pressed her face up against the window, peering out into this new world where the fish swam along the roads instead of cars and little crabs and clams scuttled across the garden. 
It's rare that I spend vast amounts of time indoors, but when the weather's bad, the slippery streets and their puddles with battalions of umbrella-armed shoppers are the last place I wish to be. On those days, I choose to stay indoors. I used to despair on these days, loathe that I was forced to be inside but really, no-body was making me. Indoors can be serene and beautiful and the day can be an adventure indeed. It's these days, I feel little again. I remember laying upside down off the sofa, looking at the ceiling and imagining a topsy-turvy world where everybody walked on the ceiling and we had to mind out for lights and hanging pot plants. I remember building forts and tents (which I sometimes still do) and when cupboards became caves to hide in, and under the bed was a subterranean shelter. Adventures indoors don't need to stop after childhood, and even if you don't want to lay on the carpet, listen to the tap-tap-tapping of rain on the window and imagine an Atlantean world beyond your window, we needn't feel like a day indoors is a day wasted. Often it's okay to while away a day watching your favourite comfort films, baking delicious snacks or diving into your favourite book. It's what winter is all about. The Great Indoors and letting ourselves feel wonderful and protected in our little nest, wrap ourselves in our favourite duvet and wear our pyjamas all day long. Even when friends call.
Here's how I've been making the most of days indoors throughout the winter, my big days inside. It's also a good opportunity for a little tour around some parts of our flat! We'll get there in the end, little by little :) 

I N D U L G E 

I am terrible for indulging on my days indoors. I am a creature who seeks out comfort to its maximum potential, and I take pleasure in the tiny things. I like to play with things I've picked up on my walks, roll acorns around and take their hats off, ignore my mounting reading list for university and pick up one of my old favourite books from the shelf. Make myself a tasty hot drink and pull the duvet into the lounge where it will become fused to my body until the light dims, the stars emerge and it becomes time for bed time. I absolutely love the feeling of sitting and listening to the wind howling outside while I am warm. I love it when the windows rattle and I can watch leaves blowing about in the courtyard outside. I may pick up the Ukulele and have a little play, try to learn a song or if George is around we may try and play a little duet together. I love slowing down time, and dipping out of responsibility and work to just exist and be comfortable, nothing else. 

W O R K     O N    S K I L L S 

I'm no pro-knitter, but I'd love to be able to make jumpers like my Nan does. The minute you put the word 'work' into a phrase, the concept immediately becomes somewhat less desirable. I suppose that was clumsy of me, but bettering our skills is fun. I get so much joy out of seeing improvement in my work and efforts. George can spend hours of his life practicing juggling heavy objects, fire eating and picking locks and I sometimes feel like I don't spend enough of my free time working at bettering myself like he does. If I could improve my skills, I'd love to play the violin properly, or re-learn the piano, re-learn and improve my French and perhaps even a celtic language! One thing I do make a point of doing though, which I absolutely LOVE doing when my days are quiet and slow and works on my skills, takes me onto my next part...

G E T   C R E A T I V E 

I keep a pinterest board of two types of prompts; prompts for writing and prompts for painting. When I was little, I fancied myself as quite the illustrator and I drew more mermaids than there are fish in the ocean. My Nan and Dad can vouch for this. I even studied the Art & Design foundation diploma at Falmouth University and wanted to follow illustration. Since those days though, my paintbrush swapped for a pen and besides photography, my story telling has become more written than painted. A few months ago, I gave myself a shake, and keen to not give up on making marks on paper, I bought myself a luxurious set of water colours from the Minerva Art shop in town. I've since discovered a great love for water colour illustration and blending the colours together. I really cherish the feeling of a day spent indoors when I know I've filled several pages in my sketchbook. Sometimes I just paint the sky at varying times of the day over and over, or the constellations and waves in the sea. Sometimes, I design book covers for my stories. It fills me with such a sense of calm and content, it's the ultimate therapy. There's a reason that adult colouring books are becoming all the craze, our souls yearn for art, creativity and colour. You mustn't say "I'm useless at drawing" or "I have no artistic ability". This slow, dreary day might just be the day you pick up a paintbrush and learn to communicate this beautiful world around us through the medium of paint. 
Put on some inspiring music too, maybe even listen to something you wouldn't normally. Right now, the song 'Derry' from the soundtrack of 'Song of the Sea' is my creative track, one I can't stop listening to. It makes me tingle and fills me with inspiration. 

P L A Y   D R E S S    U P

I discovered the other day when spending a dreary day indoors with my friend Alex, that you're never too old to enjoy dress up. Days indoors are equally fun when shared with other people, and swapping clothes, cross dressing if you're feeling super fun and getting all dressed up is a spin on what may have been an inactive day spent inside.
 On the subject of dressing up, a very well timed parcel arrived on Thursday. I had placed an order about a month ago on a hand dyed, hand made, lace & tulle dress from a little Etsy shop in California.  It's the dress I plan to wear to the registry office part of Georges and my wedding in 2017. I know it seems a little early to order something like a dress, but it was one of a kind and I couldn't stop going back to the site to look at it. I couldn't leave it there. I convinced myself I'd be able to get more out of it than just wearing it the once to the documents signing and that it would be great for shoots and editorials and so I ordered it and payed the phenomenal customs and shipping charges. You may ask why I'm sharing something as secretive as a wedding dress with you all before the wedding; quite simply, that we don't want to consider the registry office ceremony as important as the real ceremony which will take place somewhere very special to us that can't be licensed. That part, is a surprise (and slightly weather dependent). Also, as I was trying it on, George had picked that exact moment to nip home from work on his break and catch sight of me through the living room window in it. Alex tried to fend him off, but in the end, we all decided that it was fine. It wasn't the dress, it would be silly to have two secret dresses.

B E C O M E    L O S T    I N    A   B O O K 

Of course. The obvious. I feel like I'm preaching to the converted, but I did want to introduce you all to a book of mine that I read a while ago and have been sitting on for a while, waiting for the moment to share it. 
The Gracekeepers is a debut and quite frankly, stunning (A word I strongly dislike using but feel I must here) novel by Kirsty Logan, a young writer who has released a collection of short stories I'm yet to get my hands on. I know they say you mustn't judge a book by its cover, but I confess that was EXACTLY what I did when I bought the Gracekeepers. I did read the blurb on the back, but I feel it could have said that it was a fussy, cosmopolitan romance about two accountants in canary wharf who only eat Rivetas, and I still would have bought it just to gaze upon it on my book shelf. Thankfully, that's not what the Gracekeepers is about. 
Set in a dystopian future where the sea levels have risen, what is left of the people are factioned into two societies; those who live on the sea and those who live on land. This is a world where people live hand-to-mouth existences, not sure where they might find their next meal, but Logan paints a beautiful and descriptive setting of salty waves, starry skies and forest islands. The plot revolves around North, a young bear trainer who belongs to the ocean circus and is harbouring a delicate secret, and Callanish, a curious webbed girl born on land who tends the graves of those lost at sea. The two young women find themselves mysteriously drawn to one another's secrets and lives, traversing a sea that is both mysterious and dangerous. The best part of the book is the imagery and the lyrical way in which its written, it's a compelling piece of prose that reads like a song and rides like the waves. 

D O   S O M E   F U N   C H O R E S 

There's another bad word. I mixed up 'fun' with 'chores' which I'm 97% sure is probably not allowed. My idea of fun chores, is tending to my pot plants and trying to talk my sad and depressed little fern out of suicide which it seems determined on. Also, moving furniture about for a little change, clearing out the wardrobes and putting clothes up for sale on eBay but more recently, wrapping the christmas presents. 
This year, I've steered away from my usual brown paper and gone for a 'nights sky' theme. I couldn't find any starry wrapping paper, so instead I bought a few rolls of metallic blue from paper chase and white ribbon and decorated the parcels myself with a gold pen adding stars, moons and constellations. 

If all fails, and you find yourself confined to the indoors while the wind howls and the rain bats down and none of the above appeal to you, I recommend you build a tent fort and eat ice cream inside whilst watching a beautiful film. Here are some of my current favourite films for watching on dreary days:
  • Where the Wild things are 
  • Song of the Sea
  • Ponyo
  • Howls Moving Castle 
  • The Labyrinth 
  • Into the Wild
  • Princess Kaguya 
  • La Mecanique du coeur 

There is so much more to the Great Indoors than watching Netflix on repeat and aimlessly scrolling through Facebook :) I'm working hard on appreciating those moments inside and loving them just the same. Every single day exists to be appreciated after all and you don't need a cosy long burning fire and a pinterest home to make the most of it. My student flat is very chilly, the paint is flaking and the walls are an unpleasantly aged shade of magnolia and often, we can hear mice in the walls. But I could spent forever dreaming of a house with an Aga and roll top bath... it's crucial to make the most of what I have indoors and love it regardless. 



  1. I love your wrapping! Such a great list, I try to work on my knitting and crochet on days indoors, one day I'll make a jumper too. And you've definitely inspired me to add a watercolour paint kit to my Christmas list.

    Zoe | floral and feather

    1. Thankyou Zoe! :)
      Water colour paints are SO MUCH FUN ^_^
      Good luck with your jumper! Be sure to post a picture when it's finished ;)

      Sarah xxx

  2. Beautiful pictures. very ethereal...

    1. Thank you Frenchie :D I like to think my world is slightly ethereal :P xxx

  3. How absolutely brilliant is this post? I love the clever Christmas wrappings! I especially appreciate finding someone else who appreciates the little things and likes to cozy up -- I'm really such a homebody at heart!

    Ashley || Sed Bona

    1. Homes are cosy and snuggly ^_^ We invest so much into them, as much as the outdoors is wonderful, there's no denying that it's great to spend some time just snuggling up and feeling good about things :D

      Thankyou for stopping by Ashley ^_^ <3

  4. I love these photos, they just capture the essence of relaxed, cosy days in on a winters day!

  5. Always love reading your posts, makes me so excited whenever I see *new* on my feed ;) your dress looks lovely too, so exciting even though it's a while away - I definitely support your reasons for wearing it more than once hehehe ^__^ ooh and I love the sound of that book, I haven't picked up a proper book in ages now (well for about a month and then it's been 6 months before that) so I'm on the hunt for something nice over the Christmas holidays... there is definitely more to indoors than netflix (I don't even own it tbh haha) and pizza, I love putting together 'cosy corners' and crafting to my heart's content – but not cleaning up the mess afterwards oops!

    Cherie / sinonym

    1. Oh Cosy corners are the best! :D I'm trying to establish window seat... underneath all my books are stacked up in the alcove ^_^ Thankyou for enjoying my posts :D I'm honoured to think that you get excited about them popping up! :D

      I hope you find a lovely book to read over the christmas holidays and have a wonderful, relaxing winter break ^_^

      Sarah xxx

  6. Agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Love your ideas and I do many of these! I love crafting when I am at home. I've just made myself a snowball glittery pom-pom to tie onto a headband for Christmas jumper day tomorrow, I'm just about to draw myself an R2D2 onto Shrink plastic and colour it to wear for when we go to see Star Wars on Saturday! SO nice to be creative!
    Your dress is beautiful, what I can see of it!
    I bought my dance dress for my wedding on Ebay in September at 9am even before we got engaged. It was an amazing white 50's dress with turquoise stars all over it from Vivien of Holloway and it was going for £30 which was huge bargain and I knew I wanted to wear that for my ceilidh if I got married. It was the time that everyone starts work (it was the end of the holidays) and so no one bidded against me and I got it for that- I was thrilled and hid it for almost a year!!!x

  7. That's such a good bargain! That dress sounds amazing! :D Do you have any pictures of it?
    Gosh I think you could add even more to this list and you seem to be the craft queen! :D
    I hope you enjoy Star Wars ^_^ I went to see it last night and it was really good :D


  8. Oh this is such a lovely post! As much as I love the great outdoors, winter is most definitely the time for the great indoors, especially when you live in the city (I do love wintry countryside walks). Your dress looks amazing, and oh I absolutely love your Christmas wrapping! I might have to do something similar, it's so beautiful.

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings


© The Salty Sea Blog. All rights reserved.