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Laura  writer/photographer 🌿deputy editor @91magazine 🌿 UK sharing small stories #littlestoriesofmylife | #theyearinbooks ✉️ laura@circleofpinetrees.com 🌿

http://circleofpinetrees.com/

Looking through a window, whether from inside out or outside in, we are given a glimpse of what lies beyond. I’m drawn to windows as liminal spaces between interior and exterior. This particular window belongs to my tiny loftroom study. I never tire of the rooftop view and its subtle alterations: the flock of black birds that gather in the tree, smoking chimneys, frost that makes the roofs sparkle, rosy sunrises, an occasional blanket of snow. A window is like an ever-changing picture in its plain wooden frame. #WHPwindows

‘what we see is our life moving like that/
along the dark edges of everything,/
headlights sweeping the blackness,/
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.’ - Mary Oliver (from Coming Home)

{#sponsored} Cold, grey January days sometimes call for a little extra sweetness. I’ve been baking cinnamon buns to have with a morning cuppa. They taste even sweeter served on @denbypottery Halo plates. Many years ago, when he was just a boy and I was just a girl, I gave my now husband (then friend) two Denby cups and saucers for his 21st birthday, because I always teased him about the horrid cracked mugs that we used for tea in his student house. Now we drink our tea in lovely Denby mugs, and I bake him cinnamon buns for breakfast- from sweet beginnings to a happy ending. ❤️ #denby ☕️🌀🕯

‘Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.’ - William Carlos Williams (from Winter Trees)

‘Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk.’ - Jane Kenyon (from A Hundred White Daffodils)

It can sometimes take courage to put yourself in the frame. I was chatting to @hannahargyle recently about the secrets of self portraits- I love the way that she uses a tripod to include herself in her beautiful images. After our conversation I vowed to take a tripod on my next walk, but yesterday morning, when I saw the hill shrouded in fog and dashed up to the woods, I clean forgot. Not to be deterred, I propped my camera up on a log using a twig and set the timer. I’ll never tire of photographing the foggy woods, but it’s good to step into the story occasionally. #fridayfacelessportrait #mistyfoggymilkymoody #littlestoriesofmylife

{#sponsored} Anyone for cake? This is the orange scented Olive Oil & Almond cake from the @womenforwomenuk cookbook. I was inspired by @mondomulia’s delicious bakes at a coffee & cookery workshop hosted by @taylors and @creatingforgood as part of their collaboration with @womenforwomenuk. It’s a project that I’m excited to continue to be a part of in the coming year. ☕️🍰❤️ #CFGExtraordinaryJourney

It’s been a slow start to the year... slow and intentional. I’ve made soup, baked bread and taken up yoga again after too many years. I love the sense of a new beginning as long as it brings energy and inspiration, not pressure to change, or to do and be more. So I’ve been treating myself gently and gently easing my way back into work. I started by cleaning and tidying my little attic study and making a stack of the books I’m hoping to read in the coming weeks. 📚Do you have a similar stack? If so, or if you enjoy bookish chat, I’m hosting my monthly #theyearinbooks chat over on Twitter shortly. Details on my stories. ⬆️

‘No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.’ —Virginia Woolf (from A Room of One's Own)

Nothing says fresh start like a blanket of untrodden snow. This quiet moment came the day after a heavy snowfall when I went alone to the woods. The familiar woodland clearing looked so different cloaked all in white. It was beautiful, but slightly eerie, like stepping into a Grimm’s fairy tale. I half expected a wolf or a witch to appear from behind one of the trees. ❄️📖🧙🏻‍♀️🐺

‘For last year's words belong to last year's language/
And next year's words await another voice.’ - T.S. Eliot (from Little Gidding)

Slow days, snow days; the lovely liminal days, the spaces in-between. I love this quiet pause at the end of the year, a time for the gathering of thoughts and the catching of breath. ❄️

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