the quiet harmony of perfect taste

February is not very old yet already I feel I have the measure of it. It is dark and grey and stormy, and the lack of light forces us to experience the world through a sort of blindfold: when our vision is diminished, we rely on our other senses. I had many things to show you in this post yet the light is so poor that cruel February has stolen even my pictures and so the 'illustrations' will have to remain in your imaginations.

It is said that those who are blind are sometimes able to experience light through other sensations, and in the same way it is through the heat of the log fire and the scent of hyacinths and a tiny sprig of Sarcococca(Christmas Box) that I am finding brightness at the moment. Also, through the power of sheer escape: last weekend we ate a delicious lunch and drank exquisite cups of hot strong tea at one of my favourite places:

There is a splendid old advertisement hanging on the wall as you queue for a table and I love its language and sentiment. It is exactly what I felt as we drove there:

"Let's go to Betty's, where we can meet our friends, and discuss things amongst surroundings that have the quiet harmony of perfect taste."

On the way we saw the patterns of twigs and buds and fields and sheep with a flock of lapwings twisting and turning overhead. On the way back we saw the most enormous red sun dipping away into the dark horizon. A wonderful tonic for these dark days.

Another excellent tonic is ordering a little but lovely piece of art from a talented artist: when I received my beautiful print from Amanda at Mangle Prints I found that she had generously slipped in this ephemeral printed waxed heart that hangs and gently turns at the window, filtering the lean pale light through its delicate design. Her work is lovely: have a look here.

14 comments:

Gretel said...

Ooh that is a nice heart and I've just bookmarked the shop too - I wish there was more really good quality stuff on Folksy like this.

Gina said...

Lovely gentle post... and thank you for the link to mangle prints. I've just treated myself to some cards. Such gorgeous work.

Poshyarns said...

I love the wax heart, it seems perfect for a stormy February. Thank you for the link to her work, something to wish for.

Jane said...

Oh for a lovely lunch or tea at Bettys... Think I'll have to order fat rascals by post to cheer us up! Thinks for the link, the prints are super.

Frances said...

Sue, I have read this delightful, contemplative post of yours just before I need to get on my way to work. Now...I truly want to play hooky and draw all day! Alas, I am going to have to try to hold on to that urge for two more days. Next time off will be Wednesday.

Many thanks to you also for the introduction to another artist.

xo

Mangle Prints said...

Thank you so much Sue, not only for your order, but for this wonderful blog post. Gives me hope that Spring will soon be with us, and the dark days of Winter will be gone soon.

marigold jam said...

Lovely post as always and no need for pictures with such evocative prose!

Jane

elsy said...

what a beautiful heart....thanks for the introduction....the light is coming thats for sure.......thank goodness, the dark days are an increasing killer!

Sweet Birdy Love said...

Hey Sue, a lovely post. It's funny but your description of February - dark, stormy and lack of light, actually appeals to me. I love that sort of weather, but I guess day after day after week of it does make you wish for sunshine, light and warmth.

The heart is lovely and I will head over to Mangle Prints while I have my morning coffee. Just a shame I don't have one of Betty's delectable treats to have with my coffee.......

Claire :}

Lesley Austin said...

Hello Sue,
Like Claire, I am rather intrigued with the idea of day after day of rain and grey. I do not know if I would actually like the reality, but I would like to give it a try. We have an overcast day now and then, occasionally some snow or rain, but mostly lots of cold, sunny days.

Would you like to to swap your lovely rambles and tea at Betty's in the gloom for sunny hayfields and homemade scones in Virginia?

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Hope you find some quiet harmony to achieve all you wish in February x

ps. I'm having a little giveaway on my blog giving away one of my hearts for valentine's day and would love you to enter. Best wishes, Carolyn x

Jackie said...

I read your blog for your perfect taste and your use of language. It brightens even february.
I love Bettys too. Its wort the queue.

Jacqui Dodds said...

I would love to be in Betty's Tea Rooms it is one of my favourite places to go when in York and Harrogate.
I also like Amanda's prints too :-)

A still small voice said...

I am trying to work out whether that is Harrogate or Ilkley...perhaps we could meet up for a posh cuppa one day...hope you are well..H