We have two more nights left in the city..... I am so tired I am barely functioning. But last night I did have enough energy to order this beautiful intaglio print from the woman behind one of my favourite blogs, Prudence pouts, who makes gorgeous artworks and children's clothing for her Etsy shop. This is the second piece of art I've bought from her for our new house. I love its evocative quality, its fairytale air of mystery. It reminds me of all of my favourite childhood stories, and many of my favourite adult ones too - those ones set in big old houses with strange characters.....like Fuschia from Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, or one of the twins from Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry, which I've just finished reading.
Actually, the Prudence pouts blog was instrumental in my decision to move to Tasmania. I stumbled across it by accident, while looking for a Waldorf doll pattern. The author, a mixed media artist, makes and sells exquisite dolls (I will buy one one day...) but more importantly, for me at the time I discovered her, lives in rural Montana with her hubby and four children. The pictures on her blog crystallised something for me during my time of deep wondering about where to place roots for my family. They were such beautiful wild images of kids and nature, camping holidays, wooden cabins, riverside picnics, sticky cream cakes, gardens blooming with vibrant colour, and a chord was struck in my heart. This was it. The life I wanted for my family. I'd always known it in a way. After all this is why we left England, where country living wasn't an option for us at the time, mainly due to its prohibitive costs and also because so much in England is centralised in London.
Melbourne was fun for a while, but in terms of city life, London is a hard act to follow. I quickly realised that had I wanted to remain in a city, London would have had to have been it. But of course none of us wanted city life anymore. Having said that, all cities are notoriously hard to leave. They suck you in with a myriad of temptations, and while London has the most, Melbourne has many. So for a while we half-heartedly toyed with the idea of mortgaging ourselves to Northcote or Brunswick. But once I discovered Prudence and saw those images of what I knew I'd always wanted for my own children, my mind was made up. We'd stop being one of those couples who endlessly prevaricated over making the sea/tree change while slowly being drawn into the urban networks around us of school and work, and we'd find that big old weatherboard between the beach and the forest, and we'd give our children fresh air and plenty of nature to feast on. And we have, and now we're off. And when we get there I can gaze at this intriguing, slightly unsettling girl with her unruly hair and her challenging expression and I can think of Prudence and the part she has played in our move. Blogging..... it's certainly had an impact on me.
4 weeks ago