Tuesday, 26 June 2012

O!

A little while ago, Masha of Hearting Handmade gave me the letter 'O' after she challenged her readers in her post '10 L-Words I love'. It was harder than I thought, and took weeks (!) but was also fun! Here are my 10 O-words.

1. Owls
This was the obvious one (though it wasn't the first thing that popped into my head, as you'll see below). I have loved owls for as long as I can remember, influenced I think by a dear family friend (who always sent me owl cards) as well as by their near-universal charm. I am happy that owls are no longer the latest trend: according to Spoonflower, snails are the new owls!

(I'm very grateful to Laura - I discovered this lovely video on her blog!)

2. Orlando
I adore Orlando the Marmalade Cat. Kathleen Hale is one of my favourite illustrators and the books take me back to childhood. I love the cats' personalities: the tender relationship between Orlando and Grace, his wife, and their three naughty kittens. (On a completely different note, Virginia Woolf's book Orlando is one of my favourite novels.)

{image source}

3. Oxlip
This is one of the wildflowers that became rare in the UK, although I believe it is thriving again now. Somewhere between a cowslip and a primrose, it has pretty yellow flowers and was a happy discovery on country walks when I was a child.

{image source}

4. Old
It's not that I love any old thing, it's just that I am fascinated by objects with a history and a past. I don't need to know what that history is to love it: I like to imagine. I recently bought some of these antique botanical illustrations, some for me, some for a friend. Who held that book and turned these pages?


5. Ordinary
Hear me out on this one: I spent my teenage years and early twenties feeling that every moment of my life had to be perfectly special. As I've grown older, I've learnt that a lot of life is perfectly ordinary, banal, mundane... and wonderful! Here's an example: what could be more ordinary than falling in love, or giving birth? I chose ordinary rather than "original" because I believe it's actually more important to embrace ordinariness in order to be happy. Originality is a great byproduct.


6. Oxymoron
Funny, odd, these contradictory images can be powerful in poetry. You can find out more in the wikipedia entry. I love them in the mad, illuminating and obscure poetry of Gerard de Nerval. In his Chimères he speaks of a radiant darkness...


7. Orphée
This is one of my favourite films. It's a bizarre, dreamlike film from 1950 by Jean Cocteau, a French artist, poet and filmmaker influenced by the surrealists. It retells the classical story of Orpheus, who tries to rescue his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld. You can find out more about it here.

{image source}

8. Open
I believe in being open to the world, not shutting it out. It's how we learn, and it breeds curiosity and tolerance. It can be hard when the world seems scary, but it's worth it.

{you can find out more about this badge I made in this post}

9. Ocean
I've written about it before, in this post. Everything about the ocean inspires me and makes me happy.


10. Orgasm
This was actually the first word that popped into my head when Masha assigned me "O"! {blushes}. I don't think it really needs an explanation, do you?

{image from the film, Amélie - if you don't remember this scene you should watch it again!}

If you would like me to challenge you with a letter, please let me know in a comment!

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