It’s been just over a month since my last post, and I’m not sure how this happened. While it feels as if lockdown has lasted for a very long time indeed, when it comes to work and deadlines and cramming things into a week, June seemed to fly past. Anyone else feeling this? Lockdown has created a pattern where every piece of work has taken longer to do, and I was creating Steller stories too, so the blog took a backseat. But here we are on July 3, and this feels like a big date in Scotland as after all these weeks (almost fifteen weeks) of staying close to home, we can travel again. Just knowing that we can get in the car and go places, and return to our much-missed coastal walks, feels so good.
It feels as if spring has shifted into summer this week, even though we’re still in May. The biggest challenge of our home in summer is the temperature. We face south-east at the back where there’s a glass-roofed conservatory that’s our dining room, and as this is open to the kitchen and the sitting room there’s really no way of preventing this heat from just …. seeping everywhere. If you’re someone who really enjoys warmth, you’d love this set up. If, like me, you really can’t handle heat and enjoy cooler days, you’d be dreaming of escaping to a house that was well ventilated, with extensive glazing in the right places (not on the roof in other words), and open plan living where every space feels comfortable all year round.
Weekends have been the strangest days for me during these lockdown weeks. Mondays to Fridays still have a familiar routine: I’m still mostly at my desk, looking for work, doing work, and then getting stuck in the creative things that I love, like Steller. But weekends are different. Weekends have always been about being outdoors; about getting in the car and escaping somewhere. What places are on your list to escape to once lockdown eases? I’m not talking about big trips or far flung adventures at this point; I’m looking some weeks ahead to phase 2 of our COVID-19 route map in Scotland when we can drive to places that are local. For me, staying in East Lothian, my top three would be John Muir Country Park, Yellowcraig at low tide, and this place, Ravensheugh Sands, near Tyninghame.
I seem to have settled into a habit of late night scrolling on Pinterest, usually just before I pop my phone onto airplane and head to bed, but first I’ll tap open Pinterest for a quick browse – you know, five minutes, not a moment longer – and half an hour later I’m still there because I’ve happened across a timber-clad house and that’s led me to lots of other timber-clad houses, and then I’m sucked into a Pinterest vortex of timber cabins. Which is what happened here, when I came across Villa Rauhanniemi, the beautiful vacation home of Joanna Laajisto, the creative talent behind the Finnish architecture practice Studio Joanna Laajisto. Before going any further, can we take a second to appreciate this combo of herringbone brick floor and timber panelling below? Gorgeous.
Last summer, back in the days when life was still ‘normal’ and we thought nothing of getting in the car and going places (remember those days?), we went to visit Holyrood Architectural Salvage in Edinburgh looking for something for the garden. As we were wandering around, I spotted an array of vintage tiles that were arranged by pattern in small batches, and as I was looking at them, admiring their rich hues and retro feel, I was wondering what someone might use them for. As that’s a problem when considering period tiles: finding enough of the design or style you want to work for the project you might have in mind.