Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sweet Dark

What to do when life speeds too quickly, when decisions loom, and changes come--ready or not?  Why, chuck it all and go strawberry picking, of course.  Twenty minutes, a couple of quarts, then home for homemade biscuits and whipped cream, and loads and loads of berries.  The ones we picked were ripe, of course, but  the very small ones just turning pink look lovely out there in the field.  They always remind me of William Morris's "Strawberry Thief," which I believe is one of the most beautiful patterns ever created.  Can a humble blogger declare such things?  Well there, it's done.  
 
Then last night, as I was preparing to clean the rest of the berries (okay, as I was watching Torchwood on Netflix fully planning to clean the berries in an hour or two), the electricity went out.  For those of you who are new to this blog, I live in a massive nineteenth-century textile mill, so when the electricity goes out at night, this cavernous place gets rather spooky.  The elevator stops working and the stairwells are nearly pitch dark.  I imagine no one living our building was too happy last night.  No one except me.  I lit all the candles in our place and set to work cleaning the strawberries by candlelight.  I felt a bit like a strawberry thief myself, paring off their tops, eating nearly as many as I dropped into the bowl, there alone in my kitchen in the sweet dark.

28 comments:

  1. gorgeous! you always know how to paint a scene. I love that Liberty (I think?) print so much. It is the most gorgeous. Nice image of you as thief fussing with the berries by candlelight.

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  2. Oh, and when you were done, you had all those delicious berries to eat, by candlelight! Wonderful!

    William Morris remains my favourite. His patterns are in several rooms of my home. And I used them all over my husband's studio in the trees.

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  3. I am starting to think we should indulge in candlelight more often, isn't it fun? Me with my blogging by candlelight and now e-reading (I know, I know) and you with your strawberry task..Gets you thinking that maybe we should have a candle only night where we give our hydro a break. It makes me think and feel differently......which is good. And i didn't know you lived in an old textile mill........of course you do! I adore your stories
    Happy weekend and much love XO

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  4. what is it about fresh picked strawberries ?

    i swear they melt in my mouth.....and i would have love the lit candles around my house....such ambiance !

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  5. I know what you mean with life speeding by! Feeling very much the same at the moment, wish I had some strawberry fields close by! It's the start of fig season here, so I can't complain. I really enjoyed your candlelight strawberry cutting story, lovely photo. Yes, I agree with you it is one of the nicest of prints by William Morris.

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  6. Oh how I love the sound of that, candlelight, strawberries and your thoughts.
    xoxo

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  7. Is there anything more delicious than freshly picked sweet strawberries? Perhaps freshly picked strawberries by candlelight. xx

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  8. Dear Gigi, Notwithstanding the failure of the electricity company to provide power which is, after all, what you are paying for, how beautifully romantic this is. I love the image of the strawberries lit by candles and feel that their taste must have been even better and more pronounced when eaten in the semi-dark.

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  9. I like the idea of being a strawberry thief. Nothing better than fresh berries, the smell is intoxicating. And by candle light? Well, who could resist?

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  10. Dear Gigi,
    There is nothing better than eating strawberries that you have picked yourself, straight from the field, by candlelight.How romantic. I hope you fed them to your other half !!
    ....and Willian Morris wallpaper is legend over here. Because we have a Victorian house as most of our friends have, Willian Morris is a must at some point. My sister has 'Acorns' in her study and my friend has 'Honeysuckle' in her dining room (I think it's 'Honeysuckle'. Don't quote me on that one !!)
    Gorgeous photographs and a timely reminder for us to go strawberry picking. XXXX

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  11. You know how to enjoy even a power outage. Good for you! :)

    The strawberries look wonderful.

    xo

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  12. Strawberries you pick yourself are so real, as is candlelight. Speed and changes and decisions aren't really, so they take second place.

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  13. What great use of candle light. You do have a flair for the gorgeous GIGI!!!

    What a perfect stolen moment for you. I love the sound of your building, it seems so artsy-so clever-like YOU! xoxo

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  14. Strawberries by candlelight...taste even sweeter! ;o) I love that... This weekend I'm hoping to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie--our rhubarb has long been reading for picking/using. Beautiful story shared today... Happy Weekend, Gigi. Oh, I'm celebrating my blogiversary this weekend with a little gift giveaway--stop by if you can. ((HUGS))

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  15. Strawberries by candlelight, how magical! I have been strawberry picking in my own backyard for the first time and I am loving it - they are so yummy! Have a gorgeous weekend my lovely friend! xxoo :)

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  16. mmmm ... your old soul is shining through ... :)
    one mustn't hurry picking berries by hand ~ it is a methodical act that takes the time it takes (especially when you are eating as many as you pick ~ i see the stains *giggle*!)
    and then to have the power go out so you can clean them by candlelight is just the perfect finish to the entire 'play' ... it's quiet, it's just you and the berries ...
    the only humming in the room is you ...
    *smile*
    love your story and images and you!
    pg

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  17. I don't know why I don't do something like that by choice. I light candles, but more for the scent...or the tablescape picture:) I need to light them and turn off the lights, the television, the computer...and just be...

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  18. i love candlelight...and strawberries... fresh... yes please.....

    xxo, kim

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  19. Oooh!! How perfectly lovely and perfectly romantic!!

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful image. I imagine you in a mop cap and shawl, the old mill creaking and settling around you for the night.

    Lovely... x

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  20. love your thoughts and the paring the strawberries in the dark. yum

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  21. It isn't only the candlelight that I love about power outages but the absolute quiet that occurs...it is astonishing to me how much noise goes on in the house that isn't even noticed until the power goes out...

    ...and I love all things William Morris...I sleep amongst his willow design (or a take off of it I should say:)

    It has been very stormy in your neck of the woods lately!

    xo

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  22. Oh, my friend... You do paint the most beautiful word pictures.

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  23. The strawberries look absolutely delicious:). If it were me, I don't think that any would have made it into the bowl. Good for you;).

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    xoxo,
    Blair

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  24. I love this scene - you take an ordinary event, a power loss, and paint with words a beautiful portrait. I absolutely love 'the strawberry thief' too!

    Sigh...so very sweet.

    Smiles

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  25. Gigi ~
    I've missed my "Magpie" fix! We took the crumb to visit her gypsy rv-traveling grandparents, so for the past few days, we have been camping and re-uniting our souls with nature. Feels so good to just 'shut off' ~ no electricity, technology, or looming to-do lists. But now I'm ready to jump in the kitchen and bake some biscuits, whip up a bit of cream, and add copious amounts of fresh strawberries to the plate!
    Bisous,
    Melissa

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  26. What a beautiful vision, strawberries by candlelight.

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  27. Oh sweet Gigi..only you would think to do such a whimsical thing when the power goes out. You inspire parts of me that didn't even know they needed to be inspired.
    The berries aren't quite ready yet in this neck of the woods. We have had such a cold and cloudy spring..the sun hasn't had time to do its magic yet...but I can almost taste them as I read your words. There is nothing more luscious than a seasonal strawberry.

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