Friday diary

Friday Diary: Day 19 #100daysofhaiku by daintydora

It's day 19 of #100daysofhaiku - the challenge I set myself as part of The Great Discontent's #the100daysproject. Each day is an opportunity to record the thoughts of the day in a beautifully pared down and edited form. I think Haiku poetry is my cup of tea.


A diary brings
the secrets of myself from
the darkness inside.

I loved keeping a diary as a young girl and a teenager, and now as an adult, I call it a journal and just write down my thoughts. I can't imagine not having access to pen and paper to do such a simple but wonderful thing, as a regular (if not daily) practice.

For now and for the next 81 days, I'll have my daily Haiku to remind me what I was thinking/doing/seeing/feeling.

And I've tried to experiment with how I share my progress for this project because, well I don't want to say 'it's just words'. But... It is just words, rather than something more arty and visually attractive.

Here's some of my favourite Haiku shares from Instagram:


Friday Diary: This week I... by daintydora

This week wasn't an exceptional, extraordinary week, but it started with SPRING. Spring in the garden and a spring clean. There was a lot of sunshine and that felt good.

#100daysofhaiku Day 5/100

And this is a Friday diary and so this week I...


  • Wrote 2,000 words per day for three days = 6,000 words towards my novel. That felt great.
  • Finished reading Lena Dunham's book 'Not That Kind of Girl'. Wow.
  • Started reading Cyndi Lauper's Memoir. Wow.
  • Discovered the benefits of Aloe Vera gel. Wow.
  • Went to a gig & wore a vintage dress & wrote postcards while sitting in my car & drove home at midnight feeling alive & buzzy with ideas.
  • Found out that my eyes are so dry I may never be able to wear contact lenses again. How did this happen? What can I do?
  • Met a friend for lunch & chatter & cocktails & it was so sunny it felt like we could have been abroad. We should have been abroad!
  • Bought new sunglasses because it was so sunny.
  • Had my hair cut and discovered a new salon above a bridal shop. (My last haircut was in November.)
  • Bought a teapot as a gift. And some lemon shortbread. And nearly burst into tears when the sales assistant asked me if it was for anything special.
  • Noticed the blossom budding on my cherry tree.
  • Got out my summer clothes that were packed away last autumn.
  • Signed up for The 100 days project, choosing haiku to do as my 'creative act'.
  • Noticed the positive knock-on effect in my creative life of committing to 'show' up' for 100 days.
  • Signed up for an illustration class.
  • Had strange dreams of spiders and fairy nymphs carried in a satchel on a horse and cart in London...
  • Heard great news from two friends.
  • Heard not so good news from another friend.
  • Made bread.
  • Ate cake.
  • Felt happy.
  • Felt sad.
  • Thought about the future.
  • Thought about the past.
  • Got up early.
  • Slept in late.
  • Got inspired.
  • Got disheartened.
  • Got inspired again.
  • Started a new art journaling season of BRAVE.

What about you? What does your diary say for this week?


Friday Diary: My 2nd Liebster Award & 11 extra facts by daintydora

What a lovely, brilliant, exciting surprise it was to receive my second Liebster Award, this time from Pia who blogs at These Woven Words. (My first Liebster Award was from Michelle at That Summer Feeling. Another shout out to the wonderful, bright, pineapple & pink flamingo-loving Michelle!)

Liebster Award Pink


And now for the 11 questions I need to answer:

1. What's the last thing you made?

A decorated hairband to wear to a family wedding. It's electric blue and cream tulle with a vintage button and little pearls. Less is more!

Wedding Hairband in the planning Wedding Hairband in Electric Blue

2. What's one of your fondest memories?

Knitting with my Nana and going to buy wool together from her local wool shop. It was an expedition!

3. Favourite thing to drink?

Tea, in all its many flavours. I like Gunpowder green and Sweet Rhubarb and Earl Grey.

Japanese teapot, The Magpie Diaries

4. Best book you've read recently?

I raced through Office Girl by Joe Meno the other week, which inspired some radical art-guerrilla-thinking. I'm now reading The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing and savouring each page.

5. Is there a cause or charity you feel strongly about and why?

Refuge/Women's Aid - any charity that supports women who've experienced domestic violence/abuse because it's a topic close to my heart.

6. Favourite place to read?

In bed! Or in my cosy green leather chair in the sunshine.

7. What's your idea of an awesome holiday?

An exciting city break absorbing the sights, sounds, delights and discoveries of a different culture. Or a wonderfully relaxing spa break. I'm dying to visit New York, and have a long-held dream of spending the night in an Ice Hotel and seeing the Northern Lights (in Iceland or somewhere more exotic than Aviemore...) And I really want to visit the Norwegian Fjords.

8. Best snack?!

It sounds a bit too perfect and healthy, but I love snacking on a mix of brazil nuts and almond nuts and pumpkin seeds and raisins. I like to keep a packet of oatcakes in my bag for snack emergencies too, especially if I'm going on a journey or shopping trip. Smoothies and chocolate milkshakes I also count as 'snacks'. Oh, and toasted teacakes/fruit cakes are my guilty secret. Yep, lots of snacking here!

Snack place crumbs

9. What do you think your best attribute is?

I think my imagination and being able to see things from multiple perspectives. It takes me places and is at the heart of my creativity.

10. What are you listening to this week?

The sound of silence - hoping for silence anyway; to write and make progress on my projects, but instead the weather has had other ideas and the wind and rain have been pretty noisy, as have my neighbours playing LOUD music in the daytime. Apart from that I love listening to the radio.

11. Is there something or someone that makes you laugh every time?

My Mum.We bicker & banter but there is always something to laugh about; something hysterical, some misconstrued sentence or silly saying. And she has some very sharp observations.

And now here's 11 extra facts about me:

1. I'm a Piscean; emotional, watery, a dreamer swimming in multiple directions.

2. I love writing and I'm writing a book. Books. More than one book. It's exciting!

3. I've just rediscovered my love of drawing.

4. In another era, I think I would have made a great hippy. Peace, man.

5. I adore OWLS but they went a bit mainstream there for a while.

6. I'm terrified of spiders, even teeny ones.

7. I'm a recovering hoarder trying to transform into a minimalist.

8. I'm 5'11'' and rarely wear heels.

9. I'm clinging on to my 'vintage' ways and do not have/want a Kindle or E-book reader.

10. I have a first class honours degree in Textiles & Fashion Design.

11. My favourite colour is GREEN.

GREEN things

And now here's 11 blogs I nominate for a Liebster Award:

1. Rare Pear Studio

2. Squiggle and Swirl

3. Sew Crafty Goodness

4. A Quirky Bird

5. The Creatory Blog

6. Lila Wolff

7. A Zesty Life

8. She Who Rambles

9. Beautiful Life Industries

10. Girl Fifteen

11. Not So Nanna


Hooray to you guys but there's so many more blogs that I love and want to shout out, like my magpie-sister Helenor and my writer friend Vikki (so that's 13 for Friday 13th!)
And I want to give a special shout out to Pip Lincolne! #RADgirl

Now for the 11 questions: I just answered Pia's set and I think they're fabulous, so let's stick with them!

Meanwhile, Birdandfox set out such clear helpful tips for what to do next if you've been nominated, that I've (also) replicated them below:

What YOU need to do when you post in response: - Acknowledge the blog that nominated you. - Include the Liebster Award image on your post. - Respond to the 11 questions I wrote for you. - Include 11 facts about yourself. - Nominate 11 other blogs you think are deserving of the award. - Include 11 questions for them to answer. - Get in contact with those bloggers to let them know you have nominated them.

Wow, that was a big post with a lot of information.

I do love writing a #diary!


Friday Diary: A week of being 34 by daintydora

After the excitement of last week; birthday week, a Thursday birthday and a weekend spent in spaaaa bliss, everything else feels a bit...flat. Sometimes it's hard to re-motivate after a crescendo of activity and planning and chatter and fun. But life is about finding joy in the everyday, in the little things. Being mindful. Seeking out happiness.

Three days and nights of enforced relaxation is a bit strange though with everyone (me) glued to technology and social media and keeping up with keeping up. But I enjoyed the time away from my computer, from home, from housework and from 'normal life' because it creates the space to decompress and just be.

Airth Castle Spa Hotel

Husband and I stayed in a lovely four-poster room at Airth Castle Spa Hotel in Stirlingshire, Scotland, and battened down the hatches against the cold and rain and wind and snow. There were also many moments of beautiful sunshine, as seen above.

We had robes and slippers and we made full use of them in the spa. I swam and sat in the Jacuzzi pool and closed my eyes in the sauna to fully immerse in the beautiful, aromatic scent of wood and heat. And then I took a cold shower because it got so hot!

Airth Castle Spa Hotel View

Drinking in the afternoon and cocktails before dinner and candle-lit dinners were the order of the day.

Breakfasts consisted of watermelon and continental cheeses and croissants and pots of tea. One snoozy afternoon I succumbed to two enormous hot chocolates bubbling over with marshmallows. After dinner on the first night I enjoyed the divine art of a Calypso coffee.

I had two spa treatments in the Elemis spa followed by green tea with lemon and then reading by the pool.

I saw my collage chosen to be featured on the Brown Paper Mag site alongside a colourful array of other entries, all in response to the theme of 'New Landscapes'.

New Landscapes Collage

I read magazines in the daytime that I hadn't had time for before. It felt super-indulgent. On Sunday, after all that relaxation, I got into bed with my clothes on for a nap and it felt amazing.

Crisp white hotel sheets and the decadence of a daytime nap.

I slept for hours - all part of the detoxing and unwinding process.

And then (this would never happen at home), we put the TV on and the afternoon film was about to start -  James Bond 'View to a Kill' - so we lay and watched it, wrapped up in a time-warp away from the world of 'things to do'.  I enjoyed watching Grace Jones whip about as one of the villains with her strong outfits and chiseled angles. And then I was tired again. We skipped dinner and I fell asleep between 7 and 8pm. What? This is unheard of. I must have needed it.

Fairy Lights at Airth Castle Airth Castle Spa Hotel by night

I'd set my alarm clock for early the next morning so we could have a swim and a last blast in the sauna and the steam room before breakfast and check-out. We had the spa area to ourselves and the water temperature in the pool was perfect. I savoured another solo trip to the sauna and thought of Helsinki.

By 9am the snow was swirling down and it made the fact we were in a castle even more romantic and exciting. A castle in Scotland in the snow!

We were home in no time, but it was exhausting being out of the spa environment. I call this a 'spa hangover'. A 'spa-over'.

I gave into it and continued reading, not stopping until I'd finished my book (Jo Nesbo page-turning Scandi-noir). It felt like I'd tricked time somehow because I would never normally do anything so decadent on a Monday afternoon (though it did feel like a Sunday.)

On Tuesday I got back to normal and posted up my latest photography experiments. But then I was so sad to hear from family in Cape Town about the fires sweeping through the southern peninsula. Some of the images looked so surreal they could almost be described as beautiful if it weren't for the damage they spoke of. I think the worst is over but the devastation is still to be quantified.

Reading the names of the places involved took me right back to the stories that my Nana used to tell me of growing up there; of Muizenberg and Kalk Bay and Hout Bay. I must write that story.

On Wednesday I was ready for another adventure and ended up out for lunch and dinner and a welcome trip to the Kadampa meditation centre for midweek meditation. I always leave feeling so relaxed.

Breathe in glorious, positive bright white light, breathe out thoughts and worries in the form of black smoke.

So simple yet so powerful.

On Thursday I couldn't believe it had been a week since my birthday.

I worked on my book (#amwriting) and did some knitting and scrapbooking and thought about Spring coming, now, on its way. New life sprouting up in the garden. Daffodils and tulips and greenery getting greener. Nature quietly working away.


Today, well today I'm feeling a bit like a jellyfish again. All discombobulated from strange, intricate dreams and perhaps too much sleep and time is sliding quietly sideways.

And in many respects my first week of being 34 has been just a normal week. Boring, almost. No love letter left for a stranger, no influx of birthday messages. But then that's the ebb and flow of life. And it's often the small things, the tiny, insignificant details of life that make it into something significant.

A vast experience of little moments that add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Thoughts and feelings and emotions that boil up together into an exotic brew like George's marvellous medicine for everyday with pockets of surprise and serendipity and magic.

What's going to happen next? Who knows, but I plan to enjoy every second.

Happy Friday!