An(other) occasion to ponder the question of love... by daintydora

Today in particular I feel my thoughts turn to the question of love. This is what I wrote about it last year. And here's love in a perfect pattern repeat. And here's a love poem: 'Verdant Love Thieves'.

LOVE in reverse

In all honesty, I don't think I'm ever not thinking about love - in one of its many forms.

Recently I attended a workshop on Karma, and it inspired me to consider all that the heart is capable of, all the different kinds of love, and how Love/Heart become transferable words:

Kind Love, Flexible Love, Passionate Love, Hidden Love, Invisible Love, Unrequited Love, Past Love, Future Love, Possible Love, Free Love, Manifest Love, Distant Love, Familial Love, Romantic Love, Complex Love, Loving Love, Unconditional Love, Cruel Love, Conscious Love, Unconscious Love, Karmic Love, Tantric Love, Precious Love, Material Love, Jealous Love, Cupboard Love..."

And how many other kinds of love are there?

So many. So many words that could describe the concept of love. As many as you could think of. A dictionary full. And a Thesaurus. And endless fictional and self-help books that describe this elusive puzzle, so crucial to joy in life.

But still. What is it? Just a concept or a feeling?

I think it's different to each of us, as unique as we are. And each different type of love, every version of love means something different in itself and to each person. And that's OK. Because it is so personal, so intimate. No-one can tell you to be in love, to fall in love, to stay in love, diagnose love, prescribe love. It comes from inside, deep inside, inside your heart and your head.

Chemicals and visions and thoughts and electric pulses conspire to create a set of circumstances where you fall under that devastating spell and perhaps you'll be lucky enough to never emerge. Or perhaps we all need to experience the many nuances of love and the opposite of love, to really know it?

It's my/our wedding anniversary today, and so as I ponder the question of love, I give thanks for it - signed, sealed, delivered - 7 years ago today and every day since. And for all the other kinds of love that I experience around me and carry in my heart.


Midweek Poetry: I carry your heart by E.E. Cummings by daintydora

My sister in law is getting married today, and I'll be reading this beautiful poem at the wedding:

I carry your heart, by E.E. Cummings

Happy Wedding Day to Joanna & Andrew, today, 1st April 2015 xxx

(N.B. There is some weird background noise here which sounds a bit like a long fart. It isn't. It wasn't! I don't know what it is. I meant well. I'll use a proper mic next time!)


LOVE captured, fleeting in black & white by daintydora

Some images of the word LOVE captured in condensation, ethereal and fleeting.

It was early on a cold and frosty morning and the sun shone brightly through the letter-gaps I'd created, which were then reflected back to me on the wall. I couldn't have planned for it. It just happened.
Just like love.

LOVE written on a condensated window

Found love
Bold love
Black and white love
Hot love
Sweaty love
Profound love
Distant love
Distilled love
Faded love
Crazy love
Captured in condensation love
Love in the window
Love in his eyes
Love in her eyes
Love in disguise
Love in reverse
Love in the background
Love in real life
Love in the past
Love in the future
Love in your heart
Love all around

LOVE written on a condensated window LOVE written on a condensated window


Friday Diary: (Flashback) Amour à Paris by daintydora

"Everything feels heart-shaped in Paris."

Padlocks at Passerelle des Arts in Paris

I've been lucky enough to visit Paris three times so far, experiencing completely different sights and sounds and inspirations each time.

It was by chance that the last time I was there, my husband and I discovered the Passerelle des Arts, or 'Lover's Bridge', which has been a romantic frivolity for the last few years.

The idea is for couples to lock their own personal cadenas d’amour - love padlocks - to the fence, etched with their initials, and throw the keys into the Seine to 'lock their love together forever'.

Yes, a bit cheesy, but the kind of thing you do as a tourist in the city of love. So we did.

At first I wondered where we were going to get a padlock, but luckily all the tourist shops are well stocked on this front, and from the prices - I saw one at 9 euros - make a nice profit selling to star-crossed lovers.

Padlocks at Passerelle des Arts in Paris

We opted for a heart-shaped red version with 'Paris' in white lettering (tres chic!). There was no ritual of throwing the keys into the Seine while locked in a passionate embrace however, as it was a combination lock.

I've got the photographs so that's enough. I'm also glad we didn't contaminate the Seine any further, but also feel a bit bad that we contributed to a part of the bridge collapsing last year. Not romantic. And now the padlocks have probably all been moved. C'est la vie.

I was fascinated by the variety of padlocks on display though and took a load of photos. It was like a mini art installation that everyone could participate in. Some people had gone to a lot of trouble writing their names and love messages in permanent marker or nail varnish or Tippex, and a few even had proper engravings on. Yes. I know. Engravings - pre-meditated romance!

Padlocks at Passerelle des Arts in ParisPadlocks at Passerelle des Arts in Paris

The trend has sprung up in other cities now too. We spotted a similar padlocked bridge in Helsinki last year.

The Seine through branches

Everything view, every sight or sound in Paris is a cliché, but it doesn't matter.

Passerelle des Arts - Lover's BridgePadlocks at Passerelle des Arts in Paris

After locking our love together we wandered into the Jardin de Tuileries, where swans skimmed the pond (were there really swans? Or did I just make that up because it felt like they were there? Maybe it was just a few oiseaux. It seemed like there were swans.)

Pond in the Jardin des Tuileries

Beautiful tree etched with love heart

In the cemetery at Montparnasse, initials and a heart were etched into this tree, just metres from the graves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.

She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal.”
Simone de Beauvoir

Friday Diary: The things we save, unopened, unused by daintydora

I often think about the things I have that I haven't used yet, unseen and unopened. It's not that I have loads of abandoned things, but sometimes I'll find a little packet of something tucked away, like a pack of tights 'too special' to wear yet, or an unworn but coveted item of clothing that I don't want to 'spoil'. I don't think I do it consciously. It's more an understanding with myself: not yet, not yet, the time hasn't come yet.

This week I discovered four sets of earrings that my husband bought for me in 2012. I remember it was 2012 because he was working away for a few months. In London. And it was winter. And I missed him.

Unopened packets of earrings from the V&A

We saw each other every few weeks, but it's not the same. It feels different. I think you act different somehow. You get used to someone being there, or not. And when you're used to it just being you again, living alone, it takes a few days to readjust to someone else again. And then the visit is over.

One weekend I visited him in London, and of course I wanted to make the most of all the city has to offer (creative-inspiration overwhelm!)

We went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Of course. It was the exhibition about British Design (1948-2012).

We arrived late having dawdled through the day and got lost on the Tube. The exhibition was going to close in less than an hour.

We wangled a student entry because it was so late in the day, despite not being students. We ran to the exhibition and began power-reading the signs that described the displays and absorbing all the innovation in double-quick time. We giggled. It was fun. We felt like students, young, younger, silly, carefree. I don't think we would have felt quite the same if we'd been going to an exhibition at home. Everything felt amplified and different, caught in a bubble, stretched and kaleidoscopic with colour.

Of course we had to visit the shop. I think it was open later than the exhibition? I bought a 'Betty' rain hat in vivid pink that I now feel a bit embarrassed to wear.

And then I saw the earrings. I loved them. They were so fun. My husband bought me these four designs. It was silly. They weren't so expensive. But he wanted to get me them to make me happy and because it felt like we were on holiday and they were in funky colours and shapes. We were at the V&A! In London!

And I really don't know why I didn't just take a pair out of its packet right there and wear them straight away. Wear them home. Out to dinner. On the flight home.

Earrings in their little packets, savored, fingered, unopened. Pretty cellophane that holds inside everything that I felt on that day, so far away from home and from my life, but my life was there right with me; me and my husband and all our memories ,together, living, happy.

Just seeing the packets of earrings this week transported me back there again, feeling the same things, the same emotions. Holding hands, skipping round exhibitions, feeling free, loose and free and like there was nothing else in the world. Just him and me where I picked these earrings in sweetie colours, plastic fantastic.

Unopened packet of earrings from the V&A

And I've still never worn them. They've taken on new meaning.

Isn't life (and love) strange?

Friday Diary: the truth about love by daintydora

Love is strange. Everyone knows that. It's not just one feeling or a potion or wandering around in a misty trance. It's not roses or chocolate or champagne. It's not relying on just one other person to make you happy or fulfill all your needs as a human being.

Love is a whole intoxicating blend of tiny nuanced chemical reactions; atoms shaken, blended, scent, sight, memory, past, future, now, together, tight, elastic, hot, cold, LOVE.

Today is my 6th wedding anniversary and for the last few weeks I've been thinking back over the years I've spent with my husband, both since we have been married, and before.

Someone once told me that when you meet a partner while you are young, that person always 'sees' you as you looked at that age. They don't notice the passing years, the changes in your face...wrinkles. And I think it's true. Looking back at photographs of my husband and I when we first got together, we look so young! And I didn't think we'd changed. But we have. Tiny shifts. But it doesn't matter, because love expands in a strange time-memory-continuum, accommodating the changes.

So this years' suggested 6th anniversary 'gift' is iron or candy. And strangely, I just had to buy a new iron. But that wasn't a wedding anniversary present. That was just housework and my love of sewing.

And that's the big truth: love needs no gift. Nothing at all is required but being there, together. Togetherness is the gift. Happy. Talking. Listening. Sharing. Loving.

We didn't have a big wedding. In fact, we kind of eloped. We know what our love means to us and what it means to be in love. And it doesn't demand glitz or extravagance. Those things are nice sometimes of course; the icing on the cake, the froth and fun. But they don't make the cake, if you know what I mean.

We are both emotional beings. Human beings. We're both ruled by the sea, by Neptune (if you believe in astrology, which I do). There are storms, waves, shipwrecks, but that's to be expected in real life. This is real life. Not a fairytale.

But our love still feels like a fairytale:

The night he first kissed me. The Red Arrows drawing a heart in the sky above us on our first weekend away. The proposal on our first holiday, after a day in Egypt and lunch on the Nile. Getting married in a castle. An owl delivering our wedding rings...

I still get flowers, a dozen red roses out of the blue, chocolates, thoughtful gifts. And lots of tea. We're not perfect. But nothing is. Love to me is the embodiment of 'wabi-sabi'.


  1. Being there, side by side, in quiet contentment
  2. Warmth. Cosying up. The tingling feeling of being in love (and the fact I can't help always being cold...)
  3. Tea. A lot of tea. And him knowing when to make tea (all the time)

When I asked my husband what love means to him, his answer was:

  1. Warming up your cold hands (and feet)
  2. Making a lot of tea
  3. IT support

We're talking the same language. Mostly.

And that's love.



Midweek Fight-Night - A Poem by daintydora

Midweek fight-night
is nothing
like date-night.
Instead screams
steal reason
from equilibrium;
temper frays
vile words
them through the air.
A suffocation of tears
roared out
the brittle dialogue of hearts.
Slammed doors
replace lipstick romance.
Tart talk
the provocation
of rage.
Midweek fight-night
is nothing
like date-night.