Snapdragon Life helps you rekindle your creativity, reconnect to the natural world & create a slower, more intentional, more joyful way of life.

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The joy of a sitooterie

pumpkins stored in sitooterie

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There is a thing in Scotland called 'a sitooterie' and I have always wanted one. If you look in the dictionary it is defined as a 'summer house or gazebo', "somewhere for the rare warm summer evenings" but that is far too fancy a definition. Far too posh and neat. A sitooterie isn't smart.

For the sitooteries I have long admired are ones tacked on or improvised, a lean to off the side of a shed with a wicker chair and a candle; a repurposed greenhouse gently dripping, but set up with a stove and proper coffee; an abandoned horse box overlooking the hills. It is somehow the way that the outside comes in that is the point.

And I would also argue with the idea that they are for languid summer evenings - no, for me the whole point is prolonging the time that you can be outside in Scotland - they are for Autumn and Spring and sometimes, if you are very lucky, for Winter.

The rain and wind threatening to come in, the dripping in the corners, the spiders and seed pods - this is somehow the point. They are somewhere to be both inside and outside, hands around a cup of tea, taking it all in.

sitooterie on deck

I am a great reader of novels by Anne Tyler - they are set in Baltimore and the characters seem to spend much of their time putting up or taking down porch screens. The porches feature so much that they are almost a character themselves. I have never spent time in Baltimore or on a screened porch but it occurred to me that these may well be a type of sitooterie - a space thinly divided from outside, .

I may well be wrong about this - they may indeed be very spruced up indeed - but it gave me an idea and I asked Euan how difficult it would be to tack temporary screens on the deck that is at the back door. Moveable screens that could be stored over the summer.

making an outside space to work

And now they are up - and I can write outside, sitting at a little table, sheltered from the worst of the wind but still able to smell the rain. There is even a wood burner in the open side and at night we can wrap up in sleeping bags and watch the stars.

It also turned out to be a great place to overwinter plants and store the pumpkin harvest.

creative outside space

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The perfect Bristol blue colour. Bright in the border, beloved of bees. 
Back then - over 25 years ago - it was a rarity, now you can get plug plants of it. 
Does that make it any less precious? 
Not to me.
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It occurred to me that I could create something similar by using a playlist on my tube channel - a vlogroll if you like. 

That’s what I’m chatting about this week in my Friday film - about how so many of the people my age making videos are talking about “what you shouldn’t wear after 50” or “how to avoid the appalling fate of looking frumpy” 😂😂😂 And how, as an antidote to all that depressing nonsense, I’m collecting suggestions for an alternative playlist!

Pop over and let me know your favourites. 

I’m also talking about why I’m not sowing any seeds until the end of March this year.
Stained glass colours on the studio windowsill
Another Friday . . . . another sitooterie selfie.
Today's Friday film is about which seeds I am planting in my new dye garden . . .
I dyed my beret to fit with some things I'm taking on holiday. It is an overdye with some onion skins that I had left over from a zoom workshop that I did in The Studio Club. I do love the sense of play that being able to cook up colours gives you.
If you fancy growing your own colour there is a free download of the varieties and suppliers over on the tube . . . .

#fridayfilm #botanicaldyes #dyegarden #snapdragonlife
The second spike is always the best.
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I also address the issue of the tank top I’m knitting being clearly much too small for me. 

All this in just over ten minutes- you can find the film via my links page and I’ll put a link in stories too.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I help bring the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

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