I’ve always felt that one of the great downsides of summer is the distinct lack of blankets. There’s something erroneous (not to mention sweaty) about layering up with great woollen textiles when it’s 22 degrees and baking sun outside. But (dare I say thankfully?!) in the last few weeks it’s turned cold. Really cold. The kind of cold that you feel in your bones, that makes you shudder under your four layers of knitwear on morning dog walks. The wind has started whistling down the chimney and shaking the windows in the evenings, and from my window I can see smoke puffing up from the slate rooftops. I’d say it’s blanket season.
Already I’ve been crawling into bed trailing a fur throw behind me, using it to plug any duvet gaps while bribing the dog to cuddle up close to me like a living hot water bottle. But now it’s time to bring the big blankets down from their BST hibernation. I was sent this Duck Egg Windmill Blanket by Startup Sisters* in the summer and have been dying for the blanket-appropriate weather to kick in so I can curl up in it.
And that’s exactly what I’m doing now as I write this, late (sorry!) on a Sunday afternoon. A single candle fills the room with a woody scent and I am entwined with this big lovely blanket; half sheep half woman. It trails around me in thick, but not too thick, folds and this, I think, is my happy place. Curled up, writing and blanketed I feel like if I looked in at me through the window I’d think how cosy and content I looked. It’s funny what a blanket can do for you.
Blankets & Interiors
I think my love affair with blankets started after leaving home. My mum prefers a clean look while I naturally err towards dishevelled (see also, A Defence of Mess) and have always loved that layered interior look. Being renters I’ve always appreciated how blankets and throws can instantly add texture and colour to a space, change its dynamic or make a damp and peeling living room homely in some strange way. In our new house, damp and peel-free, they tie together the rustic slate features with the stark and fresh magnolia walls, providing the missing link between this little cottage’s past and present.
And, of course, a blanket covers up the less than ideal elements too. Our sofa, stained, misshapen and in dire need of replacement, gets a temporary facelift when I drape the blanket across it. In the summer we use smaller, lighter blankets, but it doesn’t create the same rustic opulence as a big wool number tumbling across in swags. Nor are they quite as good at creating a sleepy little nest.
Blankets & Slow Living
Dan always laughs at my penchant for ‘blankies’ – not least because the act of pulling a blanket over myself of an evening is very often the precursor to me falling asleep on the sofa minutes later. They are, literally, a security blanket, soothing and comforting, the inanimate equivalent of a loving hand stroking your hair. When you’re in a blanket, nothing can hurt you
Snoozing aside, I think I like curling up in a blanket because it is the ultimate slow activity. Whether you’re writing, reading, crafting, meditating or just sitting, blankets also make all the other slow activities better. A blanket literally slows you down, restricting your movement as it wraps heavily around you, tangling with your limbs so you become just a face and two hands poking out from its woolly embrace; its warmth and cuddliness leading to a sleepy thoughtfulness that is almost meditative. You become that kind of tired where you’re not tired enough to sleep, but too tired to contemplate ever moving your body again. In that state you’re freed of distraction, which enables you to focus what remains of your energy on your thoughts and words. Blankets, in a way, are a vehicle to mindfulness and intentionality.
We talk a lot, you and I, both here on the blog and on Instagram, about finding the time to slow down. So often the Instagrammable perfection of inverted commas “slow living” seems so unattainable that we stop trying to reach it. But simple living isn’t about doing everything ‘right’; it’s about intention, about finding slow moments and focusing on the elements of simplicity that are important to you. If you spend a few hours in the evening under a blanket with a cup of tea (or, you know, wine), reading a few pages of a book or just reflecting on your day then you, my friend, are slow living.
What do you love the most about blankets?
*this product was sent to me for review, but the words are all mine and from the heart
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