Courage, purpose and conviction

There’s something about interiors that makes me jump out of bed in the morning.

My weekend was a rollercoaster of activity.  The highs included Summerhall Christmas Fair, Sunday morning at the Old Edinburgh Vet School that’s now an Art’s exhibition space.  Within minutes of entering the old Histiology lab I’d spied goodies galore but my daughter beat me to it by spending all my cash on a black lace top with silver beading she plans to wear as a dress for her school Christmas party. My son spent the remainder on earmuffs and a ring before getting scouted by the owner of the coolest kilts I’ve even seen (  When did my kids become so fashion forward?

A real low was hearing my son lambast his tennis coach for making him play to adult baselines.  He’s 6 and talented but had just endured “the worst squad ever” before sobbing his little heart out.  I whisked him out of there to be with friends where we hashed out New Year plans (dinner at the Assembly or Whisky Rooms with friends from Oz).

My daughter lost her tennis tournament but she’s a beautiful player to watch and tennis is one sport I don’t mind spectating from the sidelines. She can become defeatist though and the slump of her shoulders and tears in her eyes were heartbreaking in her final match of the afternoon.

I’m not competitive or gladiatorial.  Other’s success inspires me.  I observe the strategies behind it and appropriate the most effective ones into my own plan of action.  It’s not important for me to win at things.  I thrive on constant challenge.  I live constructively with loss because it makes me a better, stronger person.  I don’t know many winners that haven’t at one time or other been silent cheats or insufferable bores.  Training is hard work.  The challenge is doing something so repetitive with marginal improvement.  No wonder sportsmen cheat and choose drugs to boost performance and achieve the miracles they train for.  Everyone needs the occasional quick fix.

Loss and failure are far more interesting to me.  That drive to go on when things aren’t working out that strive to constantly improve and achieve new goals.  My son is named after arguably the biggest loser of them all.  A man who won 7 Tours against all odds and huge controversy, then awoke one day to have dramatically lost it all – his historic Tour de France wins, his sponsors, his fans.  People need to believe in miracles.

I try to live with courage, purpose and conviction so that whatever I do or don’t achieve I know that hard work played it’s part and any success or close call is all the more satisfying.  I bear the collapse of my relationships, the loss of a loved one because I know that I did everything to cherish them and keep them alive while I was with them.  I’ve always been a doer.  I never understood why Morse was troubled by ‘Endeavour’.

2 months ago I redecorated my kitchen opting for a single dark grey feature wall to absorb an ugly fridge freezer unit.  This instantly cosied up a very large space but I knew at the time that I should have done more with such a deep strong colour.   My painter, however, was more conservative and advised against it.


This weekend I finally rectified my mistake.  My biggest high was Saturday morning when I painted my entire kitchen downpipe.  At the crack of dawn on Sunday I painted the open plan space adjacent to the kitchen Fossil.  The results speak for themselves.  A vast empty space has been reined in; no longer reminiscent of a runway.  The swan chairs and the vintage  sofa help, but didn’t have the cosy feel they do now when the walls were Avery Homestore’s Paper Bag.


Not every room you decorate will be an instant success.  It’s important to have a goal, believe in what you’re doing, re-evaluate and change tack if things aren’t quite going to plan.  By all means play it safe and wonder what might have been.  Or live life on the sidelines and watch others succeed or fail at dreams once harboured for yourself.  But live with courage, purpose and conviction and you’ll have no time for regrets.

Life’s a creative journey.  There’s no one destination.  How and where you choose to arrive’s the fun part.  By all means be defeatist but it’s much more thrilling and fulfilling facing life and all it’s challenges head on.