Blue skies and gutters

Some days are kinda crazy making aren’t they? 

Demanding bosses, deadlines, kids to feed and ferry about, traffic jams, spreadsheets that freeze, unexpected bills or just “wrong side of the bed” days… nobody is immune to these, much as we might wish to be. 

Yesterday was a crap day for me. Stressful, tiring, and aggravating. I cried in the car on the way home. I felt, in that moment, just FED UP with things, not massive life-altering things, but just annoying, joy-sapping, nipping at my heels stuff. 

Ugh. I bore myself even typing that, but as the great sage once said – shit happens. 

What to do? 

Well last night, I applied a raft of balms – tears, KFC, chocolate, and a bit of in-car ranting and swearing. 

Later in the evening I applied creativity, which is much better for me. 

Today was better, but those niggling things are still there, stridently demanding my attention. It’s so easy for those things to take up my whole filed of vision. I’m not the only one that happens to, right? 

As I got out of my car this afternoon, I looked up. 


That’s the answer some days, isn’t it? 

Look up. 

We are all under this vast blue sky – all of us, whether we’re having a run of the mill day, a moderately challenging day or a great day. We are all the same. All under the same sky, even if it isn’t blue where you are. 

So, look up. 

Then start counting. 

It’s something I try and do often – count my blessings. I know that this can seem super-trite in the face of genuinely ongoing shit times, sad times, times of loss and illness, so I’m not at all comparing a shit day at work with those things. Not at all. 

I just wanted to share what struck me today when I looked up at that amazing blue sky, and then grabbed my camera and took this photo. 

There’s this awe inspiring sky… so vast and such a delightful shade of blue, there are fluffy clouds and there’s the edge of my house and some manky guttering and rotting wood. 

What’s going to be the focus? I get to choose that. We all do. 

I could crop the gutter out of the shot, showing only blue sky, but that’s not the whole picture. 

I could crop out the sky and focus on this poorly maintained corner of my house – which reminds me that the walls feel wet after it rains and the plaster is breaking at the seams. Again, not the whole picture. 

It’s both, just like life.  Blue skies and gutters.  

Which do you see? 

Which will you choose? 

What we see, and what we choose to focus on, is so important. 

I hope you choose the sky. 

I do. 


Annette x 


34 thoughts on “Blue skies and gutters

  1. The sky has so much to tell us! Storm clouds, blue skies, stars twinkling, rainbows. Yes, look up and count! Thanks for sharing such an uplifting post! It really is the little things. x


  2. Great post. I am usually a glass half full Pollyanna type of person… Or at least I was until I got diagnosed with cancer… And then I realised it is easy to be a Pollyanna when things are normal, but facing that and the stuff that came with it, and continues to come with it was a blessing too. I spent many days tucked up in my reading hair and nothing calmed my brain and body like gazing at the sky… I had never been one to stop and do things like that, but now I take time out every day to stop and just concentrate on the sky, and it never fails to calm me… The sky and creativity fix anything in my book!


    • I don’t want to be a Pollyana, she’s not in the real world in my mind. Trials really test this stuff don’t they? Like I said in the post, this is just an everyday musing, but I think you’re right about the sky and creating! Thanks for your comment Tracey, here’s to your health xx


  3. Yep! blue skies save me lots! Looking up instead of inside & down is a very helpful tool for me too. Like your take on the “not prefect” view too. Today was crap for me for a while.. Overthinking, stressing about stuff out of my control.. So I wrote about it.. Helps me to get that shit out of my head.. I also ate a really good dinner.. Sometimes my self-care is underwhelming. But life is this up down & all around thing yes? Cheers, D


    • Yes! Life is all those mornings and evenings, dishes and meetings, the occasional highs and the drudgery of eat, sleep, work, repeat. Thank god for creative escapes!!


  4. Sooo true,
    As I walked out the door this morning, I noticed it was a dash warmer than previous ones. I did the same…I looked up. As I saw the blue and felt the sliver of sunshine, I thought,’Ok, today probably won’t be as bad as I thought it might.’
    Blue skies and gutters…..this is living. Choosing to see both and not let either one steal all the focus….truly alive.
    Yes, indeedy, quite the rambling reply my dear Nettie. What can I say, you inspire me to write stuff.
    Much love Wairsy.


    • I am CHUFFED that you’re here in blog land with me Sair. Yep, we need to see it all, for realsies, and we totally need rambles and laughter and movie quotes and let me cry with you and oh my god look how big your kids are… I am so glad I’ve seen all these things with you. ❤️


  5. Always blue skies, always. Certain life events and tragedies have seen me see some of the darkest days, but the gift I’ve received from it all is to always choose blue skies.


  6. I always look at the blue sky. And it always reminds me how lucky I am to live under it, no matter how niggly, annoying or downright hard it can sometimes be. It’s a bit weird, but ever since I had my cancer diagnosis, I find nature such a wonderful tonic; a blue sky, sunshine on my skin, the changing colour of the leaves, hearing the waves of the ocean, all these things bring me inner peace on a good day and lift me up on a bad day. And on the flip side blue skies are calorie free and so good for you! I hope today is as tickety boo as that one was anniggling!


  7. Blue sky. Always the blue sky first. I don’t care how cold it gets; as long as I see a blue sky.

    I love the inclusion of the gutter. It makes me wonder about the rest of the house. My imagination wanders and in my minds eye I see a cute little cottage. 🙂 I love imagining.


  8. the sky is a lovely blue hue Annette!
    I get solace from nature too! “the power of now” Eckhart tolle … “in this moment it is ok!”
    I’ve been on my everyday painting mode and it is my happy place … repeat! … drawing painting and dancing walking in nature all good for the soul!
    catharsis is good! love m:)X


  9. Love this perspective Annette, and your words. And the blue sky. But do you know what my fav line is here: ‘raft of balms’ – absolutely fantastic. We all need a raft of balms sometimes (a lot of the time??) and creativity is the biggest and the best. Or just time to nourish your soul in a great way. Sky. Chocolate. Painting. A fabulous raft of balms! A little rant is always cathartic too 🙂


  10. I loved this. Often, I’ll pop out and look up or I might even lie on the grass in the back garden and watch the clouds. It helps me to realise that honestly my problems, my feelings and the overwhelm will pass. And yes, it helps me to realise that even on the darkest day there is goodness to be found. Hope your day is better and thanks for writing this. Sarah xx


    • Isn’t it powerful how the simplest little acts like looking up at the big blue can lift us out of the moment and remind us of the bigger and often more peaceful picture? Thanks Sarah, here’s to more bright winter days of sky gazing xx


  11. The sky is such a wonderful place for signs and reminders. The other day was a tough one for me – my son’s birthday – but he is no longer here. I looked up at the sky and there was a rainbow. I think I will always choose the sky. Thanks for your lovely words.


    • I think there are signs and reminders in the big blue too, Robyna. I’m so glad you saw a rainbow this week. I read about the prayer flags you make and I think that’s a beautiful tradition of remembering. Much love to you.


  12. I think we have to look up or be dragged down too far. It’s not always easy and I too have had days when I’ve comfort eaten but it’s just about trying really hard to get through each day remembering how great life is. This is the struggle, enjoying the mundane and small things in life. Big hug x


  13. I have a huge thing for a big blue sky – it is just so bloody good for the soul. Which means that winter can be a real season of discontent for me (if I let it!)

    Thankfully, if blue skies are hard to come by, there is always, as you say, gratitude 🙂


  14. Love this, Annette. I’ve had a few moments recently where I’ve looked up and found the attitude adjustment to be almost immediate. It just takes your breath away and then BAM the stupid statistics or the endless emails just aren’t worth stressing over so much.


  15. I’ve been looking up too and isn’t it amazing. I see it all and love it all. Because there was a recent time when I didn’t see it and appreciate it. Thanks for you well written words, gorgeous. Zoe xx


    • Hey Zoe, the greatest thing about the sky is it is always there over us, waiting to be seen and appreciated. There’s so much power we can draw from nature, if we have eyes to see. ❤️❤️❤️❤️


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