Sunday 22 January 2017

Less is More

I've just got back from a lovely overnight trip up to London with my husband. We went up to see Wicked the musical and enjoy a meal in China Town, which was his Christmas gift from me. I'm very into giving people experiences for their presents rather than something physical that they don't actually want or need. Of course the added bonus is that I get to enjoy this gift too. Clever, right?

Whilst we were away together I was reminded that less really is more in so many ways. We only had one night away due to our children and finances but because we had that limited time we made the most of the time we did have and really enjoyed it. Also because we go away on our own so infrequently nowadays, again is it that same thing, that we relish the time. We have far less time together and certainly less breaks away but I think we treasure and embrace them more now than we ever did in our twenties.

On arrival in London we didn't want to have to rush to our hotel to leave bags so we decided to pack light and managed with just my handbag and a small rucksack that my hubby carried. This was comfortable for our two mile walk from China Town to Vauxhall, where we had booked a Travelodge for a good price of just £59 for the room. Thus providing another example that less is more as it was at least £40 cheaper than anywhere else and that difference paid for our Chinese meal and very good it was too.
We actually got talking about the less is more subject on the tube. My husband was complaining that he finds tube travel so cluttered and over-stimulating. Not just because of the amount of people but because of all the advertising, directions and safety signs. On the way home on our mainline train he pointed out to me how much less signage and advertising there is and that it makes him far more likely to take notice.

For some reason the concept of less is more has not left me in the last few days and I've even had conversations with each of the children about various different things where I've had to emphasis this point and not even been conscious of doing it at the time. Miss E was discussing her art with me; she has taken to creating beautiful pictures with Bible scripture with her new watercolour pencils and we talked about how sometimes too much overcrowds a picture and takes something away from it. So she is focusing on beautiful simplicity at the moment in much the same way as the renowned architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe when he often used the phrase 'less is more'.

With Miss M it was the classic girl and her mum conversation (although I feel it's coming pretty early, she is only 9 years old after all) about how less make-up definitely looks more effective than too much slapped on and clogging the child's pores and taking away their natural beauty. Oh and before you worry that she is wearing make-up already, she isn't. Her aunt bought her a kit for Christmas and I allow her to play with it at home.

I'll give you one guess what JJ and I were discussing? Yep, tech use of course. He would sit on his laptop, or failing that iPad, or failing that his phone for every minute of every day if he was allowed and we as adults, all know you can get too much of a good thing. So he has regular tech free days and I make him get out and be social. It's good for him and he enjoys his PC time much more when it is limited, I know he does.

I think with the amount I've been thinking about this over the last week it must be that 'less is more' is a phrase I need to take to heart. Perhaps it is about my main issue right now - my out of control eating, maybe each time I look at some food and want more I have to remember that less really is more.... more healthy, more realistic and more tasty if I just slow down and really savour it.

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