a glimpse in the windows


One of my favourite things to do is take a walk or drive through my neighbourhood at dusk -- just as the sun is going down, when the lights are coming on in the houses, but it's not dark enough to draw the drapes or close the shutters just yet.  I love the warm lights inside, seeing people gathering for dinner, or plopping down in front of the TV after a hard day's work ...

 ... okay, now, don't judge.  I can't be the only one who loves this.

(Please tell me I'm not the only one who loves this.)

It's not that I want to get up in everybody's business, I promise -- in fact, I'd be mortified if I inadvertently saw something truly private.*   I just love the quick glimpse of life going on outside of my own, of people laughing, and breaking bread, and just living together.  There's something oddly connecting  about it.

It's the same feeling that I seek when I look for good blogs -- either written blogs or ones created by photographers.  The authors and artists who, through their words or images, "turn on their lights at dusk," allowing me to catch a glimpse of their lives (without divulging anything private) are the ones that get me every time.   I've long held that the best blogs are the ones who can create a sense of intimacy , without sacrificing their own privacy  -- it can be a tough balancing act, but the ones who do it well will always get my undying devotion.

I have many I love (you can see them by clicking here, and scrolling down to see the "chookoolinks"), but for today's story of the day, I thought I'd share this sweet stop-motion video by my friend Xanthe Berkeley.  It's merely a day of her life in London  -- nothing earth-shattering -- but it feels like the lights have just gone on at dusk:  a sharing of an intimate time with Xanthe and her family, her story of everyday love, and one where you'll smile with recognition and connection.

Click here or the image below to enjoy. 

*  This actually reminds me of a story told to me by a pilot when I went hot-air ballooning a few years ago.  There's apparently not a whole lot of steering that goes on in hot-air ballooning -- you're often at the mercy of the wind directions at different altitudes -- and once, this pilot was forced to put down in the field of a remote farmhouse.  Unfortunately, his landing occurred at precisely the same time that the owner of the farmhouse had decided to take her morning shower, with the windows open in her bathroom.

Can you imagine?  You're having a wonderfully peaceful hot shower, the windows thrown wide open to the beautiful Park City morning, perhaps you're even singing at the top of your lungs (because who's going to hear you, right?), when suddenly and without warning, a balloon-full of tourists lands with a bump right outside your window.

The pilot told me that she was not pleased -- to say the very least -- and she furiously said as much while groping for a towel to cover her soaking wet self. 

Dude.  I cringe with unmitigated horror just thinking of it.