Slim Paley photo



One of the most vivid cinematic memories I’ve retained from my childhood was the first time I went to see “Mary Poppins”

I was utterly gobsmacked  that Mary could  turn spoonfuls of medicine from one bottle into multiple flavours and colours-what a nifty and useful trick!

But most of all, I was totally entranced by the concept of sitting on clouds.

So much so, in fact, that there’s probably been but a mere handful of times (or should I say a spoonful 🙂 ) that the memory hasn’t floated back into my consciousness  whenever I’m passing through clouds while flying.

I cannot tell a lie…

 I’m always looking for Mary.

Slim Paley Photo

A cirrusly beautiful sky above downtown Santa Barbara


What in the world would Mary have made of our present day “Cloud”s?

Actually I should think Steve & Mary would have gotten along very well, don’t you think?

I was at a dinner party the other night when the subject of ‘Clouds’ of the internet variety came up.

I must admit that I was left feeling a wee bit overwhelmed and a tad paranoid after about 5 minutes.

Who is reading what’s stored in my “Cloud” of choice? Will my information be sold, stolen or tampered with? Have I chosen a secure enough cloud?

and damn it if when the two words “secure” and “cloud” came together; guess what I was visualizing as I raised my  glass to my lips and feigned understanding of how cyber space really works??

Will I ever grow up?!


 from “The Pearl” Brian Eno


Cute idea for a play house but I’d hate to have to clean it

The designer Iris Van Herpen obviously has a thing for clouds

And no one did ‘ethereal’ better than Alexander McQueen

Slim Paley photo

Almost 6′ high these sculptural mirrors by designer Christopher Guy  add 3-D drama to a modern space.

..It seems I can’t pick up a shelter or interior design magazine without seeing clouds of every permutation .

Roche Bobois

“Clouds” by Kvadrat

Artist Berndnaut Smilde creates momentary cloud art with the aid of a fog machine but captures them for posterity on film

 horse in the clouds…

Dior Couture

Iris Van Herpen

.An ethereal table setting, I would imagine for a wedding.

Who knew Baby’s Breath could actually look  good?!

Slim Paley photo

I’m thinking Van Cleef & Arpels but I think my husband has secretly dis-connected the Van C & A. neurons in my brain.

Ayala Serfaty

Cloud Lounge Chair by Debbie Palao

plates by JD Wolfe Pottery via Etsy

Slim Paley photo

A raucous thunder & lightening storm rolls across the lush jungles of Sri Lanka.

Incredible to behold as we sat outside under shelter, savouring sweet wine and tear-inducing chocolate mousse.

A permanent memory to be sure.

Iris Van Hepern

Mario Testino photo

Zeppelin light fixture

Claire Anne O’Brien knitted stool

Dark cloud

Iris strikes  again

Michael Casker photo

Cloud as pet.

Doesn’t eat much but tends to be temperamental  and difficult to train.

Perhaps she is looking for Mary too…

Did you know we should all be looking to experience a cloud phenomena known as “The Morning Glory”?

Have you ever seen it? Perhaps if you live in Australia you have…

The Morning Glory Cloud Phenomena 

and this new book is supposed to be very good if you like to have your head in the clouds;


.Keep your head up 🙂



  1. I was just thinking looking at the picture with the Baby’s Breath, for once they look great…then I saw your comment !

  2. I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.
    William Wordsworth

    Mary Poppins had the right idea,as do you, Slim
    (and as much as I love Joni, thank you for not playing ‘Both Sides Now’

  3. I carry the Cloud Spotter’s Guide with me on long walks (sometimes). The first page begins, “Leonardo da Vinci once described clouds as ‘bodies without surface’. I like to think of them as………clouds. I wouldn’t even begin to tell you the crazy cloud formations I have seen. Literally like someone skywriting messages to me.
    Have a cloudy day everyone.

  4. I have my head in the clouds over this post!!!
    I find myself craving a spoonful of sugar….oh….and don’t ever grow up! I haven’t .xo

  5. So wild while you were writing this I was photographing these amazing clouds in San Miguel de Allende this past weekend. My head is always in the clouds and it has been for as long as I can remember. From the time I was four I came home with a kite I had made in nursery school and my mother would play the piano as I ran around the house singing Let’s go fly a Kite. To this day the words to Mary Poppins songs are forever in my memory. Recently I was fortunate to meet the Richard Sherman and Dick Van Dyke and tell them how much joy Mary P brought into my life. If only Julie Andrews had been there that day….now that would have been perfect….talk about having your head in the clouds….I don’t think I’d ever come down. Thanks as always for your continued inspiration.

  6. Mary Poppins. I have strong memories of going with my mother to the movie theatre in the town 30 miles away to see the movie. I remember such details about the seats and the popcorn and the darkness of a movie theatre and the downward slope of the aisle. I believe this was the first time we went to a movie theatre many years ago.

    Thanks for the memory jog.

    Your blog is really such a delight.

  7. LOVE this post! And your images are beyond amazing…as usual. Love them and feel completely inspired! Btw, did I tell you that Sweetly Six’s first New York Broadway show was Mary Poppin’s? I hope that her memories live as yours do! xx

  8. S.P. – I have not had a conscious memory of Mary in the clouds, but when flying I am always looking for something to be there.

    This is a post I will visit many times! It brings back memories of my favorite thing to do in the summer. (Pacific Northwest Summer) Lay on the ground and find images in the cloud formations. I used to do that for hours! 🙂


  9. I have nothing in particular to add that hasn’t already been said in the (always interesting) comments. Just a thank you for making me instantly dreamy and I had awoken in a rather foul mood from lack of sleep. Now, I remember that really doesn’t matter. I am about to take my pupper out and I will be looking up, promise.
    Merci et bon weekend.

  10. This was a lovely post to read first thing in the morning.
    Thanks for sharing your reaction about the cloud playhouse (“I’d hate to have to clean it”). I sometimes have that reaction to ideas for the home that would be impossible to dust and have wondered if I’m the only one who thinks that way. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
    Best, Ruth

  11. Oh, I love Mary Poppins. Unflappable, and yet commutes via umbrella and cloud. (Maybe that is what makes her so?) And I am certainly no longer feeling as it I am the only one who is a tad worried about “clouds” when it comes to data storage…but I am sure that even Mary would want us all to just get on with it. 😉 Thanks for the excellent post and for starting off my morning “Music in My Head” with Joni Mitchell’s Clouds. xx

  12. I have always loved clouds but could not pinpoint how that love started…perhaps when I watched Mary Poppins as well? Anyway, I now see that there is a Cloud Appreciation Society (saw on Pinterest)…who knew? when I fly, I secretly wish I could climb out the window and just run among the clouds (kinda like “boulder bopping” in a stream)

  13. Fabulous post–interesting topic. I am often staring at clouds, trying to figure out how to paint them (warm shadows on a cool day, cool shadows on a sunny day…or is it the other way around :). Have a great book to share but it’s lost in my studio. On a Mary Poppins note: the whole topic of Mary Poppins makes me LOL. My mother once said, “your father always loved the movie ‘Mary Poppins’….. as well as ‘The Sound of Music’ now that I think about it….”. To which I replied, “Mother! He is simply and utterly in love with Julie Andrews,” which somehow escaped her even though she sort of resembled Julie.

    On a different note: you, my dear, are also a terrific photographer! I’ve been meaning to tell you. And I believe you once said that you use a point-and-shoot? Not a hybrid? Would you mind sharing what kind of camera you use if it’s a simple one for quick photos? I’d really appreciate it as I need a quick (and good) snappy option for landscapes from which I might paint. Thanks in advance!

  14. A scene in “A Boy Named Charlie Brown,” the 1969 feature film based on the Peanuts characters, in which Lucy Linus and Charlie Brown are lying on their backs, freely associating as they watch the clouds roll by, Charlie Brown sees horsies and duckies in the clouds. Linus can make out the stoning of St. Stephen “and, down in one corner, the profile of Thomas Eakins, the 19th-century American portrait painter.” Lucy, though she’s as much at ease as she ever manages to be, is reminded only of wads of cotton. One feels sorry for poor Lucy, her appreciation of fantasy severely limited by an awareness that she is life’s umpire. I’m with you, Slim! franki

  15. Had never heard of a Glory Cloud before. Thank you for that—-I’ll be on the lookout now when I fly. (Always love a window seat.) My fav pic is the iris, but they are all wonderful. Thank you for an inspiring post.

  16. A psychologist who orders his business cards from me and buys children’s birthday cards for some of his favorite friends told me a sign of a truly evolved adult still enjoys childlike moments. Mary Poppins and playing with the clouds perhaps is what enables you to put together incredible posts like this one.

  17. Hi Slim! Sorry been absent from replying been too crazed, but this one stopped me dead in my tracks with visual delight. Thanks for making my day! xoxoBabe

  18. Extraordinary the way you could come up with so many “clouds” ! I could never trust a “cloud” to store my personal information. I’ve thought about it, but develop acute paranoïa at the thought of being robbed of my identity (papers, at least !).

  19. PERFECT music choice to accompany this post! I googled Brian Eno, pretty interesting guy.

    Ayala Serfaty- is that an art piece?

    the woman in the Mario Testino photo is so unattractive..

    Fantastic post Slim!

    • Thank you Canuck- I thought the music was perfect to accompany a romp in the clouds.
      Ayala Serfaty is an Israeli designer who works with fabric, fiber & light to create these wonderfully artistic pieces.

  20. Dabbsie , you stole my thunder. I wandered lonely as a cloud… I doubt that i would have remembered the entire piece, Beautiful post.
    happy weekend everyone.

  21. I am going outside to look for Mary Poppins in the clouds. Thank you for brightening my day and making me smile.

  22. Mary P. is the best! My first film as well. I’ll never forget that fun-filled day with my Mom and Nana, all dressed up, and as excited as a five year old girl can be. Great post, as always!

  23. Always exciting to find your weekly blog, on Saturday morning where I am. A wonderful mixture of familiar Mary Poppins , McQueen and new people to discover Iris Van Hepern, Ayala Serfaty. Off to google now!

  24. Wonderful post Slim. I have always loved clouds as well. Many years ago when we were visiting Prince Edward Island, our first time seeing the ocean, I could not get over how close the clouds seemed to the ocean. It was just as though you could reach out and touch them. We now live on the 14th floor, and I love looking out and seeing all of the images you can pick out in the clouds. Thanks for sharing.

    B J

  25. Looks like the girl in the Maria Testino photo should be ice skating. The perfect outfit for that!

    I love that knitted stool, I can’t explain why but it makes me want to touch it. (I’m sorry if that sounds awkward).

  26. Slim I am a lifelong cloud watcher and lover. My first stationery was a blue sky with clouds. I loved it. One of my favorite things to do with my boys is find animals in the clouds.

    Oh, and my favorite movie of all time is Mary Poppins, as my long-suffering husband and sons can attest too.

    Another post I’d like to experience again and again and the music only made it better!


  27. Just did a search on songs with clouds in the title and came across a different kind of “cloud.” Strange Clouds by B.o.B feat. Lil Wayne WARNING: This isn’t your mother’s cloud.

  28. Such beautiful images you shared. I’m sad we won’t be seeing any new designers from Alexander McQueen, his work was truly inspired.

  29. Love all the clouds, being quite familiar with clouds here in Portland this puts them in a whole new light! You’re right no one does it like Alexander McQueen!

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