Missing you

Hmmm…. just looking at me little blogs stats and realised that it’s been a dry year so far. Mainly, as I explained in an earlier blog (you remember… I’m sure you do…), that I can’t post any of my writing because of publishing restrictions on the course I’m doing (an MA on Creative Writing with the Open University since you ask). I actually daren’t post any just in case they’re half reasonable and I can fish them out when I’m in dire need halfway through next years module. But anyways…

Looking back I can see that actually when I first started this ‘journey’ I wasn’t posting that much creative writing stuff, more a mishmash of things I like, moany posts about life in general, and some photographs. The most activity was around the events hosted by wordpress, such as photo101 and writing101 which encouraged me to post every day. They were most excellent at keeping me on track and a lovely way to meet new online friends and get more followers. They were my most productive times on the site.

Oh I know I shouldn’t need that push and shove, but you know what it’s like, life gets in the way and there’s all sorts of excuses I could use – for instance, I have to take the dog to the vets in a mo’ and I’m busy bracing myself – it’s fair to say she doesn’t like it much! Anyone who’s met my dog knows she is a nervous sort and that’s enhanced a 100 fold on a trip to the you know where’s. It’s emotionally draining. No, not for her.. for me…

Anyhoo, I digress. One of the other reasons I haven’t been around here much lately is because I’ve taken on a couple of other sites (suttonartgroup and retwords) so have been busy making them look all pretty and alive whilst letting my poor flower die off a bit. This needs to be redressed methinks.

Therefore, I hereby promise to prattle on and post more frequently despite the limitations, and one day, when I eventually finish this darn course, I’ll be able to share that mountain of poetry and prose that is building up on my laptop.

Hope it’s worth the wait….


The Photo 101 challenge had me ploughing through lots of old holiday snaps that I haven’t looked at for a long time, and it struck me that there are a few bits of architecture that keep re-appearing. Subconsiously, I’m clearly fond of an Arch.  They come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and they are all equally striking. This is just a small selection picked from my travels.  Which is your favourite?

A Triumphant Wrap Up

Final of the Photo 101 challenge – to wrap up… 

I failed. I failed at Triumph. I’ve managed to post a photo every other day of this challenge, but on Friday I was out having fun. Sorry.

Anyhoo.. as you know, Friday’s theme was ‘Triumph’, something I don’t seem to have experienced an awful lot of (unless you count getting out of bed every day, which is for me, something of a battle on these damp and dark mornings), so I didn’t have any pictures to dig up quickly that might have served the purpose.

I did go on a carousel on Saturday, my  horse won (of course), but not everyone noticed that since we were going round and round an’ all.  We were in Cardiff (I was visiting my amazing daughter and her lovely partner) and there was a Wales vs South Africa rugby match on, if we’d have hung around long enough and braved the crowds, I guess there might have been lots of rowdy, happy, Welsh people to photograph.  But we didn’t. So I failed at the last hurdle. hmmph.

Over the weekend it was suggested we do a ‘wrap up’ of our photo 101 experience, and I have to say that this almost fulfills the Triumph brief anyway.  I feel pretty pleased with myself that I’ve managed to keep up, and that, overall, I’ve been quite chuffed with the photo’s that I’ve posted. I’ve learnt tons of new stuff about my camera and it’s multitudinous, previously baffling, buttons and settings, and I’ve found lots of new techniques to twiddle and tweak my snaps post production. Overall, I’m feeling, well, quite triumphant.

Although I am actually really sad that the whole thing is over, and hope there are new challenges coming my way soon. I shall miss getting the email with the challenge and thinking ‘what the *****’!!’ every day, before I knuckle down and get my thinking cap on, get the camera out and find something, anything, that will do, or spend hours searching through long-forgotten holiday photos to find the one that I know I’ve got that’s just perfect, but can’t remember where the heck it’s filed.

I’ll also, very much, miss seeing everybody else’s wonderful interpretations, and getting their comments and feedback.  It’s been great!

Soooo… ’til the next time, here’s a mosiac (yes, I’ve learned to do mosaic’s too) of some of the photos from the daily challenges.

See you soon!

Double Trouble

Part of the Photo 101 challenge – Today’s theme ‘Double’

Oh now come on, you didn’t really think I’d waste this opportunity to share a picture of my girls when they were small did you? Lots and lots of old photos to choose from, but this one always makes me smile! I think they were about two when this was taken. I don’t think their clothes stayed this clean and tidy for long!

I have had to clean it up quite a bit (there are piles of toys on the floor in the original!), so practicing my skills in that way instead today.

Seeing double_1

The Singing Edge

Taken as part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Edge’

These are images of my lovely Tibetan Singing Bowl.  It’s one of my favourite things and I use it often. I believe it to be quite old, and the edges have been worn smooth by repeated use.  Singing bowls are used widely, particularly as part of Buddhist practice, as a meditation tool, and it is said that each is individual and should be chosen to compliment your own inner harmonics (or does it choose you?). Rubbing the mallet in a circular motion around the edge, will normally produce at least two different notes.  Mine has a sweet high topnote, and a fairly deep base.  I did try to take a recording of it for you, but it really didn’t do it justice, so in case you haven’t come across them before, I’ve added a video below to give you an idea.

And a video on how to play:

Light and glass

Taken as part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Glass’.

I’ve used today’s theme as an opportunity to play with camera settings and light.  I was quite pleased with some of the abstract effects I achieved, especially by cropping right down and flipping on to its side.  I think it gives a nice stained glass window look.  What do you think?

Treasure fingers

Taken as part of the photo 101 challenge – Today’s theme ‘Treasure’

You must have realised by now that I’m a sentimental old fool, so today I’ve been on a steep learning curve trying to take a timed portrait of my own treasures – That is, my wedding ring, and my grandmother’s engagement ring, both of which I wear everyday.

My nan’s engagement ring must be over 100 years old by now and I have worn it on the ring finger of my right hand since her death in 1973.  I have not taken my wedding ring off since my marriage nearly 29 years ago. Together, they represent the real treasure which is my family.

When I started, I had no idea how difficult it would be to capture a decent shot of the rings. I didn’t realise quite how creepy my hands would look in close up, or how sausagy my fingers would appear. They’re not good models it seems, either posing all stiffly corpse-like, looking all wrinkly and mottled, or moving involuntarily just as the shutter went.  eeewww….and the veins….! Anyhoo…thank goodness today it’s all about the rings.

By the way, I should mention I have some other gorgeous rings bought for me by my husband over the years (don’t want you to think he’s a cheapskate), that I also wear everyday. But those don’t hold quite the same sentimental value as these two. They may not be worth as much, but to me they are priceless.


Well I couldn’t find a swarm…

Taken as part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘swarm’

A picture of the rarely observed swarming habit of the ‘electrical stuff that no-one remembers which bit of gubbins its for‘. These creatures are found making their nests in many homes, usually in boxes that have been left to gather dust in corners or roof spaces. Although, initially they live separate, ordered lives, when placed in close proximity they swarm and party. This ritual entwining leads to copious breeding. Any attempt to separate them once they have mated is futile.


Catching a moment

Taken as part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘An everyday moment with movement’

This is Suki catching her favourite toy.  Every single day, come rain or shine, I have to throw it umpteen times for her to chase and fetch.  She never, ever, tires of it, though I often do.  Nevertheless, it is always a pick me up to see her galloping and leaping for the sheer and simple joy of play.