Red tiles on a grey day

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

Today we were asked to think about using monochrome in the photo. When I looked at the resulting image of this picture of our roof against our grand old oak tree, it seemed very dull in black and white, so I had a go at picking out the red tiles. This is the first time that I’ve tried the ‘picking out a colour’ (technical term!!) technique and I’m really quite pleased with the result.  I’m going off to play some more now 🙂

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It’s a goal!

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That’s me up there on that parachute, that is!

Oooohhh.,..yay, yay, and triple yay!!  Had to just tell you…Today I’ve exceeded my goal as set out in writing 101 challenge a little while ago (you can read my goals here) and got over 220 followers – and it’s only mid November!

Sorry, I’m sure it’s unseemly to get so excited over what may, to some, seem so few, but it only seems a little while since I was struggling to get into double figures. It has been amazing how taking part in a couple of events has helped transform my blog and the way I feel about it.  Although I’m spending (too many) hours working away at it, it’s no longer a slog and I look forward to producing new posts regularly as well as seeing what everyone else has been up to.

As I feel like a bit of a winner today, in the time honoured tradition of winners everywhere, I’m going to have to say a few thank you’s:

Ah hem!…

Thanks to Writing 101 for:

*Giving me some great, mind jiggling, prompts
*providing the opportunity to share and get feedback from lots of lovely folk
*getting me in the habit of posting every day

Thanks to Blogging 101 for:

* Getting me to set some goals in the first place
* teaching me to tweak my blog to make it look pretty (ahh..)
* For having a great common room where I’ve met lots more lovely folk.

Thanks also to the ongoing Photo 101 for:

* Setting me new (and frankly, quite challenging) challenges every day
* Helping me reach an even wider band of lovely folk
* And for keeping up my enthusiasm for posting daily.

Of course, its mainly thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment, especially if you clicked on the ‘follow’ button – love to you all mwah, mwah

errrmmmmm…..you’d better not leave… 🙂

P.S.  I’m looking for the next 220 now, so tell your friends…!! x

Who goes there?

Part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Pop of Colour’

I was going to be good today and go out and about to find an appropriate photo for this challenge, but hey, it’s cold, and raining… what can I say?  Anyhoo…thought this just about fits the bill, and that it might cheer everyone up on a Monday morning.

I snapped these chaps down at our local mini-zoo, Wetlands, a couple of years ago.  I don’t know what they were looking at, but it seems mighty interesting!

Have a great day!

Happy week with Helen 248_B.

Summer Night

Summer Night

Part of the Photo101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Warmth’

Sadly, no sun here in Nottinghamshire today, so I’ve been wracking my brains to think of a fair representation of warmth.  I’ve subjected the dog to lots of posing on her bed in front of the radiator, I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to capture the steam from a cup of tea, I’ve even looked at some old photos I took of a bonfire we had when I was just practicing capturing flames, but really, they’re not that great. So… Ok, hands up, I confess…. I didn’t take this photograph myself (I have tweaked it a bit to make it my own though!). In fact, it’s a photo of my daughters at a friends field party taken a few summers ago.  It’s one of my favourites of them and I think perfectly captures the warmth of the huge camp fire as well as the sisterly warmth between the two of them.

Of course, my thanks goes out to whichever of their friends did take this!

my fiery girls

Crystal Rock, Mauritius

Part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘The Natural World’

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Apple for breakfast?

For these challenges I’ve been trying really hard to ‘think outside the box’ and find something original to post.  So this morning I’ve spent a couple of hours trudging ’round the garden in the rain taking photos of rotting fallen apples that have been nibbled at by the small animals that have made our garden their home (very natural) and trying to get a decent snap of the naturally occurring bubbles on top of my busily fermenting cider.  Both worthy subjects.  But frankly a bit yuckky (and ok, despite my best efforts, boring) when enlarged.  So just a couple of thumbnails of those to prove that I’ve been busy.

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A sea of fermenting cider

As you might gather, the photo below was not taken by me plodding about in this morning’s miserable November rain, but actually on our trip to Mauritius a couple of years back. Over time this rock has been worn away by the sea, and as you can see, when the tide is low it seems to be perched prettily on top of its whittled base like a cake on a stand.  We were lucky enough to snorkle around it and see all the wonderful wildlife that takes advantage of its nooks and cranny’s under the beautiful clear, warm, water.

Anyhoo, although not in anyway comprehensive, I think these three pictures together demonstrate the way nature hones the world around us, in all different ways on a daily basis, whilst we carry on with our lives barely noticing the changes.

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Connection lines

Taken as part of the Photo101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Connection’

These are some hand prints my husband, myself and my twin daughters did nearly fourteen years ago.  We had great, messy fun producing them, and at the time, made a conscious decision that we should each make our hands into a different pattern, as well as using a different colour.  Thus, they are different and yet the same – much like us as individuals.They have been gracing my walls ever since.

Underneath I have pinned the scroll of my extended family tree which goes back over 200 years. There are many that are long since dead, and even some more recent relatives that I have never known.  Nevertheless, we are still connected by a blood line, and keeping a record of their names means that their connection to us will continue to be remembered by future generations.

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Solitary Topiary

In response to the Photography 101 challenge.  Today’s theme ‘Solitary’

These photographs were taken at the Parque Francisco Alvarado, Zarcero, Costa Rica. The chap with the shears is Evangelisto Blanco who originally planted the garden and has been maintaining it, pretty much single-handedly since the 1960s.  Apparently it takes him a month to trim 100 or so topiaries, which are shaped to depict animals and characters as well as the arches, after which he has to start all over again.

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The sky, the patio, and me

In response to the Photography 101 theme for today – ‘Bliss’

Well, I was in the supermarket this morning doing my weekly shop wondering how I could capture bliss for the challenge, and I thought ‘well actually, being able to buy what I like in a supermarket full of yummy things is bliss, I could take a photo of the shelves’ – and then I realised that I may be getting a bit preachy, what with yesterday’s post an’ all.  So I dug out this, frankly pretty weird, and not terribly flattering selfie I took last year instead.

Many of you will remember that we had our garden landscaped last year.  Throughout the wonderful hot summer the builders took over our garden and turned it into something resembling a war zone, while I was stuck, prisoner like indoors. I took this picture the day they finished.  That’s my lovely new patio I’m laying on.  I cannot being to tell you how wonderful it was to have my garden to myself again, even though it was devoid of plants and flowers at the time.  Laying there, looking up at the clear blue sky, I was indeed, blissfully happy!

The sky the patio and me

Wine of Life

DSC_0085Taken in response to todays photo 101 challenge – ‘Water’

Ok, I’ve got lots of great photos of water. Still lakes, calm blue seas, or sea with white horse waves skipping on it’s surface. There are waterfalls and swimming pools, ponds and puddles, but none of them really conveyed what I wanted to say.

We’re always being told that, to achieve happiness, we should be grateful for what we have and not worry about what we don’t have.  The one thing that brings this home to me every day is that I am lucky enough to have clear, clean water, on tap, to use as I want, how I want. Not just cold water, but hot water too.  I can shower and wash my hair, have clean clothes everyday, I can drink it neat, or boil it to make tea, I can grow things to eat, and hey, grow things just ‘cos they look pretty too. I have a toilet that flushes all the waste away, out of my sight and mind. I have a pond teeming with beautiful fish, yes, just for my pleasure.

I could go on, but you’re probably thinking ‘yeah, yeah, we know all that, get on with it…’, but we should always, always, remember that this is a luxury, there are thousands, millions probably, of people in this world who still don’t have access to clean water, or if they do, they have to carry it miles in containers to their homes. Do you know that around 500,000 children die every year from disease caused by drinking contaminated water? (see WaterAid for further info)

Whilst I enjoy a glass of wine (or two) I hope I never forget that I am privileged to be able to have a glass of water now and then, straight from the tap.  Cheers!DSC_0085