What’s In A Picture: Trillium Leaves

I am sometimes asked why I need more pictures. I’m not the world’s best photographer, my camera is an iPhone in my bag or pocket (so readily available) and I like to practice. Well, that’s my excuse. A true one, but it misses the point.

It’s hard to explain the feelings I have when I look at this, good picture or bad picture. It might seem weird to write them down, but we’re blogging here, aren’t we? A personal blog’s all about riffing on whatever catches our attention, wondering if there’s anyone in the world who will follow our train of thought and pinching our arms in astonishment at those who tolerantly do. So…what do I feel when I look at this picture? Continue reading

Piglet Demonstrates Air Sneck

A soft toy with his nose in the air

Some silences are companionable; others, less so.

Do you ever signal the fact of your being offended by lifting your nose towards the heavens, pursing your lips, and adopting the mock saintly expression of one cruelly mistreated, misunderstood (or both)? My sweetheart and I do. At first we used to ignore this haughty little signal, with predictable consequences, but a few years ago, we worked out a plan.    Continue reading

Keepsake Box with Bead Blessings

Peace, contentment, prosperity, tranquility written in beads

The weekly challenge asks us to share something tiny. If you’re viewing this on a phone, you won’t make out the messages on this keepsake box – blessings, exhortations and affirmations – so I’m writing them out for you:

Peace · Joy · Lucky · Contentment · Devotion · Prosperity · Happy · Laugh · Tranquility · Fun

Picked out in beads on a keepsake box at the Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS

Every city should have an Attic Gallery – it’s our communal loss that so many of them don’t. You can travel for miles before you’ll find anything that truly compares. This long established, family owned gallery specialises in southern contemporary art and fine crafts. Their reputation and instinct for seeking out regional talent has helped them gather a definitive collection of work.  Continue reading

Morris Dancers at the Saddleworth Rushcart

Morris Dancers

My sweetheart and I love going to the annual Saddleworth Rushcart to watch the morris dancers. It’s very British: a happy day, where old traditions are celebrated – colourful, good-humoured fun, with just enough of an element of ‘why would they do this?’ to keep the crowd wondering.

Did I mention they drag a massive cart of rushes up a lengthy hill before the dancing starts?

I always enjoy watching the faces of the dancers – some seem to be feeling pure happiness; others are concentrating hard, or lost in the flow. It surely can’t be easy wearing those heavy floral hats! Continue reading

State of Mind

Royers Round Top

For this week’s photo challenge, Ben Huberman asks us to go a little deeper, to share a picture that reveals a particularly strong connection. I set off all metaphysical, thinking about empty seats: how our state of mind might alter how we interpret the scene.

Well, that’s as may be, but how often do we look at something and not see the blindingly obvious? If my fondness for this picture – not exactly one of my best – means anything at all, it’s that with me, it just don’t get no deeper than I likes me some pie.  Continue reading

Happy Christmas! Sprouts anyone?

Christmas Tree watercolour effect

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter than usual. I’ve been travelling, but later today, I’ll be setting off home for Christmas.

I’ve never flown at this time of the year and am wondering whether we can expect more fun than usual on the journey, or mild chaos. In retrospect the timing of our great value flights does seem a little – well – rash. I’m naturally optimistic (hence the ‘mild chaos’) but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see emotions rise if there are any delays.  Continue reading

Bliss in a bottle

I’m writing this with a shiny face. My mother has some unusual allergies (including to blue dye) and I’ve inherited enough skin sensitivity to be cautious. So don’t buy me expensive formulas of soap, shower gel or bath stuff – I’m a Simple girl in more ways than one.

If I fancy a blissful, relaxing bath, I often swirl in a few drops of natural essential oils before stepping in – perhaps rose or neroli, which is made from the flowers of Seville oranges.

Fragrant roseThis kind of bliss isn’t just for girls – my initially highly skeptical sweetheart now loves this kind of pampering (though he prefers jasmine, sometimes called the King of Essential Oils).

These three natural perfumes are luxury purchases but I enjoy having this small way to harness the natural healing and soothing power of plants.

The garden is more of a miracle than we know.  Continue reading

Tips for photographing roses 12: finding happiness

Tips on photographing roses 12 Finding happiness

If you’re still not getting the results you’d like with your garden photography, ask yourself if it makes you feel happy – and if it does, keep going! Perhaps taking pictures gets you out into gardens, encourages you to grow more plants, or simply helps you to remember places you’ve been. Taking pictures often makes you look at things a little differently, so even if the perfect shot seems elusive, remember, it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re having fun.

My wise, beautiful, 90 year old Mama occasionally got the fancy to draw a bird or animal, even though she was absolutely useless at it. I’m not being mean, honestly – what do you think?

Mamas-drawing

But it made her happy and I will always treasure her drawings.