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 “Morris Dancers at the Saddleworth Rushcart”

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 “State of Mind”

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 “Happy Christmas! Sprouts anyone?”

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 “Bliss in a bottle”

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.