Farewell Boleyn

What should have been a night of celebration, of memories about good football and great footballers, was marred by an incident outside the Boleyn ground – the home of West Ham United for the past 112 years.

But, once again, the enjoyment of others is coloured by the actions of a small minority and the majority of law-abiding Hammers’ fans unfairly ‘tarred with the same brush’.

I wanted to wake up this morning to the elation of having beaten Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling match that should have been the only headline.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case.

 

 

The Casual Vacancy

By J K Rowling

I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books, which probably sounds odd to those who’ve buried themselves in the series. If I hadn’t stumbled across The Casual Vacancy in a charity shop I’d probably never have read that either. But JK Rowling is legend, right? I may not have read HP but I watched all the films and enjoyed them. And I’d heard a lot about this book, so, I bought it and started reading it and couldn’t put it down.

The Casual Vacancy is a wonderful study of human beings and the society we live in. It conjures many emotions: amusement, sadness, distaste, shock, horror … the list goes on. I never thought reading about a fictional town and its inhabitants would stir me as much as this book.

JK Rowling is an excellent writer and great storyteller.

The Casual Vacancy.

More Moon Madness

Stepped outside earlier and caught the moon in a relatively cloudless sky. Grabbed my camera and took a few shots.

Taken on: 20/03/2016

 

 

 

Not quite full, but hopefully it’ll be a clear sky when it is. Next full moon: Wednesday, March 23.

Update – 01/04/2016: Well, didn’t get to see the full moon, too cloudy, but I did get a few pictures of the waning moon. I saw on Twitter that this is called a gibbous moon. I had heard of this but wasn’t sure what it meant. My interest has moved on a tad since then, so I looked it up:

‘What does it mean when you hear the term “gibbous moon”? It’s when the Moon is more than half full, but not quite fully illuminated, when you look at it from the perspective of Earth. The reason the light changes has to do with how the Moon orbits the Earth.’ Elizabeth Howell

You can read more about the ‘gibbous moon’ here.

Taken on 30/03/2016

 

 

Five Days Of Bliss

Spent last week away visiting family. The weather was stunning, very sunny, but cold – can’t have it all, right? Still, managed to take some interesting photographs. Here are a few taken with my phone.

Some interesting light patterns on the grey wall here.

Some interesting light patterns on the grey wall here.

 

Nice colours.

Sail away – if only …

 

I liked these boats 'parked' along the seafront.

I liked these boats ‘parked’ along the seafront.

 

Shiny Stones/Big Pebbles

Shiny Stones/Big Pebbles

 

Discovered the colours when I looked at the pictures later. Pink and Green halo ...

Discovered the colours when I looked at the pictures later. Pink and Green halo …

 

Couldn't get very close to the Needles, but still impressive!

Couldn’t get very close to the Needles, but still impressive!

 

Some nice colour going on ...

Some nice colour going on here.

 

Quote Of The Week

‘Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?’ – Robert Browning

Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson

 

I came to this book by accident. I first looked at A God In Ruins and liked the feel of it, saw it was linked to this story and decided to read this first. I’ll be honest and say it took me at least fifty pages to actually settle into the book, however, once there I lapped it up. The writing is wonderful, the style engaging. It’s probably the first book I’ve read of this type and certainly the only one I’ve read that makes women knitting sound interesting!

I was drawn in by the premise and I think Ms Atkinson pulls it off really well. Captivated by the different turns in Ursula’s lives … where destiny takes her and seeing how they all turn out – and suddenly I couldn’t put it down. The ending was satisfying, but I was waiting for more. It’s one of those books that could on go forever, exploring different streams of Ursula’s mortality/immortality.

Almost everyone I know wants to believe there’s more to the human condition than just this one life. I guess we’ll never really know, eh?

This book is an excellent read, I couldn’t put it down!

Pick up Life After Life here.

 

A God in Ruins is the follow-up book to Life After Life and follows Ursula’s brother Teddy, here we learn how his life pans out; WW2 and his participation in it. There are moments of brilliance – sadness coupled with humour, making you laugh when in fact you feel like crying. It’s in the skill of the writing nothing more and Ms Atkinson certainly has a lot of talent for it.

Available here.

February Full Moon

It was a relatively clear night last night and a full moon, so I grabbed my camera and took a few photos. I like the golden glow effect on the clouds given off by the moon’s light. The focus isn’t right on the close-ups, I still haven’t mastered that, but I’m working on it.

Here are a few of the many.

Full moon (22.02.16)

Moon2

Moon3

 

They’re pretty samey, I know, but the subtle changes are what makes it so fascinating!

My Very Own Black Beauty

This pic isn't very good, but he was going full pelt at the time!

This pic isn’t very good, but he was going full pelt at the time!

Out the back of where I live there are open fields. In the last two or three years there’s been a black horse enjoying the seasons as they come and go. In the winter he (I know he’s a ‘he’ for obvious reasons) parades up and down in a green coat, looking mighty handsome. He reminds me of Black Beauty – though his head is adorned with a vertical white blaze rather than the star so often depicted in pictures of the fictional horse.

This guy has become a constant in my morning routine. I get up and look out, disappointed if he’s not there. I’ve watched him make friends through the years – with the herd of cows that graze there in the summer, a young pony who comes to visit him a few times a year, children who feed him apples and carrots – yeah, they’re a big favourite – and the birds love him!

Same day - and racing around like a loon!

Same day – and racing around like a loon!

At the moment, the local council are putting drainage pipes in and yes, you guessed it, he’s there making friends with the workmen. Of course, it’s probably to do with wheedling food out of them, but it’s always nice to think there’s something more going on inside his head.

Making friends with the local seaguls

Making friends with the local seaguls

The other night I had a dream. I was sitting on the grass and he came up to me, put his long nose to mine and blew out. It was a weird sensation, like he was saying hello in horse.

Anyway, even though we’ve never met I feel like I know him so well.

It’s Good For You, Apparently

Walking is good for you, so they say. Endorsed here by our very own NHS.  It’s something I’ve indulged in for a large part of my life. I combine it with another of my favourite things to do – taking photographs. I wish I was better at it. One day I’ll have time to learn more about the technicalities, but at the moment I poodle along learning by my mistakes. I’ve been told that’s the best way to learn – I have my doubts. At least I’ve picked up some decent tips along my stumbling way.

Here are a few pics I took the other day.

 

Morning Sky (3)

 

 

 

 

Silence Is Everywhere ~ Isn’t It?

I was reading an article on Twitter the other day Earth Temples by Matjaz Krivic and came away wondering. This is a good thing, it means the author has succeeded in his task – to make me think (and hopefully anyone else who reads it).

Sea and Sun

This photograph was taken on my phone, strolling along the beach not far from where I live (November 2015)

I’m a bit of a sucker for good photography and this was the main reason I looked at the article. I understood what the author was trying to say, but I couldn’t help wondering why we feel the need to leave home to find the silence he talks about. The state of awareness the author was writing about can surely be found working in your own garden, walking in the place where you live, sitting in your living room. All the things he photographed: the sky, the sea, the earth – can be found right where we are. Do we really need to leave our place?

Finding that peace within has to be about perception, how we perceive ourselves and our surroundings – doesn’t it?

I’m just throwing this out there, maybe someone will throw something back 🙂

Here’s a quote from one of my mum’s favourite esoteric writers (paraphrased) …

‘Evolution is a continuing power to respond’ ~ Alice A Bailey

I think she has a good point …