Garden Glory

I’ve been enjoying lots of new growth in the garden and the returning life in the pots dotted about. I like to go out early in the morning to take photos and soak up the silence.

I LOVE bluebells.

Bluebells

Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry

Purple Aquilegia looking particularly vibrant this year (2016)

 

I’m often accompanied on these little jaunts …

Junior: because he's the youngest member of the family.

Junior: because he’s the youngest member of the family.

Jones: because ... well, just because.

Jones: because … well, just because.

Newton: The boss and because he's clever!

Newton: The boss and because he’s clever!

That’s it. See you next time.

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.

 

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 …

 

 

 

Onwards and Upwards

So, I’m rewriting my first crime novel. It’s been in progress since 2010 and gone through quite a few changes – the current draft is number twelve. I know, compared to other authors, twelve drafts isn’t much – well, that’s what I tell myself.

Relative Justice (parts 1&2) is my first full-length crime/thriller story – so full in fact, I had to write a sequel to finish it. I’m happy with RJ2 and was hoping to have that available to read sometime in January, but then … dun, dun, dun … one of my writer buddies read RJ1 and gave me some incredible feedback. The review managed to wake me up and kick start my brain into edit mode. I suppose, if I’m honest, I sat on RJ1 for a year or so, unhappy with it and knowing it needed a rewrite. The latest feedback has given me a nudge in the right direction and I’m determined to have something uploaded by the end of January. We’ll see.

At the moment I’m taking a break, but once Christmas and the new year are out of the way, I’ll be putting into practice what I learned from NaNoWriMo. My mornings will be dedicated to writing and I’m aiming to write 2k before lunchtime. This worked well for me during NaNo and I’m sure I can keep it going.

We’ll see 🙂

Anyway, I hope Christmas and New Year celebrations leave you all fighting fit and raring to get back to whatever you do …

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year:

‘Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values’ ~ Thomas S Monson

The NaNoWriMo Experience

December 3rd and I’m suffering a little from burnout – though I had promised to take December off and relax (ha!) which is probably just as well. I’m justifying my tardiness by researching for my new book that began life with NaNoWriMo – and I have flu <- this could be a symptom of word count overload, but that might be pushing it, even for me 😀

So, what did I learn from my NaNo experience? Quite a lot about myself:

  • I spend too much time thinking about getting up.
  • Then too much time drinking tea and musing over how much time I’m spending drinking tea.
  • Perusing online newspapers on Twitter (which is allowed and won’t stop) but takes up too much time and is now part of my tea break.

NaNo highlighted my daily routine and in essence helped me to adapt and become more efficient. So as from January – don’t forget, I’m taking December off 😉

  • Up earlier.
  • One cup of tea while perusing Twitter.
  • Start writing.
  • Ten minute tea break.
  • Aim for 2k words before lunch.

We’ll see …

The advice: ‘not to read back over what you’ve written and continue on regardless and edit later’ – is okay in theory, but having been used to reading back what I’d written the day before, to get myself back into the story, I found this advice difficult to adopt. I tried to comply by writing notes at the end of each day, but my handwriting is terrible and didn’t really work/help. In the end I allowed myself ten minutes to read over, which on the days pre-NaNo would take me a few hours (interspersed with visits to Twitter and other social media sites).

What NaNo did show me was, with discipline, how well I can apply myself when there’s a deadline. On average, I was managing 2k daily and with that in mind my deadline for the first draft of my new book will be the end of February.

We’ll see …

I do have to say, though, NaNo is certainly an experience and one I’ll be going through again next year – see you there? 😀

Apparently, Lincoln’s Christmas market starts today.

 

Happy Christmas, everybody.

Phalacrocorax carbo

Ha, that got your attention. Common name: Cormorant. I see them most mornings when I look out my window, together with the Swallows and House Martins.

Phtograph by Charles J Sharp. Click here to visit Charles' wikimedia page

Phtograph by Charles J Sharp. Click here to visit Charles’ wikimedia page

When searching for a picture I was surprised at how many types of Cormorant there were and my ignorant self had to look up the breed native to UK shores. They’re pretty exciting birds to watch in flight, especially when they dive into water for their dinner 🙂 add that to the mix of Swallows and House Martins and you have an aerial display that’s worthy of respect. I marvel at how they manage to avoid flying into each other. Their swoops and dives are breathtaking to watch, really heart in mouth stuff.

You can read more about the Cormorant here.

But for me nothing is more impressive than the sight of Starlings in flight – a truly belly-grabbing spectacle.

I confess, I’m a keen birdwatcher. My dream is to one day take a photograph that will impress me as much as the ones shown below.

Working on it 🙂

Taken in Gretna, Scotland, UK by Walter Baxter

Starling Murmuration. Taken in Gretna, Scotland, UK by Walter Baxter. Click to see more of Walter’s pictures

Photograph by Richard Crossley. Click to see The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland

House Martins. Photograph by Richard Crossley. Click to see: The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland

Photograph by Christopher Watson Click to explore Chris' birdwatching blog

A solitary swallow. Photograph by Christopher Watson. Click to explore Chris’ website