Recycle and relax

Having changed the light fitting in my kitchen a few days ago I was wondering what to do with the old glass globe fitting. As usual it sat on the side for days, until Tuesday evening when it struck me that it could be used in the garden perhaps….so here it now stands, alongside the mini water wall, complete with a tea light, and how lovely it looks……

The Friday Flower…on Saturday

Yesterday was the end of a particularly stressful week at work and so by the time I had fought my way through the traffic and got through the front door, fed Slipper and finished my chores there was no time or energy left to write my post. So, I decided to write it this morning. The sun is out and the garden is laying heavy with the overnight rain, although the rain is doing wonders for the flowers which are all looking lovely, it’s also bringing out the snails and slugs….the battle I fear is about to begin as I moved my rocket plants and tender lupins out yesterday ……..However, the flower for today just has to be my Clematis. This is Nelly Moser, a beautiful and relatively easy to grow clematis that favours my east facing patio as it gets both sun and shade throughout the day (sun when it decides to show itself I may add!). The flowers are huge at 6-8ins in diameter and it looks sub tropical when in full flower. My Nan loved this clematis and I remember that the one in her garden was simply huge, clambering over the other shrubs and trees. I bought it because it minded me of her, smiling as she enjoyed her gardening, something we can still share even though she is gone. When something holds a memory it is good to hold on to that something……

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Gallows at Dusk

Last year I had the pleasure of a visit to London for a long weekend, a place that you cannot fail to find photographic inspiration….that’s if you can get close enough to anything long enough to take the shot before the next herd of tourists converge….of course I was one of those tourists!! During this visit I discovered a  love of architecture and structures, something I haven’t really dabbled with before, probably as the town that I live in is somewhat lacking in dramatic architecture, so I don’t tend to look at the bigger picture so much. But in London, its all around you, you cant help but see it on every corner, in every view, and for me the best way to see it is from the top of a London Red bus or the balcony of your apartment. I was lucky to stay in an apartment set behind the London Eye, near the Borough Market across the Thames from the well known sights and the skyline was stunning. This shot was taken at random, with a small Canon camera, but I love the grainy texture to this shot, it makes is so atmospheric. I didn’t realise what I had captured until closer inspection, however you can just make out the top of the Tower of London, the infamous site of many a gruesome hanging, but somewhat over awed by the towering cranes filling up the sky high above it. To me they look like tall gibbets, gallows waiting for their next victim to swing to their doom, almost softening the Tower of London by their modernism and minimalist dressing. The dark side of the London skyline…..

 

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The Friday Flower – After the Rain

Well Friday has rolled round again and what a week it has been. It started off on a positive note but unfortunately went down hill, however this seems to be the norm at the moment and so when Friday comes around it’s a relief. The tension in my neck and shoulders seems worse than ever and I think I need to see about some serious massage therapy, but until then I have my flowers to cheer me up and put the smile back on my face. Gardening has always been an outlet for me, more so now I have the greenhouse! This evening has been a treat as although it is cool, grey and damp the droplets remaining after the rain storms look beautiful on the emerging flowers and leaves, the plants seem as relieved as I do that it’s Friday, their stress has been lack of real water for weeks and so now they look refreshed and revitalised. Here is the sole surviving Allium, sadly last years terrible slug fest seems to have destroyed the other bulbs, but this one is a treat, I hope you like it! Have a lovely relaxing weekend and thanks again for all your views, likes and comments!

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The Friday Flower

I like to keep Fridays simple, and dedicate them to the flowers that brighten our days, regardless of weather, regardless of the stresses and strains of life today. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for taking the time to look at my posts…..

Here’s one of my favourites, the Geum – interestingly this one is grown in a container and has multiple coloured blooms….interesting as it should be red, but has yellow blooms too!

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Word in Edgeways…..(shut up and listen!)

Have you ever had one of those conversations when you just cant get a word in edgeways? When the person opposite you seems to not even take a breath…..and you know that they will not stop until they have said their piece? I love a good conversation especially when the person you are with is interesting but who is also interested in you and what you have to say. There is nothing worse than not being part of a conversation but simply being on the end of a lecture and feeling like you have not been heard. Is the art of conversation dying….are we becoming a society of people who would prefer to stare into their screens in silence and when confronted by another person they are simply unable to interact? Recently I have experienced this situation, whereby the other person displayed the inability to have a 2 way conversation and the net effect is that nothing is achieved and you feel completely ignored and frustrated. If only we had a little more time for each other, to listen to one another and to be heard. Maybe next time I find myself in this situation I will follow the lead of the Jackdaw in this photo and  simply shout SHUT UP and LISTEN!

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Generalist, Specialist or Opportunist….which one am I?

You may wonder what has an image of 2 birds on a birdfeeder got to do with the title of this post, well yes I agree it may be a little tentative but let me see if I can explain my thought process….

So today I was sat at my desk considering job titles, roles and responsibilities and the necessary skills that fulfil them. What is it that leads us to believe that one person may be a better fit for a role than another? In the acting world people audition for roles, in the business world people interview for roles, so what is the difference between an audition and an interview? Stay with me here….in my opinion they are one and the same, to some degree we all act out the part that we think others want us to be. During an interview the candidate will behave in a certain manner, provide answers that they assume are what the interviewer wants to hear. In an audition you do the same, you play the part in a manner that you believe fits the character, only in an audition it is a little easier to distinguish between the actor and the character. In an interview the lines are more blurred.

Back to the title of this post, the question is during an interview are you seeing the generalist, specialist or opportunist at work and how do you ultimately make a decision? Does the person define the role or does the role define the person that you inevitably choose? Do you go with the individual who has all the skills on paper but who may lack the right personality, the person with the personality that fits the environment but who has less experience, the specialist who knows much about less or the generalist who knows little about much? It’s a tricky question and one that can lead to a bad decision.

My own preference would be to go with the generalist, someone who has a little knowledge about many areas as I believe that these individuals display a talent to absorb and utilise in a broader spectrum, with the ability to diversify and build on their knowledge. Of course it depends upon the role, but there is never a perfect fit and like the birds in the image, one may be the perfect build for birdfeeder,agile and fast, the other a perfect fit for the woodland environment camouflaged and stealthy, but as these 2 demonstrate, a willingness to learn new skills from another and adaptability are the key to success!

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Insignificance

Have you ever had the feeling that you are insignificant? A small fish in a very large pond? No matter how you try you make no impact upon the world around you? Well just think of this little fella, pretty insignificant on a scale of 1 to 10, small, not especially eye catching to you and me. if I wasn’t aiming a lens at the flower I probably wouldn’t even have noticed him. But, think a little more and you realise that he is important and very significant. Without him the chap up the food chain may go hungry, and the chap above him would also go hungry and so on and so on and in the very worst case scenario a whole eco system could fail…all reliant upon this little guy. For however long he lives he is important, he has many jobs to do and others rely upon him. Alone he has significance and in numbers their worth is multiplied. So put that into context. You alone support many around and above you, you together with other ‘small fish’ provide the foundations for the larger fish in this pond of life. Without your contribution others would not succeed, they ultimately need you regardless of their own abilities. So the next time you start to feel insignificant, just think of this little moth and remember that you are the foundation of something bigger, you are significant.

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New Beginnings (and old habits….which way is up? )

It’s strange but I find that the more you try to change your life the more it remains the same. For some odd reason all the things that you have always done, continue to be done regardless of how much you try to stop!

For example, I have now decided to try to get fit, something I have dabbled with may times before, but this time I am determined….and so I am removing all temptation from my cupboards and draws in preparation for my attempt. I really should not use the word attempt, as that denotes that I will fail! I am signing up to a new gym, and have even contemplated setting myself new goals to work alongside the whole get fit thing in the hope that they all combine to actually work this time!

There are other areas of my life that I am also determined to change for the better, such as my mental wellbeing. For some years now I have been driven to succeed in my job, however after 3 years I feel I have been somewhat misguided in my efforts and have taken a long hard and very critical look at my life and more especially applied the word ‘why’ to all the things that I have been doing. This blog to some degree will change from being purely about photography (still a love of mine) and become more about how I see what I see but also document my journey from here on in.

I was 41 when I started this blog, as you may have read in my intro.

I am now 46, a whole 5 years down the track to wherever and yet I still feel no sense of purpose or direction.

This blog may help to unravel some of the situations I may find myself in, it may not, but I hope that by sharing with anyone who may be out there, I may find I am not alone in this feeling of ‘why’!

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Fitness Thoughts……

Having had a break from blogging and photography, mainly due to work, I have decided to get back to it! Why, because I have missed it and need an outlet for my creative side that has been ignored for too long!

So, what’s new, well for too long I have been eating all the wrong things and doing very little exercise, the perils of a desk job coupled with an eternal love of anything chocolate add up to a very unhealthy me. Ive never been overweight as such, although at only 5ft in height any additional weight is felt in an instant, but I have noticed a lack of energy and a general feeling of lethargy and so I have decided to do something about it.

Having an inbuilt dislike of gyms and the inability to run anywhere let alone a 5k run coupled with the memories of years of dance classes and rigid routines I decided to go with a fitness dvd, but not any old celeb based instant transformation package, no this is a real programme aimed at getting you to committ to getting fit and doing it at a pace thats right for you.

 

Tonight I commenced my second round of training, 25mins per day 5 days per week, rotating cardio with selected muscle group activities…..all I can say is after the last few months of working out I thought I was fit!! But one thing is for sure, after this I WILL BE!

But when youre working out its amazing at how your mind focuses on the job in hand, but also where it can wander. The thoughts you have whilst counting away the reps, I call this the Fitness Philosophy. What drives a person, what motivates a person, does it come from within or does it originate from another, all questions that we can ponder whilst our mind is focusing in on our body. Its true of many things in life, do we simply follow the lead of others or do we instigate the plan ourselves, do you do as you see others doing or do you follow your own path? In most of our lives we are told to do things, we follow instruction, we do as we believe others would want us to do, but does that make us happy? We can absorb what others deem to be a successful formula and fail miserably, yet we can make are own decisions and find happiness.

Yet here I am, following a programme that is sold as being one of the most successful fitness programmes available, the proof will be in 25 days!

Maybe following the crowd does have its benefits after all…………………

 

 

Follow the crowd