Walk Tall-er Shorty

Today I met with a friend who is tall. I would say in the region of 6ft 4+……….I am a mere 5ft and can just about make 5ft 2″ in heels! To say that I am small is to quote the obvious however I would prefer to be recognised as small in stature but big in heart…..sadly, throughout my life I have been subjected to many critical and even hurtful comments about my height. Why humans have to be so hyper critical of each other is a mystery to me, why they have to be hurtful with it I simply do not understand. The world seems to promote a sense of the norm, a sense of uniformity and a message that if you are different then you are to be discriminated against, my view is that all humans are unique and we should celebrate that uniqueness wherever possible, support each other and promote each other. Maybe then the world would seem a much kinder place to live. My image today is from my shoe rack, of which is stuffed full of high heels with my flat shoes resigned to the gym! At least I can choose to walk tall or walk small…….

 

100

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’!

Skyline 5

Barley A Breeze

It has been a quiet sort of day here today, the morning was misty and cool but the sun soon broke through to bring a glorious late summer afternoon. The breeze of yesterday has given way to the calm of today, the flowers stand motionless in the garden and the tree as still as a statue. Yesterday was quite different, the breeze grew stronger as the day lengthened and the fields of barley across the way from where i live were like a turbulent sea, bending and twisting at the will of the wind. The heavy ears full of grains acting like sails tied to the slender masts, the butterflies were having a difficult time trying to bask in the sun and the odd field mouse scurried along the ground, rather than clamber up the skinny stalks to the ripe larder cupboard at the top. Capturing the motion was difficult, trying to freeze motion without losing sharpness is a challenge, so i think here is a combo of the two, a slight blur from the softer edges of focus and a nice sharp capture of the movement, barely a breeze today but breezy barley yesterday.

The More I Learn The Less I Know!

I have just returned from a Landscape photography course held in Malham, Yorkshire and the overwhelming feeling I have as I sit here and look at my images from the day is that the more I learn the less I seem to know about this hobby of mine, photography! It all started out so simple, a camera body and lens and a stout pair of walking boots, that was about 6 years ago…..now I have the same boots, but a new camera and 2 lenses but this overriding sensation that I’m out of my depth and that I seem to have chosen possibly one of the most expensive & complex hobbies possible! (after owning a horse which I did many years ago!) There is the desire to purchase more lenses but the small issue of funding them, a lens for macro work, a lens for landscapes oh and a lens that fits the middle ground would be nice too! Then there’s the accessories, several batteries as 2 was definitely not enough for 9hrs on Live View mode….filters which now seem a necessity rather than an nice addition if your going to achieve those magazine quality images…oh my poor bank account, its empty at the best of times, but this hobby is like funding the debt of a small European country!  The two courses I have participated in recently have been amazing and yes i do believe that I have absorbed some of the hints and tips given, but I also fear that I have up until now been what they might call  a ‘lucky photographer’ because when I try to apply the knowledge from the course it all seems to go to pot! The saying ‘ a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ is oh so true, the more I learn the more I need to learn…and the small issue of having the right kit for the job….I really must go and buy that lottery ticket!!

Limestone Pavement

 

 

 

41 Day 277 – A Change in Direction

For over a year now I have been photographing the ordinary and the not so ordinary, the aim well to try to improve my photographic skills, to see new things that I never noticed before and to share then with the blogging community out there and hopefully make you smile now and again. I have also learned much from reading your blogs, and very much enjoy taking a peak into your worlds for a few minutes each day. Time is a huge factor in life and I have begun to feel like having too many social networking projects on the go is just not the way forward. So, I have decided to shut down my other pages on facebook etc and concentrate on my blog. I also want to change the direction of the blog just a little, it will still be about my photography journey, only I want it to reflect more about the places, people and wildlife that I find along the way. At some point i would like to change the format but I need to study how to do that before I dive in! So, a big thank you for all of you who like and comment on my blog and I look forward to continuing the journey with you all….

View across Barcelona City

View across Barcelona City

41 Day 271 – Goosey Goosey Gander…..

”Whither shall I wander……”

Childrens nursery rhymes seem to stay in your mind, even if you haven’t sang them or heard them for many years, I wonder why that is? Is it because as a child they are repeated to you over and over again, or is it that they make such a visual impression at such a very young age, forming a picture in your mind which helps you to remember. This particular nursery rhyme was first published in England in 1784, although lines were added to the rhyme at a later date. Although there is no evidence to prove it, some believe that the rhyme is linked to a propaganda campaign against the  Catholic Church during the reign of Henry v111 but more recently the rhyme also appears in the 1941 Agatha Christie novel ‘N or M’.

The image was taken at a recent country fair, the Kenilworth Show which began in 1944 to showcase the local country community and has enjoyed large crowds this year against the odds. Country fairs are sadly in decline with many no longer in existence, even the likes of the Royal Show which until recently was held at Stoneleigh Abbey Park in Warwickshire just across the road from the Kenilworth show have disappeared from the events calenders. Not only is is sad for the visitors to lose these shows but it is a matter of survival for both trades people and craftsmen alike, who rely on these events to promote and educate as well as earn a living. Countryside skills such as wood-turning, willow weaving, hedge laying, coppicing, together with horsemanship, farrier displays and farming practices are sights rarely seen in today’s modern world and these shows are a way to keep them going and hopefully encourage a new generation to appreciate the skill involved. After all, these people were the backbone of this country for hundreds of years, long before the computer and mobile phone ruled our lives!

So before I go, here is the rhyme in full both the original dating back to 1784 and the more modern version…..you can make your own mind up about the history of the rhyme, but next time you see a local show or county fair advertised, please go along. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself and you may even learn something new!

Oldest recorded version:

Goose-a goose-a gander,
Where shall I wander?
Up stairs and down stairs,
In my lady’s chamber;
There you’ll find a cup of sack
And a race of ginger.[1]

Modern version:

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.

 

 

41 Day 263 – An English Rose

41 Day 261 – When England Worked

I just love this atmospheric derelict old building alongside the canal with it’s shattered fascade, the lifting platform where goods were once hoisted from the barges below as the smoke rose from the engines through the open windows to be breathed in by the workers with blackened faces. Workers who sweated and toiled from dawn until dusk and beyond. Stand for a moment and you may imagine the scene, smell the industry and remember the workers, the people who made this country great, a bygone era of industry and development sadly lost, the people gone, the skills gone too along with the pride in being a working man…… as the buildings melt towards the earth from where they once rose. Where Once We Worked

41 Day 253 – Letting Go

The older I become the more my own mortality plays on my mind. Silly some may say as I am still relatively young, but it is something that creeps into my thoughts more and more, triggered by some song on the radio, or by the sight of another season passing you by. Someone once said ‘Youth is wasted on the Young’, maybe, for sure I couldn’t wait to be an adult and live my life my way when I was a teenager. But now I see things so differently, almost as if I’m losing my grip on the life I so wanted and yet still eludes me, all the things you set out to achieve suddenly seem so far away that you wonder if you will ever achieve them. It’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow, I wont give away her age as she would be most upset, but every year that we celebrate becomes a reminder that my beloved parents wont always be there, a sobering thought, for something so constant, so reliable and predictable will one day be lost forever. But that is where my thoughts turn to a new way of thinking, Ive never been one for practising religion but I believe in something more than just this life, that one day I will be reunited with all the loved ones that I have lost, somehow that thought makes the anguish subside just a little. At some point in our lives we all have to let go, whether that is letting go of a past that haunts you, a deed that you regret or words that were said in the heat of a moment, or the loss of a loved one or a pet that loved you so unconditionally in return, we all hold on for as long as is humanly possible, until the time comes for letting go……….

41 Day 253 – Holyrood Abbey Ruinous Jewel

Some may call it a ruin other may disagree, for Holyrood Abbey still stands proud all be it a shell of its former glory. Founded in 1128 by King David 1st and was the home of the Canons who came from St.Andrews, it has survived attack by the English under Edward II and was burnt by Richard II in 1305 before being restored. In the 16th century Holyrood Palace was added by James IV but only a single tower remains of this addition and the palace that you see today was built by Charles II in 1670. In 1547 most of the main buildings, including the choir, lady chapel, and transepts of the church were destroyed by the commissioners of the English Protector Somerset, and 20 years later followers of John Knox destroyed the interior of the church in a Protestant frenzied attack. On July 22, 1565, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots married her cousin Lord Darnley in the Holyrood Abbey church, and just a year later her Italian secretary and suspected lover, David Rizzio, was murdered by her jealous husband and friends in the stairwell of the palace royal apartments. A plaque – and a bloodstain still visible on the floor – marks the spot where Rizzio died. For all its history it is still a place of inspiration, the workmanship of those who laboured to create it still evident and an atmosphere still hangs around its ruined stones, thought provoking and haunted yet calming and welcoming to those who find themselves stood at its heart.

 

Holyrood Abbey Church