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Aster

Aster

Wordless Wednesday: Aster

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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

Write up a mid-year β€œState of My Year” post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.

West Byfleet, where I live, is a small town that feels more like a village in community spirit. When I first moved here, I loved that we had so many small businesses and independent retailers.

Now, only the strongest survive. We’ve lost bookshop, fishmonger, grocer, music shop, florists, cafΓ©, Woolworths, bathroom showroom, computer repair-shop all to the recent years of economic strife.

Thankfully one of my favourite local shops, Heather Forster, is still going strong. Today they moved into new premises, still within the heart of the town.

The shop is a treasure trove of all things bright and beautiful. When I need to look for a card or gift, Heather’s is my first port of call. There’s always something a bit different, quirky, unusual.

It’s independent shops like Heather Forster that are still at the heart of communities across the country, with a smile and a few kind words for each and every customer who comes through the doors.

Congratulations, to you all, on the new shop and long may you remain at the centre of West Byfleet!

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Little Devil?

Little Devil?

We spent a lovely day with Simon’s daughter, Charlotte, her partner Danny and young Callum.

Ever since my birthday I’ve been wondering what to do with the Taz (my nickname) baseball cap that my sister and brother-in-law gave to me. It just wouldn’t fit on my head!

It fits Callum rather well though, so I’m hoping Helen and Kevin will be happy that it’s being worn at last!

It also fits Callum rather well in respect to the fact that he is, indeed, a terrible two! Most of the time he’s actually an angel and, today, we had loads of fun playing with the Bjork Biophilia app on the iPad πŸ™‚

Simon was a super dad and grandad today, slaving in a very hot kitchen over a roast dinner! All was fine until the food was served, then the Taz devil took over and Callum would not sit down at table for his dinner.

All parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will know this form of tantrum well. It’s the one where every question asked is promptly returned with the word NO!

This word is said firmly and repeatedly until boredom (on the part of the adults) sets in. The terrible two is then “ignored” in the hope that hunger will overcome their resolve.

All remains quite peaceful until the arrival of pudding at which point the terrible two discovers that the adults have more resolve than him/her!

Small children are by far the greatest actors on earth! Callum gets an Oscar for today’s crocodile tears. Is it wrong of me that I find it so hard not to laugh at these tantrums?

Life is a steep learning curve whatever age you are. Callum’s a lovely little boy and I think he’ll cope well with his next learning-curve, the arrival of his baby brother in about a months time! He’s going to be a brilliant big brother πŸ™‚

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What Makes A Masterpiece?

What Makes A Masterpiece?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece
IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE OF A MASTERPIECE.

This post is also part of The Festival of Flowers: Week 7

How do you define a masterpiece? According to the dictionary:

Masterpiece [mas-ter-pees, mah-ster-]
noun
1. a person’s greatest piece of work, as in an art.
2. anything done with masterly skill: a masterpiece of improvisation.
3. a consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind: The chef’s cake was a masterpiece.
4. a piece made by a person aspiring to the rank of master in a guild or other craft organization as a proof of competence.

One artist who has inspired me to look at some of Nature’s own masterpieces with fresh eyes is the wonderful Georgia O’Keeffe.

O’Keeffe produced many pieces of art that are considered to be masterpieces during her lifetime. More importantly, in my opinion, is that her works are genuinely loved by the public.

Her use of bold shapes and warm colours reflect the natural curves and tones of the countryside and flora around her.

In today’s post I’ve used popular summer blooms, gladiolus and scabious, to create a photographic homage to the artist who taught me to look closely at the beauty around me.

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Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Sweet dreams are
Made of moonbeams
And candy-floss,
Laughter and ice creams.
Skies of blue and gold,
Cold breeze on a hot day,
The way sea mist rolls
Over soft sand and
Dissipates amongst
Tall grasses, then passes
As the sun rises.
Rhythmic sounds of
Lazy waves breaking
On a hazy shoreline.
Sweet dreams are
Made of such scenes.

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Elusive

Elusive

There are a few grey wagtails that I’ve spotted by the Basingstoke Canal and I’m trying to find out how many individuals there are along the stretch that I visit.

I have seen two together but I wasn’t able to capture the moment. They’re very elusive! I managed to find a concealed spot from where I could watch this female for a little while today. It was lovely πŸ™‚

Photographing her was a challenge as she stayed in a very shadowed area but she didn’t stay still for a moment! This image was taken at 300mm f5.6 ISO 3200 at 1/80sec.

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Thank You For Visiting

Thank You For Visiting

Pebbles has gone home with her family today who were overjoyed to see her!

She’s taken home a squeaky toy that had belonged to our Pixel. Pebbles loved it too πŸ™‚

Thank you for visiting us Pebbles! You really are a lovely little cat.

And thank you to everyone visiting my blog, commenting on posts and following my progress. It’s much appreciated πŸ™‚