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ShareMondays2020 – Happy Birthday Bro!

Longes Family Portrait

ShareMondays2020 – Happy Birthday Bro!

Happy Birthday Robin!!! Yes, that’s my little brother on the left, with my sister-in-law, Mo, and nine month old Finley. They came over for a brief window visit this week and it really lifted my spirits. It’s been ages since we’ve seen each other in person and Finley is growing up so quickly! He’s such a character and like most little ones his age, he just wants to put everything in his mouth. It was so funny when he made a beeline for the birdbath and feeders! I had visions of a wet and confused baby until Robin just managed to get to him in time.

The birds continue to visit too! My brother isn’t the only Robin visiting the feeders! There’s a lovely pair of robins nesting in our hedgerow and the adults have been cleaning up the mess on the ground left by the starlings.

The juvenile starlings are becoming much more independent and are still very vocal. The blue and great tits don’t get much of a look-in at the feeder but it’s great when we do see them! The pigeons are also very good at clearing up whatever mess is left underneath the feeders by the starlings and tits.

For 30DaysWild I have also been watching the bees that are feasting on nectar from the hydrangea outside my window. I’ve seen three different species. Occasionally there is also a cat in the flowerbed too!

My parents continue to make random window visits too. This week they chose to visit in the rain! No need to make such a song and a dance about it though, lol 😉

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ShareMondays2019 – Interstellar

Interstellar

ShareMondays2019 – Interstellar

I’m actually judging ShareMondays this week so my image is only being entered into the Fotospeed challenge this week. I’m still keeping the ShareMondays title up there though as this piece was created very much in the spirit of our Twitter togs challenge. It’s really all about connecting photographers, generating discussion and inspiration. It’s for the love of art!

I spent a fantastic day with my godchild, Quinn, last week, sharing our love of creativity and photographic art. They’re currently doing an art project at school based on patterns in nature. It’s something I know we’ll explore more at RHS Wisley Gardens soon, but I thought we could try a “rainy day” project and create our own, imagined, cosmic patterns. For our subject we used milk, cornflower, food colouring, inks and a couple of straws to create the swirling patterns we wanted.

Our results really spoke to the science-fiction fan in me and I decided to take a couple of the base images a step further with two 3D rendered spheres as planets. I added some light effects in overlays for stars and bands of particles spiralling out from the planets. This one’s for you Quinn! Keep creating, keep seeing the cosmically-beautiful in the small and simple things x

Cosmic Imagination

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ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

My little brother got married on Saturday! I have a new sister and she’s lovely. There’s really nothing else that comes close to this as a photo-of-the-week for me. That includes photos of birds and butterflies, I’ll have you know! All of them truly beautiful but THIS is the beautiful moment that I HAVE to share with you all this Monday, the looks of love and happiness as they shared their first dance. What more can I say really! Just that I’m so thrilled for you, Robin and Mo, I’m still buzzing from your wonderful WedFest and very happy that our family has grown once again.

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Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Well, it’s been a truly crazy weekend! It’s always a bit crazy this time of year as we celebrate, first, my sister’s and then both my parent’s birthdays. This year my sister has reached the big four-zero and it’s an even more impressive seventy for my dad! Naturally, we organised a BIG party with family and friends coming, not just from all over the UK but also, from France and Australia. It was a great gathering with possibly the best buffet ever, definitely the best cakes ever (made by Sarah Jane from Flossy Cockles), a number of the very best musicians (from the Famous Five Band) you could hope to gather in one room, and a fantastic group of people to enjoy it all. One important thing was missing though. Dad. Yes, the birthday boy missed his own party! He was greatly missed by all of us there too. A nasty bug and adverse reaction to antibiotics forced our amazing dad to remain at home. It was really hard for us to celebrate without him! He’s the life, soul and comic relief of most gatherings, so we really owed it to him to celebrate in style. Not only that, we still had my sister and lovely mum to toast to! It was great to catch up with so many family members and friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. A few of my cousins brought their kids along and I loved watching them all play together! As always, the best toys to be found were balloons. Such a simple thing, but a child’s delight at knocking a balloon around is a timeless joy that always sucks in a few adults too! My Fotospeed challenge entry is this photo of my cousin’s little girl, Eva, having a wonderful time with one of the large, pink balloons. I think she hugged a few of them too tight and we had a several go bang, it’s all part of the fun though! Eva is the middle of three gorgeous girls and she’s a real pickle. Reminds me so much of my sister at that age! I just love the glint in her eyes and her cheeky smile. I think my dad will enjoy seeing my photos of all the kids playing! Thankfully he seems to be past the worst of it now. Rest, recovery and eventually we’ll be able to have a celebratory toast to his renewed health! Get well soon dad and Birthday Wishes to you and mum xxx

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Happy Birthday Brother!

Brockham Village

Happy Birthday Brother!

It’s my brother’s birthday today and I have been wracking my brains over what to get him. Totally failed! The truth is that he’s far too special to me to get him some gimmicky knickknack or whatever. Material possessions become less important to us over the years, unless they’re outrageously expensive things (like camera gear!). Robin never likes us spending lots of money on him anyway! So I decided to dedicate this post to him. These views are more precious to him than just about anything money could buy! This is Viewpoint on Box Hill in Surrey. The view is looking across the village of Brockham where Robin was born, at home, and first met his two older sisters in the early hours of June 15th 1984. We adored him from the moment we met! I still remember the feelings of overwhelming joy we were feeling on our way into school, listening to Billy Joel on the cassette player. This beautiful countryside was our playground growing up. It’s so special to Robin that just over a year ago he took his then girlfriend, Morwenna, up to Viewpoint to propose to her! I’m very much looking forward to her becoming my sister 🙂

Viewpoint on Box Hill

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Professionally Cute

Professionally Cute!

Professionally Cute

Easter Holidays mean I get to spend more time with my grandsons! Matthew is three and does cute professionally 😉 We were at a local park enjoying the warm Spring weather and I asked him if he’d grown too big to fit through the log holes. Almost! They really do grow so quickly. Callum, who’s six, tried to fit in one too, but I didn’t get a photo of him for two reasons; one, I couldn’t see his face; two, I was laughing too much! Had such a lovely time with them I decided that this would be my entry for Wex Mondays this week. It just expresses all the joy I feel getting to spend time with the kids, watching them play and laugh. And no, you can’t have Matthew! He’s ours 😀

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Blue Monday: Forget Her Not

Forget-Me-Nots

Blue Monday: Forget Her Not

Carlene

Your smile remembered
In the shining eyes of the
Boys you leave behind

Eyes full of wonder
At the beauty of the world
That you shared with them

Your legacy grows
Blossoming brightly in them
Nourished by your love

Each year more flowers
Will blossom in your honour
Stars of blue and gold

For my cousin David and the boys. How I wish I could just open a door, walk through to you all, and hug you! Half a world away but very much in our hearts xxx

Part of Blue Monday hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally

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Blue Monday: The Apple Of My Eye

Sweet Treat For A Blue Tit

Blue Monday: The Apple Of My Eye

Rosie

The apple of my eye is my goddaughter Rosie! Today is her eleventh birthday but she won’t get to see my Happy Birthday post for a week as she’s spread her wings, like the birds and butterflies, and flown (well ferried, but that doesn’t fit my photos!) over the English Chanel to France on a school trip. The girls weren’t allowed to take anything with a WiFi or Network Data connection, probably so they actually focus on getting to know France rather than their phones. I can see a certain amount of sense to this but the internet can also be such a useful tool when traveling! So I can’t send her a Birthday email but we did all gather together yesterday for a lovely birthday lunch! These photos were all taken at a visit to RHS Wisley Gardens during the February half-term holiday.

Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl!

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio – Celebrating Sam

Celebrating Sam

Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio – Celebrating Sam

Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Sam’s birth. She continues to brighten the world and the lives of her family and friends with her beauty, both inside and out; her strength of will; consideration and empathy; love and understanding. Thank you for being a part of our lives! Much love from your Wicked Step Step Mother 😉