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Flowers For Lou

Peony

Flowers For Lou

I usually keep Sundays silent but today would have been my dear friend, Lou’s forty fifth birthday. I like to celebrate her life and the time I had with her, as my friend and my housemate, with flowers! This year I have some beautiful peonies to share and a little quote about the etymology of their name:

The Etymological Meaning Of The Peony Flower

The Peony is best known by its scientific name, Paeonia. This is only the name of the genus – individual varieties of Peony feature different individual Latin names. The Peony takes its name from the mythological Greek character Paeon, who studied with the god of medicine known as Asclepius. Zeus had to transform the student into a beautiful flower when he showed more promise than his teacher and incurred his wrath.

Peonies originate from China, as do so many of our favourite blooms. The translation, from the Chinese names this flower “most beautiful”. It really is and so was Lou, especially when she laughed.

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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 😉

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In Loving Memory Of Lou

Sunset From Zia

In Loving Memory Of Lou

Golden memories
Aglow with the warmth of the
Love still felt for you

A sunset frozen
In time, forever shining
On those left behind

The sun can never
Set on our friendship, dear friend
You live in our hearts

Louise Wood-Roe, my friend and once housemate, would have been 44 today. The memory of her is everywhere and in everything! This sunset image was taken in Kos a week before my wedding. She was with me, a bridesmaid smiling down on us with the warmth and love of the sun that she had always worshipped herself.

As has become my tradition, I remember Lou in flowers every year and I know that she would have delighted in these blooms that I saw in sunny Hyde Park, London, yesterday. I’m sure she would have pulled up a deckchair, poured the Pimms and soaked up the summer vibes.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Salvation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

The Last Post is a mass participation project that has seen communities across the UK playing the Last Post on a variety of different instruments to remember lives of World War One.  In Woking, our event was organised by Andy Mabbutt from The Phoenix Cultural Centre and hosted by Eddie Jones at The Trench Experience shop and Upcycling Centre.

The Trench Experience shop was the ideal setting for our event. The Charity was founded by Eddie Jones in 2005 and has just started work on a permanent base for the educational project, on land beside Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey. The site will be developed in real-time to the events of the First World War, leading up to a Victory Celebration in 2018. The charity has chosen The Artists Rifle Regiment to illustrate trench conditions. The Artists fought as a battalion and were in the thick of the fighting with the Royal Naval Division at Passchendaele and Ypres. I’m really excited about this open-air, living history museum!

Cllr Tony Branagan, the Mayor of Woking, opened the event and welcomed us all. We honoured the memory of the Artist’s Rifles with prose and poetry from Greg Freeman, of the Woking Writers Circle, and also from me. Wilfred Owen is one of the best known members of the Artist’s Rifles and his poetry was a huge inspiration to me from my school days. I felt it was fitting to read a number of his poems including, Beauty and Anthem For Doomed Youth, two of my favourites and incredibly moving pieces. I also read my recently penned homage to Blood Swept Lands.

Vic Cracknell took us on a journey through the music of the era which brought back memories for many of us, young and old. My Great Aunt Jo was always singing with us when we were children and I was probably one of the most vocal members of the audience during the sing-a-long when Vic launched into She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain! Voices rose all around the shop for It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. One of the most moving moments of the event came as Vic read an actual letter from the Grandfather he never met, back home to his family about having been wounded in action and losing an arm. It was full of reassurance to loved ones and gratitude for all the help he was receiving. Such an upbeat letter considering such dire circumstances!

A great achievement bringing several of Woking’s community groups together to put on such a successful and moving event!

Travel Theme: Numbers

Kastri Island

Travel Theme: Numbers

At the time of writing this post there are 210 days until Simon and I get married on beautiful Kastri Island in Kos, Greece! Our special date is 29/05/2015. We’re going to have the most wonderful time with just a small number of close family and friends. I’m so excited to be sharing our love of this wonderful Greek Island with our guests, as well as having them with us on the day I finally become Mrs Williams 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Matthew's 1st Birthday Party

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

The greatest adventure of all is awaiting young Matthew – life! Childhood itself is a mini-adventure within the overall story of our lives and Matthew, his brother Callum and their cousins are enjoying every moment of it together. Watching them all playing together at Matthew’s First Birthday party was a joy. Matthew is certain to be taking his first unaided steps any day now and once he’s off there’ll be no stopping him! I’ve added in some captions on Matthew behalf for these galleries 😉

They all had fun playing outside in garden together. They tried to rope me in to playing “It”, but my running-round-the-garden-screaming days are, sadly, a bit behind me now!

I love the way small children can turn just about anything into the greatest toy EVER!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

Zigzag

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

I have to thank my friend Julia K for providing the subject matter and inspiration for this week’s challenge! Julia has long been a fan of my abstract work, her words of encouragement and genuine delight are succour to this artist’s soul.

Julia recently completed work on her own music-recording studio and rehearsal room. It’s truly fantastic! I just love some of the finishing touches too, like these antique-style, zigzag light bulbs! I had great fun with these manual focus, macro shots and the post-processing in Lightroom. If any of you were curious about my Silent Sunday image, it was a defocussed photo of one of these bulbs! I love painting with light 🙂

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Blue Monday: Eliza Blue Eyes

Eliza

Blue Monday: Eliza Blue Eyes

Eliza was one of several children keeping us on our toes and entertained at a friends barbecue on Saturday. You can see in those big blue eyes that she’s full of mischief! Life is such an adventure when you’ve just found your feet 🙂