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Blue Monday: Softly Sought Memories

Forget-Me-Nots

Blue Monday: Softly Sought Memories

Softly Sought Memories

Recall to me these
Softly sought memories
Of hazy spring meadows
Thick with flowers,
Alive with the buzz
Of bees, the gentle
Flutter of gossamer wings,
Bright pretty things
To delight the mind
Of an innocent child,
Of the forgetful youth,
Of the hasty adolescent,
Of this wishful woman.
Recall to me those
Lazy, gentle days,
That I may become
Lost in them.

The image is of the forget-me-nots in our front gardens, which inspired my poem on reminiscence. They always remind me of Spring as a child growing up in the countryside.

Part of Blue Monday, hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor, and Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Poetry

Smiling Sally

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place – Kastri Island

Kastri Island

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place – Kastri Island

In front of that little chapel, Agios Nikolaos, on Kastri Island is where Simon and I got married this year 😀 The happiest day of my life in a truly happy place for us both! Kastri lies in Kamari Bay near Kefalos on Kos. We stay here every year on our holidays and just fell in love with this beautiful spot the very first time that we set eyes upon it. My photograph was taken from the ruins of Agios Stefanos, one of the earliest known examples of a Christian Church and the setting for many of our wedding photographs. Posting this today makes me smile at so many happy memories, but also makes me wish we were there right now so we could get out into that beautiful blue water and follow the sealife around the rocks!

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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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Travel Theme: Inviting

St Paul's Bay, Rhodes

Travel Theme: Inviting

The warm Mediterranean Sea is one of the most inviting things I know! I remember childhood holidays in Malta, swimming, exploring rock-pools and the delightful boat trips through the Blue Lagoon. The Greek Islands remind me of those holidays and I can never wait to get into the sea! This year we went to Rhodes after spending time in Kos. Simon had spent his childhood holidays here and these photos are of Saint Paul’s Bay next to the historic town of Lindos.

Panorama of St Pauls Bay

You can just see the Acropolis and Temple of Athena in the background. When Simon was there as a child there was no beach area on the far side and the main beach was much less built up without a proper pathway or the car park! It’s still very picturesque and thoroughly inviting. We also took a boat from nearby Pefkos around to the old town of Lindos and I made this video with my phone. Hope you like it!

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Lilies For Lou

Lilies For Lou

Every year I remember my friend and former housemate, Lou, with flowers for her birthday. I saw these wonderful burgundy lilies at RHS Wisley Gardens on Sunday and instantly thought of her! Lilies were another of Lou’s favourites and she had a number of them growing in the garden. Lou just loved this time of year for the abundance of flowers. She may be lost to us but she’s not really gone from this world or our lives.

She’s by my side when I’m in the gardens, if I see a black and white cat, when the tennis is on, when I see a yacht, watching the rugby, drinking pimms or rosé, when I see one of her favourite films, listening to 80’s rock music, eating tiramisu, loading the dishwasher (she never could get it right!), if I see a frog (she was terrified of them but Smudge, the cat, used to bring them in as gifts for her) and whenever I pick up the car keys! I was always loosing my keys so Lou brought me a Nemo key ring from Euro Disney. Now I’m always Finding Nemo 😉

Lou on the left and me on the right

Lou is always in my heart and on my mind. I have so many wonderful memories of a very special person!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Threshold: the starting point of an experience, event, or venture

Krista Stevens set the challenge this week and she shares her thoughts on the theme “A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation. All the hard work is over; relief is palpable.”

Five month old Bert, the Bengal Eagle Owl, is on the threshold of his career with Xtreme Falconry as he performed his first public flight this weekend at RHS Wisley Gardens!

He was rather distracted by the sight and sounds of all the people and the garden birds. Not surprising for such a young owl! Bert certainly made us laugh with his antics of procrastination! He really took his time but with some persuasion from Martin, he finally spread those glorious wings. I’m so glad that we stayed to watch this magic moment despite the chill weather.

Seeing this Bengal (or Indian) Eagle Owl brought back some special childhood memories of my first close encounters with birds of prey. I’ve found some old slides, taken by my dad, of fellow artist, photographer and falconer, David, myself and a fluffy Bengal owlet called Sammy 🙂

Bert’s fabulous flight has also inspired a new poem. Watching or flying birds of prey is a truly wonderful experience! The supreme speed of the falcons, the soaring long-wings, hovering kestrels, pack-hunting hawks and the silence of the owls.

Hunter

Perfectly poised
On the very brink
The threshold of flight
Feathered sails soar
On unseen air currents
Slicing swift and silent
Ghosting a path
Through the fading light
The shadow of a scimitar
Haunting the skies
Searching, seeking out
Where your mark lies
Unaware, unable to detect
The soundless spectre
This noble hunter
Resolute in purpose
Your objective set
Great golden orbs
Aglow with intelligence
Tubular eyes fixed
Firmly upon the quarry
The very sustenance
Upon which your grace
And power depends
The target is locked
Armament deployed
Scything spurs extend
The axe falls

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Happy Birthday RHS!

Happy Birthday RHS!

The Royal Horticultural Society is 210 years old today! The RHS has had such an impact on my life, not only in developing my love and knowledge of flora but in providing wonderful habitats for our native wildlife that I treasure so much.

As a child, my parents instilled in me a lasting love for nature. We were fortunate to live in the beautiful Surrey countryside, with a garden full of wildlife and space for us children to have our own little garden patches, where we could grow our own vegetables and flowers.

Our visits to nearby RHS Wisley Gardens were always treasured! Over the years I’ve spent many precious days with friends and family in these glorious gardens.

And now I get to share my passions with future generations on our trips to Wisley! It brings me such hope and joy.


I look forward to many more years of enjoying the wonderful work of the RHS! Happy Birthday and thank you for the memories 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Photographs are windows into the photographers world. Often they are windows into precious moments from our past.

My featured image is a photograph from 1995 of my friend Rachel posed by a broken window in an abandoned factory near the village of Gomshall. My second image is from the same photoshoot. Both photos were taken on film and developed by myself in a dark room. I miss doing that!

The Flock

My third photograph is of Charlotte, taken at Stokesay Castle in 2008, not long after I’d started dating her father, Simon. I love our visits to Shropshire! I love them too of course 🙂

The Dreamer

My last photograph for this weeks challenge is from 2013. This is my goddaughter, Rosie, and her brother, James, at Mansion House in Leatherhead, eagerly awaiting the marriage of their grandmother, Chris, to Trev. I don’t photograph many weddings but this was family, special. Both the children also had their naming ceremonies at Mansion House!

Anticipation

These portraits by window-light are visual links to some of the most precious people in my life. The invisible strings that run though their lives are tied to many loved ones. I can see them all when I look at these photos. They’re just through the memory window of my mind and tied to my heart.