Wednesday, 26 February 2014

spring is in the air!

The sun is shinning, the birds are singing - it may well be spring, well we can hope.  The weather man said yesterday that if this goes on for another couple of weeks then we will have missed out on winter altogether.  I imagine though that the people in Somerset and those living near rivers wouldn't have minded a bit of the cold stuff instead of the rain.

I belong to a book club and we've just finished reading 'The Last Runaway' by Tracy Chevalier which I enjoyed.  The story writing is only ok but the fact that it opened up a whole piece of American history I knew nothing about, namely something called the 'The Underground Railway', which operated in the late 1800s.  It wasn't a railway and it wasn't underground; it was a network of people and places that were used to help people escape slavery.  Who says that reading novels won't educate you!  The link will take you to the Wikipedia page.

The changes to the house and garden over the last year has left us with large areas of soil waiting to be planted.  Plans have been made, garden centres and nurseries visited and lists formulated.  All we need now is the money to buy plants and lots of energy to get them all planted.  A friend suggested that we throw a party where we supply food, drink and supervision for an afternoon while our friends do all the work - what do you think, any takers??

The older son is leaving home this weekend, the flat in London awaits.  Mixed emotions abound, we shall miss him terribly, life here will be quieter and more organised, enormous pride in his achievements, food we put in the fridge two days ago will still be there when we go to get it!   There's good and bad in all things.

I can't resit taking pictures of boats so have included here a couple I found the other day when I looked back on a visit to Aldeburgh on the east coast.  Hope you like them.

'Dry wood stern'
'Sizewell on the Starboard side'

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

photos, short story success and climate change

At last!!  I've mastered the issue of getting photos onto this blog, thanks Julia!!  So now I can actually put up some photography as well as talk about it.
Talking about photography, its now time to be thinking about the final piece of work which gives us our pass or fail.  It takes the form of producing 6 images, on a theme of our choice, each one of them showing one or more of the techniques we've learned along the way, printed and mounted.  Each one has to be accompanied by a written explanation of how we produced the picture.  No pressure there then!
This is a picture, taken a couple of weeks ago, of the lovely sculpture which sits outside the Marlow Theatre in Canterbury, its an amazing construction of, I think, metal textured squares.  

I've got a short (very short) story for sale on Amazon Kindle, and today I'm chuffed to bits because I think I've sold one to a stranger - when I looked this morning the two previous sales (mine and a friend of mine) had been added to by a third.  And.....the man who came today to mend my kitchen worktop said he would also download one tonight when he got home - I don't think that makes me a bestseller - it certainly feels good.  For anyone interested its called 'Answers from Ghosts'.  Its made me determined to get that very disorganised computer file called 'finished writing' sorted out and get some more work out there.

I've read a few things online and in the papers over the last few days about the recent floods and whether they are, or not, the result of climate change.  Nicholas Stern (he of the Stern Report) says they are and that all our politicians need to start talking about it - if we don't do something soon, certain 'tipping points' will be enabled, which will lead to a speeding up of some elements of climate change which we then cannot undo.  Scary stuff that makes you wonder.  I believe him, so the next question for myself is what shall I do about my own life that could help, I'll be giving that some thought.

Friday, 14 February 2014


Today the builders left for the last time, exactly a year and 1 month after they came.  There have been a couple of breaks at the end of last year, but this gang of brickies, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, decorators and their associated labourers have spent the last year taking our house apart and putting it back together into a lovely newly arranged home.  Some of that time was, of course, spent drinking tea and looking puzzlingly over architects plans going 'mm, well' while scratching there chins, as builders do.
There is a funny feeling here today because from now on, if we find anything that needs attending to (apart from something major structurally) it is our responsibility to get it fixed; we won't have to pass it by the architect or check the 100 page contract, or write to-do lists any more!  Hooray!!  I shall miss them, but only in a small way.
Been down to The Old Forge at Cranford this morning to revamp my display of photos which Rob kindly lets me hang on his walls and attempts to sell for me, and been over to the Old Friends Bistro at Grafton to check on some there which went up only this week.  So here's hoping someone, while sipping coffee, likes them enough to part with some money.
Talking of photography - yesterday's class was all about studio photography and how to operate lighting and manage flash!  Watch out David Bailey!
A very painful dying tooth is gradually getting better, not needing to get up in the middle of the night to take painkillers so the antibiotics must be working.
So all is looking good - apart of course from the rain.  I have a ridiculously garish waterproof coat, and can't afford a new one so I have to keep wearing it, and I'd really like to stop getting funny looks from people.  Please stop raining!!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Here's me .....

I wanted to get into a regular writing rhythm, so a friend of mine (Julia Thorley, of 'Life, Yoga, and other adventures' fame) suggested a blog.

I help people, mainly middle-aged and older, get the most out of their computers, am a parish councillor and help out doing admin things for my church - this is work.
I have a husband and two sons, one at uni and an older one about to leave us for the big smoke with his first job since leaving uni about 6 months ago; around them I try to manage house and home - this is love.

I write poetry and prose, I take photographs, and take an interest in what is going on in the world - this is what I really enjoy!

I'm doing a Photography course at my local tech on a Thursday evening which is fascinating.  Having used an digital SLR camera for the last 2 years I'm now beginning to understand how to get it to do things I never knew it could - shutter speeds, apertures, focal lengths and ISO settings are issues I can now have a conversation about, only with beginners like myself but that's a start!

So I think these are the things I'll fill these pages with, hope you enjoy reading them x

Monday, 10 February 2014

the begining.............

Well, here we go.  I've created a blog....................more to come tomorrow when I've got my head round all this.!!