Tuesday, 27 December 2011


This week, Carmi is asking us for our favourite photos from 2011

This has got to be my all-time favourite, but only by a short head! Gereinger Fjord in Norway is quite spectacular, all the way along it. It was faintly misty the day we went there, and another liner can be seen preceding us in the distance. It was a wonderful place!

I fell in love with the Arctic! This is just as we left Longyearbyen, the only town on the Svalbard Islands. Formerly known as Spitzbergen, they are right in the High Arctic, and although we were extremely lucky to have a fine day there, it was still a day to wrap up warmly.

Not quite so cold, though nearly so, I managed to snap these tracks in the snow before the sledgers got all over them! You have seen this before, on Carmi's challenge in July this year.

I love taking close-up photographs, especially when there is texture involved. This is a bread stall at our local monthly market. It really makes your mouth water just standing there!

And lastly, another close-up - this time something you might not guess. Its a Savoy Cabbage leaf! One of the tough, outside ones. But beautiful, don't you think?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is THE STRANGER AMONG US. My two Strangers are here!

Who is she, that old woman in the mirror? Oh no! do I look like that? I don't see myself so old, so grumpy. She's a stranger to me!

What does he see, as he stands alone
Guarding the peas and salads?
His eyes are felt, and his hands are straw
And a felted bird sits on his head.
We laugh as we pass along the paths
Admiring the gardens so carefully tended.
But look again at his impassive face
A felt- and straw-made man.
An uncomfortable thought passes through my head
What does he do at night?

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Carmi's theme this week is THE ONE

Wags was the only dog for me, and I was "her" human. Everyone else was just tolerated. I was guarded, accompanied, and generally looked after all the time. She was a beautiful dog, a Border Collie/Springer Spaniel cross and when she died I broke my heart. We've had other dogs since then, but I vowed never to give my heart to one again.

Here she is sitting by the Village Pond, knows she is the greatest, but modest with it!

Well, this gull knew he was the one, sitting on a handy perch in the middle of Windermere. And he was going to keep it and repel all boarders!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is SEEING RED!

I was actually delighted to see the red of these very late roses in our Park when I took the dog out on a very cold and snowy morning.

The roses glowed against the grey of the stone wall, even though they were battered by the cold wind.

The dog remained unimpressed.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Carmi's challenge this week is FLASH OF COLOUR.

This dark-leaved heuchera, a glorious plum colour, was planted to offset the paler green of the Sedum behind it. However, a sneaky Welsh Poppy decided to give a "flash of colour" to the arrangement!

Bullfinches are rare visitors to our garden,possibly because although our garden backs onto a park, we are really fairly suburban round here, and also they are less common now anyway. So we were delighted to see this pair (the female is on the right) arrive at our seed feeder. I was quite pleased with the photograph, as my camera has not got a brilliant zoom, and I was shooting through the glass of the kitchen window anyway!

But the male made a really great splash of colour in the winter garden.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is MUTED

I love muted colours, bright and brash is not for me!

And we've had some rather muted weather this week, as fog descended upon us one morning. The overhanging willows on the lakeside always make for a good photo.

As do the trees in the Park disappearing as I looked at them. Unfortunately not only did I lose the trees, I also lost my dog! Because our garden backs onto the Park, he considers the whole park merely an extension of his garden. I eventually found him waiting by the gate!

Beech tree roots - give the impression of strong, been-there-forever, roots. But Beech trees are very shallow rooted, and a strong wind, especially if the trees are still in leaf, can blow them over remarkably easily.

But I think the colours are beautiful!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


All things CLASSICAL is the theme for Carmi's challenge this week.

I love simple lines, and having been to Greece many times in the past, I admire the Grecian style.

This beautiful glass jug was given to me as a present when I left my last full-time job of work many years ago. It is gorgeous when the sun shines through it, but it's hard to find exactly the right place for it here.

The RHS Gardens at Wisley, in Surrey, however, make used of classical-inspired urns for planting. And very nice it looks too!

And there's got to be classical cars somewhere! These were waiting for a wedding party outside the Town Hall. Lovely, sleek lines, you've got to agree!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Carmi's challenge this week is DRINK UP! This is my first effort - a shot taken at a family Christmas - before we got into the stronger drink!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Ah, nothing like an old brick wall - preferably part of a walled garden, sun streaming down, scent of lavender, marjoram, roses..........

Well, I've got nothing like that for Carmi's Challenge this week but I have found some old brick building.

These chimneys are at Losley Hall, in Surrey,

as is this brick arch. I thought at first that the old bit at the top was brickwork, but on looking closely, it is stone. Brick-shaped stone, but still stone! Obviously at some time, the arch was cut through, and brick used to build it.

The last photo is of ancient brickwork in Bruges, Belgium. The old arches are lapped by the waters of the canal, and I wish I knew what the grilles were for! Bruges is full of beautiful brick-built buildings and a wonderful place to visit.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


METALLICA is the theme this week for Carmi's Thematic Challenge so I dug out some photos of various metals.

This is a pile of stacked chairs at Tittesworth Reservoir Visitor Centre, in Staffordshire. The chairs were not actually very well stacked, and the next person to take one had the whole lot tumbling down!

These unused sunbeds were firmly tied down when we crossed the Arctic Sea on our way to Svarlbad. Boy, was it rough! But seeing as how it was the Arctic, the sunbeds were definitely not used!

Security can be good-looking! This is the grille across the door to the Storage and staff shed at South Park, in Macclesfield, (Cheshire - not the one in the US!)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Carmi's Thematic Challenge this week is EDIBLE. You can see lots of yummy photographs here but these are my contributions to the table.

We eat a lot of fruit, and I love red grapes.........

........and nectarines and plums.

I don't do much baking as there are only two of us, and one is diabetic, but I did make a pineapple upside down cake for a special occasion. Hadn't made one in years, so it won't win any prizes. But it tasted good!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is TRIANGLES. Go over there and see his fantastic picture of a roof!

My first offering is the growing tip of a young monkey puzzle tree, in black and white, for a change. We bought it in a small pot, and luckily it is growing very slowly, as they do, apparently, as I really do not want a large Monkey Puzzle Tree in my garden!

The cranes at Zeebrugge, one of the biggest container ports in Europe, made an interesting pattern.

And lastly - I can do roofs too! These are at Tromso, in Norway,. Way, way above the Arctic Circle, it is a lovely town, with interesting museums and friendly people. They do good coffee, too! I would love to go back there.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is SIGNS OF AUTUMN. I can't compete with the wonderful colours in North America, and our trees haven't started to colour up yet, but we do have BERRIES!

Chinese Rowan berries in our garden. I found this tree as a seedling, and it is now about 15 feet high and flourishing.

Cotoneaster horizontalis - also in our garden

Another sort of Cotoneaster.

Hypericum - our garden as well!

Ripening crab apples in the park behind our house. When they fall, the Blackbirds love them.

This is one I took earlier - last year in fact. A Hazel tree in the park

And lastly, we've had very high winds lately, and a lot of leaves are falling without going a decent colour, just brown, so we have plenty of these!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week in DETAILS.

I thought this feather was so delicate for something that does so much work!

My eye was caught by these flies sunning themselves on the trunk of an oak tree.

Don't know what sort of a car it was, but it was old, classy, and waiting for a bride to emerge!

Plastic baskets stacked outside a shop

Cooking Bolognese sauce in my kitchen - glass lids are so interesting!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Carmi's Thematic Challenge this week is VEGETABLES. Thought I'd start with some really colourful ones, so here are carrots.....

..........and radishes. Yes, you've seen them before under "RED" but I thought they were yummy enough to include again!

Then leeks - one of my favourites, just wilted in butter so they keep lovely and green.

And broccoli - can't understand why people don't like it. I think its really great. But you mustn't overcook it.

And last of all, Savoy cabbage. The dark green leaves are very good for you, full of minerals as well as vitamins, so I shred them very finely, (trying not to include finger) and cook them very briefly, along with the rest of the cabbage, shredded, in the minimum of water for the minimum of time. And with a knob of butter on top!

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do love vegetables. All of them. Except beetroot.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Carmi's Challenge this week is LIGHT

So I took my camera out this morning and came up with the sun on the ruffled waters of the lake in the park.

Then I noticed the sun shining through my big green glass ball, so to make it different, I placed the ball on top of a textured sort of tiled topped table (if you see what I mean!) The rays through the ball made an interesting pattern.

And lastly, from my files, I remembered this one of tulip leaves, which in black and white gives them a whole new life.

Now I will keep my eyes open for some more interpretations of "Light".