Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Wednesday 25 August 2010: A Rainy Day

The Rainy Day
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

The day I took this my little part of the world felt as though it would never stop raining. When I finally accepted the fact that I was not going to get to go out for any length of time I grabbed a shot of this geranium drinking in the water the heavens had so generously showered upon us...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Tuesday 24 August 2010: A Late Summer Sky

You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Oh! `darkly, deeply, beautifully blue', / As someone somewhere sings about the sky.~ Lord Byron

I slowly stroll through the dog park these days wistfully remembering a child like exuberance I once had, a need to rush through life as quickly as possible. Now I contemplate life.

The weather has been completely lacking in summer-like qualities lately. Today the wind was gusting so strongly that I imagined seeing a man chasing his bowler hat down a street in an England that is really only a figment of my imagination. I remember being a little girl trying desperately to keep my skirt down while an Oklahoma gusting wind tried desperately to blow it up.

In reality, ball throwing takes on a different meaning in strong winds, as you're never sure where the ball will land or how far it will fly. Dixie finds it very exciting, as each moment is an adventure but then I suppose each moment in the dog park is an adventure for her anyway.

This is a photo of wind blown clouds with just the tiniest bit of blue sky that I just happened to notice when I stopped to look up. Everywhere are brown leaves and yellow grasses but for just one moment I found myself blessed with an image of a summer sky...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Thursday 19 August 2010: A Yellow Leaf in August

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

As you know, Dixie and I have been a bit preoccupied with the changing of the season of late. I spotted this yellow leaf, one of many, and found it strangely beautiful, especially against the green shrubbery stubbornly holding on. There will be many more, I am sure...

It no longer feels like summer at all. If I close my eyes, I can smell the new leather smell of shoes recently purchased for the start of school. I can feel the blisters on my ankles as I wait for them to become 'broken in'. I can remember how quickly they become 'no longer new' by kicking great piles of wet leaves that have drifted down to the sidewalks on my way home from school.

I want to buy fresh notebooks, rulers and pencils even though I don't use those things any more.

I want to start a new project that will probably never be quite finished.

I want to sit next to a fire and wear big bulky sweaters.

I want to eat fruit cobbler still warm from the oven and big mugs of steaming hot chocolate.

Alas, it is not quite that time yet. It is merely the twilight of summer. I am still waiting for autumn to come rising over the horizon.

I am watching and waiting...

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Bertrand Russell

Monday, 23 August 2010

Tuesday 17 August 2010: At the End of Summer

I think about that "empty" space a lot. That emptiness is what allows for something to actually evolve in a natural way. I've had to learn that over the years - because one of the traps of being an artist is to always want to be creating, always wanting to produce.
Meredith Monk

This looks like an empty field.

It is actually teeming with life. In fact, it is a refuge.

In the spring and summer they keep it mowed. But in the autumn and winter they let it grow. Besides the multitude of insects, wildflowers and grasses there are tiny little voles and I suppose mice - possibly even small birds.

Dixie and I walk here pretty much every day. This day it was just starting to rain. As I took this photo the air was filled with a heavy mist, my fleece covered with beads of water and my hair already wet.

What struck me about this image and why I tried to capture it, is the sudden feeling of acceptance. Summer is leaving us and in its place autumn is drifing in. There is a sadness and there is a comfort in accepting that little bit of truth.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Friday, 20 August 2010

Saturday 14 August 2010: An English Church in the Rain

On Giving by Robert Graves

Those who dare give nothing
Are left with less than nothing;
Dear heart, you give me everything,
Which leaves you more than everything-
Though those who dare give nothing
Might judge it left you less than nothing.

Giving you everything,
I too, who once had nothing,
Am left with more than everything
As gifts for those with nothing
Who need, if not our everything,
At least a loving something.

This is St Nicolas Church in Shoreham by Sea .

We finally managed to drag ourselves out of bed in time to make it to the Saturday Farmer's Market in Shoreham. Yes, I know. We're pathetic. We bought veg from local farmers and some gorgeous steaks from another local farmer. This same farmer gave us a free and seriously gigantic soup bone for Dixie the dog. Gary used it to make beef stock before handing it over to a very grateful wonderdog. Needless to say, our wonderdog immediately buried it somewhere in the back garden. No one knows where. You would think it was pirate treasure. I suppose to Dixie it is.

We also came away with the most lovely cakes from Treacle & Co including their utterly incredible lavender scented victoria sponge. We highly recommend anything by them.

After wandering around making all these lovely culinary purchases we were... and I know you won't find this surpising... ravenous. So we stopped at a new pub for us The Red Lion. We had the most yummy sausage and red onion doorstep sandwiches with lovely local ale.

And now finally back to the photo... *pause for breath* However, in getting to this pub we walked by this lovely church. It is quite old. On our way back, the rain came. I took this photo just as the rain started to fall. Gary walked quickly to the car. Dixie on the end of a lead I was holding looked up at me patiently waiting for reason to set in. How could one not stop to grab a few pics, however? How could one not stop to drink in the light, the atmosphere...

It was a life affirming morning followed by an even more life affirming nap in the afternoon...

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~Langston Hughes

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thursday 12 August 2010: Afternoon Walk

After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value.

~George Macauley Trevelyan

This was taken on a walk with Dixie.

It's a small clearing behind what used to be the rose garden. There are no roses but there are trees and lovely park benches and the remains of flint walls. We walk through the rose garden and past the allotments to a large field which is a habitat for all sorts of wildlife.

On either side of the field are overgrown woods. The woods are actually our favourite. Well, my favourite, but Dixie seems to like it a lot, as well. But before we get to the allotments or the field or the wood is this small clearing. I always stop and look because it is so very quiet and peaceful there.

Just standing there makes me stop... stop thinking, stop worrying, stop trying to understand. To me it is clearly a place of grace. I wonder if I am the only one who feels this. I wonder if perhaps it is merely my place of grace.

Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.
~William Hazlitt (British Writer, best known for his humanistic essays. 1778-1830)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tuesday 10 August 2010: Dahlias - A Gift from Dad

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

We had Sunday Lunch at Gary's parents. It was a lovely sunny day. Today has been so cold and dark that I have almost forgotten what a sunny day feels like.

As we were leaving, Gary's father gave me this lovely pot of dahlias that he had grown. He apparently found some tubers lying around the garage. He has no idea where they came from but he stuck them in a pot... Sometimes he is a bit like an accidental gardener.

They are gorgeous... a beautiful colour. I can't walk past them without stopping to take a second look.

Everywhere I look I see the signs of summer fading and suddenly today I realised that soon there will be no more flowers.

But until that day arrives, I will continue to stop and take a second look...

"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance."
- Yoko Ono, Season of Glass

Sunday 8 August 2010: Peatbog Faeries at Wickham Festival, Hampshire

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Completely impossible to describe just what an incredible experience seeing The Peatbog Faeries , Celtic Fusion band, http://www.myspace.com/peatbogfaeries actually was. However...

Must apologise for the dreadful quality of the photo... taken from my HTC Hero.

On a hot and humid day in a dusty tent Gary and I danced and giggled and found our souls completely transported. We've been fans for ages but this was our first time to see them. For 45 minutes we forgot we were adults with adult responsibilities. The magic of a mad bagpiper, two crazed rock and roll fiddlers and 6 more musicians cannot be overestimated...

We find ourselves already plotting how to see them again.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Friday 6 August 2010: Hibiscus Blossom

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

I have fallen horribly behind on my daily blips...

And this is another blip of my very large Hibiscus overflowing with blossom. My apologies if I am boring you to tears but I just haven't been anywhere very interesting of late. At least nowhere more interesting than my back garden ;-)

Bear with my while I try to get caught up and find my usual enthusiasm...

In the meantime:

Where flowers bloom so does hope.
~ Lady Bird Johnson

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Tuesday 3 August 2010: Bee Dancing with Hibiscus Pollen

The wild Bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
Now in a lily cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering.
Oscar Wilde

Have you ever seen a bee revel in pollen with this much abandon?

He was absolutely covered in the sticky white substance. Ah, yes the Hibiscus is blooming... riotously!! You will no doubt see more photos, as I love that I have Hibiscus growing in my English garden.

The first time I ever encountered an Hibiscus flower in the flesh, as it were, was in 1974 when I had just moved to Los Angeles. I was so in love, I used to wear them in my hair. I was, at the time, what you would call a hippie-chick. So wearing flowers in my hair every day was pretty common. However... tucking a blood red Hibiscus flower behind my ear... Well now, that was incredibly exotic. I was very young...

I can still smell the night blooming jasmine which grew next to the Hibiscus.

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Saturday 31 July 2010: Buddha, Fuschia, Cascade, Fish aka Robin's Nirvana

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. Buddha

This is the microcosm that is my back garden... well a third of it anyway.

This also my new Buddha.

I am, frankly, not very happy with the quality of this shot but just couldn't seem to capture the one I envisioned in my head.

Be that as it may, this is what I see when I look up from my laptop through the french doors in the kitchen. Considering the card board boxes masquerading as apartments I have lived in through out my life, I am indeed a very lucky woman.

Nirvana can indeed be found in a tiny back garden in West Sussex.

Now I have an extremely serene Buddha to remind me of that every day...

A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.
Luis Barragan

Friday 30 July 2010: Junk Yard Buddhas

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

Yes, another trip to the reclamation yard. This time for Victorian reclaimed bricks.

Wonderspouse is planning on building outdoor shelving for little seedlings and unused pots...

Another attempt at creating order out of chaos.

We also bought a Buddha to place by the fish pond (pics of that to come later, I'm sure). While we were searching for the 'right' Buddha, I spotted this very orderly grouping of Buddhas. I found it very interesting and just the tiniest bit quirky ~ not to mention that it also fits in with what is rapidly turning into a 'Junkyard Series'.

And, yes, I did want to take them all home with me...

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Thursday 29 July 2010: Sunset From My Bedroom Window


This is the land the sunset washes,
These are the banks of the Yellow Sea;
Where it rose, or whither it rushes,
These are the western mystery!

Night after night her purple traffic
Strews the landing with opal bales;
Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
Dip, and vanish with fairy sails.

Emily Dickinson

Our sunsets down here on the Sussex Coast are rarely this interesting. Not to mention that most of my attempts at photos of sunsets are marred by the 21st century - unattractive roofs, wires and light poles seem to be everywhere...

I took this one while leaning out the upstairs guest room window.

It is just a photograph of sky.

I think Emily is right. It does resemble the sea.

A mysterious, magical sea... In fact, an image plucked directly from magic realism... Well, I digress and appear to have wandered off...

It is just the sky... from my bedroom...

Saturday 24 July 2010: I Went to the Sea

As Is The Sea Marvelous
e. e. cummings

as is the sea marvelous
from god's
hands which sent her forth
to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust

but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands

and is with sleep...

the breaking

of your
my lips

We went to the seaside again today.

Dixie chased balls, flirted with waves and cavorted about with true abandon.

While I, as always, found myself mesmerized by the immensity and sheer beauty of the English Channel. I sometimes think that if I stand very still and open all my senses to the experience of the Sea not only will my soul be irrevocably changed, but I will come away with a head full of poetry and prose.

I do, I think. But find myself once again battling the age old problem of how to bend the English language to my will.

So I leave you with a very lovely photo ~ well, I think it's lovely ~ and a very lovely poem by e. e. cummings ~ once again, I think it's lovely ~

Monday, 2 August 2010

Friday 23 July 2010: Daisy

Friday 23 July 2010: Daisy , originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

~ Daisies are like sunshine to the ground. ~ Drew Barrymore

Spotted on a walk back from my GP’s office ~

On a sunny, lazy afternoon after a night of too little sleep all I wanted was a long nap, but spotted some daisies in someone’s garden and the sight of them made me stop and smile…