Sunday, 30 May 2010

Junk Yard Venus

Junk Yard Venus, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

She walks in beauty.... Lord Byron

As I wandered aimlessly in the rain while my husband looked for replacement doors in a Tangmere reclamation yard, I found (reclaimed) this Botticelli's Venus statuary which as you can see has seen much better days.

Something about her moved me to contemplation... Beauty being in the eye of the beholder... Where had that original beholder of beauty and his eye gone?

In the end I had to,very reluctantly, leave her to her fate...

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 30 May 10, 4.31PM BST.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Gladiolus communis byzantinus

The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. ~Basho

These come up every May/June... They are so bright and cheerful... a rich magenta. They have apparently been in England since at least the 16th century - originally from the meditteranean. Cornwall gardeners know them as Whistling Jack and English gardeners as Corn Flag. They are pretty much indigenous down here on the south coast... you see them sprouting up everywhere. They are also apparently a common sight in Cornish hedgerows. Certainly we never planted them but we are grateful for them nonetheless.

I so look forward to them every year and can't help but smile when they arrive. I also pray very hard that once their blossoms start to open, we don't experience an all too common summer storm off the Channel... which, needless to say, totally flattens them.

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 28 May 10, 7.49PM BST.

Garden Gnome

Garden Gnome, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

My latest acquisition for the garden. You may think it's all a bit naff but I don't care. I love him. And notice he is reading a book while sitting under a sage plant...

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 28 May 10, 7.45PM BST.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Yellow Rose Belonging To My Neighbor

A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world. ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Is it a sin to covet thy neighbor's rose?

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 26 May 10, 9.27PM BST.

St. Nicolas Church, Old Shoreham

We wandered aimlessly from the train station and through the churchyard on our way to the pub and miracle of miracles the church was open. Not only is it an extremely beautiful Norman church but the vicar found us there. With our eyes wide open in wonder, he regaled us with the history of his church.

Built by Phil de Braose after his return from The Crusades in the 12th century. One assumes (and this is the story told to us) his sins and horror were so great that he built this massive church to soothe his soul and his God. Sadly, only half of the church is still standing~ the Western half being in ruins ... charming ruins. I say ruins; there is only part of a single wall overgrown with ivy left. However, it still functions as a church and is indeed a place full of spirit, grace and calm. A place where time stands still.

Although, this may sound a bit far-fetched. It was as if after spending our time praising the beauty and miracle of the place we were blessed with some sort of 'state of grace', as everywhere we went people seemed attracted to us in a wonderfully positive way - or were we merely more receptive?

On our way home, with the bell ringers practicing in the background a very lovely lady invited us into her beautiful walled garden in the old priest's house, built in 1103, where the wall was 300 years old with gorgeous white wisteria blooming over her door like a floral waterfall.

I did not have the courage to ask to take a photo of her garden. My photo of the churchyard cannot begin to convey the beauty of the place or the hour, but I humbly submit it in honour of a lovely evening well spent...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

My Penne Bolognese

Directions for Robin's Rather Humble Penne Bolognese:


  • 500 g of lean steak mince
  • cloves of garlic
  • red onion
  • green pepper
  • red pepper
  • Bertolli Basil Pasta Sauce
  • Lloyd Grossman’s Puttanesca Pasta Sauce
  • Chianti Classico Red Wine
  • fresh herbs
  • black and green olives
  • grated parmesan
  • sliced fresh chestnut mushrooms
  • Seeds of Change Organic Penne

  • Brown 500 g of lean steak mince in a skillet
  • Chop up cloves of garlic - I use a lot… today I chopped three pretty good size cloves (however, it was also all I had :)
  • Cook garlic until soft in just a wee bit of olive oil - do not overcook
  • Add chopped red onion, ½ chopped green pepper and ½ chopped red pepper to garlic and cook until soft

  • I would really like to say that I make my own sauce from scratch, but I haven’t done that since Jason was a little boy...

  • So instead I use two jars of groovy pasta sauce:
  • My fave combo is: Bertolli Basil Pasta Sauce and Lloyd Grossman’s Puttanesca Pasta Sauce
  • I add these to the browned mince with a little red wine (preferably something Italian… I prefer Chianti Classico)

  • I also drink just a little bit of the wine while I cook - I really think that helps the flavour quite a lot!! :)

  • Because it’s spring, we have the luxury of fresh herbs: fresh basil, oregano and thyme, with a small amount rosemary and normally we use fresh marjoram but it’s not looking so good after our dreadful winter.
  • But in the winter I add dried oregano, dried basil and dried Italian Seasoning
  • Toss your herbs into the sauce and salt and pepper to taste
  • If we have olives (which we do today), we chop up black and green olives (from the deli case) to add to the sauce.
  • Grate a little parmesan (or parmesan/pecorino - whatever your favourite cheese is) into the sauce
  • About ten minutes before you’re ready to serve sauce, add sliced fresh chestnut mushrooms (I remove the stems because I think they taste too woody)
  • We use Seeds of Change Organic Penne - I think it is the best tasting penne (it stays firm - doesn’t get too slimy - I can’t abide slimy pasta) but I’m not a fan of egg pasta, not least because I have an intolerance to eggs, so can’t eat them anyway.
  • Boil up your penne according to package directions (10 minutes) - don’t overcook
  • Drain and toss with just a little bit of olive oil

  • Serve with a bowl of grated parmesan on the side and let each diner add as much as they wish… sometimes a put a few leaves of fresh basil on top of each serving as a garnish.

That’s it!! …easy peasey!!

Dixie at the Seaside

Dixie at the Seaside, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

Today we went to the beach!!! A fun time was had by all!!

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 24 May 10, 11.58PM BST.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Ruskin Tap c. 1886, Fulking, West Sussex

We had a lovely pub meal at the fabulous Shepherd and Dog in Fulking and a beautiful walk around the area afterwards.

The story goes that John Ruskin had friends who lived in Fulking and could be seen walking in the area. He was actually instumental in providing a public tap and getting the village a water supply. This fountain was built in 1886 in honour of John Ruskin.

I think it's beautiful.

"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
John Ruskin

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 24 May 10, 5.07PM BST.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

More Adventures in the Forest

Under a lush green forest canopy, my breath is stilled, my soul enriched and my heart overflows. When I find myself longing for redemption or renewal this is where I go ... with the ever loyal Dixie at my side... So much is gained through calmness.

This is my world on a Saturday evening in May...

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 23 May 10, 11.42AM BST.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Summer Wildflower

Summer Wildflower, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

This is a clover flower Dixie and spotted on our walk. Actually, they're everywhere. Tiny little daisies covering the ground, When the sun shines on them they are the epitome of summer... and easily overlooked, easily stepped upon. This one seemed to beckon and so...

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
John Clare

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 22 May 10, 12.43AM BST.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Dixie. Lancing Ring. A bird, or is it Faerie??

Come Fairies,
take me out of this dull world,
for I would ride with you upon the wind
and dance upon the mountains like a flame!

William Butler Yeats

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 21 May 10, 2.18PM BST.

The Inspiration of Pink

The Inspiration of Pink, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

ruly Pink

Pink, beautiful pink
Is the colour which inspires.
The colour pink inspires, to be in love
And to dream of the beauty of the beautiful things.
The colour pink is beautiful in its complexion
And makes you want it more.
Pink, the colour pink is beautiful indeed and inspires
To be in love as love is truly Pink.


Pink pelargonium from my back garden... and, yes, it does, indeed, inspire one to be in love...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Stone Angel

Stone Angel, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Although Dixie and I made an attempt to have a good run around the dog park, Dixie was overly friendly with passersby.. they were not amused... So we took a walk to an isolated grave yard. Isolated in the sense that it is not attached to the local parish church and is rather sporadically maintained. We found high grass and tangled ivy everywhere. But we also found this lovely angel.

I have photographed it before with daffodils blooming at its feet last Easter. However, no daffodils today... just high grass and gloomy gray clouds. It has been a very moody day.. I like the sepia tone effect as it seems to go with the gloomy isolation of the place. Even taking all that into consideration, I love how stone angels seem to embody peace and a stillness of the soul.

In the last dark hour
Of the night,
Angels come to love us
And awaken us.

Sri Chinmoy

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 19 May 10, 1.37PM BST.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Gary Does Paella

Gary Does Paella, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Gary decided he wanted to make a paella. A new culinary experience for him. After much internet research, he settled on a combination of a bit of Delia's recipe with a bit of Jamie's. Unfortunately, no way to camouflage messy kitchen in the background. But doesn't he just look so very pleased with his accomplishment??

It was, needless to say, extraordinarily yummy and, therefore, deserved to be immortalised in my photo journal...

Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage. ~Finnish Proverb

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 17 May 10, 6.42PM BST.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Where flowers bloom so does hope...

I have absolutely no idea what flower/plant this is. In fact, it is probably some very noxious weed with a deceptively lovely flower. Dixie and I had a rather dull and boring sojourn today. It seemed as if there were people everywhere. The Lancing Cricket Club were running about doing whatever it is they do (rules to cricket still mystify me, I'm afraid) and lots of small children everywhere so Dixie spent most of the time on her lead.

However, she remained cheerfully optimistic regardless. The joy of a good dog is boundless!

So anyway, on our way home we spotted a few of these lovely purple flowers hiding in a hedge. As they looked more cheerful than I felt, I decided to immortalise them on my blog.

"Where flowers bloom so does hope".
- Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 15 May 10, 11.23PM BST.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Baptism by Blossom

Baptism by Blossom, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

The day was spent almost entirely on my laptop. I was able to accomplish quite a lot of computer maintenance including upgrading the storage card on my groovy new Android phone, configuring the mp3 player and adding some music which is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately it meant that my photo for the day project took a bit of a back seat to the rest of the day's priorities.

Finally, rather late in the day, Dixie and I ventured out of doors for our walk and stumbled upon this fabulous cherry tree with the most gorgeously abundant blossoms. However, just as we walked under it a breeze blew through the tree tops showering petals like pink confetti on our heads.

So although the day turned out not to be as creative as I might have wished, we were blessed by a baptism of blossom. How could one ask for more?

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.

from Petals by Amy Lowell

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 14 May 10, 12.49AM BST.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Place of Peace

Place of Peace, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

These last few days have been, well not very peaceful. As 'deathbed influenza' gradually improves to the state of 'very bad cold', I find myself less entertained and (equally less horrified) by current political drama and just feel the need to 'get on with it'. Get on with finding my soul and creativity which seems to have been sublimated by illness, fear, curiosity, the need to understand. Now I just want to sit somewhere and listen to birdsong, smell the greenness of spring.

This is a small corner of what was the rose garden of a manor house which disappeared long ago. It is now a small park area including a few park benches. It is one of my favourite places. There is a beauty and tranquillity here that makes me stop and just look at it for a minute or so. Dixie and I walk through it almost everyday. You may expect to see lots of images of this place as I try to capture the mood it evokes on any given day. It is, needless to say, a work in progress.

"The poetry of the earth is never dead". ~John Keats

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 12 May 10, 5.20PM BST.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Pansies thriving in my back garden...

While I have been languishing away in my bed recovering from a particularly nasty summer flu, my pansies (which frankly were left over from flowers intended for hanging baskets and rather quickly thrown into a pot) have been thriving. Nothing like the single mindedness of nature to put things in their proper perspective.

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 11 May 10, 4.25PM BST.

An English Spring: Bluebells

"...When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,"
Anne Bronte

Sadly, not a bluebell forest but a few isolated clumps of bluebells thriving in the shade of trees... discovered on Dixie's walk after what seemed like a decade of illness (but actually just a little over a week:-)...)

Day 50 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 11 May 10, 11.07AM BST.

My Mysterious Doorways Theme

"Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life." Daisaku Ikeda

Day 49 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 11 May 10, 10.50AM BST.

Pink Pelargonium

Pink Pelargonium, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Plants from the garden that continued to grow regardless of how ill I felt... Ah, the loyalty and single mindedness of mother nature... puts everything in perspective.

Day 48 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 11 May 10, 10.23AM BST.

Monday, 10 May 2010

May Influenza Series: No. 5

May Influenza Series: No. 5, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Day 47 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 10 May 10, 11.31PM BST.

May Influenza Series: No. 4

May Influenza Series: No. 4, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Day 46 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 10 May 10, 11.27PM BST.

May Influenza Series: No. 3

May Influenza Series: No. 3, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Lots and lots and lots of tea...

Day 45 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 10 May 10, 11.22PM BST.

May Influenza Series: 2

May Influenza Series: 2, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

A pity I don't own stock in Kleenex....

Day 44 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 10 May 10, 11.09PM BST.

May Influenza Series: 1

May Influenza Series: 1, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

The truth of the matter is that I've been in bed with flu since Sunday, 2nd of May.

Although I considered dropping the project altogether... I have, instead, put together a series of images that describe my somewhat limited existence over the past week. Hope to recover my spark and creativity soon.

Day 43 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 10 May 10, 10.55PM BST.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dalton Welsh Invasion: Cardiff Castle

This was the view of our hotel in Cardiff~ aka invasion force fortress :)
Day 42 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 9 May 10, 2.40PM BST.

Wood Pigeon

Wood Pigeon, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Spotted at the back of the fish pond before we left for Wales Invasion

Day 41 of my default project:

Uploaded by robinintheuk on 9 May 10, 2.33PM BST.