Thursday, 25 November 2010

Monday 22 November 2010: Shadows, Colour, Waiting

Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter's day, how beautiful the shadows are!

Alas! it is the nature of their kind to be so. The loveliest things in life, Tom, are but shadows; and they come and go, and change and fade away, as rapidly as these!

~ Charles Dickens

In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.
~ August Sander

Impossible to escape
the shadows
this time of year
They come earlier and earlier

Afternoon barely exists
or rather exists lightless.
However, the eye continues
to look for colour
and sometimes finds it.

This day, a pale, bleak, watery
colour settles over my dreams
And I cannot help but wait

And hope that in my waiting
a kind of magic is born.
A light thought hidden
in darkness
is uncovered.

Once again,
I am waiting
for illumination.

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Saturday 20 November 2010: Green Hanging On

A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long. ~
e.e. cummings

Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.~

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This is the chestnut tree.
A sentinel keeping watch
over the green.

Every year it hangs on
to a summer long forgotten
Soon it will be a skeleton
The green of its leaves
a mere memory

Today, a blizzard in Scotland,
they say
Down south we have no snow
Just the frozen certainty
of more cold to come.

Friday 19 November 2010: Chasing Rainbows

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true ~ Lyman Frank Baum

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky. ~
William Wordsworth

Although the sun was shining, the sky just didn't want to stop raining. Dixie and I dashed out in between rain showers for a walk.

I reached into my bag for the all important ball and as I looked up, I saw a rainbow! It was the most magical of moments because it was so unexpected. I suppose that is what makes seeing a rainbow so joyful. One never expects to see one.

So, needless to say, I spent quite a lot of time trying to photograph my little rainbow, but it was far more difficult than I had anticipated. There is this slightly disappointing one: Rainbow in the Park . The actual rainbow was so much more vivid...

After chasing rainbows, with occasional tosses of the ball, for quite some time, my magical rainbow disappeared but I spotted this view through some shrubbery...

Busy chasing rainbows
I found you
Perhaps beauty is
just the willingness
to see

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.~ Ashley Montagu

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Oxford and You

015, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.
I think about you and I think about loss
I think about who might have been here before me
The mystery of stained glass and stone caskets
makes me wonder
Do we know who we are
Do we know where we've been?
Does it even matter any more?
Am I too old to crave the touch of you?
Do you still write poems about my hands?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Survival Struggles: Geranium

The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.
~Helen Garner

"Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;
The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,
Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;
Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,
Strange image of the dread eternity,
In whose void patience how can these have part,
These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?"
~William Morris, November

No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
~Marian Wright Edelman

It is cold
It is wet
Frost even.
Yet, this geranium

I watch and feel sad
I stop to wonder
about my own
weakness of spirit
In the face
of such persistance

I suppose
for a geranium
Life is
just something you do
Until you no longer can

I suppose
for an old woman
One very similar
to myself
Life is something
you remind yourself to do
Until you no longer can.

Monday 15 November 2010: Autumn into Winter: Sunset in the Park

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.
~John Clare, November

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves
with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed,
are as crisp as autumn air.
~Eric Sloane

It is the middle of November
It is cold
Already I long for spring
Already I regret moaning
at the site of daffodils
everywhere I looked

Now it rains
and rains
and rains
and in the brief intervals
I see soggy leaves

Leaves of summer
beaten into submission
by winds of winter

This a photo of a sunset taken on a walk with Dixie during one of the brief intervals...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Love in the Eyes of a Dog

Love in the Eyes of a Dog, originally uploaded by robinintheuk.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.~ Roger Caras

I ironed today.
I may have mentioned how much I dislike ironing before.

As the sun's presence is in meagre supply at the moment, it was very dark before I remembered I hadn't picked up a camera.

Fortunately my live-in photographer's model was available. She, however, is not really very good at holding a pose for any length of time at all.

But I thought this was quite a sweet shot, nonetheless.

No poetry tonight as I am quite tired... perhaps tomorrow...

Tonight is about dreaming...

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday 13 November 2010: The Changing of the Trees

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon
men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that
emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews
a weary spirit.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

They are beautiful in their peace, they are wise in their silence.
They will stand after we are dust. They teach us, and we tend them.
- Galeain ip Altiem MacDunelmor

This is my birch tree going through its 'autumn into winter' transformation.

Soon there will be no leaves at all.

Winter is bearing down hard on us here in England. It's not that it is that cold.. not yet, anyway. But it is just so dark and gloomy... and stark.

Looking out my window
I witness
The changing of the trees
I watch its dance with nature
Some days when the sun shines
It is like some minimalist artform
practicing its dance in my back garden

On days like today, however
it is a dark sentinel
a harbinger of days yet to come
a mystical, magical beast
that has wandered away from
a wood steeped in magic and menace

My imagination runs away with me you say
just wait...

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday 12 November 2010: Raindrops Dancing on a Flower


The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895).
Scottish essayist, novelist and poet.


Raindrops are such funny things.
They haven't feet or haven't wings.
Yet they sail through the air,
With the greatest of ease,
And dance on the street,
Wherever they please.
- Anon.

This flower will be gone soon but the rain is here to stay, I am afraid.

In the spring and summer I found myself mesmerised by this pelargonium. This will probably be my last photo of this flower.

You can feel winter in the air
Taste it on your tongue
Hear it quietly knocking at your door
Soon, it will be pounding
Demanding to be acknowledged
But, not yet...

Today, we are christened
by autumn wind and rain
Turning our faces to the sky
and then back down again
We turn our collars up
Escape into memories of summer,
of dances in the sun.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Saturday 30 October 2010: We all shine on...

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.
John Lennon

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. ~Michael Strassfeld

This photo didn't turn out very well. I think the bright sunlight was too much for my little camera to handle...

Lately, I find myself obsessed by the dying of the light. I look for the sun everywhere. I watch the patterns it makes on leaves, stone walls, faces of children, my own aging hand...

With my little pocket digital, I try to capture these moments. Sometimes I end up with something very interesting, sometimes not.

Although this photograph doesn't quite meet the criteria I have set for a postable pic, I still remember that day, that moment, and the feel of the sun on my aging face...

Red Poppy - Armistice Day 2010

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Crianlarich Hotel – so near to Glen Coe

Crianlarich Hotel – so near to Glen Coe

Today I found myself remembering Glen Coe, the holiday destination that was originally an afterthought, but one that has found a comfortable spot in my heart and mind. How did we end up in Glen Coe? Like so many other hapless travellers my husband and I found ourselves in the Great Glen during our Grand Tour of the Scottish Highlands Holiday. Glen Coe was for us merely another destination on our list: Loch Ness, tick; Inverness, tick; Fort William, tick; Ben Nevis, tick. Well, you get the picture...


Thinking of visiting Glen Coe when you stay with us?

Saturday 6 November 2010: A November Gloaming

Saturday 6 November 2010: A November Gloaming

The grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never dried all at once;
a shower is forever falling;
vapor is ever rising.

Eternal sunrise,
eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands,
each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
~John Muir

The clocks have turned back
Twilight comes earlier now
The beginning of the end of my day
is what I once thought of as afternoon.

The leaves are abandoning the trees
or perhaps the trees are neglecting to nurture them.
Ominous, cloudy skies seem closer
Remembering to breathe and to look
I am reminded
In these sad, lightless times
There is still beauty to be found

I spotted these trees against this sky on a West Sussex A road and stopped to capture the moment.

This is my 100th blip. My blips have been a little sporadic of late but still am so very pleased to have discovered blipfoto. I have met many talented, helpful and interesting photographers. I raise my glass to you all and look forward to my next 100.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Wednesday 27 October 2010: Autumn in the Park

Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
Emily Bronte

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley

The colours in this autumn take my breath away.
My thoughts meander through pathways followed before
Yet I don't remember these colours.
I remember Autumn as a kind of cold anxiety
That waiting time before the uncertainty of winter
The question on my lips: will I survive?
Will I forget how to dance in the wind,
turn my face to the sky,
Catch a leaf in my hand
and laugh with joy at the thought of another day?

But today I find myself drawn to the stillness of spirit I encounter in my local park on a windswept autumn day.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sunday 24 October 2010: Gary's Birthday Cake

An old-fashioned American, circa 70's, Pumpkin Cake (with Cream Cheese Frosting).

Gary is not a huge fan of pumpkin, so it was a bit risky... Am happy to report he loved it. Only problem: didn't last very long!!

"Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake."

Saturday 23 October 2010: Babbling Brook

If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.
Carl Perkins

What law, what reason can deny that gift so sweet, so natural that God has given a stream, a fish, a beast, a bird?
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Lunch at the Shepherd and Dog, Fulking. "Its slight elevation and location next to the ever-flowing spring, with the dramatic backdrop of the hills above have provided it with a perfect setting."

This is a photo of the 'ever-flowing spring' on a rainy, cold, autumn afternoon.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Wednesday 20 October 2010: Deserted Beach: An English Autumn

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A stroll along the edge of the English Channel
I, with a hole in my shoe
bundled up against the brisk autumn wind
Dixie chasing her ball with a perpetual smile
Gary patiently following her
While I stopped to soak in the atmosphere
of a deserted beach on an autumnal English afternoon

Later we drove to Baird's Farm Shop for cornish pasties.

And even later we toasted another year with English Sparkling Chardonnay

This is how we celebrated Gary's birthday...

Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again. ~Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Sunday 17 October 2010: Another Exploration of Lancing Beach

He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. ~George Herbert

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri

Dixie loves a walk on the beach. This was late in the afternoon with a brisk sea breeze but gorgeous sunshine. We wandered along the shore in a slow leisurely fashion until our hearts found their natural rhythm.

I have decided there is nothing better than a walk on the beach regardless of the season.

Sunday 10 October 2010: On Brownsea Island

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. ~Henry David Thoreau

Gary and I set out for a day trip to Brownsea Island . Such grace and peace to be found on this small island on a beautiful October afternoon with clear, fresh sunlight laden air.

Tuesday 5 October 2010: Red Berries

All right, every day ain't going to be the best day of your life, don't worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days.
Wendell Berry

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry