Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


July Scavenger Photo Hunt

A photograph inspired by a word, words inspired by the photos - July's Scavenger photo-hunt list - enjoy!


A few years ago, one warm and summery holiday in Northumberland, we drove over to St Abbs just over the Scottish border. It is a sweet little harbour with glorious views and we try and make an effort to visit each time. This one occasion we drove over the hills down towards the sea and were stopped in our tracks. By the site of hundreds of pigs!  Huge big pink pigs in each field, each with their own pig hutch and some with piglets at their feet. We just had to stop and take photos! Including one of a roadside converse mirror, those pigs don't look much smaller than my car!

Reflection - Eldest
 Driving around with my parents, sitting in the back of our 2CV.


Last weekend we walked on a lovely sunny day, throwing the most gorgeous shadows. As we started to walk over this foot bridge, I noticed the heavy striations made by the sun - voila! Perfect for 'Stripe'

Stripe - Eldest
A very handsome caterpiller we found on a path near Stroan Bridge in Glen Trool.


Why is this a secret? 
Well, there is a little lane we walk on - known locally as 'old Joe's lane' with a number of split and cracked fence posts and as you walk along the way, you start to notice feathers adorning the tops of the posts. Quietly quietly, the posts are spreading their wings and learning to fly ... so why is it secret? Coz only I know who is giving the posts the ability to dream...

Secret - Eldest
A barn hidden in the trees, seems just like a secret.

Why is it that red roses often don't have a scent? I did try and do a bit of research but the answers were either rather 'waffy' or too scientific and I quickly glazed over! This rose was one of many languishing over a stone wall looking glorious and sadly smelling of ... nothing! 

Red - Eldest
My grandparents took my younger brother and I to the lakeland motor museum last summer, I took loads of photographs - this was fits the bill for red.

How stark a contrast - a pastural animal frolicking on the black sands near Portree Skye. It made us laugh at the time and still makes me smile when I see the images of the ewe and her two lambs as they trundled across the bay.

Contrast - Eldest
 A day walking with my Dad - a contrast of weather, sunshine and snow-showers.

In the grass below Vaternish lighthouse, a length of forgotten rope. Wonder who left it there? Miles away from anywhere and a long way up the rocky coastline to be any use for anything.

Forgotten - Eldest
We saw this cottage on the same walk in Scotland as the caterpiller, it is called Dalane cottage, also in Glen Trool.

This lock of a bull's tail hair was strangely silky soft - I had stroked it expecting it to be quite coarse but it was surprisingly soft and flaxen.

Soft - Eldest
A lamb from this year's spring.


On a whim, a few cold winters ago, we joined a 'jolly out' with other 2CV enthusiasts and drove up the the 'highest pub in England' It was a long day, a long drive and despite the sun and the heating in the car on full - it was rather cold!

Cold - Eldest

My Dad and I went walking on Bowland Fell, when we were up there we found one of the war graves from an air crash. While we were up there it started to snow.


Hidden in a hedge, two wooden seats positioned perfectly to allow the walker a prime spot high up above a riding school and arena. So if you were horse-ily inclined and needed a stop, I'd recommend this one, just remember to bring something to sit on, the moss was rather damp! 

Seat - Eldest
Pepper showing her 'war face'.

My own choice
My man, reflected in the water of a farm water trough.

My own choice -  Eldest
We don't live far from Hebden Bridge and the road to get there is a bumpy narrow tarred road with reservoirs and loose sheep on the road. We drive there quite a lot.

Don't forget to leave a comment and a link if you have joined in 
then we call all visit and see what everyone has been  up to! 
Right, I'm off to see your lovely photos - cheerio!


A few warm words on a sultry evening

Gosh hasn't the weather been gloriously warm!!
There have been some spectacular sunsets, despite the sun having dipped below the horizon, the air was still warm and sultry and sky looked to be on fire!
 I love love this heat - finding myself grinning and bouncing about whilst, friends and family are wilting and despite being very tired at the moment - almost bone-tired - I feel invigorated - long may this warmth last...Himself says I am a lizard, I'd prefer a mammal analogy, something on the lines of a cat! However our two cats are also languishing in the warmth, choosing to lie in the sun topping up their sunshine D :)
Just a reminder and an update for July's Scavenger Photo-hunt.  As usual Jak and Lovely Lady (now with new and shiny blog), are organised and ready. Eldest has finally sent me his collection and I am at the point of getting my final draft sorted - as to be expected I have all sorts of stories in my head - just need to write them down!

Don't worry if you have not had time or energy (thinking of you Jayne) or you have blogging issues (thinking of you Julie) there will always be another time :) If any one is going on holiday - have yourselves a lovely time and keep your camera to hand - you never know when the opportunity will arise for that perfect picture moment :)

Now, for the reminder - A photograph inspired by a word, words inspired by the photos - July's Scavenger photo-hunt list - enjoy!
  1. reflections
  2. stripe
  3. secret
  4. red
  5. contrast
  6. forgotten
  7. soft
  8. cold
  9. seat
  10. my own choice

Remember to think laterally, interpret as YOU fancy, be it a current photo or a favourite one from your past. We'll reconvene and post our words and photos from Friday 29th July -  have fun, enjoy!


One of those smiley days

You know one of those days
when you just burst with chest wide smile!
One of those days, when you find secret streams,
and giant tractor tyres.
A day for small things that pull at the heart,
and flutter at your feet.
Where buzzing insects rattled the canal-side flowers,
and narrow boats trundle by,
where streaky clouds looked like watercolours..
...and the sun shone and a warm breeze ruffled the grass.
A day where we found a random water-trough full of stranded frogs,
which prompted Eldest to create an escape route,
while watched over by an observant Moss.
A day that had twinkly reflections on the underside of canal bridges,

and tall grass waft and wave as we walked along.

A day that made a silly dog sillier,
 A day that ended with the most glorious sunset,
a heart filling, eye-feasting
Oh be still my beating heart - I don't want this day to end!


Conversations..... three short stories from today

Conversations whilst walking.... especially with teenage lads can be (how can I put this) rather random.

Here, let me explain.
Story 1.
Today we were out and about yomping across some soggy moorland hillside, the wind was quite strong and it was flipping and flapping my hair around. By the time we'd traversed the lump of a hill and dropped into a relatively sheltered village ... this snippet of conversation occurred.
Youngest (to Eldest): 'Mum has warrior hair'
Both boys turn round to look.
Me (flattered and with romanticised visions of flame haired Celtic warrior queens) said: 'like Boudicca you mean?'
Youngest (deadpan and with teenage honesty): 'Nah, it's coz it's fuzzy and all over the place'
(loud crushing mental picture inside of head occurs).

Story 2.
We approached a rather large field with a sizeable herd of beef cows and calves. I used to be fine walking through this sort of scene until our previous dog was charged at and headbutted by an angry and protective cow and at the same time as the herd's bull followed Himself very closely for the full length of the field with his nose within snorting distance of his back ... I am a lot more wary now.

So when I see a field full of large beef beasties - I can feel my toes curl in my boots and my hackles rise. We entered the field and were immediately confronted by a number of cows, we made the usual farmery shooing noises at the animals which set them off and as they did, they collected up the rest of the herd in a massing gallop around us.

We formed a protective four square block so we could watch each other's back, continuing along making firm and farmery-style whistles and loud 'phfssssshhhing' sounds as we carried on. The cows bellowed and hollered for their calves at an alarming level and the calves responded by cantering round with their tails up. I was very relieved when we reached the far side of the field and climbed over the style.

You could still hear the cows roaring and bawling as we crossed several fields and when we found a cute little bridge and stream we stopped for a rest.  After a while the mooing seemed to fade and then stop. I was sipping my tea when the sound started again and as I started to wonder if some other poor walker was being subjected to their bellowing, when I realised it was a motor bike coming down the lane, Himself also had thought it was the cows starting up and mentioned their bellowing ... with a smug grin I replied 'Not so much  a cow a-mooing more like a cow-a-saki (Kawasaki) motorbike' .
Himself just rolled his eyes.

Story 3.
Just before we reached the car we pootled through a village - a sleepy affluent little place - passing several houses selling hen and duck eggs. We spied a number of both types of bird around the green being busy doing what hens and ducks do. As we left the village one of the boys spotted a duck hidden in a flower bed sitting on a nest. I said she was 'nesting' and Eldest replied that he thought she was 'hanging round corners selling drugs to the other ducks' to which Youngest quickly replied ...'Is she selling quack?'


Other things happened - like deep gelatinous mud, sharp showers which had us scurrying for shelter or hunkering down against walls, an electric fence that zapped Eldest and the dog so hard they both yelped and leapt at least 10 foot in one bound. There were bridges a-plenty and lots of puddles, long rolling fields, big sky and large hills - I am tired but it is a good tired :)

Oh yes - I entered a 'novelty veg' competition for fun - PHOTO HERE - John writes a blog I follow and find greatly entertaining, he also is involved in his local village show and runs a photo competition for fruit and veg animals, open to the any one, so for fun I have entered. He needs a few more entries, if you fancy joining in - I am sure he would be delighted :)


My happy heart

Sunday - oh beautiful beautiful Sunday - you made my heart sing.
The sun was out and rain stayed away.
There was a lot of smiling happy faces in evidence 
 And we walked a good walk - a great walk - a heart filling, happy making, wonderful walk.
Not a huge one by any extent, round about 16 km. 
We started at the serenely quiet 'Mortuary Church' of Dalehead,
the boys know that I love the architecture and history of churches
and benignly allow me to wander through and look for their quirks
and hidden pagan messages,
their history and the evidence of war and peace,
marks in the stones, scratches in to woodwork
and even in some cases repaired cannon shot!
Once they had dragged me away (I will give the church it's own post another day)
we turned off the little lane into the fields.
Full of grasses and meadow flowers.
The field rose up and began to fill with woodland,
blocking the view..
Which, when we eventually stepped out of the trees
was this....
We followed the reservoir to the dam wall then up and over a small ridge,
back down into farmlands.
Where ancient farm halls still dominate the landscape.
Hammerton Hall has an interesting history.

Along the track, evidence of past agricultural activity
now dormant and forgotten.
We were getting closer and closer to the specific fields I wanted to visit.
Officially called 'unimproved grasslands',
they are herb rich, flower filled meadows untouched 
or worked in a modern monoculture style
making them some of the rarest habitats in England.

I was rather giddy with excitement.
And as soon as we stepped through this gate,
the flowers and insects were everywhere.
Swallows, swifts, butterflies and hover flies filled the air 
and the meadows were glorious tapestries
 of  herbs, flowers and grasses.
I may have mentioned I was a little giddy with excitement.
Our walk, which had been a steady mile consuming pace,
had now - as Himself calls it - turned into a cat walk.

Have you ever gone walking with a cat?
They stop, stare, sniff the air,
sit down, watch the insects, listen to the birds,
chase shadows (are you getting the drift of a cat walk?)
This was our walk now!
I may have taken a gazillion photos.....
but I could also be underestimating.
I lingered, 
I could have spent all day 
immersed in the meadows gentle and beautiful grace,
but in the corner of my eye
I could see Himself very slowly (but not as slowly as me)
reaching the end of the meadows.

we walked through the farm that the fields belonged to,
which in itself was a visual delight.
Especially the kittens who initially vanished through their pop-hole
then curiosity got the better and two came out and stared back at us.
We left via a sunken lane,
huge knurled hawthorns bent over, thickened and aged.
Tall, thick girthed ash with twisted exposed roots
lined the track too.
 Through the gate at the top of the lane, 
over the field, down into a sharp valley,
turn right by a small stony bridge, and we stumbled 
across this ...
With a bit of research once home, we found it was
a Nicholsons hay turner, which was just perfect 
for working those ancient meadows.

Our tums were rumbling by now,
so we found ourselves a small gill
out of the breeze for lunch.
Moss threw herself down for a nap.
We ate sandwiches
sitting, deep in grasses and sweet smelling herbs.
Then, through another ancient meadow. 
Wall to wall carpeting of flowers.

We were not the only ones enjoying the wonderful countryside.

At the end of the fields we stumbled into the quiet village of Slaidburn.
Not always this tranquil,
when our boys were very little,
we were walking through when a long line of noisy motorbikes
thudded through frightening my then tiny little blondies
so much we hid in the post office
and watched the loud and scary beasts trundle through. 

But today - it was solemnly quiet.
Back into fields and along tracks
taking in the views
Moss persuaded us to stop
so she could swim
and play
and swim some more.
Then, once she had sated her need to be wet,
she joined us for a brew and a biscuit
She is partial to ginger nut biscuits,
crunching them up and chasing any lost crumbs.
She leant up Eldest's back, making him soggy
as she dozed in the sun. 
 We walked on, on on on.
The sun on our backs,
the views filling our eyes
and our hearts.
Then suddenly, we burst out of a thick wood
and found the lane near the church,
back to the car,
Sunday - oh beautiful beautiful Sunday - I may have already mentioned this
but you made my heart sing.