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...


Well, how was your day?

Last night, via messenger, my son asked me what I was up to today... and I replied that I had only two things planned... the first, at 10am, was meeting up with some fellow artists to install the remaining art work on a cafe gallery wall, then, at 1.30pm, our knit and natter group get together, which required a little bit of baking. Other than that - nothing out of the ordinary, then as an afterthought, I mentioned - but usually 'something happens' along the way. My son agreed, that yes, with me, something usually happens.

And so it did...

Wave husband bye as he goes to work, set up laptop to start printing the remaining labels for the art on the walls. Search for notes sent to me from the artists concerned ... initially quite casually, then a little more determinedly when I realise I am not sure by which electronic method the notes have been sent.

Stick the kettle on and continue to search, then remember that the information came via my cell phone. Sigh of relief as I reach for the phone, make a coffee and sit down at the laptop... switch on phone .... nothing ... sigh (this time not of relief but exasperation), get back up, look for phone charger, plug in - start again.

Locate info, start typing - realise that I promised to wake other son so he could get on with his swotting (History A level exam looming on the horizon) so I call up the stairs and get a grumpy baritone grumble back confirming he'd like a coffee too.

Make him a brew, get back to the laptop, continue typing.  The laptop is being a little 'otherwise' so let it get itself together, set up printer ready for the labels, quick slurp of getting cold coffee, quick look at the time, even quicker groan when I notice that I have less than half an hour before the meeting.

Back to the laptop which, as soon as I press a key, has a melt down, turning the screen first black then that heart sinking 'blue screen' warning that makes you recoil in horror and wonder whether to call the fire brigade, the coast guard or .... even consider asking your teenager-computer techie to hurry up and get dressed and help fix the laptop. Then realise that the same aforementioned teenager was still in bed - yell again, this time with a little bit of force. Get another grumble reply in return.

Fortunately the final option was not needed, as I manage to make the laptop work. Hastily print the outstanding paperwork, shove into a bag and gallop out with minutes to spare. Stride down to the cafe, late, where other artists are already waiting, sit in a seat and gratefully have a volcanically hot caffe latte handed to me. Only to realised that half my printed notes were missing.... presumed lost at the great laptop crash from half an hour ago.

Gallop out of the cafe - leaving startled artists wondering at my sanity, wave at and get waved back by various villagers as I steam up the road back to the house, crash through the back door and turn on the laptop ... which slowly 'wakes up' while I pace up and down alternating hissing encouragement with cusses as I try to speed it up. Eventually EVENTUALLY it switches on, I hurriedly re-type and print the missing notes, notice the distinct lack of teenager, shrug and leave at high speed.

Wave at and be waved back by the same bemused villagers and arrive back at the cafe out of breath, wild eyed and wild haired but triumphant. Flump back into the seat, glug the now cooled caffe latte. Cut and stick up the labels below the now displayed art, step back and photograph the wall for the facebook page, sigh a sigh of relief and finish the coffee. Catch up quickly with arty gossip, say good bye. Head for home.
Except - see a villager I have to speak to and divert over to him. So, half an hour later - head for home (again). Notice the distinct lack of teenager, shrug and down load photos for our webpage - laptop recalcitrant but working.

Remember that I need to make scones for the knit and natter group and head into the kitchen. Suddenly teenager appears - timing seems to be linked to activity in the kitchen... make lunch for us both, start scones, wapp them with a flourish into the hot oven, feel slightly chuffty wuffty with one's self, eat lunch, wash up, get ready as first the kitchen, then the house fills with the delicious scent of warm scones.

Refresh make-up - drop mascara brush on the floor, via the kitchen counter and bouncing across Himself's mug. Wash thick black marks off the floor, mug and surfaces, then find it on hands - wash them too ... sigh.

Remove perfect looking scones from the oven, cool as quickly as possible, slather on cream cheese and raspberry jam (yes I know, I know - CREAM CHEESE), carefully put into a tub and head to the car. Suddenly remember I promised a piece of slate for a fellow artist - gallop off to my studio, select hopefully a good piece, gallop back to the house, give it a perfunctory scrub, leap back into the car and go.

Arrive at knit and natter late, gratefully have a mug of tea handed to me and equally gratefully take a nibbly bit of baking to go with the tea. Feel a little cheeky at taking one of my own scones but after being surrounded by their mouthwatering scent at home - I could not resist.
Sink back into the seat, take a large mouthful ... chew. YUCK!
Spit out a salty salty scone.
Spill a teaspoons worth of jam firstly down my dress and onto the host's carpet.
Leap up to the kitchen, clean dress, scrub carpet, wizz around to other knitters and whisk away any scones on plates whilst apologising profusely.
Note that some knitters make point of tasting the offending items, chew, nod and agree that yes the scones are rather salty.

Get home, exhausted by today's 'happenings', try to plan what to cook for supper and decide to attempt the scones for a second time today as I'd promised Himself scones and I can't give him the salty sea-dog rejects. Start baking, put on kettle just as he walks through the door - make him a brew and watch him drink from a mug still slathered in mascara.


Ps edited to add - I forgot that ..
1. I was bitten yesterday by something small with very sharp teeth and my right foot alternately glows brightly and hotly or itches like a scabby dog with a flea infestation, so finding the right footwear was difficult. I had to resort to a pair of sensible brown shoes and socks with my floral summery dress only to be met by everyone by a hello and their eyes drop to my feet and their eyebrows lift somewhat, even Himself who is almost (almost) immune to my shenanigans said something... and ...
2. My mother looking at me at knit and natter and ask ... have you had your hair cut? Yes, about 10 days ago ....


Words for June x

Firstly thank you everyone who joined in May's scavenger photo hunt - you did yourselves proud :), our next list is up and ready for you on the top right corner of my blog. Eldest and I discussed the words and he came up with most of the suggestions whilst we were out walking.

Remember to try to think 'out of the box', either a photo recently taken or one from your archives then all you have to do is waffle a few words and join in on our show and tell date, which will be Friday 29th June.

Starts with a ... T
Starts with a ... G
My own choice

But, until then ... I shall leave you with a photo from our bluebell walk - enjoy x


May's Scavenger Photo Hunt link up party!

Welcome to May's Scavenger Photo-hunt  - 
I am looking forward to seeing all your photos and reading your stories :) Let the fun begin xx

** **

May's Photo Scavenger Hunt

Amazingly, it is that time again - doesn't the month fly round!? I feel to have been particularly busy this one and not taken my usual excessive amount of photos, so today, it the quiet of the house before I head off to the studio, I thought I'd better get my images and stories out :) 

This month's words were supplied by my guest list maker Jak from Jak's Tales ...

I volunteer, well, Moss and I volunteer at the walled garden at Malham Tarn Estate.  We, along with another volunteer were up there last Monday when it was particularly warm. Now, as someone who is from Africa, I am very aware of a hot day - I just don't 'feel' it as much as other folk do.  Moss, on the other hand who is as northern as you can be ..... was feeling the heat! So - in order to stay COOL she kept wallowing in one of the water storage baths behind the greenhouse. Ignore the muddy state of the water but on the right -  can you see her tail 'floating'?
On Tuesday, I was in a meeting all morning and I kept being distracted by the view from where I was sitting. There was a gentle but steady MOVEMENT of people walking their dogs or jogging to their music. The long boats gentle pottered up and down while cyclists slid along the pathway. Workmen studiously plodded along in their heavy bright yellow hi-vis outfits in stark contrast to the lightly dressed folk using the towpath. Boat owners climbed on and off their vessels, some were just enjoying the early morning before it got warmer others were more active, washing their boats, hanging out washing, walking to the shops. All morning, gentle activities quietly happening in my view. (PS the meeting was quite pleasant too :) )
This is a definitely out of the box moment, let me explain, about ten years ago, I made a seven foot tall naked scarecrow out of FENCING wire, complete with essential manly bits of anatomy and body hair (out of wire-wool scrubbies). He was then sprayed in black paint and wore the tiniest and frilliest black apron to hide his modesty. He also held a bowl and spoon and was called 'The Naked Chef'. Why, might you ask, did this even happen?
Well, he was made as part of the village's garden festival and he was my entry into the scarecrow section. After the event, Jamie-crow (his name) was delegated to the back of the garden to live out his days in peace and as a bird perch. 
That was, until a couple of weeks ago, he was unearthed and taken off to the walled garden. I had been kindly given some suitably outdoors type clothing for him and he became the walled garden's scarecrow. However, Jamie-crow was not the easiest of fellows to dress, having spent over a decade as a naturist with barely a fig leaf to his name, it took two of us and a silly dog to man handle him into his clothes. We spent most of the morning crying with laughter. But he was worth it :)
...'fraid there have been extra photos for this story and there is one final picture... since this final image, the edges have been straightened, paths mown and Jamie-crow has herbs planted around his feet and vegetables springing up in the beds.

I will always be grateful for photography - particularly digital photography and computers, for allowing me to see up close and personal, things small and apparently insignificant. So, on seeing this SPIKY stem in macro - with all the vicious barbs and spikes, it is only when you zoom out and realise it is a delicate and gentle Aquilegia nodding her head in the dappled shade of my garden.
My own choice...
...has to be an image I took last Saturday as we walked up Oxenber Woods to revel in the bluebells. We do it every year and this year they were perfect. The air was heady with their scent and we sat on the top of the hill on a craggy cliff over looking a beautiful view. Perfect. 

I am going to blog about this lovely little micro-adventure next week.
And the more observant of you may have noticed that I missed a word out - I just could not find an image or story to go with it. So, you were all blessed with loads of Jamie-crow images instead!! Now off to see what you lovely lot got up to!



With the sublime weather filling the last few days, I seemed to have let blogging slip. The spring sunshine has woken not just the weedlings but also my mojo - both of which are keeping me occupied.
There have been times when I have drifted toward my blog and then having stared at the laptop for a while, found that my energies drag me elsewhere.
Anyhoo - today, inspired by a photographer friend who spent some time in my garden taking countless pictures of emerging spring flowers, unfurling fronds and fallen cherry blossom, I picked up my camera and took a photo or two.
The garden is in a process of transformation, from a tired space, which quietly grew rangy and unkempt, now she makes me feel inspired. A magical encompassing Eden who wraps around my summerhouse and fills my eyes and head full of beautiful and delicate flowers. 
The spring flowers are providing a source of reference for my art - and by painting them - I find I am 'seeing' them in a whole new light.
Apart from my friend who seemed to crawl around the garden capturing views I had previously not noticed, I was accompanied for most of the day by Pepper, who either slipped quietly in and out of the burgeoning plants - she very quickly becomes invisible, or languishing on the pathway, soaking up the sun and watching tiny flies zipping about through half closed eyes.

Then, this evening I returned to the garden. The sky was a thin blue black colour, a few stars had appeared and the air still had a slight hint of warmth. It was beautiful. Long may it last xxxxx


Soaking in a sunny weekend

We have quietly reveled in a three day weekend, wrapped in sunshine and surrounded by the greening hills and garden.

  ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀ ☼ ☀  ☼   ☼   

Saturday we venture briefly into the maddening crowd as we need to go shopping and despite our early morning foray - the streets and shops are already full of hot and frazzled folk. Scowling and glowering they appear to block the sunshine from themselves. We return to our oasis as soon as we can. Where we are drenched by bird song and I can breathe. We garden, water precious seedlings, remove weedlings, take photos, share the glasshouse with a blackbird fledgling.
Our pond is full, a small army of frogs have taken up residence, their indifferent outlook on life fascinates Pepper, who sits and watches their barely discernible activity with confused concentration.
Sunday we escape to the hills. Youngest drives, I knit and Himself knowing where to go to avoid people directs us up to a remote and beautiful area. We see a total of four other wild souls - all celebrating giving humanity the slip.
Moss, unimpressed that she has to wear her long-lead until we are sheep free, pulls ahead, willing us to stretch our pace. It is hot. Himself and Youngest remember a stream from a previous adventure and we stop for lunch. Food tastes better eaten under the sky. Moss soaks herself in the stream countless times.
Our path leads us up and over what feels like seemingly endless hills and down in to a fertile and farmed valley full with sheep and lambs.

We chance on a slender strip of protected ground. Sheltered from grazing sheep it is full of cowslips, primroses, wood anemone, lady's smock and ...
... the tiniest violets in a delicious shade of heart-breaking indigo.

The final pull back up on to the edge of the moor tests my knee (and challenges my mettle) but we get there. I've done it - we've done it. 

Monday's stories can wait .... til then, xxxxxx


The greening

Alongside our garage there is a ladder to the roof which takes you, if you dare, high up above the garden, above the goings-on in the village. From there you can see rooftops, chimneys and beyond them, fields and trees and then to the horizon and her hills and fields.

You can catch voices drifting up as folk walk along the lanes. Their words curl and twist around in the air, making their conversations into an undulating floating sound. I can lie back and watch buzzards drift.

Up on the garage roof, surrounded by grasses, wild flowers, weeds and ferns, I can roll over look down into my glasshouse and cast a proud earth-motherly eye over the seedlings.

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. The greening and rising of the sap along with the deepening of the sun's warmth has made my garden smile.
**for Fil - thank you for your lovely words about my photography. You asked how I get the blurred look around the edges - I have a sony a58 and use the macro option, get as close as I can, keeping my subject in focus. Because I am so close anything in front goes the most gentle fuzzy blur.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful day - tomorrow I want to wrap myself in the outside and revel in the sun and the sky.


May's words and a round up

Thank you every one who joined in with April's Scavenger Hunt - there were some cracking images and lovely new photo-hunters joining us too - so glad you did :)

 Please never feel that your images don't measure up against the other hunters - everyone's pictures and stories are worth reading about and worth sharing - your vignettes and photos enrichen our day. So thank you!
 Everyone, take a bow you deserve it :)

John - from Stray Rambler - really thought 'out of the box' with my personal favourite being the labyrinth for wood but it seems the Manchester Bee for 'My Own Choice' was the favourite with other hunters.

Fil from Fil's Songs and Stories had a magical theme running through with fairy houses and stories of Viking dog burial islands - love it! Simon the cat seemed the favourite story and picture (as was the soon to be mortgage free slip photo!) in Fiona's 'Made in a Muddle' scavenger hunt post - Simon is a particularly handsome fellow >^.^<

I have to say I was particularly pleased to say that we had not only a new hunter but a new hunter with a brand new scavenger hunt blog called la Papillion Bleu - welcome Vivienne - glad you joined us :)  Louise from Ramblings of a Roachling is as busy as ever but still managed to bosh the hunt and have a goodly selection of stories and images! Another busy lady is Lovely Lady from Threads Through My Life -  yet she too found the time to squeeze in her photos and she too is another one who thinks outside the box - love your Muddy M!

Cathy from nanacathydotcom said she found this one hard, however after she raided the archives - I think she came up trumps :) my favourite being 'I Bloody Love Knitting! - made me chuckle. Barb's Ramblings cleverly used Halloween cross stitch for letters and it was, I thought, very successful, beautifully stitched Barbara.

Sharon from Sunshine and Celandines only contacted me about 24 hours before going live saying she'd not noticed April's words - yet she still managed to produce the full list with lovely photos and interesting stories (my favourite is Hugo as a pup being 'marooned' on a rock!)

Not everyone will have worked out that Jak from Jak's Tales is my mum and she had to go into hospital for a total knee replacement. This sort of curtailed her blogging activities. So, when I was visiting her on the day after her surgery she pressed her mobile phone into my hand and sent me out with strict instructions to take pictures to match the words. I am afraid they all look like they are leaning to the side as I was not sure how to work her phone (I use a digital camera so find phone cameras a little daunting!)

I enjoy reading photo hunter's blogs from different countries as their images are often quite different - Susan from Granny Smith's Quilting is a good example. She shares lovely images of beaches and exotic views, her hot garden and Australian native animals.  Talking of animals, Eunice at Life in the Mouse House shared a most handsome dog - Sam - as her 'My Own Choice', a cracking photo taken on a flint beach.

Rosie from 'Corners of my Mind' shared some lovely photos too, I had to comment on her most pretty playing cards. The ammonite for 'spiral' is beautiful.

Last but not least is Julie from Julie's Scavenger Hunt her first photo of a rather wicked cake delighted me - fortunately looking at cake photos are calorie free (phew!) 

So, thank you one and all and 
... drum roll please ... 
this month's list as supplied by guest-list-supplier ...

Jak >^.^<

My Own Choice

We shall reconvene on Friday 25th May and show and share our photos and stories. 
Until then fellow photo scavengers! 
Happy hunting :)