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...


March's Link up Party!

Welcome to  March's link up party!
Just add your name to the list if you have taken part :)
Don't forget to visit everyone else's page - thank you!

When you tap on someone's link - it takes a second or two before transferring you
please don't think it is not working :)

It seems that the inlinks company are now putting in adverts - please ignore the obvious advert - I did try to delete it - if it continues - I will look for another link up tool :(
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


March's words and photos

March's words and photos - enjoy.

The day we walked on Feizor Thwaite moor, we were looking for this.
A propped stone - created by the ancients to make a 'portal' or window. 
The angle of the flat top stone is 30 degrees. The combination of the flat top slab is gritstone, the small prop stone is sandstone cobble and the bedrock is limestone. According to those who know - 'an unlikely natural arrangement of rock which confirms its deliberate arrangement.'
We did not stay long enough to investigate what we could spy through the window, 
we will check it out next time!

Well, two actually :D

Again two. I was looking for a particular photo for this prompt (which I have used in My Own Choice) when I came across these two. My boys - when younger used to love vaulting over gates and would practice climbing up then swinging over the top, landing with a thud, grinning and climbing up again!

A cornflower from my garden - taken last summer.

In early summer, before it gets too warm, the greenhouse is in great demand with a certain cat.
She quietly slips in between the pots and spreads out,
gently melting in the warmth.

My Own Choice

This photo - taken in 2011 - on a gloriously sublime May morning is one of my favourites.


Connecting with the ancients

Sunday was bright, with a sharp breeze and welcome flashes of sun.
Up on Feizor Thwaite Moor in the Dales,
we were looking for traces of the past.
Inside Dead Man's Cave, a welcome respite from the cutting breeze, 
the three of us drank tea and took in the view.
While I explored years of graffiti worn away by the weather,
Himself and Moss sat at the mouth of the cave.
Youngest took the camera and fired off the flash to follow the cave contours.
Tea drunk and scarves and hats firmly put on, we set off to find the ancient
Celtic wall. 65 foot long and solidly square it is refuses to be marked on
any maps. We wandered over the moors until we stumbled upon it.
Is it missed from maps because it moves ...?
We sheltered from the cutting wind behind the solid structure,
the exposed side of the wall was bleached white and brittle,
the sheltered side, moss and lichen encrusted.
The skies were darkening which only served to 
magnify the amazing affect of the sun.
The reason for our walk - I wanted to find this propped stone.
It was being watched over by a large dog fox - a handsome creature with
a rather generous tail.
On the home stretch, the skies now heavy and we
could feel the rain in the air.
A good walk - cold but good.

That is.....
except for the small incident that occurred 
less that 500 metres from the car.

 A cluster of Hereford beef heifers congregating at the last gate.
We strode forward - looking as large and purposeful as we could,
Moss hidden by our many legs.
Clapping of hands and farmery style whistles to get them to move
revealing amongst them a very large and testosterone filled bull.

He raised his huge head,
looked at us and growled, deeply.
I could feel it in my chest.

Himself had already reached the gate and slipped through, 
I retreated as the bull stepped forward.
Head down.
Youngest was urgently instructed to hurl the dog over the wall
and to get over too.

It was at that point I saw that Himself
was face to face to a second black bull.
Huge as the first,
he too began to roar.

Both bulls drooling, roaring,
the Hereford now pawing the ground,
watching us.
Himself threw himself over a fence, grabbing the dog
came to us,
we had managed to get over a six foot stone wall
topped with barbed wire.

The bulls roared
and roared
and growled and drooled.

We walked quickly away through the field
Every third pace, I looked behind.
The bulls too interested in each other and the heifers surrounding them.
Shame the only place they chose to hang out was the only place we needed to be.

Took until getting to the car to stop shaking.

No signs to say 'bull in the field'.

Over 8 miles to add to my #walk1000miles challenge - but jeez .... not ones I would like to repeat.


Flustery Friday

Not sure where this week has gone.

I have been busy but in a 'not-in-the-studio' sort of way and I keep looking at my work longingly. I have one more commitment to fulfill this morning then I will  shut myself in the studio with the radio, whichever cat deigns to tolerate me and Moss.

One companion that I will be glad to see leaving is Storm Gareth, he has been rather up close and personal the last few days which has made walking less enjoyable and in some cases impossible.  My next 'personal milestone' for the #walk1000miles challenge is a rather heady 200 and I am less than 2 miles from it. And have been for the last three days ....so close so close.

Himself purchased a moleskin pocket sketch album for me and it landed with yesterday's post. He had miss read the sizes, switching inches for centimetres and it was a lot smaller than he anticipated and was rather disappointed.

However - I am delighted!  I use moleskin art journals - I love them, my present one is a little bigger and therein lies a problem. I'd bought it to tout around when I am out to do quick sketches of faces or views etc however it is a little too large to whip out anonymously and start a surreptitious scribble in a cafe. So this new and happily unexpected pocket sketch book is very very welcome!

My laptop, who had been sounding a bit asthmatic for the last couple of years or so, started having hot flushes about twelve months ago and more recently taken to throwing tantrums and fainting at crucial times. Early Tuesday morning it finally folded it arms and said 'no more'.  I tried all the usual tricks of pleading, coaxing and the tried and trusted method of ... have you switched off and back on again?...

All to no avail. I had to call in the big guns. So I rang my mostly reliable computer-mend-it-man only to get a recorded message saying that 'this number is not recognised'. So I went on line with my tablet and found his web site and was slightly put off by the huge link saying 'this domain is now up for sale'..... In a moment not only had I lost my laptop but I 'lost' my fix-it man too!

Then I remembered, not far down the main road is a PC repair chap that a friend of mine once recommended. Quickly I searched his name and found his number and gave him a ring. The conversation went thus....

Him: Morning PC Repair

Me: Morning, sorry to ring you so early, a friend of mine recommended you, my laptop has just died and I wondered if I could pop it down to you?

Him: what's up with it?

Me:..... I gave him a quick resume of it's shameful antics

Him: Where are you? as I have to be out by 9.30am

Me: (triumphantly) oh only five minutes up the road, I can drop it off now

Him: ok - see you shortly.

I hung up, grabbed the lifeless laptop, shoved it and the cord and mouse into  a bag, unceremoniously yelled at the dog to go to bed and to stay and galloped out the house and down the road as quick as my legs would decently go.
A few minutes later, I breathlessly knocked on the door and fairly quickly a youngish man opened it ... ah.....
The face did not match the voice.... so I hesitantly said..

Me: Hi, I rang a moment ago?  

Bloke ... blank look on face

Me: About my sick laptop?.................you told me I could bring it down?

Bloke (sudden realisation on his face) Oh - he moved. About six months ago. He lives in Whalley now.

Me: (...... tumble weed rolling and wind blowing sounds in my head .... ) oh.

Bloke: bye (firmly shutting door in my face)

I look at my watch. Nearly 9.30.  There is absolutely no way I can get the car ready in five minutes let alone get to Whalley (about 30 minutes away)....

I gallop back up the road home, crash into the house, startle the dog who (bless her) has not moved and grab the phone, redial....

Him: Morning PC repair

Me: (Laboured breathing) ...you (gasp gasp) you (puff puff) are not five minutes away.... 

Him: What?

Me: (puff puff) You are not five minutes away - you don't live in the village you have moved!

Him: Yes.

Me: (feeling indignant and still trying to get my breath back) I will never make it in time to Whalley. 

Him: It is ok, I am coming down to the village...... I'll pick it up from you

Me: (Instant mood change from grrrr to 'OH?) Oh? could you? that would be great, thanks

So.... it turns out, he did move, about six months ago but comes to the village every day to collect and drop off work as so many of his customers are based here. He explained later, when he returned my laptop to me, that my accent had thrown him - his words were.... you speak so posh I thought you lived in Whalley........ 

hey ho.

1. Laptop is better - no longer asthmatic, no longer suffering fainting fits or hot flushes.
2. laptop no longer has any downloads so am having to find them all again.
3. Laptop now has microsoft office on it - woop woop.
4. Whalley is pronounced worley and not wally. Coz iz posh ya see.... like me accent..... sigh.


A path less trod

A phrase I try to aspire to - although not one that is that easy to achieve. I suppose you can make the meaning of that sentence bend and flow as you need it for your own life. Whether you use it figuratively or symbolically.

Today's post takes the literal meaning of the path less trod.

Although this little path can be easily taken, most walkers seem to steam on ahead along the main route, ignoring the quiet invitation. Yesterday, I stepped off that often busy and certainly muddy way and lead my little pack into the trees.

Moss, ever ready, shot on ahead, I chose to ignore the quizzical mutterings of the other two.

It was like stepping off into the unknown. Falling from a causeway into a secretive space. The air felt different and my two, who'd been deep in conversation in a mechanical masculine vein soon fell under the spell.
The path meandered through larch trees, quietly heralding spring with the tiniest pink buds.

I collected a few that had fallen and Himself held them for me - we left them on a mossy log - the colours were beautiful.

The little woodland finished all too quickly but we had all felt it's magic.

We will return.


Mud glorious mud

The pinprick sound of raindrops on the summerhouse roof fluctuate as the trees are blown around, if I listen really carefully, in between the drops are the scuttly scratchy feet of the blackbirds as they dash across. The cat, with her apparent xray vision, watches the sound as she twists her neck tracking their roof top races.

It is the same cat who, on my last post, triggered an interesting thread - so many noticed and commented on 'her penknife'. Believe me - this cat has no need to a mere mortal's trifling tool - she has 20 very sharp scimitar knives of her own! We as a family have an array on knife like tools, we all use them. We each have at least one (some of us are blessed with two) Swiss Army knives. Mine are identifiable by the generous quantity of painterly finger prints. As is my laptop and mouse.

Winter seems to have slipped back. Walking Moss has been more of a trial by mud than a pleasure and today we may even postpone our morning muddathon until a later hour when hopefully the clouds part and let the sky back in.
Yesterday I persisted and seemed to be one of a few hardy fools as I stomped around the local nature reserve. I was accompanied by an increasingly splattered but happy dog who splashed in puddles, leapt into full streams, jumped over leats and slipped and slid in as much mud as she could find. I chose to withdraw into my coat and wellies which made a glup---glup--glup noise on my calves as I walked.

I became fascinated by the sound, glup--glup--glup. That sound of the synthetic slap of the boot on your leg. Glup--glup--glup.
We followed the river - Colne Water - quietly raging like strongly brewed black tea. The ducks had wisely taken themselves off and sat like flattened feathery stones along the bank. Our route took us past the old mill pond, finally filling up after last summer's dry months. The weeds and bullrushes making beautiful reflections in the still waters.

We managed - or rather I managed and Moss thrashed - a slippery sliddery 1.6 miles before I gave up and took us back to the car. The grinning happy face on the dog made me smile but I was ready to get out of my wet stuff.
Now, today, it is still raining as I type this. I think I need a coffee before I start painting.

Please excuse the quality of the images - all were taken with my cell phone, I did not want to expose my camera to the weather.


Monday meanderings

Once again, my lovely lot, you have done yourselves proud - I set you some interesting words and you all rose to the challenge - well done! And talking of challenges - the link up was a little flummoxing too. Let's hope that will be the last time I have to download a new version.

Well, I better give you the words for March - hopefully it will get your creative juices going. 
Remember it is a photograph inspired by a word, words inspired by the photos.

My own choice

We'll share and show our photos on Friday 29 March 

I shall leave you with a grubby white cat-loaf, Pan, sitting on my 'display' seat (see photo below). 
With Storm Freya dancing outside, 
this very independent cat chose to sit in the studio with me 
(well she chose to sit in the studio - I just happen to be there too) 
A compromise - she is outside, while being inside coz the outside is so horrible.

Have a lovely week xx


February's Link up Party!

When you tap on someone's link - it takes a second or two before transferring you
please don't think it is not working :)

With apologies - the link up tool has changed, please bear with it - it does work but rather differently!

* Inlinkz Link Party *

February's words

All the images, apart from taste, are from one walk from last Sunday - enjoy x

The soft swish-scrunch of each boot as we walk through the moorland grasses which are winter dry, brittle and crisp. The seashell roar of the light breeze past my ears, carrying the peewit cries of the lapwings and the haunting whistle of the lone curlew. A quietly constant deep rumble from distant tiny cars travelling along narrow lanes far on the horizon. The chatter from Youngest who is a steady source of random facts and stories. The click of the lid from the flask, the plop and sploosh as tea is poured and finally the crunch of a biscuit as I bite into a digestive and drink in the view.

That muddy sludge odour when the dog wallows in every boggy patch she can find. The ponds and puddles are beautifully 'stagnant' on the tops - giving dog-walking an added element of 'enjoyment', well, it does to one of our group.... 

That glorious feeling of warmed wood as I climb over a ladder stile. The ladybird basking in the sunlight confirmed my joy.

Homemade lemon drizzle and sticky ginger cake - two of our favourite tastes. 

My usual view, as seen from my perspective, is the sight of my walking pack several meters ahead. Their legs are longer, their stride more consistent and I stop to take photos. They chat - cars, motorbikes, politics and silly cat videos as seen on the internet. I listen to the trees, see the grasses, watch birds and think.

My own choice
That silly-dilly-dog finally rinsing off the black mud she has been caked in for the last couple of miles.