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...


Final link up party for 2020!

 Welcome all to the last Photo Hunt for 2020 - My Own Choice.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Thank you one and all for joining in with your photos and stories, reading and commenting over the year.
 A strange year but one that we have all shared one way or another.  
I hope that 2021 quietly settles down, 
becomes kinder and the imbalance that we and the earth are going through starts to heal. 
We have lost our empathy with our planet and we desperately need to get it back.  

I won't say Happy New Year 

but I will say have a 

Peaceful, Healthful and Gentle New Year - welcome to 2021

My own choice - walking

 31st December :  My own choice

This one photo was randomly chosen out many, because of its representation of what 2020 was to me - walking.  (I may, or may not have chosen more than one ... but equally you may not have noticed either....)

Walking on my own with this wonderful if slightly mad dog, walking with a bubble group when it was permissible, walking with a friend, walking with Himself and always always accompanied by Moss. 

I could have picked any one of the hundreds of pictures of her, but the first photograph - taken in September one late and still very warm afternoon - was the one that did it for me. She found an old stone trough in an empty field. Unusually it was full of clean water and she slipped in like a furry slug and wallowed in the water. She makes us laugh, she knows when I am down, she squishes my feet when they are cold, she begs for biscuits by trying to be cute, she runs 100 miles an hour and can see nothing wrong with a full body mud pack .... her joy for life and capacity to love and forgive is something we should all try hard to emulate (but may be not the mud pack).

Moss and walking helped me through a lot of 2020, and despite all the vitriol, the hatred, the fake news, the scaremongering, despite the restrictions, the lockdown, despite the negativity, the strangeness of it all - this year allowed me to blossom. I was given the luxury of space, of time away from people to still my mind, find my creative mojo and find myself.  Good bye 2020 may you just fade to a memory now.

On that note dear ones - have a quiet, safe and loving New Year and may 2021 be just a little kinder to us all xxx

Thank you for being there 


A winter's eve walk

Storm Bella wore herself out by late afternoon - the screaming winds calmed down to a whisper and the sleet, hail and rain softened to the lightest feathery flakes of snow. Bella - who'd been screeching like a banshee all day had quietened and mellowed and was suddenly contrite.
I took a photo from the attic window at the muted view and the strangely glowing grey sky. As I went back down stairs, I desperately wanted to get out of the house where we'd been holed up in all day and walk in the snow. Himself agreed as did Youngest and of course Moss would always be up for an adventure. So I finished preparing the evening meal which we soon scoffed, then wrapped ourselves up warmly.


Fancy coming along with us? Good - grab yourself a brew, make sure you are warm and here we go!

As we stepped out of our house, a neighbour returned home filled with stories of how he'd struggled to get back to the village 'over the moss' - a high moorland road. We listened and sympathised and nodded as the snow flakes - some as big as saucers floated down and started to coat us. Moss - ever ready for a walk - was impatient and pulled on her lead. We gave our excuses and set off through the soft wet snow - ankle deep in some places and slippery in others. 
The roads were quiet bar one or two cars carefully returning home, gliding past slowly. We - Himself and I - had umbrellas and it was so quiet you could hear the flakes landing on the umbrella in a light little tick tick tick noise. Youngest - preferring a fleecy wool hat and heavy over coat was getting as white as Moss while they waited for me to take photos.
Our route took us past the community centre, resplendent in it's new festive lights - eerily glowing in the silvery gloom, the village tree which, not so long ago I derided at it's poorly lit decorations, now glowed magically through the snow covered branches.
The village pub - closed due to the restrictions - looked oddly cheerful despite being shut, the little trees at the front door twinkling in a warm gold light in stark contrast to the wintery silvers, greys and white hues the village had taken on.
My booted feet made the most deliciously sloppy slap slap scrunch noise through the wet snow - not the usual satisfying crunch of crisp snow - more your slushy mushy splosh sound. It amused me greatly.
Further along the main street through the village,  more golden lights glowing through snow covered branches. 
It seemed at first we might have been the only ones venturing out, but as we continued more villagers appeared, enjoying the relief of being able to get out. Children were attempting to shovel snow to make a snowman but it looked to be a lost cause, the snow although quite plentiful where they were playing, was too soft and too wet to hold any shape.

Festive lights, although twinkly and cheerful during the darker nightstook on a whole new atmospheric glow, filling the air with blurred radiance and smudged luminosity.
We turned off the main road on to a smaller road with less street lights, making the snow more enchanting.
The trees and branches were plastered in piles of white foamy flurries and the lane turned into a track with slush filled puddles. Moss was in her element. This dog finds pleasure and fun in what ever walk she does.
Our lane became darker and more secretive - more special, more magical. I could hear snow fall off the trees and slump on to the ground below. I could hear water creaking beneath our feet and the occasional bird chirp.
The village lights were glowed faintly through the silvery gloom, a distant dog barked and we could just make out the sounds of children's excited laughter.

At the end of the lane we re-emerged back into the top of the village, houses were once again lit up and glowing, street lights reflecting brightly off the snowy street.

We headed for home, down a simple path, one we used for years to and from the junior school - pausing at a bench coated in white fluffy snow. 
Then home. Moss was ruffled dry and sent to lie down by the fire, we shrugged off dripping coats and stepped out of wet boots. Time to put the kettle on and finish off the last mince pies and look at the photos.

We all felt a lot better for being out, our normal walks had been curtailed due to the weather and commitments and this evening walk certainly made a whole lot of difference :) and it was wonderful!




A quiet moment during the storm x

As I type, storm Bella is howling around the house and screaming down the chimney.  The trees are contorting and lashing around giving a savage voice to the wind.  Hail and sleet dash against the windows making outside a wild and unfriendly place to be. We're quietly reading or blogging, drinking tea and hunkering down.

In stark contrast to Wednesday.  A gentle mild morning with the clearest blue skies slipped into a frosty symphony of colour while the sun sank behind the hills.
Moss was desperate for a decent walk, she had cabin fever and thanks to the previous few day's inclement weather, she'd had to make do with short-in-between-the-showers walks.  So, as soon as her collar and lead were donned, her nose pointed towards the way she wanted to go with every fibre of her body ready for the off!
The air was brittle and as long as we kept out of the light breeze we were just about warm enough despite the layers we were wearing.
Our route was one of the shorter 'dog-loops' we do, interesting enough for us with space for Moss to run and play and take the edge off all her energy.
The sky softened and the clouds began to glow a rich dusky peach colour and the air felt so chilly I could almost taste a metallic icy tang.
It was, however, oh so beautiful. The sky deepened and bruised with violets, purples and blue hues.

The final stages of brilliant white gold flared for a second or two - then it was gone along with any lingering wisps of warmth.


Time to go home, put the kettle on and warm icy fingers and noses.  

I hope you had a safe and gentle Christmas, that despite the restrictions you were able to have some 'family' time - either via the internet link ups or the permissible brief meet ups - it is times like this that make you realise how precious your family really are.

See you on Friday for our final Scavenger Photo Hunt for 2020 - My Own Choice, I can't wait to see what you will be sharing with us, until then!    xxxxx


Winter Solstice 2020

A quiet nod to the turning of the seasons, 
the anticipated move towards the light and hopefully a kinder 2021.
Walking to connect, to escape. 
Walking to clear heads and steel hearts.
Breathing in the damp air, the decaying leaves and the wet earth.
A sublime and gentle light - giving a feeling of hope. 
2020 has been different - by anyone's standard. 
A year of fear and hope, a year of unity and division. 
One of confusion and sadness and a year of amazing courage and strength. 
Solstice blessings to you all, stay safe, here's to 2021 - may she be kinder than 2020.



Chrimbly part 3 - Trees link up party


 Woop woop - our third Chrimbly count down link up party 

Time to share your festive photos

and stories.

please don't forget to link back to my blog,

thank you :) 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Chrimbly Count down - Tree

Trees - I decided, rather than share stories and photos of my own tree (other than the one I posted last Friday) I would choose 'street' trees. 
Council decorated ones , people's own in their gardens, outside of pubs and churches and the delightfully differing village green trees.  I wanted to share the joy and the celebration of these trees - be they simple white lights or hand made decorations or bedecked with so many bulbs that the tree can barely stand and those with just enough to be classed as decorated.
The trees we decorate in our homes have origins haling from a pagan winter festival where the ancients thanked the gods for the harvest by hanging fruits and gifts. It was believed the gifts would also safeguard the following year's harvest, making it as productive or hopefully even more so.
Some time during the 16th century, so the stories go, a poor glass maker could not spare the fruit to decorate his tree as he needed them to feed his children, so he blew glass fruit to adorn his tree. The legend goes on to say that others fell in love with his work and asked him to make more .... however... the same gentleman apparently ALSO did all this in the mid 1800s - he either was an exceptionally long lived glass blower or the story has been woven through history and mislaid the true origins.
Hanging gifts in the trees was believed, by the Druids, to bring rewards to the giver, so leaving coins or fruits in the branches would ensure wealth and a good harvest.
To the ancients, ever green trees had magical properties and were sacred as they remained vibrantly green all year round.
Hanging bells in the tree seems to have various origins too - one is the robust ringing of bells to frighten away deamons and to call back warmer days. Another was to hang small bells in the branches to call the small woodland faery folk, offering them a safe harbour through winter.
Red apples - be they real or glass - are popular in France as a tree decoration, having a strong religious meaning related to the Garden of Eden.

Queen Victoria's consort - Prince Albert, is usually credited with introducing the Christmas tree to the UK in 1840, however, a full 40 years earlier, the German wife of King George lll set up the first tree in the 'Queen's Lodge, Windsor during December 1800.
Many of the tree decorating traditions originate from Germany, the most famous being lighting up the tree. Legend has it that Protestant reformer, Martin Luther used real candles to decorate a tree in the 16th century to recreate a starry sky after he had been inspired during a walk through a pine forest near his home in Wittenberg. Fortunately we have moved on and use fairy lights ( I am lucky enough to have four vintage candle clips and decorate my tree with them, however they never get lit!).
In the Ukraine, trees are decked in spider webs, more something we identify with Samhain or Halloween. However, glittery cobwebs are associated with luck and good fortune. The story goes that a poor woman and her children, with hardly a penny to their name, allowed a spider to decorate their tree. The spider covered the tree with silvery webs and by the morning the webs had turned to gold, saving the poor woman from complete destitution. 
In my mind the street trees with their simple lights do have cobweb qualities.
Finland uses twisted straw decorations - rather like simple corndollies in geometric shapes. These rye straw decorations often stay up until Midsummer to help safe guard the following harvest.
One evening, on a whim I took my camera on a walk and just snapped trees knowing my camera would just capture the movement of light rather than the tree. 

Have yourselves a safe, gentle festive break - here is to 2021, may she rise from the ashes of 2020 as beautiful as a phoenix - things will get better xxxxxx

Sending love and socially distanced hugs xxxxxx