Thursday, 28 July 2011


This week's theme is chocolate and oh how I had delicious fun experimenting with this ( she writes smiling, with only a few moist chocolate cake crumbs left on the plate).

I knew instantly that my accompanying quote would have to come from the incredible book Chocolat by Joanne Harris:

"I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations to bring down a multitude of saints crashing among the hazels and nougatines" 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Animal magic

Yesterday I visited a zoo for the first time and felt quite apprehensive about it, as I am passionate about promoting the independence of wild animals I have always seen the lines of keeping them in a limited area in various shades of grey. However, I was also curious to see what this zoo was doing in terms of conservation and protection, and had heard lots of positives about the work going on there. I can honestly say that I left a huge part of my heart at Twycross; I felt a fierce connection with each new animal I got to know. I sensed playfulness, contentment and security in them as well as a strong sense of purpose, respect and commitment in the human beings caring for them. 

Here are a few of the many moments I enjoyed:

Visually, I was most in awe of the elephant trail, so beautifully and authentically constructed, with its own Ganesh temple at its heart. Although I have always liked elephants I had never understood their sheer grace until the moment I had the magical opportunity to observe them. Simply stunning.

I leave you with this little fellow,an endangered woolly monkey of the Amazon, stole my heart so completely. I am saving the pennies for an adoption package so I can go and visit him again and support the zoo's hard work. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Table at meal time

This week's theme is 'a table at meal time'. Anyone who knows me well, is aware of my love of food and especially of my love for meals as a time to connect with those who I treasure.  I honestly thought this theme was my dream come true. I imagined beautiful pictures of soul food, of plates and plates of luscious treats, of a spirited family occasion and an aura of sheer nourishment. However, reality struck. I am running on empty this week and am having to dig deep to tackle each  day. I haven't had the time or enthusiasm to cook or be sociable. And so I surrendered to Nutella this evening. It just had to be.

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you love more richly those moments.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A summer treat

This week's theme is 'a summer treat'. For me that first sip of a crisp, cold glass of white wine, on a hazy summer's evening, is truly bliss.

'Wine is earth's answer to the sun.'
Margaret Fuller


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hunting for light

It is that time of year again when I feel very much like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland; the last couple of weeks of school term when things should be slowly winding down, yet seem to instead have so much momentum that I am constantly trying to catch up with myself. One of the ways of keeping myself sane at this time is the delightful Light Hunters e-course, which I mentioned briefly last week. Vivienne’s emails are really igniting my photographic fire and are giving me a different perspective on the way that I take photographs. Until now I haven’t paid much attention to the light, even though  themes of warm light and dancing shadows run throughout my work when I take a closer look. What I love is that her prompts are there to make you think, to make you want to explore the light in a multitude of ways, without being too prescriptive- there is room for much interpretation and imagination. Unfortunately there hasn’t been the greatest amount of sunshine this week, but when there has been a glimpse I captured this shot of the sun setting in my garden. I am not quite sure what that white globe on the left is, perhaps I have a fairy visiting.

such wild love
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
I am currently discovering my love for the poetry of Mary Oliver, she is very much another saver of my sanity. The above snippet is from The Sun.

But even rain has its own special kind of light, it has been great fun looking at the detail of each pear shaped droplet on my window panes. I love the prettiness of the Instagram filters, which add another dimension of atmosphere to my scenes. Although Mary’s poem Rain  concerns a birthday, it describes wonderfully the intentions of my Shadow Cat ( he has a poetic soul):
The rain is slow.
The little birds are alive in it.
Even the beetles.
The green leaves lap it up.
What shall I do, what shall I do?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

In the garden

This week's theme is 'in the garden'. I was so tempted to produce a glowing flower shot as my garden is full to the brim with glorious blossom, but I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this project not to settle for the first interpretation that comes to me. I want to push my imagination and delve further into photographic visions. And so I created a series of shadow shots, which incidentally fits in wonderfully with the Light Hunters e-course, which I am currently participating in. Searching for light and shadow is right up my street and has also made me look at my world with yet another perspective. And so I shall share with you two of my favourite shots of my series so far.

'Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.'

Friday, 1 July 2011

A story...

After much deliberation I have decided to share the story that I spoke of in last Friday's post. Although I am feeling pretty vulnerable putting my work out there into the universe, I also feel excited that I am at the stage where I am brave enough to do so. Although I share my photos and artwork with confidence now, I am pretty shy about my fiction writing. Interestingly enough I don't seem to count blog posts or poetry as 'serious writing' - what is that all about?! It may not be a prize winning piece but I do believe it is the beginning of something huge for me. 

The beginning of her story.

In her sacred place, by the raindrop splattered,slightly ajar patio door, she peered out over the early hours. She sniffed deeply, conscious of how  you could taste the juiciness of grass in the air after rain. Everything was still.  Each plant and creature taking deserved respite after the adventures of the storm. She knew that this was where the words would come, if they chose to come today. 
Nestling  herself into rose apple cushions,  she shuffled the chair back from the dining room table, clutching a precious cup of steaming coffee. She closed her eyes fiercely at first, until the  many dancing rainbow circles appeared in the back of her eyelids. Let go of the expectations. Write like you used to do as a child, with immense imagination and without adhering to the adult rules. She had written this in her diary days ago, as she examined why the stories in her heart were abandoned there. Those words would not leave her alone now. She had tried.
She felt the warm roast of the coffee trickle through her veins, teasing her tired limbs back to life with its curling fingers,infusing her with a deliberate warmth. Daring to open  her eyes, she traced the delicate tree outline on her mug, like a labyrinth, like the answer would come to her as she ran her finger a long the last spirals of the twisted roots. The tree’s contours looked so fragile, as if just by rubbing them they would disappear. Yet as her fingers came into contact with the fired glaze the solidity of the textures comforted her. 
Never quite out of vision, the crisp symmetry of her laptop  came into sharper focus. She got up hesitantly and then thought better of it, sighing with a heavy stone like heart as she slumped back down. But it was there. Waiting for her words. And so she wrapped herself tightly in her unthreading cardigan and shyly tiptoed over to her once best friend and now nemesis.
With every approved word she deleted three more; critical creatures swooping infront of her eyes and into her ears, suffocating any word they deemed not substantial enough. She opened and closed the lid several times with purpose and surrender. The right ear of her feline familiar twitched at every snap, the reopening  followed by a yawned stretch, with gentle purring in time with the humming screen. 
There were words which needed to be told, which  whispered with so much faith until they too were contenders for attention. They began to tell a story. One of her stories.