A Boat?  In the woods?  

A boat in the woods?


On the outskirts of a busy city lies an area of National Trust woodland.  Yesterday, it would appear that half the city had decided on visiting the woods.  Was it the burst of sunshine?  Was it the draw of an unusual, quirky art installation?  Was it because parents were at a loss of what to do with their children that didn’t involve spending money?  I saw one irate lady trying to stop her two children bickering in the back of her car while she awkwardly reattached the bicycle rack and her son’s push bike to the rear of her car after a day out!

The art installation was bang in the centre of the woodland and, despite wearing white plimsoles and it being muddy, I got away with keeping my footwear remarkable clean as I dodged the crowds to get photographs of the boats without people obstructing the view.  I tried my best!








Black and white

Copyrighted images.  Please do not copy or share without my express written permission.  Thanks 🙂

Trees have always fascinated me.  My DH and I had a discussion about what makes a perfect tree.  Does it have to have evenly spread branches, be covered in snow or blossom, or should it be standing solo, tall and magestic?

Some of the most magical trees I’ve seen have been deep in forests covered in moss.  I love also how in the saddest places such as abandoned cemeteries, among crumbling tombstones, life returns in the form of meandering branches, tree trunks and wild plants.

I took several black and white images the other day and loved the eeriness of them; so what do you think?


Daily Post photo challenge : motion



This was taken while at a vintage fair. I was drawn to the dancer’s dress as she spun around and this made me want to dance too; we were transported back in time :-). While music blarred out and feet stomped, punters popped inside to explore the vast selection of wares from 50s clothing to remnants of lace and waxed flowers being entwined on wire for bridal headdresses.

Haiku for 2015

New memo to self:
Turn a house into a home:
Personalise it.


How many different words can you think of for house or home or living accommodation? If you were asked to draw a house, what would it look like? Would it look like a square with four evenly spaced windows and a door set centrally?
If you were thinking of buying or renting are you drawn to the actual name of the address or the house name? My uncle used to live in a bungalow called Cobwebs and its front door had a stained glass image of a spider’s web, while my father-in-law named his house ‘Hardgraft’ because he bought the biggest house he could and then worked many hours to pay for it!
Here’s a list I’ve come up with and each carries a different story (it may prompt you into some poetry writing!)…

Residential home
Stately home
Nursing home
Tree house
Studio flat

Can you think of any more?

Drawing and story a day #3

Ever forgotten something on a really important day? How about forgetting to put a 35mm film in the camera for your engagement party? We did. Many years ago my father gave me a Fujica camera for my birthday while studying for my ‘A’ Level art and design. He’s an avid photographer who likes to do nature shots of flowers and he’s got a multitude of boat pictures in his collection of slides and displayed in photo albums.
When it came to the momentous occasion of doing a studio photo shoot for my future husband, one of the 35mm reels of film jammed in the camera and without a darkroom, my future father-in-law thought he was being helpful by opening up the back (big no-no as the light destroys the film). Both my boyfriend and I stood mouth agape at the unravelled roll dangling from the back of the camera like the intestines of a cadaver during autopsy.
Later, during our engagement party, we snapped away photo after photo of the cake and the riotous game of skittles only to find that we’d forgotten to include a camera film when it was too late. The drawing of the Fujica camera was an attempt at creating a picture without removing the fineliner pen from the page. There were occasions when I did have to lift the pen though, such as for the lettering to be readable! It was tricky gauging the right dimensions and trying to keep to scale (reason for wonky lens).

My son, now also an avid photographer, enjoys using the Canon and I’ve watched him create and delete photos he’s not happy with and I’ve observed the glee on his face when he’s captured that perfect moment: sunsets and portraits, deer feeding while surrounded by ground frost. I wonder how he’d get on with a 35mm film in a camera where you can’t check the shot and then have to wait a fortnight for it to be developed and printed like back in the 80s? I hope he likes the rubber stamp I cut this evening for him. He can use it over and over again on letter heads or business cards … Or he can use the eraser and gradually the camera will fade away! Lol!
Meanwhile camera fans who read this blog might appreciate a photograph of my son’s kitten he named Nikon, after another camera. Here she is playing around with the dismantled Christmas tree …



a late Monday night – so photographs of a washed out carnival


Every year we’ve only had to walk to the end of our road to watch the carnival.  Today was no exception, however the carnival organisers decided to change the route and instead of doing the straight circuit, they travelled down the High Street and extended the route so it covered 2.5 miles.  We left our house at 7.30 and the street was empty apart from a couple of Candy Floss and Burger Vans.  We walked back home at 7.35 after a marshall said it wouldn’t reach us for another 30 minutes.  One and a half hours later, we heard music in the distance, so we left our house again and caught sight of the first majorettes.  The rain fell; puddles formed and children cried.  For the first time ever, the carnival ended at the bottom of our road – literally. Float after float got stuck at the bottom of the hill and we witnessed large gaps between floats and some floats were empty of people – they got off, so we watched silent floats pass by.  It was such a shame and there were many disappointed children, however, I admire those little ones that braved the downpours and the long walk as we were still hearing the noise of the floats, when back in the warm, at nearly 11pm!

Fairy House Hunt

DSCN5366Today my family finally managed to get to the woods and go on a fairy house hunt among the trees.  The sun came out and children were swinging from the monkey bars and a tethered tyre.  It was great to get some fresh air after feeling poorly all week and I’m sure the walk did me some good.

Here are few photographs of some of the fairy doors/houses we found tucked up against the tree trunks.  They weren’t that easy to spot as they were well spread out. Occasionally we found fairy stickers on the trees and even some pink glitter, but these were all decoys! As super sleuths, we had to retrace our steps to uncover all fifteen ‘hidden’ doors.

We also were entertained by the natural wildlife – the wood was full of squirrels scurrying about and nibbling at the nuts in among the fallen leaves. Their antics were amusing, as was the time I saw a gorgeous robin sitting so still and silently on a wooden fence that I thought it wasn’t real on the entrance to the woods! It flew off at the sight of my camera before I could get a decent picture of it!

a November wedding: the spider and the butterfly

Today, November 1st, is the beginning of a cousin’s married life and the start of National Novel Writing Month.  This has meant that the crafts were put on hold today (unless you can class my photo as a craft or even my writing).

I managed it.   I managed to write 1,695 words on day one of NaNoWriMo.  At first, I was faced with a blank page and I thought I’d struggle to make a start on it, but it flowed.  Whether this is because I’ve been thinking about the 50000 word novel for a while, or because the house is quiet remains to be seen.

The day’s been interesting.  We travelled into the city for a family wedding (my husband’s cousin) and the forecast wasn’t that great, but the sun shone.  The little church has been the venue for several family members including my in-laws and they chose the same hymn as my husband and I had at our wedding.  According to my father-in-law, everyone has ‘Morning has broken’.  I’m not so sure.  There are so many hymns people can choose from, but some words just ‘stick’ don’t they:  ‘The blackbird has spoken, like the first bird’ (humming it now, can you tell?).  You don’t have to struggle to remember them and there’s no need to grasp a hymn book while trying to hold onto your fascinator during a winter wedding.

The church is pretty old; unusually it still has pews unlike many churches nowadays.  There’s a little arch that you have to walk through to get to the church and the aisle is so short that it’s possible to hold your breath for a minute and the father and bride have reached the front!

The church cobwebs were also noticeable.  At one point, the perfectly coiffured hair on the bridesmaid became the cobweb: my sister-in-law had to surreptitiously remove a spider happily crawling through the braiding.  The said spider returned, climbing up the bridesmaid’s back later on in the service while a tortoiseshell butterfly distracted everyone’s eyes away from the bride and groom coming back from signing the register.

The young bridesmaid and pageboy were my niece and nephew; they had more fun tossing the confetti rose petals on the floor that at the bride, but I did manage to take this photograph before the bride headed off to the reception.

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