Frank’s Photo Challenge – Travel


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Frank, whose fab blog “Dutch Goes the Photo”, has set “Travel” as the topic for this week’s Photo Challenge. 


Travel to me means  …………….

Just being in the moment, a sense of freedom, a source of inspiration, a childlike excitement of new places, people and stories, a delight to all my senses, a gentle recharge.  

And let’s not forget the all important opportunity to take far too many photographs. Ha ha !!

Some of our happiest travels have been in Thailand, so I have included a collage of our trip back in 2012. Most of the images were taken in Chiang Mai,  but both the branch with the pretty flowers and the separate photo of me on the old bike were taken at the ancient site at  at Kamphaeng Phet.

Collage Thailand 2012

Thailand 2012 (9)


Frank’s Photo Challenge – Falling Water


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Frank, whose fab blog “Dutch Goes the Photo”, has set “Falling Water” as the topic for this week’s Photo Challenge.


I was originally thinking along the lines of waterfalls and such like, then suddenly remembered a photo I took a year ago of some crazy rain falling on Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester. I was safely standing at the doorway of a tea house at the time, and managed to capture the shot as a red bus drove out of sight, so I got a hint of red in the picture. (I have a niggling feeling that I have used this photo before – but hey !!)


Frank’s Photo Challenge – Healthy


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Frank, whose fab blog “Dutch Goes the Photo”, has set “Healthy” as the topic for this week’s Photo Challenge.


Healthy is ……………

Tuning into nature, with a good helping of both fresh air and sunshine ………

Langdales, Lake District, May-2017

Great Langdale, Cumbria


Having fun exercising, having a good sense of humour, and certainly not taking life too seriously


Noz THINKS about running


Nourishing our cells with water and nutrient-dense food

Unicorn Grapes and Apples - Sep 2016 (1) ZZ

Gorgeous grapes at Unicorn, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester 


And recharging with regular quality sleep


My friend’s cat, Cherry dozing in Cheltenham


In essence, healthy is living life each day with ease and joy, a smile on your face and doing what you love (in my case, taking a crazy number of photos!!!).

Wisteria in Bloom


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The wisteria was well in bloom this week at Polesden Lacey. I initially thought it was lilac (silly me and thank you Tania for the correction), which had reminded me of the first line of Rupert Brooke’s poem “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester”.

Even though my picture isn’t of lilac, I’ve included the poem anyway as it’s one of my all time favourites. It is so evocative of the English countryside as it starts to bloom in all its magnificence. For “lilac”, read “wisteria” –   ha ha    🙂 🙂

I’ve included the first part of the poem only, where he is remembering the wonders of nature about his home in Grantchester, far away from Berlin, where he was at the time in 1912.

Blog 2017-04-xx - Grantchester Poem - Lilac, Polesden Lacey, April-2017 (1)Blog 2017-04-xx - Grantchester Poem - Lilac, Polesden Lacey, April-2017 (2)

Just now the lilac is in bloom,

All before my little room;

And in my flower-beds, I think,

Smile the carnation and the pink;

And down the borders, well I know,

The poppy and the pansy blow. . .

Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,

Beside the river make for you

A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep

Deeply above; and green and deep

The stream mysterious glides beneath,

Green as a dream and deep as death. —

Oh, damn! I know it! and I know

How the May fields all golden show,

And when the day is young and sweet,

Gild gloriously the bare feet

That run to bathe. . .Du lieber Gott!  


Frank’s Photo Challenge – RGB


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Frank, whose fab blog “Dutch Goes the Photo”, has set “RGB” as the topic for this week’s Photo Challenge.  What does this mean? Simply, he has set the challenge to post a photograph featuring red, green and blue.


Yesterday found me at the wonderful National Trust property “Polesden Lacey” in Surrey. The garden is quite a picture at the moment and I hoped to capture some red-green-blue shots. Wandering around it seemed increasingly unlikely and at one point I even considered stalking a robin to see if he would oblige in posing next to the forget-me-nots, but sadly it wasn’t to be. I came home thinking that I had failed.

Then I started reviewing my photos and was amazed to find two shots with the right colours showing. I just hadn’t realised at the time!!!

One is a shot of the cottage garden.


The other is of some old seed packets showing vibrant pictures of the flowers – and voila – red, green and blue are there. I’ve included a few more shots of these, as I was rather taken with them.

Polesden Lacey - old seed packets, April-2017 (3)

Finally , I’ve included a photo which I took last week in the late afternoon sun, featuring some BLUEbells, dandelion and the red brick of our house.

Home - spring flowers Arpril-2017

And there was me thinking when I first saw the challenge that I didn’t stand a chance!!  Nature has come up trumps. 😊

Monday Inspiration – Spring happiness


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I was familiar with L.M. Montgomery’s books about a young girl called Anne Shirley (“Anne of Green Gables”) but only came across another of her creations the other month. Emily Byrd Starr is an equally imaginative child and in the opening book “Emily of New Moon”, there’s a wonderful quote about springtime which really resonated with me. 

“Spring is such a happyfying time”

And so it is !!  

Blog 2017-04-24 - Spring Quote - Apple Blossom, our garden, Dorking April-2017 (6)





Frank’s Photo Challenge – Mystery


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Frank, whose fab blog “Dutch Goes the Photo” has just passed its one year milestone, has set “MYSTERY” as the topic for this week’s Photo Challenge.


This made me think of the wonderfully witty poem by T.S. Eliot – “Macavity – the Mystery Cat”, which then got me thinking about a photo which I had taken a few years back of a mystery cat hiding behind some fencing round the corner from my house. I was amazed that he allowed me to take his portrait, as cats have a tendency usually of waiting until I’m on hands and knees with “just the shot”, then turn tail and walk away!!  It’s their little joke. 😊

Of course, T.S. Eliot’s cat would never have allowed himself to have been caught in this way, either behind bars or on camera!!


Here is the first verse to whet your appetite.

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—

For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

Bach Flower Essence – Gorse for HOPE


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Blog 2017-04-19 Gorse for Hope - Giant's Causeway March-2017

Yellow is such an optimistic and hopeful colour. It’s therefore no coincidence that after the grey miserable days of late winter, Nature blesses us in early spring with plenty of yellows on her landscapes. Golden crocuses, fluttering daffodils, tufted dandelions, cheeky kerria japonica, delicate forsythia, and striking gorse.

I took the above photograph of gorse recently at the Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.  

Dr Edward Bach chose Gorse as his flower of hope.

When all hope seems lost, when we choose to give up rather than fight, when life has lost its vitality, Gorse essence can inject some optimism and hope back into life. It’s like a ray of sunshine in an otherwise grey day.   

Our emotional and mental makeup plays such a big part in our healing, and hope is one of those bright beacons in life that makes all the difference between giving up and having a reason to get up in the morning.

Hope and optimism raise our vibration, thus helping to improve our overall wellbeing at all levels.

Healthy Elephant Wisdom #10 – Being Kind


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Herb’s and Ginger’s tips on Being Kind

 Elly Wisdom - BE KIND - Picmonkey

A simple act of kindness can make someone’s day.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things which mean the most.

A smile costs nothing but can transform a sad, grey day into one of hope.

Ditto, a HELLO or a kind word.

All these acknowledge the other person as a fellow soul on this planet. A fellow soul that matters.

It makes the heart smile, not just for the recipient but for the giver too.,

Spread a few heart smiles today. 

Be wise like an elephant 

Herb and Ginger