Frank’s Photo Challenge – Yellow



This week’s photo challenge from Frank (Dutch Goes The Photo) is YELLOW


For the last few weeks I have strayed from my roots – i.e. Nature, so this week, thought that I would see what Mother Nature has to offer in the way of yellows.

Voila ……….  

Yellow Collage (2)Yellow Collage (1)

Frank’s Photo Challenge – Bugs


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This week’s photo challenge from Frank (Dutch Goes The Photo) is BUGS


Not my favourite topic but I’ve tried to keep well away from creepy crawlies !!

I’ve started off with a link back to my post for last week’s HISTORY challenge, and included a couple more photos of Manchester bees (taken in the Town Hall), a symbol of industry and hard work.

Then I’ve gone outdoors for some natural bugs ………..


And finally, my favourite. When I read the topic, my first thought was “The LOVE BUG”. I’m old enough to remember the 1968 film by this name about an anthropomorphised white VW beetle. It made a big impression because my parents had one from between 1963 and 1982. I learnt how to drive and passed my test in our Herbie, and I have a big soft spot for these cars still.  The photo was taken sometime around the same year as the film.       

Dad, me and Herbie ca 1965

Frank’s Photo Challenge – History (Manchester)


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This week’s Photo Challenge set by Frank (author of fab blog “Dutch Goes The Photo”) has set HISTORY.


I’ve just spent a couple of weeks in my beloved Manchester (UK) which is brimming with history – even a little Roman, though this isn’t my personal cuppa tea (sorry Frank!). Whilst here I have been on two guided tours, one of which was of the Town Hall, so I thought I would include a little bit of history gleaned from that.

Manchester Town Hall stands in Albert Square (1st picture), and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who was also responsible for The Natural History Museum in London. The Town Hall was officially opened in September 1877.

Manchester Town Hall, July-2017 (12)

Manchester Town Hall from Albert Square


It backs onto another of Manchester’s well known squares – St Peter’s Square (famous for the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, considered by many as a cornerstone of parliamentary reform.

We have two other buildings in this square worthy of mention. As the eye sweeps across the square from left to right, one sees  – The Midland Hotel (built at the tail end of the 19th century), Central Library (opened 1934) and then the Town Hall.

These are all shown below …….

St Peter's Square, Manchester (1)

The Midland Hotel, Manchester, from St Peter’s Square 


St Peter's Square, Manchester (2)

Central Library and back of Town Hall, St Peter’s Square, Manchester



St Peter's Square, Manchester (3)

Back of Town Hall, St Peter’s Square,  Manchester

I appreciate that not everyone gets excited by Victorian (and later) architecture, but here comes the interesting bit (well I thought so!!). Manchester was heavily bombed during WW2, but both these squares escaped. Why? Hitler had earmarked the Midland for living quarters and the Town Hall for admin, when he invaded England, which thankfully never happened.


Out of the frying pan into the fire, however, for in 1945, having escaped such a fate, the council proposed razing the Town Hall and environs to the ground to build a new “improved” city. In 1951 a Tory government came into power, and thankfully did what they are best at – made cuts, so the said redesign never happened. (For anyone in the UK, you’ll hopefully appreciate that such cuts did have their advantages then!!) 🙂 🙂

Northern Quarter, Stevenson Square, Manchester June-2017 (41)

The Manchester Bee is everywhere since the atrocious bombing last month.

Frank’s Photo Challenge – Steps


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This week’s photo challenge from Frank (Dutch Goes The Photo) is STEPS.

No story this week, Just a simple photo of The Stepping Stones, over the River Mole in Dorking, UK.



Frank’s Photo Challenge – Music


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This week’s photo challenge from Frank (Dutch Goes The Photo) is MUSIC.

For this week’s challenge I have plunged way back into the archives, pre-me for one of them, and I think Frank will approve as it was taken in Italy. It’s a photo of my father, another Frank –  Frank Paterson, outside La Scala, Milan in 1952. He was a complete opera fan. And although I haven’t inherited his see-every-performance obsession, I do like a good bit of opera now and again, which leads me onto a short story.

Frank Paterson, La Scala, Milan, 1952

Inspired by this photo, Don (hubbie) and I, whilst holidaying in Milan back in 1995, decided to take in a performance and as luck would have it, one of my faves, La Traviata was being performed. The only tickets left on the day were for standing in the Gods, and in order to secure two of these, we had to go through a right old palaver. After registering at the crack of dawn, we then had to return TWICE more during the day to confirm that we still wanted the tickets! Our fourth and final visit in the evening found us queuing for the actual performance. You’d think that would be the end of the tale, but no!
Having found a suitable point to stand, we waited, and waited, and waited some more for the performance to start. About half the orchestra strayed into their seats, strings were tuned, and strains of the opera score echoed as they warmed up ……… but then a man came on stage, spoke in Italian and the audience were noticeably distressed. A kind lady near us translated. The orchestra were on strike and there would be no performance that evening. You can imagine how we felt after spending the day to-ng and fro-ing!! Just minutes later, another announcement was made. Riccardo Muti, the conductor, had saved the day. He would accompany the main singers on the piano. The audience were in heaven and chanted “Maestro Muti”. An incredibly moving experience and one to be cherished forever more.

My second photo is of The Coliseum London earlier this year, as we waited for Rigoletto to begin. And this DID go ahead, with full orchestra and cast – ha ha 🙂


And finally, a photo of Izthak Perlman, my all-time favourite violinist, who was playing his 70th birthday concert last year in London. (It seemed but five minutes since we went to his 50th birthday celebration concert !!)


For me, music lifts my soul.

And you’d think we lived at the concert hall / opera house, but these are just a few of our rare visits. I’m usually an armchair listener or dancing round the room sort of music lover !! 🙂

Bach Flower – Wild Rose – for apathy


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJune is the month when Wild Roses adorn the hedgerows in their gentle understated way. Each flower has five heart-shaped petals very delicately tinged with the palest pink hue. Some bushes, however, are a little bolder in their pinkness, but these look to me like they are blushing!!  

The essence of Wild Rose was chosen by Dr Edward Bach for apathy. Where life has become same-old, same-old, perhaps where we have out-grown our job or relationship, or where we have become resigned to an illness, apathy can set in. We go through the motions, without wanting more out of life or indeed seeking change. Taking Wild Rose Essence can inject some inspiration into our life. It can help us to start exploring our potential and to take a more proactive role in our own life. Life becomes more colourful as our eyes are opened to new possibilities.   


How to take  

If using directly from the stock bottle, take 2 drops under the tongue or in a little water.

If making

up a dosage bottle, add 2 drops from the stock bottle into a dropper bottle made up of water with a little brandy (which helps to preserve it). Each dose is then 4 drops under the tongue or in a little water. Have at least 4 doses each day. Can be added to any drinks, except alcohol.

You can add other Bach Flower Essences to your dropper bottle. If using Rescue Remedy, add 4 drops instead of 2.     


 Pictures taken recently at ECOS, Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Above you can see Slemish in the background. 

Aging with a spring in our step and a song in our heart


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Bog-2017-06-13 - Aging with a swing in your step - Cat catoon

The other day I heard of a music teacher in her early 60s who had given up playing the piano due to having arthritis in her hands. My first thoughts were – how young, but also, having just reacquainted myself with the joys of tinkling the ivories after some years, I felt a sadness. How sad at ANY age to have to give up on a beloved hobby due to dis-ease, which on the whole is preventable.

Many moons ago, what prompted me to explore alternative health was a “mystery virus” (Doctor’s diagnosis) which left me unable to stand or walk. I remember feeling extremely frightened and depressed by the prospect of losing my independence and not being able to pursue my two greatest passions – travel and dance.

Thankfully, by changing radically both my diet and thinking, I made a full recovery. In fact, far more. In the process, I had educated myself in what it truly means to be healthy and the efforts needed on a daily basis to enjoy that level of health for many years to come.

My grandmother died at 89 back in 1980. She didn’t have osteoporosis, arthritis, failing eyesight or hearing, four problems which seem to plague today’s society, and scarily not always that late in life.

She didn’t study health. She simply got on with the joy of living, and nature ran its course. I believe that she was the last generation to be able to do that.

Nowadays, we haven’t got the luxury of just letting Nature do its stuff. Sadly, Mother Nature is no longer 100% natural. It has been compromised by man: polluted and tampered with.

As a result, if we wish to live long, active, meaningful, and joyous lives, we really do need to take an ACTIVE role in our own health, not just now and then, but on a DAILY BASIS.

Our culture is such that we have been programmed to believe that disease is a normal consequence of growing old. Creaking joints, fractures, and reading glasses are all considered part and parcel of old age. This does not, however, have to be the case. Our bodies are not designed to suffer arthritis, or macular degeneration, or dementia in our twilight years. Our toxic food and lifestyles all contribute to this state of dis-EASE.

I heard someone recently say that we didn’t live longer; we died longer. A very sobering thought. It’s all very well prolonging life, but is it worth it if there is no quality to it?

We are advised to save for our retirement.  What if we also invest in our personal health bank? A daily habit of self-care, through our eating, lifestyle and thinking can provide a bright and sunny future.

Let us age with a spring in our step and a song in our heart 🙂

Frank’s Photo Challenge – Unusual


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This week’s photo challenge from Frank (Dutch Goes The Photo) is UNUSUAL.

Go to

And join in the fun. 🙂 🙂

I’m away in Northern Ireland at the moment, without my main camera or access to my archives, but did come across a strange sight on Sunday when walking around the People’s Park in Ballymena, and managed a few shots on my small camera.

I thought I was imagining things when I looked up the slope at what seemed to be a giant apple core, but as we got closer – it was indeed an apple core alongside four other apples in various states. The idea was to represent five historical apple-related stories, namely Adam and Eve, William Tell, Sir Isaac Newton,  The Beatles (Apple records label),  and Steve Jobs (whose company is Apple).

it’s not everyday one comes across a giant apple, let alone five of them  – so I thought this might be a good candidate for UNUSUAL 🙂


Healthy Elephant Wisdom #11 – Tuning into Nature


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A little bit more commonsense thinking from my elephants, Herb and Ginger

Blog 2017-06-08 - Elly Wisdom - TUNE INTO NATURE #2 - picmonkey

Herb’s and Ginger’s tips on Tuning into Nature

For elephants, spending time in Nature is a spiritual and emotional “going home”.

It’s a place

😊 To be

😊 To relax

😊 To recharge

😊 To slow down in time to Nature’s rhythms

Nature’s prescription for stress, depression, not feeling oneself etc!


Here are a few tips

Enjoy a daily dose of Nature

  • a walk in a wood (where you can hug a tree without anyone seeing)
  • a pootle in a park
  • a laze on your lawn (barefoot is especially beneficial but make sure that it hasn’t been treated with nastic toxic chemicals)

Blog 2017-06-08 - Elly Wisdom - TUNE INTO NATURE #1 - picmonkey

Whilst there ………

  • Leave your work, worries and PHONE at home.
  • Enjoy the stillness.
  • Refill on Nature’s energies.
  • Calming, strengthening, rejuvenating.
  • The sun warming your face.
  • The gentlest breeze caressing your cheeks and tickling your nose.
  • The energising flow of chi through your feet.
  • Delight in all your senses coming alive.
  • The scent of pretty blossom and greenery.
  • The enchantment of birdsong.
  • The crazy curves of trunks (trees not elephants!!) and branches.
  • The flit of a butterfly or squirrel.
  • Feel the stress dissolve ……………………


Be wise like an elephant

Herb and Ginger