Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Four short paras

I always get a bit confused as to what day it is after a bank holiday. Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? We're there or thereabouts. We found the nesting woodpeckers on Saturday and watched them for a while. Then we spent some time in a lovely garden.

There was a chance for more lovely gardens on Sunday when we went to a little nearby town to start a walk up over the hills. There was an open garden trail round some absolutely gorgeous gardens with cake. Sadly other people wanted to do the walk so I had to content myself with peering over the occasional hedge and a cookie from home.

I fear this will a short post (of course, this may be a good thing) as my backspace key keeps coming off and it's driving me absolutely bananas. As with everything I type in a huge rush and then end up hammering the backspace to get rid of all the errors. No wonder it's all gone wrong. I've ordered a new one, what's the betting it doesn't fit though.

I seem to be slightly lacking in energy this week, not good for a half term. Lots of dead/dying plants that need re-sowing, loads of chores to be done, cupboards and clothes that need tidying and sorting, children needing entertainment, constant demands for food, and all I really want to do is curl up with a good book. Tomorrow I shall grit my teeth and get to it all. Well, some of it at least. Are we having a good week?

Friday, 27 May 2016

Five on Friday

the irises blooming for the first time ever, after about four years!
I'd forgotten what colour they were supposed to be

I can see you

Joining in with Amy and Five on Friday.

A belated Five thanks to a broadband snafu cunningly fixed by the ancient and well-respected technique of Turning It Off And Turning It Back On Again.

1. Enjoying the wonderful light evenings in these weeks approaching the longest day. As the youngest two and I ate a late supper yesterday after a cross country thing we watched a farmer mowing the fields on the hill. A couple were sat at the edge of the field with their dog. It was the perfect modern pastoral scene. The biggest boy was out playing cricket. Is there anything lovelier than a summer’s evening?

2. Thinking I shall do 30 Days Wild with the children in June. I’ve been tipped off as to the location of a green woodpecker’s nest, where you can see a woodpecker flying in and out of a perfectly round hole in a yew tree to feed his/her chicks. Sounds like too good an opportunity to miss. I haven’t seen the list of Wild Things To Be Done yet but maybe birdwatching will be one of them.

3. I’ve just started reading Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”. It’s one of those books that I’m reading to see what all the fuss is about. I’ve seen it referred to so often, “Following Gone Girl…” “In the manner of Gone Girl” etc. that I thought I’d find out. Anyone here enjoyed it?

4. Down at the allotment most of the cucumbers were mercilessly killed by the huge downpour of rain and hail on Sunday. The squashes and courgettes aren’t looking great either, and I think the achocha have had it, they’re a delicate looking vine in the cucumber family. It’s frustrating to nurture them on the windowsill for so long to have them wiped out in a single blast of weather but in the triumph of hope over experience I shall plant more.

5. Planning a little light caving for the littlest's birthday. We asked the biggest boy if he wanted to join in. He and his father are slightly more wary of tricky spaces than the rest of us. The littlest boy and I in particular share a wild abandon when it comes to such things. The words death wish have been used about us on occasion. 

The biggest boy gave it a moment's thought and then said that yes, he would, after all the instructors would be bigger than him and they must fit through. I said that it would be fine, if he got wedged we would just leave him there for a few days until he was thinner. There was precedent for this; the same thing happened to Winnie the Pooh when he went to Rabbit's and ate too much honey. Rabbit just hung his washing on Pooh and used the back exit for a while until Pooh slimmed down a bit. The biggest boy definitely has the words "stuck" and "wedged" and "tight space" floating around in his head now. Almost certain it won't happen. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Colour Collaborative: May: Photograph

It intrigues me how everyone has their own style when they take a photograph. Some bloggers' pictures are so distinctive I could tell you instantly whose they are. Wouldn't it be great if we all went to the same place and took pictures of the same things and then compared them afterwards. A subtle framing technique or a little emphasis on a detail or allowing less light into the camera. We all have our moves.

The choice of subject is personal as well. Looking back over my pictures I see a lot of green, of course, but very often stone as well. It's a combination I love. Every morning on the school run I look at the walls of the church and the castle and marvel at how they've been there for hundreds of years, throughout storms and ice and the punishing glare of the summer sun. They just get softer in appearance and more beautiful. Over the centuries they have witnessed everything; triumph and tragedy, kings and peasants, joy and bloodshed.

I'm drawn to photograph nature, but also old houses and cottages with their gardens and trees and plants trailing around them. The gentle colours of nature, with a backdrop of stone or aged brick are my favourite. The top two pictures are typical I think. Leaves of every shade, from mid green to an acid almost yellow green and a gentle dusting of white blossom. Old stone, old brick and a wooden gate. Colours so subtle I don't have names for them. And a timber framed house with a gorgeous burgundy hedge. I don't need a thousand flowers of every colour, a range of greens and browns and greys is enough. That's not to say I don't love flowers, I do. Just not a riot, more of a gentle touch.

I think my colour choices reflect my personality. I find too much colour a bit overwhelming. Fine for a while, but I don't think I could live with it. I put the bright pink house in there for contrast. I loved seeing it, loved it, but my default setting is nature's palette. My eyes would constantly be searching for somewhere soothing to rest. In my photographs I'm trying to find that place.

Tell me, what do you return to again and again in your photographs?

To visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

What is The Colour Collaborative?

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Green and white

Down the garden path, past the destruction that is cricket in a confined space and out the back gate. In the lane the elderflower is just starting to flower. I think I shall make cordial this year. If anyone can point me to a reliable recipe I shall be grateful.

After the Sunday's deluge everything is greener than ever. It's the only colour in my photos I think, apart from a little brown and a blue sky. And of course the white blossom. I love those little spherical hawthorn buds, and the great froths of cow parsley everywhere.

I trotted down to the local hall to pick up left-behind clothes from the weekend's camping. Oh they were horrible. Think thick mud, stagnant water and grit, all nicely sealed in a plastic bag in a warm place for three days.

Back at the homestead the cricket had degenerated into fury. There had been shouting and throwing and storming off. A late night too far I fear.

At the allotment today the asparagus was knee high. It grows at three times the speed when it's been raining. There's a lovely big pile in the fridge now. I might make Delia's asparagus and cheese tart which is scrumptious, or I might go for the easy option of steaming it briefly and adding some butter and salt.

I had a bit of a surprise when I opened the shed: a hornet. I've never seen one before, it was massive. at least an inch and a half long. I took a terrible photo of it, and then someone came to ask me something and by the time I'd finished talking it flew away. I was going to put a pound coin next to it (my last one after the children bled me dry at the football tournament) for scale. On reflection that might have been a bit ambitious, I'm not sure that hornets that have just been dazzled by sudden sunlight in their dark shed are hugely appreciative of being made to pose next to coin of the realm. I would be The Girl Who Annoyed The Hornet And Learned A Valuable Lesson. Anyway, here's the photo, such as it is. Enormous remember.

I wonder if there will be more... I shall open the shed door with a little less aplomb next time.