Hands up or…..

…. !



As you can see, though, no evil intention, it was all part of a photo shoot


Happy Birthday to my brother, who is now a little older than this ;)

A thought for a grey Sunday

Many of you know my thoughts and feelings about Alzheimers and its treatment. These are as a result of firstly bad and then exceptionally good treatment of my mother. A friend sent me the link to this site. It sounds perfect. How can we arrange for something like that over here?


Battered and bashed and a lump in the throat.

Sorting some bits earlier I came across this


An old tin. Battered and bashed, but I knew what it contained. I lifted the lid


Sure enough the bits and pieces were neatly stashed inside – and there on top was the last piece of work, incomplete. It was the handy collection that my mother took with her when she travelled – so that she would always have something to keep her hands busy. I was prepared – but it still brought a lump to my throat – especially as the thread on top was one of my hand-dyes. I can remember the last time she took it on holiday – with us, to Wales. She opened and closed the tin, but couldn’t remember what she had to do with the things inside.

015The inscription on the bottom of the tin intrigued me, I’m not old enough to remember the name, but I think I’ve heard it mentioned somewhere in the dim and distant past. Looking online there are a few photographs – and also this little bit of history.

Sorry, I have to go and wipe my eyes.

We Will Remember

I rarely post family photographs on this blog, but today is special.



This is a photograph of me with my mother. It isn’t the most recent as her condition has deteriorated somewhat in the meantime. She will be 96 towards the end of this month. As a; young woman she was one of the few girls to be called up into the services during the Second World War. She played an important role in intercepting enemy messages. This little personal tribute is a way of saying ‘Thank you’ to all who sacrificed their lives, and also to all those thousands who served so valiantly during that time.

During the month of June donations for the Alzheimers Society can be made via this page where you can also read more detail of why I’m collecting money for this wonderful organisation.

100 Steps – April

And now for something just a little different.

Today we met our family for lunch. We celebrated two birthdays – two generations in fact, and had a lovely time. A cooked lunch on a Sunday is a rarerity. Our main meal of the day is usually in the evening, nothing to prepare tonight, though. Instead of travelling home by the direct route we took a ramble around the countryside. It was almost a Sunday afternoon drive (the weather was perfect for such an event) but our way was more directed – we were visiting a friend who has a farm.

The farmhouse is surrounded by a perfect cottage garden. The plants are all waking up but two, by the gate, were absolutely stunning.

I couldn’t resist a closeup of one.


The flowers reminded me of little ballet dancers.

Normally I take detailed shots for my 100 steps. Today, though, I was too involved in the general views. And why not? Just look at what was in store just a few steps away from the trees

However, only a few more steps and we were able to see the reason for our visit today

And all within 100 steps

Weekly Photo Challenge – Family

Family always evokes memories. Some memories are dim and distant, but sometimes they are sharpened by a sight.


This recipe was passed down from (if not before) my great-grandmother. These were made by our daughter and enjoyed by us and our grand-children.

Family. The subject of the Weekly Photo Challenge – and full details can be found here. One from Just Snaps too.

  1. perfect | yi-ching lin photography
  2. My.Vivid.Visions | Weekly Photo Challenge: Family – Struggle
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Ese’ s Voice
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family (I) | Uncle Spike’s Adventures
  5. Family (Weekly Photo Challenge) | Icezine
  6. Swimming with Pigs | The Life NomadikThe Life Nomadik
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Stephen Chapman
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge – Family « LargeSelf
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge – Family | Chittle Chattle
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Flickr Comments
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | A mom’s blog
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge – Family | Just Snaps
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Being a Huntress
  15. Noise Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | autopict
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: FAMILY | Lost in Translation
  18. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family – Joy and Woe
  19. WPC – Family | PHOTO & POETRY
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge : Family | I see beauty all around by rob paine
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | Hope* the happy hugger
  22. Laughter | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  23. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | The Wandering Poet
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge – Family | Joe’s Musings
  25. The History of Tattoo – Part 4: Biker, Chicano and Prison | Cardinal Guzman
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge: Family | So where’s the snow?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Joy


No matter what time of year – the joy is in the Pink!

Full details of the challenge can be found here and here is one from Just Snaps

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Ese’ s Voice
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Joy | Chittle Chattle
  3. Weekly photo challenge: joy | An Enchanted Eye
  4. Joy (Weekly Photo Challenge) | Icezine
  5. Ecstatic | Retrofocus
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Uncle Spike’s Adventures
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Ritva’s Art – Photography
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy. | Hope* the happy hugger
  9. Just Snaps
  10. Weekly photo challenge: Joy | The (Urban-Wildlife) Interface
  11. Other People’s Joy Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  12. Joy: Weekly Photo Challenge | The Ambitious Drifter
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | nancy merrill photography
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | From My Horizon
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | autopict
  16. MyBlog – solaner
  17. Connection and Relaxation | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  18. Weekly Photo Challenge : Joy | I see beauty all around by rob paine
  19. WPC: Joy | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua
  21. Joy: Weekly Photo Challenge | Just Another Nature Enthusiast -
  22. My.Vivid.Visions | Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy of All Seasons
  23. Snow… | vic briggs
  24. Joy (Golden Gate, 27 December 2013) | de Wets Wild
  25. The Sun Is Out! | Empire of Lights
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Under the Monkey Tree
  27. Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy | Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition


Just Remembering

I had a phone call today, completely out of the blue. My aunt has died.

Although I was very fond of her it was a difficult relationship. She was married to my maternal uncle, whom I love and see often, but they were divorced almost 60 years ago and she disappeared from our lives. It was many years later that my parents managed to contact her again, so from time to time I visited, but, as she lived over 300 miles away, mostly kept in touch via letters and the odd phone call. I last spoke to her after her 90th birthday in August. Last week I posted her Christmas card, and I was going to phone her this evening. Sadly her brother phoned at lunchtime to say that she had had a stroke and quietly slipped away.

I would like to be able to tell my mother, sadly it won’t mean anything. She won’t remember the happy times we all spent together nor will she remember her name. To be honest, she may not even remember that I have visited, but visit I will. I’ve left a message on my brother’s phone, and no doubt he will ring me at some point, but as he is younger than me his memories will be vastly different and he will feel much further removed from the event than I do.

Now, the object of this post is not to ask for sympathy, but it does bring bereavement nicely into the Christmas picture. This morning, while I was out walking, I met a friend – actually the mother of an old school friend of our son. She is the same age as me, but unlike me has no grandchildren in spite of having two sons. The younger (our son’s friend) is married but so far childless, his brother, however, died in 5 years ago in December in horrendous circumstances. As you can imagine he is uppermost in her thoughts at the moment, and, although she misses him every day, her sense of loss at this time of year is enormous. She hides away because she knows that others don’t want to see her distress because they no longer know what to say.

Grief takes a long time to work its way through. Sometimes it never goes. It’s easy to talk to someone about their loss immediately after it has happened, and then to move on – after all, life is for the living, isn’t it?

Please make a point of making Christmas just a little more bearable for someone this year. Instead of passing on the other side of the road – or scurrying past – or just ignoring them – take some time to visit and talk about a lost one. Husbands missing wives, wives missing husbands, parents missing children, children missing parents.

Probably not the post you were expecting from me today, but please remember that memories aren’t just for Christmas. Spread a little happiness – it lasts much longer than Santa.