One of things I love the most about my job is the sheer variety and as the English poet William Cowper wrote in his 1785 poem “The Task” “Variety’s the very spice of life, t…
I just have to post photos of my grandchildren to illustrate this week’s photo challenge. The theme is Partners and these two are definitely partners when it comes to getting up to mischief. But they adore each other!
Following on from the surprising result of our referendum on membership of the European Union this week, I feel sad that our partnership with the other European countries is coming to an end. So many people gave so much to bring peace and partnership to Europe during the wars, not least the combined services of army, airforce and navy. In their honour I am posting some photos I took on Remembrance Day at Westminster Abbey in London.
I can’t resist putting in some of my favourite photos. Of course my little Dachsund, Dayna, is a wonderful companion for me, but her hero is my husband. When he is at the hospital for dialysis she often sits beside (or on) his slippers waiting for his return. The pair of ponies share a field near me so I guess they qualify as partners. And of course the garden birds are my constant delight and we have a partnership. I feed them regularly and they reward me by coming into my garden and sometimes even into the house like this little one!
And last but not least, partners for life ….literally!
My mum and Dad lived in parallel streets as children and went to the same school. They were friends from the age of 8 and eventually married in 1945. They were inseparable until my father died in 1993 and she followed him some years later.
This week I am just posting some photos that I love for WPC on the theme of curve
The first batch are from Stratford on Avon taken this April at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and along the curve of the River Avon looking towardfs Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare and Anne are buried.
Next are some exquisite photos of Calla Lilies taken by a friend, Anne Bate-Wiliams, in her garden. The curves are delicate and totally unmatched in the manufactured world for beauty I feel.
Lastly, some beautiful curves both natural and man-made that I spotted in Dorset. The Ammonite-like decorative lampposts are in Lyme Regis and reflect the fact that many fossils are found on the Jurassic Coast.
Shakespeare used snow as a symbol of purity many times in his plays. Hamlet says to Ophelia,
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow
This week I have chosen a photo I took some years ago in my garden. There is nothing so pure as a fresh fall of snow, and when it surrounds my sanctuary it is perfect. This is a place where I found pure peace, in which to rest, reflect and recuperate. You can find the story behind it, and more photos here… http://wp.me/p2gGsd-eV
Musicians, poets and artists have often taken inspiration from snow. To commemorate the centenary of WW1 there was an original play titled Will Harvey’s War performed at our local theatre. I was lucky enough to play a singing farm-worker in that play. We sang some beautiful songs reminiscent of the times. One of them was “Oh Snow”, with music by Edward Elgar and words by his wife, Alice Elgar. It was exquisite to sing. The music is absolutely beautiful and, with complex harmonies (I sang the Alto part) arranged by Caroline Edwards, our rendition was very moving. The purity of the music perfectly captures a fall of fresh snow drifting and whirling in the wind.
O snow, which sinks so light,
Brown earth is hid from sight,
O soul, be thou as white
Be thou as white as snow
Then as the snow all pure,
O heart be, but endure
Through all the years full sure
Not as the snow, not as the snow.
On 11th June 2016 our Queen will celebrate her official 90th Birthday and her husband, Prince Philip will be 95! These are wonderful ages to reach and definitely worth celebrating.
London is already awash with flags and the celebrations start tomorrow. Nobody covers royal events as well as the Daily Mail so do click to see the fabulous images of London bedecked.
I’m sure there are street parties planned for cities, towns and villages throughout the UK and beyond. On my travels through the Cotswolds I have seen lots of bunting in the streets and flags flying from shops churches, public buildings of every sort, as well as private homes and gardens.
I went to Willersey yesterday which is a gorgeous little village. It is quintessentially Cotswolds with its duck pond, village pubs, honey coloured stone houses, and beautiful cottage gardens. It also has a village shop which has got to have the most helpful owner in the world. My sister in law was desperate to buy some bread to take back to her caravan for tea so she popped into the only shop in the village. Sadly, they had sold out of bread but the owner said,
“wait a minute I’ve just used 2 slices out of my loaf, you can have the rest of that”
He then ran upstairs to his flat above the shop and returned with the remainder of his lovely crusty seed-topped brown bread! Can you imagine getting that level of care and service in a city or town supermarket?
Willersey was like a model village perfectly dressed for a royal themed party. There was bunting all over the pubs, and flags flying high in the summer breeze. Several owners had really gone overboard with the decorations in their gardens as you can see from my photos below. One in particular had a garden table and benches covered in union flags with more flags and bunting in the trees as well as a huge flag on a flagpole. It looked beautiful against the poppies and colourful flowers in the border.
Willersey is holding a really royal party all afternoon and evening on Saturday 11th. I do hope the weather stays fine for them. There will be royal themed fancy dress and hats, races to the next village, themed picnics, and lots of musical entertainment. There will also be a royal pageant and a whole village photo for the archives. The day’s events will be rounded off by a Toast to the Queen and everyone writing a message in a giant card for Her Majesty.
It should be lots of fun.
A really cute video clip of my little grandson, Stanley, at 18 months old learning his numbers
The Cotswold countryside, parks and gardens are a almost swamped by luscious green foliage this year. The early spring and wet May seem to have benefited the trees and lawns. It is a joy to walk amongst them.
There are lambs, foals, baby rabbits and ducklings to be seen all around and my garden birds are working overtime to feed their young. They beaver away all day long in choreographed movements almost like a dance.
I went to a local park with my little granddaughter at the weekend and she was delighted to see six cygnets that have hatched out recently. The swans nest on an island in the lake but they come over to the grass to feed and walk their little ones. It is amazing and heart-warming to see how many adults and children turn up in their spare time to see and photograph the new arrivals.
Swans are very protective parents so it is best not to get too close! As Shakespeare says…
So doth the swan her downy cygnet save,
Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings.