Thursday, 30 July 2015


I'm back with part 2 of my photo collection and if you missed my previous post you might want to see that here first. 

So picking up where I left off:

14.  A traffic signal.

15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it. I was happy to find this one!


16. A panoramic view, taken while standing (or sitting!) someplace high in the air. 
The Emirate Cable Car across the Thames.  I had a fun day in London with my friend Melanie, and there are more photos here if you'd like to see more of our day.

 17.  At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms.  I attempted a photo of two policemen but decided I might get arrested for acting suspiciously so gave up on that idea!

 18.  An overloaded truck, car or other vehicle. I struggled with this initially so took this cartoon....

Then I spotted this one! 

19.  A ticket Booth - The Emirates Cable Car.  Two ticks for this ride!
20. A natural body of water.  I discovered this one is quite special.  It is where three rivers converge on the Norfolk Broads, The Yare, Tas and Wensum. Our prehistoric ancestors regarded places where rivers meet (a confluence) as sacred and this this one is specially so, as it is the meeting of not two but three rivers. 

21.  A photograph of me with a sign:

And that's me done! 

There's a sense of achievement and disappointment, because I love challenges and opportunity to take photos and it is sad to see this come to an end.  But I plan to make a list for my grand daughters when we go on holiday because they like taking photos too, and meantime I have my monthly '5 in 5' challenge and Helena's Pairs.

So, thank you Rinda for a great list as always, and for arranging this photo challenge. It's been great fun while it lasted.


Each summer I love to take part in Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.   So with my list and my camera in my bag I have gathered photos over the past weeks on trips to London, weekends away, and where ever else opportunity arose.  So, here is the list, and some of the photos.  The rest will follow in another post so that there is time for a cup of tea in between!

1. A bouquet of flowers
2. An ornate door knocker
3. A person walking a dog (or other animal)
4. People playing a board game or card game
5. Architectural columns
6. A metal bridge
7. A turtle
8. Someone "plugged in" to social media 
9. A tent
10. A college or university
11. A cellular tower or television satellite dish
12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet
13. A merry-go-round or carousel
14. A traffic signal
15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it
16. A panoramic view, taken while standing someplace high in the air
17. At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms
18. An overloaded truck, car, bicycle or other vehicle
19. A ticket booth
20. A natural body of water
21. A photograph of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt". Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for any one item on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: People eating outside
Alternative B: Someone holding an umbrella
Alternative C: A rocking chair 

1.  A bouquet of flowers.
Taken to the cemetery on Fathers Day.


2.  An ornate door knocker.  This belongs to a friend.  I have never taken noticed of it before now! 

3. A person walking a dog - or two!  It was amusing to watch these walkers as the dog leads were exceptionally long and seemed more of a nuisance than a help.  Especially when they are dragged through sea water and have to be gathered up soaking wet.

4. People playing a board game - my friend Melanie and myself on one of our days out during her visit from Australia

5. Architectural columns. Taken the same day, I was pleased when Melanie suggested a visit to this house.  I immediately knew I could tick another photo on my list!

6. A metal bridge, seen on a river trip on our way into Norwich.

7. A turtle.  
I thought I might have trouble taking this photo as turtles are not native to UK. But I was happy to discover these in an aquatic centre.

8.  Someone "plugged in" to social media. A typical scene when my grand daughters visit.  Until I get craft materials out, that is. Then technology is dropped and fingers get sticky instead!

9. A tent... or two.

10.  A college or university.  This is the Greenwich Naval College. Part of my London trip with Melanie. 

 11.  This tower did have dishes round the other side but I couldn't get my camera out of my bag quick enough as we drove past! 

12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet.  I was rather impressed with these, found inside a Wetherspoons pub in Norwich.  The cooked breakfast was good too!

13. A merry-go-round or carousel - I was immediately taken back to my childhood and couldn't believe these swings still exist!  I get irritated by Health and safety regulations but it did cross my mind when I saw this ride.  

That will do for now.   Time for a short break and then I'll be back to post part 2. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


My friend Eileen, over at 'In my Playroom' is looking forward to a long stretch of holiday and listed some of the things she plans to do in this time.  Now like Eileen, I love a list or two!  Writing things down can help me keep focus and to achieve the things I want to do.  And so I am taking Eileen's idea and making my own list. Some of these are already organised and others are things started or that I want to do before the summer is over.  So, here goes:

  • Visit ''That's Crafty' and 'Tiger' with my friend Jill (that's planned for tomorrow so I'm not wasting time getting started!)
  • Visit Mersea Island and have lunch at The Company Shed (Friday)
  • Go back to Mersea Island for a visit to The Packing Shed. It's only accessible by boat and open on occasional days.
  • Have an eye test (not so exciting but necessary)
  • Go to The Poetry Library at the South Bank and meet an online friend who is visiting from Denmark
  • Go on a craft retreat - 3 days of blissful creating and good company
  • Run a Hand Made Book Workshop (maybe more than one if people are not on holiday)
  • Enjoy a 4 day visit to Stonehenge in the camper. While there I am meeting Eileen, who came up with the idea of this list. Our first meeting and I'm looking forward to it!
  • Visit Bernice, another blog friend. We are booked on a four day workshop together where we will learn printing techniques and complete a art book. Looking forward to this time together!
  • Visit The Festival of Quilt Show at NEC Birmingham, also with Bernice.
  • A visit to a local Abbey for their open gardens.
  • Go camping in the forest with my daughter and three grand daughters. What fun we have planned!
  • Attend a four day 'Lost and Found' workshop with Alice Fox.  I'll be learning how to stain fabric and paper with rust and then make a book. I need to find a nearby campsite as it is too far to travel each day from home.
  • Plan workshops for the coming months....
  • Plan a trip to Edinburgh.  I have a fun weekend planned with Rachel Hazell (The Travelling Book Binder) and will be meeting other friends I have made through the Paperlove online course.
  • While in Edinburgh I hope to meet up with Helena.  The idea has already been discussed, plans will be made nearer the time.
  • Make use of my RHS season ticket
  • Finish decluttering and organising my craft space so that I can find things more easily!
  • Get ahead with Design Team projects so I do not have a rush to complete it on time each month. 
  • Arrange play dates with friends.
  • Have my youngest grand daughter over - she is eager to do some crafts and it will be nice to have some special time with her.
  • Make birthday cards. I have lots of special family celebrations coming up.
  • Read blogs more regularly! I have got out of the routine due to pressure on time and need to prioritise this as it is something I enjoy. Very much.
  • Get back to posting 'A week in Photos' as part of my Project 365.  This was interrupted when I went to the Shetland Islands and I planned to do retrospective posts but felt overwhelmed. I will simply start from where I am rather than backtrack.
  • Complete the Summer Scavenger Hunt.  Most of the photos are ticked... just a couple left on the list.
  • Clear my wardrobe. I am bored with the pile of clothes I never wear and need to make space for ones I do.
  • Read books - lots of them! I always have a reading book on the go but often dip into other books for creative ideas in between.
  • Plan a visit to Ingatestone Hall with my niece.
  • Finish creating two PhotoBox books.  I have already paid extra to extend the time.  Twice.  Now PhotoBox have made another 75% off offer.  It is too good a bargain to miss and I have other books I want to create. Urgh!!!
  • Plan online courses. I keep talking about it and not doing. I at least want some ideas on paper to start the action.
  • Organise another Junk Journal Swap. It is nearly a year ago that I did my first and it was such fun. Time to plan another!
  • Finalise plans for workshops next year, one at a museum and one at a garden that is open to the public.
  • Go for walks...
  • Continue my Tree Following project where I take photos of 2  trees each month.
  • Cook... I love baking and trying new recipes. I have invited family to dinner and need to set a date.
  • Get out into the garden.  Area's need redesigning and attention.
  • Finish painting my cabin.  I want to repaint the door and windows in a different colour.
  • Tidy.... make space....  donate to charity and sell others items I no longer want.  Make a difference rather than just move things from one place to another.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Complete Index Card A Day.  I started this in June, with a group of online friends, and plan to continue through July. I am a few days behind but will catch up tomorrow. We share on our fb page.
  • Get back into writing morning pages. I have got out of the routine and know the benefits.
  • Plan Artist Dates - and go on them!
  • Refocus on being more healthy - it's such a bind when you enjoy food and cooking, as I do!
  • Go sailing. Hopefully.  I know someone with a boat and he has invited me to go out. When he is quieter. Everyone wants to sail this time of year.
I'm going to stop there because my list is growing too long. It is realistic because lots of these things are in progress or planned but I need to keep a head of myself so that everything comes together.  So, I am looking forward to lots of exciting things and also need to do some of the dreary but necessary. I hope your own summer has good things in store and thanks to Eileen for inspiring me to write my own list. I didn't think it would be this long!!

Looking forward to blue skies, and sunny days by the river.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


On this day, one year ago, I officially gave up full time employment and a professional role.  I still wake each morning counting my blessings and the year has fulfilled my dreams and more.  Yes, there are things I miss....  some of the people I worked with, the satisfaction and sense of achievement when things went well. Even the adrenalin rushes.  Because sometimes it was like being a drug addict without the drugs and the highs could be incredible. But the flip side was the pressure and intensity of the work. It could be stressful and the daily commute was a drudge. The down side is something I do not miss. Not at all.

Looking back to my post, one year ago, I could not have foreseen what lay ahead, and if I had I would have been truly excited. Probably even more than I already was!  I continue to run regular  book making workshops, which I love, and set up a fb page. And I became a member of a Design Team over at That Craft Place. There have been so many adventures and exciting happenings, too many to mention. So a huge, huge thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey.... believed in me... encouraged me.... and supported me.  Life after work has been everything I hoped it would be and so much more.

But one thing that has gone adrift is time visiting blogs... not because I have more important things to do (certainly not!) but recently I have been occupied by other things.  Things that put perspective on life, such as the sudden loss of a friend.  She was a great crafter and had a huge amount of materials.  I offered to help her family as I knew that others continuing to enjoy these things would make my friend happy as well as ease some of the worry for her family about what to do with it all. I am slowly recovering space and time and it has eased my own sense of loss, knowing that I have done the best I can in an awful situation.  And it has made me realise how much 'stuff' I have too, but I am not thinking about what will happen to mine one day.  No.  Life is for living fully and if you are thinking about big decisions and your dreams listen to your intuition and take calculated risks. I'm glad that I did. 
And I will be catching up on blog visits very soon! 


It's time to share this months photos and the change is much more noticeable this time of year.  First,


The ivy continues to wind it's way up the trunk, though there's not much growth from last month.

You can see where the ivy was cut down in the past.  I wonder if it will be there next month?

The difference in bark is something that attracted me to this tree.... 

Round the other side of the trunk the violets are resting after several months of flowering.  I thought I would find out more about these and I was surprised to learn that wild violets are often considered a weed and pest.  It seems they are prevalent throughout parts of Canada and US, and also grow in Australia and Europe. 

And while I welcome their purple flowers, some people find them troublesome when they grow in their lawns and they go to great lengths to eradicate them.  Perhaps they might look at them more kindly if they knew that the flowers and leaves are
edible and that you can use the flowers to make jellies. They would look pretty in salads and frozen in ice cubes.

Note the ivy is starting to grow up the trunk here too....

Overhead the leaves are a lovely shade of green and there is lots of lichen on this side of the branches.

This tree stands further down the road and this month a cranesbill joined it for company.  I have never looked at a wild flower and thought of it as a weed, but rather, appreciated them for their beauty and what they have to offer.  Many make natural dyes or have other uses. In the case of the cranesbill, it apparently has medicinal qualities. I do not suggest you go ahead and try these remedies without seeking advice but it is sad that we have lost touch with what nature has to offer, and instead look on these plants as a nuisance or something to be got rid of.  And yet many people happily give space in their gardens to violets, pansies and geraniums. Pooh has the right idea:

"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them"  -  A.A. Milne

Back in May the oak had it's own flowers which grow like catkins. 
Now there  are acorns growing.
The dead leaves still hold on and there is no sign of them coming off. Meanwhile the crop in the field is growing taller,

And new leaves continue to develop. I have never noticed before how they grow around a central point.
And nor have I noticed how these branches frame the view....
There is something different to see each month.... 
This post is part of a photography project inspired by Loose and Leafy.  If you missed earlier posts and would like to learn more please start here.   Thank you for popping by and I'd love to hear about any ways that you enjoy or use wild flowers.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


My friend Melanie is visiting from Australia and on Friday we went to London for the day with her husband and brother.  We drove up and parked at the Millennium Dome which was a good decision as we could walk along the embankment and enjoy the Thames. We made our way to Greenwich where we went on the Cutty Sark and walked up to the park because Melanie was keen to stand on the meridian line. 

In fact we did this on two occasions, once along the embankment.... 

 and again in the park.....

While at Greenwich we also visited the Old Royal Naval College and went inside the Painted Hall. 
It was hard not to look up at the amazing ceiling....

or down to the end of the hall.... 

One of the attendants told us the history of the paintings and the Naval College.  So outside we went to find the engraved stone, and take another look down... 

and then up....

Then it was time to walk through  the tunnel that goes from Greenwich under the Thames..   

and after a ride on the Docklands Light Railway we crossed the Thames again..  this time over

The view from the Emirates Sky Ride was amazing...  we could trace our walk and see the Cutty Sark in the distance.  And then it was touch down back at the Millennium, and time to find the car for the drive home.

In all we crossed the Thames five times:
1.  OVER - Woolwich ferry
2.  UNDER - Foot funnel from Greenwich
3.  OVER - by DLR
4.  OVER - by Sky Ride
5.  UNDER - Dartford Tunnel

Thank you to Helena for giving me a chance to share these photo pairs and there are more to be seen at Helena's blog. Do pop over and take a look!  Thanks for popping by....

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

5 in 5 - MELANIE - June 2015

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part! So over to you Melanie:

"So July 5th!  This month I am in France and on the fifth was travelling across the country from East to West.  on the fifth I was in Le Mans, not watching a car race but checking out the old town which is completely separate from the modern new town. My five minute photo shoot was taken outside and inside the 1,000 year old cathedral, St Julian's.  Such an impressive cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows all around it. My five photos are just a small time slot of many I took around the Cathedral area.  Before and after those photos I walked through some of the cobbled streets of the old town with its numerous medieval houses. A beautiful place to be on a beautiful summer day".

Melanie is returning to UK tomorrow and we are planning a trip to London on Friday.  It will be good to catch up again and hear more about all her travels.  Our days out are also providing me opportunity for another photography project I am involved in at the moment - A Summertime Picture Scavenger Hunt, organised by Rinda over at Gallo Organico.  It's not too late to join in, and I'll be sharing some of my photos here soon.  Mean while, a big thank you to Melanie for remembering and for taking the time to send me photos while on her travels..... last time in Africa, this time in France! I am full of gratitude.
If this has inspired you to pick up your camera and take part in this challenge you have until 25th before this months link closes.
It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give other information that you need.  And you don't need to go anywhere exciting to take photos, as my own post this month shows.
To see this and more links for this month just go here and
 hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month. I hope you will join us and thanks for popping by!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

5 in 5 - July 2015 - CHOOSING BLUE

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes. 

I planned outdoor photos for this months challenge but today it is raining, a refreshing change from the intense heat we have enjoyed this past week.  I was wondering what photos to take instead and then a bottle and the shower curtain caught my attention.  Both blue.  So I decided to use this as my theme and to go around the house and here they are....
The bottle.  It standing on the landing and the sun shines through, though today it is dull so it doesn't look its best.
One of my favourite pictures that hangs in hangs in the utility room.  I love boats and the sea  and I often wonder what the boy is looking at or thinking.... 
Another favourite... my bag.  Gosh it has seen better days... one of the buckles has fallen off and parts of it are frayed and worn.  But
I love the size and even my camera gets lost in it!  This style is still around so I may have to buy myself a new one but I have yet to see a design I like as much as this one....

My collection of blue china balls and eggs.  I love the designs on these.......  they serve no purpose but to make me smile.

And likewise this jardinière. My mother in law gave it to me and it has been passed down the family for several generations.  I once had a house plant in it and maybe I will find another. An Aspidistra perhaps!

Thank you for popping by, your company and comments are always appreciated and special thanks to Maggie, Joy, Eileen, Helena, Melanie, Barbara, Mandy and Vikki who took part last month.

If you would like to join in this monthly photo challenge please link in below so I can come and see your photos. Here's the plan:


  1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below. 

   Please note: 

You can take  your photos any time, they do not have to be taken on 5th!
And you have until the 25th of the month to add your photos to the link.
There are more details here. 


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