Originality has gone out of the window as I enter Day Twelve of the Great Coughing Virus. I’ve found some pictures from last year’s much more clement spring. This is a walk round and about the awakening garden, exactly a year ago.
This week’s WordPress photo challenge is ‘Awakening’. Click on any image to view full size.
I’d thought that as a child, I was bookworm too. Compared with Lucy Mangan I wasn’t even trying. She resented the time wasted in eating a meal, and as for playing with friends – she never even considered doing that.
Yes, I can remember that Christmas when I was 10, when I was given 19, yes NINETEEN paperbacks, and had finished the first one before we’d even cut into the Christmas cake.
I can remember the row when my father, getting up for a night-time toddle to the bathroom, found me happily reading my way through another installment of ‘Jennings and Darbishire‘ or ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe‘. Did it never occur to my parents to wonder how I could have got through a book a day any other way?
Lucy’s mother must be a few years older than me. Lucy herself is only a couple of years older than Tom, and was brought up only a a mile or two away from where he lives now.
Because she was such a redoubtable reader, Lucy Mangan not only read the books that I enjoyed reading with Tom, Ellie and Emily, and now with grandchildren too: but she also discovered the treasures familiar to me as a child of the 1950’s. I know she wrote this book just for me.
I’ve shown these photos before. I’ve even shown them in a previous WordPress Photo Challenge. But I’ll never forget this February sunset from a few years ago in Laroque d’Olmes. ‘Dramatic’ doesn’t seem an overstatement here.
This is my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge inviting shots of a sunrise or sunset. Click on any image to view full size.
Last Monday, towards evening, the place to be was our home. We dashed from window to window, watching as dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of starlings descended on the trees round our house. They weighed down the branches, then in coordinated waves – responding to some urge we could not understand – they swept skywards, tearing across the garden, swooping, diving, before briefly settling again to repeat the performance again and again for a whole three-quarters of an hour, before finally disappearing to settle near the river for the night.
So near to our house, those mesmerising formations of groups of birds twisting and turning in harmony, as if in some graceful aerial dance weren’t so apparent as they are at a distance. We were rewarded instead by seeing them at close quarters, rising, landing and rising again from the trees near our house.
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge invites us to show images of where we’d rather be at the moment. Well, I’ll tell you where I’d rather not be, and that’s here, in North Yorkshire.
I love Yorkshire, and I’m happy to agree that it’s ‘God’s own country’. But frankly, life here is a little trying just now. Like most of England, we had The Beast from the East a couple of weeks ago bearing snow, blizzard and fierce wind. And much of the rest of the time it’s been raining. This photo was taken a couple of months ago: since then, things have only got worse.
So how about a little trip back to the Ariège, where we lived from 2007 to 2014? Here’s a selection of photos, all taken there in March or very early April. Down in the foothills of the Pyrenees where we lived, blossoms were out, and wild daffodils carpeted the more out-of-the-way hills. At the weekend we would head off for Montségur and higher land to enjoy the snow that was still thick there. We were never fans of snow-shoeing, but now I’d be more than happy to exchange their crisp deep snow for our thick deep mud.
This week’s pictures hint at two or more stories: at that of the life of Jesus, from whose life and teaching spring one of the world’s great religions. And at the building of La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s cathedral celebrating Jesus’ family, created by thousands of craftspeople with special stories to tell, gathered over the last 136 years …. maybe only another eight or so to go.
‘Story’ is this week’s WordPress photo challenge. Click on any image to view full size.
At Christmas, Tom & Sarah gave us a night camera, so we could see what went on in the garden after dark. So far no bears, wolves or lynx have revealed themselves. Sadly, no foxes, badgers or deer either, though we know they’re there: we just have to find the right spot.
This week however, with all the snow, the garden took on an other-worldly aspect. And the rabbits came out as little as possible. But here’s one who braved the cold. Please note the temperature.
And in the morning, as short periods of sunshine briefly melted the snow, we spotted, apart from rabbit prints…
…. and pheasant prints …..
….. human bootprints too.
Although I rather liked these ghostly negative image prints. I thought they looked out of this world.