The Longest Day – One Month Gone ..

Poetry, Weather

For the last month, I’ve sometimes been a bit grumpy in the evening. It’s the same every year. The longest day comes … and then goes. And inexorably, the days get shorter and I’m reminded that winter’s on its way. I enjoy the season: the gaunt skeletal outlines of trees, the chill in the air. But I really don’t like the short days and the endlessly long nights that come with winter.

So when this week’s #Tanka Tuesday issued the challenge to write a syllabic poem entitled The Longest Day, I knew exactly what to write about, and chose to use the nonet form: a nine-line poem, that goes from 9 syllables in the first line, down to one in the last line.

The Longest Day

The longest day is one month past and

each day is shorter than the last, 

as now the nights grow longer

and winter edges in.

It’s dismal knowing

summer’s going.

Sunny days

almost …

gone.

For Debbie’s Six Word Saturday, and

Colleen’s Word Craft Poetry.

A lake – a view – a sky

Balkans

Last month, I introduced Lake Prespa, which has shores in Albania, North Macedonia and Greece. I told various tales, and there are more to come. But I haven’t given you the chance simply to enjoy it, as we did, in the early morning and evening, as the sun arrived and departed.

Most of these photos were taken on or near the island of Agios Achillios.

For Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

… and Hammad Rais’ Weekend Sky

Wipe them on the mat shoes?

photography, Poetry

When my children were small, this poem by Frida Wolfe was a favourite:

Choosing Shoes

New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

BUT
Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week invites us to look for shoes, boots and slippers. I wonder if I can find anything?

It turns out I can find shoes, boots … but no slippers. Will sandals do instead?

There’s always Zoë …

… and …

Watching the Tour de Yorkshire pass by
Happy hikers

For Cee’s CBWC Shoes, boots and slippers

And for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

Don’t take selfies! Enjoy the flowers!

Gardens, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Here’s Harrogate yesterday, enjoying the first true week of spring.

The building with the turreted clock is the famous Betty’s Tea Room. But we won’t go there today. Instead, we’ll have a picnic later, in the Valley Gardens. That white rectangular frame you can see is a favourite family-photo spot. If you haven’t got your family with you, best take a selfie …

Next stop, Valley Gardens. It’s all tricked out at the moment for a Fire and Light Experience. We’ve been to one of these festivals before, in 2016, and it was fabulous. But we’re still too post-covid flattened to feel like an evening out. So we’ll just enjoy the braziers and installations set in place …

… and focus on the blossoms and spring flowers instead.

Just a short walk. But it’s enough to change our mood and lift our spirits.

For Jo’s Monday Walk

and Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

An odd symbol of new growth …

Traditions

Following the destruction caused by Storm Eunice here in the UK yesterday, and in northern Europe today, let’s call upon the Green Man.

He’s a symbol of the new growth that occurs every spring. Look! His beard is composed of twigs and branches, and he even has mushrooms tucked under his hair. You’ll find him on secular buildings, on churches, or even, as here, in the place where this odd fellow may be happiest, in a garden.

For Becky’s Square Odds…

… and Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

Tomorrow’s Stir Up Sunday. Get cooking

Food & Cooking

I blame the Church of England. Tomorrow is Stir Up Sunday, the day when all right-thinking people in Britain will dig out their dried fruits and candied peels, their sticky, treacly dark sugars, eggs, butter, spices, zesty lemons, brandy, weigh them out and mix them all together. They’ll bring the family into the kitchen, get everyone to stir the mixture, making a wish as they do so.

And why? Because as they kneel at their devotions in church at Morning Service, those Good Ladies of the Parish will hear the priest intone the Collect for the Sunday Next Before Advent ….

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people….

‘Stir up? Stir up? I haven’t made the pudding yet! Best go home and make the Christmas pudding’

You might not be a Good Lady of the Parish. You might not even be a Good Lady. But you’d better get on with making that pudding tomorrow. I’m telling you today so you can nip out and buy anything you might not have to hand. Go to. Stir Up Sunday is the day. Your Christmas depends on it.

For Debbie at Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday

A walk in the grey dawn

North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

Since clock change, I’ve been unable to wake up later than 5 o’clock. So inspired by Becky’s walk at sunrise, and by the clear sky last night, I was out by 6.00 to catch the sun’s first rays. But it was cloudy – thick cross-patch grey. And my phone doesn’t do low light levels. But here’s my early morning photo-diary. With not a sunrise in sight.

These images may be grey and black enough for Jude’s Life in Colour. And can multi-task for Jo’s Monday Walk too. AND Six Word Saturday as well

The world looks blue and green

Blogging challenges, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire Dales

If like me you live in the country, the world does look blue and green. To fulfil Tina’s Lens-Artist Challenge, looking at the cool palette of blue and green, today I’ve rarely looked further than a few miles round our house. All I’m doing today is presenting a gallery of quiet images from the natural world. Most are from the gardens of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, and from the Yorkshire Dales. I’ve ventured to the North Sea, and to the Aquarium of the Horniman Museum. That’s about it. I think I qualify for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday too.