The August Break 2015. Part two.

Day 9
RED

There's nothing like a dynamic red abstract to start off part two
of the August Break postings



RED (2)

in the form of a red double-decker bus
and because my grandson, staying with me, loves it!


Day 10
YELLOW

Dancing yellow petals in the background bringing a feeling of joy.


Day 11
GREEN

A dreamy soft focus capture which feels meditative to me.


Day 12
A SECRET

Sssssh!


Day 13
6 0'CLOCK

Time for a glass of sparkling water with a squeeze of lime juice
So refreshing!


Day 14
   LOVE IS...

"Love is a state of Being.
Your love is not outside; it is deep within you.
You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.
It is not dependent on some other body, some external form.
In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless
and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form.
You can then feel the same life deep within every other human 
and every other creature.
You look beyond the veil of form and separation.
This is the realization of oneness.
This is love."

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.


Day 15
UNICORN

Everyone says that unicorns don't exist, 
except in legends and mythology,
but last night I dreamed I was riding bareback 
on an amazing silver-grey unicorn.
We galloped through pastel coloured clouds of pink and blue
and I clutched his flowing mane to keep my balance.
I could feel his silky coat against my bare legs and feet.
When I awoke, I really believed in the existence 
of these beautiful creatures.
Do you?

***

Since I was unable to take my camera with me in my dreams
I found this wonderful unicorn image
which corresponds exactly to the one I rode!

Unicorn image: Stockphoto/CoreyFord.


***



Next week, I'll continue this August Break journey with you.
I hope you are enjoying yourself as much as me!


The August Break 2016: Part One

Day 1:
MORNING LIGHT

I had gone out early to catch a sunrise
but
all I caught were clouds and misty moments
so
I turned round to go home
and
when I looked back I saw these amazing misty sunrays!

Day 2
LEAF

A textured wooden step in a garden attracted my attention
because of this beautiful pale green leaf.

Day3
HANDWRITING

I cleaned my pens
polished the nibs
and found a stock of decorated paper.

I have decided to write more handwritten letters
and reinitiate the art of handwriting
into my life.
Just feeling the pen gliding effortlessly across the smooth paper
makes me remember how good that feels.

Day 4
SWEETNESS

Slowing down to notice the charming moments in each day.
This little toddler pulling her big shopping bag
made everyone smile.

Day 5
MIDDAY

Seeking the shade in the middle of the day
and being thankful for a parasol
which framed the fluffy blue clouds
like little thought forms drifting away from me
and leaving my mind free to revel in the moment.

Day 6
I'M READING

The latest book of one of my favourite authors
whose stories are based on true historical facts
with a story woven between them.

Tracy Chevalier is the well-known author of
'Girl with a Pearl Earring.'

Day 7
BENEATH MY FEET

The soft earth and sweet clover
where the early evening breeze created my skirt to billow out

.Day 8
FAVOURITE TASTE

Strawberries and raspberries: the taste of summer


***


This year, I've joined the August Break group for the first time.
The group is organized by Susannah Conway
who says:
" This is a community project that has no real rules -
the idea is to simply take a photograph every day 
for the whole of August.
That's it.
Pause, look around you and shoot what you see.
Live inside each moment.
Pay attention to what's there."

We get daily prompts
and they are the words written in capital letters.

For the whole of August, I'll be doing a daily posting on Flickr
and a weekly posting here.


July Photographic Adventures

OPENNESS

The spaces in-between
Life isn't just made up of light and shade
but also of the spaces in-between.

This capture made me think of a jigsaw puzzle and what I noticed the most
were the open spaces of sky.

What if the spaces were the most important part?
They are a reminder of how essential openness is to follow the path
that stretches out before me without preconceived ideas and limitations created in the mind.

PAUSING

Evening walks are slow and relaxed. 
I like to take the time to pause and stop and look around me
to notice what catches the light in the last rays of sunshine.

The red leaves invited me to look further into each detail of their structure,
how the stalks caught the light
how the edges of the leaf looked so beautiful
and noticing the tiniest spider's thread on one side.

Pausing and taking the time to notice details makes everything seem more beautiful,
more present, more intense.

ACCEPTANCE

It sometimes rains on holiday!
If the rain hadn't been so generous when I visited England recently
I would never have seen the wonder of reflections in puddles.
They are an art all on their own!

OPEN-FOCUSED ATTENTION

On an early-morning walk, I passed these self-sown poppies
which had found the tiniest slice of earth between the wall and the path.
Their random demeanor pulled me in.
The simplicity of these wild poppies  made me feel totally connected to life
just the way it is!
Feeling a connection with that moment was beautiful
and as I look at this image, I rekindle that connection.

CURIOSITY

There are certain turning points in our lives when decisions are made
as different paths and choices appear before us.
I am today, the result of my decisions and of my personal destiny.

I am curious to know how my life will play out in the days and months
and even the years to come.
Yet, I have no fixed plans, that would actually limit me,
I like to remain open, letting my natural curiosity lead me
to discover new paths.
Going with the flow gives me freedom.

Life is like a hall of mirrors
what images will be reflected back at me?

WONDER

The translucency of petals
I am a seeker of light, both in my photography and in my life.
Wonder is everywhere.
When we look around us like a small child seeing things for the very first time
in open-eyed wonder, we are totally connected to the marvel of Life!

CONNECTION

Have you ever noticed how connected everything is?
When I go on my walks, I notice so many connections.
I paused to take in the texture and colour of a rusty post and noticed
how the old wooden fence was connected to the post
and then the green vine which brought everything together 
by draping itself across the open wire fencing and around the post.
The pale green lighting in the background illuminated the whole scene
as I stopped to savour every detail.

HUMILITY
is being open to the realization that everything is an opportunity for learning.
We discover unexpected treasures along the way
even in the darkest places.

SIMPLICITY

A draped curtain
filtered light seeping through the slats of the almost closed shutters.
A feeling of peace.

ATTENTION

When raindrops create art
Taking time to stop
to move in closer and really see each detail.
How those raindrops, like shiny jewels, glisten.

Taking the time to focus my attention and to marvel at what is around me.

FASCINATION

Water has always fascinated and inspired me
the colours, the reflections, the rhythmic movements
how it is ever-changing
often calming
sometimes wildly energizing.

CONNECTING TO THE SKY

The crescent moon, still delicately apparent in the early morning sky.
A plane cloud dispersed
creating a soft, fluffy backbone against the blue.

As I paused to look up, there was instant connection
the three of us:
moon, cloud and the sky-gazer
alone in the universe in that moment
I embraced the scene with all my being.

Simplicity, wonder and emotion fill the frame like a contented sigh.


***

I have recently participated in a workshop called
with Kim Manley Ort
I have been discovering new connections
with the world around me and have been on new photographic adventures!
Have a look at the link above
to join Kim on future adventures.


Let's go to England!

At the end of June, the beautiful clematis was in full bloom

We stayed out in The Cotswolds in a village, now apparently a small town,
called Charlbury where my dad lived as a child.

After a day or two in London, I'm really happy to get out into the country
and to a place where I feel I have some roots
even though I have never actually lived here
I feel great affinity each time I visit, almost every year.

Don't you just love the atmosphere?
The stonework is so lovely and typical of the area
thanks to the beautiful Cotswold stone.

As the stones age, they take on a more greyish hue which hides
their original honey-colour.

I travelled with my son this year and we were not blessed with sunny, dry weather
However, early mornings were always dry and sunny and that is when I went
on my long walks.

Don't you love this very early morning deep blue sky when the birds,
I think they may have been starlings, flew across the sky in noisy excited flocks!

Sometimes they settled on the rooftops and that was my cue to get dressed
and outside to breathe in some country air and go for long walks with my camera.

We stayed at the very lovely Bull Inn.
It's a place I've stayed in many times, but now there is new
ownership of a young, dynamic and friendly team.
There have been many transformations and we stayed in beautiful
new refurbished rooms decorated comfortably and creatively.
I can recommend the very good meals served there as well.

Looking through the bathroom area of my room onto a terrace
where drinks and food are served.

The same window seen from outside

My open bedroom window.
The bed was huge and so comfortable.

The vines growing in front of the window
provided a beautiful spectacle after the rain.

but let's go for a walk

past a red door with matching geraniums

through the churchyard

and beyond

I even passed the house where my dad used to live with his parents and sister.
I love how the poppies grow randomly between the house and the path.

I'm going the long way round to the cemetery
where I can take some flowers to the family grave of
my grandparents and my dad.

Here's the entrance

and the graveyard has such  a peaceful atmosphere
as the first rays of sunlight caress the tombstones on my early morning visit.

If you're not tired yet, we can walk another way back.
The lavender is in full bloom and the bees are waking up.

A row of houses and climbing roses.

A red letter box in a wall of the corner house next to the church

Milk bottles delivered at home.
Now that reminds me of my childhood!

We'll turn back at the crossroads

and admire hollyhocks against blue painted doors

A five-bar gate leading to green pastures

We're nearly there...

Here's the clematis again - looking fresh and vibrant after the rain.

***
I wanted to make a collage which represents the very essence of England as I know it


I hope you enjoyed this very long walk,
I think it's time to stop and have breakfast now.
Don't you?
How about brioche French toast with bacon and maple syrup?
Coffee made in a cafetiere
served by friendly and smiling staff.
That's what I had at the inn
and mighty tasty it was too!

***

Link to The Bull Inn