A Gypsy and a Restless One

You know you have trouble on your hands if you have to pick your friends up from the police station in the rain don’t you? Have no fear, I ‘put leg in bed’ under her umbrella and marched her to the safety of a café. Dear Jo and I sat and talked, and laughed, and laughed and talked, until the sun came out and we hit the streets.

We got on well from the start, we have much in common and there wasn’t a moments reserve between us, just hugs, giggles and a desire to learn all about each other and the city we were in. Jo had come south to Birmingham the afternoon before and found her way around, I’d got up at 4.30 and the coach whisked me northwards, to the midway point.

Neither of us had spent any time in Birmingham before, and Jo wondered what she’d let herself in for, it seemed that lots of the city was being pulled down on the northern perimeter that was her approach, but here is our first glimpse of the shopping area near the Bullring.

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There are trams all around Birmingham and Jo loves them, I confessed to never having been on one, I’ll have to give it a go in Barcelona this year.
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I wonder if they’ll have any pink ones!

birm5On we wander, arm in arm like a couple of school girls, or do I mean old women? We both fell for this killer heel.

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And the matching bag.

birm6Our cameras were happy as we were enticed into elegant arcades.

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We oohed and ahhed at the reflective, wibbly wobbly walls, and the city is full of quirky miscellanea.

The sculptures around the centre are amazing, and of course Jo is as enthusiastic about them as I am.
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We ramble around, very excited and seeing amazing things everywhere we turned, Antony Gormley’s Iron Man was an unexpected treat.

birm11Just standing there minding his own business.

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Old and new architecture blends beautifully, and the building that looks like it’s been crocheted was a huge favourite for both of us.

Jo had booked us onto a guided walking tour in the early afternoon, it took us all around the canals, like here,

birm15and we had to squeeze our way past hundreds of graduating students, being photographed in their gowns, against the backdrop of this surprising city. Before that we had time to visit the countries biggest library, the crocheted building above.

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Here’s a sneaky peep at one of the libraries two roof gardens, and a certain lovely lady trying to decide if the broad beans were worth snitching!

I’ll be back as soon as I can with the next bit of my amazing day with Jo, meanwhile, it will probably leave you traumatised because there are photos . . . of me, arrrgh, as well as Jo’s view of the day, here.

Awards, poetry and Blogging Addiction

Yesterday I received a nomination for the Leibster Award, from my dear blogging sister Meg. It’s my first award for some time, and I remember in Lucid Gypsy’s early days, seeing awards flying back and forth and wondering if I’d ever receive one. One they began, they came thick and fast. Flattered, I accepted and shared the love, until I realised that I was spending way too much time on them and decided I wouldn’t take part anymore. Awards seemed to peter out a little anyway.

The Leibster was one of the first that I received, but when I saw Meg’s post I decided that I would take part, simply because it was Meg! Then, I remembered that I haven’t posted for three days, have lots of photos and things I want to share as it is, how on earth could I fit anything else in?

Time. My nemesis and many other peoples. Of the 168 hours in a week, I spend 43 walking to work, being there and walking home again. I spend 56 attempting to sleep (and usually achieving about 42). Probably 26 hours are taken up with cooking, housework, grocery shopping, and self-care. I might watch TV for 3 hours a week, 5 hours a week might be social times, 10 if I have a day out! That still seems to leave 4 hours a day to be too exhausted to move uh, have fun, be creative, walk the dogs.

Write. That’s the one. That’s the reason I began blogging, at the end of a three-year period of study, that was undertaken to improve my creative writing skills.  Twice a month I go to my writing group and sometimes share some work, but I actually write very little these days. I’m one of those people who is too interested in too many things. I want to learn everything, read everything, experience everything, from block printing to training ants, and talk to everyone I encounter.

My writing blog isn’t, it’s a photography blog.  Lured in by the Weekly Photo Challenge and similar, I get to indulge another of my passions. Sharing photos is far quicker and easier than writing and I’m kind of cataloguing some of my life, that’s how I justify it to myself. But the reality is, like Meg, I’m addicted to blogging, both posting and visiting my blogging friends around the world. Some of you are very special, you know who you are and you’re the other half of what fuels my addiction.

I’d like to be able to say I’m going to change, that this will become a writing blog, but I’d be kidding myself. So dear Meg, thank you for choosing me for the award, but I’m declining. Instead I’m going to schedule my weekly events and of course I’m going to write, perhaps, maybe, sometime. Meanwhile, I went hunting for my Leibster Award and instead I found this poem from 2011, and thought I’d share again.

By Train Through Somerset

Country gulls flushed by the 10.53

arrow  from fields with frosty periphery

like yuletide tinsel under threadbare trees

 

lamb filled ewes  felted and jacketed

join blanketed ponies to nibble on nothing

awaiting a ride or a jar of mint sauce

 

depart the Levels undulating uphill

where railway huts stand derelict lonesome

the sizzle of pylons shoot towards ozone

 

old man’s beard helplessly clings to dense hide

of hedge where Roe stags lurk in dank

acres furrowed and ready  for spring

 

spires crack the  mist near burst  banks

where Saturday shoals of angling young men

stand fishing

and wishing

 

A Hoya for Tuesday

Jude, the Macro Queen, quite approved of my house leek photos on Sunday and said that I should take macro shots more often. I used to try occasionally, but get irritated by the persistent Devon breeze and getting the right light. This evening I had a try in the garden, but failed and then I remembered the wax flower is blooming. Well it has one little bouquet of very tiny flowerlets.

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It’s really interesting to see them close up, they look like fur fabric, who knew?

I’ve waited patiently

For these tiny house leek flowers to open. Each flower is just two centimetres across from petal to petal, and the detail is a masterpiece of nature.hl2

 

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hl3Taken this morning before the sun was too bright, I think they were worth waiting for. You can click for a bigger view.

If you like photographing details, Jen H would like to see, over at the Daily Post.