Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

Sara Rosso at the WordPress Daily Post has chosen the theme of ‘Arranged’ for this weeks challenge. I liked the way these brightly decorated sheep were arranged on the Cathedral green!

They were decorated by children in local schools and grazed on the green for the weekend, it’s a pity they didn’t stay.


A Mystery Orchid, Any Answers Please?

My friend has this most beautiful fragrant orchid. Most years it flowers abundantly and has a wonderful scent that fills the house when the suns warms it. It lives very happily in the conservatory, has densely packed stems and is about two feet wide and nearly as tall! It was given to her by a South African woman many  years ago. I know there are some orchid experts following me, can any of you name it?

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week #36

This week Julia at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/ says,

‘Now for this week’s prompt. As you know I like to be topical so I’m thinking Easter. However, I’m thinking a little outside the box! The prompt is quite simple but the trick this week is to prepare for NEXT week!

I want you to write a piece with

….‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice…..

in it. You have 100 words making a total of 108. However, the last 10 words are going to be used to start a piece by someone else next week!! Good eh! The idea isn’t mine – it came from Winchester House School

And so here are my 100+8 words plus some photos because I just happen to have them!

Alice knew she was named after THAT Alice and she hated it. Her mother would read it to her at bedtime, and she would drift away dreaming about Pippi Longstocking instead. If only she had been named Pippi, how adventurous she would have been! But no, she was dull Alice with beige hair, and her cousin’s old clothes.

And now, we’re reading it again, all through double English. And her form mistress was asking silly questions about Wonderland. What was the rabbit late for . . . wondered Alice. March Hatters, uh. . . mad hair? grinning cats? Oh no, Mrs Skinner is looking straight at me.                                                                                                                                                     

The Granite Way, 2. The Pretty Bits

As promised here are a few more photos from yesterdays Dartmoor walk on the Granite Way. Today the focus is on the views and nature. At present the air is filled with the aroma of gorse, sweet like coconut! The undergrowth is carpeted with the green of the bluebells to come in a month and foxglove leaves have sprung up for late May and June. So  much promise of the beauty to come. Maybe one day you will come to Devon and visit Dartmoor. There are walks for everyone, the Sunday mile stroller and the three day hiker.Hope you like my photos.

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The Granite Way, 1. Industrial Archaeology and a Train Cemetery

Meldon quarry sits high on a hill between Okehampton and Lydford on the northern edge of Dartmoor. After nearly 100 years it closed in 2011 and has now become an industrial graveyard and a train cemetery. A footpath, The Granite way, also national cycle route 27 runs past it and on to Meldon viaduct from where the Meldon dam can be seen on a clear day and High Willhayes, the highest point on the moor is in the distance. The dam forms a stunning reservoir 900 feet above sea level. Today we walked the first section of the granite way to the viaduct and then scrambled down to the valley and along the banks of the River Okement. Climbing down was hard on the knees, but I was quite pleased to be able to climb back up without needing my inhaler!

The quarry was served by a trainline constructed for its workers and their families but fell into disuse when Mr Beeching made his cuts in the 1960’s. In the summer season the Dartmoor Railway company now provide a service as well as a café and visitor centre.

The train carriages appear to be relics of a more recent past. As any abandoned wreckage they have been grafitteed and their windows smashed. They look very sad, neglected and are rusting away.

For some of its route, the noise from the dual carriageway below intrudes on the bird song, but the walk has lovely views of the Devon countryside which I will post separately, and is well worthwhile.

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Sunday Post: Light

This post if for Jakes regular Sunday post here http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ have a peep, join in and share your photos and check out Jake’s stunning graphics!

These are my mermaids of light! I’ve been waiting for a reason to post this photo, I love it, click on it to appreciate the light. Incidentally my novel in progress is about a modern day girl caught up in the mermaid myth.

100 word Challenge for Grown Ups: Week 35

This weeks 100 word challenge over at Julia’s http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-35/

is ‘The Red box’ and this is my take on it!

Red Box Versus Tree

It wasn’t exactly a bang, more a low clunk like an Ikea drawer closing.

‘You’re going to die’ he mocked the older sister he was so jealous of, ‘Just wait ‘til . . .’

‘Shut up, I’ll just have to pay’.

‘Yeah, for about seven years, that’s how long he waited for it’.

She couldn’t settle, Luke kept smirking at her. She checked the window every five minutes, eventually the Jack Russell yapped as it chased through the gate. She went outside.

‘Dad . . .’ she sobbed.

‘I saw, don’t cry angel it’s just a red box on wheels’.


A Contrast of Elderly Men

I’ve tried to speak to an elderly man who lives around the corner and walks to the local shop most days but he doesn’t make eye contact with me at all. I always smile hopefully. He leans heavily on his stick and is slow as if in pain. He must be well into his eighties and seems so miserable and alone. I wonder if he has anyone in his life. It’s not just me that he ignores – there is another man his age that he passes by without any acknowledgment.

Elderly man number two is a darling. He has a beaming open face with a warm smile and I also see him most mornings, in fact if I miss him for a few days I start to wonder. He also has a stick because he has very bad joints. He’s very happy to talk about his ailments, he has chest problems and recently has had eye surgery and has a very tenuous hold on his sight, but he just keeps smiling. And everyone smiles back. I walked along a little way with him today and he joked with me about being late for work because we were chatting, ‘they won’t pay you’ he said.

I don’t care if I’m a few minutes late, it’s a sad world if I can’t pass the time of day with him. I know his wife dies many years ago but he spends an afternoon with a lady friend sometimes; he twinkled when he told me! This morning he also spoke to a pretty school girl who smiled back and then headed into the shop. I know they love him in there; he hangs out with the dreadlocked shop guy putting the world to rights, getting his milk and bread. Despite his physical problems he still keeps moving, he walks to town – fifteen minutes for me – even if it takes a while, he doesn’t need to rush and I suspect he chats along the way.

So I wonder why elderly man number one is so different, he could just be more reserved, I hope it’s that and nothing worse. But I also hope that I’ll be like number two when I’m getting on a bit (if I’m spared), as we sow so we reap and I really want to keep on talking with anyone who will!

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm, Thoreau.