Lucid Gypsy’s 2012 in review

Big thanks and blog love to my top five, are you one of them? I am touched and honoured by your loyalty, you are the reason I try to make this a nice place to visit!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 47,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


Welcome New Year!

Each year I try to not wallow grumpily in the dark of the winter that I dislike so much, and I usually do okay until the end of January, by then I’ve had enough and will desperately seek daylight whenever I can. Until then I’ll try to let my body rest in the underworld as it needs, instead of fighting against tiredness. I’ve had some practise in the last six days, not getting up before 6am but burrowing and extra hour or two, and then lazing some more, reading and some walks in the wind. My energy levels will return as the days lengthen.

I choose to focus on the year ahead rather than the one we are leaving with quickening steps. I feel positive that 2013 will be an exciting one, there will be challenges – and I’ll thrive on them, there will be change, but that is so much better than stagnation. It would be wonderful if my path is a travelling one, there are so many places I dream of seeing. Eastern Europe, possibly the more remote areas of south west France and northern Spain, who knows I may even take my first steps across the pond. If fate keeps me in England all year, I will keep looking mindfully at Britannia and all her children, wherever they arrived from. England, Devon and Exeter endlessly surprise me and my camera will be close at hand.

Through my window I can see the dead seed heads of the Clematis Tangutica, growing over the hedge from next door. It hardly seems possible that in a couple of months it will burst with green buds, and then follow with its lovely lemon peel flowers for months on end. It is a personal clock, one of my markers of time unfolding. I also look forward to having some daylight before the walk to work and after the walk home, but I won’t ask for it to happen too quickly, it will unfold as it should.

The most important thing I could wish for is of course good health and happiness for my family and friends, including you dear reader, here’s to sharing the ride!


Thames Barge Vigilant

A few weeks ago I noticed a new arrival on Topsham Quay, a great big scruffy hulk of a boat named Vigilant. I don’t know anything about boats but love to photograph them and this is one I plan to come back to again. She has been brought to the river Exe in Devon from the Colne in Essex to be restored, looking at her current condition, she’s likely to be here a long time. She was built in 1904 and is one of only thirty Thames barges still in existence from the hundreds that originally transported massive loads around the coast of Britain.

Boats like Vigilant used to sail into Topsham back when it was a working port – who knows she may have been before. The barges were originally powered by sail, traditionally very large ochre coloured ones and engines were not fitted until the 1930’s. They weren’t just work horses though, they were also raced and Vigilant was a winner in her class. Apparently she was sailing until the 1990’s and then became a houseboat. The plan is that she will race again under her ochre sails when she is restored to her former glory.

Searching has revealed that there are Sail Barge Societies researching their history, and also the Vigilant was sold recently on ebay, for just under £8000. She looks rather sad at present but I know that one day she will be beautiful and I will try to capture her progress.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This is a huge ask, because I have kept more than 9000 of the photos I have taken on the Canon, to say nothing of the phone camera which has become my everyday point and shoot! These aren’t necessarily photos that I think are any good, just ones I quite like. There is a theme, it’s about positivity and joy, my outlook on life despite some big struggles this year. It’s about getting out and making the most of each day, especially dry days, and especially sunshine in the depths of winter, grabbing light when it’s dark for too many hours.

If you would like to reflect on your year through the images you have captured, why not share them? Sara at the Daily Post and lots of other bloggers would love to see.

Exmouth and the Exe estuary

It was very windy today at the sea, and with bright sun that was so low photography was difficult. The tide was out on the estuary and with hardly anyone around the dogs ran their little legs off. Over on the main beach there were loads of people and it was possible to walk around Orcombe Point. Water was streaming down the cliff and there were fresh landslides caused by the torrential rain we’ve had for weeks now.

It was a lovely walk , great for blowing away the cobwebs and burning some of the thousands of excess Christmas calories!


Thursday’s Windows

It was difficult to photograph these windows without standing in the middle of a busy road, so I had to be content with an awkward angle shot. Never mind they’re bright and cheerful!

Lyme Window


Sandra usually creates Thursday’s windows but I think she’s still busy with Christmas so Sharon has also gone ahead and posted hers.