Walsh Glass

A few days ago I was at the Mid Devon Agricultural Show where I met Matthew Walsh who was on the next stand. He makes wonderful studio glass, including these wall plaques connecting together to show the fluid movement of the carp, butterflies or seahorses.

Very elegant vases.

Paperweights glass 8

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But these perfume bottles were my favourite! glass 6

Matthew was actually my hero for the day, he helped me with his hammer when I was setting up, so here he is! matthew

Matthew says  ‘My aim with all my work is to bring pleasure to all who see it.’ Well he certainly bowled me over, his work is exquisite, click each image for a better view, or have a look at his website.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

Welcome to a brand new masterpiece, baby Scarlett arrived at 2.30 am today, weighing 8lbs 1 oz! She is my new grandchild and I am a very happy and proud Mma. Well done to my brave daughter and clever, handsome extra son!



I’m sorry I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with  your blogs, I haven’t had much sleep in the last couple of nights waiting for Scarlett and now I’m shattered but I’ll see you soon!


Lazy Poet’s Thursday Poem

I was inspired by a TV program, A Poet’s Guide to Britain, and so  think I might do a Dartmoor series. Of course this depends on how lazy I am . . .


On Houndtor

The glistening granite of millennia

clings like the crest of a dragon

on the horizon beneath a thunder cloud sky

scramble a pathway between and look east

to where a habitation of stone once lay

but now sprinkled like so many marbles

on soil trampled and bovine nibbled

leaving only echoes of medieval voices

causing ears to question when mist descends

to infuse ancient hearth where fire burns no longer

and generations that huddled have migrated

to pleasant valleys far from nature’s scorn

replaced by fair weather wanderers

unaware of those who stepped before

Black and White Photo Challenge: Abstract

This is what Sonel has to say about her theme this week.

‘Abstract photography is a process of using different shapes, lines, curves and patterns combined to create an image and rules, such as composition and accurate focusing hold no values. With no true meaning or no clear subject involved, the abstract photo does not necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. It leaves more to the imagination and aids us to concentrate on feeling and thought rather than the whole subject. Patterns and Close-ups of flowers and other plant life make for great abstract images.  There are no guidelines for creating good abstract photography.  Just use your imagination along with the natural world to create your master piece.’

and some shots of mine.


For Lynne, the answer to your question, a little hut!http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/distracted-by-abstract/

An Elusive Gorge and a Hill Top Perch

Travelling friend and I set off in search of the Alcantara Gorge, driving through Piedmonte Etneo and  Linguaglossa, climbing higher and weaving among olive, peach and almond groves. Our plan was a stop at Castiglione, the gateway to the Alcantara Range, and here it is on the other side of the valley from our zigzag road, with the mountains in the background.

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At the bottom of the town we parked for free again – in fact we didn’t once pay for parking, amazing when we are used to paying around £2 an hour in the UK. Leaving the car, we asked an elderly man for directions through the maze, to the castle. He was a delight and loved practicing a few words of English with us and asking about our city. We followed him to his wife’s shop, which he unlocked just to give us a tourist map, and point us along the road.

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The empty streets.

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Looking back where we came from.

We didn’t see another soul walking, but it was hot and I guess they were being sensible and taking a siesta. Or perhaps it really was a ghost town and we imagined our nice gentleman. We went in ever decreasing circles until we reached an empty piaza with a closed cafe and as we didn’t bring enough water for the hot climb, we kept going upwards and found one open. Another place where they don’t see many outsiders, but the owner was very friendly. We had cold drinks under the shade of a canopy and within a few minutes some locals appeared, all men. I think there must be some secret jungle drums, that makes them wake up and come to check people out!

Some town views.

Refreshed, we found the path up to the castle hoping to go inside  – it was locked up and there was no evidence that it would be opening any time soon. This is looking through the gate.

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So we found a different path back down the hill, this is the view from behind the castle towards the Alcantara.

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We should probably have asked for directions when we stopped for gelato back at the cafe, but as we could see the only possible road to the Gorge, we didn’t worry.

Before we left town we enjoyed the peaceful stroll and the air of faded beauty. If there are no tourists in early July, then there are probably no tourists and it’s very sad if the town continues to deteriorate, like this.

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Check out the balconies and in the top left, the remains of a flight of steps.

We loved Castiglione regardless of it’s disrepair. It’s strange to walk around a whole town for a good two hours and see just our kind old man and four other customers in the cafe. So we drove out in search of the road to the Gorge and soon realised we must have missed the turning. Never mind, there should be more than one way of reaching it shouldn’t there? We tried three and none led us there so we eventually gave up, headed back to Fiumefreddo where our hotel balcony was in perfect condition with a fabulous view of Alcantara!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Otterton in East Devon has it’s own mill, producing flour and powered by the River Otter. This is real flour, not the mass produced stuff we find in the supermarkets, but artisan quality and very tasty. They mill a few times a month and you can buy it FRESH in standard packs or larger sacks. I actually tried it, freshly milled and delicious.

This is my take on the Weekly Photo Challenge, join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/weekly-photo-challenge-fresh/

Travel Theme: Tilted

Ailsa wants to see our slant on tilted this week. Well virtually all the horizons are tilted in my photos because I’m hopeless! I wasn’t to blame for these wonky images though.

Tilted frame

A tilted frame in the Kuala Lumpur Tower but I think the buildings are straight.

Tilted beams

Tilted beams on the waterfront at Kota Kinabalu.

Fairy chimney tilted

Fairy chimneys tilted by nature in Cappadochia.

To join in  visit Ailsa at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/07/19/travel-theme-tilted/