October tomorrow

I love summer. I try to convince myself that autumn is beautiful, a palette of rich colour,a time to prepare for Christmas, settling in the warm for winter with some good books, but it doesn’t work. I just start counting the days until spring, especially once the shortest day has past. Leaving for work in the dark and not returning home until dark, I could easily fall prey to seasonal affective disorder. Photos are one the things I use to keep myself sane, looking back over best parts of the year, so I’ve chosen one from each month of the summer to share with you.
April at Buckland
April, not quite summer but full of promise.

May on the quay
May in bright blue.

June my birthday in Brixham
June at Brixham harbour.

July The Grand Western Canal
July relaxed on the water.

August patchwork to the bay_edited-1
August across fields to Lyme Bay.

September Rosemoor
September, my favourite garden full of colour.
It hasn’t been the easiest summer, but it has been rich with experiences and adventures. Now, let winter be short and gentle!

Art or Graffiti, Saturated

Michelle W. showcased a saturated image from the streets of Montreal for the weekly Photo Challenge this week. She said that our photos can be any colour, even black and white as long as they are SATURATED. This is my second post because when I walked the dogs in the rain today, I saw these new images and wondered are they art of graffiti? What do you think?
graffiti or art
art or graffiti

Both photos were taken on the river bank, on the underside of the road bridges crossing the Exe. There is a lot of art there and it changes fairly frequently. I wonder if the same people are painting over their own work. Perhaps the nature of street art is that it’s transient.

The Colours of Sicilia

Over at the Daily Post this week the photo challenge is saturated. Michelle W. tells us to ‘show us a photo of whatever you’d like, but make sure it’s saturated. It can be black and white, a single color, a few hues, or a complete rainbow riot; just make sure it’s rich and powerful. Let’s turn the comments into an instant mood-booster!’

I went to Sicily back in the summer and I found plenty of rich saturated colours, in the natural world, the food and the art. I’d like to share these with you.

sat 4

Do you have some vibrant imsges to share? join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/photo-challenge-saturated/

Meeting Myself Coming Back

In my post earlier, photos in sepia tints for Cee’s Challenge, I mentioned being busy and that my grandmother used to say I would meet myself coming back. Seonaid from http://breathofgreenair.wordpress.com/ asked what I might say to myself if I did!
It’s an interesting thought isn’t it?
My snap reaction was ‘Oh no not you again’ but then I thought on.
‘Stop chasing your tail’
or maybe ‘Smell the roses’
‘We each have an alloted number of heartbeats, don’t waste them’
‘You spread yourself too thin’
‘But there’s so much world’
‘Neep Neep!’
‘Have we met?’
‘Sloooww dooown’,’Where’s the fire’,’Tell me a story’,’Is it ready yet?’
So how to stop the relentless chase of life in our high tech world? Are you the same? are you always overloaded? Maybe you don’t see it as a problem, maybe I don’t. It’s just the way it is, I’m a Gemini, quicksilver. I want to experience as many things as I can in this lifetime with all of my senses. To meet and listen to as many people as possible, to have them share their stories, to touch people in some small way.
So tell me, are you the same? If so what would you say to yourself? If you can, maybe you could share with our community.
Seonaid, I suspect you’re far too mindful to rush around as much as I do!8

Slowly, slowly!

Cee’s FunFoto Challenge: Brown and Sepia Tones

It’s been ages since I’ve joined in with Cee’s challenge, my life is chaotic. My grandmother would have said ‘You’ll meet yourself coming back one day’. Like all the best challenges Cee picks really good themes and I love this one.

Maybe you would like to join in? Visit http://www.ceephotography.com/2013/09/24/cees-fun-foto-challenge-the-color-brown-and-sepia-tones/ to learn how.


Meeting Jackie Kay made my day!

Budleigh Salterton has just had its fifth literary festival and I was thrilled to get a ticket to see a favourite author last week.
Jackie Kay is a Scottish but like me, she is also half Nigerian, Igbo to be precise. She is professor of Creative Writing and has received her MBE. Jackie has written a growing collection of novels, poetry and short fiction for both adults and children. In her talk at Budlitfest she focussed mainly on her memoir Red Dust Road , as well as several poems.
The talk she gave was hilarious and early on she spotted me in the front row getting one of her jokes way before the rest of the audience, and said that she was happy to share the same sense of humour.
I’ve read Trumpet, one of her novels and some poetry, as well as hearing her on the radio, but had avoided the memoir, somehow I knew it would affect me. A couple days before the festival I realised that Red Dust Road would be featured, so I downloaded it with the plan to buy a real copy on the day. I won’t give any spoilers but we have a fair few things in common, and it is very emotive for me.
On the day I was determined to try to talk to her, but I suprised myself. Believe it or not I’m actually a shy person, except with very small number so people – any more than six and I clamp my lips! But questions were invited and I had one. I waited until the final call, suddenly my hand was in the air and I knew I was going to speak. Me speak, in a hall full of people. I actually did it and was so proud of myself.
Afterwards several people took me aside and asked me questions, that was fine, I’m not shy at all with a couple at a time. I felt like a mini celebrity for once.
Over in the marquee, the bookshop and signing queue was horrendous so I got myself a cuppa and waited for the rush to end. I joined the queue and chatted to the lady in front and together we realised that the books we wanted, Fiere for her and Red Dust Road for me, were sold out. Mortified we each grabbed one of the very few copies of Reality, Reality instead.
Soon the nice lady was chatting with Jackie, expressing her disappointment that she couldn’t have the one she wanted and Jackie pulled a copy out of her handbag. ‘You can have mine,’ she said ‘no, I wouldn’t dream of charging you.’ I think she saw my jaw drop and my eyes turn into Bambi’s because she smiled and went back to the other lady.
Then it was my turn. I handed her the book I had bought and she said ‘Which was it you were hoping for?’ I thought I’d gone heaven when she pulled her own copy, complete with her notes, from that handbag, signed it and handed it to me.
I think she would have talked and talked, asking me all about myself and the similar experiences we’d had. She encouraged me to keep writing and made me promise to send her my book in return as soon as possible.
This was a very special afternoon for me, it was great to meet a writer who was genuinely interested in her readers, a warm and generous lady. Meet Jackie,

and here are my two special books.

Tom’s Cakes

Yesterday I went to the RHS garden, Rosemoor at Great Torrington, North Devon, you may have seen my rose photos. What I didn’t know until I got there, was that they were having a local food festival. There was fish, preserves, cheese, cider, wonderful sausages and ethically produced meat and the strongest chilli chocolate I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t going to let it beat me, but I bought a milder bar with coffee added. The bread was gorgeous, I chose a densely textured, dark loaf with apple that is perfect on its own or with the tiniest sliver of cheese.

My favourite stand by far was Tom’s Cakes. Tom has a little shop in Combe Martin where he sells heavenly mousses and bavarois, truffles, tarts and loads more indulgent, diet busting, delights. My photos do not do them  justice, they are exquisite, but look at these and drool.

They are made with pate sablee pastry, real vanilla and must be the best outside of France. Tom has won Gold awards for his Blueberry Frangipane, and White Chocolate and Rasberry Bavarois in the Taste of the West Awards. There are a couple of wedding cakes on his website, have a peep. http://www.northdevoncakes.co.uk/#/photos/4572073167

Rosemoor Roses

Rosemoor is famous for its spectacular rose garden and is much visited in June for that very reason. I didn’t make it this year, but today I visited to see what was in bloom and was thrilled to see that the roses are having a wonderful second flush.

Just is case you think I’ve captured a few isolated flowers, here are a couple of the beds.

Aren’t they beautiful? From the amount of buds, it looks like there will be a good display for at least a couple of weeks, so if you’re in the area, go and enjoy the fragrance and colour.