Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Cheri Lucas Rowlands at the Daily Post says,

‘ For this week’s photo challenge, show us abandoned. You can go literal, as I have, and share a photo of ruins, a desolate place, or your idea of a wasteland. Or you can interpret it in other ways, from images of overlooked things to forgotten people.

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that shows us abandoned.’

I’ve decided to show you two boats, both abandoned locally. The first is on the Exeter canal, I took the photo about two years ago but I think it’s still there. IMG_2796

This one was taken years ago from Topsham Quay looking west. IMG_2811

This old beauty is just part of Topsham now and is much photographed. What is it about a decaying boat that appeals? If it was removed now the view wouldn’t be the same at all. Just to show it’s still there, I took this one more recently. The boat is on the far right. DSC_0126

Perhaps you will show us something abandoned? if so visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/photo-challenge-abandoned/

Advertisements

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 123

Julia’s prompt is related to a TV programme this week, but I’ve never seen it so I’m rambling off on my own with non-fiction instead! The words she gave us are . . . but surely it is pointless

100wcgu-7 Not the End of the Line

160 years ago Isambard Brunel engineered the South Devon section of the GWR, a bold construction, four miles of which runs between cliffs and the open sea. Who knows if climate change has caused the tide to turn, hurling that ocean across his railway, battering the cliffs and everything in between, but surely it’s pointless to try to defeat nature?

The journey is beautiful; thankfully Dawlish is getting its heart back. Why not make the line a tourist and leisure route? Billions will be spent either way, but it’s time to build a brand new inland route, to ensure that the South West’s infrastructure is fit for the future.

If you live in the UK, you’ll know what I’m talking about, if not,

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Pictures-Network-Rail-offer-scenes-glimpse-work/story-20710605-detail/story.html

and here in an earlier post , some views  from part of the South Devon railway journey, https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/fleeting-a-minute-from-the-train/

To join Julia’s challenge this week, http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week123/

Lazy Poets Thursday Poem

Gorse

Fickle Gold

You may wonder why you’re carried

 to a distant tropical shore

by fragrance like sweet coconut

rising golden over moors

from January til December

turn a woodland path

 and you’ll know its kissing season

as you’re sure to see some gorse

but be careful where you romance

because if you are untrue

her flowers hide a secret

the most capricious thorns

Back on Foot with Elephants

Okay, so this is a post from my early days of blogging but I’m re-posting in response to a weekly writing challenge from Crista. If you knew me back then please ignore!  http://fireflydance.net/2014/01/24/weekly-writing-challenge-worldly-writers/ 

I missed the elephant in the swimming pool by one week – in Mole national park, northern Ghana. It had strolled up the hill for a chlorinated swim by way of a change. But it was okay because I got closer to them than I was comfortable with, in a jeep, with my friend and two rangers. One of these guys was smaller than we were, and I am sure that an angry elephant would have been no more frightened of him, than of one of the baboons that were as populous as sparrows in my garden. The second warden came complete with a safari suit and a rifle. Or maybe a replica rifle. I don’t think I’ve ever been very close to a real gun, but it didn’t look like it could shoot a bullet big enough to even graze the hide of these healthy, well fed  pachyderms. I could only hope that the plan would be to scare them away with a little bang.

We were bullied, no ahem, persuaded into exiting the jeep, which was tied together with string anyway, to take photos of each other with three of the giants in the background.

‘We need to drive around that way, a bit closer’ said small warden without safari suit.

‘Closer, why closer?’ ‘I don’t want to get any closer thanks’. We were perhaps thirty feet away.

‘Please, speak in whispers and if they smell us they may charge, we have to be behind the wind’ he said. Now, I hadn’t felt any wind, it was as hot as well …Africa, as still as a graveyard before a thunderstorm, and my adrenaline was telling me to run back to the jeep pdq. These guys are probably used to re-assuring wussy travellers who like the idea of a gentle stroll, to see some cute wildlife just like Attenborough, but then turn chicken in the end.

‘Don’t you want to show your friends how close you were to elephants?’

No actually I want to throw up but I suppose that would be too noisy.

‘Okay, I guess I probably should do this.’ They led us closer and I snapped the two of them with my friend. Then I realised that I had to turn MY back on them, no more than twenty feet away. Needless to say my face tells all in that photo. I’m glad I did it; I still love elephants – from a distance! IMG_4285

We only stayed in Mole for two nights. It was a brilliant experience, a lot more rugged than a safari I did in Botswana a few years earlier, where the lodge was the height of luxury. In Mole, the water and electricity in our chalet was only on for a couple of hours a day and there were creepy crawly things that I’d rather forget. The atmosphere was great though and the view was about as good as it gets. Just before sunset herds of elephants of all sizes come to bathe in the waterhole down below the veranda. A much more relaxed way to see them!

Staying in the shadows . . .

. . . Not any more, these days I’m far more confident about sharing something I create. A few years ago, I began the first of several creative writing modules with the Open University, and I was petrified about sending my work off to a tutor for assessment. I was convinced she would hate it, that it was hopeless and nothing that I could write would ever be worth reading.

It wasn’t hopeless though, apparently it was rather good and so were my grades. Slowly, slowly I started to believe in myself, not everyone who read my work could be humouring me with compliments could they, why would they bother?

Now, my writing might not be the best, I’m not fortunate enough to be able to invest the time I’d like to improve it yet, but those days will come. Meanwhile I’ll send little bits of poetry, flash fiction and scraps of real life out into Lucid Gypsy’s world, and that gives me great pleasure.

I’ve always been a creative, as a very small girl I’d collect any odd pieces of fabric I could to make dolls clothes. I treasure the memory of my grandmother letting me sit at her treadle sewing machine, trying to reach with my little legs and sew a straight line. A little later she acquired a Singer hand machine and then at ten years old I made my first dress. I remember choosing the pattern and fabric, a white cotton covered with little blue flowers, and proudly wearing it to school that summer. By the time I went to high school, needlework classes  were really easy for me.

For a whole lot of reasons I stopped sewing a good twenty five years ago, but I did a little crochet and knitting at times. At evening classes I tried making Honiton lace – too painstaking and slow – pottery – too many people in the class to learn anything and even water colour painting! I am not enthusiastic enough about painting and drawing though, and even if I put in enough practice I doubt I would achieve the results I’d like.

So am I a perfectionist? No, far from it, attention to detail is a weak area in many things I do. I think it’s more a question of wanting to try to learn many, many things. Recently I’ve craved textiles, I yearn to buy yards of gorgeous material and yarn, to run my fingers over it, to see how it drapes and falls. I’ve restrained myself because when am I going to find time?

Myfanwy Hart is a lovely blogging friend that I’ve followed for a couple of years. She posts about her work, creating stunning art with fabric and yarns that she has dyed by hand. For 2014, she has begun a project to inspire others to create, even if it’s for fifteen minutes, and this weekend she is posting prompts to help us along the way. This post is the result of one of her prompts, number 14, which she concludes by telling us that everyone’s work is good enough.

            I wish I’d been able to believe that way before I did!

 

If you’re looking for some inspiration go and visit Myfanwy here, http://createaday2014.wordpress.com/ and you will also find a link to a Facebook group, where we post our creations – if we’re brave enough!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Michelle at The Daily Post says,

‘In a nutshell, a three-picture story is a way to help you think about storytelling with images. To create a three-picture story, gather:

  1. An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.
  2. A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.
  3. A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.’

It took me a while but I think I’ve got it right, what do you think?

IMG_4987a

So this is my broad shot, my subject is there 420 metres high, but furthest away.

IMG_5009a

Here, two elements are interacting as I took this shot from the top of my first distant subject.

IMG_5023

This is the close up of my subject, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and it shows the 335 metre high 360 degree pod that I had been inside!

Maybe you will join the challenge, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/weekly-photo-challenge-threes/

Signs of Spring

It’s been hard to go and take photos recently. Relentless rain and gales, flooded roads, high tides and fallen trees have kept the gypsy indoors. Yesterday lunchtime at work the sun came out, so I grabbed my coat and went to feel it on my face!

Even so, signs of spring were hard to find.

Signs of Spring

A thousand buds are waiting

to burst with golden pride

beneath tender hawthorn

it’s zenith months away

but first to bloom are snowdrops

a promise rising from the underworld

but now stop wait

don’t miss Mahonia’s fragrance

it will make your senses sway

This post is for Bastet’s ‘Signs of Spring’ challenge, perhaps you ‘d like to join in? http://wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com/2014/02/17/bastets-pixelventures-february-18th-2014/

Signs of Storms

The UK has been caught inthe grips of storms for several weeks, with high winds, floods and coastal damage. Many people have lost their homes and businesses, train lines are closed and seemingly indestructible sea walls have been destroyed.

My little city is ten miles from the sea and mostly high enough to be safe from floods so other than getting soaked a few times I’m fine.  I’m very lucky, the weather has only prevented trips out with my camera and meant that I had a nerve racking drive to Hampshire last week.

At the weekend, in a brief dry spell I walked the dogs in the cemetery and found a number of fallen trees. It surprised me how shallow conifer roots are, I hope they replace them soon.

This dear little tree is my favourite in the cemetery and I’m pleased that it’s survived with just one broken limb.damson

Don’t tell, but it’s a damson and no-one else seems to pick its bountiful fruit. Perhaps they’ll plant some more!

Spring is on it’s way!