Hanging on through winter

These agapanthus are drained of all colour, just six months ago the flowers were a beautiful blue, surrounded by lush green foliage. They look very wintry now don’t they?

But I won’t worry, they’re very tenacious and will be back in July. By next year some of those dark seeds may even have spread new plants around the garden.

This post is for Paula’s Thursday Special, this week it’s ‘Wintry’.

As Graceful as a spring flower

Ben over at the daily post has chosen ‘Graceful’ for this weeks photo challenge, this is what he said.

Gracefulness is a tricky quality — it manifests itself as an effortless, subtle harmony between a subject and its environment.

Personally, there are few things I find more graceful than spring flowers. During the dark months of winter, I long for little signs that they are beginning to emerge from the earth, or burst from seemingly dead twigs. It makes my heart sing when I spot new growth.

grace2Of course there are always the hellebores, generous and voluptuous as they parade in the shade.

grace3Some tilt their heads to any flash of sun they can, while others, more shy, make you bow down to greet them.

grace5A little later, the wonderfully graceful Acers arrive at the ball, stylishly clothed in tropical pink and lime green, effortlessly attracting attention.

grace4Tulips are so cheerful and bold, this one looks excited, like it’s waving it’s arms to the world, shouting ‘look at me, look at me, I’m doing my spring dance!’

grace1Anyone who knows me would guess that this last pic, of the first flower of the year isng flower my favourite. Faithfully, every January the snowdrops reappear like little virgins in tutus, surely the most graceful of all!

Are you posting something graceful this week?

 

 

Thursday Special, Traces of the past

The El Born area of Barcelona is home to the Centre de Cultura i Memoria. The building was created on a site that was previously a fruit and vegetable market, opened in 1876 and the first cast iron market in the city. Sadly the market closed in 1971 and was unused for many years. Fast forward to 1994 and an archaeological excavation began, revealing traces of streets and houses from before 1714, when the city was sieged at the end of the war of Spanish Succession. The city surrendered to Philip V’s troops on September 11th that year, a date that is now Catalunya’s national day.

Some of the ancient streets that have been uncovered are on display in the cultural centre.

It was fascinating to see the roads and foundations of houses, imagining the lives of those who lived, worked and traded there.

This post is for Paula’s traces of the past, in colour this month.

Haveli harmony

A haveli is a townhouse or mansion, a traditional style found in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Build with an inner courtyard space, rather like the riads found in Morocco, but with a more attractive exterior. There are very many in Rajasthan, particularly the Shekhawati area. It’s possible to stay in a haveli, some have been converted in hotels and guest houses. Like a riad, they would be a calm haven shut away from the bustle of the towns.

haveli2This one wasn’t a hotel unfortunately, but it was possible to look around and they also sold antiques, some very expensive and some accessibly priced.

Homes like this aren’t created in a hurry, they have to develop their ambience over time, don’t you think?

 

Ascending luminosity

Paula has given us a list of five words to choose from for her Thursday special this week. I’ve chosen two, ascending and luminosity, in one photo.

ascending-luminosityTaken with my i phone 6, I think the graininess adds atmosphere – that’s my excuse anyway – from the 6th floor of Hotel Casanova on the Gran Via in Barcelona.

The other words on Paula’s list are idleness, jaunty and whiff in case you’d like to join in, you have until Thursday.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

A Hoya for Tuesday

Jude, the Macro Queen, quite approved of my house leek photos on Sunday and said that I should take macro shots more often. I used to try occasionally, but get irritated by the persistent Devon breeze and getting the right light. This evening I had a try in the garden, but failed and then I remembered the wax flower is blooming. Well it has one little bouquet of very tiny flowerlets.

hoya 1

It’s really interesting to see them close up, they look like fur fabric, who knew?

The 19240

 

Three years ago, Rob Heard was feeling really low while recovering from an accident. Watching soldiers returning from Afghanistan on TV, led to him thinking about the loss of lives in wartime and the incredible numbers involved. He found it impossible to imagine the 19,240 men who died in just one day, July 1st 1916, at the battle of the Somme.

From a list of the names of every one of the 19240, he created a hand stitched shroud containing a 12 inch figure, crossing off names as he went. Rob didn’t have a plan when he began the project, but a friend, Steve Knightly a musician from the band Show of Hands, contacted the city council, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Exeter Chiefs rugby foundation. This has become the UK’s largest WW1 commemoration and has featured in the national news this week.

If you’re in the area, the 19240 Shrouds of the Somme can be seen at Northernhay Gardens, Exeter until July 7th. I’d recommend it, it’s a highly emotional commemoration to a part of history that must never be repeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute Colourful Creations

I don’t think I’ve ever had a mention in a poem before, but here’s my friend Margi doing just that! Margi is a new blogger, a writer and poet and she’d love a visit if you have time. I see that when you reblog, the entire post is visible on the site that does the reblog, previously only the first few lines were there, so you had to go visit the original post. I wonder why they changed that, it was far better for the blog of origin before.

margijay

IMG_0383

Day two

of wanderings round Amsterdam

Spotted a book market

Language strange

Yet – Classics, Art, History

Message the same

Colourful hand crafted

note-books

Gilly nowhere in sight

Yet here, in the centre of this city

Her creations

Or seemed to be

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