When you smile

you almost always feel better and people around often smile back. Or they think you’re crazy, that’s okay too!

Go on, you know you want to!

Join this weeks photo challenge and see who else is smiling.

 

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Watching the day close

One of the most memorable sunsets I’ve ever seen was this one in Kota Kinabalu.

Just a few minutes later and this is how it looked.

Looking towards the islands where for the first time in my life I tried snorkelling, it felt like I was in paradise.

This weeks photo challenge from WordPress is Rise/Set. Although I’m a morning person, being up and being out are very different so I rarely take sunrise photos!

One of many . . .

. . . of my favourite places is Dartmoor National park, right here in Devon. It’s impossible to chose just one really isn’t it? This weeks photo challenge is pretty similar to the last, where I chose my own city as the place I’d rather be. Outside of Devon and the UK, my favourite place is usually the most recent place I’ve travelled to, but I’ve decided to stick to the moor.

For a slide show and bigger view click and photo.

Being Here Now

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

Robert Browning

There’s still two weeks to go to April, and its’snowing heavily today. I’ve just got in from a dog walk, chilled and damp, so I’ll happily laze the afternoon away. I have two books and some crochet on the go, I made orange polenta cake yesterday and I could even try to finish the poem I began.

You all know I love to travel, to anywhere hot, but there’s something very wonderful about England in spring. This snow should be gone by tomorrow and I live in the loveliest place on our planet, have a look, click to see a slide show, maybe you’ll agree.

So I’m thinking about this year’s holidays, because I crave experiencing different cultures, but right now there’s nowhere I’d rather be, but right where I am.

How many . . .

. . . of these do you think I can eat?

There is no competition, Lindor Extra Dark are my very favourite chocolates. Last year in Florence, I found the Lindt shop and of course I was forced to try some flavours that I hadn’t seen before. They were lush and I wouldn’t turn any of them down, but chocolate should be dark to be taken seriously.

Now, I’ve tried all sorts of expensive chocolate with high cocoa percentages and they are lovely even when there’s barely any sugar.

But these Lindor still win.

Although they’re dark, they’re still sweet.So how many of these heavenly treats can I eat?

I think I’ll leave you guessing . . .

Being a tour guide

What do I love about where I live, is the question asked by Krista, for this week’s photo challenge of tour guide. So where would take visitors to my city, where have I actually taken them? Well it depends on their interests and there are lots of choices. Perhaps I’d start by the quay. We’d walk down from the crescent,

stoping to admire this view

splash out 20p for the ferry across the river

stand beside one of the Victorian lamp posts looking towards the pubs and cafes, as well as the transit shed. Then perhaps stroll towards the Port Royal, for a coffee or lunch.

We’ll cross the suspension bridge at Trew’s weir,

Go full circle, don’t worry it’s less than a mile.

Exeter was once a thriving port, we’ll cross back to the old custom’s house, via the little wooden  bridge. Mallisons’ bridge was paid for by a Professor Mallison, who left his money to the city. You often have to dodge the swans there, they get a bit pesky hoping for food.

We’re going to have a little jaunt to Topsham next, shall we go by train, bus or shank’s pony? Umm, the bus is quickest, we want to squeeze as much in as we can.

Here we are, on Topsham quay now, just a couple of miles down the Exe.

We seem to have done a little time travelling, just because I like the sunsets there.

Now, we have no choice but to walk, down to Bowling Green Marsh.

Becky would like it there, it’s a resting place for migratory birds, if you time it right. There are widgeons and lapwings in this photo, but it isn’t very clear. Bring some binoculars and you might see quite a collection of species, avocet are common, osprey are sometimes around.

We’ll catch the bus back to town.

Nice view in August as you pass Dart’s farm, they grow sunflowers to raise money for Hospiscare.

We haven’t been more than four miles from the centre of the city now let’s head for the heart. Jump off the bus in High Street.

Turn down Ship Lane and into Cathedral Close, where it’s strangely dark.

I love this ancient oak door it leads to the Bishop’s Palace.

And no visit to the city is complete without going into the cathedral,

so here’s my favourite Lady Chapel.

On y soit qui mal y pense etc. etc.

Hope you like my city, you’ve probably guessed how much I love it! I’m also hoping to attract a certain someone down here, no prizes!

Thursday Special, pick a word

Pick a word from five, or choose all of them if you like, says Paula at Lost in Translation for her Thursday Special. The choices are, innate, protuberant, fluorescent, rectangular and interspersed. She has five great shots, my favourite of which is fluorescent. I intended to use rectangular, but then scrolling through for ideas, I realised how interspersed these photos of Dawlish Warren are.

The brown, wintery sea at the Warren is interspersed with white foam,

The beach is interspersed with groins.

and people, and on the other coast at Exmouth the view is interspersed with houses, trees, seaside entertainment venues.

My lovely boodle

Jen asks that we share a photo or several of something that is dearly loved for the weekly photo challenge. Leaving family aside and small objects of desire, it’s not easy to pick. No surprisingly I’ve seen a few photos of pets and so I’ve decided to do the same.

If you’re an animal lover of a certain age, there’s a high chance you’ve experienced the loss of a pet at some time in your life. Last year it happened to me – twice in quick succession and while the edge of the pain has faded, whenever I come across a photo of Dido and Daisy, the tears are never far behind.

But then in July new puppies arrived. The moment my eyes met Flora’s she was mine and the moment Flora’s eyes met mine, I was hers.

She’s impossible to take photos of, dark eyes hide behind dark fur and she moves swift as light.

So, she’s my beloved Boodle (border terrier cross miniature poodle’, her brother George who belongs to my housemate, comes a very close second.