Indulge me a little
As I talk about love and dogs.
(This is an old photo – but one of my favourites.)
Oscar, our dog, came to us
When he was four and a half.
He has taught us so much
About love and companionship.
(My son took this picture of Oscar, 11.5, and me.)
Ruby, 5, is our foster dog and has been with us since December.
She was mated and grew larger and larger.
Towards the end of her pregnancy, she didn’t go far
But loved the coolness of the late evening light.
We thought she might have three or four pups inside her (like the first litter of pups she had last year),
But she surprised us all by giving birth to eight healthy puppies.
This is a photo the breeder sent me on the same day as the birth.
I’d say love conquers all, wouldn’t you?
For more love, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
One warm afternoon last year,
I was walking in an unexplored forest
And taking photos of Oscar.
Suddenly, I looked up to see a deer
Gazing peacefully at me.
Our eyes locked for what felt like ages.
I felt the deer was trying to tell me something:
That you can find gifts in the most unexpected of places.
For more gifts, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
This weekend we drove two hours to get to a charming placed called Taste of Africa –
Hidden in an out-of-the-way farm.
Apart from a shop and a café, the main experience here
Is cooking food together with others over outdoor fires
In true South African tradition.
I was assigned to cook the main meal – a Cape Malay curry - for us vegetarians.
The food is cooked in cast-iron pots called potjie.
Luckily, it was impossible to burn the food (my speciality)
And the curry was delicious. (Yes, I’m sure you’re as surprised as I was!)
I did see a sign that would be very appropriate in my own kitchen, however!
The food was delicious – as was the company -
And we enjoyed it under a canopy of clouds, rain
And dancing figures.
It was a great way to meet new friends
And enrich the South African heritage of the kids.
Just had to throw in one of my favourite photographs of the anklebiters (taken a couple of years ago)…
For more enrichment, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
Some people say that Paris is the most romantic city in the world.
It could be because of the magnificent views of old buildings;
Or the romantic bridges criss-crossing the Seine.
Whatever the reason, the bridges of Paris are famous
For their hundreds of love locks –
Most with the names of couples written on them
To signify eternal love.
One of the most famous bridges with locks is very near Notre Dame Cathedral.
It’s been standing for at least 800 years — a testament of love and faith –
And it makes the loves and losses of our lives
Seems like the brief and passing beauty of a candle flame.
For more old stories, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
As it’s the Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Horse,
Some wisdom from the horse’s mouth seems appropriate.
I moustache you to embrace the year with open arms;
To remember that even if life seems to be going backwards,
We can try to deal with problems with grace.
Life has its moments of beauty –
And of tenderness and love.
A big dose of laughter will stop neigh-sayers in their tracks
And make life better –
Because it’s all about falling and then having the courage
To saddle up and ride again.
For more hay-zy wise words, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
November is here with its greyer weather,
So indulge me as I soak up the last vivid colours of autumn –
Doubly delicious when reflected.
I store up these views in my mind
And bring them out when winter seems a bit bleak.
Even as the leaves fade and fall
They still manage to create autumn bliss.
For more reflections, please visit: Our World.
I love the early mornings
And the dew
That transforms ordinary leaves
Into something extraordinary –
Into a bejewelled world
Of dancing rainbows,
Reminding me of one of my favourite quotations:
Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf. — Tagore
For more enchantment, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
I have a confession to make…
I love the lowly ‘lion’s tooth’ –
They grow in fields and gardens
Like cheery suns
Or radiant sparks of light
That have fallen from heaven.
And if you’ve ever rolled in
Then you know that it’s like being
Kissed by golden suns.
For more sunlight, please visit: Our World.
It was one of those perfect spring evenings
When the sun made stars out of water
And Oscar made abstract art
Out of water pearls.
On the way home, I turned around
To see my daughter caught in the fairy glitter
And become one with nature.
The setting sun
Threw its golden drops
On grass and woodland flowers
As if to say: Stop. Look. Listen.
For more fairy glitter, please visit: Our World.
There is something so delightful
About the bright light of spring
And the cold of a lingering winter.
If you look carefully, you can find snow moons
Dancing on the snow.
And instead of flowers,
We have snow blossoms
And dazzling light.
And – just as in real life –
You might be lucky to find
A diamond in the rough.
For more hidden jewels, please visit: Our World.
People want to know if I’m tired of winter and longing for the spring.
The answer is no.
Late winter is a fabulous time of dazzling sun;
Of lacy art made out of ice and rainbows:
Of exhilarating days of trees made out of curtains of lace.
It’s still minus 14C when we wake up
Making it pleasant to walk on the iced over lake
To enjoy the sight of sunken boats and endless blue skies.
The secret to happiness is not to long for something you don’t have
But to enjoy fully what you do have.
For more bedazzled posts, please visit: Our World.
Come and let’s take a walk through my enchanted world.
In the early morning, the freezing temperatures
Create art out of silver beeches
And the hoar-frosted trees frame
The pyramid of the swings at the end of our street.
Once out on the lake, I walk past
An enchanted red boat house
Hiding among frosted branches.
Zooming out with my lens, I see the boat house
Belongs to this summer cottage
Patiently waiting for warmer days.
As for me, I’m enjoying the last cold days
Of magical hoar frost and ice.
For more delights, please visit: Our World.
For nearly three weeks,
My world has been wrapped
In shades of silver and grey.
I can never get enough of
One of my favourite winter scenes –
And hoar frost on birdhouse and bridge.
The scene has both thrills and beauty
When a sudden snow shower
Sprinkles Oscar, my dog, with diamonds of snow.
For more frosted shots, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
A few weeks ago, the sun was shining
And the diamonds danced on the snow.
A perfect day for a walk with my furry buddy, Oscar.
This boat has been adrift
On the snowy landscape all winter.
Our neighbours placed their impressive gingerbread church
Outside for us – and the birds – to enjoy.
Walking down twisty lanes
I spied a vibrant splash of colour in someone’s garden:
An old red pump.
On the way home, we crossed the railway lines
In time to see the train disappearing
In a magical golden mist.
I felt as if I were living out a dream
In this enchanted winter wonderland.
For more magical moments, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
Nature is a cathedral
And when the sun shines through the iced trees
They are frosted stained glass windows.
The grandeur of these spires
Never fails to amaze
And the dancing light of winter
Waltzes its way into the soul.
For more uplifting posts, please visit: Our World Tuesday.
Let me take you back to the end of October last year,
To a cold day of frosted eyelashes on leaves.
It was a stunning bright day
Perfect for a drive out to the horse ranch
Sporting its old Grand Central clock on the side of the barn.
The brilliance of the sun
Turned the wires into art
And behind the frosted thistles
I discovered a secret world of rainbow bubbles.
On the way home, I stopped to admire
The endurance of this ancient rune stone
(And to wonder if the Simpsons was based on the pattern on the stone…
Look at those eyes!)
For more good times, please visit: Our World.
We tend to take them for granted – the trees –
Even when their bare bones
Create art on a sun-drenched wall in winter;
Or when the mistletoe
Hangs like disco balls from their weathered branches.
Some say ‘tree hugger’ as if it were a bad thing.
But I agree with my son,
More of us ought to take the time to thank the trees
For their beauty.
For more tree-mendous posts, please visit: Our World.
It takes but a short time to go from a blaze of colours
To the soft grey pastels of November.
But autumn knows how to make
A stunning grand finale –
Teaching us that finales
Are also glorious transformations.
(Picture taken a couple of weeks ago. It’s grey and bare here at the moment.)
For more last stands, please visit: Our World.
After many days of mild grey weather,
The early morning light
Carried whispers on the breeze
Of a frosty world of silver.
(See how the iced reeds match the bark of the silver birches?)
In the silence of that iced-over dawn
Peace floated down
As light and beautiful as a feather.
For more peace, please visit: Our World.
I love the magical light of early autumn.
It’s honeyed and wispy;
And golden and sparkling.
And sometimes it twinkles like glitter
Before exploding into thick treacle.
For more light, please visit: Our World.
It’s been a cool summer,
But a few days in July were hot and steamy.
It was a strange feeling to wake up to an autumnal landscape
But to feel so very sticky and sweaty.
The peonies drooped their graceful heads
In the heat –
And even the fallen petals seemed to be sweating
In the early morning dew.
And where one peony had almost finished blooming
Another was eagerly waiting to take its place.
It’s the cycle of life, the cycle of the seasons waxing and waning.
The bee emerging from deep within the peony departs reluctantly — Basho
For more loveliness, please visit: Our World.
I’ll be England by the time you read this
(So won’t be visiting you all as frequently as usual).
My sister has warned me that there will be plenty of rain.
Weather aside, I’m sure there will be plenty of time for play and laughter –
As long as we remember that we all carry a piece of sunshine within.
Make each day your masterpiece. — John Wooden
For more sunny side up posts, please visit: Our World.
It has rained and rained
And then rained some more.
The flowers don’t seem to mind.
And there is nothing as refreshing as air and plants
And glittering with small diamond drops.
And after the rain, these masters of camouflage come out:
Much maligned creatures, but also a part of nature.
And look — so pretty too!
For more refreshing pictures, please visit: Our World.
And Lisa’s Macro Monday.
Every year, just after the Spring Equinox, the Swedes celebrate spring by eating waffles.
The sun was up early – casting a cozy golden glow on the day.
In the woods, I looked for signs of spring:
Glowing green cups of sunshine;
Melted ice puddles
Creating artistic reflections;
And the golden thread of a cobweb
Slung across a 1,000-year-old Viking rune stone.
The most delicious delicious sign of spring was found at home:
Golden heart-shaped waffles topped with fresh fruit.
The Swedes have been eating waffles to celebrate spring since the 1600s –
So it would be rude not to join in.
Do you suppose we could call them eggy-maniacs?
For more waffle, please visit: Our World.