Birthday photographs

Mum on her big day

It was my mum’s 80th birthday way back in January. A big, family meal of four generations was planned. We all marked our diaries and looked forward to the big day. Then something totally unexpected happened. Britain had snow! It was so bad the week of the meal, my dad wisely cancelled, fearful of us all travelling from around the country and their own trip to the restaurant in the beautiful Ribble valley. What a shame! But we waited for the thaw and finally got together in mid February for a lovely meal and family gathering. The oldest was 81 and youngest not yet two. As I’m a photographer, though not normally concentrating on people, I made sure I covered the event. Then for mother’s day I had printed 50 of the best shots and put them in a gorgeous, hand-made paper, leather bound album and popped it in the post hoping it would be a nice surprise.

It was me that got the surprise. My dad was thrilled. It was he who sparked my interest in photography, and was his main hobby for most of his life. These days his hands aren’t too good, nor his legs. But his comments were a wonderful lift. Among them were ‘very professional looking’ and ‘wonderful’. Mum loved it too. Now so do I. As they live 130 miles away and I’ve been in no fit state to travel since the celebrations I’m so pleased I’ve managed to make them happy with my work, inspired by my dad, who now reckons I’m a ‘chip off the old block’.


Menopause Madness

Sunset on holiday

It’s been a harrowing few weeks, but at least after Tuesday the hell of overnight menopause will finally be over and I’ll be allowed my HRT back. Having to omit that particular medication for a couple of weeks so I can have tests done has been crazy! Take the exhaustion and add it to blinding headaches and a non-existent memory and you have, in short, chaos. Having just completely re-vamped our bedroom I began putting clothes back in the wardrobe. The shelves needed dusting first though. On my first trip downstairs to get a cloth for the job I came back with a glass of water. On the second I was distracted by birds in my garden and arrived back in my bedroom with nothing, but finally, on the third try I managed to find a cloth and make it back up the stairs. Now what was I going to do?

Then there is the lack of focus, literally. Photos that seem OK on camera are blurred, requiring a second or third try at each shot. So, frustration at much effort with little reward is the outcome of all this. It’s comical, I suppose, when looking from the outside in. But a little less so when it’s happening to you. Normal service will, I hope, be resumed once the tests are over. Until then….now what is my name and what on earth am I writing about?

Health, passions and photography



It’s been a strange week. In my bid to be able to do what I’m passionate about, I’m having to spend some time NOT doing it! I’ve mentioned breaks I’ve had to take due to illness. Now that I’m seeing a couple of specialists, they’ve had to take me off some treatments in order to get to the bottom of what’s wrong. So right now I feel stymied. I can’t concentrate or even focus a camera just now. It will all hopefully lead to improvements in a couple of months, but for now I’m doing other stuff. Decorating. Painting. It doesn’t take much concentration, I can do bits at a time and rest when I need to, and hopefully by the time I do get back to following my passion I’ll have a lovely fresh, clean organised bedroom. All the old clothes I don’t wear, and all my partners old stuff will be gone and we’ll be left with an easy to care for space. With my photographs on the wall.

While out shopping for paint etc I found a lovely triple-shot frame in a charity shop  that will be perfect for three of my favourite flower shots. Problem? Which three? I have hundreds! That’s as close as I can get to my photography for now. But who knows? I may feel better when I wake tomorrow and get the camera out instead of a paintbrush. watch this space.

I would be very bored with ‘resting’ if  my feathered friends didn’t visit me. When I moved here five years ago there were no birds in the garden. Now it’s mecca to them. I have golfinches, starlings, sparrows, blackbirds, blue tits’ great tits, wood pigeons….and more. They come so close to the house now it’s a wonder they don’t hit the glass patio doors. They look at us through the glass with a jaundiced eye if I forget to go and top up their feeding tray on time. Of course I have tried to photograph them, and have succeeded on occasion, so that’s today’s photo. Starlings. Wonderful birds. Gorgeous markings, entertaining habits and crafty ways.

A Day at Rock Cemetary

Rock Cemetary, Nottingham

Hello again. It’s been a while. Illness still plaguing me, but I’ll spare you the boring details. I did manage a little photography trip out recently, though. I was looking for suitable shots for one of my agencies, They supply a lot of work to book publishers of fiction, and a lot of that is horror, romance, thriller etc. So I went off to a fantastical cemetary in Nottingham called Rock Cemetary, which is literally carved into the rock. Goodness knows how hard it is to bury someone there! The effect is strange. You move around different levels of ground, surrounded at times with mini-rock faces fronted by tombstones and statues. Anyway, I got some good shots in the bag, was leaving after watching some workmen on the site moving a gravestone, and was approaching the exit when I spotted their work truck. Had it faced into the cemetary, (so the headstones and statues would have been in shot) instead of being parked facing away from it, I’d have had a shot to amuse. The sign in their truck said ‘when using this vehicle do not drop the body’. I’m sorry but I howled laughing. It lifted my spirits enough for the drive home after what had been quite a sombre afternoon.

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