A UK Farm Celebrating the Past

A happy pig that enjoyed having his ear scratched

A happy pig that enjoyed having his ear scratched

A happy pig with her new family

A happy pig with her new family

I thought I’d digress from my usual meanderings today. Looking at the shots I took on a small farm visit made me quite nostalgic. I’m sure the modern equipment farms use today are essential to keep us all fed, but doesn’t all the old stuff look great? It made me think about what we’ve lost in our countryside due to the pressures of so many people to feed. We can’t blame the farmers, as they simply had to follow policies government set for them to increase production. But having been back to a conservation site trying to redress the balance (see previous post), I simply feel whistful about what we have lost. The meadows full of butterflies and bees (their plight has been well publicised), the cornfields dotted with poppies, and people’s connection to the earth. In my own area, which is mixed private and council housing the kids watched me sprinkle poppy seeds over the grass verges. ‘What’ya doin?’ they asked me, so I told them. ‘Huh, they won’t grow round here.’ Was the reply. How sad that young people have given up before they’ve started, and have so little connection to the planet that supports them.

When I was a kid, I played in hedgerows, brought new ‘pets’ home in the form of caterpillars and watched them grow and change into butterflies. I visited my aunt’s farm at the weekend and fought the hens for their eggs. Now the latest game seems to be all young people are interested in. So my photos for the day look back to a time when less damage was done to the land and machinery was on a more human scale. Animals were treated well and the smithy was an important part of the scene. What do you think? Am I just a sad, aging hippy or should we all be taking more notice of what’s around us?

An old fashioned Smithy

An old fashioned Smithy

Elderly, retired farm tractor

Elderly, retired farm tractor


Spiritual Weekend with a Stone Circle

Jon spinning six feet of flaming kevlar rope


Well, I’m back. Health issues are finally improving and stress levels are down. So I made it back to a very special place last weekend. Fifteen or so years ago I was party to a once in a lifetime opportunity. A new stone circle was built in a very special farm in Yorkshire. Only about 200 people in the whole of this country of over 60 million can say that. I feel very honoured to have had that experience.Lime tree farm is now on the map as a conservation site. Its owner, Peter, is a very special man. He sees himself as guardian of the land and its inhabitants. Being there again and spending time touring the site, talking to Peter and the other members of our camp who also helped build the circle has renewed my faith in human nature. This camp came at exactly the right time. Our lives had once again been disrupted by outside influences that threatened our sanity. People who are on power trips, eager to ensure tha they enforce their attitude that their way is the right way and the only way were getting us down. All gone!

I won’t allow any more of that negativity back into my conciousness. I’ve been brought back to my pagan roots, and now, with renewed  enthusiasm I will resume my life as I want it to be. ‘Do as you will and harm none’  has always been my principle guide in life. Imagine if everyone used that principle. The people at the camp I attended all subscribe to it, and we had a fabulous weekend together in complete harmony. We all try to live life peacefully, to see the beauty in the world and try to conserve what we can of it.

I took a lot of photos. We have some talented people in our group. One of which is Jon, who spins fire on a 6′  length of Kevlar rope, purely for our entertainment. That’s todays photo. We enjoyed singing, guitar, drumming, flutes, singing, comedy and pasta donated freely because we forgot ours. We slept peacefully with our tents and camper doors unlocked. We felt safe. We left our stuff lying around knowing no-one would touch it. That’s the ideal world we should all live in.

On the site, I saw a field of wild, native orchids. Not one or two, but too many to count. They are there because someone genuinely cares. With us on the camp was an eighteen year old young man who had never attended such a camp before. He was very nervous when he arrived, but left with new friends, was accepted for who he is and went home very happy. He’s learned a lot in a short time, and I’m sure is one of the people who will continue to care when us oldies, or elders, have gone. My own son, ages twenty, also came with us. He has been through hell lately, and also learned a lot, shared a lot and found his place building the fire and keeping us all warm. He has a hard time in the everyday world because he’s a bit different. He was totally accepted by the group and had positive feedback from them. In the everyday world he gets nothing but problems and bullying because he finds it difficult to work out who are the goodies and who are the baddies.

Why does the world have to be such a mess of power trippers, ego maniacs and greedy people? What happened to caring, sharing, understanding and making time for others? Why do my beliefs attract such scorn and derision? I’m a peaceful soul. Why does trouble come and find me when I’m hiding away doing my ‘thing’?

Anyway, positivity is back, negativity is banished and photography is King. I’ll carry on trying to point people’s eyes at beauty in the world. I’ll try to lead by example and continue my quest for more understanding and appreciation of difference. Each and every human being deserves to be accepted for their differences. Forget skin colour, belief systems and sexual orientation. Those differences are what make us as a species. Without them we might as well all be snakes, cows or rabbits or any other animal. Even they have different personalities, but somehow they don’t spend their lives trying to make the others in their species exactly the same as them. And if they were, they’d die out. We need individuality. We need all the qualities that combined we have, or we’d still be living in caves and may never have discovered fire. We would have no-one to learn from. We would be extremely boring. I don’t think I’d want to be human if we were all the same.

Crow Circle

Long live difference and banish prejudice. Let’s open our eyes to beauty and be thankful we can all enjoy it.

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, arcangel-images.com. 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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