March’s Scavenger Hunt

Flowers:

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Daffodils. Harbingers of spring and my favourite flowers!

Baking:

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My mum’s ginger biscuit recipe. It’s very quick and easy and pretty much foolproof, in that it needs no chilling and seems to produces yummy biscuits every time, so you can merrily go from idea to eating within about half an hour in an emergency!

12oz self raising flour, 8oz castor sugar (or soft brown is a perfectly acceptable substitute!), 3oz golden syrup, 4oz butter, 1tsp ground ginger, 1tsp bicarb, 1 egg.

Mix dry ingredients, rub in butter, add syrup and beaten egg and knead to gather. Roll into small balls (about walnut size are good), press with a fork onto greased baking trays and bake for 10-15 minutes in gas mark 4/180°C.

Reading:

3 reading

I learned a new word the other day; Tsundoku: the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. It resonated. And here’s an image of my bedside table to prove it. Having said that, it’s not strictly accurate as I am actually reading some of them! Nearly finished the Vikram Seth and really enjoying it. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things was read a few years ago and only recently abandoned a re-read attempt for book group; interesting discussion about it though. And the Kindle holds a part read professional development book by the man behind Disney Pixar.

A. Edward Newton is quoted as saying: “Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity … we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.” Thanks Wikipedia.

Comfortable:

4 comfortable

She perches precariously on the wedged top of a sofa cushion and indents herself cosily where I presume she stays all day as she’s there when I leave and there when I get back…

Favourite colour:

5 favourite colour

Oooo, this was a hard one! Wanted to use one of some faded blue/green boards from a tumbledown Malaysian water village but had used that already in another hunt. So, whilst flicking through my phone camera shots, I found this one, which does capture my favourite blues and greens in the flame set against the lovely orangey fire glow. Bit of a cheat version of coloured flames actually; aurora cones on a camp fire.

Candles:

6 candles

A friend who helped me move felt I had rather a ridiculous quantity of tea lights and candles. When you go through them at the rate I do though, it’s as well to have a good stock!

Hat:

7 hat

I have tried and tried to recall where this lovely garden was but without success so far. I recall a ruined stately home, sweeping lawns and a lovely orchard. This spectacular ‘scarecrow’ (though that seems too derogatory a word for so splendid a creature) was keeping watch/dancing in a vegetable cottage garden. Love her hat.

Walk:

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Grandma and granddaughter enjoying a family walk round Blea Tarn at Christmas.

Mug:

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My favourite ever mug with a lovely steaming bag of rooibos tea steeping. It has been repaired once already when it broke, thankfully quite cleanly, and the handle simply came off in my hand as I was washing it. I was glad not to have dropped it on the floor or smashed it as it was fixable with a spot of araldite. Needless to say I don’t hold it by the handle any more though!

Also, incidentally, sitting on my favourite ever coasters!

My own choice:

10 own choice

This was taken on the same festive walk mentioned above. I can’t take credit for the ‘no sky, just reflection’ idea as that came from my sister who had already taken this shot and it looked too good not to copy! The colours and still reflection in the tarn were stunning.

August’s Photo Scavenger Hunt

  1. Blue
    So, a few years ago, we decided we would achieve a dream and flew out to Malaysia for a few weeks to visit some family who lived there for a while. We saw and did many amazing things, among which was this wonderful water village on the little island we were on. Despite the poverty and deprivation, the vibrant colours of the houses were amazing. It made me wonder – was the toning of the board colours a conscious choice? Were they originally brightly painted and had faded in situ, or was it that the boards were simply ‘leftovers’; all that was available and just happened to be a beautiful colour?IMG_3363
  2. Eye
    In July and August, the nearby market town of Settle does a wonderful flowerpot festival. Some colleagues from work and I got all inspired and took the opportunity to create our very own flowerpot crayfish called Colin. Turns out you can make pretty much anything from flowerpots. All you need are a few enthusiastic children with cordless drills and spray paint (Nb. they were our own personal children, not other people’s children and we were obviously following the appropriate risk assessments!), a roughly sketched but anatomically accurate plan and LOTS of cable ties. We were struggling with the eyes as ‘googly-eyes’ from the local craft shop just weren’t cutting the mustard. My mum, a fount of creative knowledge, suggested black flowerpots and the strategically snipped interior of a margerine tub. We thought it worked pretty well. Watch this space for next year…
    Eye
  3. Button
    This was the only word I was really struggling to find a photo for. Then, helpfully, we’ve just had a lovely few days away in the north east and visited the wonderful Beamish, where I took this shot. I hope it counts, as it’s definitely of buttons plural rather than buttons singular, but I felt it fitted the bill. It was on the counter of a haberdashery shop in the 1900s town.
    Processed with Snapseed.
  4. Favourite
    I found this one really hard; how can you choose a favourite photo? But then I thought I would choose a favourite something else, so this is a mobile phone view from my favourite of the Yorkshire three peaks, taken a few years ago.
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  5. Feet
    A few years ago, my daughter was much more amenable to the w-word than she is now and on snowy days we would don wellies and waterproofs and head out for a -shhhh – walk…
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  6. Glass
    I’ve got a lovely friend who makes the most stunning jewelry and one of the treasures she uses is sea glass. You can easily while away several hours (aching back permitting) filtering through tiny pebbles on a beach finding bits of sea softened glass which seem to have this magical translucent glowing quality once they’ve been bashed about by the waves a lot and deposited for beachcombers and jewelry-makers to find.
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  7. Green
    I love trees!
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  8. Floor
    I also love barns. And this one, not far from us, has a particularly wonderful floor!
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  9. Knitted/crocheted/sewn/hand made
    I was given a ball of wool by my sister for Christmas. It’s quite small, so is therefore not as intimidating as if she had given me a massive ball and pattern ideas, being an extremely novice knitter. I made one fingerless mitt on a rainy Sunday afternoon by the fire. It was a very cosy way to spend a couple of hours and to say all it is is a knitted square sewn together along a line with a gap, I’m inordinately proud of it. I’m on with the other one as well, so that’s good…
    Knitted
  10. My own choice
    The stunning Durham Cathedral. Cathedral as well as city are well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.
    Processed with Snapseed.

July’s Photo Scavenger Hunt

With apologies for the tardiness of this message, here are my July Scavenger Hunt Photos…

  1. Reflections. I love how the sea, particularly when it is still and calm, reflects the sky. Sometimes to such an extent it is hard to see where one ends and another begins.

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2. Stripe. Continuing the maritime theme, here are the intriguing and fragmented stripes created by the sea leaving the sand.

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3. Secret. I do love the silhouettes of grasses and wildflowers and we are so lucky around here to be surrounded by wonderful meadows and hedgerows that are particularly splendid at this time of year. Bit of a tenuous connection to ‘secret’ though in that I’ve taken it from an angle which suggests a view that must I think be quite secret and only really seen by very teeny tiny beings…

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4. Red. A tractor spotted in a farmyard on a lovely walk recently. Faded splendour.

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5. Contrast. I’ve been noticing lately that a lot of the Cow Parsley around here have most flower heads still in flower with just one on each stalk turned to seed. Tried, unsuccessfully, to find out why this is. Anyone know?! As well as providing a stunning summery lace backdrop for our hedgerows it creates a lovely contrast photo for this category.

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6. Forgotten. This was a lovely little harbour on Arran and it had some very photogenic boats in it. Among it was this one, which looked rather forlorn, sad and forgotten. I don’t think it would take much to get its sparkle back though…

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7. Soft. If you’ve never walked barefoot on a bed of sphagnum moss, do try it sometime. Love the little twinkly white flower stars dotted around this patch.

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8. Cold. A very cold, but very exhilarating, climb up Pen y Ghent earlier this year. The sort of walk that blows a few cobwebs away!

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9. Seat. Oh no! A confession here. Some mental wires got a little mixed up here and category 9. Seat somehow manifested itself in my thinking as 9. Gate. So, here is a picture of the gate, which if it’s ok with you all I’m still putting in as it was a a spot pretty much half way round walking the Yorkshire three peaks in one day recently. I did sit on the ground to take the picture and, having walked about 12 miles with nearly another 13 to go, it was a very welcome seat! Does this count?! Sorry – will check next time!

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10. My own choice. Nearly put this one in for stripe. It is looking vertically down from a jetty by the sea onto the top of a wooden post that looks like it has been sea-worn for so long the grain of the wood has become really distinct. I loved the patterns, textures and colours in the post, the iron attachment and the seaweed covered rocks surrounding it.

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June’s scavenger hunt

So, here goes. Photos inspired by words. Words inspired by photos…

1. Stone. I can’t remember what this particular rock formation is called, but we all felt it was pretty spectacular. If you’ve not been to Brimham Rocks, do go; it’s a geology-themed playground on a large and awe-inspiring scale.

1. Stone

 

2. View. Ah, my favourite of the Yorkshire three peaks, Pen y Ghent, seen from a hazy distance on a very lovely early morning walk over the hills to Litton. Couldn’t have been a better day. Wall to wall blue sky, skylarks dropping their liquid velvet down from high above and wispy inversions sitting in the valleys. Bliss.

2. View2

3. Sky. Sitting in my bedroom window seat on a balmy summer solstice evening. Despite rather unseasonal weather generally, the sky pulled out all the stops that evening.

3. Sky

4. Trees. Can’t think what to say about this one, other than there are so many to choose from. Trees, as well as images of trees, of course! Love the colours, shapes and patterns of this one though.

 

4. Trees

5. Water. From a very happy (and soggy) family holiday trip to the gardens at Anwick Castle.

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6. Dwelling. Came across this abandoned farmstead on the previously mentioned Langcliffe-Litton walk. Stunningly located in a hidden fold in the hills, it drew me in with the romance of its history and its air of both homeliness and sadness. What stories could its walls tell? On the first walk, I saw only the outline of the barns, the windowless back of the house and the yard walls, and a companion teased, ‘you want to live there don’t you?’ I returned one evening after work ready to clamber over walls and gates to get photographs and scared myself, noticing trampled paths in the grass heading to the door and an upstairs shutter removed, imagining all sorts of Dickensian villains hiding inside. Maybe I’ll go back in company next time…

6. Dwelling

7. Garden. With gratitude for a very dear friend who leaves magic in the form of plants on my doorstep and enhances the view from my tree stump seat for morning coffee, which was already pretty special.

7. Garden

8.. Gate. Visited a wonderful exhibition in Keswick Museum celebrating the life and work of the unique legend that was Alfred Wainwright. Two things stood out. 1. That Keswick Museum & Art Gallery is well worth a visit – they have a room that is like the Natural History Museum in miniature and in which we easily whiled away at least an hour and a half before even thinking of moving on to the room containing the main reason for our visit. 2. Having experienced the uncanny accuracy of a Wainwright mountaintop view drawing when set against the actual view from a mountaintop, I was already a fan. However, this sensitive, interesting and extensive collection about his life and work led to renewed admiration of his doggedness in pursuit of a goal and his skill with a pen. His words are poetic and amusing and his drawings are absolutely astonishing. Go, if you can.

8. Gate

9. Leaf. I’m sorry, I couldn’t choose only one.

9. Leaf collage

10. My own choice. An old photo this, from Glasgow’s GoMA, the Gallery of Modern Art. Another place well worth a visit. The piece of prose written with yellow sticky tape is I feel particularly poignant right now. I wish I had taken a close up of what the text on the sticky tape said.

10. Own choice

Thank you, namaste and shalom.

First blog post

So, a very dear friend is offering a wonderful dose of mindfulness in the form of a monthly photograph scavenger hunt; ten images inspired by ten words.

I happen to have lots of photos already as well as a rather trigger happy attitude towards my iPhone’s brilliant almost-point-and-shoot capabilities. I said I would join in.

Not only have I really enjoyed sorting through photos long-since taken (though I must admit to twinges of panic at the thought of ever having to sort through or catalogue the gazillions of pictures I seem to have accumulated) but I’ve also been inspired to get out there and follow up on ideas for some of the words. So thank you http://livelovecraftme.blogspot.se/; your posts and photos are heartwarming and inspiring.

Most of my shots are simply that; a quick snapshot captured by the press of an electronic button on my iPhone. I’m enjoying it!