Thought for the Week

"A hug is a perfect gift - one size fits all and nobody minds if you give it back."

'J is for ... '


Thank you to everyone who has left me comments of good wishes and happy thoughts, it is very much appreciated, and I am trying to keep my activities to a minimum, I have to beat this thing, sooner rather than later too.

Once again, I will have to apologise to all the ABC contributors that I won't get the time to visit, but I just know they will all be fantastic.

OK, I was gonna rest, honest, I didn't take a photo for this weeks letter as I didn't have the energy, but today I went out with my camera for half an hour and as I was walking back to the car I spotted the 'Jay' in the cemetery.

A quick shot later, and how could I not put it up here? It was as if it was daring me to do it!!! I love a dare!! It's not a particularly well focused shot, but at least I won't have a hole in my alphabet photo's!!

Fleeting Visit

Firstly, I need to thank all of you lovely people that have taken the time to stop by, and leave comments on my 'I is for ...' post, and apologise for not having responded to you all individually.

Secondly I need to apologise for not having gotten around to seeing all of your efforts for last Wednesdays ABC posts.

The reason - I have not been feeling too bright. I mentioned this briefly in my Bins and Boreds post, and now that all the blood tests I had done have come back as normal my GP has diagnosed 'Post Viral Fatigue' or PVF.

Having looked it up since the diagnosis, I found out it is the new name for ME. The symptoms are extremely varied, and any combination of them can be suffered daily, changing from one day to the next.

There is no treatment. Rest does not improve ME but physical and/or mental activity aggravates it and increases the level of suffering. The only 'treatment' is a course of well structured exercise, in increasing levels. At the moment, I am not able to do more than about half an hour morning and afternoon without it causing me to be totally and completely helpless the following day. Recovery could take several weeks.

It is also a disease that once recovered from, is highly likely to relapse at any given moment for several years to come.

I am not looking for sympathy, although I have to admit when I read up on it I felt a little blown away, but I wanted you all to know that I am still around, and that just because I haven't left comments on your blogs it doesn't mean I haven't thought about you all. I am missing blogland like crazy. I am hoping in the next few days to look at all the brilliant 'I' posts, although I may not be able to comment on them all, and I will endeavour to at least post once a week for ABC.

OK, am going for a lay down now... lol... love you all. x

'I is for ...'


It's just past midnight on Tuesday night, so strictly speaking it is now Wednesday, and as I am out for th entire day tomorrow I am posting now. I may be a little late getting around to checking out all your ABC posts this week, but I will get there!!

I struggled big time for this weeks letter!!!

As of yesterday, the only option I could think of was 'Injured Footballer' after snapping a well bandaged head following a clash during the match on Sunday last weekend.

After a bit more thought, I have decided to go with a double iris ... two for the price of one so-to-speak, how lucky are you?

This is a shot I took in the studio last year whilst at college. I love the bright colours and the detail in the petals.

However, I did promise myself that I wouldn't use old photo's, that I would shoot specifically with the weekly letters in mind, and so I took another shot of an iris yesterday.

This is my eldest daughters eye, and I took it whilst we were visiting Dover Castle yesterday. We were sat on a bench just outside the Keep, and if you look closely, not only can you see my reflection holding the camera, but you can see one of the turrets of part of the castle.

Exhibition & Theatre

Each year, for our wedding anniversary, G and I try to spend time together to celebrate, at least since this kids were old enough to look after themselves we have.

Last year, some of you will remember the post I did about our trip to London and the Champagne Flight we had on the London Eye, courtesy of our kids.

This year, I booked tickets to go and see STOMP the musical in London. We have both wanted to see this show for several years so I thought our anniversary would be a good time. Having booked the tickets several months ago, the theatre contacted me to say the shows run was ending a little early and so instead of going next month, we had to go this month.

We travelled up to London by train to save the hassle of driving into the city and finding appropriate parking etc. Exiting at Charing Cross, we walked along to the Embankment and across the bridge to the South Bank where the London Eye is situated. There is a festival on at the moment and the whole area is alive and jumping with all sorts of cultures and stalls and entertainment. The atmosphere was just fantastic. We made our way through all the excitement, slowly, soaking up the noise, and commotion. Breathing in the aromas from the food stalls as we passed each one. Fresh cut fruit, BBQ meats, roasted nuts.. the choices went on.

The younger children were wide eyed with fascination as they witnessed clowns and jugglers and uni-cyclists doing their thing to entertain the crowds. Older people were enjoying the group of bongo drummers, the stalls selling unusual items, such as digeridoo's and having henna tatoos.

Our destination was the Dali Exhibition. Dali is one of my favourite artists, I have several of his prints on my hall walls. I especially like his dream images.
As we approached the steps, a young lady thrust 2 booklets at us and asked if we would like a discount. £1 off each!! I looked at G and smiled, 'I don't think we'll be needing those darling'.

Before we had left home I had quickly looked on the internet for an offer - I am getting wise in my old age, it is rare that you have to pay full price for something like this when you have the internet to hand!! The ticket that I had printed off at home was a '2 for the price of 1' offer... total saving.... £12.00. Oh yeah, she could keep her measley £1 off each!!! I felt so chuffed with myself. Even more so when the couple infront of us paid £24.00 to get in!

It was fascinating not only to see in the region of 500 of Dali's paintings and sculptures, but to read about the meaning of them and the symbolism of certain elements that repeat throughout his works such as the melting clockface and the open drawers.

This last image is another of my favourites, I'm not sure how much detail you will see here but I love the two almost identical figures which are actually created by different means. The image on the right is actually a hand.

After the exhibition, we retraced our steps back along the South Bank towards Charing Cross and into The Strand where the theatre was located. I had booked a matinee performance so that we could have dinner afterwards.

I had never seen a show at the Vauderville Theatre before and was quite taken aback at how small it seemed. It was a cosy sort of feeling though, and I liked that.

STOMP's musical sound is unlike any other, the idea behind it is finding music in noises which we usually try to block out. There is little or no melody in a strict sense so it doesn't matter whether you prefer jazz, rock, classical, dance or pop, STOMP is about rhythm which is the basis of all music. STOMP combines the raucous with the delicate creating complex soundscapes which are endlessly inventive. STOMP's music is uncannily orchestral and joyously infectious.~Quotation from internet ticket site.

The show started with one guy walking onto the stage with an ordinary, run-of-the-mill broom. He was making 'sweeping' sounds to which he soon added banging sounds by tapping the broom head onto the stage. Every 10 seconds or so another cast member joined the stage, each with their own broom, adding to and building the full rhytmic 'tune'. It was incredible to watch.

This was the stage set, the backdrop to the perfomance. Even here though, they encompassed the road signs, metal poles, oil drums, saucepans and wheel rims in a truly magnificent orchestral piece in the latter half of the show, and all this was accomplished with two of the eight performers suspended on a rope and swinging from side to side to reach all the different 'instruments'.

Other 'Instruments' included many everyday objects, and here are a few pictures of some of them:

The finale involved 3 of the cast members using oil drums like stilts, with others playing drums on plastic water butts, cymbols with drum lids and a myriad of other complimentary percussion. Absolutely amazing.

This is a list of all the instruments I could recall, although knowing my memory there are some I have missed:

Plunger, Sink (with water), Saucepans, Brooms, Basketballs, Oil Drum, Plastic Containers, Platic Bottles (from water cooler), Road Signs, Metal Pipe, Rubber Pipe, Platic Bag, Paper Bag, Matchbox with matches, Cigarette Box, Metal fold up Chairs, Dustbins, Dustbin Lids, Zippo Lighters

The other thing that I wasn't aware of is that the show actually incorporates a great deal of comedy. It is brilliantly written and superbly executed and if anyone wants to see it, get your finger out and do it.

*Please note, that as cameras were not permitted in either the gallery or the theatre, the images here are from various online sources, and not my own work.

Bins and Boreds

I'm bored as hell. Stuck at home, 'resting' on doctors orders, trying to recover from a 'viral' infection. Most days I am just too knackered to sit here for more than half an hour and have let the housework slip!

I thought yesterday, I would donate a couple of hours to it during the morning and see how I felt later in the day... big mistake! Anyhow, whilst tackling my kitchen floor, I moved my waste bin into the hallway to leave the floor clear for washing. As I placed the bin down the reflection of the hardwood floor caught my eye. The bin is stainless steel, and was nice and shiny 'cos I had just cleaned it. The floorboards reflections were warped around the circular bin and it fascinated me... told you I was bored!!

See how bored I was, I even placed it in different spots and directions, which completely changed the reflected image!

Are you bored too yet? No?

Well today, as I came back from the path lab (don't ask, more vampires), there were a group of little sparrows feeding on the lawn infront of the patio doors, I couldn't resist taking some shots of them.

'H' is for ...


These shots are from the top of the 'White Cliffs of Dover' over-looking the harbour.

I took the photo's because of the striking contrast between the stormy clouds and the serene calmness of the sea; two of my favourite things to view when I have a camera in my hand.

'G' is for ...

Golden Retriever

Another canine supporter at the Sunday morning football. He was just so gorgeous, I couldn't resist taking my eye off the game for a few shots!

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In view of the fact that there are so many fantastic photographs being posted every week for Mrs Nesbitts ABC Wednesday, and as a thank you to all of you who have been so very kind about my own photo's, I have devised my very own award to pass to one of you.

The recipient should post the award on their own blog this week, and next week, pass it on to ONE other blogger. It does not have to be an ABC Wednesday blogger, it can be passed onto anyone whose photograph(s) you have admired.

This week, I present the very first 'Photo Genius' award to Mike, over at Photoxication for the pure brilliance of his 'G is for ... Guitar'
(Just copy and paste the logo from the sidebar, it should be small enough to fit in your own)