Sunday 4 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 1/52

There is something about seeing the sun reflecting in the mirror-like backwash of the sea that I love. Don't expect this to be the last of this type of photo from me! Then add to that the solitary leaf between the two stones, it just grabs me.  


Saturday 3 January 2015

New Year, New Attitude

I've already written this blog post once before I managed to delete it on my phone but I'm determined to post it so here is Take Two! 

It's time for the obligatory New Year = a time for reflection and resolutions post. However I'm not going to dwell too much on what had happened yesteryear but instead concentrate on the future. 

The only looking back I will do is to say over the last year I've been inspired by those people that, no matter how much shit life throws at them, they never stop fighting. They don't let themselves be defined by what hands they are played. Let it shape them, maybe, but instead of letting themselves be controlled by their life they take the control and keep driving forward. They achieve against all odds because they are driven by determination when the easiest thing to do, and no one would blame them for doing it, would be to roll over and give up, admit defeat. 

I was inspired by the soldiers who took part in the Invictus Games. By Malala Yousafzai for her continued campaigning for women's right to be educated in Pakistan despite the Taliban attempting to assassinate her for doing so. Also by the pro biker, Martyn Ashton, who was paralysed by a crash in one of the Animal Bike Tour stunt shows, but has pushed himself through rehabilitation and through new challenges refusing to let the accident take away everything that he loves. 

It's Martyn's story I'd like to tell you a little more about. After breaking his back and learning he was paralysed from the waist down and that the paralysis was permanent, in less than a year he learnt to ride a hand bike, challenged himself to #TryBeforeJuly, setting himself a list of different activities to attempt in a time period. Many of the activities would be simple to those of us who are able-bodied, like navigating the London underground but when you are in a wheel chair, is a whole different ball game and I can imagine quite intimidating attempting it for the first time. Then there were tougher activities like canoing and amazingly he even got to ride a motorbike. His challenges didn't stop in July as he had planned but he continues to push himself through new achievements and he is determined to get back on a bike one day. I, for one, have no doubt he will do it. He wrote a blog post a year on from his accident and the emotional yet inspiring piece is well worth a read. 

So, what does that mean for me and the year ahead? Firstly, I'm going to be grateful for all that I am blessed with. More so than I ever have before. Secondly, I'm going to stop putting things off and give things a go. Start crossing things off the To Do list. 

Stuart said, for him, the year was about setting goals and achieving them which fits in nicely with my own new drive and attitude. We have started our list of (SMART) objectives for the year. The list includes house jobs we've been meaning to get done like replace the garden fences and the downstairs cloakroom, trying new activities as a family, like geo caching, or taking part in organised runs. Nothing particularly life changing I admit but we are just getting started and we first need to establish the boundaries of what is achievable. We've had to cross off a couple of activities as Millie is too young, such as surfing and a bush survival course so they may be in next year's list. No use putting stuff on the list which we've no hope of achieving. It isn't about changing the world (yet) it's about giving life a try, saying yes and achieving what we set out to achieve. Building our confidence and our belief in ourselves that we can get things done and do the things we've been putting off. Then who knows, maybe next year you will be reading a post about how I'm going to change the world. 

Thank you for reading and wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2015.

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Things I Find Beautiful

I hate the cold and I hate winter yet the beauty of a winter sunrise and a carpet of white frost will be enough to get me outside in my pj's to take a photo or two early in the morning. 

These two were taken this morning when my phone says -6 degrees. 

I'm still getting used to and learning how to use the camera on my phone so I know these photos could be better as I have taken better with another camera in the past but the subject matter is what I find beautiful so decided to still share them with you. Would welcome any tips for the best way to take photos of frost. 

Friday 28 November 2014

Things I Find Beautiful

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would agree. I love taking photos and I often think I see something of beauty where others would pass it by. It is the plastic bag clip in American Beauty, if you've seen the film. I agree in that I think it is beautiful and majestic. Likewise, I often question what other people find beautiful but that's what fascinates me about people and I love that we are all so unique

I would like to share with you the photos I consider beautiful. Some of it (maybe most) will be traditional like sunsets but weaved in amongst them will be something a little less obvious maybe. 

I'm hoping to turn this into a linky if I can work out how so, if you think you'd be interested in joining in, please leave a comment below and I'll figure out some guidelines. 

To start it off, I've selected 2 photos taken this past week.  I'm addicted to sunsets but, up until now, I've just been frustrated with my phone and camera not being good enough to accurately capture the colours I see with my naked eye into a digital image. This was the first sunset photo I've taken with my knew phone without filters or any digital editing. You can expect to see a lot of sunsets or sunrises. 

The second photo was taken on a rainy day at the beach. The contrasts of wet weather paraphernalia on a beach which is usually considered a fair weather location and then of the pinks and complimentary purples against the bland sandy background are what makes this photo stand out to me. 

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Last night I saw an angel and said goodbye to another

Yesterday was a very sad day. A friend and
fellow blogger lost their dear little boy. Samuel had a rare medical condition called ARX. They were told they should expect this day would come before he reached one. But Samuel was a fighter and recently celebrated his 4th birthday. This fact will not made their loss any more bearable or less heartbreaking.

The news came as such a shock to me as just that morning I spoke to a lady at work who was leaving health visiting to work for Julia's House. The amazing charity that has provided amazing support, care and respite to Samuel and his family. I said how lovely and that my friend's boy went to Julia's House.  She asked who and then said she knew Samuel. That is where the conversation ended so I wonder if she already knew the sad news. 

As I laid my head on my pillow that night, with Samuel and his family in my thoughts, I asked the angels to be there for the family and support them.

As I was drifting in to sleep, Stuart was being unbearably loud so I was about to tell him to be quiet but when I opened my eyes all was silent. I realised I must've been dreaming. But there was something floating above me. I blinked and then tried to focus on it and try to see what it was but it moved into the shadows above Stuart's head hiding from my gaze. I figured it didn't want to be seen so I settled back to sleep. 

I believe it was an angel letting me know my request has been heard. 

I am sure the angels are looking after Samuel and are watching over his family at this difficult time. 

Rest in peace Samuel Bear. Some angels are not meant for this world. Or to quote Don McLean, "this world was not meant for one as beautiful as you" but we thank you for sharing your beauty with us all and I'll never forget those beautiful blue eyes and envious eyelashes. 

I leave you with this guest post I wrote when his mum asked me if I'd write a cuddle review as Samuel gave legendary cuddles.

Saturday 5 July 2014

Childhood Thieves

Free Rolf Harris read the graffiti on the bridge. It almost has a comical tone to it. I can hear the perpetrator laughing as it is scribed.

I’m listened to the radio and people are texting, tweeting and emailing Jeremy Vine to say how their childhood has been ruined and complaints about how their childhood is being erased as phrases are now taboo, songs and music now not played, people not spoken about.

People’s ignorance and thoughtlessness knows no bounds.

No thought of the victims who have lost their childhoods.

No thought of the victims who have lived in fear of his name being uttered. The anguish and pain they must have gone through every time they turned over the TV to see his face or heard one of his songs.

But I can’t be angry at these people for feeling the way they do.

This is a world they can’t imagine, can’t bring themselves to accept because the world of abuse is a concept no one wants to believe is true. It’s far easier to pretend it doesn’t exist and to dismiss it as nonsense. They must be making it up.

But feeling these things and speaking them publicly for all to hear - among those listening will be a victim of abuse. I find that hard to accept. Having already had to go through the feelings of blame, dirtiness, self-loathing, and many more destructive feelings, they now have to shoulder the guilt of ‘ruining’ a nation of their childhood. Of course, it was their fault! Like they probably deserved it. Like they probably made it up.

They forget that claims of abuse and rape are two of the hardest crimes to prove…even more so, once time has passed. Any time let alone years. They forget that the jury must believe someone to be guilty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

Unfortunately, some people do cry ‘rape’. To me, this is almost as evil as those that do commit the heinous crime of rape. Not only does it destroy the person wrongly accused- their lives, their relationships – even if proved innocent, enough damage has been done and some will always point the finger. The doubt goes both ways. People doubt the innocent are guilty, they doubt the guilty are innocent. But it also makes it harder for the person who really has been abused or raped to speak up. They think everyone will assume they are making it up – especially with a high profiled person in the public eye, who is considered a favourite amongst families. Other people do think they are making it up.

I don’t really know why I’m sharing these thoughts with you but I just hope that if one person reads it and then thinks before they utter those ill-considered and hurtful afflictions out loud then it will have been worth it. Just imagine, no don’t imagine, believe for one moment it is true and it is your child who is the victim. Whose childhood are you really mourning for now?

Disclaimer: While I talk of others ignorance, I am very aware that I am voicing my own ignorance when it comes to the law. These words are purely my own thoughts and opinion.