365 ~ 5th ~ 11th December

Here we are at last on the final sodding selfie week. Hallay-blinking-looyar! This one has the added weekly theme of ‘what I love’. Sigh. No more needs to be said, let’s crack on!

Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt. HDBS ~ hippy dippy bull****. AWP! ~ Absolutely wonderful prompt!

Also- there may be swearing.

Day 339 ~ Amazing. ~ I love winter!  The colder and the snowier the better!  I especially love it  when the sun is shining and the sky is blue.  It makes me just want to get outside and play. I also love it that my mental age and the mental age of my grandchildren is now on the same level.  We love to go outside and enjoy the gifts of nature. I think its amazing that the same things that thrilled me as a kid still thrill me now.  It is doubly amazing to share this thrill with Eloise. She makes everything fun.

An AFAC there from Mrs.Cocktail~Dress, whomst, I’m happy to report is not wearing one for sledging. Amazing is a bit hackneyed now I think, I’m sure we’ve done this sort of thing before. Anyway, I cooked an Amazing Roast Tomato/Red pepper/Red Onion soup ( except my onion was white as I’d run out of red) and an Amazing chicken in sweet chilli and garlic sauce. I love them both. 🙄

amazing

Day 340 ~ Glitter. ~ Well this is our last Picture You week of 2021 so let’s shimmer & shine!Today add some glitter to your What I Love photo! Be as creative or literal as you like! Are you wearing something glittery and festive? Do you have a favorite holiday decoration that you just love? Or maybe you are like me and love your coffee with a side of glimmering bokeh!  Whatever direction you take I can’t wait to see What you Love!

Well glitter is straight forward enough, and I had some in the shed. Unfortunately getting the lids off the tubes without breaking them turned out to be impossible so it was quite a mess in the end. Damn stuff gets everywhere! AND it’s itchy! I love glitter. No, really, I do. Honest.

glitter

Day 341 ~ Couple. ~ I am so grateful for my sweet Luna!  She keeps me moving no matter what the weather is which is so important for me since I work at a desk all day.  Morning and afternoon, we walk together.  I don’t mind thinking of us as a “couple” – after all, she is by my side 24/7 and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  

Pretty sure we’ve been down this road before too, but never mind. A bit of a left-field shot from me. I didn’t want to bother Phil (he will either murder or divorce me if I do another year of this apparently so am quietly getting on with it now the end is insight!) so employed my brand new slippers. For those of you whomst have noticed the other pair of sheep slippers I have in previous shots this year, you will appreciate that these ones are a different colour, I like to change things up now and then. Anyway, here are a couple of slippers on my couple of feet. I love my slippers.

couple

Day 342 ~ Forward~Looking. ~ This is our Where I Stand prompt for the month.  Where are you standing today?  I took this photo when I was in Prague a couple of years ago.  We visited the Jewish Museum.  It was such a fascinating place.  On the walls of the museum they have written the names of Czech and Moravian Jews who perished under the Nazis.  There are 80,000 names on these walls.  I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was reading through the names.  Wherever you are standing today take a photo and show us what you are looking at.

2 years ago????? And not the cheeriest of prompts to start your day. No matter, this was a good one for me so I’m giving out only the second AWP of the year. I have saved up my pennies this year, initially to replace my Fuji XT2 with the XT4, but that will have to wait now, because I’ve done a volte face (ooh hark at me being all Boris) and decided next year is going to be the film year I was going to have before Lockdown got me. I’ve instead purchased a Contax Aria, a magical film camera that I’ve been yearning, nay, lusting even, after for a few years and I am looking forward to getting out with it and seeing what we can do. So yes, me standing in the conservatory, (in my new slippers) looking at the Aria and looking forward to using it. I love it muchly! ♥️

forward~looking

Day 343 ~ Competent. If you are like me, getting in front of the camera is always intimidating.  Looking at personal competencies sometimes adds another layer to that intimidation.  We are going to avoid the negative list and focus on all the wonderful things that we are able, capable, and qualified to do.  After all, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”We have horses, and I am a competent rider—which just means that I’ve developed the skill of keeping the horse between me and the ground! Show us YOU and the great things you do and love.

Oh for heavens sakes. Haven’t we done enough show and tell this year?? AAFP. Anyway, I was so annoyed I got together all the shots from the sodding selfie weeks where we’d had to be showing our skills and whatever and made a collage. And actually I’m more than competent at most of these! Well, maybe not the gardening, and the mosaicing can be a bit iffy, but definitely the having fun.

competent

Day 344 ~ Community. ~ Community is an amazing thing!  Community is where we find “our people.”  Community is the place where we belong. I am blessed to have an awesome community of friends.  With this group, I share a love of the theatre, especially musical theatre. With whom do you share community?  If possible, grab those folks for a photo today.  It may be easiest to try a quick phone selfie so you can then get on with the fun! 

Well! I thought. That’s bloody marvellous. I’m not a member of any type of local group, I don’t even know if there are any. And it’s not my thing really. I’m not anti~social really, just anti~ getting together with people in groups. And that’s without the plague going on. So I was going to do a picture of my Christmas Tree now it’s up, but meh, cliché to the Nth. So I did a macro on Vinnie. But then I thought, blogging gives you a community, OK so it’s a virtual one, but these days that’s just as important. So I stole the avatars of some of the the people I blog with, and did a fake zoom meeting, they’re in my community, and I’m in theirs. Job done. Winning at community!

community

Day 345 ~ Giftwrap. ~ Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things! What I love about Christmas is giving gifts. I was able to blur the Christmas tree in the background by using a large f stop number (ie f/4) and give the photo a festive feeling.  Show us your love of gift wrapping! If that is not you? Then show us your attempts at something else that you love about this time of year.

Well that at least is straightforward if a little uninspiring and cliché, (that’s two usages of cliché, but it’s Christmas time, which is the mother of all clichés when it comes to photography IMHO). I have no love for giftwrapping, though I can do a good artistic box~wrap if I put my mind to it. But I’m thwarted by not having bought any gifts to wrap as yet so there’s that. So here is my wrapping paper ready and waiting, and a blurred Christmas tree in the background to give the festive feeling. 🙄🤣

giftwrap

And that’s a wrap! OK, groan~inducing pun aside, that’s the end of sodding~selfie week FOREVER!! Happy dance here. Next week is picture style week and our photo taking vantage point will be from Indoors. That’s where I’ve done most of this challenge so no change there. I’ve checked the prompts… 🤦‍♀️ covers it.

Stay tooned dear reader, there’s light at the end of the tunnel now!

365 ~ 15th ~ 21st August

This week we are back to the sodding selfie week, and not just selfies, but selfies that show your imperfections, so the theme is ‘perfectly imperfect’. Pfft. Why we need to show off our imperfections is beyond me, it’s bad enough trying to look nice on a selfie, why would you want to point out that you have not nice bits? I think the theme is to ’embrace our imperfections as we get older’ – self-acceptance, warts and all kind of thinking, but sod that for a game of soldiers, I’m going out kicking and screaming with my nails done, mascara on, and wearing a big hat! AFAC’s & AAFP’s abound this week people, be prepared!

Day 227 ~ Spontaneous. ~ We are back to Picture You Week.  Today, however, you get a break from taking a self portrait.  Instead, someone else is going to show us how they see you.  You likely will not end up with a photo that is perfectly exposed or composed, but you will see how others “picture you.” When we take photos of ourselves, we have the luxury of creating the image we want others to see, which may or may not be our perfectly imperfect true self.  This photo was taken by one of my best friends and favorite travel companions on a trip to Iceland.  He loves to capture me in odd positions trying to get just the right perspective on whatever my intended subject is.  These photos make me laugh.  And, more importantly, always stir wonderful memories of our travels together. Spend some time with someone else.  Ask them to take some spontaneous photos of you, with your camera or theirs.  A phone photo is fine.  Have them share their favorite image with you.  That will be your picture of the day.  Be sure to give the photographer credit when you share your image.

Straight into an AAFP!! Actually doubly AAF. Firstly, it’s MY photographic project, I”M supposed to take the bliddy photo’s. Secondly there’s nothing worse than doing a selfie than someone else taking a picture of you, and even worse if they are not a photographer! So I asked Phil to take some pictures of me when I wasn’t looking, and give me the one he liked best. When it got to 7pm and he hadn’t said anything I thought he’d forgotten, but he hadn’t, he’d just forgotten to tell me he’d done some. 🙄. Anyway this is the one he chose. I am suffering to post it. 🥴

Spontaneous.

Day 228 ~ View. ~ It is the self portrait day of the week, so let us get in front of the camera, and show ourselves as we are, everyone is perfectly imperfect, I do find it hard to get in front of the camera, even after all these years of taking a photo a day, some days are still easier than others. I love this distorted view of myself with Jasper, (a dog) the mirror is to help people see the traffic coming but it is convex, so can make for some fun images.  I am sure that my hips aren’t that big! Show us a reflection of yourself that makes you smile.

Another AAFP because there’s no reflection of myself that makes me smile. I don’t go round smiling into mirrors like some vacuous reality TV bint, sigh. Anyway I had a pants day at work so couldn’t do much. I set up my tripod in the conservatory and struck a few silly poses when the sun broke through and gave me enough light. I look like I’m the bush monster again.

view

Day 229 ~ Assistance. ~ You’ve got a friend in me! Today is all about assistance.  Who do you have to help you out and give you a hand?  Ron is very helpful around the house and garden and takes direction very well too! He is quite perfect whilst I am the imperfect one. I’m not bossy, I’m organized.  Are you the assistant or the ‘assistee’? Show us how you help assist others or how others assist you.

Not a bad one from Mrs. Cocktail-Dress, at least I could think of something straight away. Phil is compiling a history of his parents time in the Army during WW2, his Dad was in the infantry and his Mum a Nurse, and they wrote each other many letters during the war years, plus he has their service records. I am assisting by doing research and typing it all up for him. We’ve a long way to go yet!

assistance

Day 230 ~ Feet. ~ It is the repeating prompt “Where I Stand” and our word for the day couldn’t be more perfect…Feet! On Wednesday’s, I get to start my workday off at the Outer Banks Arboretum & Teaching Garden.  Here I stand in the middle of the Butterfly Garden hoping to spot a chrysalis. Keep it simple! Where did you stand today!

Another straightforward one, phew! I was at work and then supermarket shopping and as I’d done one at work before and didn’t want to get arrested in Morrisons, I did mine at home. Lord Vincent was a willing accomplice.

feet

Day 231 ~ Light-hearted. So who among us isn’t imperfect? Instead of being apologetic about our shortcomings, let’s celebrate them! Maybe we don’t always get that horizon straight, or we cut off the top of someone’s head in a portrait, or—horrors!—we missed our intended focus. Or maybe there’s something personal about us that isn’t quite perfect—a broken fingernail, maybe, or a bruise that we earned on the trampoline with our children or grandchildren. Maybe even a “fix” that isn’t exactly “by the book,” but one that works anyway, in its own unique way! Take some time today to show us your cheerful approach to the things in your world that are less than perfect, but way more interesting—and fun—because of that!

This lady had posted a picture of herself in her spectacles, held together with a safety~pin. The mind boggles dear reader. Let’s celebrate our shortcomings she says, well no actually, let’s not. I decided to ‘fix’ them instead. Grey hair, dark eye circles, saggy jowls, double chin, turkey neck all fixed nicely I think. It was fun!

light-hearted

Day 232 ~ Pattern. ~ One of the things I’ve learned from this group is that buying yourself flowers is never a bad idea.  I love having fresh flowers in the house.  They lift my spirits.  They also make good subjects for my photographs.  Even as flowers age and dry out, they still make for beautiful photos. The petals in flowers present such lovely patterns.  This faded rose from days gone by (and it’s not even song lyrics day) is no exception.  The leaves are a bit withered and crinkled but the pattern is still evident.  It is an imperfect rose that is still perfectly beautiful. What perfectly imperfect pattern can you find today?

Wait what?? WTAF? Is this even anything to do with a sodding selfie?? We did patterns last week, it was pants! She wasn’t even in her own photo, just a rose and wiffling on about flowers! I had to invent a new acronym for this one, CBBP. (Completely bliddy barking prompt). So I put my thinking cap on and then thought of my adventure hat which I wear (wore) on photography outings when Sophie and I (used to) go off on shoots at the weekends.

pattern

Day 233 ~ Imagine. ~ Today we finish up our Picture You week with the prompt “imagine.” I hope you have enjoyed capturing the imperfections that make you who you are. You are perfectly designed to be you! What could be better? Each of us in this community is perfectly imperfect and together we make an absolutely perfect group! For my example image, I used a panning technique. I feel like it gives the photo that “dream like” quality that I can identify with when imagining. How will you imagine yourself today?

And finishing up on an AFAC, no surprise. No I haven’t enjoyed capturing my imperfections, what IS all this claptrap ‘perfectly designed to be you’ ‘perfectly imperfect’ FFS this week has been like being trapped in a self help therapy group for insecure teenage girls with pimples. I don’t need to be perfect and I don’t need to focus on how I am not! Oops my moanfest has developed into a rant. Anyway, I played the game of ‘imagine’ and imagined a great any things, none of which were photographable without time travel and a never ending supply of dosh in my bank account, so I settled for imagining I was back in 2019, in Tuscany and not just looking at the booklet I made about it. It was a grotty rainy day here. Not winning at perfectly imperfect and don’t give a monkeys about that.

imagine

Well thankfully that’s over, and it’s now Sunday and my birthday today, yippee, another year closer to death 🥴 though it won’t be anything special, ironing and getting sorted for work on Monday. Next week we are doing double-exposures, which I’m quite looking forward to as I haven’t really done much of that before. Stay tooned!

365 ~ June 20th ~ 26th

So here we go with another sodding selfie week, with an overall theme of ‘What I Love’. Sigh. I don’t love selfie week. Not too many AFACs (airy fairy abstract concepts) this week, at least none that have thwarted me. Yet.

Day 171 ~ Determined. ~ Today’s prompt word is “determined.” I absolutely love to hike in nature. It’s funny, as I have gotten older, I have gotten more determined to try things out of my comfort zone. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t be doing some of the daring (to me) things that I do now. If you had told me then that I would be climbing over boulders and using ladders in some of our hikes, I would have laughed at you.Determination is mind over matter. Once you get it in your head, and have the confidence that you can do it, you are more likely to succeed at it. What is something that you are, or were, determined to do and you did it?

Straight in with an AFAC! Just blerkety blerk. 🥴 I am not really “determined” to do anything other than get through sodding selfie week, and get through work days. No hiking up boulders with ladders in Gateshead. But I came up with this instead. In the past couple of weeks Lord Vincent has been bringing presents home. The tally so far is 3 bluetits and a sparrow. He hides under a bush under the Happy Eater tree and somehow manages to catch them. I’m so surprised as bluetits are very speedy and wary little birds, and I am not happy about it at all. I got a bell for his collar, but that hasn’t done the trick. So I sent off or 2 extra loud bells to add to his collar, and Phil has cut away the branches where he was hiding, so hopefully that will suffice. Lord Vincent is determined to murder birdies, I am determined to stop him! But I do love him!

determined

Day 172 ~ wave. ~ What does wave mean to you?  The crashing waters at the ocean’s edge?  Flowing hair?  A flag blowing in the breeze? The wave I most love these days is the one that comes from this little hand each time I get out of the car at his house and get back in to leave at the end of the visit. Today, turn your camera toward a wave that you love.

I decided to take ‘wave’ as in the sea, and in the evening took myself off to Long Beach at South Shields, and got my legs wet trying to photograph myself in a wave.

wave

Day 173 ~ nourishment. ~ You might think, what has this photo to with nourishment?  Well, I thought I would go to the source, I walk the fields at least once a week and with the sun shining on the crops it does make for some great photos and really makes me happy! This is a flax field, blue flowers for as far as you can see…well, to the Waterloo Lion in the distance!  Flax is used as a food and fibre. What is nourishing you today?

Well I was at work today and nourishment is a quick chew on a chicken saté stick in between dances. I bought a salad for dinner, but I checked IG and quite a few people had chosen salads for their picture. Have to say salad as artwork is a thing, but I don’t like doing the same as other people so I figured I would nourish my face instead and used a clay facemask, the cucumber came in handy though. There is no way I would ever have posted a picture of myself thusly in my younger (and arguably prettier) years, I guess I got too old to give a rats arse about what anyone thinks of my radiant beautiousness these days. 🤣

nourishment

Day 174 ~ Park. ~ What a lovely prompt today!  Take a photograph of yourself in the park!  It is “Where I Stand” day so try and include your feet.  What a perfect excuse to get outside and head to the park.  Tell us about your park and why it is special to you and why you chose to stand there and why you love it.  Show us what you love to do in the park. In this picture I am standing on a very old wooden one way bridge spanning the Thompson River.  I love the slow moving waters of the Thompson and its greenish hues.  It fills me with a sense of peace and therefore I visit it quite often. 

A nice and specific prompt from Mrs. Cocktail~dress, but there really isn’t a park in walking distance from me. However there is a green space over the road from us with a mowed field one end and marshland at the other, with a little oak tree stuck in the middle. I had thought and then unthought, about climbing the tree, but instead decided I’d fly with an umbrella for a bit of fun.

park

Day 175 ~ 6 O’clock. ~ What I love at 6 o’clock in the morning is coffee! Instead of showing you my sleepy face, I decided to share a still life with coffee being poured by my hand in the photo. There are so many elements in this photo that I love…the wooden tool box was a recent find at a thrift store, the teapot and cup set were gifts from friends and the shutters that I painted purchased at a consignment shop. Then the textures – burlap and dried flowers. So what does 6 o’clock look like in your part of the world? Are you making breakfast or dinner, out buying props like a vintage clock or setting up a still life scene? Don’t forget to let us see you sharing what you love!

6 O’clock is cooking time here at Fraggle Towers, and for tonight I did a fried rice, which was very yummy.

6 O’clock

Day 176 ~ Zipper. ~ Picture You week doesn’t mean you have to share all of yourself.  Sometimes it’s nice to creatively crop just enough to show a part of you that still conveys what you are sharing in a great and personal way.  I didn’t think it was necessary for you to see my face today as I am showcasing my favorite jacket.  Think of how you can creatively crop yourself in today’s photo while adding a zipper from something you love.  

Here are my great and personal favourite boots, with zippers. Creatively cropped too!

zipper

Day 177 ~ Affirmation. ~ For the last two years I’ve been on a journey to improve my health.  I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and knew that I had to lose some weight and get more active if I wanted to enjoy my retirement to it’s fullest.  I’m so happy to say that I’m down 120 lbs. During this time, I have never felt better.  It hasn’t been easy, but the effort has been oh so worth it!  I have this saying on the mirror in my bathroom as a reminder every day.  It helps to keep me going and reminds me of why I’m doing this. Do you have a saying or a mantra that you find affirming?  What or who in your life provides you with the support and affirmation you need to live life to it’s fullest?  Being kind to ourselves is not always easy but you know what, you deserve it!  You’re awesome!

And it was going so well, sigh. I’d been thinking about this one all week as it’s the mother of all AFAC’s so far. And came up with nothing, niente, nada. I don’t do ‘affirmations’, so I googled ‘affirmations for life’ and groaned my way through airy fairy clap trap. I was on the verge of shooting the cats, but then I realised, there’s a cool saying I saw on the wall of a ladies loo, though that should be ‘bathroom ‘ as I was in a rest stop on Route 90 on the way to Columbus Ohio at the time. And it’s rained solid for two days here.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

affirmation.

So all in all this has been a better sodding selfie week than usual, it’s even been nearly fun a couple of times! Also Vincent hasn’t caught anymore birds. Also I was inspired to do a Haiku again!

Today the rains came ,
people are staying inside.
At last they’ve shut up.

Stay tooned for next weeks adventures with ‘details’.

365 ~ May 23rd ~ 29th

This week we are back to the sodding selfie challenges, which as you know by now, is my bête noire, and this week has been no different. I haven’t even got annoyed with it all, just slogged through, fed up. I think also the incessant cold temperatures, grey skies and rain have taken it’s toll, it’s end of May FFS, it should be a bit warm at least, and I just felt like hunkering down, reading books, and wasn’t inspired to do photography. But I committed to myself to do the year, and stopping now would harm my doggedness! Anyways, on to the pictures, slim pickings though this week, sorry. The extra theme to this week’s selfiefest, is ‘skills’. I don’t actually have skills, superpowers would be more appropriate, but I can take a step down the ladder for this. 😜

Day 143~ versatile. ~ It is PICTURE YOU Week and that means it is all about you.  This week we are celebrating and featuring our skills! Skill :-

a) : the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance

b) : dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks

c) : a learned power of doing something competently: a developed aptitude or ability

I don’t know about you but I do a variety of activities (none of them that well) and therefore have acquired a skill or two along the way.  I am quite versatile in the number of physical activities I do…cross country and alpine skiing, water skiing, kayaking, cycling, swimming, backpacking, running, and snowshoeing.  For me,  versatility is the spice of life!  I like changing things up and keeping things fun! Show us a skill or two that you have!  Even better, show us a picture of yourself multitasking!  

Sigh. I am not so versatile as all that, and this lady’s picture was of herself jumping high in another cocktail dress + red stilettos which I greatly admired as I would kill myself on landing if I tried that. Not that I have a cocktail dress, and my stilettos are consigned to the back of the wardrobe. So I figured my photography is quite versatile as I shoot film, instant and digital.

versatile

Day 144 ~ work. ~ I enjoy strolling the beach looking for treasures. It takes a bit of skill to know where to look and it can also sometimes be hard work… especially if you’re in a race against the incoming tide. I can be a picky sheller so only a select few make it back home with me. I’m always on the hunt for my favorites – sharks eye, baby ears, and conch shells.Is there something you enjoy that also takes a bit of work? maybe it’s a hobby or activity? Give us a glimpse of it today! 

Yes I like beachcombing too, and other stuff, but today I was actually AT work, the paid kind. Of course I can’t do photography there, but I do check Phil’s ears on a regular basis so figured that’s a fair representation of ‘work’.

work

Day 145 ~ pleasure. ~ I may not look like I am finding much pleasure while pruning my spider plant, but I really am. I have to keep it pruned in order for it to stay a reasonable size because it comes in every winter and I just have no space for a larger pot. I am excited to get it back outside now that the days/nights are warm enough. It thrives going in and out each year and I take much pleasure knowing that I have been successful at keeping it alive. I do not have a natural green thumb so I am thankful that it’s such a hearty plant.  What is something that you take pleasure in doing? Show us what it is!  

To be honest, most of the things that I take pleasure in I’ve already photographed in previous selfie weeks, but I took the cue from the lady and watered my flowers, which I love to see growing. (It was raining at the time! 🤣)

pleasure

Day 146 ~ 5 o’ clock. ~ What is happening in your life at 5 o’clock?  Is it the end of your work day?  Your work out time?  Dinner time?  Family time? Or something else altogether?  Maybe, 5 o’clock in the morning is more your thing!  Whatever 5 o’clock you go with, show off a bit and give us a glimpse into whatever mad skills you have!

5 0’clock in the morning??? 😳 Pfft! So at 5 o’clock pm I’m feeding Lord Vincent, though it’s not easy to get a shot when he is so intent on putting his head in the trough!

5 o’clock

Day 147 ~ engaging. ~ What a great word, one with so many interpretations! My first thoughts about engaging make me think about participating in some type of activity or becoming involved with some type of object such as a musical instrument. There is also the perspective of an engaging your personality. My granddaughter has a delightful laugh that is so engaging I want to hear it every day. Being an outdoor kind of gal, I prefer engaging in any outdoor activity that holds my interest. This is our favorite lake to go fishing and its not too far away. My husband is an avid fisherman and everything I know about fishing I have learned from him.  Sometimes I wonder if catching fish is skill or luck!Show us what skill you have, that you are engaging in today.(Picture for the prompt is of me in a boat on Jackson Lake – with my fish, of course… heehee)

Today I was engaged in doing repairs to my mosaic dragonfly which I made to go on the outside of my shed studio. The weather forecast is promising fine weather for the weekend and Phil is going to revarnish it to keep it nice and protected from the North East winds we get and when he’s finished, it will join the butterfly I did a couple of years ago.

engaging

Day 148 ~ craving. ~ A craving is a longing or a desire for something.  We often associate it with food, but we can have these feelings for almost anything.  I crave calm and stillness…but most days both elude me.  Maybe it’s all those other skills that we have celebrated this week that overpower this desire.We often think that portraits are about showcasing beauty and hiding imperfections.  For me, the most powerful portraits illustrate realness and connection – connection to another person, a place, a thing…or yourself.  Your face is not necessary to show this kind of connection.  In this image, standing still in the greenhouse, a place that slows me down, tells the story of finding calm much better than seeing my face would have. What do you crave?  Illustrate it in today’s self portrait.  

this one was easiest of the lot! As I mentioned, May has been one long slog through pants weather, and we’ve been longing for sunshine and warm temperatures. Today the sun came out and it was lovely!

craving

Day 149 ~ splendid. ~ So where does my skill come into this photo, you may ask! These are alliums in my garden, which I planted years ago, and every year they pop up.  Just so that I can take photos of them. The skill is choosing the fabulous bulbs to plant, deciding where to plant them, and then enjoying the pleasure of having them show up every May so that I can photograph them.  What is splendid in your life that you have skilfully managed to grow, look after, or just admired!

This lady didn’t put herself in the picture at all! So naughty! Anyway I already photographed my flowers on day 145 but moved them around for this one. Every year (except last year obvs.) I go to the garden centre and choose some flowers to grow over spring and summer, not necessarily for photography purposes but just to look at and enjoy. Lots of cleaning out the old stuff from plant pots, planting the new stuff and making sure the snails can’t get at them. That’s what the copper strips are for around the pots, it keeps the slugs and snails away without killing them. They are looking quite splendid in the sun I think.

splendid

Thank fully that’s the last of the Sodding Selfie’s for now, until next month. So nice to have the sun at last, and we are planning a mini Bar-B-Q for ourselves later.

Stay tooned for our next adventure which will be ‘minimalism’.

365 ~ April 25th ~May 1st

Here we are again in what was quite an onerous sodding selfie week. Sigh. This week had a theme, ‘harmony’ so all the weeks shots come under that umbrella. This wasn’t a good start for me, harmony is something you do in choirs, usually the contralto harmonises with the soprano’s, bass’s with tenors, and that sort of thing. I was in the church choir when I was a kid as my Mum played the church organ and couldn’t leave me home alone, so I learned to harmonise quite well. Nevertheless, I figured I’ve heard people banging on about being in harmony with stuff, nature in particular so I’d get the hang of it.

Day 115 ~ Harmonious. This week we want to learn more about the harmonious sides of your life.  Harmony can be elusive to us at times.We feel much better when all aspects of life relate to each other and complement one another. That’s harmony! I’m lucky to live in a part of the world where we experience all four seasons.  I embrace each season and find harmony when I can be outside experiencing all that the season has to offer.  Here I’m embracing winter and the snow as it falls.  I feel harmony and peace when there’s a light dusting of snow over my world. What does harmony mean to you? Show us the harmonious (and not so harmonious) parts of your life this week.

So already we’re in to shilly shallying, show us your harmoniousness or not so harmonious. Sigh. The lady who posted this had an accompanying picture of herself arms wide, head back with little snowflakes falling all around. How very exuberant I thought. I myself am not so harmonious in snow, just bliddy cold. I whinged to Phil, ‘I don’t go around feeling all harmonious’ I whined, what can I do!? ‘Get in your car’, he said, ‘woman and machine in perfect harmony, it doesn’t matter what car you have you always drive like Ben Hur’. Best complement ever I thought!

Harmonious

Day 116 ~ From where I stand ~ shadow.~ Today is one of my favorite prompt days, the “Where I Stand” prompt in Picture You Week. I enjoy looking back at “where I stood” and also enjoy seeing where the community is “standing”. Our theme this week is Harmony and our prompt today is shadow. You can take a photo of your shadow, or you can approach the prompt by placing yourself in a shadow.

On the whole to take a sodding selfie of your shadow requires the sun to be visible in the sky. I know that must happen a lot where the lady who thought this one up lives in North Carolina, but here in Gateshead, not so much. And it didn’t appear at all, all day. I was contemplating getting the bedroom reading spotlight out and trying to do something with that, but just as the day was ending the clouds parted just a little and for two minutes golden hour happened down our drive. “SUN!!’ yelled Phil, and I ran outside and managed to get off one shot of my shadow against our bushy things before the clouds closed up again! Here I am, in harmony with a bush.

Shadow

Day 117 ~ Encouragement. ~ We have all had to work hard to find harmony in our lives over the past year.  To do that we’ve had to change, adapt, and find “a happy song” in places that are unfamiliar. Do you have a meaningful word or phrase that you turn to for encouragement, to find harmony when the world feels out of tune?  Photograph where you find encouragement.

Well no I don’t have a meaningful word or phrase, unless it’s ‘just bliddy get on with it’ (I don’t actually say bliddy BTW, that’s just for writing politely, but in real speech it has a double ‘o’ where the ‘i’and the ‘d’ are). Yet again, Phil to the rescue, as in ‘just get a photo done so we can have our dinner!’. Encouragement indeed, and inspiration! In harmony with my chap.

Encouragement

Day 118 ~ Book. ~ Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be! I love to read books!  I read most days.  In fact, I have to stop myself from reading for too long otherwise I don’t get enough sleep!  I added a few layers to this photo using Photoshop – a text layer and also some white transparent hearts to show my love of books.  Adding a couple of dried flowers helped to harmonise the background colour and the soft look I was after. Show us what you are reading and are you in harmony with your current book.

At last! Something reasonably literal. I set up a nice still life, did a bit of colour grading in photoshop to ‘harmonise’ the look of it, and hey presto. And am I in harmony with my current book? I don’t even know what that means. I’m not drinking sake, eating sushi and bowing to Phil but I like it a lot if that’s any measure.

Book

Day 119 ~ Resilient ~ Resilience is a word I’ve heard a lot in the last year.  Humans have the capacity to recover from all kinds of difficult situations.  The pandemic has highlighted this and pushed us all to our limits in one way or another.  Hopefully, you have all found a way to adapt and continue to live each day to the fullest within the constraints in place to protect everyone so that we can enjoy many more days. Nature shows us resilience in more obvious ways, the forests grow back after fires or plants return after winter. So here I am with the focus on the tangle of branches of one of my hydrangeas simultaneously representing one’s daily challenges and resilience as they are budding with new growth.

Now and again the ladies have a ‘guest prompter’ and today was the day. She looked very stern posing behind some dead twigs. I figured I’ve got some dead twigs in the garden so could do a similar shot, but then I saw my little Jumping Johnnies that pop up every year in the cement joint between my patio slabs, and thought that was about as resilient as it gets.

Resilient

Day 120 ~ Handwriting ~ Here’s a question for you as we continue on with Picture You Week…What do you still write by hand?To do lists, Journals, Love Notes, or the Bills? In this digital age, you might have to stop and think about the answer! Today consider having a little fun practicing your cursive! Don’t worry if you feel your handwriting isn’t camera ready… as you might suspect “there’s an app for that!” Pick a font and get creative! 

Yet again with the shilly shallying, if you can’t do handwriting use an app!!! Is this what the world has come to? I despair. Anyway, I used to do calligraphy so I don’t need a bliddy app to write nicely. Also I went to school as a kid and was taught to write neatly with a fountain pen. That was of course in the Jurassic era when the world wide web was many years away. I suppose kids do everything on a computer now, and handwriting is just a thing of necessity instead of an art form. The poem here is called ‘Leisure’ and is by W.H.Davies, it’s one of my favourites. Annoyingly I’d run out of ink so couldn’t use my proper pen and had to make do with this rollerball, so not as neat as I normally am, but it will do I think.

handwriting

Day 121 ~ Joyful ~ Ending our harmonious week with the word joyful is a nice way to wrap it up, I think.  The definition of harmony says, “forming a pleasing or consistent whole.” What comes to mind for you when you think of a pleasing or consistent whole?  How can you share with us what “joyful” looks like to you?    

Urk, more ‘concept’ photography. Sad. What comes to mind when thinking of a pleasing whole is usually a bottle of rosé and a glass, actually that covers a fair amount of concepts but it would get a tad boring for my viewer. Anyways, the flowers Phil bought me for our wedding anniversary are still going strong 11 days on and they are a joy to look at and photograph.

Joyful

So that’s the end of sodding selfie week for another month. Except..next weeks theme is ‘portraits’ with the addendum to the instructions “If you don’t have any willing subjects this week, take portraits of yourself. ” Wait! What!!!??? This is not fair at all. I am insensed. You may be seeing a lot of Phil and the cats next week. Stay tooned for that!

365 ~ 28th March ~ 3rd April

Hi guys, this week is the sodding selfie week, and I find I’m taking a perverse pleasure in keeping as little of myself in the picture as is possible, whilst still following the prompts. I’ve checked out other peoples contributions on the Instagram page and am quite appalled at the amount of people who completely neglect to put any bits of themselves in the shot at all. I mean, come on, cheaters! Anyway onwards!

Day 87~ New. Where I Stand is a monthly prompt that we repeat throughout the year.  The idea is to include your feet, either taking the photo looking down or putting your camera on a tripod and taking a photo of just your lower half. What do you have that is new in your life, that you should include in your photo?  Put it next to where you stand and show us.

I didn’t have anything new unless we count some pitta breads and a bottle of milk, which I don’t, so made do with my latest purchases from Amazon and Ebay, though they are a few weeks old now. Some woolly socks, and a watch.

New (ish).

Day 88. Apparel. Don’t be into trends.  Don’t make fashion own you.  You decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live – Gianni Versace. I like an eclectic, bohemian style when I am not dressed for fitness. When my husband bought his Harley I was very excited by the potential for shopping for the clothes I needed in order to be his passenger.   I am in love with my Harley Davidson protective gear.  I feel really fierce in it!  It is almost as fun to wear the leathers as it is to ride on the bike. Fashion is instant language.  Show us your style and let us get to know you better.  

WTF? Fashion?? Style?? Leathers?? Seriously woman, left all that behind many years ago. Mini skirts and thigh high boots were the thing back in ‘my day’ but then I segued into sartorial elegance (jeans, T shirt) and now repose in the Andy Pandy school of fashion. This sums me up perfectly.

(For my non UK readers, Andy Pandy was a kids TV programme in the jurassic era and this is what he looked like).

Andy Pandy @BBC

Apparel

Day 89~ Remember. As we continue on with our Picture You Week show us something that is currently part of your day. When you look back on this day next year what will your photo remind you of? 

This! Today was the first warm, sunny day of the year, and my Happy Eater Tree which had loads of buds on it sprang into action. By the time I got back from work it was blooming gorgeous! (I’ll do a not-the-365 post soon on the other blog with the tree in full gloriousness)

Remember

Day 90 ~ dinner. Picture You week is my favorite week and I am always so willing to be in the photos. Today, however, I was more excited to eat our yummy, colorful dinner and didn’t take the time to get myself in the photo. That’s ok! We definitely want to remind YOU of that as well. What does dinner (or supper) look like for you tonight? 

If someone who likes being in their pictures forgets, what hope is there for the rest of us? Dinner though, that took a bit of faffing about but here it is. Chili con carne with rice and pitta breads and salad.

Dinner

Day 91 ~Relaxation. That feeling of bliss that washes over you when you “get away from it all” isn’t just in your head. Whether you spend time in the great outdoors, reading, or even cooking, total relaxation will help you find, clarity and rejuvenate your mind and body.  The exercise that generally goes hand-in-hand with spending time outdoors (hiking, biking, water activities, etc.) spurs the production of endorphins, your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters which helps you feel loose, clear-headed and calm.  While some find relaxation in exploring the outside, others find relaxation in the quiet alone time reading, doing needlework or just sitting and thinking. What will you do today to reach a state of relaxation; you can do it! Take a photo of YOU…relaxing!

This was guest prompt, the ladies let someone from the group have a go once a month, this time a chap who frankly I think of as ‘lazy geezer’ for suggesting this. Also a bit long~winded there, but if it’s your only chance to be famousish you’re gonna take it I guess. Anyway I couldn’t do my normal relaxation shot as we did that on Day 33, so I decided I’d do meself in the bath as I do know people think that’s relaxing. I don’t think so really as the water keeps going cold so you have to keep topping it up with hot, and the pages of your book get wet too. Just have a quick shower and get on with life FHS!

(fake) Relaxation

Day 92 ~ Centered. What brings you to that place of balance where you feel the most content.  For me, it’s always being in nature with a camera in my hand. It really transforms my entire attitude.We have had several requests for a day where we can show off our 365 Picture Today Swag. Today is the day! If you have your 365 Picture Today swag, wear it! If you don’t own any of our group attire, that’s okay too! You can still show us where you are the most centered and balanced. You can also go in the direction of centering yourself in the photo. It’s totally up to you how to approach it.

This one annoyed me a fair bit. Firstly, be centered, be balanced be content etc. This is a thing that newish people do, oldish people like me grew up just getting on with stuff, not self-analysing every damned thing we do. So I had to google what being ‘centered’ meant. Pfft! Clap trap. Secondly ‘show off your 365 swag’. According to the Miriam Webster dictionary Swag in the USA can mean ‘promotional stuff’ like their sweatshirts with the 365 picture today logo on them. Swag over the pond here means stolen goods. I don’t have either, and I chose to use ‘happy’ instead of ‘centered’ so sat in my car which is my exceedingly happy place for my sodding selfie.

Centered. Pfft.

Day 93. Pocket. Do you remember where you were on January 9th of this year?  Do you remember the photo that you took on that day?  If not, go back and look because you will need to revisit that spot again today. Today’s Picture Your World prompt invites you to photograph the same location four times throughout this year documenting the changing seasons along the way.  You may choose a different perspective or choose to include different subjects in these repeating photos, but try to make it obvious to the viewer that they are seeing the same location. Once you have taken today’s photo, create a diptych using it and your January photo.  

In the January shot I hadn’t realised you were supposed to be in the shot, so this is how it has to be now. Phil and I had a nice walk over to the nature reserve, still a bit of a chill in the air, but nice blue sky afternoon. I tried to match up exactly where I stood in January but didn’t quite get there, but you can tell it’s the same place. Also, pocket???? WTH?? I don’t get that at all.

Pocket

So another sodding selfie week comes to the end, but stay tooned for next week’s adventures in Golden Hour.

😉