A New Year’s Day Walk

Yesterday was a beautiful day so, having donned some boots and a warm waterproof coat, I decided to take the dog for a long walk.   To be honest I didn’t expect the world and her husband to be out at the same time but no matter, there’s plenty of room out on the fell.

Our little town is built at the foot of a steeply climbing ridgemail,  from the top of which are some of the most spectacular views.  It’s a fairly long and steep climb up to the top, and one soon leaves the town behind. 

Along the way we met an orienteering group, families with small children, lots of dogs with their own servants (we servants exchanged our own greetings whilst our owners allowed us a breather before hurrying us along).

The views opened out as we climbed ever higher – though the light seemed to be fading slightly.  At the top I looked around the vast empty expanse – and realised that I was the only person still up there!  Time to head back for home. We’d been out for almost 2 hours and walked and climbed a fair few miles.

On the way back down, right at the edge of civilisation, is a lovely old house which has the most amazing views over the bay.  It also has a beautiful old door which leads, I can only assume, into the garden.  It obviously hasn’t been used for many years.  The timbers are old and rotting, but I often fantasise about what could lie behind this old door – what it hides or protects.   I’ve no idea who lives there, but I envy them this little slice of heaven.

Venetian Gondolas

Crossing over one of the hundreds of bridges in Venice, and looking down, I couldn’t resist taking this photo.  Gondolas are ubiquitous in Venice, but I’ve never seen one from this angle before – so out came my phone…

They’re beautifully fitted and furnished – and cost a small fortune to hire.  No, I’ve never been in one.  

Just a few yards further up the canal, on the right-hand side, you can see there is a man climbing onto one of the other type of boats which ply the canals every day.  There are private boats, delivery boats, waste retrieval boats, taxi boats, boats for everything which would normally be done by car or wagon.

Autumn colours 

Dawn was just breaking when I set off for work this morning.   It was cold and damp and I just wanted to be tucked up in bed where it was so cosy and warm. Unfortunately, being an adult, it wasn’t an option. 

It’s a  twenty minute drive to work – plenty of time to think and mull over things.  This morning I was feeling rather nostalgic and remembering someone who is no longer here.  By the time I parked up there was a tear running down my cheek.  I got out of the car, gave myself a good telling off, and looked up.  That’s when I  saw the tree in all its autumn glory – slightly denuded after the heavy winds yesterday, but still beautiful.  You can see the moon to the left of it.  

It’s cheered me up no end.  I walked to work with a smile on my face 🤗

Wednesday Word – Sunrise

Every new day dawns with the promise of new possibilities, a brand new set of adventures, a chance to chase the rainbow which you just missed grasping in your hand yesterday.

The day, like all days ahead, remains unmade, waiting to be experienced, waiting to embrace you and pull you along in its wake.  It’s the sense of a new beginning, the limitless choices to be made, the myriad of options available, and it’s why I love this particular time of day.

Sunrise, for me, is a magical moment and one I love to be able to witness – more so than sunset, though I do my fair share of watching and capturing the end of the day’s sun too.  I do a lot of thinking in the early mornings as I walk my dog.  It’s a peaceful time with very little traffic around and I rarely see more than a couple of other early birds up and about (it’s just turned 5am when we start our walk).  The loudest sounds come from the birds, they sound warnings to each other as we pass underneath them. The blackbirds are the loudest of all and I’ve noticed they have a particular song as we approach and walk past, it sounds something like ‘pretty birdie, pretty birdie’, then, once we’re past, they sing ‘birdie gone, birdie gone’.

This image of a sunrise was taken whilst we were on holiday.  I’d got up specifically to witness the sunrise off Santorini and, boy, was I glad I’d made the effort.   

Do you have a favourite time of day?  

I have to apologise for not posting over the last fortnight.  We’ve been on holiday, cruising from Turkey to Venice, but the wifi signal was too intermitant to be reliable.  

However, our break has prompted today’s Wednesday Word:  Vacation.


What does the word ‘vacation’ mean to you?  For myself it means a time to step outside of the normal humdrum working structure; doing something different with your time; using every minute to do something different.  Taking a vacation, or holiday, doesn’t have to mean packing a suitcase and travelling to somewhere different. However, for this particular vacation that’s exactly what we did.

This last 10 days has been two years in the planning.  Two full years of high expectations, reading up about our destinations and sorting out what we were going to take with us.

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary whilst we were away, which is why we’d booked this holiday so early.  We’d chosen a cruise which started in Istanbul and terminated in Venice, visiting Ephesus, Athens, Santorini, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Pula in between.  Unfortunately, due to the problems Istanbul is experiencing at the moment, our itinerary was changed at the last minute.  We were informed we would be visiting Troy instead – what bliss!  TROY – of all the ancient sits in the world, this was one I never thought I’d ever get to see.  

We left our home in the very early hours of Easter Sunday – the day the clocks went forward for us – and returned last night.  In between we’ve had the most amazing holiday and met so many lovely people, mainly from America and Canada.  However, the staff and crew on the ship (Viking Star), were of all nationalities.  

It was fascinating talking to these amazing young men and women who, without exception, went out of their way to be helpful.  So many of them shared their stories freely, and we learned so much from them.  It was, of course, a two way process.  The housekeeping staff were all wanting to improve their English and learn all about the countries they passed through, and the countries the guests came from, and the guests wanted to learn all about the countries they visited and the countries the staff came from.   As a result, we all learned from each other – what better way to learn.

This particular trip has been so relaxing, both for body and mind, and I’m now fully rested and in the right frame of mind for going back to work on Monday.

Best of all, we picked up our dog, Mischa, this morning from my parents.  What an amazing greeting we were given.  It’s so lovely to be loved so unconditionally – I think only dogs can make me feel this way 😀

I’d love to know what the word ‘vacation’ means to you.  

A Huge Thankyou

Those lovely people at WordPress have let me know that I now have over 100 followers.  That’s so amazing and so humbling.  The thought that some of my scribblings and ramblings have spoken to you in such a way that you’ve wanted to read more to see where I’m going with it all, well that’s just mind-blowing to be honest.  

So I’d just like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to you, and to anyone who has pressed the ‘like’ button, or has taken the time to leave a comment.  I appreciate each and every one of you.


Writing 101 day 4

The Joy of Maps

For me life is a map, or series of maps, so maps are a metaphor for life’s journey.

We constantly plan where we would like to be, physically, emotionally,  financially,  and in our careers.  We have memory maps – one memory leading us to another and so on.

The act of writing requires mapping out the story line, the chapters, the geography, the relationships between the characters, and the way the project will be tackled.

That leads on to project management – how we divide each specific task onto separate chunks to make sense of the whole, and to keep control of the overall project.  Gannt charts are just another form of map – providing the ability to separate each task into timed chunks.

My favourite maps though are a set of medieval  and later maps of my local town,  Kendal.   These show the development of the town over a period of a couple of hundred years – the centre of the town today is easily identify able as it hasn’t changed much over time.

This is a short post as I’m writing it on my phone – and it’s driving me crazy 😨

Finding humanity in a homogeneous stream

I had to re blog this post ……


In the face of the ongoing refugee crisis I keep telling myself that it is important to learn from history and realize that the world has dealt with refugees over many generations. As outlined in my earlier post Refugees, Germany and the rest of the world I am reminded of Kathryn Hulme’s experiences in 1945 – 1950.

The wild place bookcoverA shipyard welder during the second world war, Kathryn Hulme joined the relief movement via the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) in Europe in 1945,after a few weeks training in France. As deputy to a French director, and with a team of 12 other field workers from 5 different nationalities, she was put in charge of 20.000 polish displaced people (DP’s). She wrote down her experiences in ‘The wild place’ (1953) and also in a section of  ‘Undiscovered country’ (1967).

The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration UNRRA was established in 1943, and was replaced…

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