Wednesday, 28 July 2010


C is for ...
Carlisle & Cumbria 
chimney & cobblestones 

This is Paternoster Row taken at 10.30pm
coming out of the pub
This is one of those shots that are taken without thought
a point and click attitude hoping for the best

l like the capture of the cobblestones in the foreground,
the street lamps creating the depth of field
 Dixons Chimney in silhouette 
and a crescent moon in the distance

as featured on the new photo blog Capturing Carlisle 

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Thelma, Louise & Elsie return home

After five days away on the Isle of Wight
amid sunshine, balmy weather
much laughter and gin
we are home and suitably chilled...
( images enlarge on a click)

a yacht just a tad to close for comfort receiving a very loud toot from the ferry captain
Two weeks before Cowes week the Solent was still busy

12th century medieval church
opposite Mottistone Manor House

Victoria's Secret
the view from the terrace of the italianate Osborne House
built by Prince Albert for the family to relax away from the stresses of royal duties
it is a gem in the crown
here we can see right over the Solent to the mainland
which reminded Albert of the Bay of Naples

the baroque house is but a shell now after falling into disrepair
following a nearby hit from a mine drop,
 it had to be stripped of the roof and some key timbers
this palladian inspired 17th C house
is set in the middle of gardens designed by Capability Brown

Louise looking for shells on Shanklin beach at twilight

Elsie deep in thought

and Thelma...
on the drive back to the ferry we passed a viewpoint on high
overlooking Shanklin and Sandown 

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Capturing Carlisle

I have lots of images of Carlisle on my hard drive, many I add to my redbubble page but they sit there waiting patiently... and waiting. For what?

So as l wiped my laptop AGAIN and restored it, I thought I would make use of all this data backed up on to my  back up harddrive by creating a blog just for images of Carlisle.

Et voila, please take a peek at the new blog. I intend to post several images a week, perhaps even daily, bringing you the sights, building, people and  moments of life in the city!


Thursday, 15 July 2010

thelma, louise and elsie!

Way back in January before the shit hit the proverbial fan or in my case the brick wall, I booked one of these cheap 4 night caravan holidays. In fact I booked two, one in July on the isle of Wight and another in late September in Norfolk.

The July holiday was planned after the end of term for me and the kids, as we so enjoyed out IOW break in July 2008. That summer we rented an 1962 airstream trailer and whilst Larry unavailable to join us as he was sailing and doing his corporate entertaining, we explored in true Enid Blyton style around the island. I awoke on the last day a 50 year old, but not very wise it turns out. The writing was on the wall but l was in total denial.

So since l booked this holiday unfortunately the kids have decided to pass, they won't be joining me, they have plans with their friends and a break with Mum is so not cool.

So instead of admitting defeat and cancelling, my pals 'Louise and Elsie' have offered to join me. We three are all single and in need of a break and change of scenery.

So with a boot full of gin, wine, grand marnier, nibbles and much good humour I shall be driving down to Southampton early Monday morning to catch a ferry to IOW for five days.

I have no plans at this point to drive us over any cliff, but it is an option I shall keep in reserve!

Thelma: 'You said you 'n' me was gonna get out of town and for once just really let our hair down. 
Well darlin', look out 'cause my hair is comin' down!' from Thelma and Louise 1991

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

shaking all over

As many of my closest friends know, I am no prude, with a liberal attitude my nearest and dearest know I am happy to talk about sex, or the lack of it.

This here isn't a picture of my latest 'toy' even if it does resemble something from the range of female accoutrements in an Ann Summers' shop. And the similarities do not end with its appearance, I will elaborate, now that I may have your full interest.

 It is in fact a Power Plate.  This is the latest slimming, toning, exercise gadget to hit the streets of Carlisle. Basically you gently exercise or not so gently according to your ability, stamina and flexibility, with a trainer who coaches and encourages you all the while the plate... wait for it....while it vibrates, with several speed settings!

Last week my pal Julie booked a free half hour trial session for three, Carlotta joined us.  The trainer Dave, took us threw our paces, amid shrieks, giggles, bawdy comments and my groans of pleasure!  We stepped on it, we bent on it, we crouched on it, we swung on it, we squatted on it and we sat on it (out goes the washing machine!) and finally we lay on it. Bliss. Apparently we were not the first group of women to be loudly appreciative of the Power plate's obvious secondary qualities.

Seriously if only for the fact it heightened my mood considerably from all the laughter, smiles and fun it would be worth regular visits. My nose wouldn't stop itching and Dave informed me, with a twinkle in his eye, that the nose has the second highest amount of nerve endings in the female body!

I am sold on it, l just need to get back to work and do some overtime to afford it.

Where do l sign?

Sunday, 11 July 2010

a bigger cup

No, l'm not talking bra size here, in fact mine is still shrinking as l continue to effortlessly lose weight for the first time in my life.

What l am looking for is a metaphoric bigger vessel into which l can hold the support, empathy and  love l have been receiving from  friends, some family members and even acquaintances.

That without this network of support, of whom until February I really didn't realise or appreciate, I doubt I would be this able. I would be other.

Do not think of a painful experience as a dark time in your life. You emerge out of everything learning something or becoming a better person. You realize who your real friends are and how much your loved ones mean to you. ~Colleen Ho

I probably have not been thankful enough to them, as moments pass and l sometimes miss the opportunity to tell them to their faces how grateful l am.

The 1am text messages asking if l'm in bed yet.
The daily phone calls asking if I am ok?
The emails of support from bloggers whose blogs I don't even know.
Hugs from work colleagues I rarely talk to.
Unannounced visitors at my door at 9pm popping in for a cuppa.
Impromptu gifts of cake, chocolate & gin.
My listeners' unending patience and seemingly their lack of a boredom threshold.
My son.

I thank you.

And as I in turn recover, flail and recover a little more,
I find strength behind pockets of doubt.
I find solace in the silence.
I find optimism within small breaths of hope.

A new journey begins.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

lime meme

Pinched from Lime;

1. What are doing while the football world cup is on?
Watching it. I support Enger-land and La belle France! (and Mexico at a pinch). Now its over bar the shouting, l am knitting, exercising, relaxing and drawing and painting a little as l am off work.

2. What picks you up when you're down?
Gin. Chocolate. Sex.  The laughter of my kids. Not in that order and NOT at the same time.

3. Indian or China...we're talking tea here, not economics...
Not sure which teas come from where…should I? I love Earl Grey 1 part and Assam 2 parts; Ceylon; Peppermint; Camomile and Cinnamon and recently Lady Grey.

4. What do you value most about blogging?
The freedom to get thoughts and words out in an almost cohesive manner; the friendships l’ve made and the support that is proffered and received. An amazing place.

5. What can't you bring yourself to throw out of your wardrobe?
I run a vintage clothing website, so of course I do not do throw away easily.

6. Would you rather someone didn't ask your views on controversial issues?
If they are people l know well and care about, I will answer if asked. But I don’t like to provoke or be provoked just for a reaction, so l don’t ask. There is plenty to talk about without resorting to politics, religion and reductive subjects.

7. Do you recommend people..and then wish you hadn't?
I only say what l mean, and with good intentions, if others fall short, it not my problem.

8. Do you own up to reading light novels, or hide them under the cushions if visitors arrive?
I have a bit of everything! Coffee table books; Art books; books from the classical canon; contemporary literary fiction; a splash of chick-lit (unhidden); poetry; biographies; self help; academic books and more…..

9. Content with your own company or gregarious?
somewhere in the middle. I’m often described as outgoing, LOUD and assertive! But the real me is happy and sociable in favoured company. For a few days l am fine on my own but after that l need to be with friends or family if only for a short while. I have blogged about bedsit land. I hated it. Lonely and alone. Not good.

10. One thing which would noticeably improve your life.
Peace of mind.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


to the four winds
without aim
thoughts scatter

heat of summer
tinder wood emotions

a voice silenced by loss
cracks against the hard surface
of estrangement

in shadow
encroaching dampness
lingering cold

at every turn
evoked memories bruise
on the edge
heartbreak unattended,

consumed by sadness
a future beckons
brimming with indifference