Glass, Squared – By Day & By Night Through the Window

By Day – It’s amazing how many times I have taken a shot through a window, knowing full well the quality of the shot could be pretty poor. But sometimes, that really doesn’t matter. It is a moment in life that just deserves more presence of attention and merits the joy of preserving it for a future date.

In the case of this song thrush, I had been listening to it singing away but couldn’t actually see where it was perched. As I passed the window, there it sat, bold as brass on the grass nonchalantly preening itself in the sunlight. I prayed it would still be there by the time I’d wrestled my camera out of its bag and it was and continued to bathe unperturbed much longer than I was prepared to stand stooped over the camera.

By Night – Drawn to the magnificent sky as I passed the window, I simply had to snap it. I loved the way the dark slanted window framed it all.

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First Cut is the Deepest in My Green Green Grass of Home

Now you may think I have totally lost the plot with an image of grass! But I was looking out of the window wondering whether I could bring myself to cut the grass – the first cut of the year.

It seemed sacrilege to ruin the beauty of the delicately fine new growth with its softness and fine young tips as it danced in the wind. It will never look this way again, well until next spring. Even the intensity of the lime green colour will have lost its edge (no pun intended) after the first cut.

But if it gets too long the mower will refuse to comply.

So I hit a compromise.

I left the most beautiful patches intact along with the clumps of wild flowers scattered all over the garden. I cannot bear to cut these down, they add such colour and beauty, the bees love them and smaller birds seem to find things to eat within them.

So there you have it – my Green Green Grass of Home lovingly appreciated once again, for my contribution to Tuesdays of Texture (de monte y mar), thanks Narami.

Bee Visiting in the Textures of Garden

For this week’s contribution to Tuesdays of Texture (de monte y mar), I snapped this beautiful fluffy looking bumble bee, its delicate wings vibrating rapidly as it indulged in the pollen of a sunny-coloured dandelion shooting up amongst the grasses in my garden.

So captivating I could have stayed there all afternoon.

Writing 101 DAY 13 – Serially Found – My Dad is Back

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

There were moments over the next 20 years when I glimpsed the dad I adored as a young child. Moments when shared interests collided with a time created opportunity.

He was always helping someone else. But on occasion I would tag along. I got involved in building a shed for a friend of his, a greenhouse for an uncle, church hall renovations and the one I loved most – helping out, with my dad, on the veg stall at the Annual Christmas Fair. I can smell the old wooden hall now, just thinking about it. A smell of old dry, warm wood, mingled with a hint of musty old fabric.

Funny how those old wooden buildings had such a nurturing atmosphere. The original wooden building has now been replaced with a brick one and fewer people use it. Where I live now, we still have an ancient wooden village hall; they call it a community hall here. It smells very similar to the ones of childhood. Everyone appreciates it and its unique aromas create an ambiance that seems to attract a list of regular events going on there.

Other times I would help with watering the plants. This meant filling up a large bucket and a metal watering can with water from the kitchen sink tap and staggering down the garden one in each hand, trying not to spill any. He used to do this twice a day in the summer months.

If there was a drought we would save all the washing up water and whenever anyone had a bath, we had to scoop out as much water as possible to water to fill the buckets and stagger gingerly down the stairs, through the house and down the garden path to water the thirsty plants.

I learned how to take cuttings, dibble out young seedlings and look after the growing crops. These moments of joy, cherished memories, I have come to appreciate more as I have shared them with my own son.

But it took over 20 years before I felt the unconditional love of my dad again.

It took the death of my mother.

I never got on with her, she was a narcissist through and through. It wasn’t long after she died that my dad seemed more open – as if a barrier had been removed, or a veil been lifted.

I could see him, really see him again. I could feel love pour from him. Even his eyes were more alive. He was much more fun and loved to play with my young son. His sense of humour was priceless.

Up until then I had not realised just how much my mother’s presence had supressed my dad. She was so devious and manipulating he must have been under an immense pressure most of the time. No wonder he spent his spare time down the garden, out of sight, involved in an important project or helping out other folk. He missed her of course. Who wouldn’t, they had been together over 30 years.

But the change in my dad was remarkable. We spent more time together, he shared memories of his past, little snippets of his life I wasn’t aware existed before. He actively encouraged family get-togethers, times when we all reminisced indulgently.

As I watched his loving actions and sense of fun during the times spent with my son, it triggered the odd happy memory of early childhood. This was the dad that had been missing all these years and I indulged in the joy of having my dad back again, for now, and being able to share him with my son.

Writing 101 Day 11 – Size Matters – My Garden Home

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

When I was 12 years old we lived on a quiet country lane, in a typically English 1940s accrington brick faced semi with rectangular bay windows and a red tiled roof. It was set in a quarter of an acre of delightful garden.

The people who had lived there before us were an artist and his wife. He had painted the back of the old wooden garage pale pink and emblazoned right in the middle of it, a witch, all in black, on a broomstick flying among the stars. Oh how I wished that I could do that. I used to throw myself off the garage roof in an attempt to fly and had been making these attempts for as long as I could remember, but I was getting a bit bigger and landing wasn’t quite as trouble free as it had been.

My grandma, who had lived with us since I was about 8 years old, one day caught me launching myself off the stairs (in my indoor attempts at flying) and had given me a severe ear bashing about how bad my knees would be when I got older.

The artist had also designed the garden with an intriguing shrubbery and a quaint latch gate within it, which took you down to another part of the garden via a fish pond and a weeping willow. I loved it. I could escape the rest of the family and hide up a tree in the remains of an orchard at the very bottom of the garden.

My father was a keen gardener. Well actually, he was more obsessive than keen. When we moved in he dug up the whole far back garden, which was a beautifully designed miniature golf course, rolled it flat and reseeded half of it as a flat, boring lawn.

The other half was dug over for vegetables, a greenhouse and a cold frame. We had all sort of vegetables and fruits. My favourite was the garden pea. Delicious, straight from the plant. Only thing was we, that is my brother and I, were forbidden to pick any.

Needless to say that was the worst thing you could say to us! My brother was caught hiding the evidential shell under the plants. Me on the other hand had a few years more experience than him and had learned only to take a few, too many and my dad would notice, and bury the shells deep in the grass of the field next door.

I always preferred to help my dad in the garden rather than my mother in the housed. It was far more interesting outside with nature, the wildlife and the elements.