Saturday, 30 November 2019

Edinburgh in November

A few photographs from my visit to Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. We were blessed with lovely weather, cold frosty mornings and bright blue sky days.

We are lucky to be able to visit the city several times a year and like to revisit favourite places as well as find something new. This time we went to Holyrood Palace - no pictures as photography was not allowed. The photograph above is Holyrood Park with Arthur's Seat on the skyline.

The skyline of Edinburgh is very distinctive and you often get glimpses of parts of it as you walk around the city. Above is a view of Carlton Hill from the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Botanic Gardens are one of my favourite places to wander and look stunning at any time of the year. I am always drawn to the rock garden with its little paths and amazing array of plants,

still beautiful in November.

There were a few roses flowering in the Queen Mother's garden.

Although Edinburgh is a busy bustling capital city, quiet and calm spaces exist within it. The Water of Leith runs through the city providing another habitat for wildlife.

And of course right in the middle of the city, in the shadow of the castle, Princes Street Gardens are the perfect place to relax in the late autumn sunshine.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Early November

The woods near us are beautiful at any time of the year but especially so in the autumn and I wanted to share a few photographs. Now that we are both no longer working we are able to walk several times a week when we are at home and watch the seasons change.

Autumn is my favourite season, I love the colours of the trees but also the feeling that everything is quietening down for winter. No longer having to set an alarm for 6:00am, I am trying to slow down a little too.

A year into retirement, I'm still in the process of finding a routine to suit. To find a balance between going out, going away and filling the days because I have the opportunity to do so or staying at home and enjoying the house and garden. Between my preference for quiet time alone and the need to find new friendships and activities now that socialisation doesn't occur as a by-product of work. To decide whether to take part in regular activities such as classes or enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a time-table and being able to make plans at short notice.

I'm not sure I have it right yet but I am learning. When we are away visiting my mother and looking after her house, we add a couple of free days onto our stay and have a mini-holiday. The same when we visit our son in Edinburgh, a weekend with him, then a day or two to explore on our own. Also the importance of "white space" between activities at home, time to catch up and restore enough order to the house and garden to enable me to enjoy our next trip away.

These last two photographs were taken at the National Trust garden at Stourhead a couple of weeks ago. We made a stop there on our way down to Devon to visit mum - grateful for the opportunity to turn a routine journey into a day out.

Next up, a trip to Edinburgh where I am expecting the temperature to be a few degrees colder and the leaves to have already fallen from the trees.

Friday, 8 November 2019

The fairy tree

Back in the spring, some fairies arrived in an old beech tree in the woods.

They seemed very happy sitting there surrounded by their flower garland.

This week I was pleased to see that they were still there. Some butterflies arrived over the summer. The newest addition though was not placed by humans, these toadstools popped up by themselves providing a magical backdrop to the little scene. With all the gloomy news at the moment, its good to know there are still fairies in the woods.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Early Autumn

There is a definite autumnal feeling in the air. The mornings are cooler, cyclamen have appeared, and the garden has a softer faded feel as we move through early October.

In the countryside the berries are bright until the cold weather arrives and the birds devour them.

This time of year encourages slowing down and reflection, two things that I seem to have had little time for lately.

Only my second post this year. I don't write but somehow am loathed to admit the fact and give up on the blog. I miss the early days of blogging when even the smallest blog like this one could form its own little community,  people in many different places around the world, quietly documenting their lives and photographing their surroundings. All on Instagram now I suppose and blogs are old-fashioned unless there is something to be promoted or sold.

Blogging is more time consuming and time seems to be in short supply these days, ridiculous since I no longer work.

The rhythm of my days has changed now that neither my husband or I are working. I no longer have those quiet solitary days at home. We are busy, the television is switched on, there are no quiet pauses in my day to take gentle walks with my camera, to sit, and to think.

Life is good but I miss that quiet. Today I have a rare day to myself and it feels good. I hope to make more time for days like these.

I'd like to find time to blog again, not regularly as I used to, but from time to time, simply documenting my days. We'll see. If there is anyone reading - do say "hello".

Friday, 15 February 2019

One thing I should realise by this stage in my life is that everything is always changing, nothing stays the same for long.

When I posted at the end of December I felt that my life had settled down and I might find more time for myself. Not so, when a week into the New Year my father died. It was completely unexpected and a huge shock.

Now a month on, I feel that life is settling down again but who knows what lies ahead?

As always walking in the countryside has been an important part of my days recently.

We are off for a short break soon, so I'll have some photographs from a bit further afield next time.