My Sunday Photo: 24 May 2015

MSP150524Last Monday was wet. How do you say “It’s raining, but that’s OK…” in a photo? As some of you know, I often take pictures of flowers in the rain, a subject of which I am very fond. But I wanted a change, so I looked at this smallish pine tree. It’s all about noticing, isn’t it?

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My Sunday Photo: 17 May 2015

MSP150517Today, my Sunday photo is really a question for you: Can a mistake make art? This is a highly over-exposed shot of the centre of a flower, taken while experimenting with the power of the flashgun!

What do you think?

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My Sunday Photo: 10 May 2015

MSP150510Old walls, like this one, fascinate me. This is actually part of an old railway bridge. Trains passing underneath might have taken troops, or supplies, on the first part of their journey to France in 1914. In contrast, we’re looking at this year’s new growth of ivy (the paler leaves.)

Those bricklayers knew how to build, all right. It just saddens me that they had to do that work for a pittance. But that is another story.

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My Sunday Photo: 3 May 2015

MSP150503Who doesn’t love, as they say, a candle tree? This shot was taken in the evening, using quite a slow shutter speed, hence the slight blurring – which I think is sometimes not an undesirable effect. Large, old trees make me think, too. If they could talk, what stories they would have to tell!

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My Sunday Photo: 26 April 2015

MSP150426Taken last Monday, this is the first time I’ve managed to capture an image of earth-shine. This is the phenomenon whereby a very faint ‘full moon’ is visible due to the moon reflecting the Earth’s light, back to us. It’s just visible, here.

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My Sunday Photo: 19 April 2015

MSP150419The Lady in Red! I never tire of flowers and raindrops, somehow. And this is a lovely time of year to capture that mixture.

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My Sunday Photo: 12 April 2015

MSP150412This Picture was taken yesterday afternoon. Do people still call this the bud haze? I hope they do, because no other term would be so descriptive of such a romantic time of year. In just a day or two, barren-looking woodlands become sacred temples.

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Dear So and So: A Little Piece of My Story

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how to tell some of my own story. I’ve never attempted this before, but quite a few lovely bloggers have inspired me for a good while, now. And then, just in the last day or so, I saw that this blog hop is being revived by Michelle at Mummy from the Heart. Suddenly, I knew what I wanted to do. Here is the result. Oh, and to those of you who’ve supported me for the last two years, with tweets and messages, thank you all, too. I know this is only a tiny bit of ‘me’ and a few of you will wonder about the rest. Please bear with me. OK, let’s go:

Dear Lady at the ‘special needs’ table, at the college open day,

First of all, sorry to give you such a long name to be ‘also known as’. But for one thing, I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten your real name, and for another, it’s perhaps for the best that I don’t put it here. I’m sure you would understand.

I think that the one and only time we met will remain with me forever. As I recall, it was like this: I’d been walking round the advice and information tables that evening, getting gradually more despondent about my chances of adding to my formal education, so as to be able to take my working life in a new direction, or at least feel more fulfilled in the work I do. For an hour or more, all I’d really learnt about was the extent of the problems in my way. I was reluctantly preparing to leave. After all, I was way too old, wasn’t I?

And then I came to your table, near the exit. Now in those days, I didn’t much appreciate what ‘special needs’ is usually supposed to mean. As it happened, that didn’t matter, because, as well as being able to advise would-be learners with all kinds of learning difficulties, you also knew all about advising those who were, for example, victims of unusual circumstances.

You smiled, and greeted me. I only hope I managed to smile back. As you offered to help in any way you could, I began to tell you some of my story of the hindrances to my education (not my parents’ fault) that had beset my earlier life. You pointed to a chair, and sat down yourself.

I felt as if I was slowly thawing out after a long time in cold storage. You listened, just throwing in a few questions and words of advice now and then. After a few minutes, life didn’t seem quite as bad. A plan was coming together, but there were still countless ‘what ifs’ running through my head. And then it was time to conclude.

We stood up, and you smiled again and looked at me as we shook hands.

What you said then is what I will always treasure. I hope I manage to pass it on to others. It was not some inspirational quotation from Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Rudyard Kipling, or Ernest Shackleton (although I love many of those.)

It was just this:

“Phil…

It’s not too late!”

By now, my eyes were filling. Trust me, it was all I could do, not to walk round to the other side of that table and hug you. I smiled through unashamed tears, and left, happy.

The story of the next two years, and the qualifications I have achieved, would take another letter. But, for now, I want to say that I feel calm about the way forward; even though there are still a good many ‘what ifs’ left, they don’t scare me any more.

Dear lady, thank you.

Love from

Phil xx

Dear So and So at Mummy from the Heart

I’m also linking this post to ‘Share With Me’ set up here, by Jenny at Let’s Talk Mommy.
This is especially because I’ve never posted anything as personal as this before. (But it feels right to do so now.)

Let's Talk Mommy
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My Sunday Photo: 5 April 2015

MSP150405Once a common site, now rare; a forge fire. This one was at the old railway workshops at High Peak Junction, Derbyshire. I tried my hand (with help) at making a poker, which was rather fun!

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My Sunday Photo: 29 March 2015

MSP150329As many people know, reflections fascinate me. This was one I found this week, and caught!

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