Photography Talk

Saturday Morning Frost

This morning for the second time in a row I was awake at 6:30. However, unlike yesterday, I woke up feeling … excited is too strong a word, as is refreshed … alert? good? Either way, I got up – and realised that it had happened.

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later.


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Not a heavy one, thankfully, but enough that there’s a definite crunch underfoot. So after a cup of tea and sorting out some bird food (suet pellets and a halved apple for the ground feeders, a refill of one of the feeders and two suet-goodie-stuffed coconut halves for those that prefer – and whipping up a new batch of goodies out of some chopped almonds, suet, lard and bread) I went out and took a few snaps.

The plan for the rest of the day is fairly simple. Shower, walk into town for desiccated coconut and a hair cut (different shops, obviously) then a quick make of some biscuits before my other half gets home.


More Evidence Spring Is Not Here, No Sir

Another (!) very pleasant day here in the heart of (north) Wiltshire. Started off frosty (no frost pictures), but remained clear (!) and dry (!!) all day.

On an afternoon perusal of the garden I noticed a few things. Firstly that the neighbourhood cats continue their vendetta against me and have doubled their efforts to turn my garden into the Cat Poop Capital of Europe but apart from that I see signs that things are, as they say, coming along.

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The Witch Tree

The Witch Tree

Fomperron, January 2013

Zero to Hero: DAY 14: BLOGGER’S CHOICE

The latest Zero to Hero task is – as you may imagine from the title – one of personal choice. Write, comment, explore … Its all good. 

I originally checked out the latest Weekly Writing Challenge and was initially inspired by its gonzo-inspired article idea (as in Hunter S. Thompson, not Jim Henson …). But that passed by the way-side.

I was then going to write about why starlings in my garden annoy me so much (basically because they seem to feed all day long, and therefore gorge themselves and eat everything, whereas other birds seem to feed in ‘shifts’), leading on to the phenomena of feeding garden birds (an industry that is worth an estimated whopping £400 MILLION per year).

Then this morning during a brief exchange of comments with From A Blank Page … I was inspired to write about something else – the impact of NaNoWriMo on the ability to write consistently throughout the year. Then I had lunch (scrambled egg – DOUBLE YOLKER!) and now I think that I’m going to save that one for another time. More than likely some when in October or December (i.e. a month either side of when NaNo runs).

Which now leaves me less than an hour to share an insightful post before the next task is in play.

Alternatively, I can leave you with the earnest yearnings of a dirty spaniel named Polly …

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Ipomoea (and Guest)

I was going over some old photographs (the joy of Flickr!) and came across this one and remembered how much it made me smile when I ‘developed it’ (i.e. transferred it from my camera to my computer!) to see that one of my dogs, Daphne, had photobombed the ipomoea!


Vintage – Rescued Lives

A long, long time ago … or at least that’s what it feels like … I picked up two boxes of old postcards when I was in France at a car boot sale (well, the equivalent). I am not a deltiologist by any means, but upon opening one of the boxes I found an old identity card and a lot of old family photos. Perhaps I was feeling particularly sentimental that day but I hated the thought of these going to someone who didn’t care about these people, or who wouldn’t respect that these represented somebody’s life.

Louise Gendron

Louise Gendron

It then became apparent that a lot of the postcards were written by a French soldier called Louis to someone called Amelie, who would later become his wife. Then there were later ones sent from Louis to his child Louise (chère Louisette). There are cards from uncles, aunts, cousins and godparents – and a number of people whose relationship was so well known that it was never written down – even a card to Amelie from “little Amelie”.

Eventually I was able to piece together that the soldier was Louis Beranger, and the young lady who became his wife was Amelie Doublié.

Is this Amelie?

Is this Amelie?

The collection of cards starts in 1901 and the last date I can find is 1975, and is not limited to those addressed to Louise or her parents.

Gateway gathering

A gathering in the gateway.

I’m not an expert in dating photographs – least of all French photographs, but looking at Louise’s date of birth (1912), I would imagine that the oldest photographs depict her grandparents, or perhaps even great-grandparents. Unfortunately none of them are named, and the only few with dates on are clearly of Louise as a mature woman, and dated to the 1950s.

Happy bunch ...

Happy bunch …


You may be wondering why, other than curiosity, I’m sharing all of this with you. And you’d be right to ask.

I honestly have no idea what's going on here ...

I honestly have no idea what’s going on here, but she’s sassy …

Amongst the postcards are various ones for Easter, May Day and “Thinking Of You” as well as the standard ones of towns and villages, ‘local’ attractions and the like. But there are also various “Happy New Year” ones. It might be worthy of note that in France the sending of Christmas cards was something unheard of until the last few years and the ever-encroaching Americanisation of the country. The standard was sending Bonne Année cards to friends and loved ones. The sending of what we’d call greetings cards is also a rather ‘new’ convention – traditionally it was all postcards. Even now the nicer cards are all in postcard format – with a folded greetings card often appearing, uh, cheap or tawdry, or aimed at small children.

So, yes, in the upcoming weeks between now, Christmas and New Year, I’ll be sharing some of these cards. The earliest dates from 31 December 1910, and the latest is from December 1921.

August 1923

Walkers at rest, dated August 1923

Daphne Triptych