On the Way: Window Dressing

I’ve been traveling around England for a little over a week.  Today I’m in London.  My husband and I have logged some miles walking and today was windy and cool, so I wanted to head back to our hotel early.  On the way we walked past Selfridges.  Some of the window arrangements caught my eye, and for a few minutes I forgot about being tired and cranky.

This spring we watched the weekly PBS presentation of Mr. Selfridge.  I imagine that Harry Selfridge would approve of this display for the Apple iWatch.  I love how all the elements of this design — the butterflies changing color and suspended from thin filaments, the watches on pedestals rising from the bottom — meld with the reflections of sky and the wonderful glass building across the street to create something quite fanciful.




I love the word, ephemeral.  It’s a wisp of a word that flies out of my mouth on fairy wings and disappears the moment it is said.  I love the fleetingness of it, the here-one-moment-gone-the-next thrill of saying it aloud.

That I was able to capture this sunset was also a thrill.  I hadn’t planned on it.  My husband and I were simply driving to meet some friends, and there it was, the trees along the way stretching their arms up in halleluja, singing the sun’s praises.  Will you look at that, they seemed to say.  Isn’t it glorious?  It was, indeed.  Seconds after I got this shot, the gold blister of sun was replaced by a thin stitch of orange along the horizon line.  The yellow glow was gone.

And so were we.

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge which can be found here.

Bath Abbey at Night

It's when you can't hear the bats, that's when the bats are coming.

“It’s when you can’t hear the bats, that’s when the bats are coming.”  Words on the cover of a birthday card sent by a friend.


Bath Abbey church is a fine example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture.  That is what Wikipedia says.  I marvel at the magnificent engineering and building of it.  And afterwards — all those peasants willed to cast their eyes heavenward to imagine the grandeur of God, while forgetting how poor and, probably, how hungry they were.

I shot this photo nine years ago on a trip to Bath, England.  My husband, son, and I were doing the nighttime Bizarre Bath Comedy Tour through downtown Bath.  We stopped by the Cathedral while our guide performed a magic trick. Looking up, I imagined those shadowy flying buttresses as stony arms that were daring me to turn my back to them.

At which point, they’d release the bats.


Inspired by Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

fforde ffiesta 08 TwistA whirl of caracters rising upward:
a girl in a green dress
a Hawaiian-shirted tourist
a minotaur
two cheese smugglars
and adorned
and prized
Ffiesta tomffoolery
for the ffun
of it.

The photo was taken at the DeVere Hotel in Swindon, UK, May, 2008.  The occassion was the second Fforde Ffiestaa gathering for fans of the author, Jasper Fforde.  (You can find out about Jasper Here and Here.) My husband, our son, and I have been attending these events since 2005, because these people are like family; each event has become a family reunion of sorts.  Those of us who consider ourselves members of this wacky, wonderful family are celebrating the fact that this weekend is EXACTLY 12 months away from the next reunion.  We can barely contain our enthusiasm.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challange.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Looking onto the courtyard of the Louvre.

Looking onto the courtyard of the Musee du Louvre.


On the threshold of old and new, past and present; where art meets the political, and clear panes of glass reflect time-worn stone.  The threshold of the Medieval and the Renaissance; Revolution, Restoration, and the Third Republic.  Surviving two World Wars and the ravages of time.

If you’re interested in the Weekly Photo Challenge, you can check it out here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

The Naked Cowboy at Times Square.

The Naked Cowboy at Times Square.

Maybe it’s the long, frigid winter or the fact that I have been feeling under the weather for awhile, but when I saw today’s Photo Challenge I thought of Dante and the gate of Hell.  Specifically the inscription on said gate.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

I looked through my photo files to find something that would fit the theme. This is what jumped out at me.  It made me think of an entirely different sign than Dante’s.

Abandoned here:  My dignity.  Feel free to join me for a buck.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

half face Cardiff 1pmCardiff Bay.
In the dark,
with the noise of
 howling wind and spitting seas
at your back
you stumble and fall
face first
on a braided rug of stones.
Ah, well, lass.  Rest awhile.
No one will mind
if you have a wee nap.
There is time enough
for repair
when you wake.

 While visiting the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, Wales last summer with friends, we passed this lovely woman.  I wondered about her, she looked so peaceful where she was.  Whoever she was, she looks the perfect object for this week’s photo challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

cemetary & city pmThis morning I thought my death might be imminent.  I hadn’t finished my first cup of coffee yet when the carbon monoxide alarm started beeping.  I called my husband at work.  He didn’t seem too worried, and said he’d come home at lunch. “If I’m dead by the time you get here, you’ll know why,” I told him.

I poured another cup of coffee and turned to the internet.  Then I  called my husband back and told him, never mind.  By then, we’d both figured out that the intermittent beeping meant that the device itself was dying (not me!).  So I ordered a new alarm.

There is nothing that lifts your day so quickly as to think you might be close to death one minute, and discover in the next that, nope.  Not today.

And nothing says juxtaposition like the stones that mark a passing as they stand in witness to the life that carries on.

You can check out the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Feet with purple toenails pm 4

I like these weekly photo challenges.  They’re quick, I can get on and get off, and still feel like I’m not spending quite so much time on the internet.  Plus, they give me a new way of looking at a word.  Today’s word is family.  A word, which for me, is sometimes so fraught with drama I want to run away and hide, or talk some kind person into adopting me.  And yet, I know that my family of origin loves me no matter what, as I do them.

But family is such an expansive word, and when I read the challenge I thought of this photo, taken at least a decade ago.  Because sometimes family is also a word for the friends who will get up before dawn and ride an hour-and-a-half just to stand beside you to watch the sun rise over Walden Pond.