It’s raining, its July and warm outside, yet it is raining. There has been rumbling thunder, a flash of lightening and torrential rainstorms for the past few hours.
As I sit in the open doorway of my Kitchen looking out at the rain I am reminded of times spent holidaying at my grandparents homes in Ireland during the 1960s and 70s. Most days would be spent out in the fields, with my brother and sister and the neighbouring children and my many cousins. I was the youngest and often could not always keep up.
Rainy days would find me sitting in the open doorway of their cottage, book in hand, perhaps accompanied by one of my grandmothers dogs. I could quite happily stay there watching the rain as it fell at let my imagination go wild.
I have recently come across some of my old school work, I can see how much the time I spent at my grandparents cottages influenced my writing then and how much it still does. Then if I had a question about Irish folklore or history I could always ask someone. Now of course he have google.
So now I am going to go back to watching the rain, with my cat by my side
This is a tale of Seven Tails, tails that belonged to the seven cats my mother looked after, however as write this I am aware that one cat ‘lost’ her tail (all she had was a little stump but boy did she use it to the best of her ability)
All cats were welcome to visit
And would make a bee line to get as close as possible, even sneaking up from behind.
Joey (with tail) lived in a rose bush for about 6 months before settling in. He was terrified of loud noises and brooms, he loved dry cat food and was the father of ‘Bubbles’ (without tail) and was totally devoted to Mushka (short haired smoky tortoiseshell (calico)
But he did into unusual spots
Below is a photograph of a painting of all seven cats my mother commissioned from a local artist
Two tabbies, two torties, one rather large black and white, one ginger and one champagne and white cat.
Along the River Great Ouse
The riverside has changed a lot in the last few years
Buildings have come down
Careful does it!
People were curious
New buildings went up
And so did a new bridge
The New Bridge
Older buildings changed use (again)
However the wildlife carried on as usual
All these photos were taken between 2012 and 2020
Posted in Archives, Birdwatching, Buildings, Memories, nature, Photos, River, Routine, Through A Window, Uncategorized, Walking
Tagged Bedford, meeting people, Memories, nature, photography, River, River Great Ouse, Riverside North, Walking
On a walk along the riverbank the Canada Geese are likely to swim over to you to see if anything is going.
Not to be out done….
a swan swam closer
just to make sure I could capture his beauty.
As I walked along the riverbank I noticed this little chap watching me
And what you don’t see from this next picture
is that minutes before they all had marched together across the grass to reach the riverbank.
And now buildings old
of times past
Posted in Birdwatching, Buildings, Memories, nature, Photos, River, Walking, Writing
Tagged Birdwatching, Inspiration, meeting people, Memories, nature, photography, River, Summer, swan, Walking
Admittedly on my lap top. I wonder how they will be seen in the future. No longer kept in an old shoe box under the bed, with the date and who was in them written in pencil on the back, or stuck into the ‘photo album’ you know the one where only the best photos are displayed.
With everything digital and kept in the cloud, what happens when the cloud bursts? Do the pixels dissipate never to return.
Will someone pop into their local archives in say 30 years and say ‘Have you got any pictures of what my town looked like at the turn of the century?
I just like looking through old photos.
This is one of my favourites, not because of the rainbow, or the lamp reflection (taken through a window) that could at a push be taken as a UFO (cue Gerry Anderson UFO music) but because that building no longer exists.
The whole area redeveloped from this
Until the next re development.
Posted in Archives, Buildings, Memories, Photos, River, Routine, Through A Window, Uncategorized, Walking
Tagged Bedford, Inspiration, Memories, photography, River, Timeslip, Walking
For a walk around a Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
No visitor centres, no other people. Just Nature!
Alas no sounds of yellow-hammers singing about bread and no cheese.
Just the alarm calls of the pheasants and other ground nesting birds as I ventured too close to them on my walk.
It the distance I could hear……….. the roar of a train as it hurtled along the tracks.
In seconds it was gone.
Peace at last
After along walk around the meadow (always following the paths laid out)
I returned to my starting point, collecting only memories and photos.
Posted in Local Nature Reserve, Memories, nature, Photos, Trees, Uncategorized, Walking, Wildlife Trusts
Tagged Birdwatching, Canon UK, DSLR, Flowers, Inspiration, Memories, nature, photography, Summer, Walking
This weekend I took a short walk along a country road.
As the cars whizzed by I took the time to look around me, to see what is missed when you travel by car.
My grandmother, and mother would have called today ‘A Soft Day’ It’s been raining on and off all day, more of a drizzle than showers. The wind has died down, the temperature has dropped but it is not cold. The sun is hidden behind the low clouds. If you listen carefully you can hear birds singing. Not the vibrant songs of last week, just the calls to one another. A solitary cat walks into my garden, no longer looking for shade.
As a youngster on holiday in Ireland, we would often experience ‘A Soft Day’ I would spend the day sitting at the front door of my grandparents cottage, on the little step (my grandparents lived in identical cottages’ sometimes reading the latest Enid Blyton book I had purchased in Woolworths in Clonmel (paying the taxes that bumped up the price by 6d) as I had read all the books I had brought with me. Or filling in countless notebooks with short stories about children who climbed over the dry stone walls and met up with Leprechauns, Banshees and Pookas.
It was on days like this I could let my imagination run wild!
Funnily enough, today I have found my self sitting in the shelter of the doorway to my house, as soft rain quietly falls around me, wondering what could be behind the moss covered stone wall – letting my imagination run and jump wildly in the air. Maybe I will go and have a look!
Posted in Birdwatching, Buildings, Kindle, Memories, Reading Right Now, Short Stories, Uncategorized, Writing
Tagged Banshee, Books, Childhood, Eerie Tales, Ghosts, Grandparents, Leprechaun, Memories, New Writing, Note Books, Pooka, Rain, Summer, Sunday, Timeslip
I could watch a heron fishing all day. They have so much patience.
and then in a flash
They take flight
Posted in Birdwatching, Heron, Memories, River, Routine, Uncategorized, Walking
Tagged Birdwatching, Inspiration, Memories, nature, photography, River, Summer
On one of my regular lunchtime walks along the river, I passed through my usual turning point (Town Bridge) and made my way to the weir. Sitting down to eat my lunch, camera at the ready I spied the usual swans, ducks and Canada geese. It was a pleasant surprize to see a couple of herons fly in.
It was many years ago on this river that I first saw a heron for the first time.
As I sat watching the Canada geese, I became aware that they were watching me as they grazed the sunburnt grass
One in particular followed me to the rubbish bin as I disposed of my sandwich packaging, hissing his disappointment
at not receiving a snack!
Posted in Birdwatching, Memories, Photos, River, Routine, Uncategorized
Tagged Bedford, Birdwatching, Canon, conversations, Herons, meeting people, Memories, nature, photography, River, River Great Ouse, Summer, swan, Weir