April A-Z: N is for Nature

I’ve always loved spending time in nature, I grew up in the Scottish countryside along the East Coast from Aberdeen to Inverness, and we moved back to Inverness from London two and a half years ago.

It generally rains a lot here, so outdoors our foliage is usually green and lush pretty much all year round. My ideal gardening style is creatively informal and abundant, I love the idea of having seasonal plants filling up the flower beds all year round and in the summer I enjoy the feeling of soft grass cool and ticklish beneath my bare feet. I like to have potted greenery dotted around the house too, somehow bringing a little bit of nature inside my home always helps me feel grounded… ❤

Life events have conspired to pull me away from blogging over the last couple of months, and the idea of taking part in this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge seems like a good way to try to get back into the habit of reading and posting regularly. Originally I thought of just using any old random words to go with the particular letter of the day, but realistically without a clear theme to work towards I’m not sure I’d be able to keep my focus for a full month… So instead I’ve opted for a relatively simple, if slightly self-indulgent work-around: This year I’ll be posting 26 things about me, nothing too taxing to write about yet still fulfilling the brief!

Bottoms Up

It’s been such a long time since I participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile, and even though I’m finding life a bit of a struggle emotionally just now I do feel bad about not finding something to smile about each week, even just a small something…

So for the first weekly smile of this new year, here is a swan looking a lot less elegant than usual but having a lot of fun doing an impromptu Esther Williams impression just for me – its bottom bobbing in the air as the rest of it turned in an ungainly circle under the water certainly made me smile! 🙂

Sunday Stroll, Interrupted

Sometimes fresh air is the best medicine – I’ve got a thumping headache today so decided a walk along the canal close to home might help, and I took my camera with me for company. It was sunny enough with blue skies when I left the house, so I was in no rush.

But before long the sky darkened, and I got not too far along the canal basin when I felt the first spits of rain so turned around much sooner than I’d intended and it’s such a good job I did – the heavens opened and by the time I made it home again I was soaked. Even now the rain is still hitting hard off the window just to remind me it’s still there…

Sadly my headache is no better but I did enjoy my walk – well, at least the first half – and did get a few decent shots before the winter weather turned for the worst… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Medicine

Near and Far

Near to where we live in Inverness is the Caledonian Canal – it’s about a five minute walk heading west from our front door. Alternatively, a ten minute walk heading east brings me to the River Ness. A pleasant half-hour walk heading north along the canal takes me to the Beauly Firth, while a half-hour walk heading south along either the canal or the river to the edge of town brings me to a narrow strip of land where I can easily see both the canal on one side of me and the river on the other. So luckily for me, in whichever direction I choose to walk when leaving our house, at least one body of water is never far away 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Near/ Far

Into the Sun

My phone takes perfectly decent photographs for general use – I mean, I know my camera takes technically ‘better’ pictures, bigger sensor, bigger lens, better light intake, more pixels. So usually for ‘proper’ photographs I prefer to use my ‘proper’ camera.

But sometimes, to my surprise, I actually prefer the less than perfect images produced by my phone, especially when looking into the sun. The limited light coming in to the limited sensor can create a much darker, moody image than the more visually balanced ‘correct’ version made by my camera, and I really like the way the increased highlights and low-lights give an altogether more dramatic effect that captures far more accurately how I’m feeling at the time.

So sometimes, from a creative perspective, I find that art trumps science and photographically less really is more… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Starts with My

Friday Afternoon Walk

A few images from this afternoon’s leisurely stroll with my husband along the banks of the Caledonian Canal in Inverness. We saw boats, and ducks, and enjoyed the warm but breezy weather and beautiful blue skies.

It was nice just spending quality time together in the fresh air, walking and chatting and comfortably putting the world to rights – and to cap it all off we bumped into an old friend who was also out for a walk with her son, so we stood and chatted with them for a while too, which was lovely.

Altogether we whiled away a relaxing couple of hours in the sunshine, a perfect Friday afternoon walk 🙂

Weekly Smile