things worth celebrating

The August bank holiday weekend is just about at an end.

Despite it having been the longest, hottest summer in who knows how long, yesterday we had torrential rain and today has been as grey and breezy as might have been expected if global warming had never been invented.

Essentially, there are no more national fiestas now until Christmas.
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sick as a dog

I don’t know what the ideal length is for a blog post, but some weekends I seem to spend a heck of a long time writing.

Today, though, I’m going to settle for posting this screen shot, taken from a local pub website. There’s definitely something about those last two words that makes me wonder what they put in the biscuits.

Text from pub website "dog biscuits on the bar and plenty of water bowels"

distracted by details

Sometimes it seems that my work involves so much talking and so many emails that I run out of words and need to top up the supply by reading. At such times I revert to my childhood habit of reading indiscriminately and almost compulsively.

My tastes in fiction are fairly catholic and it’s definitely a question of quantity not quality for these binges: I don’t really care what the genre is, I just want words and more words.
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another day

According to the hash tags on Twitter, today is #worldphotography day, a global event that aspires “to create positive change in the world through photography”.

I should probably have been out and about in the local community taking photos of the dull grey morning, the suddenly, surprisingly, bright afternoon, or the rainbow-hued local Pride event.
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not so seedy

Last month, when I wrote the post a little focus, which featured a yellow-flowered tree in the park, I didn’t know what type of tree it was. I tried searching on Google, but had no luck.

Now, the tree is a mass of three-sided “bladdery” green fruits, tangled and jostling each other like Chinese lanterns in the breeze, and I’ve been able to discover that it’s actually a Koelreuteria paniculata – a Pride of India or Golden Rain tree.
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the Apostle Annetta

I’ve just published a new creative writing course on the Udemy platform: Inspirations for Creative Writing provides a range of practical activities, ideas and prompts for poets and other writers. The course has around 90 minutes of video classes, with a range of activities and examples to download. It’s the fifth course I’ve published on the site and I’m proud that The Essential Poet’s Toolbox for Readers & Writers, which has been online for a couple of years, is a bestseller.

One of the things that the Udemy platform does for instructors is provide automatic captioning for the videos; but although this is a useful service, it isn’t by any means a perfect system.
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change of view

The shortest – or, at least, the most picturesque – route into the centre of town from my home leads through a walled garden owned by the church. It’s a wonderful space and many of the photos on this blog – witch hazel, bluebells, cyclamen, crocuses, spring blossom… – have been taken there. I’ve sat there often, sometimes to read, occasionally to write, but more often just to think and watch the birds and squirrels.

As far as I know, the garden is open every day; certainly in the two or three years I’ve lived here I’d never seen it closed. Never until this week, that is.
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