I don’t celebrate Christmas and try hard to avoid the consumer chaos, so this time of year is always a bit strange: I feel there should be something a little special, but am not quite sure why or what.
Some wintry weather might help – there’s nothing like a bright frosty morning for clearing the mind and restoring the spirit. But when I went for a brief walk in the park this morning there was really nothing particularly seasonal, just vast expanses of sodden leaves and an unpleasant amount of mud.
Continue reading “slightly festive”
I mentioned recently that I sometimes need to ‘top up’ my supply of words by reading voraciously just about anything I can get my hands on. It doesn’t have to be anything of any great literary value; indeed, I think what I’m really looking for is not so much words as such, it’s colloquial and fluent usage and phrasing that can perhaps be repurposed so that not all the clients I work for in a particular sector end up with the same wording on their websites and marketing collateral.
Since then, I’ve been wondering generally about vocabulary knowledge and learning: how many words do we know? Do adults continue to learn new words and, if so, how many?
Continue reading “words and birds”
Although the afternoon was dull and drear, this morning there was bright sunshine and it felt like spring. So, camera in hand, I went for a walk in the park.
There weren’t many spring flowers, or buds on the trees, but there were lots of dogs and their owners, dozens of gulls on the football pitch, three or four fishermen by the river, and several families feeding the ducks.
Continue reading “for the birds”
I try not to walk around while looking at my phone, after all, there are already far too many ‘candid’ videos online of people walking into glass doors, lamp posts and fountains while checking their emails and text messages. But when I am trying to find a meeting location in an unfamiliar place, I admit I am sometimes guilty of paying less attention to my surroundings than to the smart phone maps.
Although it meant I missed getting a better photo, I think I am probably glad the seagull in the photo was more alert than I was and quickly dragged his meal out of my way before I could fall over it or him.
It seems that it’s a bird-eat-bird world out there.
Once more, my head seems to be stuffed so full of cotton wool, clouds or feathers that there’s no room for a single useful or original thought.
I do have a set of rather lovely photos of swans I took recently but I think pretty much everything I’ve written that features birds, feathers or flight has already appeared on the blog at some point, so I’m lacking words to accompany the pictures.
I would have thought that swans should be inspirational and make writing easy as the adult female is a pen. These, though, seem to be mute swans.
Continue reading “swanning around”
A gust of wind startles
all the yellow birds of autumn
from their treetop perches
The idea of autumn leaves as birds is a recurrent theme for me, and I’ve posted several variations on the blog over the years, though not that exact phrasing, I don’t think. But it isn’t just flying leaves that are notable at this time of year.
Continue reading “autumn birds”
The day’s nearly over, but I still have time to publish a post commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. The main image above is a detail from a stained glass window he designed for St. Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham.
I knew I had a photo of one of the Burne-Jones windows, but had forgotten that it was entitled The Last Judgement. Now its subject matter has reminded me of the sky I photographed one evening recently, which was a beautiful, if somewhat disturbing, brimstone yellow.
Continue reading “day’s end”