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  • Listening to: Scotland Outdoors Podcast
  • Reading: Jar City
  • Watching: The Cosmos
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Smoked cheese
  • Drinking: Coffee

This short video fills me with joy. This is a young girl who is about to go on her first train journey and is full of excitement. I think the things that are easiest to lose in life are excitement and curiosity because life has a way of sucking them out of you. Just recently there have been further terrible things happening in countries like France, the USA and here in England. Over a lifetime you are faced with so many of these terrible events that it makes you give up hope for life on this planet............and then you come across someone like Emma Gonzales who impresses me every time I see her. Then there is something simpler like the short video above. However bad things get there are always these wonderful people and moments to remind you what it should be to be a human being living on this planet. For some reason the news thrives on sad and traumatic stories and can't find time for happy stories. There are places you can go to find these such as and five minutes of this positivity every day does me the world of good. 
I am so very happy that I am an optimistic kind of person and that I do still have this childlike excitement and curiosity inside me. It really is there on the surface. I don't have to dig deep to find it but many people do. This is not to say that I shut myself off from the bad things in the world. I am fully aware of them and take a deep interest in world news. I just won't let myself become overwhelmed by it (although there have been many times when that has been really difficult). 
Let me tell you about the A82. This is the road that passes Rannoch Moor to Glen Coe and on to Fort Wiliam then on to Inverness by Loch Ness. I love this road. Mainly because it takes me where I want to go but also because of the scenery it drives through. When I first drove along this road I had to keep pulling over and stopping because the views are spectacular. You leave a small town called Tyndrum and climb up before levelling out and heading out past Loch na H-Achlaise and on towards Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe and Fort William. As the road levels out after the climb my excitement is building as I know the sights I am going to see. Sights that I never tire of. The Black Mount, Rannoch Moor and on towards the wonderful mountain of Buachaille Etive Mor. This was my first experience of, what I call, real mountains. I can hardly describe the effect it had on me the first time I drove along this road. I have been here many times since, either to visit this area or passing through on my way to the Isle Of Skye. My love of the mountains has only grown since my first visit here. I wish I could describe how alive my senses become every time I approach these mountains and this area. I am childlike in my sheer joy. The same when I am on Skye. You can see the mountains long before you actually get to the island. Their silhouette is unmistakeable and my heart rate always increases when I see them. 
When I went on my short trip to Iceland in 2016 I was so happy that I took this same feeling of excitement and awe there with me............or I picked it up when I was there. However it happens I am full on alive, curious, excited, absolutely buzzing with life at these times and in these places. I am going back to Iceland for a longer trip in September and I can tell you that I am already excited about it. 

I am also excited every time I go out with my camera. If that doesn't come across in my pictures then  I am doing something wrong :lol:

I am also excited by the fact that it seems winter might have finally finished here and Spring is happening. This means I can get to work in my garden. I have a new flower bed to plant up and I have potatoes and onions to get into the ground. The magic of shoots coming out of the ground always makes me happy. Eating food I have grown myself fills me with absurd levels of satisfaction. I will be growing tomatoes, chillies, carrots, courgettes, lots of salad crops and green beans. The success of this will depend on how much time I spend looking after it all and how much time I am away from home but this time of year always cheers me up and fills me with energy. I am just about recovered from this horrible flu which I have had for seven weeks. That is also filling me with energy....albeit slowly......and I feel so much better for it. 
My excitement comes from the biggest mountain I can get to or from the smallest bud coming out in my garden. It comes from seeing excitement in others, or seeing acts of kindness or seeing someone like Emma Gonazales standing up for what they believe in. Wherever you find your own excitement, curiosity or joy.........please........never lose it. Never lose your excitement for the known or your curiosity for the unknown.

Another place I find excitement, curiosity and joy is here on dA each time I look through your latest creations. (My second heavy handed link it two journals.......well done Lawrence :) ) We are a band of brothers and sisters here. We work together, we play together, we share our creations, we share our love for each other and our love for what we each do. For what we contribute not only to dA but what we add to each other's lives. For all of that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. By way of thanks I would now like to share your work with as many people as I can. Please sit down for five minutes if you have the time and take a look at the fabulous pictures I have been collecting from you recently. Please fave anything you like and, if you have a minute, please leave a comment and let the artist know how you have enjoyed their work. 

The Fire inside me. by OliviaMichalski  Zefir by 4ajka  Jewellery Box With Pyrographed (Wood Burned) Cat by snazzie-designz  autumn memories by Ingelore  I'm so happy to see you all on DA! by mockingbirdontree 

Saturday's Hike by BWilliamWest     Spring Equinox ... by ansdesign      Tedd Deireadh v2.0 by Aenea-Jones      Culzean Bluebells by tracybutlerart     Dark Forest 1 by Metal-Bender  

Catching Feelings by Mouselemur   My self pic......2018. by gintautegitte69   Golden Haze by AnnMarieBone   Ciconia ... by ansdesign     Road trip by SilverMixx    Tree Tops in Snow by videodude1961 

Colour versus Monochrome by erene  Mist of Avallon... by Omoidenoki   Devil's Staircase by RawPoetry  Sys Bjerre by katr14    

Road trip 3 by BlueIvyViolet   Light In The Darkness by Trippy4U   They Don't Play Our Lovesong Anymore by Yuukon  Suspended in Light by justeline  

Old building III by VesnaRa014   Springtime by MEP-Photography  Houses by the river by Pajunen  The early morning mist by dashakern  

Choose happiness by AutumnIulia  Eternity by SvenMueller  The Wastelands by Exileden  Remote Norway pt. XXXVII by TheChosenPesssimist  

Norway 102 by lonelywolf2   The Dark Traveler II by justeline  Winter umbrella by LadyDattebayo  Sunny day by LadyDattebayo 

Time To Move On.... by Woman-of-DarkDesires  Chilean flamingo by Maria-Schreuders  Spring poppies by rougealizarine   It happened on a snowy night by MEP-Photography  you tied the knots yourself by Rona-Keller  

Citywalk by beatrice  Sunset pelicans by gigi50   O Lord ! Give me strength and courage ! by Sweetlylou  . by invisigoth88  ... by Annabelle-Chabert  

Colors in gray... by VesnaRa014  Don't catch butterflies ... by ansdesign  Flowers in the Morning by Yuukon  Celtic Cross at Great Bealings churchyard, Suffolk by LewisKocher  NEAR MY HOMETOWN ( WORLD HERITAGE ) by IME54-ART-ILONA  

Magical fishes by AncaXBre   Half a Flag by Arte-de-Junqueiro   Earth shows its bones by MaciejKarcz    Brushed by eegariM

the boats by fotomademoiselle   Walk on the Wild Side by richardcgreen  A Landscape with Blue Umbrella by sanderus  Mar 2018 2 by bindii  

Trail to Garibaldi Lake by dashakern   What I see on the road..... by gintautegitte69   Carousel Figurehead by richardcgreen   Swamp Fortress by GrimDreamArt   Stories of Ink: Black bird by dinabelenko 

Belong To The World by Mouselemur   Burst of Dawn by dashakern   Red by BaxiaArt   Lost In Red by Ada666pounder   Cold Sky by Metal-Bender  

The Hobbits arriving in Rivendell by aw-landscapes  Moonlight by SvenMueller  SEP 6321crop by bagnino  The Great One by r-maric  

. by MWeiss-Art   Winter's Willow by EmMelody   Copy-Paste by DominikaAniola   Only A Child Is Capable Of by IdaBarracuda    

Anywhere Between A Rock And A Hard Place by Trippy4U      Mar 2018 1 by bindii      The Last of Winter by MaaykeKlaver       Point Prim Lighthouse Monochrome by Zoomer1958  

The Fingers and Toes of Paws by TeaPhotography  Mountain By The Sea by SatyaSaruchi  Rust beauty by rougealizarine  Back to blue by BlueCaroline  A long time ago in Katowice by sanderus  

20180303dsc07117 by ltiana355    roman theatre of Plovdiv. by LunaFeles    Plovdiv ID by LunaFeles    Metalic ice by gigi50   

. by invisigoth88  The other Self by RickB500  Peace of Mine by WhimsicalBlue  Old attic spirit by AncaXBre  City builder by AncaXBre  Old Helsinki IV by Pajunen 

The cloud factory... by Omoidenoki  Stories of Ink: Nevermore by dinabelenko   True Blue by fairyladyphotography   Into The Great Wide Open by 33M  Feb 2018 3 by bindii 

AIRTAMS over the marketsquare in Katowice by sanderus   Some Flowers by vanndra   Jump by chriskaula  focus on anything by Ceecore   Winter Woods XV. by realityDream 

  ...sigh... by Saidge42 Dreams by paulee1   Remote Norway pt. XL by TheChosenPesssimist  New Light Dawning by AlicesPlace 

River .003 Panorama by asetix  Zoa-Falls Lake Loop-Zoa subsummit by Westcoastspirits 

im Mondlicht by CaveCanem42   Winterwald by RobinHalioua   The Deer by MiserableCreature    The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore by MiserableCreature 

Winter sunset by RawPoetry   Thin Ice by Cyan707   Axeman's Inflow by eegariM  Semplicity by Nataly1st  Lormet-zoo-0784V-sml by Lormet-Images   PW 11 by Tatyana-Sanina  

renaissance by IreneHorvath   Between loneliness and happiness by dashakern   The Monolith by Pistolpete2007  Booksburg by Lora-Vysotskaya  

art by thefirebomb   ... by only1second   147 - Red Scarf by ElyneNoir   Bonewhiteglory by Mrs-White   Final Frontier by RS-foto  Untitled by dasTOK 

. by invisigoth88    Bead Girl in watercolor by THollander   AITRAMS Zabrze 2 by sanderus  The Baptism of the Fog by richardcgreen   A Change Is On The Way by Trippy4U

Thank you so much for looking through these works of art. I hope very much that you found a lot to enjoy here and that you can support the artists in some way. 
As always, my love and friendship to you all. It is something special in these difficult times to make so much and to add so much to this world. And that is what you are all doing. You are all adding to the sum of human history by creating this art. You are leaving your mark on this world and I, for one, could not be happier about that.
Spread the love and take care of yourselves and each other, always. Keep creating.  :heart: :hug:

  • Listening to: The News Quiz
  • Reading: Reykjavik Nights
  • Watching: Fortitude series one
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Scrambled Eggs
  • Drinking: Tea

We are all astronauts on spaceship Earth. It's funny that we think of space as being out there but it is also right here. We are in space flying around on this planet. To anyone outside they would look at us as we look at Mars or beyond. We are in space. A select few have had the privilege to look back at the Earth from a distance and be affected by having done this. 

"When you're finally up at the moon looking back on Earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you're going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people?" 
Frank Borman Apollo 8 

A couple of things have come to mind recently regarding this. Somehow, these astronauts have experienced something that has given them an explanation for the world and why we are here and how we should live. I think you'd be a strange kind of human to not be changed by such an experience but they do seem to have found it to be a very spiritual and uplifting moment in their lives. Also humbling. 

"It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
Neil Armstrong

Having had this experience and having spoken about it widely, how come the world has not paid them any attention? How come the world continues down the same path it always has? Either the world chooses not to listen to their words of wisdom or it chooses to ignore them.
Another thing which probably touches me more deeply is that I have always believed in the power of pictures. Many of you know that I try very hard to inject feeling and emotion into my photographs. It may not always be easy to spot this :lol: but when I am standing on a mountainside captivated by the beauty before me I want some of that feeling of magic and captivation to be in the picture I create so that you might have a chance to feel like I felt at that moment. You probably will never get to stand where I was standing so this is your chance to experience it and, if I have done my job right, you will feel something of what I felt. I honestly never take snap shots. I don't get too bogged down in techniques and technical skills, though I can call on them when required. My photography is quite intuitive and emotional. This brings me back to the subject of the astronauts. Some of the pictures of the Earth are just stunning. They really touch me as I think is only right. They tell me about the beauty of the planet and it's fragility and how it needs to be looked after. And, in these pictures you can't see all the bad stuff going on in the world. I just would have hoped that these pictures would have had a bigger effect on the world, it's people and it's leaders. To make them see how lucky we are to have this planet to live on and how lucky we all are just to have a life to live. Am I wrong though? Do I put too much store in the power of pictures? 
Few people could say that war is a good thing after looking through some of the photographs of the great war photographers. Many famine situations have been helped enormously by the powerful and heart wrenching  photographs published. History is shown in pictures whether photographs or not. Maybe the picture is still a powerful thing. I do hope so. Maybe the ideas of planet Earth seen from a distance are just too big to cope with? Maybe the other things work because they are on a more personal level. I don't know. That could be it. Maybe thinking of the planet on such a wide scale is just too big for people to cope with? Well, I hope they start to cope with it soon. It is a fragile planet and we are not taking care of it. 

"Oddly enough the overriding sensation I got looking at the Earth was, my God that little thing is so fragile out there."
Mike Collins Apollo 11

If we could all just see ourselves as astronauts and then see as the astronauts see, there would be more hope. 

One of the reasons I found myself thinking along these lines is a recent series of images from :iconbindii: which I have found captivating. You will find them shortly in my feature. 
Speaking of my feature........(nice link Lawrence) here are some pictures that have caught my attention recently. I have had a little time to look over the last few days as I have the flu. Whilst I know this will pass I am still a bad patient. Being ill just is not my thing. So anyway, it has given me more time to look at dA and watch TV so it's not all bad. 
Here we are then. Sit back and enjoy some stunning artwork made by some simply stunning artists :hug: That means you, and you and of you :hug:

146 - Into Oblivion by ElyneNoir    145 - Tiny Tree by ElyneNoir    Look at this beautiful lake by Caillean-Photography    Wintery scene by thefirebomb    my paths XII by JoannaRzeznikowska

Hope by mockingbirdontree   Living On The Edge by Mouselemur  WInterwonderland by Fiograph   I know I can smell it by gigi50  Winter Morning by Nelleke 

My hanami... by Omoidenoki  King and his men by MaciejKarcz   Feb 2 2018 by bindii   northern gingerbread cookies by 4ajka  There Will Always Be A Door To The Light by 33M  

Hindsight by BWilliamWest   And when the rain.. by OliviaMichalski  Fuchsia for Life by TeaPhotography  Love in Any Language by TeaPhotography  It's winter out there by phalalcrocorax  Magicians Palace by GrimDreamArt 

Pasterze by MarvinDiehl  Fire Storm by richardcgreen   Beloved by saperlipop   The eternity of passing time... by Omoidenoki   NEW PROFILE PICTURE, JUNI 2017 by IME54-ART-ILONA  

KASHMIR by nehab16   Happy Birthday Michael by 1001G   God And Country by Trippy4U  Instaeyes by IdaBarracuda  End of winter by rougealizarine 

Va fail, elaine... v2.0 by Aenea-Jones  Blanca II by RawPoetry   February seashore by Pajunen  Celtic Cross at Gt Bealings, Suffolk, England by LewisKocher 

Nature Love by tango793   Top Hat and Tails by Cozmia  Summer. ...58 by gintautegitte69  Little Monster 3 by pillendrehr  Crocus Heart by AlicesPlace 

One more Sunrise by dashakern   Giglio Island Castle by Nataly1st   Purple passion by MEP-Photography  Adios, Cuba, mi amor... by dashakern 

My steampunk valentine by Sweetlylou  Winter Creek by Pajunen   The snowflake by gigi50  Industrial Ghost LXV by Trippy4U 

Paulina by fairyladyphotography  The night concert by SecretDarTiste   Macro Worlds by IndigoSummerr  Water paths by Annabelle-Chabert  Blue Swedish Eyes. by KarinClaessonArt 

P a p a v e r  r h o e a s by ColorfulLadybug   Motherland Chronicles #18 - Julia by zemotion    On my way to ... by ansdesign   Fairy Valentine by LewisKocher   Crush by Metal-Bender     Bookends by Yuukon  

Feb 1 2018 by bindii   St Joseph Lighthouse by Jules49442  Night fairy by AncaXBre  Silent Ways by Woman-of-DarkDesires   Frida by bohomaz13  

Ersfjordbotn - it's snowing by LunaFeles  Moccasin Lake, Oregon by artistwilder 

Alpinre Splendor by artistwilder   Mammoth Hot Springs in the mist 2 by CitizenFresh  View From Vermillion by artistwilder    Mother Nature by Sophia-Eowyn 

rising by IreneHorvath  The Climb by erene   midwest weed by fotomademoiselle   Under the mountains by xBajnox   Hollyhocks by rougealizarine 

Seascape II by MarcosRodriguez  Mask of the Goddess by fillemazendacus  Paralipsis by aspruli  Memories of a Winter Morning by annewipf 

Aslan Wooden Box Lid Woodburning Pyrograph 01 by snazzie-designz      Duality by EvaPolly      Feb 2018 by bindii     134 - Isolation by ElyneNoir     An old water tower in Piotrowice by sanderus 

Next finish by Ullyssess   Quiet dying in the winter III by VesnaRa014   AIRTRAMS Bytom 2 by sanderus  One of those weeks by SilverMixx  Lormet-zoo-0702S9-sml by Lormet-Images 

Rough Lands by eegariM   Lemon tea (Really Hot) by dinabelenko   Fighter by Metal-Bender   Keen eye by Nikki-vdp   Cathedral Cove   New-Zealand by gwenoder  Reaching out by Melusine8  

Giant Puddle by eegariM   Nina by Trippy4U   Valley of flowers by ElenaDudina  On the Caledonian Channel by MaresaSinclair 

Dead End by VBmonkey26   Fading Autumn V. by realityDream   Fog 2 by mugurelm   Before The Rain by Lora-Vysotskaya

Dive by Alannah-Hawker   Full Moon by Crannogphotographic   Bench by LidiaRossana    Slavic Hut by GrimDreamArt  a little photo booth series by Rona-Keller  The winter gathering by rollarius55 

The Zen Of Total Concentration by 33M  Idyllic Landscape. by LunaFeles  Spying on the winter by streamweb   .:A Good Catch I:. by RHCheng  #02 Home Forest by Teescha-Rinn  

Time To Scoot! by Lora-Vysotskaya   The world upside down by Maria-Schreuders   Dreaming by AStoKo   Jan 2018 4 by bindii  A gaze to the world ... by ansdesign 

Long for the woods by csillabold  The observer by MaaykeKlaver  Fade To Grey by AntonioGouveia  Chandratal Lake by nimitnigam

Kafjorden I by sHavYpus   The Heavens And The Earth by SvenMueller  Blue Night II by raysheaf 

Wald #125 by HeikoGerlicher   Fallen Comrade by aw-landscapes   A Journey to the Mountains by m-eralp  next morning.. by AlicesPlace   3-D Tracking Photography by SAMLIM 

I hope you enjoyed this selection. You have all been very busy which makes choosing harder. 
So, if looking at the bigger picture is hard we can start small. Look at how we are affecting the planet as individuals and try to be better. Also remember we are all astronauts on this spaceship so we need to take care of each other. There is so much bad stuff going on we can at least look after each other. 
Spread the love and let your creative juices flow. Let beauty and creativity and love be your legacy. I hope it will be mine. 
As always, my love to you all. :hug: :heart:
  • Listening to: War Of The Worlds
  • Reading: The Silence Of The Sea
  • Watching: Guy Martin Builds A WWI Tank
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Polish sausage
  • Drinking: ginger beer

Good morning on National Blueberry Pancake Day. I bet you didn't know that. On this day in 1547 King Henry VIII died and in 1968 Sarah McLachlan was born. Sadly, in 1986 Space Shuttle "Challenger" exploded losing the crew of seven. The people of the world cried as they witnessed the disaster. Astronauts have my utmost respect for pushing the boundaries of the human experience. They have always worked on the very edge of human technology and many have been lost throughout the progress of their journey. The ultimate explorers maybe. I have always been excited and inspired by them anyway wherever they are from. 

When I wrote my last journal it was just before Christmas and I was about to have a short break from work. This was very enjoyable and relaxing though I did put on a few pounds which I am now trying to lose again :lol: The New Year came and went and I came into 2018 with the realization that I had no real plans for the year. I had a couple of vague ideas in my head but nothing had been booked which left me feeling a little unsettled. You know I like to have trips coming up or I get itchy feet. Well they were getting really itchy I can tell you so I have concentrated my mind and I have decided where I am going to visit this year. It may surprise you to know that I will not be visiting Skye this year. I don't think I will have time but we shall see. You never know what will happen. On my list for 2018 are Glen Coe and that area of the Scottish Highlands, The Orkney Islands which are just north of Scotland, A longer trip to Iceland and a trip back to Northumberland. All these trips are booked so I now have plans which does make me feel better. I don't know why that seems to matter to me so much. I love the excitement of an upcoming adventure. There are times when I think I enjoy the anticipation most of all........then I get there and find myself wide eyed and catching my breath at nature's work before me and I know that the excitement and buzz will never fade away. My senses are all turned up to 11 and my sense of inner peace fills me. It is only two months since I was among the mountains of Skye and yet I long to be somewhere other than here, where I live. It's a difficult thing to explain. I have tried before. I like my home and I like being at home and I like coming back home but I always live for my next adventure. I do see the beauty in small things and I take a lot of pleasure from my garden and I love to cook and read and watch movies and all kinds of stuff. I like all of that. But.....nothing gives me a thrill like an adventure. Getting away. I think maybe it is because I pretty much know what is going to happen at home. As long as I wake up in the morning (which is always a positive start to any day ;) ) I know what is going to happen. Especially on a work day. When I go away I have no idea what each day will bring. I don't know what I am going to do from day to day or what I am going to see or what pictures I will take. I love the uncertainty of being on a trip. I like that edge. So, anyway, you find me at a very exciting time just because I have some trips planned :eager: I'm easy to please ;)

After my Christmas memories last time a couple of people wrote to me with some of their memories which triggered another couple of mine. I'm not sure if I have shared these with you before so please bear with me if I have. I don't remember everything I have written before and I do ramble :lol:  In the house I grew up in as a child we only had a gas fire in the living room. There was no heating anywhere else in the house apart from the bath room (more about that in a minute). In the kitchen we had a paraffin heater on wheels. You would pour the liquid paraffin (made by a company called Pink Elephant) into it and light it with a match. It would then give off heat but also paraffin fumes. I used to sit in the kitchen on winter evenings listening to the radio with my younger brother as it was the chart show. We used to sit there with eyes streaming from the fumes from the heater. The rest of the family would be in the living room watching the TV and when we had finished with the radio we used to rejoin them somewhat light headed and crying. Ah the memories. The heater in the bathroom was an electric one on the ceiling. It was round like a flying saucer from a 1950s sci-fi films and was turned on with a pull cord. It used to glow red round the outside as it warmed the roof as hot air rises :lol: a fairly pointless heater but I wish I still had it. It was a pretty design though utterly useless. 

Now it is time to share what you have been creating since my last feature. I am so happy to come here each day to see your submissions. I see landscapes from places I have not been, portraits of people I will never know, abstracts from really creative minds......paintings made with skills I will never possess but which fill me with awe. You all just inspire me so much and make me want to take better pictures and find more beautiful places. To have that inner thing that you have that drives you to create such beauty in this crazy world is a gift. I treasure this gift that you all have. You are hopers, dreamers, makers, doers and creators.
I love all that you do. In my own small way this is my way of spreading your magic to a wider world. I hope that is what I do anyway. I believe your magic deserves to be seen and admired. On that note, if you do see something you think has that magic or touches you in some way please drop a fave and if you have time, a comment which is always welcome. Thank you for everything you do. 

Cadillac by Metal-Bender    Crystal Blue Persuasion by gigi50    Der Nebelweber webt im Wald by only1second    Drink to Me 2.0.... with added Window by richardcgreen     Winter Solitude by aw-landscapes

Evening Grove by AnnMarieBone   Structures. by OliviaMichalski   Postcard by Yuukon   Vintage beauty by SilverMixx   Today is in the past by MWeiss-Art

Winter In Owl Mountains by DominikaAniola   Lighthouse by Jules49442   The magic of Sunset by dashakern   A road to Myslowice by sanderus

WWW : World Wet Web by Omoidenoki   The Minutia Of It All by Trippy4U   Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines by dashakern  It Would Be So Nice by Mouselemur  wrapped inside November rain by Rona-Keller

white alley by 4ajka   Mother Nature by Sophia-Eowyn   How icy are the Times 4 by pillendrehr   Snowy Hills by tracybutlerart  Requiem of ice ... by ansdesign  Jan 2018 3 by bindii

Winter landscape in the style of Afremov by Alena-48  no, I won't open my eyes! by Ingelore   Iceland by Annabelle-Chabert   Sir Olive Tree by Annabelle-Chabert    A place to enjoy by VesnaRa014

A Night Hunting by sanderus       Horizon by EyeOfTheKat    ~ by Woman-of-DarkDesires

twilight in Hallstatt by LunaFeles  Giving me the eye by gigi50  Hello everyone...........with :love: and :hug:'sss by jennystokes  a room with a view by ivtaya  House of Vice by LidiaVives   Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier January 2018 by videodude1961 

Mazama Ridge 2 by MaciejKarcz   Between the rain by streamweb  mirror. by LunaFeles   Stockholm by GrimDreamArt   Daisies by vanndra

Coco Chaotic by richardcgreen    RAGE by nehab16   Don't worry, be happy by Maria-Schreuders   Me and my guitar ... by ansdesign  That Was Then by Trippy4U 
Soon The Sun Will Rise 2 by CitizenFresh  Magic forest and the rabbit by m-eralp   Morning Melodies by dashakern  For Maryellen by LidiaRossana  Handmade Coptic bound Isle of Skye Book 02 by snazzie-designz 

shining bright by IreneHorvath  my paths by JoannaRzeznikowska  Silent Beautiful Graceful Motion by 33M  Two by lewest 

manyuruak by styvop  Playful by LiliaLaurent     The Figure by EmMelody  All I can say by MEP-Photography 

Grow With The Flow by TeaPhotography   Fiery by aw-landscapes  Asian small clawed otter by Maria-Schreuders   Silent Odyssey by aw-landscapes 

Laden by Nikki-vdp  105 - Dead and Gone by ElyneNoir  A Beautiful Mind by WhimsicalBlue  Some Winter Scene by Cyan707   Autumn Birches by Cyan707 

Starlight at Christmas Eve by flaviobolla   Royal by RawPoetry  Fairy Tale by Mocris   Landscape sketch by csillabold  Tony's kitchen by Juanilla 

A Toast... by Scooby777  I'll catch you by Konakira   when winter was cold by Ingelore   Across by Annabelle-Chabert  Winter Brook by Pajunen 

City of Denver by 1001G  The Emperor by eegariM  Moody Days by BaxiaArt   Wald #123 by HeikoGerlicher

# Red by Mishkina   The rock arch in the sea by LinsenSchuss    The Jeweler by 000Fesbra000    The Lady of Wildfell by SpokeninRed     Winter Serenity by da-phil

Coquihalla Canyon by dashakern  de la couleur des opiaces by Annabelle-Chabert    Snowland X by Aenea-Jones  Klondike Valley Panorama by eegariM 

Trees by Yuukon   Forgotten Land by Tindomiel-Heriroquen   Untitled by huhahohi  Cloud Walker by TheFoxAndTheRaven 

fox by hannes-flo   Alta1 by ajonsaas   Dark Winter by DameTenebra  Soothing Melodies by ObscureLilium 

Rapid Town Square by BWilliamWest   HAPPY NEW YEAR by IME54-ART-ILONA   Ancient city by rougealizarine   Happy New Year 2018 by annewipf   the winterdays II by Bodhisattvacary 

Snow Jumping by Nikki-vdp   Heaven or Hell? by eegariM   snow is falling. by LunaFeles   Hallstatt by LunaFeles

That's all for now folks :) I hope you have found something you like. Thank you so much for reading this far and for looking through the pictures. I am constantly amazed by you all. Thank you all for being part of my life. I hope this year will be good to you, each and every one of you. 
Spread the love. Keep creating the magic that you do. You are all totally amazing. My love and best wishes to you all :heart: :hug:

  • Listening to: Nat King Cole
  • Reading: A Christmas Carol
  • Watching: The Good Life
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Steak
  • Drinking: Red wine

I was asked the other day what is the worst present I have ever been given. When I looked back I discovered that I have very little recall of presents that I have had. My memories of Christmas as a child are not about presents. They are about our family being together and of food. Sitting around the dining table which was loaded to groaning point with Turkey, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, hot stuffing, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts and thick gravy. There was plenty of food and we could eat until we popped. This was followed after a discreet interval by a steamed Christmas pudding with custard or cream. You had to be careful eating the pudding as it had six pence coins and three pence coins in it. The idea was it was a gift for you if you were lucky enough to find one but you tried not to swallow one :) 
What was most amazing about this meal was that we never normally ate anything like this. This was special food for a special time and I'm sure my parents had to save all year to lay on this feast for us. As I have mentioned previously, I come from a poor family but this just made this day so much more special. The anticipation of this meal was real and the excitement and enjoyment of it had no limit. It was off the scale. Compared to our normal dinners this was like an episode of Man v Food. I will never forget those times as long as I live. It was a magical day. As I said though...........I do not remember the presents. I remember the togetherness and the love and the appreciation for what we had. 

It's funny how a simple conversation leads you down different paths and makes you look at things that you thought you were familiar with in a different light. I was talking to this guy from Poland and he was telling me how he will be spending Christmas in a very traditional Polish way. To him this means eating fish on Christmas Eve and not meat. It was very important to him that he keeps to the tradition of his country. It got me to thinking about what we think of as the traditional Christmas here in England. Most families have developed their own individual traditions inside this general idea but basically we have a picture in our heads of what a traditional Christmas looks like. It didn't take much looking to find that what we think of as tradition is not actually very old. I apologise to non meat eaters now but I'm afraid Turkey will rear it's head. In England it wasn't until the 1950s that Turkey became the most popular meat to eat at Christmas. Before that it was Goose, Chicken or some other kind. So this change was good for the geese but not so good for the turkeys. They say that King Henry VIII was the first to eat Turkey for Christmas dinner over here. Well, maybe that is true ;) Who knows? 
Most of the trappings of Christmas we know and love come from the Victorians. Christmas cards, Christmas crackers, decorated trees.....all came from the Victorians and were popularized by the likes of Charles Dickens. At the start of the 19th century the main time for gift giving was the New Year. By the end of that century Christmas had become the biggest annual celebration in the British calendar and it has stayed that way. The idea of an indoor decorated tree was introduced by Prince Albert and was from Germany. 
I don't know if you are aware but this year we are celebrating, unofficially, one hundred years of Christmas wrapping paper. Now, it is not strictly speaking true as people had wrapped present before but let me elaborate. The idea of wrapping presents was actually invented by the people who invented paper ;) (well you would wouldn't you?) It was in China. It reached England in the late 16th century.
By Victorian England the upper classes of society were wrapping gifts with thick, decorated paper and ribbons. This soon was replaced with coloured tissue paper. Shops started to offer wrapped gifts though they used brown paper and string. "Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things."
This all changed at Christmas 1917. In a stationery store in Kansas they ran out of tissue paper in the run up to the big day so they put the fancy decorative paper meant to line envelopes out on the shelves for 10 cents a sheet. They sold out. By 1919 they were printing their own paper. They went on to form the Hallmark empire and the gift wrapping industry took off. 
It was in the 1930s that rolls of something like sellotape became avaiable. Designs became more Christmassy featuring snowflakes, candles and trees. Then, during World War II wrapping paper was not subject to rationing as the government thought it boosted moral and would encourage the sending of presents to the troops. They were right, during WWII sales of wrapping paper increased by 20%. 
So it seems that the traditional Christmas in Britain is not nearly as old as people think. 

As we are now very close to Christmas day I would just like to ask you to consider your fellow man. If you know of a lonely neighbour or one who could do with a hand with their shopping please try to find a few minutes for them. I know we are all so busy with our own families and their needs but if you can find a few minutes I'm sure there are those who would really appreciate it. Christmas is a difficult time for many people for lots of different reasons. Remember those who are alone at Christmas probably didn't used to be so will be full of their own memories of how joyous a time it was before. Maybe they have lost someone recently and could just do with some company. I know someone who lost his dad last week. Christmas will still be a good time for him and his family but it will never be quite the same again. So if you can do anything to help it would be lovely.

And now onto the feature. Thank you so much if you have read this far and welcome to the feature if you have scrolled down :lol:
It has been another amazing year for art here. I have found many new artists and friends this year and I would like to share some of your work with a wider audience now. Thank you all so much for all your faves and comments. I am a bit behind with my replies but I will catch up as I always do. My love and respect to you all for all that you do and all that you create. More than ever we need creative, loving people in this world and I am privileged to know you all. So sit back and enjoy these pictures. Feel free to fave them or make comments and let the artists know their work is being appreciated. You could just makes someone's day today. 

Peace by MEP-Photography  Bow To The Frost by Nikki-vdp  Feelin' Frosty by LiliaLaurent  Cozy Evening. by OliviaMichalski  Winter Forest II by Pajunen  Happy Holidays by MWeiss-Art  

Eyes by thefirebomb  . : Des Eiskoenigs Schloss : . by PfisterMartin  'O du froehliche' by Ingelore  Merry Christmas Everyone by EvaPolly  Christmas link ! by Omoidenoki  

Up to no good by dinabelenko   Refreeze by eegariM   Christmas Street by annewipf  Merry Christmas 2017 by KarinClaessonArt

Merry Christmas! by Yuukon  Merry Christmas! by poisen2014  The great childhood dream by Julianez  Story time by Lysendrah  Merry Christmas. by CharllieeArts  

Santa's Letter by TinaLouiseUk  Ribbons and bows by SilverMixx  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Trippy4U  Merry Christmas 2017 by videodude1961  La goutte by Piscisvolantis  Missed the Magic #2 by eegariM  and winter came by Luperkalia418  

closer and clearer by Rona-Keller  Winter Dead Wood by richardcgreen  There's a world outside your window... by ansdesign  The old wise trees by Annabelle-Chabert  Twin Peaks by aw-landscapes  A little bit of sparkle by SilverMixx  

Winter in Hallstatt by LunaFeles  I love Christmas by Nikonfinest  In Another World by MaaykeKlaver  Merry Christmas 2017 by LindArtz  
Trees 4 by pillendrehr   Fluchtgedanken by Woman-of-DarkDesiresb The Gate by Woman-of-DarkDesires  The Lonely One by Yuukon    Happy Christmas! by VesnaRa014

Merry Christmas 2017 by slowdog294      Merry Christmas 2017 by Cinnamoncandy       Happy Holidays! by ivtaya      Happy Holidays by Maria-Schreuders      Eternal Winter IV by Aenea-Jones      My gift to you by 1001G

One Last Mile by Trippy4U      Into A Fairytale by Nikki-vdp      Christmas season breakfast by fotomademoiselle      Fraser River in December by dashakern      Through Purple Meadows by tracybutlerart

Duality by Woman-of-DarkDesires     Frelsi by Ivoryia     Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed by Trippy4U     White blanket by sistersinnister

Brant Street Pier Monochrome (#2) by Zoomer1958  Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood by 4ajka  grapes by PutyatinaEkaterina  Snow yarn by DalfaArt   beautiful morning VII by JoannaRzeznikowska 

Cathedral 2 by GrimDreamArt   Christmast trees by Juanilla     Bewitched by ElenaDudina     All the dreams by MEP-Photography     Winter Brook by Pajunen

STOP, IT IS NOT YOUR TIME ! by IME54-ART-ILONA  Rotting decaying loving world... by Omoidenoki  Footsteps Walking Over Frozen Ground by 33M  Fairy Christmas! by EnchantedWhispersArt 

Full Rainbow at the beach by gigi50  the winterwoodlanddays I by Bodhisattvacary  First Snow by BaxiaArt   Mg 9984 1 by Micko-vic  o.T. by pillendrehr 

dark tenderness by LinkyQ  Untitled by LinkyQ  Moonlight Mountains by AnnMarieBone  Journey of Change by TeaPhotography 

Walk in the park III by Pajunen      Life, life by Anka-loves-to-fly       Winter ID by Floreina-Photography

When We Were Together by LidiaRossana  The Very Special Assistants by saperlipop  Watching... by Juanilla  Jean's Pipes by IdaBarracuda     

Gefrorene Schatten by Woman-of-DarkDesires  Mountain Desert by irrationalrationale  065 - Purple by ElyneNoir  Between Dreams by VelvetRedBullet 

daydream by ivtaya  The Precipice... by nehab16  Shadows of Silence by WhimsicalBlue  The Young and the RestlesSs by MagicLaDyCharm  Leith Haven by Milomeiko

Premiere neige by Melusine8  I Heard the Bells by LewisKocher       Woodland Mushroom by EmMelody    Lilliput Castle at Night by adrianamusettidavila

Dead Horse Point by Pistolpete2007    Leaves by Finsternisss    From the Dunes by Goodbye-kitty975    ... by only1second    Mother love. by jennystokes

Mystic tree by rougealizarine  Arua by ArrHart  ChameLEON by Fiograph  Golden Morning by Alannah-Hawker   Autumn Colors #3. by Sparkle-Photography

The Edge of the Forest by Pajunen    Aphantopus hyperantus by ColorfulLadybug  Land of the Vikings by aw-landscapes 

What ''Philup'' see a-gawn to work of a mornen... by AlicesPlace  Memories by Aeternum-designs  Window by AncaXBre  Installation 1 by aspruli  When there's nothing left. by OliviaMichalski

H-face 5 by Anka-loves-to-fly  Curtain by LidiaRossana  Wald #115 by HeikoGerlicher  The kingdom of Elfs by Sigfodr  From Roots to Needles by realityDream

Little Winterberg by MartinAmm      Devil Bridge by porbital      Crystal Mill by porbital

Darkness Queen by Sweetlylou  Nightfall by Laerian  Sweet Illusions by MagicLaDyCharm  focus by huhahohi

Trap by Floreina-Photography  Just me by Finsternisss  a taste of November by Rona-Keller  village square by VityaR83 

92607 by jodeviant  Chief Mountain by MaciejKarcz  Daisies by a Fence by MayEbony   Travel by thedaydreaminggirl 

Fall Colors by tango793  people break so easily by MWeiss-Art  Ophelia by MWeiss-Art  Everlasting by solefield  Move on by Konakira 

Self Portrait by RawPoetry  Lenticular by RawPoetry  Like an angel by Konakira   Black House in Glencoe by Enlothien

Thank you for looking through these wonderful pictures. I hope you found something to like. Please let the artist now they have created something special :heart:
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I truly hope that 2018 will show us a more compassionate side of humanity. I know I can find all the good human traits here among my friends. It's just the rest we have to work on :lol: Especially those in the governments of the world.
May you all keep on being so wonderful, creative, imaginative and full of love and hope. You....and what you do......means so much to me. Everyday I come here and I find inspiration in your creations. You all touch my heart.
Take care of yourselves and each other. Take care of your husband's, wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, families and strangers. Spread the love. Spread the hope. Keep the darkness at bay. :heart:




















  • Listening to: Bowie
  • Reading: The day is dark
  • Watching: Fortitude
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Italian
  • Drinking: Coffee

I hope I find you well today you lovely people. Here we are, two days from Halloween and a week away from Bonfire Night here in the UK. (More about that later). It is time to dress up and dream of all things ghoulish, ghostly and creepy. The neighborhoods will resound to the happy sound of young children knocking on doors and hoping for treats of all kinds but mainly sweets. Doorways will be adorned by broomsticks and windows will glow with the light of candles spluttering inside the nightmarish carvings from the excavated pumpkins while the flesh has been transformed into soup and simmers on the stove. Many a pointy hat is to be seen flitting from house to house along with glowing skeletons and all manner of creatures. To be honest, Halloween is still a growing event here in England. It has just about reached the same kind of level it has in other countries, especially the US. It was not something we celebrated as much until a few years ago but we are there now. 
The funny thing is that the origins of 'trick or treat' lie not in America but in medieval Europe. In almost every English-speaking and (commonly but not exclusively) Christian countries there have been lots of rituals (many pagan) that have taken place around the 1st November each year. These rituals often include asking for food, dressing up and making a connection to the spirits of the dead. 31st October is known as All Hallows Eve, 1st November is All Hallows Day and 2nd November is All Souls Day.
The practice of going door to door was mentioned in 1779 by John Brand in 'Popular Antiquities Of Great Britain' where he wrote "On All Saints Day, the poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it."
The Christian tradition goes back to the 14th century but the pagan ritual can be traces back to the 10th century if not before. 
Here in the UK this is followed shortly by Bonfire Night which began to celebrate the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up Parliament but was caught and was scheduled to be hanged, drawn and quartered. I think he jumped from the scaffold with the noose about his neck thereby escaping that grizzly end. Every year on 5th of November he is symbollically re-executed when effigies of him are burned on bonfires all over England. There are also big fireworks displays you can attend but some families buy their own fireworks and have smaller, more intimate firework events in their own gardens. 
As a child we had a few fireworks in the back garden like Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels and Crackers. These were exciting days where you waited all day for it to get dark and for the air to take on a chill as you anticipated what was to come. The Roman Candles stood in a small hole in the ground and erupted in a shower of coloured sparks with a smell you will never forget. It smelt of wet gunpowder and I can still smell it today. One of the warmest memories of my childhood. We also had rockets. These stood in an empty milk bottle, the blue touch paper was lit and we all stood back waiting for the rocket to burst into life and fly off into the dark sky before exploding with a spray of colour and a big bang. They were magical. The catherine wheels always promised much but delivered little. They were supposed to spin round after they had been lit, nailed to a post. They rarely performed well though but we lived in hope each year that this was going to be the year when it worked. The real magic came from the sparklers though. These you held in your hands and waved around, tracing patterns of light as sparks flew from the thin stick as it burned down. Ah the memories. At a bigger event in the town you would be able to warm yourself around the huge bonfire while a more organised fireworks display went on above you. You got a stiff neck from looking up so long and your face ached from smiling. After the fireworks there were mugs of hot soup and pies to eat. I'm sure it was colder when I was a child as I remember always being wrapped in a big coat with a scarf and gloves.  
Wonderful memories of childhood. Keep your kids young and let them experience the magic. These are the memories that will stay with them in life.  :iconfireworkplz: :iconfireworkplz: :iconfireworkplz:

Well, it has been a little while since my last journal so I have much to feature. You have all been very busy as have I so I have been trying to keep up with you. I think I am finally back where I like to be and have many favourites to share. I hope you will find much to enjoy from this selection. I will try to include as many of you as I can as you all deserve to be featured. It was recently my birthday and I have never had so many messages and gifts as I did this year. For that I am extremely grateful to each and every one of you. :hug: You show me such kindness in many ways which I can only thank you for. :heart: Thank you all :heart: So, here we go. Sit back and relax and enjoy some beautiful images from your good selves. 

Happy Halloween by daniellefw  Pieces by MEP-Photography  From the Bottom Of my heart by MagicLaDyCharm  Time to reflect by Morgan-Lou  Spark of Autumn by aw-landscapes  

Music of Loneliness... by WhimsicalBlue  beautiful morning by JoannaRzeznikowska  The Call of Solitude by EvaPolly  Chatter V by Trippy4U  Sea-flora by richardcgreen  

The gate to a new life by Finsternisss  Fly Agaric by mockingbirdontree  Lucky Cards by VelvetRedBullet  Handmade Coptic Bound  Leaf Book 01 by snazzie-designz  feelings of spring by ColorfulLadybug  

Acelya I by Mocris  Trick or treat by Hend-Watani  Life colored in pink by VesnaRa014  Welcome home by adrianamusettidavila  To watch The Sun and Ocean dance by dashakern

Celtic memories by Omoidenoki  The Threeling and the Tree by MaaykeKlaver  Pine Cone by CamillaSakar  If These Trees Could Talk LXXXII. by realityDream 

Mushroom dream state by gigi50  Shine on you III by Tb--Photography  before everything ends by arbebuk  Rainbow on Koruldi lakes. Caucasus, Georgia by Sergey-Ryzhkov 

Siusi by Annabelle-Chabert  Down below by Pistolpete2007  autumn sun II by Ingelore  Sketch and digital: October Moon by LewisKocher  Magic Moments by EyeOfTheKat  

Jardin de roses by Juanilla  Des Nebels dunkle Seele by Woman-of-DarkDesires  Stormy Waters by aw-landscapes  Reach out... by bindii  

Frozen Leaves by Pajunen  Blue Ridge Dawn by darkhorse11  Abandoned things... by Omoidenoki  Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain by Yuukon 

Tombstone's Morning Magic by eegariM  Rise by LidiaRossana  Yosemite by Francy-93  Time Stands Still by Cinnamoncandy  Autumn mood by dashakern  

Siren's Thrall by Trippy4U  Our Common Port by TeaPhotography  Don't mind me by SilverMixx  Nothing-is-real by crossfading  Coin de rue by Pierre-Lagarde  Happy Birthday Sir Lawerence by 1001G  

Happy Birthday Lawrence by BlueIvyViolet  Sunset Cottage by tracybutlerart  a picnic by the lake by Rona-Keller  Death like Sleep by Scooby777  Emerald reflection by Melusine8  

Termination Dust by VeraDovba   For Eveliina by IdaBarracuda   Misty Morning by Arte-de-Junqueiro    [ Inktober 4th ] - Beyond The Sea by Sophia-Eowyn   Milky Way over Seabrook Texas by foureyes  

Mt. Mine by Bibwue  Beguiled by BWilliamWest  The lonesome by Annabelle-Chabert  Nebelgestalt by Woman-of-DarkDesires  Cross by IvanAndreevich  

The Wave by SvenMueller  Fairy tale gone wrong by kriskeleris  a f t e r t h e s t o r m by silvia-giuli  Maned wolf 3 by Maria-Schreuders  

Sunset from train by Juanilla  Letting go by dashakern  Ghostly Shape by eegariM  Lone Larch by RawPoetry  

Golden hopes by VasiDgallery  The Royal Photo Shoot by saperlipop  Scheveningen Beach by Caillean-Photography  h i g h   u p by ColorfulLadybug  Orange Dahlia 2017 by videodude1961 

Lonely violet by Lady-68  The Tree by pillendrehr  Rustle of Fall by nehab16  1 by MeralSarioglu      village by MeralSarioglu     Far, far by Anka-loves-to-fly  Autumn by dashakern 

Rainbow Houses by ashamandour  Autumn is on its Way 3 by pillendrehr  Anchored by MaresaSinclair  Mountainscape by angra1811  A Beast's View by eegariM

A Night by my Side by VelvetRedBullet  Gloomy Grizzly by eegariM  Mountain Splendor by SatyaSaruchi  Puffin 3 by Alannah-Hawker  Curtains with Wyeth Seagulls by richardcgreen

Wharf at Whitby English Seacoast by richardcgreen  Littles Fairy by LiliaLaurent    Lady Beetle by IreneHorvath  monday morning by ivtaya 

The haunted forest by Floreina-Photography  Blanca by RawPoetry   Dark alley by aw-landscapes  Blightingales by GrimDreamArt  

Autumn is on its Way 2 by pillendrehr  Ship in norway by TaitGallery  Sunset in Mirista by EyeOfTheKat 

camouflage by Ceecore  Sunset from Dumbarton Rock by Crannogphotographic  Mairon by EKukanova  Music flows by Anka-loves-to-fly  Who cares about rain? by ForlornTreasures  The birth of dawn by dashakern  

When the sun goes down by ANorthernStar   Waterfalls Canyon by Miguel-Santos  An Teallach Sunset by SebastianKraus 

Worth enough? by radoxist  camouflage II by Ceecore  The Land Of Milk And Money by Trippy4U   Dunrobin's Turrets by piglet365  White Beauty by EmMelody 

my worlds II by JoannaRzeznikowska  Ridge by Laerian  Everything Changes by TanyaSimoneSimpson 

Black Swan by Gwendolyn1  Hungarian skies CCXII. by realityDream  Just Hints of Things SNAPSEED by richardcgreen 

That's all folks :iconbugsbunnyplz:
I hope you have enjoyed looking through these beautiful and creative pictures. I don't know what I would do without art of all kinds in my life and, most importantly, the artists themselves. Thank you for making my day each and every day by making the art that you make. It is such a pleasure to come here every day to see what you have been doing. I just thought I'd let you know how important that is to me. 
If you liked anything here please take time t let the artist know. It could just turn their day into a good one. 
Take care every one. Keep on creating and keep on smiling. Spread the love and keep making this world a better place. My love to each and every one of you :heart: :hug:








  • Listening to: Glazunov
  • Reading: Ashes to dust
  • Watching: Twin Peaks
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Ciabatta
  • Drinking: Coffee
Each week there is a Sunday. For many people this is still a day of rest though, increasingly over the years, it has become just another day of the week. In many ways this is good but in many ways it was good to have a day of rest. A day when things stopped. The month of August, is basically the year's Sunday. It is the month when most holidays are taken. I guess I'm talking about the Western world here as it is Summer whereas that is not the case in other parts of the world. So let's say I am just talking abut the part of the hemisphere that I inhabit. You will all have your own 'August' wherever you are.
August was the month when things stopped. All the workers had a break, usually at the same time. It was like a scheduled break in the industrial year. I believe New York used to empty as the people went away for their holidays. Because of the school year it is still the case in England that August is the month where things slow down. London is quieter in terms of workers but is busier in terms of tourism. 
Holiday time becomes more important I think as people seem to work harder and longer than before. I'm not going back to the Victorian age here where there were no working conditions and employers could do what they wanted. I'm talking recent history. More is expected from you at work and often for less reward. So holiday time has become very important again. A time to step away and clear your head. Get those batteries re-charged. Everyone should have a time in their year when they can stop from their labour. I am well aware that the amount of holiday time you have from work can vary from country to country and also from your own circumstances. 
"The benefit to be derived from vacation is a mental benefit mainly.....It is well that he (sic) should for a space breathe another mental atmosphere..."  Alexander Smith 1912
New, fresh air to breathe, new sights to stimulate you eyes and mind, new ideas and experiences for your mind and brain. 
I remember from my childhood only a couple of holidays when we went away. Most holidays were spent at home with my brothers and friends playing in the nearby fields on long Summer days that seemed to have no end. This is because I come from a poor family. Poor in financial terms anyway but very wealthy in all other respects. We did go the seaside twice I think. Once we stayed in a caravan at a holiday resort and played on the beach and on the pier in the amusement arcades as the rain lashed against the tin roofs drumming like a steel band. I have seen some old b/w photos which my brother looks after from when we were very small and were at the seaside in Wales I think. I don't remember that holiday at all though. When all is said and done though, the thing that it is the real reward on a holiday is that you can try to have in your head that for a short while......your time is your own. I am self employed and there are many days when I enjoy my work but even on those days...... I am fully aware that my time is not my own and, to me, that is one of the great gifts of holiday time. . As time went on and I went through school and into the world of work holidays became more important. The reason for them became more obvious too. Without them I'm sure I would go mad :lol:
I have now found a situation where I have some places I go to because they are familiar (and I love them),  and a desire to explore new places. My need to fill my mind and heart with new experiences never fades and I just wish I had more time available to do both. It is true though that my next trip is always my next target. I do find happiness at home and I do find it in the small things in life as well as the large. The excitement comes from getting in my car or getting on a plane to begin a new adventure. I have some short trips planned for the rest of this year and then I am looking to next year. I am having great fun planning my next trip to Iceland and wondering where else I will venture. 

Now let me share with you some wonderful treasure that I have found in the last few weeks. I thank you all for your creations, you are an inspiration to me in all that you do and in your constant support of my own pictures. For this I can never thank you all enough :heart: 
But enough of this rambling. Let's get to the main event. Your pictures.

Little houses by HendrikMandla   Butterfly Nature by MCN22   Just Hints of Things SNAPSEED by richardcgreen   Floral Skirts by Nikki-vdp   Whimsy by JenFruzz   

Diamond Ring Solar Eclipse by MaciejKarcz   Sleepy Stormy by Scooby777   Dolomites pt. II by TheChosenPesssimist  Asian gum automat by Ivoryia  

Robin by TanyaSimoneSimpson   Fall In Love by Lora-Vysotskaya    I believe I can fly... by Omoidenoki   No Macro ~ Butterfly Admiral ~ Vanessa atalanta by AStoKo    layers of comfort by Rona-Keller  

   Untitled by Nikoletta-Kolozs   A sweet slice of Summer by dashakern   *** by marrgit  The End. by OliviaMichalski 

Engpaesse by Woman-of-DarkDesires   Blue Fireworks Fetes de Geneve 2017 by artamusica     Frozen World by Pajunen  What once was by SilverMixx  

Out of the Blue by AnnMarieBone   Dawn Jewels by TanyaSimoneSimpson   Les promesses de l aube by Annabelle-Chabert   As seasons come and go by Morgan-Lou  Island Sunset 2 by Crannogphotographic  

Night is coming by dashakern   The Mysterious Journey by MagicLaDyCharm   daria( by marta syrko) by MartaSyrko   Wild by RawPoetry   Lost In The Dark IV by JoannaRzeznikowska  

Acrylic: Sisters by LewisKocher   View From Zugspitze by DominikaAniola   Black and white world by VesnaRa014   Filling The Void Of Emptiness by Trippy4U   Tales untold - The pearl of the ocean by SecretDarTiste  no one else but two of us by monstermagnet  

   Jokulsarlon by SkylerBrown   Margerite (II) by Tb--Photography  close to serenity by Eerieseelie  Before The Sun Goes Down by Crims0nPhotography  

Solar Seeds by borda   I'm on my way by arbebuk   What A Difference A Day Makes.. by AlicesPlace  Game over... by bindii   Corn on hot days by VesnaRa014  Sommerland II by Bodhisattvacary 

L E A V I N G ~ by Nikonfinest   The Meadow by dashakern   The Church, the Bridge, and the River by Zoomer1958   Spirit Bird by Yuukon    Seelenmomente. by OliviaMichalski  

Magic Tuscany 7-5:38 AM by CitizenFresh  Surreal alps by HendrikMandla  Lago di Sorapiss and Dito di Dio by JamesRushforth   Dancing with moon... by WhimsicalBlue  Nevermore by jennystokes  The Cuillin by EyeOfTheKat  

c l o s e l y by ColorfulLadybug   White headed vulture in flight by Maria-Schreuders     Admiring the View by Tessasa   soft beauty by Ingelore  Try To See It My Way by Mouselemur   

It is found.. What? The eternity. by Milomeiko   Phare de Ploumanach by Milomeiko   When The Comet Returns . . . by DouglasHumphries   Laboratory by Juanilla   Enjoy the Silence by justeline  

B-Side by LidiaRossana   Destination unknown... by ansdesign   PASTEL COLORS by IME54-ART-ILONA  Tree Study - Broad Leaved 18 by TheUnconfidentArtist   A little life by VesnaRa014  

Just Another Day at Work by EvaPolly  The Parasol by EmMelody   Steampunk Town Square by GrimDreamArt  Dunrobin Castle by Enlothien  Rally Mountain by BWilliamWest  

Art of Imagination by WhimsicalBlue   Mt St Helens by MaciejKarcz      Bukowe Berdo by Tindomiel-Heriroquen  My day by gigi50  

The Human Umbrella by IdaBarracuda   SORCERESS by MartaNael  Bow Fiddle by Pistolpete2007   Create Unity by IvanAndreevich  

Rivendell by Unkopierbar  flowers i drew by NIEHKOL  Towards Rondane by Morgan-Lou   Happy Birthday Olga by 1001G  Break by MaaykeKlaver  

Asclier by Annabelle-Chabert   Castle by isabelledeliro   Beautiful America by KarinClaessonArt  little diamonds by IreneHorvath  Whisper of Grass by DalfaArt  

Retro Car by WhimsicalBlue   Elfin lake in July by dashakern   Coimbra I by Arte-de-Junqueiro  Scenes from a Memory: Home by Pajunen  

1111 by Nigrita   Hazey by Alannah-Hawker   Portal by EvaPolly   Emerge from the darkness by thedaydreaminggirl  Clouds and shade of trees by flitart  

Butterfly summer - acrylic by Ayumidragon   Moody Lofoten by streamweb  One Afternoon with Jill by bwaworga   Secrets up the Stream by da-phil   Cooling by LAlight  

'Niht is y-comen in by WhimsicalBlue          Waiting for you by dashakern          Waiting for mom II by AlejandroCastillo 

I hope I'll see you later... by 5-6-8-3  Before The Night Falls by SvenMueller   Golden Myst by Addran  Podere Belvedere in the mist- 5:52 AM by CitizenFresh  

Remote Norway pt. XI by TheChosenPesssimist   lago di braies by roblfc1892   Trio by IndigoSummerr  Yavanna by EKukanova  

The little house of nowhere by Annabelle-Chabert   Room to Breathe by only1second   Waterfall by Metal-Bender   Swinside by scotto 

Blue Mirror by nehab16   Desert Folds by Metal-Bender  Scenes from a Memory by Pajunen  Woodlands by JonasDeRo  

Anomaly by Friis     SKY AND WATER by Badusev      going to the cloud road by Alina-Kurbiel      ~Day Dreamer~ by Fajralam

That's all folks :D
I hope you enjoyed looking through these pictures. These have all been created by special people. People like me and you. People who love creating their art whether that be pretty and floral or dark and moody. I love all of these pictures and all of these artists :heart: Please let them know if you have enjoyed one of their creations. I'm sure they'd be very happy to hear from you :D
Thank you so much for everything. For reading this and looking through the pictures. 
I wish you all happy travelling or just happy time off from your work. Enjoy all the moments of your life that are yours with all the people who are yours. Your friends, your family your partners. Enjoy it all and enjoy each other. Spread the love and keep creating from your hearts. :heart:
Much love to you all :heart:
  • Listening to: Desert Island Discs Sheryl Sandberg
  • Reading: Last Rituals
  • Watching: The Land and the Light
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Eggs
  • Drinking: Tea
Life has a way of making you smile some days.
I only found this out as someone commented on my picture but I got a DD today :)
Than you :icontanyasimonesimpson: for this amazing surprise :hug:
It was for this picture of a place I love to visit when I am on the Isle Of Skye
Forsaken by LordLJCornellPhotos  

That's really cool. A happy day :D:D:D

much love to you all :heart:
take care of yourselves and each other :hug:

  • Listening to: Steely Dan
  • Reading: Last Rituals
  • Watching: Travel Man
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Olives
  • Drinking: Coffee
"The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips."  The Lady In The Lake by Raymond Chandler

This week I had one those facts laid in front of me that makes you pause and think for a moment. The song 'Tainted Love' by Soft Cell was released in the UK closer to the end of WWII than to today.

It was released in 1981 earlier in the year than today for those who would like to know. Although the song has no great meaning for me I do know it and to think that so much time has passed since it's release is quite unsettling and it makes me wonder what I have done with it all. It also means that the same fact applies to anything that happened before that record was released. Another thing that happens with increasing frequency is that you find that a favourite movie is now over twenty years old. I won't specify a movie as it applies to a lot of them..............OK...I will. 'As good as it gets', 'Grosse Pointe Blank', 'L.A. Confidential', 'Starship Troopers', 'Jackie Brown', 'Men In Black', 'Austin Powers', 'From Dusk Till Dawn', 'Fargo', 'Mission Impossible', 'Independence Day', 'Trainspotting', ..................even Titanic......and I've never seen Titanic. 
Obviously there are many that I already knew were more than twenty years old but these were more of a surprise to me. So from all this I realise what I already knew but it is brought home to me one more is short.
'Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the time I have.' Viggo Mortensen.
For some reason I am dissatisfied with how I have filled these years. I am experiencing an acceleration of need to fill my time with more things, more adventures, more experiences. It is as if I feel my days are numbered, which they surely are but I don't know when that time will be. I often speak of this desire to fill my time in such ways and that desire only gets stronger with each passing year, month or even day. I am not unhappy in my life at all. Yet I am constantly looking for the next adventure. It is like a drug and I am addicted to it. Where will I go next? What picture will I take next? It is all about what is going to happen next and looking back at what I have done but is less about what I am doing now. The only time the feeling of 'now' is with me is when I am on that mountain side when the sun breaks through and I press the shutter and I stop and I marvel at what lies before me and I take a big breath and I thank whoever for placing me there to experience that moment. I briefly touched on this when I was chatting with :icontrippy4u: the other day. For him being in a crowded city gives him that feeling of happiness.....freedom....peace.......being at it what you will. For me it is the outdoors and remote places preferably with mountains :) The thing is....this addiction I have works very much like a drug as I want more each time. I want bigger mountains, I want better light, I want more remoteness.......and so the search goes on to satisfy this thing that is eating away at me.....this monster that needs feeding. And feed it I will. I will keep finding ways to feed it until I can't feed it anymore. 
So time is what your life is made of and it is limited so do not waste it. If I could just take a leaf out of John Lubbock's book when he says 
'Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.'
And the funny thing is......I can do this when I am somewhere remote and beautiful on holiday............I'm really bad at doing this at home. I guess I am a restless soul. 

And now to share your art with as many people as I can. I have been collecting your pictures again and been knocked out by your creativity and your beauty as people. The human spirit is shown best by artists I think and you have beauty and spirit in abundance and you have my love and admiration all of you. Living life is not the easiest of things and to be able to create such magic while living your life is one of the greatest things you can do in my mind. I thank you all :heart:

- by ChristineKalliri   Making do by MaresaSinclair   at the edge of the field by Ingelore   Aircrafts by dinabelenko   Liquor Store Blues by Metal-Bender   

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old - 2 by MaciejKarcz     Buttermere by scotto    Patchwork by SilverMixx     Gloomy peaks by aw-landscapes  

Solitude by BlueCaroline   Moonlit by AlicesPlace    To Each Our Own Prisons Of Sorts by Trippy4U    Voice of the Sea by LAlight   The Sun in my Heart by Sophia-Eowyn

Lovely Weather by MagicLaDyCharm     Silent dances by Morgan-Lou     the road by marrgit  

Mr Poppy by IndigoSummerr        Peaceful river by SatyaSaruchi        The view from my room by Arte-de-Junqueiro        Children's book illustration: Mr. Possum Frost by LewisKocher   

Whispers by dashakern      Being Unique... by TeaPhotography      Spirit Island Close Up by Zoomer1958     Silent Dialog by LidiaRossana 

The north by Piscisvolantis       Heavy Clouds by MaciejKarcz       And then silence... by only1second       MMMMmmmmmm by phalalcrocorax  

Full Moon by EyeOfTheKat   So much love by Maria-Schreuders   1104 by Nigrita   Aglais io by Bodhisattvacary   Someplace Else by EvaPolly  Hello there by Mydu  

Fly my home Himalaya by arayo      Reflection of Rondslottet mountains by Morgan-Lou      Summertime Morning by MagicLaDyCharm      Corn Exchange by geanera  

Palladio... by ansdesign    Dolomites by Annabelle-Chabert   -sweethearts in grunge- by Gold-Angel    On the Eve by BWilliamWest   Have fun! by Ivoryia  

Golden Rim  by nehab16   Let's come back to March by dashakern   Milk by EyeOfTheKat   Keeping One Eye Open by Metal-Bender   merging by ivtaya   

Natural Framing by Alannah-Hawker     Rebecca O. by ClairObscur16     Cinereous vulture portrait by Maria-Schreuders       Scenic Stairway by GradyArt      Dragon's Head by FlabnBone  

Day Seven by Metal-Bender   a l l   p i n k by ColorfulLadybug    Queenstown Hill by Vampyna   Life and Death by eegariM    Camelot by richardcgreen The Phoenix as Narcissus by richardcgreen  

    White Duke by Anka-loves-to-fly   Sun-kissed by Annabelle-Chabert   Bastei 16 by MatthiasHaltenhof   My beloved ! by Omoidenoki  The Cello by Eltair  

Fog in the forest II by VesnaRa014   Dandelion by Alexa-Ivashchenko   Learn To Fly by Mouselemur   That is Summertime by dashakern    Something in the world desires to be comprehended by Anka-loves-to-fly  

Meadow Hopper by EmMelody  Liberation by Trippy4U   Kaiser by MarvinDiehl   Sunset Castle by SvenMueller    Composition with walls by Rufelt  

EVERYTHING IS MAYA - 2 by SUDOR    The park of souls... by algunavez        Tree Landing by LiliaLaurent     Floating mandarin by Nikki-vdp     Everyman. by Anka-loves-to-fly  

Summertime is in our hands... by ansdesign        The Boat To Isosaari by IdaBarracuda       Electric light orchestra by Ullyssess       Happy Birthday  Dear Ann by mockingbirdontree      Moon Angel by WhimsicalBlue       Sky is my ocean... by Omoidenoki 

Love Goes On by Yuukon   .R E V E A L. by Nikonfinest       Legendary guitars by rougealizarine   Bell tower by 4ajka   ~Vogue~ by Fajralam   Black and White by PassionAndTheCamera  

Sometimes by bindii  Breath of Old Seeds by Betuwefotograaf   Belvedere by TomazKlemensak   Flower Dance by Mocris   ... by BaxiaArt   

Curious Robin by Lady---Vengeance   Ruby by LidiaRossana   The Road In The Mountains by DominikaAniola   Girl and chamomile by PutyatinaEkaterina   ~SiLeNt WhIsPeRs~ by Fajralam   All be there _  June 2017 by bindii   

The Road To The Cuillin by EyeOfTheKat   Morning clouds by PepperLady   Soaring by whispersoftheblue   Emotional Geometry by Juanilla   

The Nest by Lora-Vysotskaya    Tulip by IreneHorvath   urbandecay by MWeiss-Art      Green Eyed Girl by VelvetRedBullet  Will this ever end... by ansdesign  

Nothing ordinary in Nature by sistersinnister    the old ways II by Bodhisattvacary   Walk to the Unknown by irrationalrationale  

sign of blue by ColorfulLadybug    Nature is My Home by borda    King's Pawn by Trippy4U 

Thank you for looking at these amazing pictures. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you found some new artists or some new favourites at least. If you did it would be lovely if you could let the artists know you have enjoyed their creations. Thank you :D 
Time for me to carry on planning my next adventures now. 
Keep sharing your love :heart:  Keep creating :hug:  Keep smiling :) Keep using the time that is so precious and is yours to use how you want to use it :tighthug:

Have a lovely day everyone :iconsmile--plz:

  • Listening to: Del Amitri
  • Reading: Night Blind
  • Watching: Travel Man
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Salad
  • Drinking: Tea

Please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be 
Then lay down your bullshit and your protests
Then lay down your governments of greed
Take a look at what lies all around you
Then pray God we can live in peace
Everyone's a loner 'till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone's a no-one 'till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

It seems that every time I write a journal these days it follows a terrorist attack. Last night, on London Bridge at about 10pm a van drove into a crowd of people enjoying a summer night out in London. The three men in the van then jumped out and went to a busy place called Borough Market where they stabbed people at random. Six people were killed and forty eight taken to hospital following the attack. Police shot the three terrorists dead within 8 minutes of the attack starting. 
when I was thinking about what to write today my thoughts were of celebration as a result of the huge outpouring of love and humanity that followed the attack at Manchester Arena two weeks ago. If you don't know, at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande there was a suicide bomber in the lobby of the Arena with a nail bomb resulting in the deaths and maiming of many young people and children as well as parents. This attack is regarded as worse than the usual attack as it deliberately targeted children (mainly young girls) and young people just out for maybe their first concert or just for a good night out with friends and parents. (I have to say that it comes to something when we grade terrorist acts by how we perceive the level of attrocity. The world is in a bad place right now.)
Before you all just switch off and go away let me lift your hearts a little. Following the attacks that have happened in recent times we have heard many heart warming stories in the aftermath of the horror. At Manchester I will start with two homeless men. They were in the area of the Arena to beg for money for food after the concert. When the bomb went off they both went straight in to help the injured and dying. One of them was reported as holding a lady as she died and also of picking nails out of a young girls face as she waited for help from doctors. They stayed there helping all they could. When spoken to after they said they were homeless but they were still human beings and just did what anyone would. These men are probably looked down on by a large section of society every day of their lives yet they went into danger with no questions. One of these men has been given a home for six months by a co-owner of West Ham United football club to try and help him get back on his feet.
There were restaurants of all faiths who just opened their doors and fed everyone for free. There was a pizza company who sent food all night and day to the local hospitals for the doctors and nurses for free. There were taxi firms driving people wherever they needed to go for free.  There were people offering rooms in their homes so people had somewhere they could go. People were housed and fed by hotels who just took them in for free. People queued up in long lines to give blood. It was quite incredible to see this outpouring of humanity from all sections of the community. And, as usual, the Policemen, the Firemen, Doctors and nurses all ran towards danger with no thought for themselves despite the fact that our government has not seen them worth a pay rise in six years. They deserve so much more for what they do. 

Today there is a huge benefit concert in Manchester for the families of the injured and those who lost someone in the attack. It is huge. It is called One Love. They will now, sadly, also be remembering those lost in the London attack last night. The concert stars Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Robbie Williams and Black Eyed Peas.
Because it is so soon after the attack some of the children are still in hospital so Ariana Grande has been to visit all of them and spend time with them. One is only 8 year old. She was the last one to be visited and was treated so beautifully. 
The concert was fantastic. Although many of the artists were not my particular cup of tea they all performed exceptionally. Ariana Grande proved herself to be a generous young lady with a great voice and a desire to mend the hurt that happened at Manchester. The things she has done to help the families behind the scenes is remarkable. I will be honest.....I had not come across her before but I don't think I will forget her now. 

Though these attacks will always cause hurt and terrible sadness they are making our countries stronger. They have given our people the chance to show just what they can do. How much love they can show and share. How they can come together. After every adversity there is a blooming of hope, love and life. Never ever lose hope. Keep spreading the love each and every day. Live your life like it matters. Live your life like everyone's life matters. Let us concentrate on the beauty and the wonder of this world and not let the dark overwhelm us.

I would have liked this journal to have been about my recent trip to Italy but I have returned to all this instead. 
I had a great time in Italy. My hotel was excellent and the people there were very friendly. I made some really good friends while I was there who I will see again I'm sure. 
The places I visited were extraordinary. This was not a landscape photography trip but an archeological one. Paestum is a lovely place with three Greek Temples in an old Roman city. Pompeii is vast. To walk down the same streets that the Romans gives you a real connection to the past. The fact that the town was buried by the volcanic ash has, infact, preserved so much that would have been lost. We have all learned so much we could never have learned otherwise. The same can be said of Herculaneum. You feel like the town should be full of ghosts. On the final day I went to the top of Mount Vesuvius and looked over the Bay Of Naples. It was wonderful. I am sure I will go back there. The whole week was so good in every respect. 

I thank you if you have read this far. I appreciate it. :heart: Now it is time for me to show the world what amazing people you all are. To show the love you have for the world and each other by creating the beautiful art that you create. This is a quite large feature as I feel the need to include as many of you as I can on this day of all days. I send you all a big hug :huggle: and wish that I could do it in person. If the world was full of you people and people just like you it would surely be a better place. My love to you all :hug: :heart:

Catch the wave by Morgan-Lou   Primavera by Annabelle-Chabert   River Gradac VA by VesnaRa014   Hobbitual Tendencies by richardcgreen   Moment of pleasure by aw-landscapes   

Untitled by WattsvilleBlues    Delight by m-eralp    Spring Reflections by justeline   The Hidden Face by LinsenSchuss   Seeing my own ghost... by bindii   

Seton Lake by dashakern   St. Mary Lake by Alina-Kurbiel   Static Girl by VelvetRedBullet    On Preikestolen by lmsgblh   Curves by musicismylife10027   

Once Upon A Time by Limaria   Tranquility by lemgras330   Flowers for Tara by vanndra    When The Nightingale Sings by Nikki-vdp   Volare... by ansdesign   DM by Liliaceae7  

. by invisigoth88   Turkey Vulture by Maria-Schreuders   Puffins on Lunga by PepperLady   Stand alone in my only Song..... by WhimsicalBlue   Timber Ponds at Dusk 2 by Crannogphotographic   

mt by ivtaya   Happy Birthday Aamir by 1001G   When a fish swims by by gigi50   St John Church Ballachulish by MaresaSinclair   Asio flammeus by Lunnika-Horo  

Hope by Melusine8    Chantreuse by SilverMixx   Special thanks to...part 2 by BlueIvyViolet    Green super green ! by Omoidenoki    Break on a Leaf by IndigoSummerr   The early dove... by ansdesign 
Freeze a moment... by ansdesign   Perspective by EyeOfTheKat    The Singer by EyeOfTheKat    Black Rocks by Cozmia   She's A Beauty V by Scooby777   Yellow Poppies by tracybutlerart   

Old Farm Window by tracybutlerart   In the flowers by Alannah-Hawker   Filling The Void by Trippy4U    Tha black sheep by Annabelle-Chabert   Fields of Thanks and Gratitude by TeaPhotography 

Spleen by Annabelle-Chabert    Sunny days by Juanilla   Traveling Alone by Metal-Bender  

Elegant bow by Finnyanne    ~EmAaN~ by Fajralam   See Through by EvaPolly   Dark_fantasy by angra1811   Ice Cold by CamillaSakar  

Red Clover Farm by SaraRalston   The last fjord by Omoidenoki   Folded ... by ansdesign   speedwell by Ingelore  

Sweet cherry blossom skies by dashakern   Velen by Dave-Derbis   Slettenga by acoresjo88  Blackish by Michaelthien  

...bled VII... by roblfc1892   Magical morning by Zelma1    Reflect by HendrikMandla    Dawn of Time by Capturing-the-Light

Abandoned village house by rougealizarine   Gathering...  by nehab16   Two Lonely Mountains? by Auditore90   Sanctuary by Aeternum-designs   Ground Control to Major Tom by richardcgreen  

Flying Away by Mocris   Wood carving: St. Brigit by LewisKocher   Windswept by Metal-Bender          

















Thank you so much for making all this amazing art. It always makes me feel better to look at all these pictures. There is so much that is good in this world and so much beauty we must never lose sight of that however much others might want us to. 
Please let these artists know if they have created something you like. It will mean something to them if you could drop them a line. Thank you so much.
Keep spreading beauty and love and hope in this world of ours. I send you hugs and my love. :heart: :hug: Send everyone a hug today :hug: 

Lawrence  :heart:
  • Listening to: Cranberries
  • Reading: Snow Blind
  • Watching: Travel Man
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: A baguette
  • Drinking: Lemonade

 My thoughts and the thoughts of all decent human beings are with those affected by the terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. My thoughts are with the whole of humanity too given the dangerous position the world finds itself in at this time. I only hope that common sense will prevail in the end.
With all the threatening news that hits our screens every day I thought it was time to wish each and every one of you a nice day. I think you have all earned a nice day and you all certainly deserve one.
So I hope you can all find something today that will make you smile or lift your heart. Maybe that will be something small like the sun glinting off some Spring blossom. A friend may make you laugh and smile. Your child might give you a hug. You might catch your partner giving you a look that only they can give you that makes you feel warm inside. Maybe it will be something bigger. Whatever it is I would be delighted if you would share it with me. I would love to know what has made your day a nice day today. 
I was writing to someone yesterday in a comment and I said it was my chosen path to seek out beauty in this world. I wondered afterwards if indeed it is my choice or if I am just that kind of person. Maybe it is in my make up and I have no choice in it at all. I find myself as a person who has is only interested in beauty, love, peace and the awesomeness of nature. I do not understand hate, selfishness and intolerance. These things are a foreign language to me that I will never understand. I hear the words but I can't make sense of them. 
I find myself dreaming of mountains, lochs and glens. Deserted beaches in the rain, hillsides in the snow, out on a boat in the sun. Meeting new people on my travels, sharing experiences, laughing, smiling.................all of these things and many more. To put my boots on, take my camera in hand and get out there away from it all is in my mind a lot of the time. What beauty can I discover out there and try to capture in a picture? Can I capture the feeling as well as the vision? Should I just put my camera down and soak up the experience and fill my senses with all that is around me? 
Have a nice day everyone. Grab yourself a moment if you are not having a nice day. Find that little nugget in the day that can help you see there is more to life. Hold on to it and have a nice day tomorrow. 

In all my years I have never met such a group of people as you. Since my first day here on dA I have met so much kindness and support and I never take that for granted. I appreciate all your comments and faves. I really do. I have so much love for you all. I also love that you create such wonderful pieces of art and literature. There are no people on earth like artists. You make things, you don't break things. You add to this world every day, you don't take away from it. Everything you create adds to the beauty in the world. Every line you draw, every brush stroke, every photograph, every word you write........they all go towards a treasure that I am honoured to be able to share. 
And share it I will. Here is a selection of pictures I have come across in the last few weeks that I am delighted to share with you. As always, all kinds of people are represented here but they have things in common too.  ART, passion, creativity and love. Please enjoy these pictures and I'm sure the artists would be delighted if you let them know you have seen their work. Thank you all so much for your time. 

Spring Celebration by dashakern  Only One by Yuukon    Resting by Walyco   Looking Up To City Hall by ShipperTrish    Foggy Morning by CamillaSakar    

Keepsake. by Phototubby   stealth bomber II || 2010 by kevinsaintgrey    Isla by Micko-vic    Spring Beauty by allison731   Moonlight Princess by pjenz   

Incandescence by AnnMarieBone    Come a little bit closer...... by 1001G   Frozen Fears by tvurk    Lost in Void by WhimsicalBlue  

stolav 5 by ltiana355     Forsaken by Crims0nPhotography   Martina by Crims0nPhotography    Frederika by Crims0nPhotography   Like fire by Finnyanne   

taste the emptiness IV by only1second   Mountain valley by miirex   Project Renegade by Surehuinel   Colors of Nature II by EyeOfTheKat  

Navegante by LidiaRossana   Colors of Cuba by dashakern   Haute Maurienne by Annabelle-Chabert   In The Sunset by Mocris  Crown Of Thorns... animation by ansdesign  

. by invisigoth88    The Veil by aw-landscapes   Baseball 3 by Trippy4U   l by 62dingos    Containment by lesley-oldaker  

At the beach by Bjorn3009    Beautiful Norway by DominikaAniola  

    Ildy by Sssssergiu    Some places are in fact part of Heaven by MohannadKassab   Welcome Home by Pajunen  

Shine a light on me .......? by Betuwefotograaf   Golden Spring by SilverMixx   Holding Back Time by Metal-Bender   Peace! by mockingbirdontree  Grey Heron by Crannogphotographic  

Entrez dans le reve by Annabelle-Chabert   Densly Spreaded by eegariM   Jaina's Locket by Narga-Lifestream  

Watercolor: Barn Window by LewisKocher   Comfortably House by LidiaRossana   Heaven Scent by AlicesPlace   Yellow iris by Guericke   A storm ist coming by lmsgblh  Taking the long Road by oprust  

Cumbrian Spring: Sunset Pasture by Coigach  Bald eagle by Maria-Schreuders   The basalt troll by LinsenSchuss    Morning in Carpathians by Sergey-Ryzhkov  In The Spotlight by Nelleke   

King of the Valinorian Noldor by EKukanova   Curly by EyeOfTheKat   Fairy dance by Morgan-Lou   Tough Days Ahead by richardcgreen    2017 4_1 by bindii  

The National Landscape III by IdaBarracuda   Worries for another day... by ansdesign    Sunday dreams by SilverMixx   Baseball by Trippy4U  

Unknown by Metal-Bender  Save My Specie by LiliaLaurent    Raven by MaresaSinclair   Belle Isle Detroit Sunset - Finally by JeffreyDobbs  

Shadows of the new spring by VesnaRa014   The Sound of Silence by BaxiaArt   Willow by Alina-Kurbiel   Sisters by gigi50  

Meerkat by vanndra   Tulip and Friends by PassionAndTheCamera   In The Memory Of Soul Train by Anka-loves-to-fly   The hand of Miles Davis, dot art by rougealizarine  Dreaming by IndigoSummerr  

Garden1 - Buggy Crocus by MoonFlowerSax   Alftavatn I by StonyStoneIsStoned2      TH E POPPY IN FRANCE by IME54-ART-ILONA   farewell the winter by MWeiss-Art  

format by ivtaya  Piazza San Marco by EvaPolly    Feelings by Ivoryia    Another Soaking? by Arte-de-Junqueiro   Looking down Victoria Falls Gorge by Pistolpete2007 

Spring ready by gigi50  Misty Sunrise by MayEbony   Tallinn town hall by Francy-93   The Vulcan Nest by richardcgreen   Les Ombres by Nikki-vdp  

Horizons by BWilliamWest    House Upon The Hill by Yuukon   Abandono by LidiaRossana 
writing about the past three months by Rona-Keller   Fly-catching by Morgan-Lou   Envol by Annabelle-Chabert   21st Street Bridge March 2017 by videodude1961  

A Touch of Springtime by RMS-OLYMPIC  Twilight over the River by Fotobasa    That's Enough For Me by Mouselemur   Ghostlike Existence by indeepsilence  

On Skye by tracybutlerart    * by anyaanti   Hurt, but not broken... by ansdesign    Buntzen Lake by dashakern

Thank you very much for taking the time to look at all these pictures. It seems the longer I am here the more I discover. I really hope you found some gems in this selection. Please say hi to the artists if you have a moment. I'm sure they would be happy to hear from you.

It just remains for me to wish you much love :heart: Keep your passion, keep being creative, spread the love, take care of each other and, of course, have a nice day :hug:
  • Listening to: Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
  • Reading: The Ice Lands
  • Watching: Frozen Planet
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: An apple
  • Drinking: Coffee
I'm going to kick this journal off with some music. Sit back, turn it up, enjoy. :)

That pretty much sums up how I have been feeling lately. You all know how I believe in living each day to it's maximum but even with that positive attitude I find myself looking back sometimes and thinking what if?.  Never has there been a more wasted feeling than what if? There is nothing I can do about my past life now. I can only deal with the here and now and the future. Those of you who have a longer future ahead of you than I do (I mean those of you who are younger than me) please, I urge you, if you have a dream then follow it to the very end. Do not give up on it. You are one of the lucky ones if you have a dream. I never did. It is only now that I can see the paths I wish I had taken. Not too late for some things but it is too late for others. I am not one for regrets but I am one for addressing things that I think need addressing. When I was young I never knew what I wanted to do. That meant I had no real direction. I'm not saying that is a totally bad thing as it applies to many people. I think I would have achieved more if I did have a direction back then though. I wish I had taken my photography more seriously back then and followed my heart rather than taking the safe options that came along. The thing is, at the time, I just didn't have a dream just like so many people. 
I'm not beating myself up over it I just see that I could have done much more than I have done. More travelling, more photography, more living and less working. I know this is a subject I keep coming back to but I think it is important. We all live under enormous pressure to earn a crust to put food on the table, have a roof over our heads, pay the bills, take care of our families. That is what drives us and we forget what it is to actually be alive. 
This is where the dreams come into it. Dreams lift you out of the everyday. They can make you more than you are. So you young artists out there, take your dreams and run with them. You won't regret trying. You may regret not trying. If you are one of the lucky ones........someone who has a dream......think yourself truly blessed and (as my friend Gigi just said) don't just have the dream.....DO IT. 

"Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse? "
Bruce Springsteen

 We can all dream though. I have new dreams now. If you like, I am drawing up a bucket list of places I wish I had been and things I wish I had done. So in May I am off to Italy to see Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples and Vesuvius. I need to go back to Iceland as there is so much more I want to see there. I want to see polar bears in the wild. I want to see the Northern Lights. I can tell you......the list goes on and on. I probably won't get to do it all but I am now giving myself that direction that I have been missing. 
Up until three or four years ago I lived my life with no health issues and really took for granted that I could do anything I wanted. Well I have had a series of issues in the last three years, none of them life threatening, but enough to wake me up to the fragility of one's existence on this planet. So make sure you do everything you can do to fill up your life with good stuff. Smiles, hugs, love, excitement. I will not get to the end full of regrets. I will get to the end saying "I'm not done yet". Of that I'm pretty sure because I don't think one lifetime is enough for me to do everything I want to do. I'm going to try though. 

And now over to you. My friends :hug: You wonderful artists. You all make a difference in this world. You each leave something behind that has not been done before. You are all unique and you make things from your hearts that only come from that special place that artists have. I love looking at your creations. You are all an inspiration to me. You are cut from a different cloth. Here are some new pieces for you to enjoy from a bunch of people who love what they do. I love them for that reason at the very least. Take a moment, if you can, and see if there is anything you enjoy. Please let the artist know if you have enjoyed their work. I'm sure they will appreciate it very much. 

Cape Flattery 2 by videodude1961     Pink Beetle by Tuntalm     An Evening Song by dashakern     Podere Belvedere 4- 5:50 AM by CitizenFresh    

My Tribute by LoesPhotography   The Shepherd's Daughter by LoesPhotography   A Blissful Rest by borda  The Lonely Stone by borda   
Escape by uglybug   Untitled by nairafee    Little Side by Fotobasa   From Doralen in Rondane Mountain Range by Morgan-Lou    

Magic Cubes by Miarath    Rhapsody by AnnMarieBone   Blue Kiss by PassionAndTheCamera    

Still Waters by nehab16    Wet old road by Ullyssess    Sgwd y Pannwr by Pistolpete2007   Life is a droplet... by dashakern  

Palmeros by Annabelle-Chabert    A Night At The Oscars by richardcgreen   . by invisigoth88    One Window Through Another by Trippy4U   Snow Maiden by MariannaInsomnia    

Red Room... by ansdesign   Mistress of Ocean by WhimsicalBlue   The big walk by SilverMixx       The Watch by Mouselemur    Buoyant by LidiaRossana   

little beauty by Ingelore    Gradac river waiting for spring by VesnaRa014    First Colors of Spring by EyeOfTheKat   I'm blue for you by Nikonfinest   

Wild Glory by AnnMarieBone    reminder by ivtaya    Ice lanterns by MaaykeKlaver  Smile while she works. by jennystokes   

Journey by EvaPolly   You Shall Be Assimilated by Trippy4U   Autumn by chriskaula   Girl and Kama by 4ajka  

the worship of decay by MWeiss-Art    Rasnov Citadel by sesam-is-open   Beauty of the Heart by LUCILALEYLA   Fantasy Bird for  Bronwyn! by mockingbirdontree  20170311dsc02494 1 by ltiana355  

Shadow and Light by Metal-Bender   Untitled by Nikoletta-Kolozs    Forgotten Horizons by Corvidae65   Stranger in the Night by Metal-Bender    Piha by lmsgblh   

Untitled by StonyStoneIsStoned2   Flam by CleaLlyfr    They Stole My Fish by Nikki-vdp   Shelter by aw-landscapes   

Happy Birthday Mr Woodsman by 1001G    The visitor by gigi50    If I Needed You by Yuukon   Drifting by EmMelody   Snowy Trees by Tessasa  

Mysterious place by MilenaKalias     Lisa can run over the water 01 by AStoKo    Untitled by WattsvilleBlues   Morar At Sunset by tracybutlerart   Geometric Bird by emilyburtmultimedia  

Stripes by Tessasa   Love beneath the trees by AncaXBre   Risen by BWilliamWest   Fitgers Foggy Morning Lake Walk by richardcgreen    Zion after the Thunderstorm by artamusica  

Chasing tomorrow by FlabnBone    Let's Paint by vanndra   Mitre Peak by lmsgblh   Thistly by Mocris   Aurora Borealis - Sommaroy by LunaFeles  

Wee folk by LewisKocher   There is an end to the dark by Morgan-Lou   journey by ivtaya   A shoulder to cry on by Morgan-Lou   Ignoring the cam by Finnyanne  

In a world without time by dashakern   Dizzy heights by SilverMixx   Vapes by Annabelle-Chabert   Rooftops by SilverMixx   Broken But Home by Yuukon   

Another day, another chance by csillabold   Winter Companions by LiliaLaurent    I Am the Fire by VelvetRedBullet    WHITE ROSE by IME54-ART-ILONA   -- Sit and Stay Awhile -- by AshleyxBrooke  

A pleasant day by RezzanATAKOL   Blue reflections by StonyStoneIsStoned2    Winter fog in the forest III by VesnaRa014         





Thank you so much for looking. I truly hope you found something to love among these pictures. Drop in on the artists, say hello and check out their other work. Meet some new people while you are at it?
Until next time
Follow your dreams. Spread the love and take care of each other. :heart: :hug: My love to you all as always :heart: :huggle:
  • Listening to: Scotland Outdoors
  • Reading: Close Quarters
  • Watching: No Country For Old Men
  • Playing: At photography
  • Eating: Ciabatta
  • Drinking: Tea
I wish I could say that the world has moved on since my last journal but it seems the shift towards nationalism spreads ever wider. I watch with bewilderment and sadness as hate and selfishness seem to be the flavour of the moment. I am just glad that I am not of this ilk.
Valentine's Day is approaching fast and the shops are full of all things red. Red hearts, red roses, red ribbons. Chocolates are piled high and, in England, it seems all the food retailers imagine everyone will be tucking into a fat juicy steak. I have never seen so many adverts for steak as I have this year. It is a great time of year for the latest Fifty Shades movie to hit the screens as they obviously see a link between said "action" and a romantic Valentine's Day evening at home. Or maybe they see it as the perfect antidote to romance. This is another of those times of year where the true meaning of the day has been taken over by commerce who have made it into what they want it to be. But hey.....that's fine. If people need an excuse to tell someone they love them that's fine with me. Probably better to not need the excuse but if it works.
It got me to thinking about what the true meaning of Valentine's Day actually is? Was it ever more than it is now? Maybe it is only here at all because it was invented. Well, like many things, it has a murky history which is unsure and has more than one possible basis in fact. I'm not entirely sure the story I have found makes it any better than it is now but here goes. 
I would like to say up front that this is, in all likelihood, not going to be "the truth" but it is based on some of the things I have found out. Maybe it will turn out to be Fake News :lol: I apologise if so as I tell it with a clean conscience and a pure heart ;)
The history seems to be a mixture of Christian and Roman backgrounds. Who, in fact, was Valentine? There appear to be three main contenders who were martyred.  One was a priest in 3rd century Rome who defied Emperor Claudius II by continuing to marry young lovers after the emperor had banned these marriages as he thought single young men made better soldiers. Unfortunately he was discovered and was put to death.
I'm going with this one. Valentine was a prisoner who fell in love with a young girl (possibly the jailor's daughter) who he met while in prison as she visited him. Before his death he is said to have written her a letter signed "from your Valentine". Well, obviously it was before his death ;) This has become a token of love and the character of Valentine is always seen in a romantic and loving light. To be fair it probably wasn't this one, I just like him. 
By the middle ages Valentine had become a very popular saint. 
Why is it celebrated in mid February? Some think it is because birds first mate at this time of year. Others think it was when the church made a move to Christianise the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. I do not vouch for the accuracy of this story either and I'm sure there are those who know it better than I but members of the Lupercia would gather at a sacred cave where Romulus and Remus were said to have been raised and cared for by a she wolf. The priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. They would strip the goats hide and dip it in the blood before taking it to the streets slapping both women and the crop fields with the hide. This was a fertility rite and the women welcomed the touch of the hide as it was believed to make them more fertile for the coming year. I'm not sure how this next bit would go down today (well I think I am sure :lol: ) all the young women in the city would put their name into a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. It is claimed that these matches often ended in marriage. I'm quite sure it often didn't too. 
Lupercalia was outlawed at the end of the 5th century as being un Christian. Pope Gelasius declared Feb 14th St Valentine's Day. 
It wasn't until after 1400 that written Valentines messages really began to appear. It grew in popularity through 17th and 18th century and printed cards became more common after 1900. 

There you are. A history in brief of St Valentine's Day. I wouldn't believe a word of it though. ;)

What I would do is take a moment from your busy lives and spend that moment telling your loved one what they mean to you. As with many things in life, it is easy to take things for granted. Whether that be your health or the beauty of nature. At this time in my life I take things for granted less and less. There have been too many surprises and shocks in the last couple of years so each moment becomes that more precious. Do not waste your moments. If you love someone then spend your time loving them and being loved by them. Never forget the excitement of when you first met. I know things change over time but if you look inside yourselves I hope you can still find that spark that set you on the path you have been travelling together. It is a long road, sometimes a bumpy road. It may have a fork in it or two and the wrong path can be taken but if that spark is still there then waste no time. And do this every day. Not just on Valentine's Day.  :heart:

Now here is some art. I have been collecting again and it has been a couple of months since my last feature so lets get to it. As always I will try to represent as many as I can. Your beautiful works light up my life. If you are new here welcome, if you have been here a while, I'm always glad to see you and your creations. I welcome back one or two have been on a break too. :hug: 

Ruins of Tiffauges' castle by ClairObscur16    The withering by LittleFawnsPhotos    Where Freedom Shines by Trippy4U    Valley of Fire State Park, Moab, Nevada by artamusica    Lunar Mountain by manfishinc   Heart whispers by Morgan-Lou   

Fairy Pools by Rajmund67     A Moon for you by BWilliamWest    vibrant by aspruli    #29 Shadow by Quindayo     My heart by Guericke   Lonely Love by IndigoSummerr  

Travel as much as you can by thedaydreaminggirl    Fergus - quick study in oils by Cwmm     Sister towns by AncaXBre   At the Cliffs of Ahtela by Milarcha   Stained glass love... by ansdesign   

Parallel Lines by Metal-Bender   Dsc 0334 1 by AnaPengu    Transcended by solefield   Dendrobium Berry Oda by PassionAndTheCamera   

Window to the Soul by Mocris    Az407135 by chriskaula    Mystic islet by Morgan-Lou   Misty Morning by EmMelody   By the Lake 6 by EvaPolly    

Escaping Destiny by whispersoftheblue    Marta by lemgras330   . by invisigoth88   Happy Birthday dear Yadi...animation by ansdesign    Winter in the orchard II by VesnaRa014   Happy Birthday Yadi by LidiaRossana   

Parrot in the rain by chriskaula    Yellow mountains by StonyStoneIsStoned2    Grounded Murmuration by richardcgreen   c u r v y by ColorfulLadybug  

Qui Vive by Trippy4U    February by dashakern    February Day by sesam-is-open    Green is the theme by gigi50      Solitude by LUCILALEYLA

misty XXVIII by JoannaRzeznikowska    Delicate Arch by Pistolpete2007    Arguing by LiliaLaurent   Valentine Song by AnnMarieBone   Squares by LidiaRossana  

He sings in the wood by Morgan-Lou   Sur les pas d'Anna Karenine by Lorelyne    Careful Lovin' You by Yuukon   Tasting the breeze by dashakern 

    Mixed Media: Yesterday's Child V by LewisKocher     Beacon of Light by Tessasa   LOVE AND HATE ARE CLOSE TOGETHER by IME54-ART-ILONA    What We Need by Deb-e-ann    Winter pattern by aw-landscapes  

everything by ivtaya        Thank you by Sweetlylou     Through it all... by Nikonfinest    Cape Schanck by FlabnBone   

Eye candy by thefirebomb    Lou by Anka-loves-to-fly    Planet Earth - Red Farmlands by KatherineFewer    Cruising Woodward in Downtown Detroit by JeffreyDobbs      

Midnight Memories by serel   January is white by Rona-Keller   The Torii of Fushimi Inari by LunaFeles    Waterfall by sistersinnister  

Destination Desolation by Scooby777     Fantasy by Liudochka   Frozen by EyeOfTheKat    skyscrapers by 4ajka    Moth by BaxiaArt   

See blue by SilverMixx    Everything passes by dashakern    enlightened by Ingelore    Waves of Color, Antelope canyon by artamusica  

Walking Through The Winter Forest by Caillean-Photography    Back and Forth.. by AlicesPlace   The Drifter ~ Seattle Sojourn #5 by richardcgreen   Mountain Throne by aw-landscapes  

  the riverdays II by Bodhisattvacary       The Soft And Sweet by Nikki-vdp  

Dark Tree by BaxiaArt    Happy New Year by 1001G   Goodbye 2016 by EvaPolly    the year is dying in the night by MWeiss-Art   

Winter Bird by Yuukon    Calm by Laerian    Symphony of Music by poisen2014    Somewhere by Annabelle-Chabert  

A lonely path into the Unknown II by Aenea-Jones</