Seed of Light Award

seed-of-light-award11   Well, bless my soul (up a sugar plum tree) the little blog that I set about to exercise my writing -and thinking – muscles my little blog has been nominated for a Seed of Light Award by ramblingratz whse blog can be found at http://www.ramblingratzwordpress.com (take a look; for such a modest sounding blog there is a lot of thinking and inspiration).

 To the motto that came with my nomination – “All you need to start a forest is one seed” –

I would add something I read somewhere – but cannot place the source at the moment

“Visionaries plant the seeds of trees”.

This award is for blogs that inspire creativity, nature, connection, communications and beauty. Pass it on!

I am currently running four blogs, each one I believe different in nature; beeseeker – http://www.beeseeker.wordpress.com is the one that

“started all the trouble”.

My sincere thanks to ‘ratz for the compliment.

The – uncomplicated – rules for accepting the award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Nominate at least 5 blogs and provide links to their blogs.

3. Notify the nominees of their nominations.

My nominees are:

http://www.busymindthinking.com

http://www.starsrainsunmoon.com

http://www.breezesatdawn.wordpress.com

http://www.wisejourney.wordpress.com

http://www.notyethere.wordpress.com

and – yes, yes, yes, I know it’s six but I couldn’t choose – and,

http://www.horselearning.wordpress.com

hey, you don’t really mind, do you.

I mean I’m tryin’ to be  a poet, not a counting machine…

.. and these blogs fit the bill in so many ways (although each includes -as does mine – forays into other aspects of life).

Been Away II

Lifted gently and efficiently by Lufthansa’s local jets from Birmingham to Linz via Frankfurt. “Ja zu Fra”: the busy hub where I just have enough time to make the twisting up and down journey between gates; hoping my luggage made it too (it actually didn’t last time and caught up with me later).

To a place where the sky and heaven are called the same thing, so that every time I think or talk about the sky I am also reminded of Heaven. It’s not a bad thing, when I think about it. Maybe we have too many words in English. Or not enough.

This is a return trip for me. I have seen this region in different seasons – and every one suits it. The dark skies (Heavens), clearly visible constellations and amounts of snow in one overnight fall that would (and does) bring my country to a chaotic standstill are routine here and decorate the rolling countryside magnificently.

DSC_0297 Continue reading

Fine, Fine, Fine … And my Annual Report.

 

 

It’s the third of January. I am getting over the lassitude and over-indulgence of A fine Christmas period. Fine dining, fine company, fine weather, fine presents received. Fine alcohol too – and not a little of it.

I’ve been presented with an annual report from WordPress and suddenly I realise how much support from a fine number of wonderful characters I’ve had over the past twelve months – and just how many visits my posts have taken in.

So – of course – a big thanks to people I have never met with whom I am getting on so famously-but-distantly well. Bless you all for packing the New York Subway cars that WordPress uses to represent your figures; that’s so sweet for me cos I’ve only ever seen those carriages (or more correctly cars) in films like Warriors, the Taking of Pelham 123 and – no sorry that’s it.

I now suggest we go head-down and onwards into 2014.

You all up for it?

It’s eight in the evening as I type this (you cannot imagine how many typing mistakes I have to put right) … and, yes, I know I still upset my spellchecker before I publish. Been out to Lichfield today, such a wonderful cathedral, Gothic throughout and Lichfield is such a friendly-seeming city. Fine all day breakfast and mug of tea between squalls.

Because, on the day of the Severn Bore not so very far away, the ground is completely saturated and pools of water are forming in fields all around. Strong winds have wreaked havoc and properties and livelihoods around us have been interrupted, disrupted and worse.

But I can’t help thinking, as I look at the spots of rain clinging to the outside of the leaded, double glazed windows how much like simple but stunning jewels they look as the y give back the light from the bulb hanging from the plain, plain ceiling.

Happy new year to one and all.

Heads- down and forward … see you later, I hope.

 

Severn Bore image: www.bbc.co.uk

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Most Influential Blogger? Me? Really?

Happy as a sandboy,” my grandfather would say when he was cheerful (he usually was, autumn morning light, the warmth of cattle in the cowshed, a flight of mallard, a fried breakfast, a harvest sunset or rain ripples in puddles would set him up); or “happy as a pig in mud.” Well, let’s say I remember it as mud, but could be wrong.

That’s me – at the moment! A sandboy in … well you work it out eh?

I am truly enjoying the challenging, liberating, thrilling experience of being a blogger. That is largely thanks to you (dare I say “Dear Reader”? – yes, dammit I just did!). Your feedback: love the “likes”, devour the comments, always positive and helpful. Some of them short dialogues, some banter but all enjoyable. It’s an unusual place this Blogosphere, part intimidating, part liberating part some fairy-dust thing else entirely.

I am just not good at dealing with the awards I have been given: my genuine apologies for that – and my thanks too. It is really not that I do not appreciate the genuine thinking that goes into them: I just always seem too busy doing something else … and the moment seems to have gone like Comet Ison. and I missed it.

But this time I will accept and respond. (Who said “it’s about time” ? Whoops maybe that was me!) and add my sincere thanks to others who have been kind enough to “throw” awards at me in the past.

For I have had the Most Influential Blogger Award bestowed upon my efforts by Morgan who has a beautifully crafted blog at

http://booknvolume.com/about/.

Well worth a visit or six, you cannot fail to be enchanted by the words, thoughts, skill and or images; the industry that goes on behind the articulate, well presented blog.

Morgan, my thanks to you: may your words continue to reach us all.

As with all awards, the rules are simple:
1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
5. Answer each of the 11 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 11 for your awardees (or use the same ones up to you!

So, Most Importantly, My Nominees Are:

1. worldly winds at http://worldlywinds.com/
2. Whocouldknowthen at http://whocouldknowthen.wordpress.com/
3. Colour Me in Cyanide at: http://olorielmoonshadow.wordpress.com/
4.horselearner at http://horselearning.wordpress.com/

5. poetscorner at http://poetscornerblog.wordpress.com/

6. iggandfriends at http://iggandfriends.wordpress.com/
7. Chattyowl at http://chattyowl.com/

8. notyethere at http://notyethere.wordpress.com/

9. bartwolffe at http://bartwolffe.wordpress.com/
10. The hour of soft light at http://thehourofsoftlight.wordpress.com/

 

MY ANSWERS:
1) What makes you happiest?

Family, Peace, Travel, Writing and Music
2) Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?

Impossible to say; and are we talking real mountains here, real seas – or those of the imagination? I love seeing natural sights and seas and mountains can be terrifying (making me feel fully alive) or beautiful: it is the moods and thoughts that both inspire that are the important thing, don’t you think?

3) What has been a special moment in 2013?

Physically travelling to new places (especially New England), re-visiting places previously visited (and friends there) and the resurgence of my football team.

4) What’s your favourite quote?

Can I ask for a couple (though I am sure I will think of more as soon as I press the Publish button:

“Stranger than usual things are happening all of the time” Terry Pratchett

And

“Sun, sea air and patience Watson; all else will come to pass” Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

 5) Do you like yourself?

Find myself a mystery sometimes (is that possible) but if I didn’t I ought to do something about it eh?

Yes, I get along with myself just fine. Not sure any other answer is possible.

6) Do you stay up till midnight on New Year?

Doesn’t everyone? I know that they don’t because stepping outside my (English) house to hear the local church bells and watch the fireworks I am always surprised that I am not met by all of the neighbours to toast the New Year.

But seeing out the old year and the new year in is traditional for me.
7) Something you wish could be done ASAP?

Finding a definitive list for the eleven bloggers I have to put down here…

 … oh and putting the badge/logo onto my blog.

and notifying those I have recommended

And did I mention finding a way to add my second blog ( www.mucktwineandthinker.wordpress.com ) to my Gravatar page

8) What was your favourite class when still at school?

Class means subject right? Have to go for the “library” lessons part of our English, because, while most of the others took it as an excuse to mess about I travelled in new worlds, different times and in different shoes, sitting reading in a corner.
9) What musical instrument have you tried to play? Keep learning to play the guitar – from scratch every time. Enjoyed it and forgot it every time so far.10) Anything you had wished to have learned earlier? It’s not the way I am programmed to think. It’s a deep philosophical question of course and a good one, but – usually happy with things as they have happened, except, hang on, there was …
11) Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing or Painting? Drawing, but mostly starting off as aimless doodles that become patterns or, honestly just trash.

My questions:

  1. What was the last non-fiction book you read?
  2. What song would you like to hear first thing in the morning?
  3. Imagine three things that are always green: write them into a single sentence.
  4. Horses? Love ‘em or tolerate ‘em?
  5. Zoos in the future? Yes or no?
  6. What is your take on science fiction?
  7. Have you seen a film that made you change your mind about a book?
  8. Which three fictional characters would you invite to your house for a meal?
  9. Have you ever met any of your heroes face to face?
  10. What is your favourite colour and why?
  11. What five books would you give to aliens visiting the planet to help them understand the way you think?

A Poem I Found …

… while looking for something else (isn’t that just the way of things sometimes?).

I am uncertain of the title, but loved the feeling it gave me while I was reading/discovering it and the feeling it left me with.

 

Words of a poem should be glass

But glass so simple-subtle its shape

Is nothing but the shape of what it holds.

A glass spun for itself is empty,

Brittle, at best Venetian trinket.

Embossed glass hides the poem of its absence.

Words should be looked through, should be windows.

The best word were invisible.

The poem is the thing the poet thinks.

If the impossible were not,

And if the glass, only the glass,

Could be removed, the poem would remain.

Robert Francis

6/6/2013

Now What

What have I done now?

saddlers flag
I got back from the football match, really happy. We won, by a long chalk. Extremely convincing and stretching out the dream that we may – it’s mathematically possible and we have the morale-high ground – even qualify for the promotion play-offs.
But it was the first time I have ever been in an executive box. I was flattered at being invited and enjoyed the experience, though it puts an entirely different slant on being at a Walsall match! Buffet lunch, flat screen TV, programmes, coffee and cake at half time, access to the rather-exclusive Swifts Club bar and heating! The company was great, kept the banter and information flowing.
Incidentally the box we were in was number eleven and dedicated to one of my all-time Walsall heroes; all five foot four of him: Alan Buckley.
Did I mention that I had a couple of beers? That in the Swifts club bar were former players (one of whom is now a vicar at St Luke’s church in Cannock)?
Well, delivered back home I came to check on WordPress.  That’s normal, the excitement continued.
NaPoWriMo

Then my eye was attracted by the National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo). Not sure, now, looking back what it was that drew me … but it’s a thrown-down gauntlet, a challenge to write and publish a poem a day for the month of April.
To clarify matters a little bit it seems to be a United States “thing”, but before I could activate the spellchecker – I had signed up … my little old beeseeker blog is now listed among the great, the good, the brave  and the other slightly crazyhead people who took the step and registered on an auspicious April Fool’s Day.

Off to a good start, managed what I call a poem on day one … phew …  so far so good …  but the pressure’s on – and not just at the Saddlers!
So – wish me luck – send me coffee, and watch this space.

Thanks

IMG_3830
I began, nervously, blogging in the year that is now ending. 2012. London Olympics, Royal (GB) wedding, Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, a year of record-rainfall in England. I knew my technological skills, determination and creativity were going to be challenged. Maybe I would need to duck out of it after a while; the ethernet waters too hot or too deep.
But I have receievd nothing but fabulous support – that’ll be from you. Really.
So …
A heart-felt thank you to my fellow travellers, companions, friendly shadows and sometime-partners who have visited, supported and kept me going in this difficult to define environment: the blogosphere.
Social networking has, without doubt, challenged the dictionary and concepts such as strangers; changing what is now meant by “friend” and I have glibly slipped into “meeting” people I have never, actually seen; that, frankly I have no idea about. I think I think I mean this in the nicest possible way … I am, after all, talking about the relationship between you and I here. I have entered spaces with inspirational writing, sometimes short and shocking, often deeply emotional, comments, commentary, discussion pieces, with images and stunning thoughts shared. I have started playing a (hopefully useful) part in something which may become known as conversation, polite and positive, criticism, thoughtful and supportive – maybe we need to coin new terms here (if so may I suggest “blonversation”* and “criti-blogging”*) … and I find myself drawn in and enjoying every moment of it.
But the truth remains we are mysteries to each other, albeit in a definitely friendly and encouraging way (I thank you for that): partners in a sense, sharing a journey to who-knows-where.
I wish you all a happy, peace-filled and adventurous (if that’s what you want – of course) new year… and I hope to “see” more of you in 2013.

*Hey, does anybody know how to patent new words ??

30/12/2012

Thanks for the Nomination

leibster-blog-award

This came as a very pleasant  – and hundred per cent complete – surprise. Out of the December blue.

My genuine thanks to C.B. Wentworth for the nomination and award, and to all other recipients to date. CB has a fine blog going at

http://cbwentworth.wordpress.com. It’s well worth a visit if not an extended stay and mooch around.

The Rules:

1) Paste the award picture into your blog.

2) Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominees.

3) When you receive the award, you must post 11 random facts about yourself.

4) Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and let them know.

11 Random facts

1. I knocked myself out with an axe when felling a tree in our garden – to make space for a greenhouse!

2. Find the atmosphere at live music events invigorating.

3. I support a local football team: Walsall F.C. “the Saddlers

4. I learned a lot about weaving simoultaneous story threads when I read the Tarzan novels as a teenager, and am re-reading the free electronic versions as I type this (though not at the same time obviously (!)

Did I imagine that there is a story where Tarzan shrinks to the size of an ant ??

5. Love science fiction – in all of it’s forms.

6. An avid devourer of comic books I am delighted by these characters becoming movie franchises. What next?

7. Slept for most of the ‘plane journey between Lima and Madrid, but thought I had only taken a short nap.

8. Never cease to be amazed by the kindness of people I meet when I am travelling.

9. Read several books at the same time – get inspiration from what I read.

10. Need to get the message across: “we are all teachers, children learn from us, if not the good things, then the bad!”

11. Love my family!

11 Nominees:

This is a seriously tricky one for me. I have been in the company of some marvellous people (and never met them, except one; indeed almost certainly wouldn’t recognise them if I sat on a bus next to them!) on my journeys and rebounds in the inspirational

blogosphere. My thanks and congratulations to all of my fellow wayfarers (come on, let’s keep going eh?).

But for many reasons I have gone with these:

1. http://www.iggandfriends.wordpress.com

2. http://www.riverscribbles.wordpress.com

3. http://www.photoandtour.wordpress.com

4. http://www.assia7.wordpress.com

5. http://www.thegoodvillager.wordpress.com

6. http://www.worldismycuttlefish.wordpress.com

7. http://www.bartwolffe.wordpress.com

8. http://www.anotherwanderingsoul.wordpress.com

9. http://www.glynfedwards.wordpress.com

10. http://www.sarahmonagle.wordpress.com

11. http://ink4thought.com/

All of these blogs are full of inspiring and creative posts. I look forward to visiting each day and I hope you enjoy them, too.

My Answers to the C.B Wentworth questions.

1) If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Some kind of spell casting that I could use on adults to get them to resolve problems like children of a certain age seem to do, without malice, rancour or recrimination. (Unfortunately, at some stage, children grow out of it!)

2) What is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? (What’s stopping you?)

Understand how to take photos on my digital camera using the manual controls rather than the automatic settings: I think this would result in better shots (but am not totally convinced). The thing that stops me is, ultimately – me procrastinating, convincing myself that I do not have the time – and, you’ve guessed it … I don’t have the time!

3) What is your favorite movie?

Great question, the answer to which, like any favourite I’m asked for changes with time. In this moment I would go for the recent re-make of Mighty Joe Young: I am a sucker for gorillas and that formulaic thing at the end of such films where you are not sure if it’s a happy or a sad ending. This is simply a fairy tale but I love the special effects and the morality behind it!

4) Mac or PC? Why?

PC – habit only.

5) If your home was one fire and you had time to grab one thing, what would it be?

Assuming all people were safe I would try to save my journals: they contain many years of dated material, poetry mainly that is a reflection of my life so far.

6) Who do you admire most? Why?

Also I have to add so many people and types of people, typically those who keep their integrity and credibility whether they be rock stars, firefighters, writers, sportsmen or explorers.

But another part of my answer is that I love storytellers, who can keep an audience spellbound by simply telling a story, with expression, tone, accent and effect!

7) What do you think you’ll be doing five years from now?

Hope I’ve managed to answer these questions for one thing – I will be thinking about them even after I have posted the answers.

I would like to think I will still be getting inspiration from the things that I do/that happen to me – and, perhaps taking better photos.  Would be happy to think I was reasonably fit (perhaps still pretending to go to a gym. Would love to be still travelling, learning and passing  on the message that it is OK to be open-minded until you have experience.

8) What is your idea of a perfect day?

Get up early in good weather, sunrise countryside walk (taking some photos), full English breakfast, listen to music (mixture of speeds and moods), visit to the library, coffee and people watching while reading a magazine, book or newspaper,

an afternoon visit to book a holiday tour of somewhere I have never been yet, look at the blogosphere, maybe add something, cheese and tomato sandwich tea and going to see my local football team win against superior opposition.

(A lot ofthis is extremely unlikely, but it is my idea of a perfect day after all.)

9) Coffee or tea?

Tea – simple supermarket off-the-shelf tea, milk and one sugar please – never too early or too late to put the kettle on.

And, er is it being greedy to hope for a chocolate biscuit so the drink is not too wet ?

10) If a magazine asked you to write an article about any topic, what would you write about?

I would love to have the chance to write something about how a concert in the tour schedule of a rock and roll band (or a circus, or a theatrical production) affects the life of a town during it’s transitory stay: traffic, security, the artists, the drivers, the promoters, box office, audience members … er, but would need to do some expenses-paid research.

11) What charity or organization means the most to you?

Phew! So many – of course. cancer charities are up at the top of the list, but am also passionate about wildlife, organic gardening and heritage conseration.

MY NEW QUESTIONS:

1.What keeps you awake at night?

2. Recommend a ghost story, suitable for a winter evening.

3. What has been your favourite moment of 2012?

4. What is your favourite quote and why?

5. What kind of doodler are you?

6. Your favourite all-time comic character?

7. Something you wish you had learned earlier.

8. The question you always wanted to answer – but, dammit – nobody ever asked ?

9. What musical instrument ahve you tried to learn toplay (how successful have you been – so far)?

10. At what time of day are you most active?

11. Which two fictional cahracters would invite to dinner (where would you go?)

– – –

101, Not Out! Really?

Driving to work one on a day I chose a talk radio station instead of CD I remember part of a discussion about how to stay healthy:

“… balance in what you eat is important, exercise is vital (those who make no time for exercise, a note posted on my gym wall said, must make time in later life for illness) and it is important to try something on a regular basis that scares you” … it raises the heart rate (apparently) and this is a healthy thing to do (again apparently).

It is one of the reasons I started to blog, that and, some conviction that others (that’ll be you, reading this by the way) might show some interest in what I write …

… and then suddenly, before I was aware that such a time had passed, or that my fumbling fingers had bashed (my technique is in no way brilliant, as my spelling mistakes and occassional lack of spaceing will tell you)so many keys and buttons ….

… there’s a side bar thingummybob that just blinked at me, telling me that was my hundred and first post.

I am amazed! Quietly amazed.

I did not realise; I tend to ignore the button thing that comes on – until, of course, I don’t ignore it (like just).

But I don’t count, just, so far have enjoyed the challenge … and the feedback and contacts I have been making. I was wary of what I call the

Planet Blog, but am beginning to enjoy the aspects of it that are enjoyable. I have discovered, or been introduced to some fine writings and writers, characters

and talent; been stirred, humbled and inspired, been given new thoughts and reminded of things I was forgetting: this world is enjoyable.

I still find it genuinely frightening to launch my words and some of my innermost thinking out on the sea of the ether with no idea of the many places they might sail, what response they may generate, what interest they might meet. I For me this is part o f the thrill. If little seems to be happening, I tell myself, it i sbecause the words are still sialing, people are still pondering how to react, whether to react – and so I am not discouraged.

I make another entry, believing continuity to be important.

Thanks to all who have been part of this “journey” so far, let’s see what happens next eh?

On my way toget some exercise now.

28th September, 2012