Another One of Those Gloomy Days


A gloomy and rainy day in Texas

Sitting around at my desk
and staring out of the window
looking at a dark and very grey day
with rain making things look abysmal

Everything is wet and the creeks do flow
and the temperatures is in the low forties
reminding me of England where I was born
the country I left leaving me forlorn.

The difference is that over there
this rainy weather is the norm
I left it to move to a drier state
with the heat of the sun and the rain to abate.

This will not last for very long
as the weather changes quite frequently
and tomorrow the sun will be shining again
and we can resume our activities.

Written 2/11/2020



End of Another Year


What is at the other end of the bridge?

Another year has come to an end
and with its passing like losing a friend
with the New Year not far behind
bringing in things of a different kind
it’s not like we have a fresh start
and that our troubles all depart
everything that was there before
is still there knocking on our door
we are not really another year older
and definitely not any wiser
even though twelve months have passed
we hope that it is not the last
of these years that keep passing by
before we reach up to the sky
and give up our life here on this earth
hoping that we have proved our worth
enough of these melancholy thoughts
instead we are grateful what time has bought
another year spent on this planet
with family and friends and pets along with it
lots of things to look forward to
what they are we haven’t a clue
but it matters not whether good or bad
or whether they make us happy or sad
the future for us is already ordained
we cannot change what it is or keep it the same
our lives are governed by forces unknown
and the time that we have is really on loan
and is over in the blink of an eye
as time is as deep as the endless sky
and all we can do is enjoy what is there
with Nature to guide us we haven’t a care
on this Beautiful Planet that we call home
with others around us we are never alone.
Happy New Year.

Written 12/19/2019

More About Texas Weather, Again…


The cabin was taken from another picture and added to this one.

Living in Texas, one expects surprises from time to time and Texas weather is no exception. Less than 3 weeks after the last of our 100 degree weather, we are now experiencing ice rain and freezing temperatures at night with daytime highs in the low 40’s. We get a bit of a winter every year with at least one or two freezing nights and occasionally even a little snow that is generally gone by the next morning but never usually quite as early in the year as this. So, even for Texas, this cold snap is a bit of a phenomenon and I can only put it down to Global Warming which gets blamed for anything to do with abnormal weather.

I had been holding off getting into the ponds to cut back the vegetation which I normally do every winter hoping for it to correspond with cleaning out the leaves that have fallen and settled to the bottom. The frosts have completely knocked down the iris and taro plants but there are still a lot of leaves on the trees so it looks like I will need to hold off on my cleaning plans for a bit longer as I need to do both jobs at the same time. Not that I want to get outside at this time as the weather being as cold and wet as it is and there is no immediate hurry so these things can wait. Heck, I don’t even want to go hiking while it is like this. The fish have gone into semi dormancy but still show some signs of activity even if it is a bit sluggish so I have cut back on the feeding to once a day. The one good thing out of this cold weather is that most of the algae is gone as it does not like the cold water.

I have been spending some of my time working on the picture at the top of the page for a friend, taking a part of one picture and adding it to another one to combine the two. The program I used is called InPixio and it allowed me to make a lot of adjustments to reach the finished project. It took several iterations and changes of mind before we were both satisfied with the finished result. I took the cabin from one picture and added it to the main picture as you see it above even flipping it around so that it faced in the opposite direction. Oh yes, there were several different cabin pictures and lots of attempts before we arrived at the right one. Photographic software is pretty amazing.

With tongue in cheek, my friend suggested the following story about how she lived in that cabin and often sat on the porch shelling peas that she grew in the garden behind the cabin. The cow in the front is Bessie who she hand raised when her mother was killed by a mountain lion. After closer examination, she asked me to please explain that she also paid for the cow’s sex change operation.

My friend has a twisted sense of humor but then again, she is a Cajun from New Orleans…

I can’t remember what I would have been doing to keep myself occupied through an enforced indoor stay prior to 25 years ago, At that time and after computers came into general use, I worked a Home Business that was soccer related (what else) and utilized a lot of my free time working on it. That ended 15 or so years ago and then my interests changed and I started taking pictures and eventually, working on them to get a higher quality finished product. In 2011 I started this blog site and now I combine photography and writing a blog on days when the weather is too unpleasant to be outside. In the case of living in Texas that is either because it is way too hot at 100 degrees or like it is now at 41 degrees. I even discovered that I can write poetry although it has to be said, the quality is sometimes questionable.

If I really run out of ideas, I can complete Part 2 of the book I have been working on which is pretty much about my life story. The first part is of growing up in England during World War 2 through the move over to America and is already written and has been for some time. Part 2 entitled, My life in America, I have yet to start. In any case, it will be a story without an end unless someone else completes it after I am long gone from this earth. Maybe when I can no longer get out and about and have to lead a much more sedentary life, I will work on it assuming that I still have a functioning brain.

In the meantime, back to writing until the weather warms up. What will be the next subject you ask? Who knows as I haven’t got that far…

Written 11/14/2019

Why do we blog…


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I was checking my emails this morning as I usually do before embarking on any major (or several minor) tasks that I had lined up for the day. Sometimes, it may be things that I have planned like a particular piece of work around the ponds and garden where I can get out under the very hot Texas sun and sweat a lot. It may even be a walk at one of the Parks although, lately it has been way too hot to enjoy that activity. More recently with the hundred degree heat, it has been to settle myself down in front of my computer and see if I can coax a story or a verse out of my old and feeble mind. Well maybe not so feeble but definitely getting old and forgetful.

Back to the emails which are now somewhat under control after I made the decision to take the “Like” button off of the blogs that I post. The number of blogging friends has dropped considerably as I guess, I am being removed from other people’s lists as I no longer receive the amount of mail that I did before or the number of blogs from other bloggers who before, had graciously pushed the “Like”button. This was something that I expected and I do miss having my ego stroked with all of those “Likes” . Still, can’t have it both ways and I do have a lot of other things on which to spend my time.

This brings me to my current thought of the moment and that is, “Why do we blog”? What compels us to sit down in front of our computers and pour out our heart and souls for others to read. What is it that prompts our particular brains to write about the things that interest us. Better yet, why do we think that other people are interested in reading the stuff that we type out with such regularity. Is it human nature to be that interested that we not only take the time to write about our given subjects but also to spend time reading the same or at least similar stuff from other bloggers?

We are such a diverse bunch and our interests range from the mundane to the ridiculous. Many of you are very articulate and write very interesting stuff that is a pleasure to read or you take wonderful pictures and share them for the world to see. Others try to heal the world of the ongoing bombardment that humanity is subjecting it to on a daily basis. Yet others, me included, share their daily routines and try to turn them into stories of interest. All of us have something to share but why do we want to share it? What drives us?

Years ago, before the advent of computers and modern technology, the only means of communication other than to speak was to write it down with the use of a pen and paper. Perfect writing was a skill and only practised amongst the Gentry of the land as not too many lay people knew how to read and write. People prided themselves on their calligraphy and even letters written between family members were works of art. More to the point, receiving such a letter was also treated as a special occasion and a thing of great personal value. Alas, those days are long gone and I for one can only remember one handwritten letter that I received from anyone in the last five years. Those that have found their way into my mailbox have all been typed and not on an old fashioned typewriter either but a modern day computer. Letter writing is a dying art and is going the way of the Dodo. Everything is email and text nowadays.

I, like almost everyone else in the world, use a computer for all of the writing that I do. I make so many mistakes and have so many do overs and corrections or even re-writes on some occasions that it would be inconceivable to me to write any other way. Consequently, when an idea or a thought strikes me that I want to share, I can sit down and even with my two fingered typing, quickly write up a piece that may not be grammatically correct but at least all of the words are spelt correctly. Than goodness for Spellchecker!

Even with all of this, it still does not answer the question of “Why do we like to write” and what is more to the point, why do we share it with others? It’s not like we are going to make any money off our blogs although I suppose that there may be some out there who claim they do. Me, I am not one of them so there has to be another reason. Maybe, I am a frustrated Author with a million dollar book inside of me just waiting to pop out although, somehow I don’t think so. I am more of a reporter than a writer. I need a subject matter to write about as my brain is not capable of the twists and turns that it takes to be a modern day writer/novelist. More to the point is the pleasure I get from writing a good piece or taking a great picture and sharing it with the rest of the world and blogging is a way for me to do just this.  It is the perfect platform to express ourselves in so many different ways with whatever it is that interests us.

That still doesn’t answer the question of why we do what we do. I have never done this before but it might be interesting for those of you who have taken the time to read this all the way through to go to the Comments section and write a short response as to what is your reason for blogging. It will make for very interesting reading.

Written 8/4/2018

Looking for a Subject


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Some of the blogs that come into my mail box that I take the time to read are obviously written with the Author struggling to find a central theme for that particular blog and at the same time, they are having the uncontrollable sensation that they ABSOLUTELY MUST post something or all kinds of bad things are going to happen. The end result is a single picture or a bunch of words apologizing for not having anything to write about and almost begging the readers to forgive the Author for being so dumb (literally).

Guess what folks, in the big scheme of things none of your fellow bloggers will really care if you post or not. In fact, if you are one of those that post several times a day, your followers are probably glad that you have nothing more to say so they can have a rest from you and spend time with other bloggers. The same is true of those of you who for whatever reasons have not blogged in a while and then when you do, are full of apologies for not being active. Your readers are not looking for an apology, all they want is another good blog to read and admire so even if you have been away, if your stuff is worth reading, your blogger friends will find you. Bloggers and blog readers are a fickle lot and if your blog is missing for any length of time, they will quickly move on to someone new to follow.

Guess what started this tirade, Yes, you got it. The lack of a subject to blog about. Therefore, I am in the same category as those of you with nothing to say and yet managed to put together a blog to say just that…nothing.

Written 6/26/2018

Like’s and Comments


DSC_2687

Blogging. I wonder where the word came from? What does it conjure up in your mind? Whatever it is, what compels us to sit down in front of our computers and turn those thoughts into a blog and even worse, share that blog with whoever wants to take the time and trouble to read it. Some of the more prolific bloggers turn out several pieces a day, posting them one after the other in a vain attempt to get their word out. Those are the ones that I unsubscribe from as I just don’t have the time and energy to read all of that stuff. Nothing personal but I do not want to spend my days in front of my computer reading other people’s blogs. I have things to do, places to go and people to see.

I blog for the fun of it. I have things that I do in my life that I like to write about and share with whoever is inclined to read my stuff. I don’t make any money writing although everyone, me included would like to. In truth, I am not a true writer as I don’t dream up plots and have shady characters living out their roles until the good guys come along and save the day. Heaven forbid, I have tried but I just don’t have the sort of intricate mind to do it. I’m no good at love stories having made a mess of that in real life. I do have an autobiography that I have been working on for a few years but I don’t suppose that I will ever finish it.

No, I am more of a reporter than a writer. I can write about things that I am a part of or something I am witnessing or an event I am attending, things of that nature. Generally speaking, I have to have a subject in which I am physically involved and then I can transform those events into words for other to read. It helps that I like to take pictures which can add to the story especially if I turn it into a video which can tell a lot more of the story than I can. My words just help to move things along.

Being a member of the blogging community has brought me in touch with some truly wonderful writers and bloggers from all over the world and my in box is filled every day with a couple of hundred blogs awaiting my attention. My problem is I do not have the time to read every one and I generally do a quick scan to see if it is interesting enough (to me) to actually read and digest the content and then add a “Like” if I find it deserves one (in my eyes).

I presume that most other bloggers treat their inbox the same way that I do and even though in the process, we may click the “Like” button without reading any part of the content, we do it to be nice and of course, in the hope that the beneficiary of my “Like” will reciprocate and give me a “Like” for my stuff.

The reality is that we are just playing a big game. I am retired and have lots of time but I don’t want to spend all day reading other peoples blogs some of which really do not appeal to me at all. I have yet to understand how any of the bloggers who claim to have hundreds of “Likes” on a daily basis have anytime to do anything else other than to scan through the hundreds of blogs that they surely receive if they even do that. It is easy to push the “Like” button and then quickly turn off that blog when the screen comes up meaning that you have registered a “Like” without reading any part of the blog. My blog stats say that I have 2530 followers which I find absolutely incredible. Where did they all come from and am I reading their stuff?

Don’t get me wrong as there are a lot of the blogs that come into my inbox that I find truly interesting and take the time to read. I have a few favorites and like them to know that I really like their work by adding a comment or two. They probably do not amount to more than a couple of dozen of the couple of hundred that land in my inbox.

I have been giving this some serious thought and have almost decided that I am going to take the “Like” button off my blogs from here on out. If somebody wants to comment, then at least I know that they have read my work and have something to say be it good or bad. This way, my fellow bloggers will not feel obligated to give me a “Like” deserved or otherwise and in turn, we can express our appreciation of each others work by leaving comments.

So, my fellow bloggers, there you have it. All of this long winded writing just to tell you that I am taking the “Like” button off my blogs. I will wait for this blog to get posted and then it will happen. By the way, many thanks to those of you who have “Liked” my work in the past and truly meant it. I am pleased that you took the time.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that in the future, I am only going to “Like” blogs that really appeal to me. You could say that I am out of the “Like” game. Nothing personal but I have got to get control over my inbox somehow.

Written 6/15/2018

A Blank Page


DSC_1931

I sat here staring at a blank page
words would not come it seemed for an age
and when they did they did not make sense
nor would they rhyme under any pretense
for writing a poem requires some thought
and must be something the mind has sought
rarely do words just fall into place
instead require thinking at a steady pace
a little change here and a tweak over there
in order to write something I’m willing to share
for it has to be right and has to rhyme
otherwise I feel like I’m wasting my time
and to post something bad only makes it worse
as I am not satisfied with writing bad verse
instead I will give up writing for today
and go out in the yard and the garden to play
and hope that the next time I try
the words will flow freely and we end on a high.

Written 4/13/2018