Challenges, Travel Theme Challenge

Visual Quotations 64: Horizon

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”  – Christopher McCandless

The horizon from atop Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps

The horizon from atop Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps

Alberta prairie

Alberta prairie

Agimak Lake, northern Ontario

Agimak Lake, northern Ontario

Ailsa’s travel theme is: Horizons


Write it Now


win badgeFollowing on “I Digress …”, I’m going to continue, I think, to intersperse my photo focus with writing –  short excerpts from the volumes I’ve written.  Comments and feedback welcome.

Historical threads of the 1950’s wove a textured pattern into the fabric that was the backdrop to my childhood.   This backdrop was a post-war world.  Many returning soldiers had only been home for two or three years, and some were coming home to children they had never met.  Families were separated through the years of war and sweethearts had their futures put on hold for more than half a decade.  My parents were of the latter group – just 18 when the war broke out, they were 25 when they married on May 5, 1945.

Not just my father, but my uncles, and the fathers of all my friends were men who had served in the war.  Dad returned in 1944 from his stint overseas, but I never met my mother’s brother Kenneth because he was one of those sacrificed; he was the brother and son that was lost.  The war was part of our collective consciousness and its threads were stained with loss, anxiety, and deprivation. But Canada was still a fledgling country in 1949, populated with a mere 13 and a half million people.  While Europe struggled to rebuild, post-war Canada entered an economic boom when jobs were plentiful and hopes were high. This optimistic atmosphere was balanced by the flood of immigrants fleeing the bombed out centres of Europe and England who arrived with a waste not, want not attitude and threads darned into their winter coats.

Then came the Cold War and an air raid siren was erected in our playground by the Clubhouse.  Threats and counter-threats hurtled between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States and formed a nebulous red cloud under which we lived, the threads of growing anxiety carried on the wail of a test siren.

It was a time when the bread man delivered to the door and a quarter bought a comic book, a pop and a package of gum; when milk came in bottles and we left our empties on the front step with money in them, assured it would be there when the milkman delivered in the morning.

With these measures of uncertainty, anxiety, opportunity and hope as a backdrop, my childhood unfolded, weaving into the mosaic, threads coloured with learning, love and laughter, tinged with childhood apprehension.


Odd couple, weekly photo challenge

Odd Couple/5

My Odd Couple series, in which the couples may or may not be odd.  I’ll leave that to the viewer ;)   I am also including the original photo for those that are interested in my composition and  editing choices.

silhouette in St Petersburg subway

The only thing I chose to edit this time was the saturation – totally arbitrarilysilhouette St Petersburg subway

You can view my Solo series here. 

The Weekly Photo Challenge is: Silhouette

Write it Now


win badgeFollowing on “I Digress …”, I’m going to continue, I think, to intersperse my photo focus with writing –  short excerpts from the volumes I’ve written.  Comments and feedback welcome.


A small group of nervous, giggling girls,  we didn’t venture much past the entrance to the basement social room.  It was large, and mostly empty, chairs sat around the perimeter just waiting to make wall flowers of some unfortunate souls.  There we hovered, standing on more than just the threshold of the dance floor, trying in vain not to look as awkward as we felt.   Three older boys seemed to be running the show, setting up the record player and sorting the selected albums and 45’s.

We took furtive looks at these boys, my eyes sweeping passed the tall handsome blond one who was to be my future husband and lighting upon the tall, good-looking, dark-haired one.  Having set everything to their liking – the music was up, the lights were dimmed, as much as Reverend Martin would allow – these charmers headed towards our anxious group.   Of all the girls I could have been hovering with, it had to be Ann, my nemesis, and here was the tall dark one heading towards the two of us.   I prepared to die rather than live the anguish of being left standing there alone.  No one was more surprised than I when I stepped on to the dance floor with Terry.  I had just met my first boyfriend.


Travel Theme Challenge

The Seal of Mordreuc

Mordreuc is a village on the River Rance in Brittany, France and in Mordreuc there is a jetty on the beach and on the jetty a visitor invariably finds …

a seal basking in the sun.  Mordreuc seal 04

Apparently she comes daily and has been for several years.   She’s even in the guide books.   Look at that face!  Is she not endearing?

Mordreuc seal 05

Google images of Mordreuc and you will find many photos of her.  These I took myself  on a visit in 2008.

Ailsa’s travel theme is: endearing


Photo Editing: a series

Artists often work in a series, working with their subject to highlight a different aspect, offer a different point of view, a different time of day, or light, or season.   I’ve recently been working in a couple – my solo series, the odd couple series, and I am just starting another one titled Another World exploring the hidden depths of the garden.  I have found that working in a series assists greatly in determining how to edit my images. Same image, different focus …

 the original …

DSCN4973 blue angel hosta This is how I edited it for a black and white set I did …

DSCN4973 blue angel hosta

This is how I edited it for my Another World series … DSCN4973 blue angel hosta



Write it Now, Writing Challenges

I digress, take two


I’m looking for someone.
I thought I knew her
– once.
But now at last I see
– she’s lost.
Or maybe was never there.

I thought she was always with me
But when I turned to look
I could not see her.
I’d like to know her better,
If I could find her.

Weekly writing challenge: memoir madness

Write it Now, Writing Challenges

I digress …

I didn’t know what I was going to blog about when I started but it has morphed itself into a focus on photography.  HOWever, I enjoy writing and when not tinkering with my images I write.  Today I am following the lead of the Daily Post writing challenge: memoir madness.  This is an extract  I shall title …


During the evening, gripped by a strange nostalgia for a time and place I had not much enjoyed, I left the dance floor and strolled the dimly lit hallways, the music and the frivolity fading away.  I found myself in the upstairs foyer where the tall windows provided views to the residential street outside. The significance of the night was not lost on me and it seemed these panes of glass were all that protected me, all that stood between me and the whole scary world beyond that was silently waiting; the symbolic barrier between the security of my youth and the vast world of my future.  Not knowing what it contained was both exhilarating and daunting.  A huge gate was about to open and I knew I had to pass through, yet I didn’t know where it would take me and I had no directions and no map.