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Monthly Archives: May 2017

‘Sometimes the best hiding place is the one that’s in plain sight.’ Stephanie Meyer.

Stories from my Sketchbook  . . .

Out on an early morning walk through the park last weekend I stopped for a moment to take in the quiet and stillness.  The girls were puddling about happily in the undergrowth (school holidays, although over now, had brought lots of new visitors and their dogs to the area so there were still plenty of new smells to investigate), the river was ambling silently by and the sun was just coming up.  We were the only ones out and about.  Or so I thought . . .

Calling the girls to me so we could begin to wend our way home I had to do a quick sidestep to avoid tripping over Maudie who, as usual, had tried to charge ahead of me.  In doing so I pirouetted (gracefully, as you might imagine) and found myself looking directly at a low slung tree branch.  What I did not expect was to find was that low slung tree branch had bright orange eyes—and was looking directly back at me!

Once I got over the initial ‘ . . . what the . . . ?’  I realised I was looking into the eyes of a large Tawny Frogmouth.

What a treat!  The Tawny Frogmouth is  a fabulous bird but although they are quite common around here and I hear them a lot (they make a deep ‘oom-oom-oom-oom-oom’ sound) I hardly ever get to see one close up—not only because they are nocturnal, but also because they are so damn good at camouflage.  After their nightly hunts, when they are ready to settle in for the day, they like to roost on low bare branches (as in this encounter), tree stumps, and even shady patches of ground.  I must have come across this fellow just as he was bedding down and probably surprised him as much as he surprised me.

I stood back a bit to get a good look at him.  He had already frozen in place and now closed his eyes and I swear if I didn’t already know he was there I would never have seen him.  How many of these incredible birds do I walk blindly past every morning I wonder?

I said hello to him, and told him he was a beautiful bird (one does these things when no-one else is watching) but he was having none of it.  He moved not a muscle.  Not even a peek under his eyelids to see what I was doing.  I watched him, fascinated, for a couple more minutes but, as he seemed determined to pretend he hadn’t seen me, I reluctantly decided I should leave him to his rest.

Looking around to see where the girls had got to (they had all gone suspiciously quiet) I found them all sitting at my feet, exchanging nervous glances and looking worriedly up at me.  I imagine it could be bit alarming for any child, even a four-legged one, to watch your mum engaging in what appears to be a one-sided conversation with a rotten old tree stump . . .

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Don’t reject a shoe because you can’t run in it. It’s OK not to run.’ Christian Louboutin.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . . 

I don’t think the question ‘Can I run in these?’ was one I ever asked myself when considering the purchase of a new pair of shoes (except maybe for sneakers, although possibly not even then if they were really cute).  In fact, looking back at some of the shoes I have worn over the years I am not sure that even being able to walk in them was much of a consideration either.

I’ve always had a thing for shoes and I’ve pretty much had them all—flats, ballets, heels, boots, sandals, clogs, platforms, wedges, strappy, buckled, lace-ups and peep-toes.

And why not?  Shoes really are a necessity.  No matter what else you are wearing you do still need shoes.  Flats, ballets, or sneakers for everyday wear, heels for work or special occasions, sandals for the summer, boots for the winter.  And of course you have to think about different colours and styles as well because they have to ‘go’ with the clothes that you already have.  (Unless of course you buy the shoes first and then buy an outfit to match them—but that’s a whole other thing . . .)  Anyway, it has always seemed entirely reasonable to me to have (at least) a dozen or so pair of shoes to choose from.  

(One set of statistics I saw states that most women admit to owning at least 10 pairs of shoes, and one in every 12 women claims to have over 100 pairs.  I imagine the words ‘admit to owning’ allows plenty of wiggle-room here.)  

I haven’t actually counted how many pairs of shoes I own at the moment but I can tell you it is more than 10 and a lot less than 100 (remember I have been downsizing lately) but it is absolutely sure and certain that I do not need to buy another pair of shoes any time soon.

It also absolutely sure and certain that when it comes to the purchase of a new pair of shoes need has very little to do with it . . .

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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