Four Years and Farewell For Now…

Recently I’ve received two standard notifications from WordPress, one anniversary marker congratulating me on having been registered with WordPress for four years, and another telling me I have now published 1337 posts here on Image & Word. Hmmm…

I remember starting my first ever blog four years ago, uncertain yet excited, stepping into the unknown in search of finding my voice in the virtual world. I blogged solidly for a few months, effectively scratched the itch, and then stopped as suddenly as I’d started.

Another few months passed, and I decided to start again with another blog, and that particular version kept me busy for a year or so until I took another long break. When I came back I started my third blog, and here I am not quite two years later, fed up again.

Blogging has sadly become a bit of a never-ending chore for me right now, something I feel I ought to do every day, a regimented requirement. The fun has gone out of it for now, my fizz has gone flat. I’ve not lost my voice, but my need to share my thoughts.

So I’ve decided I’m going to take another blog break, maybe short-term, maybe long-term, maybe forever – right now I have no idea, but I just know I need to do this. I’m tired and stuck in a rut, and I need to make some changes and adjustments in my life focus.

Thank you all for your continued friendship and support over the years, and I’ll maybe see you around in another few months, either in this guise or maybe in another new virtual skin – you never know! Sending peace and love to all of you, bye for now ❤ …

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Costume

My swimming costume is a relatively cheap, plain black one-piece made of sleek and stretchy elasticated fabric designed with a racer back. It is practical rather than pretty, boring rather than beautiful, but it allows me to move freely in the water without any uncomfortable restriction or irritation while still effectively covering my modesty.

It is a singular piece of clothing that is perfectly fit for purpose – and it was made and chosen exclusively for swimming in. Not for pouting or posing or parading about in, not for sunning myself in or looking sexy in, but for swimming in, pure and simple. To me the clue is in the name – that’s why it’s called a swimsuit 🙂

Daily Prompt: Costume

Danger UXB

London’s City Airport in the Docklands was closed today as an unexploded WWII bomb was found in deep water next to the runway – Royal Navy divers are in the process of clearing it away and making it safe.

It reminded me that in the late seventies I used to watch a TV programme called ‘Danger UXB’ set in WWII where a group of Royal Engineers (actor Antony Andrews comes to mind as one of them) went around defusing unexploded bombs.

It never ceases to amaze me that even now, seven decades after the war ended, these old UXBs are still turning up – apparently this one is in ‘surprising good condition’. Hmmm… a seventy-year old bomb is in good condition… Is that good news, or bad?

Share Your World: 12 Feb 2018

Are you a practical joker?

Nope, and I rarely get the ‘joke’ when it’s done by others to others, either – for some reason it always gives me a serious sense-of-humour failure!

Who cuts your hair – you, a friend, or a profesional?

Me, until I mess it up, and then a professional fixes it…

Did you have a stuffed animal as a kid? If so, what kind?

A golden-furred teddy bear, a white velvet lamb and a grey fuzzy bunny – still have them all somewhere at my parents’ house 🙂

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Um… Scotland winning against France at the Six Nations rugby this past weekend definitely made me smile 🙂

Share Your World: 12 Feb 2018

Who exactly was Auntie Vi?

I have vague memories leftover from long-ago early childhood of an Auntie Vi, and yet there is no-one in my immediate family tree to fit my memory. As with many of my generation I grew up with a slew of honorary aunties and uncles, mainly parental family friends, and yet still there remains no trace of an Auntie Vi that I can see anywhere along the horizon of my dim and distant past. But I fuzzily remember a large-built woman with red-gold greying curly hair and a rather solid, plain face, so she must have existed?

Puzzled and intrigued, I asked my mum, and it seems the mystery is solved. Or rather, replaced with another kind of mystery…

Before my maternal grandparents got married, as a single man my grandfather lodged with a family who let out rooms. The daughter of the family was called Violet, and as they were round the same age she and my grandfather became friends. Once my grandparents married, as a newly married couple they carried on lodging there for a while and their continued friendship with Violet remained strong.

Eventually she became Auntie Vi to my mum and uncle, and was still close enough to the family for her to register in my earliest memories a couple of decades later.

But then apparently she just dropped off the radar, disappeared suddenly from all our lives and was never really mentioned again, and it was only years later that my mum discovered that Violet had developed some mental health problems, had been institutionalised, and had eventually died there. Mum has no idea what kind of problem she may have had – was it schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression? We have no clue, and it seems a sad epitaph for a sad end – who exactly was Auntie Vi?

RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

I remember learning as a child in basic first aid that for many musculoskeletal sprains and strains RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – is usually the best treatment to give. I’ve been suffering with ongoing burning heel pain and swelling in my right instep for a while now, and thankfully anti-inflamatory painkillers help take the edge off the pain, as does keeping off my feet whenever possible.

I’ve been religiously sticking to the rest, compression and elevation part of my old mnemonic to try to encourage healing but have been finding the ice part particularly problematic – my already painful tendon seems to go into some sort of tight spasm when I try to apply an ice pack, but heat seems to help loosen it off, so I do that instead although as soon as I start to walk on it again the pain returns.

I finally gave in and saw my GP a couple of weeks ago, and he has diagnosed plantar fasciitis. He reassured me I’ve been doing the right thing to try to help it heal, but has also advised gentle stretching excercises and wearing an orthotic in my shoe to provide the correct support. As one of life’s natural wanderers, I’m finding it difficult to be confined close to base for the duration.

To add insult to injury, I also have a long-standing sacro-iliac joint dysunction in my right hip, usually reasonably well-managed with physio excercises done at home, but walking (limping) so carefully on my sore heel lately has caused my recurrent hip pain to flare up too – double ow! Oh well, I suppose I just need to learn to be more considerate of my ageing body the older I get.

It seems that for me at least, like it or not middle age, as well as old age, does not come alone.. 🙂

Daily Prompt: Mnemonic

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tour Guide

For this week’s Photo Challenge Krista at the Daily Post has asked each of us to take all of us on a tour of wherever we live via some of our favourite images. As I live in London, there are infinite images of interest already online, taken from a series of similar spots across the capital.

In particular the rather fixed view from the famous vantage point atop Primrose Hill shows the soft greenery and foliage of Regent’s Park in the foreground, the sharp staccato jagged city skyline of concrete, steel and glass along the horizon, and the vast skies of either blue of grey above, depending on the weather. Different cameras, different lenses, different seasons provide variations on a theme, but otherwise the general view over the city remains reasonably constant.

So I thought instead of adding even more of the same I might apply a few different art filters to one favourite image taken looking out over London from Primrose Hill, to show how in my mind’s eye I can often find the same view looking very different depending as much on the colours inspired by how I’m feeling about life as anything else.

Here is an everyday, generic pastel-coloured artistic impression of London’s skyline…primrose-1

And here it is as I might imagine it on my sunny good days, mellow and yellow and modern, bright and vibrant…

primrose-2

On other, stressful days I can see it in my mind’s eye as shades of graphite grey, a hurried and worried monochrome scribble of hesitant outlines, highlights and shadows…

primrose-3

But on days like today today I might view London painted in a blurred palette of blue, mired in misery, matching my melancholy mood…

primrose-4