Daily Prompt: Ascend



Later tonight I will ascend the Caledonian Sleeper train at London’s Euston Station, and early tomorrow morning (having travelled 600 miles overnight) I will descend onto the platform at Inverness Station in the North of Scotland to spend the next fortnight visiting my family – woo-hoo!

These particular images from Euston and Inverness are from previous visits – it’s a trip I take regularly, so have a variety of shots from over the years.

I won’t be blogging at all while I’m away, so don’t worry if I’m completely incommunicado for a couple of weeks – I’ll be back in full flow at the end of the month, and will catch up with you all then 🙂

Daily Prompt: Ascend


Daily Prompt: Succumb

I usually try to avoid it all costs, but the other day I finally succumbed to the intriguing promise and enticement of some kind of clickbait ad on my FaceBook newsfeed. Big mistake. BIG mistake! I clicked on the initial link on FaceBook, and then from that I clicked on another clickbait link, and then… straight away my laptop crashed with what appeared to be a virus of some sort.

What? How is that possible? I always, ALWAYS have an anti-virus on all my online gadgets, and I always update the software when requested – in fact, my laptop anti-virus was updated only the week before, so was as up-to-date as it could be. Except that when I checked it again, it seems the anti-virus was still there, but inexplicably switched off! Nooooo…!

Anyway, I immediately handled this stressful dilemma with all the sophistication and elegance of a modern, independent woman in a complete panic – feeling decidedly vulnerable in more ways than one (and fighting back hot tears of frustration) I quickly switched off my internet connection to avoid any further compromise, handed my laptop over to my husband and admitted ‘Help, I just broke it!’

And so began an evening of running various software programmes to get rid of whatever was on my machine, rolling back to a previous restore point for good measure, then patiently re-installing my antivirus. And since then (thankfully) it’s been absolutely fine – whew! But I must admit it’s certainly cured me of any desire to click on anything dubious or dodgy, ever again 🙂

Daily Prompt: Succumb 

Thursday Doors: Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue


I found what I thought was a cute little red-brick church with a cute little wooden door in Wanstead, but realised it had a Star of David above the entrance rather than the usual cross I was expecting – how intriguing! So after delving into the history I discovered that the beautifully renovated Grade II Listed building (built in 1861, listed in 1968) was originally the chapel attached to the Merchant Seaman’s Orphan’s Asylum before it become Wanstead Hospital (now private residences, you can see one small corner behind the tree on the right), but was consecrated as a synagogue in the late 1990s. It is now known as the Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue – apparently the Hebrew name translates as ‘Shelter of Peace’, which seems very appropriate for such a beautiful building 🙂

For more Thursday Doors this week see Norm’s blog and click on the blue frog!


7 Day B&W Challenge: Epilogue – Picturing My Life

So, having posted 7 black & white individual images of my life in 7 days (with no explanation and no people), I thought I’d go through my choices retrospectively, and show them all together as a set. The biggest challenge for me definitely was the ‘no people’ bit – I live in London with around 8.7 million other people – but I’m pleased to have managed it nonetheless.

A lot of the time I really don’t lead a very exciting life here, and nor do I want to, so I tried to show the simple everyday ordinariness of it all, far removed from the recognisable tourist views of London life. But I also wanted to find interesting enough images that had enough light-to-dark demarcation to look good in monochrome (because not everything does!).

Day 1 – This is the view outside our flat, taken from our living room window – just an ordinary quiet Victorian terraced street, built around the late 1880s…


Day 2 – Our favourite Leytonstone cafe on the High Road, where we often enjoy a good cup of coffee and an indulgent slice of cake even though it’s only a few minutes walk from home…


Day 3 – Leytonstone Underground Station on the Central Line is our main transport link to pretty much everywhere other than our immediate environs here in East London…


Day 4 – This old sweet chestnut tree in Bush Wood is well over 200 years old, and is one of my favourite landmarks to visit when out for a walk. If only trees could talk, the stories she would have to tell…


Day 5 – This is the route 257 double-decker bus I regularly take to and from from Stratford, which is our nearest decent-sized shopping centre…


Day 6 – I love the way the light caught the leaves in this image of Bush Wood from my archives – I really appreciate walking in nature so close to home, it calms and soothes me when the hustle and bustle of city living gets too much to bear…


Day 7 – Late afternoon light silhouetting Wanstead Flats seemed a fitting image on which to end – we live in a part of London that has a lot of green space to enjoy, so I make the most of it all year round…


So there we are, a week long, decidedly non-peopley perspective of my everyday London life. Many thanks to Marilyn of Serendipity for giving me the chance of volunteering to participate in this challenge – I’ve really enjoyed it! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Exceptional

Why do so many people go through life yearning to be exceptional? I mean, it stands to reason most of us must, by statistical average, be… um… well… average. And anyway people only ever want to be exceptional in a positive way – they want to be the best of something, never the worst. But being an exception to the norm is not always a good thing to aspire to – it’s all too easy to stand out from the crowd and be different for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve spent a lifetime torn between trying to fit in – trying to be the same as everyone else, to feel included – and yet at the same time trying to be true to myself, which means effectively excluding myself from the rest of the group. So inevitably I’m a perpetual hybrid hovering on the periphery, unsatisfactorily neither fully one thing nor the other. Not ‘normal’ enough for my family or my work colleagues, or whoever else the group may be, but not my kind of normal, either.

Daily Prompt: Exceptional

Daily Prompt: Tame

When life has been a bit wild and hectic, rushing along like an exhilarating rollercoaster ride looping the loop and throwing me hither and thither at breakneck pace leaving me unsettled with my heart pumping and my head spinning, all I want afterwards is the promise of a quiet peaceful life, at least for a while. And then when life is tame once more and I can catch my breath with ease, I love nothing more than meandering along  like a placid pony plodding along a well-known leafy bridle-path with time idling along happily by my side. But sooner or later come what may I find myself becoming increasingly restless, ready to rise like the inquisitive wind and explore the wider world beyond my immediate horizons… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Tame