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FROM A LIFE...A COLLECTION OF IMAGES IN PROSE, PAINT AND PHOTOGRAPHS. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out and yelling joyously ...

Updated: 2015-09-16T12:39:47.281-07:00


A Tribute


The African storm has finally subsided and for Mama the clouds have cleared to make way for that magical light that is liquid sunshine.After a long and courageous battle against Pulmonary Fibrosis Tessa passed away on Monday, 27th December surrounded by her family.She brought warmth, light and colour into our lives and the world is a drabber, sadder and drearier place without her. No words can

Luxury Travel


  “Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more importantly, it finds homes for us everywhere.”   ~ Jean Rhys       I love looking up and realizing the hours have passed without my noticing because all the while I've been so deeply immersed in my book. Surely that is transportation of the most definitive kind? The ultimate in travel and exploration? And, best

The Quangle Wangle's Hat


  Today, October 7th is National Poetry Day.  To celebrate we are all supposed to write a poem about home.  Since I haven't had time to pen some prose, I'll just leave it to one of my favourites - the delightfully weird and whacky Edward Lear.  What I did manage to do a couple of days ago was paint a picture of a hat.  (After all, home is where the hat's at...right?)  Although it is by no

Beneath African Skies


    Niger, West Africa - Tessa 2010     Children of the Sun and the Wind by Mohammed Ebnu We still live on the brink of nothingness, between the north and south of the seasons We still sleep on stone pillows, like our fathers We still follow the same clouds, resting in the shadows of thorn trees We still drink down our tea

If to dance is to dream......


  “On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined” Lord Byron   I'm all dressed up, my date is here and the helicopter awaits.   I pick up the beautifully embossed invitation to The Third Annual Willow Manor Ball which has been tucked next to the flowers on my bedroom mantle piece and with a whiz, a whir and a whoop we are on our way!   A little background first.... The lady

Just an old fashioned girl.


  “Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly” Oscar Wilde     I love receiving letters. Written in ink and filled with words carefully chosen and eternal. I'd be happy with just one page -- I'm not hard to please. Maybe I'm just a hopelessly romantic dreamer… With Twitter, Facebook, emails and instant text messaging, writing a



  "The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realised in their free lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!"   John Burroughs (1837 -

On reflection.


  The Illustration Friday prompt for this week is 'Double' which immediately made me think of reflections. Everywhere you look, you can see a myriad of fascinating, odd, glorious or just downright spooky reflective images.  In a mirror, or a rock pool.  In a window or a puddle.  A spoon does it upside down and a kettle makes for weird fair-ground distortion.   Perhaps even your shadow could be

Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.


    I’m thrilled to announce the arrival in Great Snoring of a very special mammal. The little fellow burst out of his white padded enclosure and onto my lap accompanied by a shower of shimmering stars. I recognised him immediately and shrieked with delight. Guy dropped his granny-knicker-pink newspaper into his bowl of muesli and looked at me in alarm. “What the….?” I held the little chap

The light of wisdom and the guidance of friends.


“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for it is in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”    The glowing and growing of friendship. I am truly overwhelmed by your comments on my ‘Stormy Weather’ post. For your thoughtful, gentle, warm, tender and generous words, I thank you all for lifting my heart and making my spirit soar. Each and every

Stormy weather


  “'Tis the set of the sail that decides the goal, and not the storm of life” Ella Wheeler Wilcox I did not fully understand the dread term 'terminal illness' until I noticed how difficult all the things I had always taken for granted became gradually more and more Herculean to achieve. Like running and dancing and sailing and riding…the puff factor took over far earlier than it had done

Giant Illustration Friday


  Oscillate  ©Tessa - July 2010 (Mixed media: acrylic, paper, digital on hardboard)   "Pray look better, Sir... those things yonder are no giants, but windmills."   In 1605 a novel appeared which has become one of the most beloved stories of European literature. It is the tale of Don Quixote, the tall gaunt knight-errant, gentle buffoon and dreamer astride his fallible steed,

Rippling outward still further


  The momentum is growing.  Kelly of Ripple is doing the most incredible work in her bid to help the mammals and sea creatures who are victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.  Artists from all over the world are contributing original works to raise funds to benefit charities working hard to alleviate the suffering caused by this horrendous disaster.  Please visit her blog to see for

The Ripple Effect - Haematopus ostraleguis


        Who could not love a bird called a Haematopus Ostraleguis?  According to my very well handled and battered bird book, Oystercatchers are found on coasts worldwide - apart from the polar regions and some tropical regions of Africa and South East Asia. My rather naive representation of this black and white species of Oystercatcher is found all along British coastlines and waterways.

The Fairest Cape


  “Perhaps it was history that ordained that it be here, at the Cape of Good Hope that we should lay the foundation stone of our new nation. For it was here at this Cape, over three centuries ago, that there began the fateful convergence of the peoples of Africa, Europe and Asia on these shores.”  ~ Nelson Mandela, Inauguration Speech, May 9 1994 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

A light touch


   Norfolk Zen ~ Holkham, June 7   My favourite time of day is just as the sun gently touches the horizon when all thoughts of what must be done stop and small pools of light come alive.   Home to roost ~ Holkham June 7

A Cultural Potpourri


  Some of you know me as that chronically homesick African who was whisked away from her beloved land quite recently by an Englishman to live for a while in his country.  What can a girl do but pack and follow?  Especially since the Englishman in question in my husband of 30 something years and he feels – probably quite justifiably – that it’s his turn to spend time in the country of his birth



    Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design?  ~Paracelsus Yes, Paracelsus, I couldn't agree more.  How serendipitous, then, than the NaBloPoMo theme for June 2010 is NOW.  Time is running out and I'm trying like a crazy person to keep up with it.  You know the kind of thing - too many pots

“No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.” IF prompt is 'slither'


A mackerel remarked to a trout: "So what was that swordfish about? I found him quite rude with a bad attitude and a pointy and dangerous snout!   Fish Fish - 2009  I have deep and abiding devotion For what lives on the floor of the ocean. There's nothing profounder Than coral and flounder, And the benthos is god's greatest notion.

Food, glorious food.


  Thank you for all your wonderful words of encouragement and love and inspiration when things got a bit melancholy in my last post.  As I've said before - you, dear bloggy pals, are the chocolate buttons of LOVELINESS on the great Caramel Pudding of LIFE. And speaking of food..... How many of you have been presented with weird and wonderful menus or exceedingly dubious dinners during your

IF - Early


  This is for Guy, Georgina and Alexandra.  With all the love in the world.   Carpe Diem - Holkham Beach, Norfolk 2010 She sat there and looked until the light began to fade and then slowly she felt the pieces of her life fall away gently and suddenly she understood what it meant and she sat there for a long time crying and laughing all at the same time. I want to

Party Animals


  The following photograph carries a warning:  STAND BACK! Distinct possibility that the g'mama may explode with pride.  EN GARDE!   Henry, nearly 6.  The Gemini part of May and June is a crazy, cork-popping, balloon-bursting, gift-giving, merry-making  humdinger of a time for us.  As a family we have a veritable cacophony of  birthdays.  Two grandboys; both daughters;

Dancing with the pen


  "How are you doing, Mama?" "I'm good, thank you darling. You know....dancing as fast as I can!" She looked at me smiling, then leaned over my studio table, grabbed a pencil and started sketching. A moment or two of concentrated silence and she handed me a drawing..... "You've often reminded us that dance is part of a 'noble education'.  This is to show you I really do understand and that

Opening Lines. Whose brain has turned?


  The Light Stays On by brilliant blog pal Karen Jasper of Options For A Better World.   “Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” Jean Rhys   Chillin’ with a book – Seychelles 2010    Susan Sanford of ArtSpark Theatre (whose brain appears to be very much intact, contrary to Mrs. Stuart’s hysterical

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”


Work: A Story of Experience by Louisa May Alcott ~ excerpt from Chapter II “Mrs. Stuart, though in her most regal array, seemed to have left her dignity downstairs with her opera cloak, for with skirts gathered loosely about her, tiara all askew, and face full of fear and anger, she stood upon a chair and scolded like any shrew. The comic overpowered the tragic, and being a little