Monthly Archives: April 2012

Little voice

I heard from someone the other day, who said (about my blog) “I am a bit disappointed that it’s becoming more and more about pictures and less and less about you.”

Well, he’s not the only one who’s disappointed … I am too. But the truth is, photos are easier.

I don’t know what’s happening to me at the moment, but I have zero positive energy, and I’ve felt this way for days. My head is a complete shed, but without the massive, obvious, outward emotion or personality change. It’s all inside bubbling like a brewing volcano, but outwardly, I’m just flat and tired, and uninspired, and … well …. dead, really. I’m occasionally conscious of the thoughts in my head, and they are berating me for being a complete loser with no way out. No joy in my job, no money, no motivation, no ambition, no relationship, no support network …. Just a very, very little person in a very large, unappealing world.

I have tried sooo hard to boost the spirit and try to inject some positivity – avidly reading blogs by MindMindful every day, and clinging to the Mantras and other profound advice she gives …. but I can’t seem to hold on to any of it.

And once again, I think of my poor child …. He has seen this deadened version of me for at least a week now, and we cannot find a decent common ground. He is almost permanently on the defensive lately – and rightly so – because I have attacked him quite harshly a couple of times during the last few days, for no deserved reason. He doesn’t know which version of Mummy he will get from day to day anymore, and it hurts when I can’t predict it either.

Perhaps it’s the medication I am on. I assume it is. Last weekend, my mother came to visit – which, in itself, always causes a great deal of stress and anxiety. I had been “down” for a week prior to her visit, and this carried into Friday and Saturday. Then Sunday my mood suddenly shifted into Superwoman territory – a massive energy boost, during which I spoke way too much and too quickly, couldn’t make a decision about anything, became VERY irritated and upset with those closest to me, and impulsively bought tickets to Marrakech with money I don’t have.  I couldn’t decide whether to take my mum or my son (purchase was based on two sharing), so I bought three tickets (as you do). It now turns out my mother “hates” Marrakech, and my son would prefer to stay home – and the tickets are non-refundable, so there you are. And as soon as the money comes out of my account, it will take me beyond my overdraught limit, so the cheque will probably bounce anyway.

And now I’m just flat and non-responsive to anything resembling emotion, except for a few weepy tears and an unbelievable, incessant discourse going on in my head.

I’m due back to see the doctor for a medication review on Wednesday –  also for CBT on Thursday, start WRAP group on Wednesday, and there is a Team Around a Child meeting set up by the school on Friday – so it promises to be busy, and hopefully productive week to set me back on track.

Unlike before, writing this piece has not been a cathartic experience. It feels like I have to dredge it out somehow rather than it being a release of pent up thoughts. I have even wept on occasion during its writing, because I keep thinking what a complete nonsense this “life” of mine is, and wishing I could turn the clock back and have another stab at it.

When I first started this blog, my intention was to use it as an outlet to try and make sense of this crap that is happening to me. My photography has now encroached on that purpose, because, while I’m completely flattered that lots of people read my posts for the pictures and have good things to say about them, I also feel that my “writing therapy” has taken a backseat. I have this almost childish fear that if I write about what’s really going on with me, I will spoil the “feel-good factor” – burst the happy bubble – and disappoint and disillusion readers.

I just can’t seem to get my head around the fact that this is my blog. I have lost the courage to write what I want, and instead I have returned to doing what I have always done: worrying about what other people will think of me and rolling with the safe option, i.e. photos.

Hopefully, writing this will springboard me into a bit of action ….

and then, maybe it won’t ….

To be honest, I can’t even find enough energy to care.

Categories: Alice's world, Just me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bug-a-day #34 – after the rain

It has rained for two straight days here in most parts of England, and there has been little respite from the cold and the wet.

However, this evening – just before the sun went down – the rain let off for a few minutes, allowing most dog owners to give their pets a small window of opportunity to relieve themselves.

While I was out there, I noticed some very interesting raindrop patterns on the plants, so I went back in and retrieved my camera.

I noticed a few Ladybirds and tried to capture them, but the light was too dull for a clear picture without a tripod. And then I remembered my camera has a flash – something I haven’t used since I bought it!  Not the easiest thing to use with a macro in dim light, but it showed some great soggy insects.

So, while I said I wouldn’t portray the same bug more than once for this challenge, I think I can be forgiven for revisiting some very wet versions of Ladybirds and (I think) a Hoverfly.

Click on the images for clearer views.



© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bug-a-day #33 – Honeybee

This, I believe, is a Dark Honey Bee. He was extremely docile and not particularly bothered by me taking his picture.

I was most intrigued by the shape of his face from the front – seemingly flat, and heart-shaped. It would be interesting to know why, but it doesn’t seem to be something anyone else has really noticed, except me …


© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together (100th post!)

I wanted to post this picture before, but the right opportunity never really arose. It is one of my favourite pictures.

And, as this is my 100th post, I think it is important that it be a feel-good post.

Taking that leap together.

Weekly Challenge

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Bug-a-day #32 – St Mark’s fly

For fear of sounding like a broken record, I had never come across this guy before I photographed him at our local wildlife park the other day.

He wasn’t part of any exhibit, he was quite well disguised on a tree that we passed on the way to see the camels.

I looked him up (and I’m safe to say “him” this time, because apparently the females have a different look about them) and found that he is a St Mark’s Fly – so named, because the adults start to emerge around St Mark’s Day (April 25th).

So that’s two new pieces of trivia I learned in one swoop, because I didn’t even know there was a St Mark’s Day, let alone a St Mark’s Fly.

Not only does this guy have a very cool mating dance  …. but he has hairy eyes!  (see second picture)

I’ve met some people with hair in some strange places in my time, but this has to win the prize for the strangest.

 © Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bug-a-day #31 – The usual suspects

I was soooo tired last night, and I couldn’t drum up enough energy to post a bug-a-day.

So, hopefully, today’s multiple mixture will make up for it. Perhaps they are having a Bug Party – or maybe taking part in some kind of Line-up. In any case, it’s evidence that some bugs don’t mind hanging out together …

A Nursery Web Spider (see bug-a-day #1), three Ground Beetles, and (just for Helen!) a token Ladybird.

Click on the pictures to see more clearly.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly photo challenge: Sun Again!

We haven’t been getting much Sun here in the north of England this week – and even when it has shone, the clouds are never far away. As a result, the dandelions have been loathe to do their metamorphoses into “clocks” and let me experiment with an idea I had.

But yesterday, I got lucky. Not only was there a bit of sunshine, but amongst a field full of dandelions, I found ONE that had transformed into a seedhead “clock.”

I wanted to see what they looked like when photographed in front of the sun, and despite mixed results, I think it was worth the effort.


Just been trawling through the 500 or so entries to this week’s challenge and noticed that Jessie at Behind the Willows posted a similar photo with a dandelion seedhead!  Evidently, the sun got to her before me 🙂


Weekly Challenge

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Divided we … make rainbows!

Yesterday, when I posted the poem Divided we fall I had a lot of trouble trying to add a picture to go with the poem.

I was trying to be a bit arty – and lateral thinking – by putting a picture of oil and water (never mix, therefore always divided …. get it?)

Anyway, the Computer-god thought it was a rubbish idea (as I do now!), and made it so difficult to make it look relevant that I gave up in the end and removed it.

As it happened, I still think the mixture of oil and water, despite them being unmixable, can result in some beautiful effects in the right light.

I took a few pictures of a muddy puddle after some neighbours had been working on their car nearby. The petrol (or the oil or the diesel) had evidently leaked into the puddle, and I couldn’t resist capturing the effects. I did  “apply image” to deepen the picture to start, and then fiddled with and pumped up the saturation to produce the following pictures.

Nowt wrong with a bit of abstract, in my opinion ….

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Divided we fall …


How do two separate Worlds come together?

How do two Souls born of different blood

Find the pleasure

In each other’s heart?


When do we break down the Wall that encloses?

When do we silence the ignorant Voice

That opposes

And keeps us apart?


Why do the Closed Minds insist on abuse?

Why do we listen to those who deny

And refuse

Us the freedom of Choice?


Why do our Differences have to consume us?

Why don’t we recognise Similar traits

And presume

That our Hearts have One Voice?


What do we say to our inner Desire?

What do we reach for to quench and extinguish

The Fire

That Dares to Ignite?


Where do we run to to ride out the Storm?

Where do we look for the Shelter to keep us

So warm

On a tempest-torn night?


Where do we turn in the face of frustration?

Where do we search for the ground that will hold

The Foundation

For Love to stand tall?


What do you do when two Worlds collide?

Do you try to assess the effect on your Pride?

Do you walk away leaving the water untried?

Do you look for a Rock under which you can hide?

Or do you hold out your Hand and let me be your Guide

If I Promise

I Won’t Let You Fall?


© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Poems | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bug-a-day #30 – Alder leaf beetle

I can’t be completely sure, because quite honestly I didn’t spend much time looking very closely at this latest bug, but I think the blue/black shiny little critters dallying in the dandelions are Alder Leaf Beetles.   As you can guess, the photos are probably more about the dandelions than they are about the bugs on this occasion.

I took the two pictures on two completely different days at different places – but got the same kind of effect with each picture.

As is my usual position, I haven’t done anything to the pictures (not even cropping on these occasions) except colour correction. All the blur and abstractness is part of the original picture.  But, quite frankly, even I wouldn’t believe somebody if they told me that! Personally, I think they look like they’ve been Photoshopped to the noo noo.

SO, as I’ve finally figured out how to read the “properties” part of these pictures, I will share with you the camera settings at the time of taking each picture.  Perhaps it will mean more to you than it does me 🙂

Dandelion + Beetle #1

f 2.8; 1/1000 sec;  30mm;  no flash

Dandelion + Beetle #2

f 4.5;  1/400 sec;  30mm;  no flash

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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