Monthly Archives: February 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Thought I’d go for the challenge properly this week. I expect lots of buildings will be highlighted, but my favourite abandoned building, as shown in earlier posts here and here has been locked down securely to prevent any accidents.
I expect some entries may represent more profound abandonments, such as homeless people, or animals.

Sadly, once again, I haven’t risen to such levels.
Instead, I dug out a couple more pictures I took on a day trip to Whitby last October. I was walking along the jetty to go take a closer look at the breakwater and lighthouse when I stumbled across a gladiola plant … as you do …. just laying there. It can’t have been there long, because it seemed quite fresh, and the wind was ripping across the jetty. But I thought it was a beautiful deep shade of purple/indigo. Rather than move it, I decided to get down on my hands and knees … as you do … on a windswept jetty … in the freezing cold … and took a couple of pics with Whitby in the background.
If you look closely, you might even catch a passing glimpse of the gothic Whitby Abbey.

(click on the photos for bigger, clearer images)

Abandoned gladiola
Abandoned gladiola 2
Abandoned at Whitby

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

It’s my anniversary … time for a Wee Beastie! (#62)

The Computer God just sent me a message to inform me that today (as of approximately twelve minutes ago) is the anniversary of this blog site.
The second anniversary to be exact.
And, granted, while I have taken a substantial hiatus since my very first blog post “Into the Rabbit Hole” on 27th February, 2012, I am still about to press “publish” on my 183rd posting.

So in true reminiscent sentimentality, I feel a fitting tribute would be to return to my love of Wee Beasties. This is technically Wee Beastie #62 for those of you who may have a need for such numerical reminders – although I wouldn’t blame you if you have lost count, as my last Wee Beastie posting was as long ago as September 2012, when I finally discovered a grasshopper, doing what it does best (hopping in the grass?) during a day trip to Whitby. You can find it here if you fancy a trip down memory lane.
If you want to take a look at any of my previous woodland mini-fauna, just type “wee beasties” in the search box, or “bug-a-day” as they were initially called.
(I abandoned the term Bug-a-Day after number 39 as it started to sound a bit like a celebration of a rather unconventional sex act …).

I’m not sure (yet) exactly what this little darlin’ is, but I know that I’ve photographed it before in conventional light, so I’ll be digging out some of my back-catalogue of pictures and figure it out soon enough. I didn’t even realise it was in the picture until I was looking through some close-ups I took of a miniature iris flower that had opened up to welcome the Spring last evening.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to me, and Happy Blogging to you x

Wee Beastie on Iris

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Through a dewdrop darkly …

You may recall that yesterday’s quick pic of a sycamore seedling had tiny dew droplet in the background …?

These two pictures are taken from the other side of that composition.
Tiny dew droplet now takes front and centre stage!
Feel free to click on the pictures, and see them in all their microscopic glory:

A host, Innumerable as the stars of night Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun Impearls on every leaf and every flower. John Milton - Paradise Lost

A host,
Innumerable as the stars of night
Or stars of morning, dew-drops which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flower.
John Milton – Paradise Lost

Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Every dew-drop and rain-drop had a whole heaven within it.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Predictable unpredictability

A Canvas of the Minds has, for the past couple of years been leading the call for the destigmatising of Mental Health issues and asking members of the blogging world to open the platform for discussion within their own forums. I did initially create “Alice Through the Macro Lens” as an outlet to try to make some sense out of my own journey through the murky fog that has been my world for many years, and more prominently to understand how my behaviours affect those closest to me. So it was a little ironic that, when things became really tough, the blog became dormant.
But I have returned with a renewed determination to continue my writing, along with the photos, and I will take the pledge asked for by the Canvas group:

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

"The rain to the wind said, You push and I'll pelt.' They so smote the garden bed That the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged--though not dead. I know how the flowers felt.”  Robert Frost

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”
Robert Frost

(click on the picture for a better look)

Predictable Unpredictability:

And just when I thought it was safe to re-enter the social arena with some semblance of functionality…

it happened again.

This morning, despite a terrible night’s unrest, I woke up feeling quite positive. I did the normal things people do to start their day off: Got out of bed (trust me, that’s not always an activity that comes easily!), got dressed, ate some cold, home-made rice pudding left over from last night, brushed teeth and hair, and even remembered to take the dog over the road and threw a ball for her for a while. Then I caught the bus into town and met up with a tutor at the local college who gave me a guided tour around the Art Department. The idea of spending my days creating art on a serious scale set me buzzing so much that I happily filled out the application forms to attend during the next school year.

Life felt good, and I admit a little part of me let myself believe that I was cured. I mean, I had finally managed to secure a couple of appointments with the psych (after a nine-month fight to see one). He prescribed me a new medication, and it’s now about that time when “those kind” of meds are supposed to start kicking in.
On top of that, I’d had a productive weekend. On Saturday morning, I’d attended a workshop called the “Totality of Possibilities,” and I’ve been looking into the mirror and sending myself positive affirmations ever since. Then I tried a “Life Drawing” class for the first time ever on Saturday afternoon and discovered I’m not that bad at charcoaling naked people either.
Even on Sunday, I managed to stay cogent enough to tell half of my life story to the Court-appointed psych, who has been assigned the hefty task of furnishing a legally binding opinion about what he believes went wrong with my son and me for the family court judge next month.

But today, around lunchtime, within minutes of arriving at one of my “safer” places to visit – a drop-in community centre that I have started to attend when I just feel the need to have a cuppa, or chat, or to crochet a flower or something – my mood, without warning, dropped like a lead balloon. All of a sudden, there was no talking to me, no reasoning with me; no niceties or pleasantries could talk me round. My head became full of white noise, and I hated everyone and everything. Most of all I hated me and my life. Within the space of minutes (if not seconds), the proverbial fan was bombarded with the proverbial s–t, and I plummeted into the doldrums of irritability and blubberingness once more.

For what it’s worth, the worst thing about these ever-increasing, ever more serious episodes of unpredictable moodiness is the fact that I am sorely aware that they are happening, as they are happening – and that they are wrong – yet I feel powerless to prevent them. The best I can settle for is that, in my consciousness, I am still able to fight the searing impulses that tell me to hurl across the room any inanimate object that isn’t glued to the floor, or to take a nosedive through the nearest shop window. Instead, today, I managed (just!) to grab my coat and leave the premises without insulting anybody, before catching the bus home and falling apart as soon as I made it inside the front door.

I don’t suppose any of this bodes well for appealing my sanity. And yet there’s almost something safe, consistent maybe, in the knowledge that my unpredictability is a predictable occurrence in my life.

But don’t worry, the irony is not lost on me either.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A bit more Sycamore ….

I’ve noticed that a few of the real photography bloggers I follow have a trend of presenting a group of pictures gradually through the week that all adhere to a particular theme. For example, one week, they may present a series of photos that illustrate shadows … or trees … or Spain … or dancing …. or flamingos. Then the next week, they’ll showcase a series of pictures illustrating daisies …or pigs … or … well, you get the drift.

For what it’s worth, I’m not one of those people.

Perhaps when I grow up, I could be a real photography blogger too; but in the meantime, it just happens that I took a lot of pictures of Sycamore seedlings on the weekend, and I’m not in the mood to be remotely inventive, nor go for another walk.

So … more Sycamores it is then.

Don’t forget to click on the picture to get a truer, sharper, clearer image!

Oh, and by the way, remember that droplet in the background, cos you’ll be seeing it again tomorrow ….

Seedling with dewdrop

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

I admit I’m a user.
Once again, and already, I am struggling with posting anything of any significance since showing back up after all this time a couple of days ago.

So, when in doubt, stick a photo on here.
Or, in this case, stick three photos on here and act like you’re participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I collected quite the bevy of pictures during my little visit to the woods the other day, but just for the moment I’m going to continue with the Sycamore seedling theme. Those of you who remember me from days gone by will recall my fascination with the whole close-up scene (clue’s in the name of the blog I suppose…) but even on deeper, less energetic days, the wonderment I receive when I look really closely at Nature never fails me.
Consider that the plantlet being photographed was literally knee-high to a grasshopper (a quirky English phrase meaning “very little” to those beyond the sea) and you too may gain a little moment of reverie in the working of Ms Nature herself.

Click on the photos themselves for better size and clarity.








© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments


You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt, But still, like dust, I'll rise. Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Maya Angelou

(Click on photo above for greater size and clarity)

I write today to commemorate (for want of a much more appropriate word…) a minor milestone.
Today begins my fiftieth year in existence, in this life anyway.

I won’t be celebrating. Conversely, I have much to mourn.
I have not been writing of late, and, therefore, those of you who remember me from postings before will have no more than an inkling of the car crash my life has become in the past couple of years.

Once upon a time, I was a hugely energetic, life-loving, nonchalant freebird who wandered the world, lived off my wits and relied on academic scholarships and bold-faced cheek to get me through. I purposely strayed from the main track, preferring the roads less travelled and by doing so, I met, in my opinion, far more interesting people along the way. So interesting, in fact, that I chose to study many of them at a PhD level before being politely booted off the course in my second year because, in the words of an eloquent professor at Syracuse University, I didn’t “fit the idiom.” To this day, I have no clue what that means, but it sounds like a jolly good phrase to hold onto.

Yet, here I sit, fifteen years on from those glorious, carefree, golden days, and my world has fallen to pieces.
I have lost many things in the last few months – job, income, house, dignity, mind. But far and away the most painful loss of all has been, sadly, my son, who is now in the “care” of the authorities and is not allowed to live with me anymore.

There is not a day, an hour, a moment that I don’t pine for my only child, wishing things could be different or that the clock could be turned back, and every day has become a challenge of extraordinary proportions just to be able to function on a most basic level.

But it’s my 49th birthday today, and I think it is important, for me at least, to now start to return to a state of conscious understanding and peel through the layers of madness to figure out just what went wrong. I want to tell our story, because there appears to be little helpful literature about domestic violence as perpetrated by a young child against a parent. But I don’t want to do it here. I would rather tell the story on a sister blog (yet to be constructed) because I want to keep “Alice through the Macro Lens” as a form of respite, for lighter postings.

My experiences in the last two years have led to an abysmal loss of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, and I gave up those parts of me that gave me pleasure – including my photography and my writing. So I have been occasionally surprised when, even during my long absence from posting, I received messages from fellow bloggers, asking after me, and reminding me that the work I once presented on this blog was appreciated. And I thank you for that.

And, even under the current circumstances, I recognise that my son needs me to be a parent (however distant at the moment) who is strong, fulfilled, and confident in her abilities. So I will attempt to rise again, like the sycamore seedling that I photographed this morning rising from the rotting leaves and lichen on the forest floor. I will endeavour to regain my creative spirit, and I hope some of you will remain with me as I begin this second, difficult journey to some semblance of recovery.


© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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