Category Archives: The Gallery

The Gallery: Creatures under the sea

I don’t have time to write a lot tonight, but I just wanted to add some of my favourite photos to this week’s gallery theme.

These photos were taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, over a few years. Yes, I am posting yet another photo from my trips to California. I guess this is showing me how much I enjoyed my time over there. And the Aquarium is a standing appointment any time we visit. The sea otters are as cute as anything, the giant tuna are awe inspiring (I never knew they were that big!), but it’s the smaller creatures that fascinate me.

And in particular the jellies. Not the jelly fish I feared in the sea when I was young, but beautiful and intriguing creatures. The natural world is an amazing place.

This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “creatures”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

The Gallery: Motherhood

I missed The Gallery last week, whilst Tara was on holiday. And I wasn’t going to have access to the internet this coming week, so I thought I’d have to sit it out again.

But how could I pass up on the topic of “motherhood”? It’s what has brought me to blogging, what has redefined who I am and made me question my life priorities.

To sum this all up in a photo though? Impossible, I thought. Particularly as I would only have 24 hours in which to do so.

I scanned through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken since Moo was born 18 months ago. I looked at scans, pictures of pregnancy tests, photos of a newborn, photos of a very tired new mum, and photos of a blossoming toddler. I can’t picture motherhood – I haven’t experienced the half of it yet. 18 months is no time at all. Moo will show me all of what is to come.

But then my eye was caught by this photo.

It seemed to sum up so much to me. The reliance of a child on her mother, the trust, the bond. Also the love-driven obsession of a mother with her child, recording every last detail of this precious creature. Moo will rely on me less and less as years go by, but that trust, that bond? I hope that remains. And that love, that obsession? I can’t see that diminishing anytime soon.

And I know that to be true. Because I have the evidence in front of me. This is also motherhood. The link between my mother and my daughter. The unending love my mother has for Moo, and vice versa.

I can only hope that my journey in motherhood will bring me such joy, so many years down the line.

It’s certainly off to a good start.

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This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “motherhood”.  Once the McLinky is up, I’ll add a link so you can visit the other entries from around the Internets.

The Gallery: Still Life

Cake.

Flowers.

Life. But still.


This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “still life”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

The Gallery: One of the worlds around me

Birmingham.

Yep, you heard me right. What does the sound of that city name conjure up for you?

Thick people? According to wikipedia, study was conducted in 2008 where people were asked to grade the intelligence of a person based on their accent and the Brummie accent was ranked as the least intelligent accent, even scoring lower than being silent (!).

Grey, smoggy, full of hard industry? Historically, Birmingham has been the home of industry, the workshop of the world. It’s less so now, but still pulls its weight.

Canals? Birmingham isn’t famous for a wide river flowing through the city, but it does famously have more canals than Venice, part of its industrial heritage.

But this isn’t the Birmingham I see. I chose to work in Birmingham as soon as I started my professional career, and I’ve been here for all my professional life. I love working and spending time in the city (although I’m a town, rather than city, girl at heart), and it’s a much more sophisticated place than people think. I remember bringing a university friend to the city, who’d never been north of Watford Gap, and as we walked into the civic and business district, he looked up at the old and majestic buildings and said “oh, it is a proper city!”.

And yes it is. It’s a great, friendly, varied city, where you can happily walk from shops, to theatres, to pubs, to clubs (ok, maybe stumble to that one). It’s not my hometown, but it is my chosen town. And I won’t hear a bad word said against it (unless by a fellow brummie, born and bred, or adopted).

This photo is a bit rubbish, taken on my iPhone on my way back to the office at lunchtime, having just partaken of a scrummie ostrich burger from the local farmers market, which takes place on a Wednesday every odd week of the month (yeah, I don’t really understand that either). But it’s a view I see every working day. A view which reminds me of my professional life outside of being a mummy.

One of my worlds.

This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “paint a picture of the world we live in”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

The Gallery: Joy – yes really, bear with me here…

My photo for this week’s Gallery entry – Joy – may not seem obvious to all, but, as I say, please bear with me.

I could very happily post a gorgeous photo of Moo, with her daddy throwing her through the air, and the biggest grin on her face.

Or of me staring into her newborn face, struck with the joy of it all.

Or of my gorgeous nieces and nephew who just fill me with joy every time I see them.

But I’m sure there was a suggestion, at least on twitter, that smiling children were a no go. And anyway, that all goes without saying.

But other things fill me with joy too…

This is the first Google Production Server, from back in the old days of 1999. I photographed it at the Computer History Museum in California, just down the road from the Googleplex itself.

So, why oh why does it represent joy, I hear you asking? So many reasons…

1. The simple one. I’m a geek. We went to the Computer History Museum not expecting to spend long there – fill an hour before lunch perhaps. 4 hours later they were kicking us out because they were closing. It was fascinating! Everything from Charles Babbage to the first Apple, Zx81s and Air Defence Systems from the Cold War. There was so much to see, and the staff were so knowledgeable. If you are a geek, and visiting California, take a look – but allow more time than you might otherwise think…

2. It’s a Google production server! Google makes me joyous. It makes the whole world simpler. And OK, so I’m a little scared they are getting too big to really “do no evil” but I have a very soft spot for them. And the googleplex is amazing…

3. It reminds me of my time in California. I LOVE California. In particular, I love the fact that it’s OK out there to be enthusiastic. To love things. To be interested, to want to know more. There is no need to by cynical, or fashionably detached. They are optimistic. The American Dream really is available for all to strive towards. I’m not suggesting it’s utopia. I know it has the same problems every where else does. But I just felt that when I was there, it was ok to be me. It was ok to be whoever you wanted to be. It’s ok to feel joy, and to express it. Even if the thing you are joyous about is a production server…

But that might all be because:

4. It reminds me of my sister. The reason I spend any time in California is because my big sister lives there. She left to go to the US when I was 18, and it’s a good job my other sister and I keep doing things like getting married and having babies, as those are really the only reasons she’s been back since!

We didn’t know each other well when she left. But as I grew up, went to University, got a job, discovered the Internet, we got to know each other better. And whilst she’s on the other side of the world, she’s also just there in the top right hand corner of my computer screen, hovering in the Instant Messaging box. We share some similar traits – a love of writing, technical rather than creative, a love of learning, a love of strange and interesting facts. We’re interested. And I don’t have many people here that I can share that side of me with. Big sis surrounds herself with similar people over in the US, and every time the Hubbie and I visit, we feel right at home. Ourselves. And that certainly makes me feel joy.

This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “Joy”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

Postscript:

*ahem* this big sis is the only real life person I’ve mentioned the blog to. So, big sis, I promise I’ve not just said nice things because you might read them. I would have written them anyway. And I mean them!

The Gallery: Ugly is as ugly feels…

This photo isn’t ugly. I hope.

I wanted to pick a photo which would represent my worst, most ugly, quality. Jealousy.

I host a terribly voracious green-eyed monster inside me. It rears itself in otherwise perfect situations. This happened to be one of them, but I could have chosen many. An anniversary party for some old friends. At a beautiful stately home. With a silver service dinner, and canapés, no less. An friends from university. And their friends…

City lawyers, mainly. Earning 6 figure salaries, driving 4x4s, living in trendy areas of London. With small children benefitting from all the advantages money can buy.

This is the side that I should not see, but do see. And wonder why I don’t have what they have.

And the answer is always that I could have it. I choose not to though.

I choose to have time to spend with my husband and my beautiful daughter.

I choose to have less stress in my life from work.

I choose to live close to my family, and within a reasonable commute to work.

The green-eyed monster is ugly. I try to keep him under control, under wraps. But he pokes his head out from time to time.

This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “ugly”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

The Gallery: Outside, or rather inside, my front door

Tara has again challenged us to post our weekly photo, and this time the prompt was “Outside my front door”.

Unfortunately, my problem this week is that I have spent too much time outside of that front door, and not enough time thinking of photos! Tara wanted to know where we were, what our surroundings were like, but as my photo doesn’t quite capture that, I’ll describe it for you.

I live in a large town on the outskirts of a large city. My little part of the town is a bit like toy town – lots of little box-like houses standing in their little squares of garden, keeping themselves to themselves. It’s suburbia, but it’s green, and it’s safe and it’s close to escape routes, including my personal favourite the motorway which can take me miles away in no time at all…

Right outside our front door, which you can see in the picture, is not pretty. If I’m honest, we’re letting the neighbourhood down, and the lawn hasn’t been mowed since last summer.

But Moo loves it. If she hears the slightest noise that suggests to her that the front door is open, she’s on her way. She will spend, if permitted, hours just sitting on the door mat, shouting “hiya” at any passers-by or magpies which deign to visit her lawn. She declares a heartfelt “oof oof” if someone walks past with a dog. She resolutely drops anything she can off the doorstep, and looks down at it, forlornly, with a distraught “uh oh…*.

So, whilst two-a-penny to others who may see it, outside my front door is special to me because of the little one who loves to sit inside my front door, watching the world go by.

(and who can resist those little toes…)

Please visit sticky fingers on Wednesday to see everyone else’s entry!

The Gallery: Me in the fluff

I was going to post me in the flesh, but that’s a sight no-one wants to see.

So who am I?

I’ve always been pooh bear.  This was my Winnie-the-Pooh when I was a teenager (yes, I know), and now he lives in Moo’s cot, and she cuddles him at night.

I’m a little bit round in the middle.  I like to sit and think. I’m kind. I want people to be happy. I want them to be my friend…

I like to think of life simply. If you can’t work it back to first principles, there’s no point. I have a sign above my desk at work declaring:

“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.”

in a hope to inspire the young lawyers I support to use plain English and make sure they are understood, rather than look clever. It doesn’t always work.

He also said:

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”,

and the answer to that is very definitely yes.

And had the conversation I often feel like I’m having:

“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. “No,” said Pooh humbly, “there isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”

Pooh teaches us that friendship is important. That being kind is important. That love is important. That the journey we take is important, and we should always look for the good in each other, in life, and in our situations.

And just in case this post comes across in a way other than that intended, I will seek solace in the following:

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

This is my second post for The Gallery, and this is Week 4, where the theme is “Me”.

The Gallery: Colour at the Bellagio

This is my first post for The Gallery, and I’m joining in Week 3, where the theme is “colour”.

I couldn’t resist but to enter this photo from a trip to Las Vegas back in 2008 (just before I found out I was pregnant with Moo):

I just love the colour of this photo.  All done with no camera trickery.  We stayed at the Bellagio hotel, which has a beautiful conservatory with ever changing displays.  When we went it was filled with poppies, ladybirds and frogs made of flowers, and a lovely little garden shed! The flowers were lit from below which gave this beautiful effect.

The Bellagio could have given me so many photos for this Gallery, so here’s a little gallery of my own…