Finishing what I started

Practising growing younger, as per my previous  post , seems to have made me more forgetful, not less,

The forgetfulness of youth

The forgetfulness of youth; it exists; the evidence is in the lost property boxes at schools. :)******

for, until I read  Sheri’s latest post, I had  forgotten I had yet to complete my contribution to the Writing Travel Blog. Sheri invited me to participate way back in June!  I made a good  start. Now it is time to finish what I started.

There are four parts to the Writing Travel Blog:

1.What are you working on now?

The answer, as I gave before, is simple; I am only working on that which is before me; this post. However, for a bit of levity, I will add that I am also working on growing younger. The budding, exuberant growth in the garden provides inspiration for this task.

 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Since my “work” is my blog, I have to say that it doesn’t differ much from other blogs.  Like many others, I have a mixture of text and photos, some humour and some more serious moments. Perhaps, one small idiosyncrasy is that I like to have layers (usually of meaning) in my posts. Layering challenges me as a writer but it also gives the reader many options and angles from which to choose when reading my words. For example, you may not be interested in my photographic take on the apple blossom, but you may be intrigued to know that the  blossom is on a columnar Ballerina apple tree  , which produces full-sized apples, and is the perfect fruit tree for a small, city garden.

Another angle on the apple blossom

Another angle on the apple blossom

3. Why do I write what I do?

Nowadays I write mostly for fun but the ‘why’ of the blog is still adequately expressed on my About page:

  • to communicate our daily life to our family all over the world;
  • to explore the theme of Joy & Woe as expressed by William Blake in Auguries of Innocence;
  • to counterbalance the woe caused by the four large earthquakes and the 12,500 after shocks (to date) our city has experienced since the first big shake on  September 4, 2010.

4. How does my writing process work?

Usually I read something, hear something, or see something, that prompts me to cogitate on a certain subject. Ideas and words form in my mind over a few hours or days, and when I have written my post, in my head, more or less how I want it to be, I come to the computer and write it down. Sometimes the transfer from head space to computer space goes smoothly; sometimes not. I don’t like to do drafts but I do spend  time making sure a post sounds right ( to me); so that means hours of fiddling and checking and checking and fiddling before I press Publish, and send  off my work into the plein air of the blogosphere, to ripen and flourish under the warmth of your readership.

Apricot ripening in the warmth of its small world.

Apricot ripening in the warmth of its small world.

Final part:

To link back to the blogger who sent you the invitation to participate; that’s the lovely  Sheri who is a writer and a passionate mental health advocate, as well as a generous reader and supporter of my blog and those of many other bloggers.

Strawberries growing together, in good company

Strawberries growing together, in good company

To invite other bloggers to join the Writing Travel Blog.

It’ s hard to choose but, today, my thoughts are with Stacey LePage at  In the Corner and  Cynthia Reyes. They are on difficult journeys. They are wonderful, spirited people. There is no pressure to accept my invitation to be part of the Writing Travel Blog but your stories are ones I am honoured to share.

******

Who has sharp eyes? Is there anything that bugs you about the first  photo of forget-me-nots? Apart from the lack of focus. 🙂

© silkannthreades

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112 thoughts on “Finishing what I started

  1. mmmarzipan

    They look like aphids… But I totally wouldn’t have noticed if you had not mentioned it! I am so glad you decided to write this blog! It really is one of my favourites… and, as interesting as it is, I never “skim read”. I can’t believe your town has experienced so much earthquake activity in such a short period 😦 Glad for your counterbalancing! xx

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aphids indeed. And I do thank you for your careful reading of my posts. With your work and the little ones and your own blog, it can’t be easy to find time to read as many blogs as you would like to. I appreciate the attention you give to mine. Touchwood, the earthquakes are few and very far between these days. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wendy Macdonald

    I love all of your lovely and cheerful pictures. And thank you for having mentioned Cynthia Reyes today and before. I’ve begun reading her book on my Kindle after listening to the interview with her on CBC (your comment on her blog about the interview drew my attention to it).

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Wendy for enjoying my pictures. I am so pleased you are reading Cynthia’s book. I thought her interview on CBC was wonderful …( you are blessed to have such fine CBC book programmes). Some parts of the interview were obviously hard for Cynthia, yet she persevered and told her story.

      Reply
  3. Britt Skrabanek

    I love hearing about “the process” of others. The way you weave a theme into each of your posts is so great. I’m very picky about who I follow on a regular basis.

    So many throw posts out there without much thought. Not my Gallivanta. So much thought and heart!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Awww…thank you for such kind words. Sometimes, though, I wish I could be more thoughtless and less shackled by conscientiousness. However, I do enjoy researching/googling for my posts. I always learn so much in the process, and from the comments in response to my posts.

      Reply
  4. Clanmother

    Here is what I find remarkable about your blogging: you have an ability to connect bloggers within a community that recognizes that we are in constant transition. We live in a complex world where the dynamics of change, challenge our closely-held values. You remind us that, in the midst of chaos, we can experience serenity. Many hugs…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The forget-me-not has such little flowers but their impact seems to be huge all over the world. The power of flowers to connect us never ceases to amaze me.

      Reply
  5. Tiny

    So good you finished what you started. So we could enjoy all the budding in your garden!! It’s as lovely as your blog. Feel-good, warm and colorful. Particularly the blues 🙂

    Reply
  6. Cynthia Reyes

    Thanks for this post, Gallivanta.
    I love the forget-me-nots and completely missed the little creatures on the stems at first.

    Here’s another thing I’d add to your point 2: as a result of your “layering”, you bring new perspectives to the topics you explore. Sometimes it’s a quote, a poem, a reference to a book or online resource, or an interesting piece of ‘trivia’. One of the reasons I really value your blog.

    That, plus your beautiful way with words and a generosity toward other bloggers.

    Thank you and wishing you a good weekend.

    Reply
  7. restlessjo

    I always enjoy reading your thoughtful posts, Ann, though they sometimes make me think more than I want to. 🙂 Boysenberry leaped out at me from this post! Boysenberry jam and Simon and Garfunkel are inextricably mixed in my mind, though I’ve never yet tasted it.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, sometimes there is a bit much thinking happening! This is my first year to grow boysenberries. I will be lucky if I grow enough to make jam. Whatever is there will probably be picked off by me or the birds. 😀

      Reply
  8. Heather in Arles

    Something that I always appreciate in your writing is that I can always tell that it is born out of thoughtfulness. It is never random and you “speak” when you feel you have something of import to share. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Marylin Warner

    Okay, now I’m pondering, looking what’s there in addition to the flowers, too. But I’ve been with my mom for the past day and a half, and I showed her your pictures on my laptop. She smiled and commented on the pretty colors–she also said she took the pictures with her birthday camera???–so you can see the success of your photography!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Awww; that’s so lovely to know. Getting a camera for your birthday was once a very special gift. First we longed for a watch, then it was a camera…..a camera needed careful consideration because developing photos was expensive. Then a record player was a birthday request. Ah, and my very first request was for a jewellery box! I still have it.

      Reply
  10. Sheryl

    I often struggle to get pictures in focus. Your remark about the lack-of-focus picture of the forget-me-nots resonated with me–probably because I just completed tomorrow’s post, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get several of the images quite right. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed. I don’t know what happens on some days. My photos have been more out of focus than usual, of late. I am wondering if it is my new asthma medication which does make my hands a teeny bit shaky. Never mind. I am not aiming for perfection. 😉

      Reply
      1. Sheryl

        Your pictures look great to me. I blame my out of focus pictures on my camera and a new photo editor that I’m using. 🙂 I’m also not aiming for perfection.

        Reply
  11. Mélanie

    I’ve recognized myself thru n° 2 and n° 4… 🙂 I’m taking another look at your myosotis = “ne m’oublie pas!”, hoping to notice something “bizarre”… 😉
    * * *
    @”Like many others, I have a mixture of text and photos, some humour and some more serious moments…” – same here, Lady-G… ❤

    Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        They are different shades, that is true but the thing to spot is not blue or lilac and it is not vegetable. Remember the game, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? 😉

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          They do look like grasshoppers because of the close up nature of the photo. However try a creature starting with the letter “a”. And tell me the French word for them, too!

      1. Mélanie

        well, I’ve just showed “them” to my beloved satellite & rocket scientist who said:”ah, ce sont des pucerons, évidemment et les coccinelles en raffolent! 😀 =>aphids?… ladybugs love them! 🙂

        Reply
  12. Juliet

    Yes, your blogs are multi-layered, and also very beautiful. I have to read them more than once to make sure I’ve picked up all the gems. I’ve just picked up this delight: The forgetfulness of youth; it exists; the evidence is in the lost property boxes at schools. 🙂 (Is that your words or a quote? It is so true. I enjoy comments that contradict the idea that memory loss is the sole province of the old.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Dear Juliet…thank you for your kind response.Those are my words under the photo. They are garnered from a long association with lost property boxes, thanks to my son’s ability to lose almost everything during his school years. An adult may not remember where he/she left something but usually has the wisdom/common sense to work out where the lost item might be. Youth don’t remember and seem to have no interest in figuring out the location of the lost item. Out of sight, out of mind. Little ones simply have no clue. Dogs, dear creatures, never forget where a toy or bone has been put. We all have varied memory abilities. 😀

      Reply
      1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        I read this blog again tonight while Tom and the dogs are sleeping. I always feel so at peace when I come home to your blog. There’s the beauty, your delicate touch with photography and eloquent words flowing like so much poetry. Please keep on, keeping on. I’m blessed to have the pleasure of reading your blog. I know I’ve been absent for long periods of time and am struggling for some normalcy in my day. Please know I’ll always search you out for reading.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I am blessed to have you as such an appreciative reader. 🙂 I like that you come home to my blog. It makes me happy that I can offer virtual hospitality. Tonight I was thinking of you as I listened to a programme on our National Radio about research into the high suicide rates amongst US veterans.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, I was surprised to see them on the forget-me-nots. I am hoping that they will stay on the forget-me-nots and leave the blackcurrant and the roses alone this year. One can but hope. 😉

      Reply
  13. Leya

    Those tiny things…yes, they are usually living on my roses…I go at them with a spray of washing up liquid now and then. It works when there are no ladybirds in sight.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, your eyes are young and sharp! Hope you enjoy the links. I started reading Sleeping Gods Lie again last night. Had a reading hiatus after I came home from Cairns.

      Reply
      1. diannegray

        I’d love to have young sharp eyes 😉 I’m so glad you’re reading my stories (very flattered indeed), I must get back into writing again – comments like yours really inspire me xxxx

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      YC, it was good to stop and think, for once, about how and why I write my blog. Like flowers/plants we humans are always growing in different directions.

      Reply
  14. ordinarygood

    Spotted! I have plenty of those too….My daughter is just about to embark on a final assignment for the university year and the topic is blogging and our identity and personal growth that comes from the marrying of these. Our discussions are stimulating to say the least!
    I realise just how much my blog has changed over the years and how my passion for photography, especially contemplative photography has sprung out of blogging. I have some observations about my personal growth too.
    Your curiosity and humour are two great allies in the “growing younger every day” project!!! I’m invoking that same mantra!!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Lynley, those little critters have spotters out just waiting for my garden to be lush and green so they can shout out “Come on troops, let’s go feast.” And there’s nary a ladybird in sight to deal to them. I try digital control but that gets boring and messy after awhile. Gosh I am envious of your daughter’s assignment. Sounds so interesting. Does she have her own blog? Glad you are growing younger with me. Your photos and words help keep me focused on the beauty in our dear NZ.

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood

        They are cunning critters……some plants seem to endure despite the troops….others not so well.
        The assignment is a very interesting one but at the end of the academic year it is feeling a bit onerous right now. No blog of her own. We have much to be grateful for here in NZ!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, the end of year assignments and exams do become tiring. On the bright side of creatures….I have seen two monarch butterflies in the past week. Alas, I have no swan plants for them yet.

        2. ordinarygood

          Only one exam this semester thank goodness!
          I had intended planting swan plants too but…..
          Not butterfly weather today unfortunately but hooray you have seen two! I’ve spotted a few honey bees already and that is an improvement on past years.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Excellent re the bees. We are having a run of fine weather so the bees and bumbles are out in full force. And the aphids, too, of course. 😉

        4. ordinarygood

          We’ve had a run of lovely days but it is cool, windy and damp here today. I am hoping for a great surge in worm and snail numbers to support the bird families.

  15. Just Add Attitude

    I am always interested in how others write their blogs to thanks for sharing how you do yours. There are definitely lots of layers in your blog posts and I enjoy that. I have just scrolled back to find the greenfly!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Greenfly, aphid,plant louse, or as I read somewhere, “little blighters”…….they didn’t get past your sharp eyes, JAA. Glad you enjoy the layering. One day I need to challenge myself to write something that is completely unlayered. That will be a tough ask.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it would be good to keep some of the wisdom. In your latest post, I thought your holiday had added great youthfulness and zest to your already youthful person.

      Reply
  16. utesmile

    Oh dear they have lice….. I do like forget me nots though as I always forget….. What was I about to say… can’t remember… Well I do love your fantastic pictures specially the apricot…, love apricots. And while I am trying to bake Christmas cookies this year you might make the best jams, pies and puddings. I am looking forward to it!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      If the bugs don’t eat everything first, I may well have some lovely fruit to eat and bake. Fingers crossed. And if the fruit fails, I can always join you in baking cookies. 😉

      Reply
  17. ladysighs

    I think this: Your blog wanders and leaves us wondering. 🙂 We never quite know where you will lead us but we come away always learning something new and interesting.
    It is interesting to know how we approach our blogs, where ideas come from and how we go about presenting them.
    I know I waste a lot of time on a silly eight line poem. 😦

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hmmmm……I started out with a clear sense of direction but I have rambled off track more than once.That is somewhat how I operate in real life when I have to go somewhere. I rarely take the direct route to my destination. I have read that the way I travel is called ‘rat running’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_running . 😦 But I just call it being inventive or getting to know one’s locale. 😉

      Reply
      1. Steve Schwartzman

        From the article you linked to, I’m not sure that rambling off track, as you describe your occasional practice, is the same thing. I hadn’t heard the term rat running, but it describes the way I often drive to avoid traffic. I believe as negative a name as rat running was invented by people who want everyone to drive as timidly as they do. Call it the tyranny of the slow-pokes and time-killers. There, I hope that’s a sufficient counterblast of negativity from the other side.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes! I applaud your counterblast. Besides if we always took the designated route we wouldn’t discover wildflowers and other unexpected treats.

  18. womanseyeview

    Hmm – looks like green ants or aphids of some kind – perfect natural camouflage! I enjoy the layers in your blogs and the way you often unpack something that seems quite simple and ends up being much deeper. Great photos too.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      They are very well-camouflaged aphids, Carol. It took me so long to figure out they were there. I am pleased you enjoy the layering. As with the aphids, I sometimes don’t see it myself until I look more closely at what I have written.

      Reply
  19. KerryCan

    Everything’s so fresh and new in your world–I think that can only aid your quest to grow younger! Do you know Bob Dylan’s song, “My Back Pages”? He sings, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Kerry, I didn’t know My Back Pages; thank you so much for making that connection for me. Wiki says that My Back Pages is partly based on an English Folk Song, ‘Young but Growing’, also known as ‘The Trees they grow so high’, and that is a song I do know via Joan Baez. Also the Byrds recorded My Back Pages in 1967 on their album Younger than Yesterday. Younger than Yesterday would have been a good title for my post! In honour of this lovely piece of information you have given me, let’s have a video clip from the Byrds.

      Reply
      1. KerryCan

        I’ve always thought that Bob Dylan should’ve stuck with writing the songs and just let the Byrds and Peter, Paul, and Mary sing them! I always prefer their versions to Bob’s singing! Roger McGuin, of the Byrds, is still performing–we’ve seen him 3 times, I think–and he always does this song!

        Reply

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