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Reflections…Week Fifty One

canstockphoto8630797This is the last blog of 2017, and for my part I have completed my goal of blogging on a weekly basis for the entirety of it. One has even surpassed what I thought was a challenge by doing multiple blogs in a week and in doing so surprised myself with the gusto one has approached it. But not so much with this one.

Yesterday I went sea fishing with my brother, it went less than planned. The tackle and bait shop we go to is no longer there, it is being replaced with flats, this caused a diversion to an alternative. Time seemed to be slipping away as the journey progressed, to the point that we changed destination for the fishing to suit the tide time.

This is a place I like going to and although the pier was in no fit state to be walked upon it somehow had sentimental value for which one cannot explain. However when we got there the pier was no longer in the sea, rather it was on the coast line piled up behind railings. After talking to a local fisherman we discovered it was pulled down for safety reasons about three weeks ago, thus making it a sombre visit, and at the moment un-fishable.  One hopes that the spider crabs that the locals catch won’t be negatively affected.

The weather was also making a turn for the worst, with an ice cold nip to the increasing wind. This was not the warm sunny day forecast.

We headed back the way we came. Checked out a new spot, ruled it out, went to an old spot that has been good for bass before ruled that out due to the exposure for the wind and decided to cross back over the peninsula to get some wind defence.

We looked and looked for a new spot and eventually ended up, at the place we originally went for bait, at Rhos-on-sea, sheltered from the wind. Halfway back home. Eight hours of driving to get an hour and a half away from home, you could tell my brother was not pleased.

Spot got to run on the beach for a bit, and we ate with a cuppa before even thinking about setting up, as high tide was another hour away, and by then we could not be bothered to be tide chased with our equipment. So we just waited.

This spot has been a poor show for fish before and we had almost given up on the location. It was chosen for the shelter above all else, just so we could fish.

It has been ages since last having a day out to try and catch dinner for the next day and as Spot and I played on the beach I asked the sea to be kind to my brother and let him catch some fish. It was less of a thing for me as being at the coast was allowing me to chill for just a little while, as the coast always does, and Spot loves the beach.

So as the tide came in we got ready, spot for a nice change, was able to stay in the car as it was parked right next to us, curled up in the footwell, where the heater had warmed her towel and the carpeting.

First cast had been in the water less than five minutes when my brothers rod stated to nod up and down violently, not one on the line, but two. Next cast he did was pulling a fish up within a minute, and the same again with the next.

As he took the fish down the steps to the water to release the fourth fish, they were undersize, I thanked the sea for visibly cheering him up. Then my rod started…

For the next Five and a half hours we had fish after fish, the best session ever, even beating some boat trips. True we returned over forty, but we came home with five whiting each, enough fish for a couple of meals.

My arms and shoulders at the end were aching, my nerves on fire and lacking strength to real in two small fish on the line that should have been done with ease. I had to stop with them as my arms went numb and the fireworks started in my legs. My brother called it time when he reeled in the next fish. We packed up and headed home, straight into the wind, and now heavy rain, we had earlier left behind. Somehow it had missed our little spot.

The concentration on the rod tip light now over, my body could release the headache for the trip home. Today I have been in pain and struggling to stay awake. I hate what is happening to my body right now and the way it seems to be punishing me for doing things I like to do. But it’s got another thing coming if it thinks it is going to make me stop. All the doctors want to do is increase what was my anxiety meds, as it is also a pain medication. It’s funny how I am going to be over the maximum dosage for the anxiety it’s not working for, because it is now for the pain. The pain it may very well be causing. And the medication I wanted to stop, because it’s not working.

The merry-go round of the doctors continues…

Oh, an update on my story that was entered into the Brighter Futures writing competition that was scheduled for America’s Thanksgiving day, that was then altered to the Christmas Party, that was then, I would say delayed again due to there still being only two entries, I would say delayed as the winner was not declared, Is a winner!

Not quite, so is the other one as well.

I wonder if my request to withdraw my story if it had been cancelled again, so it could be entered into another competition, had anything to do with the decision?

At least the disappointment of the whole affair is over now, and the story will be published in the next couple of days. I hope all who read it find some enjoyment in it.

If you don’t, tuff, I am still proud of my first writing competition entry.

The fireworks of the new year have been going off as this long winded entry has been written, so it is with love and peace that I sign off the Reflections of 2017.

Happy New Year!

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

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Reflections…Week Thirty Seven

canstockphoto8630797No poetry again this week. Instead one went the route of writing a short story for a competition, the entry date has long since gone past, but I had the idea for it and therefore it needed to be written. I always have it for another competition that matches the criteria.

At first I thought that writing a short story at 500 words, the last one entered, would be challenging, not that the word count would be too much, rather that since some blogs have gone well past that number, one expected to struggle to keep it from going past. This one, and the reason it was put off so long, was 250 words, to put that in perspective this reflection has reached half that number now.

There is a knack to writing these stories and to those that do it for magazines on a regular basis have tremendous skill to not have each one repeating the descriptive paragraphs used. There is very little room for manoeuvrability in the story line. No time really to lead one down a false path in order to throw in that red herring. It seems to rely heavily on the pace to throw in a quick diversion in order to get away with it. There is no time to be detailed at the description, no Tolkien valley paragraphs, no, this is more a describe the mugger affair.

Even with my limited knowledge and writing skill, I have to say I am quite chuffed with the result!

250 words

Footnote…

Yes I know that getting the word count was anal, but that is how my dysfunctional mind works, at times it can help, at others it’s a prison cell. However it it bothers you or elicited a reaction then you have to ask yourself the question…”WHY”.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections Week…Twenty Four

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Yes this is late, sea fishing has taken over the weekends time. Nothing has been caught that has been plate value, apart from the shrimps, but fish did get caught, then released.

Not wanting to get my notebook covered in black lugworm juice, stinky, I left it at the caravan, but doing this meant missing those ideas that seem to randomly pass through one thoughts. This is usually when I work out the verse for a poem or a good subject to write about, I know they are good because I’m happy with them, that is always remembered, but bugger me if the original thoughts can be recalled when pen is in hand.

This week is no different, my thoughts are constantly working on this weeks poetry subject. Again it is another stinker set by the ‘tutor’, and once again I could see no way to write it. The method that I use is long winded to say the least. The first part of the process is to just dump words onto a page that I feel are connected to the subject. Next is to work out how I want to ‘theme’ the poem, these are also just splurged onto the page, I admit this initial work looks like a monkey has grabbed a flash card set and thrown it down, but somewhere in this process is the birth of the poem.

Once I have gotten the theme sorted then the process moves to what I want to say in it, reflecting and including many of the words from the first process. This then has to be applied to the theme loosely, as the two parts are still separate, joining them will be in the writing of the poem (draft 1).

Now as a beginner writer this is the biggest hurdle, especially in writing poems, is my lack of knowledge of the subject of forms, rhythm and metre that causes me the most anguish. The ‘tutor’ dislikes me talking in this way, but it is how my mind works. Part of my problem is dismissing work as ‘less than’, no matter what the project. Not wanting to fail, I try and force learn the subject, not healthy I know, for example:- I do not understand the modern form of poetry and as such the ‘whole’ of the poem is lost to my mind, which is busy trying to make it fit into the rhyming form that I know as poetry. Hence the unnecessary cramming.

The poetry class is not a formal class so the technical aspects are not taught, the whole process is supposed to be just to express through words – feelings, nothing is incorrect. This does not compute with me. So I agonise for self punishment. I cannot see this changing now, only the expanding the forms I know.

I suppose this in itself is ‘loosening up’ if my writing itself becomes more loose.

But we are not close to that yet.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Nineteen

canstockphoto8630797As usual my brothers birthday is fast approaching and until today I have had no idea of what to get him, to be honest it usually applies to all birthdays, or I have an idea but the cost is too high. If it works it will be a hit I am sure, if not he will have the cop-out cash in card.

I have been sitting on a colouring in picture for Leo, my son, for over a week now and it was in showing it to him this afternoon the idea came to me. The picture is on glossy paper and I needed to take a photo of it to print it out onto normal paper for him, if he wanted to do it.

The picture – two carp in simple Chinese style.

It was being pushed as a kiddies colour in picture but I recon it would easily pass as an adult one. A bit of jiggling around and drawing the fish myself, the 914 x 356mm (or 36 x 14inch) canvas I have in the wardrobe would be the perfect size to be able to set the fish off and not crowd the detail of the scales. As I sit writing this the fish has been 2/3rds completed. I am chuffed too bits that the drawing has gone so smoothly, I have tried to do fish before but they always look terrible, even the outline looks oddly shaped normally, but this one looks good.

This weeks reflection is early and it is short, but I need to get back to this drawing now the little fella has gone to bed, and before my meds kick in and skew anything I draw away from what it is I am trying to do.

As it is a new project, it will be broken down as photos for each stage and placed onto my website at a date post birthday.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Telford Kite Festival 07/05/17

DSCF1814With taking my own kites I half expected the wind to be insufficient, mine are after all known as the wind scarers. For the most part the wind was, for the larger kites, not quite consistently strong enough to stay up beyond short periods of time, although the wind was more favourable to the medium and smaller kites much to the delight of the children.

What I found best about the festival, this is the second I have been to – the first was showers on and off and no wind, was the range of styles and designs of kites on show either in the air or in the pursuit of being. I think at one point nearly all types of commercial kite were on show.

With the absence of winds strong enough to lift the large kites and maintain their altitude, line laundry was scarce, strangely absent was the ground kites, not even showing outside the sales tent bumping the ground.

Overall I would say the festival is aimed primarily at children, the small ones, rather than us larger ones and judging by the smiles on the faces of the little ones – it is a success. Not the kind of kite festival I was expecting, but for a day out with the kids, where they can even create their own kite to fly along the bought ones, I would say it would be bang on.

As for me personally and my kites, I did not fly, for me and my limited air time and therefore lack of confidence in busy areas, I felt that there was too little room to plummet from the sky safely, I saw similar sized ones go down quite regularly.

What the ducks made of the whole event as they flew over the park to the pool, I have no idea.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk

video of the day

https://www.facebook.com/awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/videos/1884448828477806/

Reflections…Week Seventeen

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Today we, myself, my son and his Nan plus Spot, tried to get his easter present, an alternative to chocolate, into the air. The day has been dry and the wind gusty in the back yard, it held all the potential to get his 3D fish kite into the air, basically a winged box kite.

Where we go to fly his kites is a small park just a few streets away, ideal as his attention span can be quite short if things are not going the right way,  but credit to him, even if his patience is lacking, his perseverance is great.

We get to the park, let Spot off the lead as no other dogs were there, and get the kite ready to fly. I could see that if we can just get the kite up on one of the gusts to the tree top level the wind would be constant. The location is not ideal for kites but once they are up to that height they usually stay up.

Kite at the ready, the wind drops down. My brother says that whenever we go fishing, and the forecast is for wind, I should take my kites. This is due to the numerous times a kite has been taken for a walk, it gets walked to a spot for flying, it scares the wind away, it gets walked back. The same is true with leo.

It becomes clear after a few attempts that this kite is not going to lift, so out comes a backup, a really cheap duel lined parachute kite, he has a single line version and it is basically a carrier bag on string. With virtually no weight to lift this just needed a slight gust to soar away, we lost this as well.

Meanwhile Spot had noticed the lack of attention towards what she was doing, she stays as my shadow even off lead, and decided to go hippy dog. This year has been a great year for the dandelions, and dandelions are apparently the new doggy fashion. I came back with a yellow tie-dyed dog with bits of dandelion and daisy in her hair.

We had dinner and came up with a plan. We would take the kite in the car with us and see if there was anywhere it could be flown at Westport lake as a bonus to feeding the ducks.

There was not. But we had a good time feeding the birds and the ducks, we even got to see a couple of new arrivals.

 

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Peek-a-boo

fullsizeoutput_12fSome times you start a new hobby and the first month is the most intense, only to start wavering when it did not pan out how you imagined. My first month has passed and I have spent an hour on doing it, but several prepping for it, I bought secondhand, so there has been cleaning to do.

My hobby…Astronomy, with telescopes.

What have I seen through them? Clouds, lots and lots of clouds, with the occasional glimpse of the night sky.

When I was a wee nipper, I had a telescope, only a cheep one, nothing fancy. I also remember how disappointing it was, I could see the moon and that was about it. As a sci-fi fan, that started about the same age, I wanted to look up and spot the UFO’s, Mars, Saturn and Venus, the things that were on the films, and the only thing that I could see was the moon and not much detail at that.

That telescope sat for years on top of a shelf, Unused. I think it went to a car boot sale in the end. My eyes however always wandered the sky, especially when on holiday where there are infinitesimally more. Nothing more than a couple of constellations were leant though.

So what bought back the urge to start looking up again? An old Sky at Night video with Sir Patrick Moore. Took me right back to my childhood.

After a couple of weeks research I decided on a size and type along with a budget. Ebay was scanned, and a bargain was gotten. Only when I got it home the bargain was…Not so much.

I bought a 130mm diameter reflector and travelled a 100 miles, in total, to fetch it. Not having one before it looked BIG, and the info sticker was not on it. But having downloaded the manual, which covered a few models, it started to look wrong. Upon measuring it is the 114mm model. Emails back and forth a partial refund was had. When I resell it I will get my money back and it is still bigger than my 76mm table top reflector I bought from my brother in law, to use with my son, and get two compatible lenses. I will have a better idea on what my next size will be with using both.

On the walks with Spot, the moon has been shining down, including a full moon and the stars have been bright the week either side of the New Moon. I get back home eager to find out if I have set up the telescopes correctly only to stare out of the window at mist, rain and clouds. It is as if someone has access to a weather switch and is winding me up.

And so my first month…Peek-a-boo with the moon.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/astronomy