It is with great sadness that I have to start this journal by sharing the news of the passing of
. I have been aware of Jocelyne for a long time here on dA but was only recently introduced to her. She certainly had a great presence here. I always think a measure of a person is the number of lives they touch in their time on this planet and the space they leave behind when they are gone. It is clear that she was a very dear and loved lady from the many dedications I have been reading. Her kindness and generosity were her hallmarks. May you all keep your memories of her close to your hearts. I wish I had got to know her better.
We have moved into 2019 in the UK in the same kind of chaos we left 2018 so no change there. Who knows what will happen this year? Surely things have to get better. Here and in the world in general things have to get better. I was looking through my pictures from 2018 the other day and was struck, not for the first time, how quickly time flies. It is already four months since my Iceland trip and I am still editing pictures from there. I have still got pictures to edit form Orkney last June and from Northumberland last November. There is a lot still to come you poor people
There is no doubt that 2018 was a very good year for me travel wise. I had a great time in the Scottish Highlands in May (despite the sunny weather
) then Orkney. I also had a couple of mini breaks to Bletchley Park and York thrown in. Iceland was the highlight though. What a week that was. I have been replying to some comments on pictures from Iceland and I just want to keep on saying the same things over and over. It was amazing. It is incredibly beautiful. It fills my senses. The pictures I took at Vestrahorn pleased me. The day before as I was approaching from the East I stopped at Estrahorn and took a couple of decent pictures there in the pouring rain and howling wind. That night I stayed in sight of a glacier tongue which was amazing (see what I mean?) and got up in the morning knowing that my first stop of the day was to be Vestrahorn. Now, I had seen hundreds of pictures from here. SO much so that I wondered if it was possible to get anything other than what I had already seen. The black beach gets wet with water as the tide comes in and acts like a mirror on a calm day. The mountains can be reflected perfectly and with the northern lights above them have made many a dream photograph for many a photographer. Well I only had a short time there as I was on my way to Jokulsarlon that day and had a boat trip booked. The weather was also not forecast to be that great. This was the picture I had come to take though. It had to be ok. I drove down there and left the car. The wind was still very strong and biting cold. The sea was choppy and the waves were rolling in. It was clear the reflection wasn't going to be mine but that was no problem. As predicted the clouds started to roll in and the rain. I didn't know how much time I would have but I knew I would have to be heading off after about 90 minutes anyway so I walked through the dunes and stood there in awe. The view was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Though cloudy the light was coming in from the East over the sea and had a strangely yellow/brown tint to it. The mountains were softly lit and the clouds were beginning to pile up. This is my kind of weather. Strong wind, rain, constantly changing light, freezing cold. This was mine. I shot all my pictures here hand held moving about the dunes, down on to the black beach, into the water. The water was so cold. I was absolutely so alive and in the moment. This is why I do what I do. To feel like that. I can still feel it when I remember being there. Even though I was taking pictures I was totally aware that I had to soak in the moment. I may never go there again so this was a time to immerse myself in. For me, this is what it is all about. These are my memories that I am making. It's a good job I was aware because the clouds kept rolling in and becoming more and more dramatic. It was quite a Wagnerian scene and it reached a crescendo and then was over quite suddenly. The clouds came down and hid everything from view. The mountains were gone, the light was gone. It was all over. But I had been there for the show and it only lasted 30 minutes from my arrival to there being nothing to see. That was purely down to luck. My good fortune. If I had arrived 30 minutes later I would not have got any pictures. I would not have the memories I have. I would have had different memories of course and I would not have known what I had missed..........but that's not how it played out. It played out wonderfully for me and I am so grateful that it did.
I have trips planned for this year and I hope I will come away from them with more memories and more pictures.
Knowing when something special is happening is a good skill to have. It doesn't have to be something nearly as dramatic as my Iceland trip. It could be anything.....big or small....but recognising it will give you rewards. As recent events have shown again, if we need telling, life is a fragile thing. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. Enjoy each day and drag the best out of everything you can. Fill the world with kindness and love. Share your love, your precious gift to the world. Spread it wide and touch as many people's lives as you can. We can all make a difference to other people's lives so let's do it.
You already make a huge difference to my life by being the artists that you all are. In the UK we have had many financial restraints and cut-backs over the last ten years and in education they see music and the arts as a luxury that cannot be afforded. I would argue that music and the arts are the most important ways to develop your self. Your identity. Sure, we all need to be able to write and add up. I get that. But to say that art is not important is simply to miss the point of it. What a great outlet it is for our hearts and minds. It makes you a more rounded individual. It sparks your imagination and it lifts your heart. It........and you.....makes the world a better place.
And here are lots of examples of you all making the world a better place. Please enjoy this selection from my recent favourites. I have tried to include as many of you as I can. Everything you create is wonderful and deserving to be seen. Please, if you find something that does touch you or lifts your heart....just let the artist know. Thank you so much. OK. Here we go. Feet up, tea in hand, enjoy.
Thank you for looking through these great and inspiring works. It is such an honour for me to be able to share them with you. I truly hope you found some treats amongst them.
I have recently heard about a Japanese lady who is the queen of de-cluttering and she says that thirty is the most number of books you should own. Clearly she has some issues to work through
Thirty books? I'm afraid she and I would not see eye to eye on that subject. I love my books. I usually have double that number just waiting to be read. Hmmmmm maybe it's me who has an issue
What do you think? I think books are a good thing and you can't have too many books
OK everyone. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Time is precious so don't waste it. Spread the love and share your heart.
My love to you all