Alone But Not Lonely

See this bench in the grove?

I think it would go well with this quote from LM Montgomery book Emily’s Quest.

I was alone but not lonely. I was a queen in halls of fancy. I held a series of conversations with imaginary comrades and thought out so many epigrams that I was agreeably surprised at myself.

Remind you of something? Yes, LMM used this almost exact quote in in Anne of Windy Poplars. Windy Poplars was released in 1936 and Emily’s Quest in 1927, so Emily’s quote came earlier. (Note: Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside were written much later than the rest of Anne books.)

Compare the two books, though. Emily books are much darker than Anne books (there is also altogether more darkness in Montgomery’s work than people realise, but that’s another topic). Windy Poplars covers the three years in Anne’s life when she teaches school at Summerside, while Gilbert is working towards his medical degree. Large chunk of the book is comprised of her letters to Gilbert and that line is from one of them. They are apart for now, but they write to each other and look forward to the time they finally get married and start their life together. So, all is good. Emily’s Quest, on the other hand, is quite a different story. While her friends leave home to pursue their dreams, Emily stays and tries to become a writer. She and her love interest, Teddy, can’t seem to get together because they have communication issues. Emily gets ill, suffers from, what we call now, depression, agrees to marry a man she doesn’t love, and it takes years for her to finally find the happiness she deserves. It’s–bleak. Definitely not one for the children’s books section. Or even Young Adult section. Like one reviewer on Goodreads put it “Montgomery’s work is constantly under-estimated, and the way the books are marketed doesn’t help (the flowery script, the swoony illustrations).” I’ve been saying that for years.

Anne and Emily are both orphans with different journeys, but I think both of them would have loved that little bench under the trees.

Nature Being Silly

When I looked at the pictures I took last time at Heaton Park, it seemed to me they were telling a story.

Branch pointing out your direction, in duplicate. If you get lost it’s your fault.

This, whatever-plant-this-is is dancing. Maybe it’s taking tips from the dancing tree, after all it grows only yards away from it.

Swans having a conversation.

Swan 1: The seagulls always steal all the bread and then they have a go at us.

Swan 2: Greedy bastards.

Geese doing an epic walk, or I should say an epic swim.

Roman Lakes, Marple

The problem with taking so many pictures when going on a trip is that it’s so hard to decide which ones to post on the blog.

me

When I went to Marple, I didn’t have any particular plan. I asked the guy behind the information counter at the station what there was to see and he said there was a river on one side (Goyt), canal on the other and that there was a place called Roman Lakes.

I went down to the village and walked a bit, when I spotted a trail and I thought, okay, since I had such a good experience with it last time in Hebden Bridge, I would try it again. A good decision! Not only did I get a healthy hike and some great shots out of it, I eventually reached the lakes place the information guy told me about–from the other side.

I can see why it is popular.

My old friends ducks and geese hang out here a lot.

That’s where I sat when eating my bacon sandwich. Yes, they do serve food and drink here and there is also a toilet–see the building on the left on the top photo.

I should add, the lakes have nothing to do with Romans, they’re just named that way. I haven’t managed to find out why, so I’m going with Bill of Kill Bill‘s saying “They thought it sounded cool”.

2018 Recap

I’ve not done this ever but I had such a productive year of photography, I decided to post some pics from this year that didn’t make it to Some Photoblog. I will also look back to some of my memorable posts from this year.

A snail, snapped not far from my neighbourhood.

City Tower in Manchester city centre. Taken by my smartphone, from the Piccadilly Bus Station. I like this angle.

Radcliffe area, near Bury, north of Manchester. Not quite the moors of Yorkshire, but still offers a great scope for imagination, as Anne of Green Gables would say.

This is in the above mentioned Bury, away form the town centre. Proper farm area, I heard cockerels and everything!

Save the best for last, this is Formby. Visiting Formby was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. Here I am holding a pinecone, which I have actually kept and even used it in my autumnal and Christmas still life posts!

To say 2018 has been a turbulent year is not an exaggeration. The Beast of the East freezing conditions in February and March were followed by scorching hot summer (there was like four months, of no rain in Manchester and that happens, like, never). Climate change is here–so what are we gonna do about it?

Elsewhere, politically, I best not to even talk about it–but a huge shout out to Ireland, who knows how to do referendums right! (They voted in favour of making abortions legal, which is an issue I will never not feel strongly about, even when I’m dead in the grave.) I also went to two anti-Brexit marches, the second of which was attended by 700,000 people; an event I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Creatively for me it’s been the best year ever. I took over 1000 photographs between May and July, ran a dystopian series, blogged about Kindle eBooks, ducks and trees that look like Yggdrasil. Although I wish WordPress didn’t kill their Weekly Photo Challenge. That was not cool, guys.

So there it is, my 2018 end-of-year recap.

Raise your glasses for 2019 and let’s hope for the best.