Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

I’ve been away from the WPC for a few weeks…. or possibly a couple of months? Things are settling down into a bit of a routine now, so I’ve had time to think around this week’s theme but, having chosen the photos from my files I then couldn’t decide which order to post them in, so here they are, all together! I’ve concentrated on the idea of humanity as people, not the emotion, and then I had to think about how I could best portray humanity and what it means to me.

There’s the mass of humanity that we encounter most days in various contexts, whether it be shopping crowds, motorway queues, airport lounges, on a bus or in a crowded train, at a sports event, music festival or, as here, on the streets of Edinburgh during the festival. People coming together to enjoy the artists, to mingle and perhaps meet new people some with a shared interest, others just passing by.

Away from the crowd humanity is the love of a good friend, sharing experiences, exploring culture, chatting, laughing and, sometimes, crying together. Being comfortable with each other, knowing when to help, when to encourage, when to step back and watch from afar….. knowing they will always be within reach no matter how far away we are.

But most importantly for me humanity is the love of family, not just my own children but also the people they choose to share their lives with. I love this family shot – it was the beginning of a holiday and within an hour of arriving from different parts of the country we were sitting round a table, sharing food, catching up with each other and planning the week ahead.

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move (2)

on the move(4)

Lunchtime stop at Cambridge Services on the A14 today – halfway home on my way from the West Midlands to Norfolk.

I’ve been a frequent visitor to Cambridge Services on the A14 over the past 10 years or so, particularly in the months since Christmas when I’ve been there at least once a week. So much so that when I called in at lunchtime today as I made yet another journey across the country, the young woman in the coffee shop recognised me and offered me a loyalty card!

I have been ‘on the move’ yet again. The 420 mile round trip has become a regular part of my life as I travel from the flatlands of Norfolk to the hills of the West Midlands to provide childcare for my 10 year old granddaughter. Today was one of the better journeys: good weather, dry roads, light traffic – if you ignore the convoys of lorries that are an inevitable hazard of driving in the UK, A491 – M5 – M42 – M6 – A14 – A11 – and then through the city and home.

My life is ‘on the move’ at the moment and has been for the past six months. I’m between homes – renting in Norfolk, trying to sell a property in Pembrokeshire and waiting to buy in Stourbridge. The decision about where to settle in my retirement has been open to debate and discussion for 19 months now, since I retired in fact! Having been indecisive for so long events are now overtaking me and the options are slowly reducing – it may be that I have to stall the move to the Midlands and sit it out in Pembrokeshire for a while – not so bad during the summer but not where I want to be in the winter and, of course, those trips to the Midlands show no sign of abating, I’ll just be travelling from a different direction!

I am used to being in control, to making decisions quickly, pre-empting and reacting to ever changing circumstances so I am not at all comfortable in my current position where I have to wait for forces beyond my control to allow me to move forward.

Sitting at the services this lunchtime it struck me that the life of the world is constantly moving. The clouds scud or drift across the sky, leaves sway and shiver in the breezes, seeds burst and grow into plants, even while we sleep our hearts beat to keep us alive as our bodies rest. The world turns and we scurry across it, our daily movements marking the tracks of our lives.

When, I wonder, does a movement become a journey?



Emerging Sun

Emerging Sun

I’ve been on granny duty this week – which means an unusually early start to my day and a brisk morning walk instead of a long lingering coffee as I come to terms with the new day. Mornings have been cold and foggy and the past couple of days the sun has been slow to emerge, although the afternoons have been warm and sunny.
This morning however, the sun was beginning to burn through the fog as I made my way back from the walk to school. It reassured me that, even though the day had started shrouded in mist and cold, before too long the sun would break through to brighten the day ahead,