Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS

Self-explanatory.

  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLORFUL BUILDINGS

Happy to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

  • Colorful Building. Any size or type of building or structure is allowed as long as it is colorful. Be creative and mostly have a lot of fun.

Self loves color. Color in buildings, especially.

Starting with right in her own backyard: Below, a picture she took last week. The skies were still pretty murky. The closest fire, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, the largest ever to hit San Mateo County, was 81% controlled. She painted the door to the shed herself. It’s not a very good job, but so what. She liked the color. Hanging next to the red door is a photograph son took when he was in high school.

Her front door is the same bright red:

Last, a bright red storefront on a corner of self’s favorite London street, Great Russell in Bloomsbury. She took the picture with the British Museum right behind her. The side streets have bookstores, antique booksellers, teashops, Korean take-out stores, fish’n chips. But when self took the picture (last April) it must have been a Sunday. Because everything appears closed.

Thanks once again to Cee Neuner for creating such interesting and FUN Foto Challenges.

Have fun looking at other bloggers’ take on this week’s Fun Foto Challenge:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 113: A Labor of Love

Inspired by viveka, whose adventures on my guilty pleasures self has been following for years! Though forced to spend 2020 sheltering at home, viveka’s posts make self incredibly thirsty!

Here’s the reason behind the week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge:

  • People all over the world honor their workers in a variety of ways. In the U.S., we honor those who labor by setting aside the first Monday of September as Labor Day. But world-wide, people pour themselves into their work — paid or unpaid — with commitment, ingenuity, and a sincere desire to make a difference. For them, work has become more than just work. It has become a labor of love.

Here are a few of self’s own Labors of Love.

Self grew tomatoes, and planted more flowers.

The California fires are still blazing.

Take care of yourselves, fire fighters! Hope you have big pitchers of ice-cold beer waiting at the end of your shifts!

Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112: Self’s Word is ‘Growing’

The prompt from Ann-Christine:

Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Growing
  • Tangled
  • Crowded
  • Exuberant

The word self picked, which was easiest for her since she’s been gardening a lot, is GROWING. Here are a few pictures she took yesterday.

This is one of self’s newest additions to the front garden:

This plant just popped up on one side of her driveway. It seems to be a different kind of ivy from the others. Self finds it so pretty:

Finally, here are some geraniums growing in a huge pot that she bought years ago from Chinatown. Geraniums are very, very easy to grow, and she loves their bright, cheerful colors:

Thank you for the prompt, Ann-Christine!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Modern Homes

Self is really grateful to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The prompts are so interesting, and she’s finding photos she never would have thought of sharing.

For instance, for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge (Modern Homes), self found a series of pictures she took in Capitola-by-the-Sea, a beautiful seaside village, way back December 2016.

Capitola-by-the-Sea is your quintessential beach town, not as glitzy as Carmel and Monterey, and the pastel-colored cottages are so pretty! Who wouldn’t want to live in a pink cottage by a beach, even if just for the summer, come on!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 111: EVERYDAY OBJECTS

Patti Moed: Take “a fresh look at ordinary, everyday objects — things that you see and use in your everyday life . . . “

For this challenge, self decided to go outside and see what she could see. Fires are raging in her county, but three things stand between them and her neighborhood: the I-280 freeway, foothills (at this time, dry as dry) and of course FIREFIGHTERS. The fires are at this moment 10% contained; it took firefighters almost a whole week to get there.

Since it is summer, her backyard is in fruit. She has three fig trees, one plum tree, one lemon tree, and two cherry trees. Busy, busy time. Because of this photo challenge, she decided to take pictures of homely garden furniture which she’s had for probably decades:

Here are a few peeks at the Everyday Objects of others:

Stupidity Hole

My Camera & I

Photographias

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Who Was Colonel Chabert?

From Andrew Brown’s Introduction to Colonel Chabert

The Battle of Eylau, fought under a heavy fall of snow on February 1807 between two rows of frozen lakes, set 80,000 Russians against 60,000 French. The French infantry, subjected to heavy Russian cannonades, fell back in disarray . . . What saved the Grande Armée from complete defeat … were the French cavalry charges repeatedly launched straight at the centre of the Russian and Prussian lines. One of these charges was led by Colonel Chabert: the troops under his command broke through the Russian lines, but . . . Chabert himself was cut down from his horse by a Russian sabre, and disappeared under the hooves of the 1500-strong cavalry charge led by Murat.

Colonel Chabert is a fictional character. But — what a point of view!

(Fighting for the other side: Prince Andrei Bolkonsky of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Literature is amazing.)

Today the skies are smoky from wildfires. Wind is blowing from the east. (California just can’t seem to catch a break) Governor declared a state of emergency.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 109: UNDER THE SUN

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is UNDER THE SUN.

Read to the very end of the post about the theme. The quote from E. M. Forster.

It is still summer. Can you believe it? Summer came. And stayed the usual length of time, despite pandemic and politics.

At the end of July, self visited Filoli Gardens, in Woodside. It had been decades since she’d last been.

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Filoli Gardens, Woodside, July 2020

Here’s another picture of the gardens. Visitors wore masks and maintained social distancing. Lines to get in are long, because soooo many people want to get in, and those in line must stand six feet apart.

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In contrast, here’s self’s own garden (sad, dry as the foothills). She took this picture just a few minutes ago:

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The Backyard Today

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 108: SANCTUARY

Your sanctuary is your ideal place of relaxation, tranquillity and safety and you can create it exactly as you want to. — Shakti Gawain

This week’s Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge is SANCTUARY.

Self is soooo lucky that, less than 10-minutes drive from her home, is the sanctuary of Filoli Gardens.

This huge estate is managed by a trust, and is among the most magical set of gardens she has ever seen (and she’s seen a lot of gardens).

She happened to visit last Sunday, with a friend. Below are a few pictures she took during that visit. The place is so beautiful, and peaceful. A true sanctuary.

Close to the house are large trees providing plenty of shade:

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Further away from the house are rectangular flowerbeds, planted by theme. Interspersed among the flowerbeds is an art installation by Kristine Mays featuring life-size wire sculptures in human shape.

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There’s only one word for the Filoli rose garden: spectacular. The bushes are so fat and laden with what must be (at this time of year) their second round of blooms. Jealous.

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There is a $25 entrance fee, which must be paid in advance. To avoid crowds, especially on weekends, mornings are best. They usually offer guided tours and classes, but these activities have been suspended during the pandemic. It’s wonderful just to walk, though. And self bought two wee basil plants in the Garden Shop.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Filipino Migrant Worker, Central California

Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart, Chapter XXIII:

I felt that it was the end of another period in my life. I could see it in my reaction to the passing landscape, in my compassion for the workers in the fields. It was the end of a strange flight.

I bought a bottle of wine when I arrived in San Luis Obispo. I rented a room in a Japanese hotel and started a letter to my brother Macario, whose address had been given to me by a friend. Then it came to me, like a revelation, that I could actually write understandable English. I was seized with happiness. I wrote slowly and boldly, drinking the wine when I stopped, laughing silently and crying. When the long letter was finished, a letter which was actually the story of my life, I jumped to my feet and shouted through my tears:

“They can’t silence me anymore! I’ll tell the world what they have done to me!”

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