Happy Mid Winter 2020

Here is a last photograph from the shore of Lough Neagh.

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Wishing all my readers and all who visit my site, a very happy mid-winter and here’s looking forward to a happy, healthy and peaceful 2021,

Ashley 🎋🎋🎋

Coping with November 2020

Finally! At long last! November is over! It has felt like a very long month with little to be joyful about. However, on one of the blogs that I have been following since the pandemic began,


I saw an escape and a way to return to drawing. Now, I have hardly drawn anything for many many years, in fact not since I left school in 1960 something! So, I’m quite surprised and happy that I actually completed the challenge that Sarah suggested. The following image, a daily diary of drawing is the result:

Now when I look back, I can see that I have been busier than I imagined. The beginning of the month saw me lighting candles to remember those who are no longer with us, not just family members, those who were closest to us, but in remembrance of those on the ‘front line’ during the pandemic who paid the greatest price, and not just here where I live but around the world.

Also in November it would have been my late Mother’s birthday and whilst she passed away a couple of years ago, I’m still grieving the loss of one of the most important women in my life.

Then there were all the other things: we had to have new taps put in the bathroom; there was the election in the USA; I had my flu jab and because I’m now 70 years of age I was also offered a jab for the prevention of shingles! There was shopping to be done and I have written a couple of hokku to send to the Hokku Garden (sorry Edo, I will have another one for you shortly, when I’ve finished this blog):


I made some garlic and rosemary flavoured red wine vinegar, and also some flavoured oils to give as gifts at Christmas; I bought a new mobile phone (and sorting that out, transferring contacts and so on, was not simple); sold my ‘other’ guitar; had a haircut and on the last days of the month did some dreaming!

Dreaming! Of what? Well that might just feature in my next post. For now, on this first day of December, I’m looking forward to Monday 21st when it will be the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night, and at that time the turning of the Earth points towards returning light and potential renewal. For an explanation and a little bit of science, go to:


Since it is likely that we won’t see our families this year, except by video link over Christmas, the usual festivities will be very much changed.

The Winter Solstice then, will be something wonderful to celebrate!