I was really glad I did because, not only was it a beautiful summer's day, but it happened to be the monthly 'out of town' walk, when we have mini-buses to take us out into country - and all free of charge! By my calculations, the trip out should have been last week and I thought I'd missed it but I was in luck. We were taken halfway up Little Skirrid, the small mountain my back bedroom looks directly out towards and we walked through the woods round the mountain, rather than up it because some of our members are in their eighties or suffering from various ailments.
But rather there, in the shade of the forest, than up on the exposed mountainsides in the local area as the sun was very strong and the weather forecasters had warned about very high UV levels.
Of course, as usual, I took enough photos to get left behind at times and it made me think about something I read about taking photos a long time ago. I think it was in a self-help book of some sort and it was suggesting that, in taking photos of everything, we were missing out on really appreciating what is before our eyes, that we are preoccupied with 'capturing' the moment rather than allowing ourselves to enjoy it.
I can see that there could be some truth in this as it conjures up an image of camera-laden foreign tourists, snapping everything in sight, rather than 'soaking up the atmosphere' of a new place and its individual culture. And sometimes I do wonder slightly guiltily whether I do this myself because I do take an awful lot of photos! On the other hand, by way of justification, I remind myself that I use my camera as a sketch book and wonder how I ever managed without it because you'd have to draw/paint very fast indeed to record the changing light, which is one of the things I find so fascinating and try to convey in my landscape paintings.But then maybe my wish to make paintings from my photos, is in itself just as 'bad' as taking the photos in the first place? It's just another way of 'capturing' Nature's wonders.
However, there's something else going on here! When I look at the way my 'Albertine' rose is blooming so abundantly this year, it fills me with awe and I feel an overwhelming desire to share it - how else can I do this other than in a photo or painting?
So here are a few photos of my 'Albertine' - which, by the way, was in full bloom just in time for me to put some in a vase for my birthday!
Sadly, placing them on the table where I mostly work brought me out in 'flu-like symptoms - I even took my temperature, thinking I was going down with something, before I realised what was going on! - so I had to move them away until the fragrance began to fade.
'Roses round the door'
The roses to the left, around the bell, are the 'Alchemist', just above my fig, which looks a bit thirsty! The lavender (in the bed behind the open door) is just beginning to come out and salad leaves in the little pot to the right of it are ready to eat.
And this is the back of the arch at the side of the house - my view from the dining room where I spend a lot of time working!
You can just about make out the arch that leads to my dining room French Doors at the righthand side of this next picture (turn left at the potatp barrel!) which shows the extent of the 'Albertine' on the right and the 'Alchemist' on the left! Also just visible at the top is the sill of the window I hung out of to photograph the first blooms!
And just one more close-up - that might have the makings of a painting for a greeting card one day!
Unfortunately technology has not yet advanced sufficiently for me to add the wonderful fragrance to the photos but I hope you will enjoy these photos anyway!