booksdefineme

the journey of a budding author


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

RE-PURPOSING A SWIMMING POOL

You buy that house because, among other conveniences, it has a swimming pool. Perfect for the children to learn to swim in. And they do. Learn to swim I mean. And they have wonderful times right throughout the summer, never changing out of their swimwear. You have pool parties for them, wild splashing games with friends all afternoon. Food is served on the terrace.And it is such fun and you thing this will always be your life.

Then comes phase two. Languid teens sunbathe at the poolside squealing at little brothers who tease them with bomb-dives that engulf them. Then the little brothers grow up and sunbathe at OTHER girl’s pools. And dad swims once or twice a season,mom hates cold water and eventually all that is left are massive bills for the chemicals to keep this dinosaur clean. We found out that we has a ‘sick’ pool that needed resurfacing, which would have come at a huge cost. And who would have swum in that newly surfaced pool anyway?

We had to take action and the first thing we did was empty it. And stare at it for a couple of years and make plans to do something with it. But what? Fill it in? Nah. Too difficult. Then we decided to make a sunken garden with a fish pond and splashing fountain, although it took another couple of years to begin the task.

Enlisting the help of the now-grown children (and one spouse and the gardener)  my husband  began to fulfill our dream of a lovely place to sit and have afternoon tea. After moving LOTS of soil, and huge quantities of blocks and working out how to empty any flooding that might occur in an area that is below ground level and planting rows and rows of roses in the terraces, the sunken garden with fish pond, was complete. And beautiful.

Designed by my husband Paul and built with strong able-bodied young people and the middle aged helping.

I made the tea and other refreshments and took the pictures.

 

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the magnum opus begins

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this post was in response to a wordpress weeky photo challenge  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/repurpose/

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

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I found this charming tableau in a village in Switzerland. An ordinary log had been transmogrified into a monster; a rather benign monster, judging by the waggish expression of the gnome next to it!

https://wordpress.com/post/booksdefineme.wordpress.com/1239


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

These photos were taken worlds apart. The dragonfly alighted on our  boat while we were ambling down a quiet river in France. Fortunately I had my camera at the ready for other wonders, but this elegant creature stopped just long enough for me to get a photo. It was his colour that caught my eye but, just for a moment he sat on the rail and shone!

The other photo was taken on a cattle farm  in the north of South Africa. It was last winter and we were on holiday there. The winter veld is a dismal brown as there is no rain for months on end and the winds were bitter. We had found a sunny sheltered spot where we could cuddle up to our mugs of tea. The turquoise flash of this lovely lizard engaged my attention and I was glad  was able to get a photo because the click of the camera chased him back into a crack in the plaster. It wasn’t until I saw the two pictures together I realised that they were almost a matched pair with their brilliant colour and jewel-like shine.

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Impressions of a Summer Evening

The full moon just risen, calls me from my hot and airless room to sit and marvel at the drama of approaching nightfall.
Bats rejoicing in the freedom of the dusk, flitting in the fading light like eager children unconfined by lessons.
Bird mothers murmur their blessings to drowsy chicks, as night birds startle awake to join the bats at catching dinner.
I sit on sun-warmed bricks and watch as large-bosomed clouds are softly kissed adieu by fading day, while crickets strike up their endless one-note serenade.
Lights stream from the house, and curtains swish across the windows. Shall I go in? I feel remote and loath to return to mundane things like supper and the seven o’clock news.
I turn away to watch again. Shadows grow and friendly corners of the garden are a bit unsettling now; I cringe at the thought of treading the familiar stepping stones to sit on that now mysterious bench. I dare not disturb the creatures of the darkness, the wiggly, bitey, ghosty things that may just lurk there.
Distant voices from next-door houses are tranquil sounds, like sleepy birds, settling in the safety of four walls that shelter them against the night.
From quite close by I hear the croaky call of the newly-woken Dikkop in the veld across the way, and the panicked cries of Plovers wheeling in the sky above to warn away some predator from babies in their nests.

The sun has gone and left to itself, the moonlight bathes the garden in an eerie silver twilight.

Chilly, I creep in to fetch a shawl and hoping to elude detection I tiptoe out once more to tryst with night.
But then,’Oh, is that where you were? We were wondering where you’d got to?
What’s for supper?’
The spell is broken,
and humdrum duty encircles me once more.