Az Round-up link Share (#1)

Before moving on to Saturday’s post for the letter S, I decided I should post links of AtoZ blogs I’ve been visiting so far (listed by url so you can see your destination, the blog’s title may or may not be the same).


In no particular order:

  3. [an anagram a day to try solving]
  5. (my fave fiction read so far; eagerly awaiting continuation: posting delayed at the letter ‘L’ fingers crossed for more)
  6. [another fave fiction read this month]
  8. [fitness]
  10. [short story] (stalled at M)
  11. [daily digital image post]
  12. [art-themed, longish read]
  13. (slightly behind schedule at ‘O’ but catching up along the way and every post so overflowing with awesome snaps…!)
  14. [John Houlton, AZvolTeam]
  16. [longish reads, I must catch up here!]
  18. [Arlee Bird, AtoZ Challenge founder/AZvolTeam]
  20. [short poems & a thoughtful image]
  21. [7sentence fiction]
  28. [drawing prompts to maybe join in with]
  29. [postcards]
  30. (virtual retail therapy at some store called Michaels)
  44. [haiku]

Some of those listed above are taking part in the #blogchatterAtoZ, perhaps instead of, or, maybe as well as the April A to Z Challenge (although most are listed in the main and/or daily sign-ups at the official A to Z site – number 1 in my list in this post).

I’m sure I’ve probably visited some blogs that I’ve not included on this list and have to go back to notes made earlier in the month to add those in (maybe to a part 2 round-up list).

In all truth I’ve not kept up with visiting all these every day, although I have for around half or more of them so far. I’ll make more effort to catch up with those I’m lagging behind with over the next few days. The last 4 are new picks to take a look at next,  rounding up my part1 list to 50.

Tomorrow, as a ‘rest’ day, I’ll hopefully take a look round the blogs for the other A to Z volunteer team members and maybe get time to add a few blogs I’ve not seen yet. With 697 signed up at the main A to Z Challenge listing spreadsheet there are more to choose from than any one reader can get through in a month for sure! However there are also some listed in the main form who appear not to have been posting at all this month, so the daily forms are a safer bet – if you find page not found it’s probably a link for a scheduled post that hasn’t gone live yet.

Rumour has it there’ll be a ‘road-trip’ after the challenge finishes so I hope I don’t run out of reading energy while I steam ahead as steadily as I can manage this month.

Phew, almost three quarters of the way there and happy to say I survived (so far) the early frazzling out between weeks one and two – and I’ve been getting more meals as brain-drain requires better fuelling.

So, back to my Saturday: Suppertime, then my post for the letter ‘S’! Sadly, no new sketching so far… See ya later maybe…

PS: not wanting to confuse the reader, but as well as my postings here for the official challenge, I’ve been blogging alphabetically at TWO more of my blogs: (a) with a quick word and daily sky snapshots at to a slightly different schedule with no resting day so today reaching ‘U’, and (b) with a simple limerick poem each day at, currently at ‘T’ and posting for ‘U’ later in the day.

PPS: please let this be the month I finally make an image widget work! I really should get the A to Z badge in my sidebar soon az…


Az Rhythm and Reason

letter R badge for April 2018's A to Z Challenge, click the image to visit the A to Z Challenge dot com website

Still Life with a Twist ~R~

I’m relinquishing my word count limit for this post as it’s likely to run on. You might prefer to skim through for a quick glance at my pics and to read a little on historical artists for R, in the lower segment of this post.

I suggested I might resolve the reference sketch I began yesterday and share progress in today’s post. I almost opted for a raincheck, reluctant to knuckle down with that image while I’m reasonably sure it’s not the final image I intend making but the sun is blazing and it kept me out of mischief and away from seeking retail therapy, even though I still want (or need) flowers.

I was grateful for the reminder of visual RHYTHM and dynamics while reading a post in another A to Z Challenge blog at

Reviewing ideas and reasoning…

I’d played earlier in the day at adding a couple of additional objects to the arrangement I sketched yesterday, but they weren’t working for me. So I returned to drawing the objects just as they were. Although better resolved than it was my sketch could still use some further attention.

an unfinished second stage ballpoint pen sketch: the folded apron comprising the background for the objects has a gingham checked trim and the pocket in the foreground is decorated with embroidered flowers, this part of the drawing now completed. The objects drawn are: in the upper centre slightly left is a musical ornament in the shape of a gift bag with narrow ribbons dangling from it's decorative bow at the front above a label type area in the design, Mum above a verse, shown in the drawing as suggestion of some unreadable text; to the right is a heart shaped bracelet reflecting a dress ring with a large fake stone set in it, the ring itself sits between those two larger objects above the embroidered flower of the apron's pocket that appears in the lower portion of this photo of the sketch.

By the time I’ve sat down to write, I’ve wondered if the something small the picture really needs on the left hand side might be another of my mother’s rings. She was often saying “just give me two rings”, meaning we were to drop call her phone and she would call back. Maybe I’ll select something else small enough for that area, but I enjoy that small “two rings” reminder. So I’ll get back to that idea over the weekend – and maybe add a hint of colour to the drawing and refine it further, once I reorganise my resources enough that everything’s to hand better! (Yes, I know it seems late in the day, but there are at least 9 making days left…)

Rambling: It’d be nice to have a better camera than my old mobile phone too, but still deciding what to do about that. I’m wondering if my contract phone will ever turn up in the house after dropping it and/or misplacing it last autumn. Hopefully it wasn’t stolen from my living room by intruders while I was only out at the nearest shops. It would be nice to retrieve it but so far remains ‘lost’. It’d be nice to be able to resurrect my recently knocked-out camera but that also appears irrepairable.

I’ve not yet reached for RECYCLABLE resources but honestly haven’t yet revved up enough to draw daily. I’d been wondering if I have art from the past to share for this ‘R’ post and while there might be something else tucked away, my sketch that I made last year of my mother’s portable RADIO came to mind:

pen sketch made on beige background of the inside of a pizza box. the drawing shows my left hand holding a small transistor radio with it's aerial extended. The background is very faint but comprises the foot of my bed and the drawing shows papers strewn across my lap. To the right of the drawing I wrote "Approx 30 mins" (meaning the 30 minutes drawing time) and "yet again the proportions are inaccurate. try again another day." I signed the picture in the lower mid section just below the radio and it shows the date as 3/2/2017 ie. 3rd February 2017.
I previously published a photo of this sketch at one of my other blogs,

The sketch shown above was made during bed-rest while hopefully recuperating with a recurring, relapsing human condition of still being alive… now I take my rest in a reclining chair and so can thankfully say I’m not currently bedbound – and I was able to stand and draw a little enough yesterday and today. Hooray. (In case you missed earlier mention of it, my blog’s url is a play on bed-rest and the need (and ambition) to be dressed, as in of course appropriate day clothes rather than appropriate ‘jamas!)

Recently I remarked on mostly including still life works made by men while researching historical artists. I was delighted today to discover RACHEL RUYSCH (b. 1654, d.1750). Ruysch appears to have been well-known as a highly-skilled painter of flower arrangements whose elaborate work aligns to the ROCOCO movement. As well as spending some time studying her work, I’d like to find out more about the poems written by eleven poets to memorialise her soon after her death. Here’s a wikimedia link to a  file within a slideshow of some of her floral paintings:,_fiori_in_vbaso,_1685_ca.jpg

Among others, I also came across a nice still life painting of flowers by Pierre Auguste RENOIR at wikimedia earlier. It has a light and airy atmosphere. I’m hoping my own painting once I make it will have a REFRESHING quality. The following quote, translated from Renoir’s words and included in a wikiquotes page is worth remembering too:

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.”
As quoted in Luncheon of the Boating Party‎ (2007) by Susan Vreeland

Renoir (1841-1919)

I don’t often ground my attempts in things that might be considered ‘pretty’, but I do wish for my remembrance of my mother to be rejoiceful and hopefully ‘pretty’ as she was a truly beautiful lady, as are all our mothers, usually.



Besides and because…(not AZ!)…

BECAUSE I’m hopeless after intense efforts and over-challenge myself, after bloggiesta-feasting last weekend, I failed every AIM for prepping my A to Z challenge posts (ie. making space and getting to back of storage) – although I did set myself up to fail in my theme reveal post by alluding to my BECKONING want for ADHOC spontaneous posting.

I lost myself to reading a very fine post for the A to Z Challenge response from Calansariel at yesterday – er, early morning actually while my sleep cycle’s flipped again to US time zones- a fave regular read at Calen’s if ever I can get myself to reading blogs enough. I loved that first post (but can’t believe I actually looked for an album title in that wonderful moment of a ‘House…’ phrase!).

I’d wondered about musical reflections for my challenge but too easily losing myself with music and diverted my attention away from music after deciding the letter A would have to be ‘Applejack’ by Dolly Parton  as one childhood special fave tune AND ‘Anarchy for the UK’ by one of my all time fave bands. Punk, of course!

Then i decided that attempting to appeal to both my perceptions of Americanised cultural audiences and those of us with cultural tastes founded in native British and Emerald Isles influences and traditions and realising the circularity of such issues. Decided to leave it well alone because some reader judgements based on musical choices are just stupid to worry over and fundamentally significant all at once.

Anyway, enough of that.  You get a much better read at promptlings’ articles  via that earlier link above. I always look forward to getting myself back there. And here: the theme at James Proclaims is one not to miss this month too! UK childhood/teen nostalgia moments…fantastic! And very comfortable visit with easy to find AZ posts from the April drop-down in the sidebar, on his homepage view i think.

I have to make my rounds for A and B and so missing my tea-time deadline again! it’ll be here, I’ve prepped my photos but still deciding what’s going in that post and am I making extension pages now or after the fact – 2nd option most likely but I’ll only know in the doing so… a bloghop link share post would have slotted in here for A had I made one and I’ve a couple of other commitments to meet first. Then I’ll be back with a quick AZ … it is possible, and so will BE…

BELATED again [9pm now!] apparently with this post while I left it in the dashboard and this not even being today’s AtoZch…post … just stuff to get out of my system first so i can focus and narrow down to that all essential B-ing…today’s post.  After the lieu, stop.

[i need to make myself a list post for A-Zchallenge blogs i follow already, then move onto NEW blogs to visit from the A to Z challenge site! And wondering about accessible links for mobile data users via the WPReader too, so I might post some of those in the days to follow although you could try the tag in the Reader to find challenge responses without my assistance I’m sure, perhaps…]

I’m only aiming for ONE finished art work to make in the scope of this challenge by the way! Er… next then…


Leaping for freedom (part 1)


As soon as I saw this picture (via, I thought of blogging neighbour Sarah C at This’n’ThatWithMe – not only does she make great leaps, she loves planes…


This leaping pixabay image’s filename is …’freedom’…


I was looking round for a picture to go with my writing in response to discussion in Jacquie’s latest vlog – she shares a wonderful poetry reading too.


This was a lovely podcast for Sunday.

I really enjoy Jacquie’s conversational style – and the subtle ad lib variation to her poem text as she performs it, in spoken word style.

Anyway, the picture kind of fits the acookingpotandtwistedtales’ question(s) from Jacquie’s vlog too:

“Is it possible to be angry and dance?”
“…the meaning and essence of freedom?…”

Continue reading “Leaping for freedom (part 1)”

My Valentine’s Fair Warning

This recent past-prompt at The Blog Propellant (Write yourself a warning label… ) seemed a fun way to get into the swing of things with an early bird party game for Jacquie’s Valentine Shindig.

Here’s my fair warning:


Just for fun, join in and write your own Valentine’s warning label – leaving us a link if you do will be much appreciated 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend and share the love 🙂

Lingering Liebster award…

Many thanks to Lydia for nominating me (sometime ago now) for the Liebster Award. As you see Lydia, that weekend I promised to do this fell into the void of the time warp that eats me whole most weeks. Sincere apologies for the delay – to make it up to you (and because I love visiting your blog) I am making you my first nomination.

Qs to answer from Lydia:

1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? A movie of my life would need a lot of artistic license to make a feature-length motion picture of any interest at all and I would insist it were animation. Please. (I don’t mean please make one! Oh no!)

2. If you could meet one famous person alive today, who would it be? Gordon Brown is my most sensible answer. Otherwise, I’d like to meet the Real Shim Shady at my kitchen sink doing my washing-up with a bag of chips, can of ice cold Stella or bottle of Bud to follow 🙂 NB: as in Eminem doing my washing-up, not me!

  1. What is one thing on your bucket list you absolutely Have to do? Wash my floors. It’s the only bucket list I believe in.

  2. What is your most prized possession, how did you come to possess it? My lifetime, I was born. It posesses me, rather than I, it.

5. Are you still in touch with the first friend you ever made? Only vaguely via occasional facebook messages, but I cut her off when her notifications were upsetting me last year. I really should resolve that. She very kindly visited my mother in the summer during limited time in the country.

6. Where is your ideal place to write? Any virtual (digital) page, but I especially love WordPress.

  1. What is your biggest accomplishment? Being accepted to uni (a couple of decades ago) for a cutting-edge contemporary art course – there was an awful lot of competition for places and I had to rely on unconditional acceptance for being too ill for assessment on my previous course.

8. What is something about you no one knows? (Or else probably no one on here knows about you?) I love spinach, I’m just waiting for the Popeye effect. I’ve heard nettle-tops are similar and a good source of nutrients if detoxed first, but haven’t tried them yet. I’m not good at harvesting the produce in my garden! I love olive oil too, of course!

9. What is your favourite song to cheer you up? There are so many. Drips by Eminem, Lake of Fire by Nirvana. God is in the Radio by Queens of the Stone Age… so, so, many more… they’re the ones that immediately sprang to mind this time round…

  1. What does your ideal day consist of? I’m currently hoping for any normal kind of day to arrive. One that lasts days on end without being exhausted and ill and managing to live the day to day consistently in order to build up. Ideally, my ideal day would involve getting up, getting out, going to work, four or five days (or nights) a week and being self-employed in my spare time. Either are such a long way off I can’t even see it on a map!

  2. What is one thing you really like about yourself? That it’s two and a half years until I’m fifty and I still find ways to play.

Nominations next! First, I have to say that this is difficult because so many potential nominees have been nominated before, some don’t mind repeat nominations and some won’t accept more than one. Some have more than 200 followers or prefer to be an award-free blog.
On my primary blog I have a whole round of four different award posts to finish making and some of you nominated here are receiving combined nominations from me. You have been warned. Some who I would have nominated but are declared award-free blogs  will be linked in a special section from my primary blog awards page.
Also, if you would have enjoyed the Liebster challenge and know I follow your blog, leave comments, or think I should, then please leave me your link to consider for a near future Liebster challenge. (Aside from current post catch-ups I’ve received notice of a near future Liebster return for another one and can’t refuse a friend!)

So, my nominations for the Liebster Award are:

Lydia, with thanks again for nominating me!

My questions for you to answer:
  1. What do you least enjoy being asked?

  2. Do you prefer odd socks or matching?

  3. Have you ever made a sock puppet?

  4. When was the last time you recall a gypsy knocking at your door selling pegs or peg-dolls?

  5. What’s your favourite thing to do at a fun-fair?

  6. How often do you draw, paint or doodle?

  7. What/where is your favourite physical art gallery or museum?

  8. Do you have a fave online art gallery or museum?

  9. You have to take part in a sports gala but can choose your event – what would it be?

  10. Which nursery rhyme or fairy tale scared you to death as a child and why?

  11. Do you remember a favourite a hymn?

This is the other problem with these awards, checking the post where I was nominated, the rules are explained slightly differently to my other Liebster nomination. As per the nominating post:

Once you are nominated,

  • Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  • Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
  • Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.


Writing365 #20 – new term of unfairness

Ritu’s reflection on teaching and the start of the new school year with the viral proliferation of ‘snuffles’ and germ-ridden children in the classroom was interesting to read.

Of course, a teacher writing on her public blog can’t stand up for children and parents in writing about this issue, or speak against policy impacting children’s health and rights.

As a parent of school-age children, now thankfully over a few years since, it was a constant problem that sick children are expected to attend school regardless. Nowadays, parents can be fined or even face imprisonment for their child having excess absence beyond a very small pre-determined amount. The enjoyment of parenting was completely destroyed at times for the nonsense that was sometimes delivered in the name of ‘education’. I couldn’t wait for my kids to grow up to escape the hell of school at some points. 

The medical condition I was diagnosed with as a teenager (and never fully recovered from) affects a lot of teachers. It’s sometimes called ‘Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (P.V.F.S.) and sometimes otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) and these days the popular dustbin diagnosis of ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ (C.F.S.). None of them are necessarily the exact same medical condition. I’ve had illness with M.E. and P.V.F.S. throughout adulthood as distinctly different illness. I also at one point had chronic fatigue caused by carbon-monoxide related illness and although there are some similarities, there is also distinct difference.

There are also the general conditions of ‘chronic fatigue’ and ‘post-viral fatigue’ from which most people do actually recover but are neither M.E. nor P.V.F.S. Children with such long-term illnesses are often denied the serious implications of their medical conditions (some have died of heart failure during school attendance). You cannot expect to be able to see that the child is visibly ill much of the time, although they very often are.

One of the problems is that what may be ‘just a cold’ for one person or child, not impacting their ability to function at reasonable level, can be more severe illness in another individual. Forcing attendance and encouraging the spread of viruses is very short-sighted, as is not allowing all children the rest they need to recover before returning to school.

My daughter unfortunately had a severe throat infection at the worst time ever for her school – during the month of May when SATs were taking place (SAT =Standardised Assessment Testing, I think). It took three courses of antibiotics before her throat infection healed. She was incredibly unwell and needed extra time to recover better before she returned to school. She missed her tests.

This was not popular and I was expected to still take her into school. I refused – she had a bacterial infection that might be very easily spread. Her tests could either wait until she returned, or could be regarded as completely unnecessary for an obviously capable child whom her teacher knew very well.

When my son was small, amongst an earlier generation of primary school children, his school had to issue letters to parents repeatedly reminding them please not to bring children to school with obvious signs of transmittable illness. Some parents apparently were overly keen that their child didn’t miss school – or didn’t want the bother of them being at home.

The issue doesn’t just affect the children and teachers in school, it is brought home to families where some members may have immune-deficiencies. My own health was continually affected by the proliferation of viruses in school and brought home – even if my daughter herself did not seem to ‘catch’ it.

Although I have no experience of how things are now, nor in all schools, in classrooms, other public places such as waiting rooms and even on the bus, the levels of heating seem excessive and also encourages the spread of germs.

Photo taken in negative effect during Photo101, June2015)
Photo taken in negative effect during Photo101, June2015)

In my daughter’s school the sanitation provision was incredibly poor, there was often no soap for hand-washing and upon complaining you might be told ‘most children don’t wash their hands anyway.”

This is a brief reflection on an issue that seems unfair, written in response to the prompt for today in the 365 days of writing e-book downloadable from the Daily Post (