LAPC #223 – Flights of Fancy

John leads this week’s challenge, and it is no surprise it involves a ”flight”…

I was a little bookworm, a girl with my head full of dreams. Many dreams of foreign countries I read about in books and saw fascinating pictures of. Mostly special places in these books, not so much whole countries. I never thought they would be more than dreams, but then I met a young man as eager as myself to see the world. We started travelling together when I was 16 and he was 21. And we never stopped. Today I am very grateful that so many ”flights of fancy” from my childhood really came to fruition. Of course I have many dreams left, but in fact there is only one more great travel dream, and that is to see the cherry blossom and the wisteria tunnels in Japan. Somehow I don’t think that dream will come true – but it feels good to still have dreams!

Please go to John’s site for more inspiration!

I have picked three different ”flights”… big and small, and in two out of three there is a real flight involved.

One of my first ”flights of fancy” was this house. As a young girl I used to spend every summer in the public swimming pool of our village. And on my way to the pool, every day I passed this white house, surrounded by a big garden with lots of birches, apple trees, plum trees and pear trees. It was built on a bit higher ground than the other houses, and I also knew that one of the most handsome young boys in my little village happened to live there…

Little did I know that my boyfriend and I would buy this house when I was only 21 – and we have lived here since then, for 44 years now. And, it is still my dream house!

This image is from quite some years ago, when we had both Mille and Totti waiting for us to come home.

Another ”flight of fancy” was going to New Zealand. I had a pen friend when I was 11 (one of many…), and this girl sent me a calender with photos from both islands, North and South. I was so mezmerised, so in love with these extraordinary nature sceneries, that I started dreaming of getting there one day. In my mind, no other country could literally have ”everything” I loved: high mountains and glaciers, volcanoes and hot springs, magical forests and jungle, unimaginable animals…yes, everything. A dream which of course sounded absolutely impossible…NZ was at the the other end of the world – the New Zealanders are our antipodes.

Then there is another ”flight of fancy” involved too. I had always loved the novels of JRR Tolkien, and especially Lord of the Rings. Our children loved it too…so, finally we arrived in NZ, North Island around Christmas 2011. We travelled the islands for a month, and of course we had to visit Hobbiton! And do you know what – it looked just like in my dreams.

Yet another ”flight of fancy” started with a novel, James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. I dreamt of the magical Himalayas and mystical Tibet, but realised I would never get there. This was literally another world. But, in 2009 my family took the train from Beijing over permafrost and the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa. It is the world’s highest railway, 5,068 meters at Tanggula. The cars are equipped with oxygen supply to avoid altitude sickness. Still today, we all think this was one of our greatest adventures.

Over the last years, our home has become a ”flight of fancy” for birds and insects, plants and hedgehogs. I try to make it my own Shangri-La, a hidden paradise behind birches, bird cherry and lilacs. I cannot save the planet, but I know I can be of great help to make this little piece of Earth thrive.

According to John, and to Dictionary.com, the idiom “flight of fancy” refers to “an unrealistic idea or fantastic notion, a
pipe dream. For example, ‘She engaged in flights of fancy, such as owning a million‐dollar house.’ This idiom uses
flight in the sense of ‘a soaring of the imagination,’ a usage dating from the mid‐1600s.”

I believe we all need imagination and flights of fancy to survive in this unruly world, so, keep dreaming…

A big thank you to Amy for a spectacular mountain challenge – and to you all for your fabulous entries! Now we are looking forward to seeing what was your flight of fancy (or someone else’s) that came to fruition? Please link to John’s original post and tag Lens-Artists.


Next week, Sofia hosts challenge #224 – Exposure. Be sure to visit her beautiful site for inspiration. Until next, stay calm and kind.

64 reaktioner på ”LAPC #223 – Flights of Fancy

  1. Being able to make our dreams come true gives so much joy and happiness. As always, gorgeous photos and it’s heartwarming to read about how you realized many of your flights of fancy with your loved ones. I sincerely hope that your Japanese flight of fancy will become a reality.

  2. It was fun reading about your dream home and seeing pictures of it, such a beautiful setting with your plants and trees all around. You have traveled to many great places and your pictures are lovely, as always!

  3. I read this, the first time, a few hours after you posted it, but I didn’t want to rush my response. I love that you brought real life into your story. I loved every word of it. To think of the adventurous trip to NZ , with Lord of the Rings on your minds and Hobbiton. Fun.

    The railway train sounds fun, but more fascinating than anything else. You certainly allowed your children to experience life through adventure, and good readings.

    Your Shangri-La is as it should be a respite for our earthly things, including ourselves. I love that you lived there for so long, and I love your love story.

    Thank you for bringing us to and up close and personal look at your flights of fancy.

    • Donna, your way with words and your thoughtful comments are always longed for and appreciated. I learned already in school how often Americans moved and changed jobs – it was in our history books! I guess in general people move three or four times here, but if I remember it right, Americans moved seven or eight times – at least. Maybe even more these days?
      I have deep roots in my country and home, the house and garden and the forest. I could not live anywhere else. I have travelled instead, and want a safe place to return to.
      Thank you again for a thoughtful and lovely comment.

      • Yes.. Our cultures very different. For me lots of moves, but luckily my parents instilled in us ”home is where you hang your heart”. Our family is close even though we don’t live close.

        I can say though, one of my favorite places to live was after I was married in southern Spain. We lived in a small town in an effort that our kids immerse themselves (us too) in the culture. Never had we been so welcomed as ”family” as in that culture.

        Funny after all my moving as a child, I vowed I would never move from a single house as an adult. I married a military man, and now I am THE only one who moved around.

        Travel is our favorite pastime together.

        Thank. you for your nice note.

      • How lovely to actually have lived in another culture. What a great experience! And Spain is a lovely one, I know a little since we have travelled there quite a lot. My Spanish teacher at school always told me I would never be a success in Spain – because I was so thin. I would have a bigger chance today…not so thin anymore!

      • Hahaha. That’s a great story. They do love their food, and you never say NO thank you to an elder.

        It’s a very family culture. We lived everything about living there. Funny about size. I am 5’10”. Very tall. We lived in a small town and I was the “tall American lady”. Most Spanish women are pretty petite. I lived travels to Germany where they had clothes to fit me. Otherwise I was ordering from the us.

      • I think the “tall American lady” sounds nice! I am exactly average tall for Sweden. 167 cm. My mother could never get the shoes she wanted, because her feet were almost ”Chinese” – very small. Which meant that she often had to buy children’s shoes.

    • Why thank you – but not all my dreams have come true of course! So grateful for the ones that did, and for the dreams I still have – I believe you stop living when you don’t have any dreams left. Hopefully many of your dreams will come true as well – but sometimes you have to work hard for it.

  4. I absolutely love this post, AC. Your home, your dream trips, falling in love with a man who loves to travel…. Just wonderful. I love it all. And the photos….superb as always!

  5. Love your take on, AC! Beautiful photos and stories to share. What a trip to Tibet, the image is awesome.
    Beautiful place where you live, 44 years wonderful!

    • Thank you, Amy – I understand that 44 years is much to an American! I know you move around quite a great deal. We even learned about that in school!

    • Thank you, Andre’. And yes, I will never get tired of my house – even if it is too big when it comes to cleaning…200m2. If we live here when we get older, I will have to hire a cleaning service…

      • Unfortunately, that’s the walk of the time. As long as the kids are little, the house can’t be big enough. But after those years, when you don’t need so much room anymore, you still stick to it because memories are tied to it and you spent a log of time and money to model everything according your wishes, dreams, and needs. It’s the same here. We also could downsize, but we stick to the neighborhood, neighbors, and so on. Starting new anywhere else would be hard. An old tree can’t be transplanted, as a German proverb says.

  6. Another great post, Ann-Christine, this one full of wonderful stories and fulfilled dreams. I wouldn’t give up on Japan, just yet. I think you can still live that dream and then we all have your photos and stories to look forward to.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Sofia! And i am perfectly happy with your beautiful photography from Japan – should I never get there. But it is good to have dreams…

  7. Ann-Christine, how lovely that your dreams came true. Some dare not dream, but you showed them they can. Your home is beautiful, especially as shot through your lens. Thanks for taking us places that we wouldn’t ordinarily see. Great post.

    • I am glad you enjoyed it, Anne! I truly love my home, but I also truly love some other places in the world. I am sure though, I could not live anywhere else…

  8. What a creative and excellent approach to John’s challenge Ann-Christine! Like Sofia’s, I loved your interpretation and should have but never thought to do the same. It also tells me that John’s challenge stirs the imagination and makes us all think with positive thoughts, and what could be better than that?! Loved the story about your home especially – your love for it always comes shining through, especially now that you’ve added your precious glass house. And like you I dreamed of travels I never thought would happen, especially Africa which of course did come true in the end. I think I must choose the Himalayan image as my favorite but as always I loved them all.

    • I am glad you appreciated it – as I had quite some of my childhood dreams come true, it would be a positive contribution to the challenge. So many interesting posts this time too!

  9. I’m so envious of you for being in the same community for so long. You must have put down such deep roots. In my whole life I’ve never lived anywhere longer than eight years, so I have few long-lasting friendships. Wonderful trip accompanying you on your flights of fancy. A tough challenge indeed!

  10. This is such a lovely post. Expectation meets reality and a heart explodes with delight. I do so love love your home and garden. Seeing that fallen tree reminded me a of a long gone post about the sadness of its splitting as well as seeing Mille and Totti again.
    It is a wonderful peek into your life thank you Ann-Christine 🤗💕

    • Thank you for a comment that went straight to my heart, Brian. And you made me remember the beauty of that old apple tree when flowering, and all the apple pies made from the fruit. Now it is home to insects and birds, climbing clematis and honeysuckle. Mille and Totti – yes, I know your love for animals too. And family members are dearly missed. What would life be without a camera to help memories?

  11. I love that you have turned so many of your flights of fancy into reality, Ann-Christine. A shining example to many of us. I love your little piece of paradise. If I could make one of those dreams come true…I don’t know if I’d chose Himalayas or Japan.

    • That sentence was just to make sure somebody else do net press send before me. What a lovely romantic story about your home Anne-Christine!!! that is truly amazing. And while I am typing a restless Jo commented, so I was correct in pressing send a while ago. I turned a flight of fancy into reality – the first! (apologies restless Jo – I stole that comment from you comment). Glad to see you are also a Tolkien fan. In my latest post (second one in years) I decrinbe a bit of my adventure when I visited Middle Earth. There is even a photo of me and Bilbo Baggins…

      • You really make things happen, don’t you! And then you let us in on the adventures – good! Who is not a Tolkien fan? I knew where he was born, but nothing of this story and the nanny you met…glad you have photographical proof too. Looking forward to hearing more…

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