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.
Thursday Thoughts – In My Windows – Vårvinter
A short visit in my windows – because now the sun is shining in! Spring is knocking on the door, and this time of the year we call ”vårvinter”, a word for the season in between – between winter and spring. The name translated would be ”spring winter” in English. If you have another/the proper word for it, please tell me!
Windows – my glass house still wears its roses with pride, but in my home spring is exploding in every corner and every colour…
We are grateful to see the light coming back, lifting us up from the darkest season. Fortunately, I love all seasons and would not be without any of them! My favourite is spring, with Life returning. The cranes are calling, and the tits and finches are fighting already…Yesterday a flock of skylarks were sighted in the fields south of my home. Welcome!
Thursday Thoughts – Younger Days II
I was born and raised in a tiny village, consisting of about 15 houses situated on a ridge above the school house. Here I spent every day of my first 12 years, climbing and running, strolling and roaming the farm land, meadows and forests. I had a happy childhood.
This is the gate I climbed every day – or, this might be a newer one, but it still looks the same to me… There are huge stones in the meadow above, and we used to bring buns and milk to feast on when we had finished climbing and settled on top of the highest one. To us they were mountains – but in reality, boulders from the ice age, left here when the ice moved away.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #111 – Everyday Objects
”For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #111, we’re taking a fresh look at ordinary, everyday objects–things that you see and use in your daily life.”
Patti is our host for the challenge, and we are looking forward to seeing your creative response!
My start is the old silver box from my husband’s mother. I haven’t changed its position for the image, but, inspired by Patti, I put my garnets there, to pick up the colours of the faded rose. In the header it stands in late evening light – here in ordinary daylight. Quite a change – light and the photographer’s position sets the mood.
If you read my blog now and then, you know I have two real dogs, but also some other dogs and cats, hiding among my house plants…
These are my two favourites – both left to me by Anita, a beloved friend who passed away some years ago.
They are hiding in different places depending on what plants I have for them. The lovely blue cat was one of Anita’s special favourites – and yesterday she was hiding behind a Medinilla Magnifica. I think she loved it!
Finally, my scary friends in the blue box – always hiding – seemingly frightened – put there and painted by Lena, a very good friend of mine. Can you see just how scared they are? I even helped them look a bit shaky…
A special thanks to Tina for hosting last week’s Creativity in the Time of Covid challenge. A great theme, that really showed us many creative ideas on how to cope with and manage these difficult times. I think we all learned something new and picked up more tricks to stay creative throughout! Well done All of us – together we will meet the future, stronger!
Next challenge, #112, I (Ann-Christine/Leya) will be your host. Stay creative and stay well – and be kind, also to yourself.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#94 – At Home
This week, Amy invites us to share photos taken at home. But, I will start by thanking all of you who so generously shared your mornings with us last week – they truly brightened my days. So many sunrises and mugs of coffee or tea – no problems getting up early then!
Home is the nicest word there is.
Staying at home is what we all do now, and for me this is not difficult – on the contrary, I love my house and I am also fortunate enough to have a garden. And all the living things here…
are precious to me. Now, a visit at my place means you will have to share with my dogs. Milo always wants to follow me Everywhere, which sometimes may be inconvenient …
My home is a ”jungle”, according to my husband, and I have lost a pot or two over the years when he is vacuum cleaning… Too many plants everywhere. I used to count how many once a year, but not anymore. They were 144 some 5-6 years ago.
If you look closely, you will encounter several critters and creatures hiding here too…
Spring has arrived, and I’d love you to take a walk in my garden – to find more living things! They are everywhere now, bees, bumble bees, spiders, lady bugs, butterflies, birds…and I love watching them buzzing around searching for food, bathing or mating. It is good to know that Life still goes on out there – This year it seems we have starlings as well – they haven’t resided here for many years, because I had to take down their home. The magpies would not let their fledglings alone – so weeks of parenting chores were all in vain. I could not stand watching the parents lose their young every year.
The fourth insect hotel is now in place, waiting for guests flying in. They will soon arrive, I hope –
Nature is Life, and sometimes we can help animals and plants to regain some of their old and rightful place in life. As we humans have destroyed many of their habitats, it is our duty to try and restore what we can. We will be greatly rewarded in the end.
Be sure to link your post to Amy’s here, (use the original post link NOT the one from the WP Reader) and add the Lens-Artists TAG so that we can easily find you. We’re looking forward to your Home contributions – keep up your creativity!
Next week is Tina’s (Travels and Trifles) , #95 on May 2nd.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. – Marcus Aurelius
My mornings these days – are not quite the same as before the pandemic. Maybe yours are the same as before – or a bit different too? Anyway, a look at your morning – or Any morning – is the challenge for this week. Maybe there is a special morning that you will never forget – you could share it with us!
When the virus hit my world, in order to sleep better, I had to move upstairs to my daughter’s old room. So the first thing I see when I open my eyes to a new day – are fluttering butterflies. Feels good! And I do sleep better up here. I find harmony and peace.
This room is where many of my potted plants spend their winter season, waiting to come out in the sun and the fresh air again. What better place is there for me to spend the night?
Here I also grow new plants for the next season – these little ones are tomatoes in the making. I guess I love seeing plants, animals and people, grow –
In the hallway I pass the standing mirror, and a glance into it before closing the door, reveals Emma’s sewing machine waiting in stand by with her summer hat on top.
Before I go downstairs, I sit for a while with my new colourful plant puzzle – very relaxing and Mindfulness My way.
On coming down into the living room, I am usually met by a yawning Milo and a snoring Totti…(So…hardly ”met” really…), Totti is extremely good at snoring, so I hear exactly where he is. My husband tells me the dogs miss me terribly, but they have now accepted my strange night habits. Please click to enlarge if you love them –
Finally – coffee (Emma’s mug…). And the morning paper is a must. After a rather solid breakfast, I spend the rest of the morning out in the forest, enjoying the Wood Anemones while they are still flowering. Now on their last due to the dry weather and strong winds.
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
(My favorite song from younger days, when Cat Stevens still was – Cat Stevens.)
We are looking forward to saying Good Morning to all of you! Be it your morning, any morning or some creative twist.
A big thank you to our guest-host John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo for ”Going Back the Second Time Around”, which brought many lovely memories from you – and tips for new memories to be made!
Have you seen these:
- Sue is treating us to the most charming little village in France
- Everest Base Camp and the cutest chalet ever from Pam
- Anne and her best friend
- Chasing the bloom – and succeeding at ramblingranger
Next week, April 25, #94: your host will be Amy of The World is a Book
As usual we wish you a lovely week, stay safe, stay well – and maybe make a phone call or two to someone who needs it.
Thursday Thoughts – Ginkgo Biloba in My Window
Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko, also known as the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. This is why it’s sometimes referred to as a living fossil.
It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated, and was cultivated early in human history.
While its leaves and seeds are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, modern research primarily focuses on ginkgo extract, which is made from the leaves.
Ginkgo supplements are associated with several health claims and uses, most of which focus on brain function and blood circulation.
My Ginkgo plant (hopefully a tree after some years) is standing in my window during winter time, but when summer arrives – it thrives in my garden. These are some of the new leaves this year.