a lesson from the queen of the fairies

So maybe I got a bit too excited about the sunshine, but heck when you live in the north you celebrate every ray of golden sunlight as if it may be your last.  So I apologise if I got a little over enthusiastic and feel free to blame me for the blanket of cloud that has settled over Durham (I take no responsibility for the cloud elsewhere).

Today I saw this photograph on Facebook


Stunning isn’t it.   The earth cradled in a blanket of cloud.

I had a blog planned inspired by this.  So off I tootled to find the original photograph to see if I could use it.  Not only can it not be credited to anyone for certain, but it is apparently for certain fake. (Snopes believes it to have been created by Mike Kiev, but others believe it to be older and created by somebody else as yet unknown). At first I was rather sad, it was such a beautiful picture and gave me hope that perhaps there is hope for this poor old planet after all.  For it to be fake ripped that out from under me.

But does it?  Just because something isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be powerful, give hope, succor or security.  My daughters wrote endless letters to Queen Mab (the head of the Tooth Fairies if weren’t aware of this awesome fact).  This was because one day Queen Mab wrote a long letter to a recent tooth loser.  After some days I was approached by a delegation of daughters concerned that there was something wrong with Queen Mab (Fairy Doctors to the rescue) as she had failed to reply to their last few letters.  Thinking very quickly on my feet I pointed out that as nobody had lost a tooth recently Queen Mab would not have known to check for any letters and perhaps rather than hiding them under the stair basket (I don’t know either) they should put them somewhere easier for Queen Mab to find (even fairies need a bit of help) and also let me know so that I could alert Queen Mab to the arrival of a letter.

They turned out to be prolific letter writers.  Poor Queen Mab spent a lot of time over a glass of wine practicing her curlicue writing and keeping the daughters up to date with goings on in her realm.  Changes in her handwriting were poured over and discussions as to why her “H” wasn’t as curly on one letter compared to another only served to increase the need for a glass of wine during the writing of the next letter.

Their private correspondence with the Queen of the Fairies was a source of much pride and even now all grown up, they still remember them.  And yes I did keep them all.  Some things cannot be decluttered.

So if the picture above is a fake, so what.  Enjoy the beauty if you find it beautiful, take comfort from the clouds cradling the earth and if you are sitting under a cloudy  sky and bemoaning the departure of the sun complete with his hat, then think instead of a blanket wrapping the fragile earth.

Love Gillie x


experience don’t record

One thing that is immediately obvious when you hit any form of tourist trail is that the cameras come out.  Picture of Tower Bridge, tick; picture of Sydney Opera House, tick.  Where it really struck me how much people were linked permanently to cameras/phones was at the Aquarium in Melbourne.

I didn’t take a single photograph at the Aquarium.  Not because it wasn’t beautiful, but because a tiny little square of a bit of a shark or a few seahorses would not begine to capture the magic of actually seeing them.  Of experiencing the moment.

Of course, I have taken photographs whilst we have been in Oz.  But not as many as I might have done in years past.  I am reminded of going to concerts.  We went to see Bruce Springsteen twice last year.  It was magical.  Both concerts were completely different.  I do not have a single photograph nor did I record any of the songs.  At times it was a miracle that I could see the stage at all through the forest of iphones that were being held up above people’s heads.

How many times will the filmer watch that iphone video?  How much of the actual moment did they lose trying to get out their phone, turn it on, turn on the video etc. etc. ?

In the digital age, the one that is supposed to have released us from the tyranny of paper, we seem to be as much a victim as we were before.  To cap it all, I notice that Facebook is now offering you the chance to turn your timeline into a book.

So here are a few photographs of stuff.  Not of anything special, but of things that will remind me of moments now in years to come.  It doesn’t matter what they are of, just enjoy the view.



P1000307 Melbourne


P1000311St Kilda

P1000314 St Kilda


P1000315St Kilda