The old supported yet,
Consumed by the young.
Nature’s efficiency;
Recycle, renew.

I took this picture in the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia. I like the transmutation of the background from images to blurred colours as it emphasises the focus of the picture.

Magic boxes

Lidded boxes fascinate me. With a nod to recycling we use them to store stuff, like teddy bears, candles, incense, pens, pencils, baking paraphernalia, essential oils, coasters, watches, rings, necklaces, the list goes on. Sometimes the box has a special memory attached to it, reminding us of where it came from.

We have leather, cardboard, timber, ceramic and metal boxes in oblongs, squares, hexagons and cylinders. We have a few tins that were once home to chocolates, biscuits and toffees. The picture of the one above is the latest addition to the collection, a gift from friends who came for dinner last night.

Most of the time we know where they are and what’s in them; sometimes they go walk-about. When I come across a box that we’ve mislaid I experience a moment of anticipation as I lift the lid; what forgotten treasure will I find?

Aunt Maud


In the mid ’90s I was living on the outskirts of Worcester, UK. While out for a stroll I came across some farm buildings that were being converted into a restaurant. Being England, a pleasant sunny afternoon quickly turned dark as rain clouds rolled in from the Malvern Hills. I decided to head home; on turning the corner of the farm I noticed a number of framed portraits on the side of the road leaning against the side of a red brick barn. The pictures were in various states of decay suffering from water damage and mildew.

By now large rain drops began falling, so I hastily grabbed one the photographs and headed home. I was able to lightly clean the picture and restore the frame.

My female ancestors have a curious assortment of first names from Doris through Hilda to Emmelina. As far as I was aware none were named Maud, so as the the unknown woman in the picture looked like someone I wouldn’t mind having as an ancestor she became my adopted Aunt Maud. Years later while researching relatives in my family tree I found I had a great grand mother called Matilda. Maud is a medieval form of Matilda, spooky………..

Aunt Maud hangs above a stone mantle piece in the kitchen. The fireplace would have housed the range when the house was built around the turn of the 20th century. A fitting place for my great grandmother’s namesake to watch over us.