The Smells That Take You Back to Your Childhood

Storm

Walking my dog Storm this morning along our usual route, (up the hill through the cemetery and down the hill back home) walking through the cemetery the sun was shining, it was a bit too warm when the sun shone, Storms an Alaskan Malamute after all, just think of that lovely fur coat it surely gets very warm and the breeze blew the scent of the mown grass at us and I was immediately engulfed and taken right back to summer time when I was a school. As it happens my school is actually just across the road from where we walk and I was whisked back to sports day, laying on the field watching my friends race and waiting for my turn, the scent of fruit juice and ice lollies, the roar of little voices and parents shouting on their kids, it was a good memory. My Mum came to mind, coming to sports day in a white pants suit and leaving with small smudgy handprints all over her legs, (white to a sports day, she was looking for trouble!) We stopped for a short time and just breathed in the scent and I took the time to just bathe in the remembering of a good childhood. Is there a scent that takes you back to a happy time?

Do You Have a To Do List?

This is Me and my dog Storm.

I, me, ( personal pronoun ) myself, (reflexive pronoun ) all words i am finally able to say that describe me, Karen, no carer or daughter added to it, just me. I have been ‘just’ me for 21 months now, yes i am wife, mother, grandmother, sister but i am finally free to find me and i feel like i am ‘finding’ me, finally. It is strange how everything has changed yet nothing has changed, i still live in the same house with the same people, i still hold onto the same dreams but my art has changed so much. Getting back to my To Do List, I’ve had and still have a desire to be a different me, do different things that the ‘old me’ wouldn’t or couldn’t do and over the last 12 months I’ve been kind of creating a list of things that need to be done as i haven’t been able to do them in previous years.

  1. Go to a VIP opening of a show at a Contemporary Gallery. ✔
  2. Actually speak to the artist about their work and give my opinion on it. ✔
  3. Speak to a gallery about representation. ✓
  4. Arrange a holiday in a camper van.
  5. Go to Hilbre Island for a sunset. ✔
  6. Swim in the sea.
  7. Pay off my debts. ✔
  8. Say ‘NO’ more. ✔
  9. Be more creative with my photography. ✔
  10. Stay on Hilbre Island through a full tide.

Not a bad effort really, the ‘List’ is changing constantly, morphing into different areas of my life, there are still many things out there that I want to do and will do. Do you have a List?

VAA Online Art Exhibition

I finally found out which photograph has been accepted into the VAA Online Art Exhibition! Its only one of my most favorite images and just happens to hang on my living room wall! ‘Formby beach, pathway to the sea’. Taken back in 2012/3 i think, on a days respite with my husband Chris when we just got into our car and drove, something we love to do. We were wandering the sand dunes and happened on a gap down to the beach, so we went down it. It was quite a steep incline which was easy to get down and we were able to explore the beach taking numerous photos as we went. Upon closer inspection we realised the tide was actually coming in and quite quickly too so there was a bit of a mad dash back to where we had entered the beach, only to find it was easier to go down than it was to get up. Especially when your laughing at each other, it was literally two steps forward, one step back as the sand shifted under our feet but we made it in the end and i managed to capture this lovely image.

Formby Beach Pathway to the Sea

The exhibition is online and free, you just need to register here for your ticket and you should receive updates etc until the start of the exhibition on April 12th until June 30th 2021. All the work is for sale and is an opportunity to purchase art from up and coming artists and photographers.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-vaa-international-online-spring-exhibition-tickets-148780200585

Well its Good News……..

I wouldn’t say that this year (2021) was off to a good start with Covid and all, but and there is always a but, i have managed to do some pretty amazing things so far. So i had a look at the organisations who have been helping me business wise over the last 12 months and i have become a member of the Visual Artists Association and entered work into their International Art Exhibition which was accepted. It runs from 12th April until 30th June 2021 and i am so thrilled. I have also become a member of Independent Wirral, a chamber of commerce initiative to help small businesses on the Wirral and been awarded the ‘Good to go’ industry standard from Visit England which means i am now Covid friendly when i attend events. All i need are the events and we are good!

I’ve also managed to successfully go out photographing the shore line and i have made several new Polaroid images which i am very pleased about and maybe the best bit is, im going to be a granny again and its a boy! So with all that excitement i have also been able to book several new events over the next few months starting in April where i am going to be selling my art locally in Chemist and Co Hoylake, Wirral on Saturday the 17th. I also have several dates in May and June so far, i hope as we come out of lockdown there will be many more events to participate in, fingers crossed.

Super 1 Day only Flash Sale

Make sure you are following me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/spikeymousephotography/ As im having a 1 Day only Flash Sale.

Step up your Christmas shopping with my 1 Day Super Flash Sale on instagram https://www.instagram.com/spikeymousephotography/ Treat yourself to some beautiful new Landscape Fine Art Photography or just go for a nosey. Follow me, like, comment and share to your stories! Thank you.

Saying that final Goodbye

No one can say that their lives are not influenced by their parents, it is guaranteed that your Dad will influence you in a different way than your Mum will. I am lucky to have had a very close relationship with my parents, we have understood each other the majority of the time. Yes there were times we argued, i was a teenager once. Somehow I became the daughter who was nominated as the caring daughter, I was the one who was left to look after my parents, I didn’t really mind , you don’t do you they’re your parents after all. When my Dad died my husband, son and I moved into the family home to look after Mum and over 20+ years we lived together through arguments, peaceful times, births, deaths and cancer. I was there for Mum 24/7 and when she was diagnosed with cancer, Multiple Myaloma, i became her carer. We were able to laugh through much of her battle, she was lucky with her Chemo she didn’t loose her hair or suffer sickness, we had the same sense of humour but at the end she did suffer terribly and when she finally passed away peacefully early one December morning my sister and I were able to say a peaceful and loving goodbye. I held her hand and told her how much I loved her and she was gone. Her funeral was a family affair, we were all able to catch up with each other, to talk and reminisce and wonder about the strong woman she was. After Dad died she restarted her education and ultimately gained a Ba hons in the History of Art and Irish Studies, a 2:2 no less! Last night with my loving family and my sister and her girls, we said the final goodbye when we scattered Mums ashes along the beach where we used to go in the summer, near to where Dad worked so he could pick us up in the late afternoon. We said goodbye just as the sun set in a riot of glorious colours and walking back from the beach i felt the weight of caring lift from my shoulders, when we went into our home i could no longer feel Mums presence, finally I am free to start living my life for myself, with the closing of the door a new stage of my life has begun and I hope i finally get to live it how I want not around others needs. Goodbye Mum, hello me.

You can’t NOT write about Covid 19

How many weeks have we been in lockdown in the UK now? Feels like its been MANY months to me! You know when you suddenly realise you can’t actually remember the last time you actually worked, well that’s me, I no longer recall my last sale, now that is a SCARY thought!

Last year was, you could say, quite a year. I have cared for my Mum for over 8 years as she battled cancer and last year, after being in remission, it came back. She passed away in December thank God as i know she would not have made it through Covid 19. But i hadn’t been earning even before that as i was a full time carer, so when and what was my last sale? Who the hell knows but i would like to know what and when my next one will be so follow the link and have a browse around my FAA website, support the small businesses, a small sale goes a long way. Thank you.

https://karen-lawrence.pixels.com/

Closure of the High Street Shops; New post

Late one evening last week.

When I was taking my son back to his flat in Rock Ferry, I drove down Borough road and thought ‘oh that would be a great photo’. There on the opposite side of the street were a row of commercial premises with flats above. ‘So what’ I can hear you think. Well the reason I found them so interesting was because of the decay, dilapidation and forlornness of the buildings. high street, shops, closed, boarded up, vacant, empty, flats, disussed,

Where once there had been bustling shops with a myriad of different families living over them there now stood these forlorn looking buildings just waiting to be knocked down. While I was taking my photos a guy came out of the end building and started chatting to my husband. He actually lived in the flat over the, what we thought was empty, end retail space. Spray painting cars as a hobby, he was the last person in the block of old sshop, sign, old, faded, painted, high street, hops.

He told us that the shops had slowly closed over time, been bought and sold without anyone new moving in and eventually been bought by the council and left to rot. Apparently the council wants to knock all of the block down and turn it into green space. Not that we don’t need new homes of course, we all know we should be building on brown site land to save the countryside though, don’t we? Read more……….

BeeWirral is helping my Poverty project

BeeWirral; Help in the Community

beewirral, livvy, livingstonestreet, poverty, birkenhead,BeeWirral is a not for profit Community Interest Company. Dedicated to supporting families in making positive choices so that they can improve their own life chances.  Running activities in Livingstone Street Community Center since 2014, their aim is to become a community resource. Somewhere that residents can go to take part in training, courses, activities and support services. They have a full timetable of activities which includes things like infant massage, baby groups, a quilting group, and gardening group, with something to suit everyone. Funded by Reaching Communities, The Morgan Foundation, John Moores Foundation, CFM and Your Wirral, this is a wonderful tool for the community Read more……….

Closure of the High Street Shops

high streetIn every community there is almost always a high street. From small corner shops to supermarkets, family owned shops to co-operatives. When times are good our high street flourishes the community and neighbourhood are strong and cohesive and times are good.

When you start to add things in like redundancy, unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions then people don’t have money to spend. Every penny is spoken for so splashing out on that nice duvet cover, rug, bottle of wine or meal out stops.

Shop rent and rates go up, produce goes up because transportation costs are high and slowly the shops struggle to make enough profit to cover costs. Shops change hands, close down and the high street becomes a desolate waste land.

The effect on the community can be harsh, people spend less and less on their homes, with poor educational chances crime rates go up, ill health from poor nutrition and lack of access to basic health services affect the neighbourhood an inequality between individual’s and families becomes apparent and social segregation occurs. Those who have a job live on the nice side of the street where as those on benefit live on the wrong side of the street. It has to have an impact on peoples state of mind.

This can make for good community spirit as everyone is in the same situation or similar but often people feel displaced and on their own.

Read More…