The Changing Seasons – December 2019

This challenge is hosted by Su from Zimmerbitch. You can find out how to participate at the end of this post!

In her post Su expresses feelings of anger and frustration about the stare of the world, which I fully share. Here in the UK this month the electorate were conned into electing a Brexit-enabling and clearly dishonest, regressive and incompetent Conservative government. Just don’t get me started…

The end of the month was upsetting. I finished work for Christmas on Friday 20th and was ok for a couple of days. Christmas eve night saw me awake half the night with nightmares and this continued for several days. By the 30th I had pretty much retreated into my own head because my mood was so low. I was barely speaking or eating and had no energy for anything.

So today I have at least summoned enough energy to write this post, which may be a sign of improvement!

Earlier in the month we visited some old school friends. It was the day of the election results and I attempted to drown my sorrows with Sake. I made the interesting discovery that it does not give me a hangover….

During our visit we had a day out in Stratford. This is famous for being the birthplace of England’s second greatwst playwrite after Ernie Wise. I have never really understood the fuss about Shakespeare I confess. The olde-worlde architecture was cool though.

Back home, Lancaster has had an ice rink and assorted other activities in the main square. Including this ginormous whirly thing.

You might think December a poor month in the garden. Not in my greenhouse where a number of winter flowering South African bulbs have been at their best, including these specimens of Daubenya zeyheri.

The new camera theregore had some macro photography opportunities.

The end of the month I was off work and had a very cold walk along the promenade at Morecambe to take some black and white photos.

The walk ended with a coffee at Brucciani’s. This coffee shop and ice cream parlour first opened in 1939 and is now a listed building as most of the interior is unchanged. When I was growing up there was a second shop in my home town on the other side of the bay. This is long gone but the original hangs on despite a Costa opening next door.

The last day of 2019 has been sunny and mild. The first of the daffodils are appearing in the greenhouse at least – this is the tiny thumbnail sized flower of Narcissus asturiensis.

There has been new art this month too. I am working on these redwood cones and have switched back to graphite for the first time in years. The CD was a Christmas gift and I have been enjoying it, though not as much as their first album.

Finally I want to say that I hope our friends in Australia are OK despite the dreadful fires there. And that I wish all of you a wonderful 2020.

If you would like to join in, here are the challenge guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s original post, she can update hers with links to all of yours.


  1. I’m so sorry to hear about those terrible nightmares you’re having, Darren! I once had a phase where I had them for two weeks in a row and didn’t want to sleep anymore, it was awful. Thankfully it stopped then! Hope your dreams will be more pleasant in the new year – which isn’t far of now. 😉
    Ah – the bard! I confess I’m completely nuts for the old guy. 😉 But I understand that not everyone feels the same. 😄
    And I totally get your mood about the Brexit – I still can’t quite believe what’s happening. 😯
    Your b/w shot is awesome! More please! The same goes for your South-African bulbs – just gorgeous! 😍
    Wishing you a Happy and creative New Year! 💕🎉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Sarah. I rarely dream, or rarely remember them, but it seems to happen a lot at the moment!
      I am not totally anti-Bard. There are two movie versions of Much Ado About Nothing which I love. Our friends visit Stratford frequently to see plays and are obviously keen. They once took Susan to see a Bollywood style version of one, which she loved. But then they took us to see a very minimalist production of The Tempest at Oxford Castle once. Two blokes talking in a fake boat for three hours and I could not even follow the story…
      Brexit makes me feel angry and physically sick and I will never accept it.
      Thank you – I am really enjoying this camera and very very happy with my choice!
      Have a wonderful 2020 Sarah! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’ve reminded me that I once went to a feminist (three women on a very small, poorly lit stage) production of Hamlet that was so bad we couldn’t even wait for the interval to leave. I think I was pregnant at the time and feigned labour pains to cover our exit. Actually, I think my performance was the best of the night.
        Then there was the open air production of King Lear 😦 We left that early because cheesy acting is only tolerable if the seats aren’t hideously uncomfortable.
        But I have seen some brilliant productions too. Josie Lawrence as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew was amazing, as was the outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Toyah Willcox as Puck.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. I wouldn’t be surprised if our broadcasters ignored it in favour of more “reality” shows. That seems to be all we get these days. About the only thing I watch that’s not streamed is called The Casketeers, which is basically a better quality, hilarious reality show about an Auckland firm of undertakers. Yup, really. And it is so weirdly compelling.

                Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh! Which ones are they? I loved the one with Denzel Washington, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson the best! 😀
        I’ve never heard of a Bollywood adaptation but it sounds enormous fun!! 😀 I’m not much of a minimalist myself, so production like the one at Oxford Castle sound a bit dull to me too. I’ve been to The Globe once and watched The Merry Wives of Windsor – it was fantastic!! 😀


        1. The Branagh one, which is fab, and the 2012 one thar Joss Whedon made in B&W with a lot of his old buddies from Buffy and Angel.
          Susan tells me there were actually 4 blokes talking in that boat but I must have nodded off by that point!
          I would like to visit the Globe on a future trip to London!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ooh! I didn’t even know that Joss Whedon made one!! Loved Buffy and Angel! Need to get my hands on a copy instantly! 😄
            The Globe is awesome! You should definitely try to plan it in when you visit London next time!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Darren, I can so relate to how you are feeling; though I’m not having nightmares, just nocturnal panic attacks. Amazing how much can be achieved at 4am when sleep eludes!.

    The Daubenya zeyheri are beautiful; like little candles of hope (if that’s not too cheesy). And I love your monochrome shots (here and IG).

    I’m in two minds about Shakespeare — I totally get that the language is brilliant and beautiful, but I have trouble suspending my 20th/21st century sense of disbelief over the hokey plots. We obviously need an Ernie Wise retrospective season!

    I’m glad you are making new art; I really believe that creativity and actually making things is the best form of therapy. I have loved seeing your work, and your collaborations with Dominique and Lisa. I hope they will continue, and the friendships that come with it.

    Wishing you peace and health, creative energy and time to follow your passions this year.
    Kia Kaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Panic attacks are worse! How horrible and I do feel for you.
      I, too, have to acknowledge the debt our language owes to Shakespeare and it is amazing how many commonly used phrases originate from his work. But I’d rather watch Ernie😉😊
      Thank you for your lovely kind comments about my art, and the work with Dominique and Lisa.

      I have loved seeing your photographs this year and I hope that creativity will continue to help you through the tough times.

      Happy New Year Su❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Darren, lovely images from your new camera. It’s amazing what you can do if you can just get up. Yup,I sympathise. Wish I could stay in bed myself. However, now that I am trapped inside, I just want to go outside and take a few photos. So contrary. 🙂 I’m sorry I’ve got no answers for you. Take care of yourself. Avoid Brexiteers. Drink coffee. Set up a comfy chair in your greenhouse. I love the Daubenya zeyheri. They are so cheery for winter bulbs. Lovely work on your drawing too. Have a restful New Year. Regards. Tracy.
    PS. The fires are horrible. The national response to them even more so..

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Lovely to see these all together in addition to the Instagram posts. And thank you for the comments about the fires! Let’s hope 2020 is a good year for you – I know 2019 had some amazing highlights. Hope the nightmares end! I still have them almost every night, but at least I know that it’s my medication now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello! Popping over from Su’s challenge! How lovely to have a greenhouse– the Daubenya Zeyheri were so beautiful! And your pine cone art is amazing! I hope to see more of your drawings! Best wishes in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeaaaa! So glad you’re doing this. Had to unsubscribe and subscribe again, damn WP. Am I the only one who doesn’t get her Reader posted in order?

    Anyway….I’m off to play catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

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