(This Could Be The) Start of Something New…

Musical theatre fans – please forgive the lame reference to High School Musical – the closest I am likely to come to that particular show is as an audience member, being far too old now to play the only part that would appeal –  ‘baddie’ Sharpay Evans.

As to the ‘something new’, well, I have started a Blipfoto journal – a daily photo journal of images seen by highonahill.

'Empty Swing' - the photo I used for my first Blip!

By way of explanation, I have always taken lots of photographs. On the shelves above me as I write are probably 50+ albums documenting most of the last 25 years of my life, and on the computer I am using are another 14,000+ digital photos, taken in the last 8 or so years since moving to a digital camera. I now take so many photos that I am way behind with printing the best for the albums, which stop at August 2008.

Last Christmas, Husband of Mine bought me a superzoom bridge camera – so called because it ‘bridges’ the gap between compact pocket cameras and DSLRs, but is able to offer complete manual control without the hassle and expense of changing lenses. Now I am slightly more knowledgeable about photography, I understand there is a slight trade-off in image quality, but at the moment I can live with that.

I have been following several other ‘blippers’ as they are known, as well as other bloggers with an eye for photography, for quite a while now, and have been inspired by the quality and creativity of their photographs. I have found Twitter is also a wonderful place to share and explore the art of photography; no prizes for guessing I follow some talented Lake District photographers for my daily Cumbrian fix!

So I finally decided that it was time to get more critical about the shots I keep, share and showcase so that I continue to learn, improve and enjoy. I could have done this on here, but for me, the posts on this blog that I feel have worked best are more about writing, sometimes illustrated by photography; rather than photography with a few words.

At the time of writing I still have my Blipfoto ‘L’ plates on, with less than 10 days of photographs under my belt. You can view my latest entry via the RSS feed in the sidebar of this blog, or click on the Blipfoto logo.

Are you curious to find out what is seen by highonahill?


What would Linus make of Slindon’s Great Pumpkin Patch?

The village of Slindon is just a short stroll away from where I live. OK, the most direct route dices with death across the busy A27 trunk road, but is the quickest route into the National Trust woodland. Safer, although longer, is the route through Fontwell village, taking the underpass to reach the woods.

At the top of the village is the now famous Slindon Pumpkins, where every autumn over 80 varieties of squash and pumpkin form an impressive display for locals and visitors alike, as seen on BBC’s Countryfile on 23 October.

Here’s a few pictures of this year’s display:

And a special mention must go to this interpretative piece of modern art on display from a Year 1 pupil at the local school. Amidst the brightly coloured pumpkin paintings, there was a single piece of yellow-painted A4 paper with the caption, “I couldn’t fit the edges of the pumpkin on the page. I was too close to the pumpkin.” Brilliant.

I will leave you with the lyrics of ‘The Vigil’ from Snoopy: The Musical. On Halloween, Linus, along with a reluctant Snoopy, awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin during “The Vigil” in the pumpkin patch.

“One pumpkin patch looks an awful lot like any other…”

Me as Sally Brown with Linus in Snoopy: the Musical in the Theatre Tent at Guilfest'08


I wonder what Linus would make of Slindon’s pumpkin patch?

Bugger Bognor?

As the crow flies, Bognor Regis is my nearest seaside resort. Whether or not King George V truly said those controversial words, the town still comes under a lot of criticism, some deserving, some not so.

But with the lovely weather that has been filling our days during April and early May, I took Children of Mine down to the beach for the afternoon during the Easter holidays where they amused themselves for hours until the tide went out, throwing stones, digging sand sculptures and making fleeting new friends with children who were down on holiday for the Easter break.


Children of Mine skimming stones - "lower, lower!"

Though sunny, the day wasn’t warm enough for me, so I’d gone in attire more suited for a mountain walk, complete with cuppa, paper, book and my stash of art material bought at the Cumberland Pencil Museum during my last visit to Keswick.


Never go anywhere without my cuppa!

So there I was, for what ended up being five hours, sitting on the rather uncomfortable pebbles.  A friend popped along to keep me company for an hour or so, during which we had a much-needed catch up, but the rest of the time I dabbled with a bit of sketching.

And here’s the result.

On the beach

As with my other artwork on this blog, I’ve a long way to go before wowing anyone with my skills. But I had fun with my creative activity – and isn’t that what it’s all about?

So for all its faults (and there are many), the simple pleasures of an afternoon in Bognor Regis are there for the taking…


Woody bananas,
untouched by the Family;
a fortnight old



Posted in response to today’s Plinky topic – a haiku about something that drives you nuts:

Uneaten fruit in general. And these bananas in particular, delivered to my door by an online delivery service on Tuesday 1 March. Completely impenetrable and as hard as anything, they haven’t ripened even a little bit – this attempt by Daughter of Mine to peel one some days ago failed miserably.

Poetry now, eh?

“A good rule of thumb for an English-language haiku is somewhere between 13-17 syllables.” (this must be good advice, it’s from the BBC)

I’ll try any form of creativity once.

Discovered in Loft: ‘Scrap Heap’, ‘Last Dance’ and ‘Knight Mare’

Ok.  Continuing with the last of the artwork I found in the loft, here’s the three paintings that, aged 15, I obviously thought enough of to want to keep.  I’ve no idea what inspired them.  Although I think I may have been a little disturbed.

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I had already thought I had posted these, but no – I had merely saved the bones of this post as a draft.  Anyway, I was reminded of them during a chat with Artist Masquerading as a Manager today.

A fitting post then, perhaps, as looking at ‘Scrap Heap’ and ‘Last Dance’ again, they eerily reflect elements of the tragic events that are continuing to unfold in Japan.

June is bustin’ out all over..

To be fair, the title of this post is misleading.  I’m not doing, and never have done, a production of ‘Carousel’, despite it being my favourite Rogers & Hammerstein musical.   No, the pertinent words from the title of this post are ‘all over’. 

June has quite literally passed me by in a haze of barn dances, backstage duties for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, two luxurious weekends at home on my own without The Family, a summer ball, two summer fairs and an intensive six-week rehearsal period for a production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ that opened last night.

The door of my fridge says it all…

I wish I could say that Children of Mine did this. I can’t.  I did it. A lot of it was up there already, but I got bored today, so just ‘tidied’ it up, okay? And I ran out of letters for Husband of Mine’s next gig with The Renegade Dogs – hence just “dad in doG Gig”.  Can’t be helped… I needed the letters for the musicals.

Anyway, in case you’re interested, dear Reader:

Jesus Christ Superstar plays until Saturday 2nd July at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis. Tickets are still available for this fantastic production, with all proceeds going directly to the theatre.

The Little Sisters of Poughkeepsie are returning to Guilfest 2010 to entertain you in The Man in the Moon Theatre Tent with their brand new show, ‘Nuns Get One Over the Rainbow’. 

Look out for them around the festival too – last year they were seen disco dancing in the ’70s tent, running a tombola, on the top deck of the Pimms bus, and getting tattooed…

Finally, you’d do well to forget to feed the plants this year when you go on holiday – check out what could happen if you indulge them by coming along to the Arundel Players Festival production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

Little Shop of Horrors

At this rate my next post will be in September…

Oh and by the way, The Renegade Dogs will be at The Elmer pub on 23rd July!

Discovered in Loft: ‘Charlie the Crazy Cavalier’

Charlie the Crazy Cavalier, 1985

This is a sketch I did of one of the family dogs, Charlie, a crazed Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Of course, he wasn’t crazy when I did this sketch.  He was just an excitable and adorable puppy who had fallen asleep.

Charlie was an attempt by Mother of Mine to recreate the memory of her childhood dog, Ricky – the same breed, but from what I’ve gleaned over the years, a million miles away from Charlie in his temperament.

Sadly Charlie’s days were ended prematurely when a visit to the vet deemed him to need the doggie equivalent of a mental ward.

I cried for days.

The other family dog was Dad’s – a giant, black, hairy, bouncy Briard who we named Harry.  I forget the detail of the story (I’m really bad at remembering family history), but the gist is that Dad knew the people who imported the first Briards into the country and fell in love with the breed then.

I don’t remember ever drawing Harry – I don’t think he stayed still for long enough – but you get the general impression from this photo of him taken in 1987.

Harry the Briard, 1987

Husband of Mine is not a fan of dogs, and was especially freaked out by Hairy Harry every time he came to pick me up for the evening.  On hearing the doorbell, Harry would charge to the front door to greet visitors by putting his paws on their shoulders and slobbering over them.