News – February 2021 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Welcome Dear Friends.

Here we are, February has arrived, the first day of the seconf month of a new year. As I write at my desk the snow is falling outside. BRRRRR!

2021 continues to be a challenging year for everyone at home and across the world in so many ways. Last week I had the first of my Covid-19 injections. Another booster one to follow in a few weeks time.

The new year continues to teach one to value life and nature. A new year that appears to provided the world with a flickering of hope for the future.

Here, the surge in deaths from the pandemic and its variants continues with more than 100,000 recorded. A total higher than the total civilian deaths recorded during World War 2. We continue to remain in total lockdown.

Hopefully the role out of the national inoculation programme will, with everyone adhering to the simple set of rules, be successful in curtailing the spread of the pandemic.

It is a tragedy that there still remain a minority that do not believe and cannot see for themselves the realty of the tsunami of suffering and deaths which is engulfing us.

At least there appears to be a way out of this darkness and a possible return to some sense of normality. However the impact may not be seen until late into the year.

The overcoming of the pandemic continues to bring individuals and communities; both, at local and national levels closer through meeting the various challenges that Covid has thrust upon us. Innovative ways continue to keep people in touch, entertain and boost morale.

I am in awe of; and, so grateful of the selfless sacrifices made by so many to keep all of us as safe as possible.

A very special huge thank you to all those, on the front line, who care for us and tend to our needs, for the heroism shown on their part, for their love, understanding, patience and support to keep each one of us safe.

Again how quickly, even with all its individual tragedies, trials and haunting difficulties, January has flown and here we are into the second month of 2021.

February the month when thoughts begin to turn away from Winter and look towards the beginning of Spring. Against all the odds that Winter’s weather throws at them buds are forming on the trees, snowdrops, primroses and daffodils begin to peep from below the chilled earth. My little garden begins to feel the warming touch of Spring.

Blessed be Thou for all the joy
My soul has felt today!
O let its memory stay with me
And never pass away!
I was alone, for those I loved
Were far away from me,
The sun shone on the withered grass,
The wind blew fresh and free.

Anne Brontë

February sees some Aquarians and some Pisceans celebrate their birthdays. February’s / March’s birthstones are amethyst and aquamarine.

Amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem.

Aquamarine is said to symbolise eternal life, as well as youth, hope and fidelity.

Happy Birthday Folks!

I would like to take this opportunity to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers I follow an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There continues in ever increasing numbers so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. I am finding, with my increased writing commitment it ever more difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand.

There will in time be a need for me to look again at ways of rescheduling the ever increasing writing workload by reducing the number of daily posts that at present that I am committed to. I will see how things go. Here’s to the future then.

Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – January 2021 – Happy New Year – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Welcome Dear Friends.

Here we are, January 2021 has arrived, the first day of the first month of a new year. The year 2020 will surely be a year that will be remembered for a very long time. 

2020 was an extraordinary roller coaster of a year. A year which challenged everyone at home and across the world in so many ways. A year in which we relearned to value life and nature. A year that provided us with time to reassess the purpose and impact that we humans have on our planet.

Here, with the surge in deaths and more people than in the first wave being overcome with Covid-19 and its mutant sibling, we have returned to total lockdown.

Hopefully the acceptance of the new vaccine and the role out of the national inoculation programme will provide an immunity against the virus. However the impact may not be seen until late into the Spring. At least there appears to be a way out of this darkness and a possible return to some sense of normality.

Now as one looks back to the beginning of 2020 one could have hardly imagined what lay ahead.

A year; that, realigned and impacted upon the way in which each of us lived and attempted to stay safe. A year of staying at home, shielding, wearing masks, sanitizing sprays and wipes. A year that held us captive in isolation away from family and friends.

A year that, in so many ways, brought back individuals and communities closer through overcoming the challenges faced. Innovative ways were found to keep in touch, entertain and boost morale.

It was a year of selfless sacrifice. A huge thank you to all those who cared for and are still caring for us in our hour of need; for the heroism shown on their part; for their love, understanding, patience and support to keep each one of us safe.

How unbelievably quickly, even with all its individual tragedies, trials and haunting difficulties, 2020 has flown.

January 2021; the month, at the gate of the year, when thoughts turn to new beginnings, hope rekindled and new dreams dreamt.

Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted and possible pain,
Take heart with the day, and begin again.

Susan Coolidge

January sees some Capricorns and some Aquarians celebrate their birthdays. January’’s birthstone is garnet, which symbolises love and friendship.

Happy Birthday Folks!

I would like to take this opportunity to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There continues in ever increasing numbers so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy New Year; andmany thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

In which ever way you celebrate the New Year, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021; and, may we all look forward to a better and safer year ahead.

Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

News – December 2020 – Festive Greetings – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Welcome Dear Friends.

Here we are, December has arrived, the twelfth month of the year. A year that everyone will surely remember for a very long time. 

Darkness, nowadays, creeps in around teatime each day and Winter has truly arrived with its biting chill, ice and snow. The 21st. of December marks the Winter Solstice and the Cold Moon on the 29th. – BRRRRRR!

How unbelievably quickly, even with all its trials and haunting difficulties, the year has flown.

December 2020, the month when thoughts turn to Christmas, its celebrations and traditions; and, what a very different Christmas it will be this year.

December sees Sagittarians and some Capricorns enjoy their birthdays. December’s birthstone is turquoise, which symbolizes luck. Happy Birthday Folks!

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimney blaze,
And cups overflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.

Thomas Campion (‘Now winter nights enlarge’)

Here we continue with the struggles in reducing the impact of Covid-19 upon our daily lives. The implementation of a series of strict firebreak restrictions have been introduced. The intention to secure some semblance of normality for the few days of the Christmas celebration itself. 

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There continues in ever increasing numbers so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced.

I continue to try to improve the experience of visiting my blog. This is an ongoing process and my regular blogging friends may have spotted the subtle changes that have taken place recently.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy December; andmany thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

In which ever way you celebrate Christmas, may I take this opportunity to wish you all sincere Festive Greetings; and, may we all look forward to a better and safer year ahead.

Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – November 2020 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Welcome Dear Friends.

Here we are, November is upon us, the eleventh month of a very different year. The clocks have gone back an hour and Winter has set foot on the doorstep.

November 2020, the month that celebrates the topaz and chrysanthemums; and, sees Scorpions and some Sagittarians enjoy their birthdays. Happy Birthday Folks!

Instead of looking back; eyes now ponder over what the Christmas festivities might be like this year. Certainly a very different one I guess.

Thus wears the month along, in checker’d moods,
Sunshine and shadows, tempests loud, and calms;
One hour dies silent o’er the sleepy woods,
The next wakes loud with unexpected storms;

John Clare (The Shepherd’s Calendar)

With the spike in Covid-19 infections and deaths; November has seen us, here, go back into a national lockdown again for two weeks; with similar restrictions predicted for the beginning of 2021. 

Fortunately we are able to continue to move within our own area; go shopping for essential goods only; collect medications; exercise outdoors; but, no one is able to cross in or out of district boundaries. The only exceptions being for going to work; making a compassionate visit to a loved one; to provide care or a valid “reasonable excuse”.

We can no longer meet with people from other households indoors. Extended households are allowed and overnight stays are banned too; and, we can only meet no more than five others outdoors. It has become mandatory to wear a face covering in shops; all public spaces and all public transport.

These are dangerous times for everyone; one persons cough could mean another persons serious illness or even death.

Thankfully I will be able to continue to venture forth, locally, bearing camera: sketch pad: sanitiser gel: mask: protective gloves and maintaining social distancing (2 metres). However the vagaries of our Winter weather put increased limitations upon these ventures into the outside world.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There are so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy November; and many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

During these difficult times; Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – October 2020 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Dear Friends, October is here!

October 2020, the month of two full moons; the Harvest Moon (Today); and the Hunter’s Moon (Halloween Full Moon and a Blue Moon. These are rare occurrences.)

It is so hard to believe that we have arrived at the tenth month of 2020; the gateway to Winter; BRRRRRR!. Time flies so quickly.

The monthly newsletters for July and August that I thought I had forgotten to write or mislaid; I discovered deposited in the uncategorised category of my blog; talk about being confused and getting older. Never mind;

October glows on every cheek,
October shines in every eye,
While up the hill and down the dale
Her crimson banners fly.


Elaine Goodale Eastman

The beginning of October has seen us, here, go back into strict lockdown mode again. I am just surprised that it had not happened earlier with so many appearing to flout and ignore restrictions.

The limited freedoms we enjoyed, have been removed due to certain individuals and groups not adhering to the rules. The infection rate; admissions into hospitals; and, the death rate have all started to spike again.

People speak of a second wave; but, my understanding is that the first wave never left.

There appears to be a continuing sense of complacency; a disregard; and, lack of understanding of the dangers that remain in situ regarding Covid-19. There is a need for all individuals to take on responsibility for their own actions.

Fortunately we are able to move within our own area; but, no one is able to cross in or out of district boundaries; the only exceptions being for going to work, making a compassionate visit to a loved one or to provide care or a valid “reasonable excuse”.

We can no longer meet with people from other households indoors; which I have not done since the beginning of the pandemic. Extended households will not be allowed and overnight stays will be banned; and, we can only meet others outdoors. It has become mandatory to wear a face covering in shops; all public spaces and all public transport.

These are dangerous times for everyone; one persons cough could mean another persons serious illness or even death.

Thankfully I will be able to continue to venture forth, locally, bearing camera: sketch pad: sanitiser gel: mask: protective gloves and maintaining social distancing (2 metres).

I find such opportunities really helpful in being able to stay sane and smiling; as do my efforts at gardening, painting, reading, writing and blogging.

Mornings and evenings are certainly getting much colder these days. My garden is certainly feeling the change in the season; most of the flowers are gone; apart, from a few stragglers clinging on in vain hope that Summer hasn’t really ended. Harvests are gathered in; and, daylight is definitely getting shorter with the dark nights starting much earlier.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There are so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy October; and many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

During these difficult times; Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – September 2020 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Dear Friends, September has arrived.

Here we are entering the ninth month of 2020; three quarters of the way through the year. Time flies so quickly. Somehow i missed writing my usual August letter; no excuses; but sincere apologies.

August saw me manage to make a visit to the coast and to the capital city. Lockdown restrictions continue. There is a greater freedom as long as one adheres to the set rules.

There appears to be a sense of complacency; a disregard; and, lack of understanding of the dangers that remain in situ regarding Covid-19; rules are flouted and ignored in too many instances in the streets, shops, restaurants and on public transport. Consequently there will be no more such visits, for a long while, to the capital and eating out.

However, I continue to venture forth, locally, bearing camera: sketch pad: sanitiser gel: mask: protective gloves and maintaining social distancing (2 metres). The country walks are both calming and restorative.

Fortunately, gardening, painting, reading, writing and blogging continue to keep me busy, smiling and sane.

Recently I have spent some more time trying to refine and improve my blog further. After a major restructuring earlier in the year; regular followers, will know that this process has been ongoing for a while; and, remains a priority for me. The most recent changes have again been subtle in design; scheduling and content.

Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.

William Wordsworth (September, 1819)

The weather is slowly cooling; mornings more misty, the days shorter; and the nights chillier. 

My little garden senses the changes and is slowly donning a sense of withering nakedness with colours fading, petals falling and plants starting the process of die back. Jobs in the garden are changing from dead heading the flowers to sweeping up the leaves.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers who I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There are so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers.

I wish that I could read every single one. However I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy September; and many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

During these difficult times; Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – August 2020 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Well, here we are once more, Dear Friends, August has arrived; and, we’re into the eighth month of 2020.

Lockdown restrictions continue; and after four months; one can now travel across the country; provided, that all the relevant rules and precautions are rigorously adhered to.

Nowadays, I continue to venture forth bearing sanitiser gel: wearing a mask: protective gloves: and, go for walks with my camera and sketch pad. Social distancing (2 metres) rules still in place. Fortunately, gardening, painting, reading, writing and blogging continue to keep me sane. 

OH voice of summer winds among the trees,

What soft news art thou bringing to us here?

Augusta Davies Webster

The poetry of earth is never dead:

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees…

John Keats

My little garden continues to thrive twixt the copious amounts of rain and limited sunshine of recent weeks. The roses are into their second flush of flowering.

The family of sparrows continue to multiply. Its a joy, each day, to watch them splashing in the birdbath. The blackbirds are still busy feeding their young; and singing in the garden at dawn, noon and dusk.

I’ve noticed, during the pandemic, all the birds have become much more confident in their visits; and, more tolerant of my presence in the garden.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

Again, to those many writers who I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. I wish that I could read every single one. However I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy August; and many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.

During these continuing difficult times: Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

News – July 2020 – A Special Thank You Letter from Goff James

Well, Dear Friends, July has arrived. Here we are entering the seventh month of 2020.

Lockdown restrictions continue. After three months; one can now leave the house; but, no travel permitted further than five miles from the doorstep. Consequently, I am now able to venture forth bearing sanitiser gel: wearing a mask: protective gloves: and, go for walks with my camera and sketch pad. Social distancing (2 metres) rules still in place. Fortunately, gardening, painting, reading, writing and blogging have kept me sane. And, now look;

Summer is here! Summer is here!

I love to rise in a summer morn

When the birds sing on every tree;

… …

And the sky-lark sings with me

O! what sweet company

William Blake

The weather over the last few weeks has continued to be glorious; apart from from some heavy stormy rain filled days. The garden continues to be festooned with roses. Their colours and fragrance a joy; and, so uplifting during these difficult times. I have been busy dead heading to ensure a second flush.

The daises have emerged. There’s a glut of wild strawberries. The bees, birds and butterflies are enjoying themselves.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers who I follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. There are so many artists, photographers, poets and writers with such beautiful and interesting blogs; and, so many new exciting emerging bloggers. I wish that I could read every single one. However I am finding it ever increasingly difficult to pay each of you regular visits; this is something that continues to bother me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Happy July; and many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits: the follows: the reads: and, all your positive comments. I am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support; thank you everyone.”

During these difficult times: Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

June 2020 – A Note of Special Thanks – Open Letter by Goff James

Dear Friends, June is here. Two month have passed by since my last letter. Somehow I missed writing a May letter; why and how I cannot recall. Here we are entering the sixth month and halfway through 2020.

Summer is coming, summer is coming.

I know it, I know it, I know it.

Light again, leaf again, love again.

Alfred , Lord Tennyson

The weather over the last few weeks has been glorious; officially the driest and hottest May on record. The garden is festooned with roses. Their colours and fragrance a joy; and, so uplifting during these difficult times.

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. The opening flowers; the birds busy feeding their young; the dawn and dusk chorus; each little joy a blessing to hear and behold.

To all those people at the frontline who, on our behalf, are acting so courageously fighting and dealing with Covid-19; I would like to express, yet again, my thanks to you all for; the selfless work that you are doing; the risks that you are taking; the sacrifices you are making; the compassion that you are showing caring for the sick and dying: in homes: local communities: villages: towns: cities and nations around the world. You are all heroes.

I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

To those many writers who i follow; an apology for not spending more time visiting and reading your valued blogs. I am finding it increasingly difficult to pay you regular visits; this is something that constantly bothers me. I trust you all understand the dilemma faced by bloggers.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits, the follows, the reads, all your positive comments and am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support. Thank you.”

During these difficult days: Stay Well: Stay Safe: Stay Smiling.

April 2020 – A Note of Special Thanks – Open Letter by Goff James

Image Attribution © Goff James, Ribes 1, 2020

Dear Friends, April is here. Another month has passed and we are already entering the fourth month of 2020.

In the garden the daffofils, primroses and snowdrops are in full bloom. The ornamental ribes and forsythias are painted in hues of pink and yellow.

It is a time that that no one at the onset of the year could have anticipated or imagined. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything.

To all those people at the frontline who, on our behalf, are acting so courageously fighting and dealing with Covid-19; I would like to express my thanks to you all for; the selfless work that you are doing; the risks that you are taking; the sacrifices you are making; the compassion that you are showing caring for the sick and dying. You are all heroes.

I have been, over the past months, redesigning my blog. At the beginning of 2020 I stated that come April I would review the process.

I have made several adjustments, in an attempt, to improve the experience of anyone visiting Art, Photography, Poetry. I am now much happier with the site.

All this now appears to be so unimportant in the light of the catastrophe that is unfolding in homes: local communities: villages: towns: cities and nations around the world.

However I would like to express a special note of appreciation to all of you who visit, follow and read my blog.

I also extend a very warm welcome to all new visitors, readers and followers.

I take this opportunity to say to you all;

“Many thanks for following Art, Photography, Poetry. I truly appreciate the visits, the follows, the reads, all your positive comments and am extremely grateful for your valued and continued generous support. Thank you.”

In these trying times keep yourselves safe.