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.

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

Dear friends, how quickly time flies by. Another month has passed and we are already entering the third month of 2020. March is here and Spring is tapping loudly on the door.

March the first is St. David’s Day. St. David is Wales’ patron saint. The Welsh flag with its red dragon flies proudly across the land.

Wales possesses another two, contrasting, national emblems; the daffodil and the leek. Each is proudly worn on this very important day in the Welsh calendar.

On this memorable day 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 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.”

Happy St. David’s Day.

Have a great day.

A 2020 New Year Special Thanks – Open Letter by Goff James

© Goff James, Purple Orchids, 2020

Happy New Year Everyone. 2019 has come and gone. Welcome 2020.

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 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.”

Many of you will know that over the past year I have been attempting to to redesign the scheduling of posts. After much mind searching and tweaking; I now feel, that I have a fairly satisfactory format for my blog.

As 2020 begins I feel it is necessary to reassess, review and revise my daily posting schedule.

For the time being, at least, due to circumstances related to; the need to find more quality time for reading, my writing, painting, my photography and gardening; I have decided to cut down on the number of daily posts to three or four.

The same scheduling format will be followed. This I will review again around April 2020.

Revised Schedule 2020

Art, Photography and Poetry is an Award-Free Blog; and, is attempting to become an Emoji-Free blog. The latter goal, I confess, appears to be a losing cause. Emoji’s, nowadays, seem to have a growing acceptance as a means of general communication.

For me, the excessive use of emojis in the comments box, not only, deter the use of the written word; they considerably lower the ranking of posts and should be left to social media forums the genesis of their creation.

Have a wonderful and blessed day.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.