Category Archives: Photography

New Morning Walk

For what seems like the first time in ages I managed to get up and force myself out for a walk this morning.  It was a 5am start and a short walk of just 8.6 miles in just a little over 2 hours.

My calf muscle injuries of last year seem to have cleared up, I can still feel them being a little stiff, but the muscle tears that I had are no way near as painful as they were 18 months ago.  I wan’t as fast as I used to be, but it was worth it.

And although the sun rise was early this morning, I just managed to get to the lake as it came up.

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Hopefully this is the start of a regular routine, just like it used to be, not just another false start.  I feel I am going to ache in the morning, but hopefully I can get five miles in before work!!!

WALK by FOO FIGHTERS
A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days
We built these paper mountains
And sat and watched them burn?
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger?
Little conquerors

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind?
Set me free again
You keep alive a moment at a time
But still inside a whisper to a riot
To sacrifice but knowing to survive
The first decline another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees
I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whatever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whatever
Forever, whatever

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?

 

Three Years Of Blogging – Where Has The Time Gone?

It seems hard to believe that it’s three years to the days since I set up this blog and posted that first post, 9.19pm, 6th October 2012, where has that time gone?

It’s safe to say I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, what it would be that I would find from it or where it would take me.  I’m not a writer, I never have been, I hated it at school, in my English classes in High School, most of my course work went unfinished and if I did finish it, it was usually the least I could do to get away with completing it, I hated writing and don’t get me started on my views of poetry back then.

It’s funny how things change you, I never believed I had a talent for writing when I started this, not that I do now to be honest, but something in that challenge I was faced with made me look inside and find something I never knew was there.

I’m not an eloquent person, I struggle to express myself at times, I am naturally quite shy and introvert, my personal feelings are mine and they stay that way.  But over the few months before I started this I had began to face those natural tendencies to keep everything hidden inside.  When I came to God earlier that year I had a choice, keep hiding and keep suffering or be open, let it out and find my healing.  I began to tell my story to people and find a way to deal with the internal pain of the situation I had found myself in.  Then when I started journaling I found another way to express myself, although only I read back my journals, they are my personal feelings, I found it a great release and a great way to become accountable to someone and something, even if at that point it was only myself.

Then I felt that challenge, that challenge from God to begin this blog, to tell my story and express myself.  It became another way to find healing and another way to make myself accountable, not only now to myself, but also to the great people who have taken the time to read, like and even comment on my writings, from people who have shared similar journeys into depression or alcoholism or others just followers of Christ who support and encourage, it’s been a great experience and I hope it continues to be that way.

My current series of posting daily poems based upon bible verses is still set to run until the end of the year.  I set out to do this at the end of last year, I choose seven verses at random every Sunday evening and as the next week passes I write and post a poem based on one verse each day.  Some days I may write two, three or sometimes four and then schedule them over the coming days, other times I write them each evening, based on my feelings that day.  Some weeks I link all seven, telling a story or they form a conversation with God through poem as the week goes on, each one different and unique, each one mine.

I love the feedback I get when I see a comment that says “I needed to read this today”, as some days I am not sure who I am writing for, I just feel compelled to write, I look at the verse and just start writing, if I have to think about what to write it feels wrong, if I write and it just flows, then it’s what I am supposed to write, I may not know why or understand where it comes from, but I know if I write that way, it’s spirit led, to get positive feedback is the icing on the cake, I just wish sometimes I had more time to respond and comment back.

The long and the short of it is, I’ll continue to write, as long as someone continues to read it.  I was planning on just keeping this poetry series until the end of the year, but I now feel I may do it all again next year, just keep picking verses and writing a poem based on them, what do you all think?

On another note, I started walking again last week, well for two days I did anyway, the first day my new trainers took the skin off my heel and then on the second day they did it again, this time turning my trainer into a bloodbath, it was a bit of a mess and still hasn’t healed properly a week later, although I did get out at the weekend.  Hopefully I’ll get out again this week, I really enjoyed walking again, there’s nobody else about at that time in the morning, great time for thinking and talking with God, my headphones in and my praise music on, I sing along out loud, there’s no one around and nobody hears me or at least I hope not!

The weather hasn’t been that great, but I did catch a few good sun rises over the last few weeks, mainly on my way to work, below I share the best of them.

Band Of Gold

Band Of Gold

Breaking

Breaking

Between Morning Clouds

Between Morning Clouds

Beyond

Beyond

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflection

Across The Morning Sky

Across The Morning Sky

Morning Highlighted

Morning Highlighted

I have a few plans for more writing over the next few months, firstly I want to bring the “My Testimony” section up to date, I covered as far as New Year 2014, so I have the last couple of years to bring it up to now, I intend to finish that and then start on a new series which chronicles my whole karate career, starting from my first class in October 1980 (thirty five years ago this month) to coming out of retirement in this year’s National Championships. It’s not your usual story of a karate instructor or as dramatic as the Karate Kid, but it been such a big part of my life, 35 of my 41 years, that it has shaped parts of my life and who I am, I’m looking forward to writing that.

But for now, I just thank you all for reading my ramblings, thank you for following, for liking and your encouraging comments, believe me, I may not respond all the time, but I read and appreciate them all, so thank you all once again.

This is the song where it all started, this is the song I was listening to when I felt that pull from God to tell my story and start this blog, this song reduced me to tears on the morning of 6th October 2012, it started this journey into the unknown and I am so glad it did.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears roll down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece I build the cell i’m in
But I only stay here long
Enough to write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wisedh was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
‘Cause I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that made your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Walking Once Again

After a number of false starts over the last month or so, I managed to get out walking again, both yesterday morning and this morning.  I started yesterday with a brisk 8½ mile walk, after all I had to be at work at 8am.  This morning I pushed it a little bit and went for just over fourteen miles, I went on a little further than the bridge I found a few weeks ago and came across a new set of lakes.  The last time I walked that far, which was almost five years ago, these lakes were gravel pits which were still being worked, at some point they have obviously been turned into a set of small lakes, which sit in a really peaceful setting.  I would have liked to have stayed there longer than I did, but I had to get back to be at Church, with a seven mile walk home I was pushing it to get back, showered and back out, but I made it.

I’m hoping this isn’t just another false start and when I wake in the morning I give in to the excuses as to why I can’t spend the time walking with God as I used to.  When I get out I really enjoy it and I feel refreshed after a walk, yet when I wake I convince myself I’m too tired.  So here’s hoping it’s a new breakthrough and I can get back into the routine which was so good for me.

Morning Swim

Morning Swim

From Between

From Between

Reflections

Reflections

In Peace

In Peace

Breaking

Breaking

Light Beneath The Bridge

Light Beneath The Bridge

I found myself singing out load to this song on the way home, I found this live version, which is just as powerful as the studio version.

LOVE AMAZING by CIRCLESLIDE
Before the sun awakes the morning
Your face I see
Your gentle Eyes are full of mercy
And Love Amazing
And Love Amazing

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

Every day brings new redemption
For all my scars
I’m lavished with complete forgiveness
Reaching above the stars
Reaching over the stars

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

The sentence meant for me
You came and took my place
You turned death’s tragedy
Into a rescue by Your grace
And how it comforts me
To declare Your Love Amazing
Your Love’s Amazing

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

Finding The Green Fields Once Again

About a month ago I got off to a bit of a false start in terms of getting out each morning and walking as the sun rises.  At one time I was out every morning, regardless of the weather, the days when I walked seemed to have far more balance to them, then about two years ago it started to get a little sporadic, until eventually I stopped before slipping into a period of dark depression.

Over the last couple of years I’ve tried many a time to get out again.  Just like a month ago it starts out alright for a few days, but somehow I find an excuse to miss a day, then two, then three and so on and so on.  Last month it lasted just short of a week and then due to being busy with work, I decided I was too tired and caved in each morning.  But each night I would berate myself in my journal for not getting out, I would promise myself I would get out again the next morning, but it never happened and the cycle carried on.  This morning though, the alarm went of and there was no deliberation, within ten minutes I was out the house walking.

My plan was to walk the cycle track, which is about four miles long and then return, it a total walk of around eight and half miles, in around two hours, on the way I would just make it to the lake as the sun rises.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Hidden

Hidden

Beyond

Beyond

Over The Green Fields

Over The Green Fields

Before The Clouds

Before The Clouds

As I got to the end of the track, which up to the point where I turn around is tarmac, I noticed that the dirt path which continues for another few miles had been cut back, over recent years it has been overgrown, last time I attempted to walk it was almost three years ago, but it was so overgrown I couldn’t get through.  I walked it about five years ago and remember coming across a peaceful little spot where a small stream runs under a bridge, I’ve wanted to find it again so many times, but as I say the last time I tried it was impossible.

This morning for some reason, I just carried on, without even thinking I found myself walking the small path, until I found the bridge right at the end of the path, after the bridge it is still overgrown, but I wasn’t bothered about that, I had found what I wanted.

The Stream

The Stream

The Bridge

The Bridge

It’s Bank Holiday Monday tomorrow and I am not working this one, so all being well I intend to walk it again in the morning, although my aching hips may have something to say about that!!!

This morning I wrote “Green Fields”, I felt it was an answer to my prayers, to get up again and get out walking, I feel I have drifted a little for long enough, keeping some of the routines that help me along the way in this recovery, but abandoning others, like the daily walking.

There is a cheeky reference in there from a classic song, not sure whether anyone can spot it, there a clue included in the title too.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree

Walking Again

It’s seems like forever, but for the first time since last summer, I finally managed to get up with the alarm and get out at the house this morning for a walk before work.  I’ve been wanting to for so long, but just kept putting it off each morning, that “I’ll start tomorrow” kind of attitude.

So last night before bed, I actually put my walking stuff out ready, so I had no excuses, the alarm went off and the old reaction of just get up and get ready came back.  I loved the walk so much, it gave me chance to catch the sunrise by the lake and get in a good four mile walk too, a bit of time with God too, I had forgotten how much I loved my walks.

First Light

First Light

Breaking The Horizon

Breaking The Horizon

In The Trees

In The Trees

On The Horizon

On The Horizon

Across The Sky

Across The Sky

For the time being I have decided to take a break from writing “The Story So Far”, I’ve been writing it for almost two months and already clocked up almost 50,000 words, I will continue to write it and bring right up to this year, but it will be at a slower pace for now.

WHOM SHALL I FEAR (GOD OF ANGEL ARMIES) by CHRIS TOMLIN
You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

A Brighter End To The Week

It’s fair to say that this week has ended far better than it started.  Last weekend was a tough one in many ways and I thank everyone who left a message of support.  I very often find that when I share my struggle on this blog, it lifts the weight of it from my shoulders, it was certainly the case last Sunday, almost immediately after I had posted the gloom began to lift and I felt so much better.

As the weather has improved also as the week has gone on and I have managed to catch a few sunrises by the lake on the way to work, it seems like so long since I managed that, so as I always used to, I share the sunrises with you all.

Pastel Morning

Pastel Morning

Beyond The Blue

Beyond The Blue

Fire In The Blue

Fire In The Blue

Breaking The Dark

Breaking The Dark

In The Blue

In The Blue

Between

Between

Breaking

Breaking

Highlighting

Highlighting

Risen

Risen

Skies

Skies

THANK YOU by JAKE HAMILTON & KIM WALKER-SMITH
Thank you for the summer
And thank you for the rain
And thank you for the pleasure
Thank you for the pain

Thank you for the flowers
That bloom in early may
And thank you for the winter
That washes fall away

I want to say thank you
Thank you for it all

Thank you for the deserts
Thank you for the trees
Thank you for the failures
And for the victories

Thank you for the pruning
That gives me room to grow
Thank you for the seasons
Where I learn to reap and sow

So come, let us worship
Let us release a joyful sound
Let us enter his presence
Let us all bow down

A Frosty Sunrise

It’s been sometime since I posted any photo’s on here, mostly because of the timing of my walks and the sunrise haven’t quite come together or in typical English fashion, the weather has been pretty lousy!

Despite the this morning being the first frost since the end of last winter, the sunrise was worth catching and sharing.

Beyond The Blue

Beyond The Blue

Two In Flight

Two In Flight

Rising Morning

Rising Morning

First Signs

First Signs

From Beyond

From Beyond

Blue Fades To Orange

Blue Fades To Orange

Rising

Rising

Distant Sun

Distant Sun

DISTANT SUN by CROWDED HOUSE
Tell me all the things you would change
I don’t pretend to know what you want
When you come around and spin my top
Time and again, time and again

No fire where I lit my spark
I am not afraid of the dark
Where your words devour my heart
And put me to shame, put me to shame

When your seven worlds collide
Whenever I’m by your side
And dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

Still so young to travel so far
Old enough to know who you are
Wise enough to carry the scars
Without any blame, there’s no one to blame

It’s easy to forget what you learned
Waiting for the thrill to return
Feeling your desire burn
And drawn to the flame

When your seven worlds collide
Whenever I’m by your side
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

And I’m lying on the table
Washed out in a flood
Like a Christian feeling vengeance from above
I don’t pretend to know what you want
But I offer love

Seven worlds will collide
Whenever I’m by your side
Dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone

As time slips by

As time slips by