Haiku: Mountain Hare

mountain hare
behind the stones
his own dusk

© Xenia Tran

Honorable Mention in the 24th HIA Haiku Contest (2022). A warm-hearted thank you to Toshio Kimura for selecting my poem and many congratulations to all the other winners.

a calm, retreating sea under a pastel blue sky with lilac strings of cloud

On New Year’s Eve we received a lovely surprise:

I am deeply honoured and delighted to be included in the European Top 100 Most Creative Haiku Authors in 2022. A warm-hearted thank you to Krzysztof Kokot for selecting me and many congratulations to all my fellow European poets.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and blessed 2023,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CFFC: Eyes

CMMC: January Close-up or Macro

Tanka: Warm Path Through Winter


a warm path
weaves her way through winter
from eye to heart
soft glow of the low sun
blows a silent kiss

© Xenia Tran


With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Outdoor Action and Landscape.

We are deeply humbled and honoured that this tanka was voted the winning tanka in Carpe Diem’s Tanka Kukai One ‘Winter Love’ in December 2016. A very big thank you to Kristjaan for hosting the Kukai and to all participating poets for their support.

Carpe Diem First Winter Retreat 2016 – Find the Silence

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: New Horizon

dVerse Poets Open Link Night #187

Real Neat Blog Award


A very big thank you to Alex from Brian and Lily for nominating us for the Real Neat Blog Award. Her blog is about her passion for helping dogs lead better lives through education and dedication. She chronicles life with her rescue dogs Brian and Lily with lovely photographs and informative stories.

Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

Alex had been nominated by Dolly from Koolkosherkitchen and could not find the original questions. When I visited Dolly’s blog I could see them all there.

Because this is the last award we are going to accept before going ‘Award Free’ I am answering the questions that were originally intended to go with this award when Dolly nominated Alex:

  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?
    The top ten countries of origin for our visitors are US, UK, India, Canada, Australia, Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Norway and Denmark.
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?
    Hiking, pilates and Qi Gong.
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?
    Our silver wedding anniversary which we combined with our first holiday with Eivor and Pearl earlier this year.
  4. What is your favourite quote?
    When the worlds you create in your mind connect with your heart you create what you love (Marc Allen)
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?
    French. I loved the language, the culture and the teachers were such fun and so warm-hearted. At secondary school they organised ‘French evenings’ complete with music, wine, baguettes and french cheeses. The passion they instilled in me for all things French stayed with me. I later took a degree in French Studies and we have visited France many times before we started adopting dogs.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
    Horse riding. I have always loved horses and after exploring remote villages in Mexico on horseback I thought it would be so wonderful to ride back home. We were in our thirties then and both my husband and I took riding lessons and rode for many years. I had to give it up after a bad riding accident and then got involved with volunteering for Riding For The Disabled. Horses will always have a special place in my heart.
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?
    I am teaching myself to play the mandolin. When I used to write much longer poems it helped me create rhythm in the poetry.

My nominees for the award are:

Maisie the Newfie and Company, a lovely blog with beautiful photographs and stories about rescue dogs Maisie and Annie.

Ramblings of a Writer, a lovely blog by Elsie Hagley where she writes tanka and hosts a weekly tanka challenge.

The World is a Book, a beautiful photography blog by the very talented Amy.

The One Year Photo Project, a lovely photography blog by Molli Lowry.

My First 10,000 Photos, another wonderful photography blog by Candice-Marie.

It will be lovely if you accept the award and if you prefer not to I can totally understand. Please know that your blogs are appreciated.

My other intended nominee, Sascha Darlington, has just announced that she is going award-free. She is a very talented fiction writer and you may want to check out her blog as well.


We are very grateful for all the awards we have received for this blog so far. This is award number seven and the blog has only been going for seven months.

After a long discussion with Eivor and Pearl we have decided that all your visits, likes and comments are more than award enough and that from now on this is going to be an Award-Free blog.

Thank you again to all our readers and much love to you all,

Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photograph by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Prompt: Millions

Versatile Blogger Award


I want to say a very big thank you to Sascha Darlington from Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored for nominating us for this award. Please go and visit her blog to check out her creative and versatile talents and her other nominees!

The Rules For This Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share the Award on your blog.
  3. Share seven random facts about yourself.
  4. Tag up to ten bloggers with less than 1000 followers and let them know they have been nominated.

Seven Random Things About Me:

  1. My haiku ‘A New Leaf’ which originally featured at the beginning of my post A New Leaf has been published on Pure Haiku today.
  2. I love the smell of open fires and wood burning stoves.
  3. When we lived in London I often bought freshly roasted chestnuts on the street as a treat in Winter.
  4. I love the blessings of each and every Season and Autumn is my favourite with the smells in the forests, the changing colours and the warm glow of the sun.
  5. From all the voluntary work I have done over the years I loved working with Riding For The Disabled the most. I began volunteering with them after getting injured in a riding accident and the way the horses behaved, especially around disabled children, was absolutely heart-warming.
  6. For several years I helped people who had been affected by crime to find their voice again through a programme called ‘Holistic Linguistics’.
  7. Eivor loves to help me with my blogging and always sits or lies close by.

Blogs I Nominate:

  1. Snigdha’s lovely blog One Happy Earthling. Please check out her blog and her post about celebrating the first anniversary of her Stem Cell transplant.
  2. Isaacs Gathings, a gifted poet and writer, and his blog Isaac Gathings Unleashed. He wants to help people who deal with alcoholism and depression.
  3. Samantha Murdoch and her lovely blog Samanthamurdochblog where she writes beautifully about her cats, crystals and life in general.
  4. Nia and her lovely blog Photographyofnia where she shares photographs of Turkey’s landscape, flora and cats and writes about the challenges of her native country at this time.
  5. Liesbet and her blog Roaming About where she shares photographs and stories of her travels, house sitting and the challenges of writing.
  6. Annette and her wonderful blog Beauty Along The Road which is dedicated to discovering the beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary.
  7. Eli Woodbine, an author, musician, artist and marketer and his highly versatile blog Eliwoodbine.

This is my way of saying thank you for connecting and sharing your stories and you are under no obligation to accept the nomination.

I also want to say a very big thank you to all our followers and fellow bloggers out there. Your stories, support, love and comments are appreciated and treasured and inspire me to write more.


This blog would not exist without Eivor and Pearl and we are grateful for sharing this journey with them and all the wonderful places they bring us to on our walks.

Thank you again for all the love and we send much love to all of you.

Eivor, Pearl & Xenia xxx

Photograph by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award

makeitultra award

A very big thank you to Samantha for nominating us for this award. Samantha is a dear friend and gifted writer whose gem of a blog samanthamurdochblog we can highly recommend for stories about cats, dogs, crystals and life in general.

About the Award

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

The Rules

If you have been nominated for the  MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog and take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.
  2. Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget (save the image on your computer and upload it to your blog post).
  3. Use the tag #MyUltraAward when you create your post.
  4. Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions.

What is your name?


Where are you from?

I live in Scotland and I was born in The Netherlands.

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

I have been blogging since March 2016.  I started the blog to show how much fun rescue dogs can be and how rewarding it is to adopt from a shelter. I wanted to show this through stories, photographs and poetry and focus more on the relationships between the dogs and how they connect with the people we meet on our walks. The blog is evolving as we go along and so far I am enjoying the journey.

What are you most proud of?

Moving to London with a suitcase and a head full of dreams at the age of eighteen. It changed my life forever.

What are your blogging goals?

Whippets live in the moment and love running free. To stay true to the spirit of the whippets this blog is free of goals.

How do you spend your free time?

Hiking, walking, writing and painting in the warmer months. Walking, reading, writing and catching up with friends once the snow arrives.

5. Nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links:

Reymon de Real Photography, a beautiful photography blog.

The Snow Melts Somewhere, a wonderful travel and photography blog.

A Lil Bit Of Everything, a great blog showing art, poetry, photography and much more.

My Choice 360, a beautiful poetry blog by the lovely Ismath.

Haiku Out Of Africa, beautiful haiku by Lize Bard.

Please know that you are under no obligation to accept the award, just know that your blogs are loved and appreciated!

6.  Provide five random facts about yourself (optional).

I have already provided 29 random facts about myself in previous Award posts so for this exercise I am going to select five random books from our shelves, open them at a random page and see what happens.

The first book is ‘Dewdrops On A Lotus Leaf’, Zen poems of Ryokan translated by John Stevens. The book fell open on page 78 and the following catches my eye: ‘A perfect blend of wisdom and foolishness is the key to happiness’.  This sums me up quite well!

The next book is ‘The Magical Path’ by Marc Allen and it fell open on page 195. In the middle of the page it says, in bold letters: ‘If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.’ I have heard the same message in so many different ways and I am a great believer in thoughts creating our reality.

Next is ‘The Essential Rumi’, translated by Coleman Barks. The book fell open on page 109, with the poem ‘The Guest House’. This made me smile because one of the meanings of my name is ‘hospitality’. The first line catches my eye: ‘This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival.’ I love this idea and I can imagine that the whippets welcome a new arrival of experiences every morning as well. Very apt for us and for our blog!

The next random book I selected is ‘Every War Has Two Losers’ by William Stafford and it fell open on page 89. The first lines that catch my eye are these: ‘If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.’ I bought this book in 1993 and his words ring as true to me today as they did when I first read them.

The final book I randomly selected is ‘Between Here And There’ by Sinead Morrissey and it fell open on page 45, showing the poem ‘Night Drive In Four Metaphors’. The line that catches my eye, reads: ‘Two worlds split open to each other, stars spilling from each.’ That is a beautiful image to end on, as I continue to live in hope that peace will prevail.

Selecting lines from books that have influenced me in some way feels very profound and I hope you enjoyed my random selections.

7. List these rules in your post.

8. Inform the people/blogs you have nominated and provide a link for them to your post.

P1070628 ww

A very big thank you again to Samantha and lots of love to all you wonderful bloggers.

Xenia xxx

Photograph taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Prompt: Profound

Opening The Closet: Liebster Award


Whippet Wisdom has been nominated for a Liebster Award by Violet Parsons at Crazy Cat Mama. We only started blogging four weeks ago and this nomination came totally out of the blue. We are delighted to accept this award with gratitude and love for Violet and her felines.

Violet lives in Northumberland, England, and is taking a course in animal care and welfare management. Her dream job is to become a cat behaviourist. If you want to check out Violet’s blog and follow her adventures with her beautiful cats Dee, Neo and Lemmy please click the link above.

Liebster Award Rules

Below are the ten questions that Violet asked me:

  1. What are you passionate about?
    I am passionate about life, love, nature, dogs and animal welfare.
  2. What is your favourite animal (wild or domesticated)?
    My favourites are both dogs and wild horses.
  3. What is your favourite food/meal?
    Grilled salmon with peppers, courgettes and wild rice.
  4. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
    Through our involvement with several rehoming charities and shelters and our many adoptions of rescue animals over the years it feels as if we are all working very hard to heal the symptoms without addressing the cause. If there was a way of bringing together a group of experts from different parts of the world who could come up with a peaceful solution that would end all animal suffering, I would happily give it all to that.
  5. What is your favourite pastime?
    Walking in nature with my husband and our dogs.
  6. What is your favourite genre of books?
    I have two favourites: non-fiction and poetry.
  7. If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
    To a dog-friendly cottage in Assynt, Western Highlands.
  8. What is your happiest memory?
    Meeting my husband.
  9. What is your religion/belief system?
    I believe in God. He has guided me throughout my life and his light and love have helped others through my work and my art.
  10. What does love mean to you?
    Love to me is the breath of life.

For the next part I have been asked to open the closet and reveal eleven random facts about myself:

  1. English is my second language.
  2. I am a newbie to blogging and social media.
  3. Puerto Vallarta in Mexico is one of the favourite places I visited in my younger days.
  4. I am no longer as fast as our whippets.
  5. I went to see The Clash six nights in a row at the Lyceum in London (early 1980’s).
  6. Pilates, yogalates and yoga keep me bendy.
  7. My paintings have hung on hospital walls during Art Well exhibitions.
  8. I ran a mini-series of voluntary workshops on colour healing at a women’s prison.
  9. In 1987 I spent three months hitch-hiking through the Middle East and sleeping under the stars.
  10. I stopped drinking coffee six months ago and feel so much more awake.
  11. I love growing our own fruit and vegetables in a doggie-proof part of our garden.

Having consulted with our lurcher and two whippets, these are the blogs we nominate with love for the Liebster award:

Bedlam & Daisies
Lily and Ardbeg
On Pets and Prisoners
Chosen Perspectives
Seven Cats and Counting
Colder by the Lake
Rachel Mankowitz

I appreciate and am grateful for the creativity and the sharing of these bloggers’ thoughts which are so inspirational to others.

Accepting a nomination can be a bit time-consuming and if you do not fancy doing the award I can totally understand.

If you choose to accept, here are your questions put together by our canine-human blogging team:

  1. Do you believe in miracles?
  2. Is there someone you would like to thank who said the right words to you at the right time?
  3. What is your favourite walk?
  4. What are your favourite creations in nature?
  5. If you could be an animal for a day, what would you like to be?
  6. What makes you happy?
  7. What do you treasure most in your relationship with your pet(s)/best friend?
  8. What inspires you?
  9. What makes you laugh?
  10. Do you have any advice for newbie bloggers?
  11. What question would you love to answer, that we did not ask?

If you decide to do this, it is easier to save the award picture and rules as a photo and upload it yourself.

Have fun!

We send you all so much love,

Seamus, Eivor, Pearl and Xenia