Haibun: Cool Breeze

a black whippet playing with a ball on the beach

The crowds have left the beaches and a new calm returns. We are grateful the sand remains as pure and clean as we found it in our lockdown days. The rising sun takes the edge of the sharp wind that blows in from the North. As Eivor chases a yellow ball, we reflect how all that’s gone before has brought us to this moment.

new coolness
even in circles the path
remains a path

© Xenia Tran

close up of a black whippet with a yellow ball

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/320 s – ISO 100.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #156: New Coolness

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #114: Negative Space

Friday Favorite: Between Heather and Grass

Laurie Graves shares a beautiful review of Between Heather and Grass on her blog Notes from the Hinterland, alongside music by Jon Batiste! Thank you so much for sharing this Laurie, we’re so happy you enjoyed our second collection! xxx

Notes From the Hinterland

I decided to change the title for my Friday posts. Formerly, it was What’s Making Me Happy, but I had borrowed this from the excellent podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, and I thought maybe it would be best to have something different. There is a fine line between admiration and plagiarism, and I didn’t want to cross it.

So now the title will be Friday Favorites, but the content will be the same as I list things that made me happy or caught my attention during the week. Often I list three things, but today there will only be one as it needs to stand by itself.

Long overdue to be featured on this blog is the very beautiful book, Between Heather and Grass: Poems and Photographs Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets. It was published by my blogging friend Xenia Tran, who has the lovely blogs

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Haibun: A Star Follows

a black whippet walking through a tidal pool with a ball

The sea retreats as the sun rises, leaving ripples in sand and glittering water. It’s great to be back on the beach. Pearl runs after balls and catches them mid-air. Eivor walks more quietly and gazes past the headland. We both rest our eyes on the mountains and hear a gentle voice saying Stay, stay a little longer.

august moon
walking through tidal pools
a star follows

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet running through a tidal pool with a ball

The above haiku is an echo poem to the closing haiku in A Message from the Stars, a tribute to our nephew Jamie Baker (1977-1986) that features in Between Heather and Grass.

Below is a trailer video for the book which includes this haiku, as well as a clip of Eivor and Pearl on the beach you see in the photographs above.

A special post will follow later this month about the money we have raised so far with the sale of the book.

We wish you all a happy Thursday and a wonderful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #150: Sturgeon Moon

Sunday Stills: Beautiful Beaches

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #39

dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #271

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Stars

Haibun: Memories in Motion

a black whippet walking through the dunes below a pine forest

It’s our first journey to the bay since the hundred days of lockdown. In my mind’s eye we visited this pebbled shore a few times, walking through old photos and the memories collected. Now I can feel the wind buffet around us, see my grandmother’s face appear in the clouds once more.

learning to fly
the kindness of herring gulls
on bright water

© Xenia Tran

During lockdown I’ve been looking at new ways of merging poems and images and participated in a few collaborative projects with other poets, artists and photographers. The above video is the first I wove together and I look forward to learning and sharing more.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx.

Photographs and video by Xenia Tran.

dVerse Poets Poetics: 8th Year Anniversary

Twiglet #185: A Bookish Day

Word of the Day Challenge: Movable

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

Haibun: We Romantics

two whippets on the beach with dramatic clouds fanning through the blue sky

Today is the last day of our lockdown. More than a hundred days of staying at home. In many ways, it’s been a true blessing.

We enjoy the quiet beach, the clean air and water, the way we always do. More than anything, we enjoy the absence of litter. The romantic in me hopes it can stay this way, that tourists will be mindful when they return.

summer galaxy
in a woodland pond
irises bloom

© Xenia Tran

a gentle surf rolling towards the beach under a partly blue sky

Wishing you all a very happy Thursday and a wonderful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/1600 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 100.

Carpe Diem Exploring the Beauty of Haiku #1825: Apokoinou

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #145: Wild Iris

Twiglet #183: We Romantics

Word of the Day Challenge: Imagination

Haibun: Celtic Heartbeat

a black whippet running on the beach beside a turquoise sea

Echoes of drums and fiddles float through an open window, a virtual ceilidh in full swing. Dogs run big circles on the beach beside the turquoise water. My mind drifts and settles. Becoming sand, becoming sea.

new ways
to share our voice
spring sunshine

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet running on the beach with a ball

Wishing you all a very happy Tuesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

dVerse Poets Quadrille #106: Drum

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge #310: Share & Voice

Haibun: Final Journey

hazy morning on the Moray Firth, only the nearest mountains visible across the water

The mountains are almost as blue as sea and sky. A sun-lit cloud floats gently by before it slips away. The way some people do. Even when they touch the hearts of many.

final journey
the sound of clapping hands
trickles down the brae

© Xenia Tran

a white feather in the soil with some brown leaves and pine needles

This post is dedicated to Susan Hey (1979-2020) who lost her battle with cancer last week. She had devoted the last few years of her life to creating a lasting memorial and gift to our town, in memory of her son Hamish. Hamish died of cancer three years ago, at the age of eight.

Because of the covid-19 restrictions Susan’s funeral had to take place behind closed doors. Details of her final journey were released so that those of us who wanted to say goodbye were given the opportunity to do so whilst maintaining a safe social distance.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Wishing you all a blessed Tuesday and may you stay safe and well,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/5 – 1/640 s – ISO 100 and f/5.6 – 1/80 s – ISO 200.

dVerse Poets Quadrille #105: Slip

Word of the Day Challenge: Respect

Haibun: Never Forgotten

a black whippet in a black jacket leaping across the beach with a yellow ball

Restrictions begin to ease. We can go out twice a day for sport or exercise, provided we stay local. The gorse is in bloom, glittering in warm yellows. The water is clear, the air still free of pollution. It is quite something, to see anyone here.

distant mountains
running like the wind
he smells the snow

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a black jacket sprinting across the beach with a yellow ball

Wishing you all a peaceful Thursday and a wonderful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

Becca’s Nurturing Thursday

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smelling

Word of the Day Challenge: Forgotten

Haibun: Looking Back

a blue and white whippet running on tidal sands with a pink ball

Looking at the photographs from a beach walk in early March brings a smile to our faces. A young Labrador was photo-bombing along and deaf to his owner’s whistle.

Eivor and Pearl squeal with delight every time we pull into this car park . They teach us how exciting it is to see a familiar place with fresh eyes. Treasuring these moments, I often wish they last a little longer.

easter lilies
the white tail of a dog waving
at the flying sky

© Xenia Tran

head shot of a smiling blue and white whippet looking back and up

Whilst we’re in lockdown I’ll be posting a few images from walks taken earlier in the year whenever they fit in with a prompt or photo challenge.

The images above were taken on 1st March 2020. Little did we know then how much our lives would change.

We wish you all a very happy Monday and hope you stay safe and well.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/3.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/1600 s – ISO 100.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #92: Going Back

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #134: Easter Lily

Discover Prompt #13: Teach

Haibun: Strengthening Connections

two whippets in winter jackets on tidal sands beside a rock

A music of wind and waves we would never have known weaves her magic through delicate times. An invisible urge helps us connect at a deeper level, with ourselves, our fellow humans, all living creatures.

slowing down
the earth can breathe again
listen, listen

© Xenia Tran

two whippets in winter jackets sniffing a rock on the beach

Wishing you all a very happy Tuesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/800 s – ISO 200 and f/4 – 1/1600 s – ISO 200.

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Connect

dVerse Poets Quadrille #100: Abracadabra – Where’s My Magic Wand?

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Delicate