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August Break

August 11, 2015

August for many families in northern Europe means summer holidays. Buckets and spades on breezy English beaches; the Grand Départ from Paris to the coast; boat trips, festivals, lazy days and sunburn. Aah, bliss.

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First day at the seaside.

In Scotland, on the other hand, August signals the end of summer. We had our wonderful seaside holiday in July: back home, the beech trees are yellowing at the tips as the sap falls, the rowan berries are reddening and the state schools are going back a week today.

Yet our southern friends are in the middle of summer, so we have had a flurry of phone calls and emails from people who are going to be in Scotland in August as it happens, and might they come and stay for a few days…? Yes, is the answer if at all possible: August is thus a busy month for us. With my elder son is starting at his new senior school at the beginning of September, I also have forms to complete in the morning and nametapes to sew on in the evenings, trying to fit the necessary admin around guests and their needs.

For these reasons, I don’t imagine that I’ll have much time to blog this month. Author Susannah Conway has come up with an inspiring answer to this common summer difficulty. Taking part in her ‘August Break’ means following an informal list of prompts for posting daily photos with minimal commentary. There’s absolutely no chance I’ll manage to post on a daily basis! I’ve been joining in a little bit, however, in a haphazard way, so I thought it might be fun to share whatever I manage from now on here on Dancing Beastie. As I say, with house guests lining up for the rest of the month I will manage only the occasional post, but I think it will be fun even to manage something rather than nothing. If you would like to join in too, her list of prompts can be found on her blog here.

Yesterday’s prompt was ‘Talisman’. For me, it had to be deer. I took a photo of a cushion on a window seat, which caught the sun’s rays in an extraordinary way, lending the printed stag a slightly trippy, otherworldly look. Quite appropriate to the prompt, I thought.

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Picture source and maker of cushion unknown, but I’m happy to add acknowledgement if I find out.

Today’s prompt was ‘Edge’.This made me think of paper – edges of pages – and also tables…both from trees, which made me think…I guess this is cheating a bit as it’s an old photo, but a favourite: the edge of the wood, my favourite beech wood where my favourite dog is buried. The trees lean out into the pasture, and the sheep and cattle shelter under their branches.

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I hope I’ll have the chance to add a few more as the month goes on. Please do let me know if you are following the prompts yourself!

You might enjoy Late summer in the garden.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2015 5:03 pm

    July is always the month people are out of place here. Schools are starting now and the next week. (Besides it’s too hot to do anything outside here in August)
    Love your Edge

  2. hmunro permalink
    August 13, 2015 6:54 pm

    August and September sound very busy for you indeed, so I applaud (and am especially grateful for) any posts you do manage to put up! Even if it’s only a photo — or a few of your poetic and insightful words — it’s always a privilege to glimpse your world.

    And speaking of photos … thank you for sharing Susannah Conway’s prompts. They’re wonderful! I can’t promise to follow these daily, but I’ll try to post at least a few in solidarity with you, dear DB.

    • August 15, 2015 4:21 pm

      That would be great, Heather! I like the informality of Susannah Conway’s theme – there’s no pressure, but it’s good to have a prompt to go out and just look, sometimes.

  3. August 13, 2015 8:28 pm

    Beautiful photos, I hope you find time to enjoy your busy month!

    • August 15, 2015 4:22 pm

      Aw, thanks, Andrea. I’m sure we are all busy one way or the other at this time of year. Being busy with friends is a very nice version!

  4. August 15, 2015 5:05 pm

    I’m very familiar with this out-of-sync feeling, as friends in England only occasionally manage up this way at the start of their school holidays in the small gap before we start back. Here in Glasgow school went back on the 13th of August. Like you, I’ve been noticing some autumn colours and the rowan berries, and of course the drawing in of the light at night, which seems to leap in mid-August for some reason… Enjoy your guests!

    • August 15, 2015 8:11 pm

      Yes, I always notice the sudden drawing in of the evenings around now. Sun low in the sky at 8 and setting at nine-ish – there is definitely a feeling of the year turning, isn’t there.

  5. August 15, 2015 10:01 pm

    This post gave me the inspiration to begin blogging again, precisely through the August challenge, thank you. I am about to start writing my first post after a long break… I remember you once blogged about wondering who your readers are, I wonder the same, and wonder, too, at the practice of blogging, even why I miss it, but perhaps part of the fun is not knowing what it’s for all the time. Just thought I’d try to leave at least two cents in exchange for something gained through your August return!

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