Sunday, March 14, 2021

All The Small Things

If you read my earlier post (Up Close and Personal with Nature), you will be aware of my latest photographic flirtation with macro images. 

This has inspired me to compile a list of 10 small things (literally or figuratively) discovered through the lens and in life  recently, that make or have made a big difference, whether to the environment we share or just to me.  

Fear not, I'm not striving to be an "influencer."   You won't see a succession of images of me in workout gear, pouting at the camera with a strategically placed micro salad in shot and a steaming cup of Barista coffee to show I'm human and have vices.  But aside from stumbling across heathland and roaming the countryside, I take an interest in personal grooming and style as much as the next woman.

So if you like nature, a beautifully cut jacket, bananas, or have troublesome hair, then read on.

  1. Lichen

This is common yellow lichen. It goes by many names. My personal favourite is "Maritime Sunburst."

Lichens are non parasitic.   Lichens in general serve as a food source for animals such as deer, birds and rodents.

They provide nesting material for birds and shelter for other organisms. 

Rock grown lichens release chemicals that contribute to the slow process of rock breakdown and soil formation. 

They can be good indicators of air quality, being sensitive to pollution.

Crusty ones are more tolerant of it, but if you find a delicate beardy one, chances are the air is clean.  Aren't they cool?

2.  Rosehips

We have an abundance in our garden.  They're rich in vitamin C and a purported remedy for all manner of ailments; headaches, dizziness, rheumatoid arthritis, helps with symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis, boosts the immune system, helps fight free radical damage, protects adrenal function...the list goes on. (Also nice in cocktails, so I'm told).

  1. Oak Marble Galls

Caused by a type of gall wasp (Andricus kollari) introduced from the Med in the 1800s because its galls have a high tannin content for use in tanning leather and dyeing cloth. Whilst not harmful to the tree, these dimpled, woody galls  protect the wasp larvae within from  bad weather. The insects themselves provide a source of food for birds.

  1. Lotte: the cat that doesn't belong to us. Lotte selected us as her slaves a few years ago.  Her owners live just down the road. (For the record, all parties concerned are content with this situation). She may be small, but she's big on "Tortitude." On Friday night, she also had a huge impact on my sleep, using the bedroom window as a cat flap and grooming herself literally every 10 minutes, making snorting and snaffling sounds to rival a truffle hog, whilst rooting out the furry dreadlocks that plague her.         


5.  Receiving a bouquet of flowers provides many photo opportunities.  Gypsophila (Baby's Breath) looks even more exquisite though a macro lens.

6. and 7. Winning the perfect fitted vintage 1970s suede jacket (immaculate) on Ebay and finally taming my frizz prone, rooty blonde hair (Pantene).

I've done all the myth busting research about Pantene. Yes it contains silicones. No, it's not damaging to hair as evidenced by numerous published studies. Straighteners and coconut oil historically played their part, but the results were always temporary. 

I now have sleeker, smoother, soft hair that moves like actual hair (even immediately after washing) and doesn't freak out and turn to spun sugar in the presence of drizzle. It's not perfect, but it'll do.  This is the one I use.

Frizzy Hair Shampoo | Defrizz & Illuminate Shampoo | Pantene UK

Oh and my roots have been eradicated with Color WOW Root Cover Up (basically eye shadow for hair that doesn't budge and looks natural).

Here they all are, on display; my 70s jacket, that fits like a dream and my greatly improved barnet.  Sadly the jacket hasn't transformed me into late '60s Marianne Faithfull, but you can't always get what you want! 

8. Surprise extras. Yesterday, I grabbed one of my favoured raisin and cinnamon bagels from the packet, only to discover a slightly misshapen, outsized bagel.   This extra mouthful made a big difference to my mood, accompanied by my morning coffee.

  1. Mother's Day                                                                                                                       
                                                                This requires little explanation, so here's a favourite distant shot of my son (left). It's fun, but I don't really need a day to remind me how lucky I am to have my Mom and to be one.                                                                                                           

  2. Finally, my new foodie discovery - Vegan Condensed Milk.   Until I watched Stand Up to Cancer's Celebrity Great British Bake Off, I had no idea that this product existed.   I have long suspected that I am intolerant to dairy products, so Banoffee Pie was relegated to the annals of history. Thanks to this little tin, today, I can once again savour this sweet delight for my Mother's Day treat.  Whatever you're doing today (mother or other) have a good one!                                                                                                         


  1. I think you look very Marianne Faithfull Claire! I too am a big lichen lover. Great pictures. I especially love the one of your lads and bail of hay. Did they get it rolling? Lulu xXx

  2. Ah, thank you Lulu. I think the jacket definitely helped! The boys tried their hardest, but no they didn't manage to budge it as I recall, but you can see I kept at a safe distance just in case. :-) x Claire


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