Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Thrill is Gone

A few days ago, a blues legend died. He was 89. He was BB King.

The heading is the title of one of his many, many great songs; and neatly sums up how I've felt about blogging for some time.
It had seemed to become like a merry go round of mutual gratification at times; or at least that's how I was beginning to see it.

Plus, as I get older, I get lazier.
I get a lot of, 'I can't be arsed' moments.

I like to go out, I like to take pictures, I like to watch the birds and nature around me.
Some days I can't be arsed to go out. I'll take the pictures, but many just sit on the computer, because I can't be arsed to do something with them.
And the birds and nature are still enjoyable, (when I have made the effort to go out), but the rush to add another bird to the 'tick' list, has gone. Even when it's not far from here, I can't be arsed.

It's probably not all the fault of blogging. Events in my life at the moment are taking over.

My mum has been getting rather frail as she gets older, (getting old is cruel and rotten).
And she's been getting forgetful for some time. She has always been a worrier, but the past few months it's been hard seeing her slowly deteriorate, and then more speedily get worse. The simplest of tasks would need a Herculean effort on her part.
She was scared she was losing her mind, and she would finish up in a home.
The most scary, was she would see people she knew, indoors, but they were not there.
To her, they were real, and even though they didn't respond when she spoke to them, in her mind, they were real.
I was there a couple of times, after I had visited her and left to go home, I was still there, in a chair, a couple of hours later. So real, that she cooked me something to eat, even though I had taken her out for a dinner earlier, when I was there.
Finally, a diagnosis has been made, and some medication seems to be making a big difference. She has been diagnosed with 'Lewy bodies Dementia'.
No cure though, just another cruel part of the ageing process.

Recently, after I got back from Wales, one of the hard drives in the computer died. The one with my pictures on. I'd backed everything up during March, and I was about to back up again, when disaster struck.
A lot of time, work and stress later, I managed to get things sorted. New drive, pictures added, and more importantly for me, the 'lost' pictures restored, thanks to some excellent software called '7 Data Photo Recovery'. Worth looking at for those disaster moments.

And a new addition to my life soon in the shape of a new puppy.
He was going to finish up in a dogs home, because he was unwanted. My soft side took over, and I stepped in.
He is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Border Collie. Black and white; but he has no name yet.
Maybe Whisky?
Maybe he is what's needed to kick my arse back into gear.

So, enough of my misery.

These are from a day I could be arsed to go out. I didn't take many pictures, but as I was making my way back to the car, I spotted half a dozen birders staring intently at some reeds just to the side of a footpath. As I got closer, I asked, 'What we all looking at?'

A Bluethroat.

Now that's a bit rare here.

See ya.


  1. Really sorry to read about your difficult times Keith - but delighted that you are still posting stunning pictures like this. seeing a bluethroat is one of my unfulfilled ambitions!

    Sad to see the passing of BB King - this is one of my all-time favourite performances, with Gary Moore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUaevnP1LLg

  2. I wish your mum all the luck in the world. It's a frightening condition.
    Great to have a new dog to accompany you.
    Needless to say I haven't seen a Bluethroat..........To be honest I thought you'd given it a dab of paint.

  3. Sorry to hear about your mother's problems Keith. Hope the medication continues to help.
    In my part of the village I seem surrounded by wrinklies who I have watched deteriorating over the past few years.. Makes me wonder, and worry, how long before I join them.
    I know just what you mean about not being arsed. I get more and more like that. Goes with the territory I think.
    Lovely shots of the rare visitor.

  4. Keith, I'm genuinely in tears reading about your mum. Dementia in all it's forms is the cruellest of illness not only someone can develop but equally on loved ones looking after them. Please and I'm certain I don't have to tell you this, but please don't try and cope on your own it's impossible. I've got a large family group who looked after my nan and we almost fell apart, if it wasn't for the local Dementia society and it's staff we'd never have coped. From helping with care, knowledge and years of experience in dealing with this disease, advice and just moral support they were invaluable. When my nan eventually passed away all 40 staff turned up for her funeral, that's how much they cared. I know I often make crap jokes in comments etc but I really can't stress enough about seeking help, it destroyed me inside watching my tough nan go through this and a often overlooked work the dementia group did was to offer us help not only mentally but physically too. Sorry for going on about it and I apologise as you've probably already contacted the relevant people for help, my thoughts go out to you and your mum Keith.

  5. HI Keith I am so sorry you are feeling very down and also to hear about your Mum's deterioration. It is so sad to watch one's loved one in that state. that was an awlful thing to happen to yur computer but I am glad youmanaged to retrieve your photos. Why don't you meeet up with Trevor and do a bit of birding wiht him, I am sure he would cheer you up. Anyway, I am glad you did go out and what a wonderful find and great shots of the Bluethroat. Now that should encouragge you. I am looking forward to see your new pup. I was just thinking about the name Whisky that you may call the pup and it made me laugh at the! thought of you calling him! People might thnk you are drunk and want another drop of the hard stuff. Ah well that is my sense of humour! I hope you have a better week ahead.

  6. Keith many of the things you mentioned are in my life as well...my Mom who lives with me, is slowly coming apart bit by bit she will be 91, and she has a different ache pain or problem daily...I cope better some days than most any more. Her stubbornness is just enough to cause problems as she continues to do things she really should not like watering the plants outside she uses a walker yet she thinks she can drag around a water hose...she hurt hand yanking on it...*sigh* and I had already watered those plants she said she forgot....
    I have not hiked to one waterfall this year as Im so tied down I fell overwhelmed but keep moving forward doing what I can still trying to fix up the old house its next door so it gives me some time to be alone and yet right there close to keep watch on her. I wold say don't worry about the blogging, and take photos when you want to! My camera sits in my room most days....the blue throat is a keeper for sure!! AND that puppy will be getting you out there for walks...I feel your time will soon be filled up with the Joy he will bring! Thank you for saving him!

  7. a truly gorgeous bird!! i am sorry about your mother. i know how difficult it is to see her change. i lost my mother to alzheimers in a traumatic way. i am SO glad to hear you're getting a new pup! i have been hoping for that for you for a long time. it makes each day mean so much more to have a canine companion (or 4 in my case). truly gives me something to get up and get going for. :)

  8. Not so good news about your mum Keith...it's a bugger getting old! Hopefully, when they get the right medication sorted it should help to make her days more settled?

    A new puppy eh?...that should get your arse into gear, there'll be no excuses now...it'll want to take you for a walk at least twice a day!

    Now com'on, you must have felt just a little thrill when you saw that Bluethroat?...it's a cracking little bird, and a good 'tick' to have too.

    Is the computer sorted and all up and running again now?...[;o)

  9. Well I for one would be sad to not visit your blog but I would fully understand if you knocked it on the head. Sorry to hear about your mum life is very cruel. My dad Jack recently died April 18th this year and suffered from dementia too he was in a care home with one to one care. A truely horrible illness indeed.
    Will look forward to seeing your new pup Keith if you still blogging, take care xxx

  10. Hi Keith, I can imagine how distressing it is to see your mother deteriorating, especially her mind. I do think dementia and alzheimers is the most cruelest of diseases in old age, more cruel than cancer. I have worked now as a Health Care Assistant at Poole Hospital for nineteen years and have cared for many elderly with dementia and I often wish there was a cure for them. Before I worked at the hospital, I did a few months in a nursing home, and one afternoon in the lounge where the elderly were sitting around just staring into space, doing and saying nothing, a cat came through the window that was open, it was incredible, all the ladies (most of the residence were women) all came alive, they all wanted to stroke the cat, such a difference. I do think there are times when people, including children, find it easier to relate to animals than to people, even to people they know. I am glad you have got your new puppy, Whiskey sounds like a good name for him. I am sure your puppy will be a great comfort to you. Dogs are great company and great for relieving stress and depression. My mother has a Jack Russell, her name is 'Jilly' and she has so much energy, my mother has to take her for walks everyday which means not only the dog is getting excercised but my mother also. They are good for each other. I think we all go through the 'I can't be bothered' phase with the internet, blogging etc, but it is a tool which puts you in contact with people with similiar interests to you, it does help to make you look outside yourself, which is important during times when you are feeling very low. So, don't give up on your blog, keep posting your pictures, keep the people (your blog and twitter friends) who you are in contact with :-)

  11. I can sympathize, Keith. So sorry to hear of your Mother's decline. It is hard to watch the health of someone you love deteriorate when you can do nothing to slow or stop it. My heart is with you. But the bluethroat is a beauty and thank you for showing it to us. And I am sure your new puppy thanks you for the rescue. Whisky is a good name - but do think of how you will sound when you call for him! ;-) Maybe that is the plan ...

    Take care and try not to disappear; I would miss you.

  12. The thrill is indeed gone. So sad to hear about B.B. King's passing even though he was getting up there in years. I understand what you are going through with your mother as it is the same here on this side of the pond with me and my family. Getting old is cruel and rotten. But enough of my grousing. Those bird pics are wonderful. Thanks for posting!

  13. Very sorry to hear about your Mum Keith. Its a great shame that people have to suffer like this as they get older.
    As you say, all part of getting older and it can effect anyone of us. Know what you mean about being arsed to get out there sometimes.
    I try and vary what I do and where I go and not shoot all the same stuff all the time. I'm beginning to think that its not so important that you have to shoot birds all the time and there are plenty of other things in nature to shoot as well. I occasionally just go out with a pair of bins and no camera. Thats different, but its hard to do as you think you are going to miss something. Spacing out the blog posts isn't easy at this time of year as there is more to shoot and of interest to post, but I try and do that. Regarding photos, I keep moving the ones I want to keep to a separate standalone Hard drive as I have lost some irreplaceable images years ago when a Windows PC I had took a serious turn for the worse.
    Your trips to Wales must be a 'Godsend'. Anyway keep taking the pills Keith and take a step back occasionally.

  14. Oh how I can relate to this post. Thankfully for me, my mother is long gone so my worries about her dementia are over. Today is the best day of the year here in Alaska, yet I cannot be bothered to go outside to enjoy it. Getting older sucks. I hope your puppy gets you out and about more. I certainly appreciate seeing your photos.

  15. Hi Keith...I am sorry to hear of the things that are bringing you down, life can be a bitch!! I think about things like what your Mum is going through,and the what if it happened to me. The thought that my daughters would have to deal with something like that...this getting old stuff isn't what it is cut out to be .

    I would hope that beauty of a Bluethroat surely got your heart racing ;}

    Well your not alone, I need a good swift kick myself.

    Take care of yourself
    Big Hugs


  16. Keith forgot to say, glad that your going to have a new buddy. "Whisky"...that's good name ;)


  17. Wow, first, thank you everyone for all the good wishes for my mum.

    Phil, thanks. The Bluethroat was a real surprise, and a beautiful bird to see.
    It seems all my 'heroes' are slowly dying, one by one.
    A great link to a great performance.

    Cheers Adrian. Certainly looks like the bird has been at the paint palette.
    I think it will be good to have a bit of canine company again.

    John, thanks. Yea, the ageing process is a cruel reality of life. I too wonder how I'll get on later, being very much a lone person. I have a step brother and step sister, but don't see them that often.

    Douglas, thanks for your words and advice.
    At the moment my mum is living in one of those old people housing complexes; (she moved in a few years ago, when my step dad was still alive, but he died about a year after they got the place), she don't like it much, but at least she has 'people' close by.
    I visited her a couple of days ago, and as we walked back to her place, she tripped up the kerb, cutting her arm. (Nothing broken thankfully.) As I picked her up, I realised just how frail she is. Frightening.

    Thanks Margaret. Yea, standing in the street yelling 'whisky!' will certainly get the neighbours talking ...... again.
    Myself and Trevor do go out together, quite often, when I can make the effort, and we always have a great time. He's been away on his holiday recently though, and I'm soon back off to Wales, so 'singles' again for a while.

    Sondra, thanks. Your mum is at a grand age ...... 91.
    Maybe this is a parents way of getting revenge on us, after all the care they give us as we grow up?
    I find a bit of humour helps at times. I mentioned the revenge thing to my mum one day, and she thought it was quite funny. "Funny, but cheeky", she said, "but just what I'd expect from you".
    The puppy is going to be hard work, but so rewarding. Pictures will follow, I'm sure.

    Theresa thanks. I thought long hard about getting another dog, and when I heard this one was going to have a crap start in life, I crumbled. I just wish I could have save them all that need it. They really are the 'best' friends.

    1. Cheers Trevor. Hope the holiday was a good one, and not too much 'twitching'?
      My mums new medication does seem to be having a positive effect, although early days yet.
      Yea, maybe on some of our outings we'll have some four-legged company.
      Computer is all fixed now.

      Debs, thank you. Sorry to hear about your dad. This dementia touches so many peoples lives.
      I'm sure I'll get some pictures of the new companion on here soon.

      Linda, thank you. I agree with you about dementia and alzheimers, a very cruel thing to happen towards the end of someone's life. As if getting old isn't bad enough.
      It's amazing how animals, pets, can bring such magical moments into some peoples lives. I'm looking forward to my first visit to my mum with the puppy. She loves dogs; I just hope he 'behaves' himself.
      I find the whole 'social media' thing quite positive most of the time, but it can be very time consuming. I'm sure I'll keep the blog ticking over.

      Wilma, thank you. The Bluethroat was a real beauty. Almost tropical I thought.
      I'm sure the new puppy will keep me here for a while, if he keeps still long enough for pictures.

      Barbara, thanks. BB was a true a legend, and a gentleman. A lasting legacy of great music though. Thanks.

      Thanks Roy. I back the computer up fairly often these days, and was about to do it when the drive began to play up. The software I got really saved the day though.
      I find that when I'm in Wales, I probably take more landscape shots than anything else. Recently I've been having a few walks locally, (getting some practice in for when the dog arrives), and I've not taken the camera or binoculars. Makes the ID process harder, and I'm sure I miss a few, but quite rewarding too.

      John, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      I'm sure this new puppy will have me out and about in all weathers. Plenty of exercise too, so not a bad thing. Thanks.

      Grace, thank you. Yea, the ageing process is a bugger! I'm not going out without a fight! :-)

  18. Well worth spotting, well worth the photos and well worth the blogging for old farts like me to enjoy, a bird i have never seen before. thanks Keith and good luck with the new dog, i should have got a new one but the loss of another is too great.....i'm a wimp.


  19. Keith Why don't you and Trevor not come over to N.I. for a little trip some time? I would take you bird watching. Anyway, speak to Trevor and see what he thinks. I know you are goin back to Wales as this is the place you love the most or perhaps you have already gone so I hope you have a great time. I se you think your Mum's medication is working. Hope she improves. All the best.

  20. Thanks Peter, very kind of you.
    The dog is a bit of a handful at the moment, but we're getting there.

    Thanks Margaret for the offer. A long time since I've been to NI, and I'd love to go back one day. Once the puppy is settled, and things are going a bit better here, I'll give it some serious thought.
    Like you imagined, I'm back in Wales for a little while. Internet will be sporadic for now, but I'll soon post some pictures of the new dog. :-)

  21. Good post Keith. We all get that feeling once in a while(ALL winter for me!) Once I do give myself a kick in the arse and get out, I forgot about the worries. I'm happy to hear you got your photos back...I'm going to get that software!

  22. Thanks Dave. That software was worth every penny to me. It's worth getting, but hope you never have to use it. :-)