Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blog tour 2014~~~~~~~~~

I've been invited by my dear friend Jane, well known in the blogosphere as "Blondie"
at Blondie's Journals, to be a part of the current blog tour……known as 
Touring Through Blogland.
I've met Jane, and her charming husband in person - in Asheville, NC and here in 
Raleigh, NC, and we had so much fun each time.
Jane's blog is awesome and enjoyed by a lot of gals who are into decorating their homes, 
enjoying time with their families, spending time lakeside in Summer, gardening, cooking etc.  
She always writes candidly and has a great sense of humor. Jane is the perfect blogger and if 
you don't already visit her I suggest you head on over soon.

I started my first blog, Across The Pond, in 2007, this current one in 2010, so have been 
blogging over seven years. In the early years it was a lot different of course, fewer 
bloggers and limited editing programs for posting great photos - and let's face it, we all 
want to share our photos don't we?

I'm to answer four questions………so here goes. 
All photos are my own.

My cottage home.

1.  What are you working on right now?
To be quite honest, not much!  In the oppressive heat of Summer here in the southeast,
being lazy seems to be the best thing, and having recently returned from a busy trip to the
Baltic and Russia, I'm just catching up on regular things around the cottage, while sipping
chilled beverages on the side!  Being British I do not like hot weather one bit. If it wasn't for
the humidity, bad evening storms bringing an overabundance of rain, followed by clouds of
mosquitoes, I would be outside gardening, perhaps painting some bits of furniture I see waiting
out in the potting shed, and of course walking much more. I am cooking a lot lately - easy hot
weather dishes - after buying a really great new vegetarian cookbook - will share that with you
another time.

2. How does my work differ from others in this genre?
I travel often and love taking photos of amazing places around this awesome planet.
Besides the usual vacation venues, I have been fortunate to do a lot of expedition travel via
small ships, not something enjoyed by the majority perhaps, but a special way of seeing areas
of other countries usually off the radar for regular travelers. Having now visited all seven
continents, Antarctica last year being the 'jewel in the crown', I have so loved sharing these
wild and wondrous places with blogging friends.

There are several thumbnails in the right column of my blog page which open up to many of the
places I've visited.  If you've not read those posts and would like to see my photos from around 
the world, please click on them.

My Garden over the past few Summers.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I am a creative person, born and bred, sharing my late talented mother's genes I suppose.

She was an amazing dressmaker who actually made clothes for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the mother of our present Queen, in the mid-1900's, then taught me to sew and acquire a great interest in textiles and fashion.

She let me redecorate my bedroom, over and over again, helping me choose wild
wallpaper designs of the '50's - hence perhaps my love of interior design.

She was a great 'from scratch' cook - doing it professionally for a while, and yes I love to cook too.

In my childhood garden she showed me how to raise and care for beautiful flowers,
from climbing sweet peas to dinner plate sized dahlias, fuchsia bushes the size of small trees,
and always gorgeous roses. Gardening, a very creative pastime and, as they say,
"A thing of beauty but a job forever",  I certainly agree.

Having worked in several professions, my most-loved were the years spent in the art and advertising business. My blog, though started as a way to journal and hopefully share aspects of my life for my children/grandchildren in the future, has really become my personal creative outlet. I love words and therefore try my best to write interesting content on my blog. As for photography skills, those I've had to teach myself. I was a lousy photographer with a basic camera when I started blogging, now with better equipment and fabulous places, wild animals, flora and fauna appearing in my lens, I'm doing much better but still have a long way to go. I am also prepared to spend hours editing my photos - this alone is probably the most creative time for me these days - I love playing with my photos!

Places I've been around the world.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
I confess I spend perhaps too much time on blogging! Each morning when at home I'm here raring to go - to bring something cheerful to my readers' day. I don't post every day, sometimes writing one and then leaving it in draft for a later date. I could post daily as I'm never without something niggling at my brain, some subject to expound on, or a photo about which I can tell a little story. I do understand though that we bloggers already have a hard time keeping up with each other……there's just so much to read and comment on, right? When traveling I always carry my trusty MacBook Air, using it to post when Internet is available, and also downloading the photos I take each day so they are backed up in a second safe location. Although I have no further 'big trips' lined up for 2014, next year appears to be another busy travel period and I'm hoping to share many more interesting places with you here.

Thanks as always for stopping by - I love it when you have time to leave a comment but understand if you're too busy, then I just hope you enjoy peeking at something I've enjoyed sharing with you.

I now have to pass the baton to two more bloggers who hopefully will share their stories with you.
How about these two lovely ladies who lead interesting lives and take us along to special places~~~

My wonderful 'keeps me young' friend……whom I've spent so much creative time with 
over the past several years……Vanessa of Dreaming Shabby
My 'hope to meet in person' some day……long time, very kind Southern California blog friend
Sara of Come Away With Me 

Happy weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by.


  1. Oh, how fun! I've so enjoyed reading about you and your travels. How lucky you are! I've hardly done any traveling but someday.....someday. One of my best friends here in the US is from Great Britain and has promised to take me there some day. It will be a dream come true! I lived in Richmond, VA for 32 years and can relate to the oppressive heat you have in the south. I'm a little further north now - in WV - and its thankfully a bit cooler and less humid here. Unusually wonderful cool summer this year actually, and lots of rain. I long to have an English garden at my new home. We shall see how that works out! I love reading about life in England, particular novels by 19th century authors. I listen to them on while I work on my art. Really love it when the reader is British! It really seems to allow me to create my best work. I have Beverly Nichol's books, too. What a treasure! Time to check out those other blogs! Thank you for sharing today! Cindy from

  2. Your photographs are always amazing! It is such a treat to follow you on your travels. Enjoy your weekend. B

  3. I'm so glad that I found your blog and we have gotten acquainted. I think I read your former one a time or two WAY back in the day. I started blogging 1-1-07, and there weren't that many bloggers back then. Thank you for all of this wonderful background information!

  4. Mary - your photos are exquisite. I am so happy to have discovered your beautiful blog. Every-time I see that step-back cupboard I want to squeal. ha! I a.d.o.r.e it. It was fun getting to know you better. I'll pop on over to meet the other blogs. Thanks, Deb.

  5. I am still on my little blog break, but had to come by and read this. So fun learning even more about your Mary.

  6. What a fun "tour", Mary. As one of your original followers, it's interesting to read the thoughts behind your blogging experience. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to create and share with your readers. You've taken us along to some very amazing places! I was interested to read that your mom was a seamstress for the Royal Family in the early 1900s. Have you read The Forgotten Seamstress? It's a quick, easy read you might enjoy.
    Like you, summer here in TX isn't an inviting time to garden. I'm out in the garden very little during the summer.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh my Gosh dear! I was reading through your post, dreaming of your photos, remembering lovely moments we have spent together in your beautiful cottage as well as antique hunting at SuzAnnas and other pretty cool place... and then that's my name! I'm so honored to be called your friend! In this world we live, there are not many amazing people like yourself whom we can have the honor to call a friend. It will be lovely to share more about myself! Thank you dear for all the amazing moments we had and will still share in this life. Love you, Vanessa

  8. Oh Mary, I totally enjoyed reading your post tonight and again remembering so many amazing adventures and photos from your travels. Photos of your home are also just so beautiful, how I would love to see it in person. What a fun lifetime of adventures. Thanks for sharing and being here on your blog. I had to smile about something always niggling in the back of your mind to share, I often do that too. Love, m

  9. Oh, wow, what a beautiful blog you have here. And now I'm going to browse through your travel archives ;-)

  10. I really enjoyed this post. I have to disagree with one thing - you are already an amazing photographer.

    I do agree though, gardening is a thing of beauty and a JOB forever~ Last night I weeded for hours and still have more to go today. Fortunately, yesterday was cool and breezy and today looks to be the same. It hasn't been bad here in ND this summer (of course, here comes August)! I'm sorry you have to endure the heat, too much rain and skeeters.

  11. Well, how I missed this post and a couple of others that came after I don't know, but dear Mary I'm happy that you pointed me in the right direction so that it didn't remain overlooked!


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