Apologies…

The Daily Echo and associated blogs will be running at less than full speed for a while. As many of you are aware, I am dealing with lung cancer at the moment. You expect some weird side effects with that. What I did not expect was to have major problems with my vision, but apparently, I have.

So until ‘they’ get it sorted, I cannot see properly to read or write and will not be able to do much with the blogs and answering the many emails I get daily may have to wait too.

Fingers crossed they don’t take long to sort it.

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The Last Post?

This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and informative journey on so many levels as familiar things have been stripped away and a gift of love left in its place… rather like the tooth fairy leaving something of real value in place of a discarded incisor.

First to go was the illusion of near-immortality that gets us through life, one way or another. We know there is a certain inevitability about life leading to death, but we tend not to apply it to ourselves until we are forced to pay attention. Dealing with the situation that made me sit up and listen meant that the body came under attack. As its fitness levels diminished, my job went… and so did my face and figure. All core things with which I have identified myself over the years.

Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Even language conditions you to that… ‘my face’, ‘my body’… ‘my life’, forgetting that we borrow the raw materials of our physical existence from Mother Nature and that they will, one day, have to be returned.

Bit by bit, the human version of one’s identity is stripped away. You are too weak now to dance, couldn’t climb a slope, let alone a hill, if you tried and are going to have to be pushed in a wheelchair… the way you have done for your son all these years, in a complete role reversal. Except that he is still stuck in the wheelchair and you can’t even trade places to make it a good deal. Because there are no ‘deals’ at the end of life.

So, eventually you accept that you won’t make it to retirement. Your voice changes, disappearing every so often. Then, an eye goes… and not in some fixable way. So you can no longer drive the thousands of miles that have been your joy. Or see to paint or write with ease, or even watch the birds on the feeder. And while you are given lots of hope about the outcome while they wait for test results, it is not a surprise when you are told that the cancer that had started in your lungs has now set up multiple homes in your brain.

Or that the ‘months’ you had been given have now been reduced to ‘days to weeks… if you are lucky’.

If you haven’t started to let go of the identification of yourself by what you have done, the definitions of ‘self’ imposed by language, role and label, then having them forcibly torn away is really going to hurt. The human personality is programmed for survival, and the possibility of extinction… like a candle flame forever snuffed out… is anathema to the ego.

The ego… the personality we wear like a protective shell as we walk through the world… wants to have mattered, to be remembered, to have made a difference. Sometimes it has… and may learn before life ends that it did. And that is a joy, although it comes with a certain regret. How would life have been different had you always known that you were so loved and made a difference? Yet each one of us, every one of us, does so…simply by being present in the world, we change it indelibly. By reaching out to a friend, by comforting a child, by simply being human, sharing life and love and laughter… and tears… we each make the world a different place, moment by moment. We may never see the ripples of what we do or say, or know how far we can shape a day or a person by our actions. We each have that power… and responsibility.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two: A Review

Another wonderful review for the Small Dog! Thank you, Di…

Available in Paperback and for Kindle, via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide.

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Notes from a Small Dog, Four Legs on Two.
ISBN 9781910478271

This is my fourth Ani book by Sue Vincent, and definitely my favourite.
A combination of verse and prose, it captures a dog’s eye view of food, cheese, balls, snow, ownership and emotions, with the occasional entry from Sue herself.
This has 142 pages, 146 including the end credits and details of other publications.
The photographs match the chapters, especially Indignant Small Dog where the chosen picture is priceless above the first sentence
‘She hid the ball!’

I laughed out loud at that and kept that smile on my face until turning the light off.

We frolic with Ani in the snow, cheekily pilfer morsels from plates, plead with big brown eyes, and generally get our own way, even when we’ve been in the dog house.
We share long buried bones, commiserate when she’s forced to have a bath…

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How Deep is it? ~ Tessa Dean #writephoto

Ron had been told by some of his friends who hiked a lot that there was a nice area up on Walden Manor property. The path approached a large stone embankment that suddenly dropped off right in front of you. No one seemed to know if it was the cement remnants of an old bridge or not. However suddenly the cement dropped off and overlooked a body of water that was deep and dark. It was said to be bottomless there, but in reality there had to be a bottom of some sort although it could be much deeper than anyone could imagine.

Continue reading at Tessa Dean

Posted in #writephoto, photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | 2 Comments

Deeper and Deeper ~ Goff James #writephoto

Reblogged from Goff James at Art, Photography and Poetry

Posted in #writephoto, photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | 2 Comments

Magic and The Placebo Effect ~ G. Michael Vasey

Reblogged from The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey:

The world is a funny place. Talk about Magic and people will look at you as if you are certifiable. Change the word ‘Magic’ for ‘Placebo effect’ and scientists and psychologists will readily acknowledge that the mind has the power to heal our body simply via the act of imagination. Which is, after all – magic. I think the Placebo Effect is the best proof of magic there is and scientists think they discovered it relatively recently (I am a scientist as well by the way. By scientists in this instance, I mean materialist-reductionist types).

According to science, the placebo effect was discovered during medicine trials when the control group is given a sugar pill or similar but not the drug being tested for comparison purposes. However, those being given the inert material thought they were being given the drug and so they often experienced alleviation of their symptoms, healing or even side effects. In the years since, a number of medical conditions have been reported as benefitting from placebos, including acne, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, ED, ulcers, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, and colitis. Now get this! The original explanation was that patients were only imagining they felt well!

Continue reading at The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey

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Doggerel : A book review

Another lovely review for Ani’s book…

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Doggerel by Sue Vincent ISBN 9781910478226
I spent a very cosy evening curled up in bed with Ani last night.
This is another collection of poems and the photographs had me wanting to reach out and scratch those fluffy ears, tickle that lovely tummy, and cuddle away the sadness in those woeful eyes. Oh the expressions that matched the verses so perfectly!

I can well understand Ani not liking a bath, preferring to be dog smelling than that of flowers, the obsession with a particular ball that gets lost never to be found, and a replacement that simply will not do, until a certain person comes to play.
How I can identify with a poorly furbaby, one who somehow cottons on that treats will be more forthcoming if they don’t get well in too much of a hurry.
The war on moulting, a four legs helping with the housework as…

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Survival ~ J.E.Goldie #writephoto

The two men in the group were JAMIE who had given up hope completely, and CAL had died of his wounds. They covered his body with what rocks and any brush, they could find.
Their minds were losing focus. They were eating whatever the sea would throw them, dead fish, seaweed, birds, crustaceans.

Continue reading  at J.E.Goldie’s blog 

Posted in #writephoto, photo prompt, Photography | 1 Comment

I always wanted to direct… #humor #travel #India

Barb Taub hits number one!

Barb Taub

I’m an indie author. So after paying for laptop, software, printer, toner, and ALL the coffee, just buying something off the dollar menu at Chez Macs will seriously eat into the profits from my new book.

Paying for someone to make a book trailer for my new release is a lovely dream, like winning the lottery, getting taller, or having the pandemic end so I can get my hair done and my eyebrows mowed. But thanks to the miracle of free software templates, iPhones with nice cameras, and the entire population of India joining the cast, I have a sparkly new trailer for Please Don’t Ask For Extra Glasses.

And I’ve got something to celebrate! Amazon is showing Please Don’t Ask for Extra Glasses as the #1 New Release in General India Travel Guides. (No, I don’t want to think about how many other new travel guides were published in…

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The Bystander Effect ~ Cai #writephoto

Reality is stranger than fiction. This is an anecdote on The Bystander Effect in 2020 – 2021.

It has been three months since a swindler targeted a victim. His pride and ego refused to concede defeat even after police were notified. His scams evolved deeper into crime as he plotted murder in broad daylight. He tried to recruit mercenaries and accomplices to kill for money.

Continue reading at artmater

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Deeper ~ Dr. Crystal Grimes #writephoto

I’ve gone over the edge more than once. But who among us hasn’t? We all come to a bridge, a cliff, a drop, a precipice sometime–or many times–in our lives. It will happen, guaranteed.

You will reach a point, and another point, where it’s either stay or go, sink or swim, leap into the unknown or stay in your current situation. Stay, that is, until it becomes impossibly intolerable. And there you are again, faced with the same choice.

Continue reading at Mystical Strings

Posted in #writephoto, photo prompt, Photography | 2 Comments