Christmas lights

My photo-a-day theme for Christmas week was lights.

Christmas tree light on our windowsill
Christmas lights photo

Crescent moon and neighbour’s lights
Christmas lights photo

Christmas lights and (brief) snowfall
Christmas lights photo

Made by swinging a small string of lights
Christmas lights photo

Outdoor lights out of focus
Christmas lights photo

Lights reflected in my spoon during Christmas dinner
Christmas lights photo

Battery operated lights displayed in a wineglass
Christmas lights photo

2014: a year in photos

Photographs from 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wishing everyone who looks at my blogs and very happy and healthy New Year. And thank you for stopping by.

It’s been a funny old year. Some lovely moments and some not so lovely, and on balance I’m glad to wave it bye, bye. So here’s to 2015 – onwards and upwards!

A very wet Priory Country Park in Bedford.

Photographs from 2014

Flooded Priory Park

A family ‘in joke’ It comes from the 1990’s TV Show Fist of Fun.

Photographs from 2014

The moon on a stick

Another visit to Bedford. There is a huge swan population in the Bedford area, but I had never seen a black swan among them before.

Photographs from 2014


My husband was on tour in the Netherlands with the Bootleg Sixties. The band’s families caught up with them at Easter in Leiden.

Photographs from 2014

Leiden, The Netherlands

We went to a family wedding in May in gorgeous Gosfield Hall in Essex. Thanks for inviting us, Leigh and Stefan!

Photographs from 2014


I went on a butterfly watching trip to La Brenne in France. I met some great people and saw loads of butterflies including the increasingly rare Large Blue. This one is an Ilex Hairstreak, and not found in the UK.

Photographs from 2014

Ilex Hairstreak, La Brenne, France

A summer view from the edge of town.

Photographs from 2014

View from the end of my road (nearly)

Four days in Cornwall thanks to our lovely friend, Eric.

Photographs from 2014

Punches Cross Fowey Harbour, Cornwall

The second family wedding of the year at beautiful Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire. Thanks for inviting us, Lauren and Jamie!

Photographs from 2014

Chandelier in Brocket Hall ballroom

A mystery moth on the side of a UPS van.

Photographs from 2014

Moth in October

The Bootleg Sixties did a mini tour in the UK this month.

Photographs from 2014

Bootleg Sixties show in Rotherham

One of my Christmas presents.


Lego Research Institute

Pinball Wizard

Last week I went down to The Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, to watch The Overtures play the last night of their 2013 Bootleg Sixties tour.

They’d not played this theatre before – always a bit ‘interesting’. But turns out it’s a gorgeous Edwardian gem. All red and gold and velvet and ornate boxes and balconies – oh and cherubs.

Kings Theatre cherubs

Kings Theatre cherubs

It has a very interesting history and, according to their website, many legends of stage and screen have performed there, including Sarah Bernhardt, Noel Coward, Rex Harrison, Ivor Novello, Sybil Thorndike and HB Irving.

This is the drive-up. Unfortunately I couldn’t fit in the statue on the top (and I was in a moving car). She’s called Aurora and is a fibre-glass replica of the original, who is now safe and dry in the foyer.

The Kings Theatre, Southsea, Exterior

The Kings Theatre, Southsea

Then, just before the soundcheck started, Phil, the guitarist, showed us a picture on his phone. Turns out that this was where the ‘Pinball Wizard’ section of Tommy (1975), featuring Elton John and The Who, was filmed. (I’m a bit hesitant to add a link to this, but it’s easy to find if you go on Youtube – where you can also find a clip of The Overtures doing their version at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool in 2013.)

The Kings Theatre soundcheck

Sound checking the acoustic section

Kings Theatre Portsmouth soundcheck

Soundcheck with guitarist and sound and lighting crew.

The Overtures do a gobsmackingly amazing version of ‘Pinball Wizard’ as part of the Bootleg Sixties show, so to be performing it on the stage where it was filmed was really rather exciting.

The band, as usual, took it completely in their stride, but I certainly felt a shiver down my spine when those guitar power chords rang out for the first time.

Playing Pinball Wizard

Phil mid ‘Pete Townshend-style windmill’

All photos © Jill Sawyer Phypers

Photo a Day Year Four Week 52 (the end of another year)

Well – I’ve come to the end of year four of Photo a Day and am about to start on year five. In honour of owl of the week – which I have been running for two of the four years – here, for your viewing pleasure, is a week of owls.

I have decided to retire owl of the week in favour of Lepidoptera of the week – as I have more chance of ‘in the wild’ photos than the one owl I managed in two years!

owl of the week collage.

Twooo years of Owl of the Week

Photo a day year 4 week 48

This week is brought to you by the letter L – images from Liverpool, London and Letchworth Garden City.

Photo a day year 4 week 47

Once again this week is blue: we have a blue butterfly, a blue tit, a blue moon – oh and very loosely – the blues…

Photo a day year 4 week 39

This week we have a green woodpecker, green cat’s eyes and a green meadow at sunset…