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by James on June 3rd, 2015

our shadowSince I’ve become a full time Dad (until October when I return to work) I have spent a lot of time in parks. We do a lot of playing in the woods and fields surrounding our home too, but as far as my son is concerned you can’t beat swings, see-saws and zip-wires.

Its wonderful to see him so happy as I push him again and again on the swings, and its great that we have a number of good parks locally, but I have to admit, the fenced in, tarmac floored (or the modern spongey alternative), primary coloured metal structures, aren’t my environment of choice, and I do miss the time that I used to have walking, writing, making and sharing inspiration and artwork with others.

So I take along my phone and take the odd sneaky shot, the sun reflecting off of a shiny slide or the shadow of a sapling on a patch of grass. Its about noticing again, about ‘remaining visible to myself’ (thank you for the reminder and phrase Kathy) in the midst of the all-consuming act of parenting a newly adopted child. These days I weave in my arts practice where I can.

I can’t include those with his face in here, but here’s a few of my ‘staying sane’ photos from the last few months without the accompanying excited little boy.

yellow feet

hand and slide

me and tree shadow


big swing

rope bridge

swing bottom

sapling shadow


  1. Dearest James,

    Beautiful images throughout…and you are visible to me as well in them and through your words. I see you. And that is nourishment to my heart.

    Interesting how the indirect gaze reveals a fullness, a presence, of you. Thinking again about how we notice what we notice…

    Love you.

    • Thank you Kathy, these kind of comments are so affirming for me, so pleased that my own words and images connect with you and in turn your knowledge of me and my work.

  2. Love the shapes, colours and line you are drawing out of the everyday… you are seen and know your quest is that of many including me… sneaking the odd picture, sketch when the time is given amongst the parenting of ourselves, our loved ones and our lives xx

    • Thanks Anna, it’s about holding up a mirror to ourselves and the world isn’t it? To remind us who we are, how magical the world is, and enable us to realise our potential

  3. Margaret G permalink

    Hi James, Your blog so evokes for me those playground days James – pushing those swings – spacious but also muted and repetitive. And I must admit I remember finding it was just plain boring at times. Your noticing of pattern and image in that is wonderful – skipping past the boredom and making visible that private time of parenting and giving it a beautiful shape. Thank you!!! Margaret

    • Yes Margaret I have to admit the words mind numbing can spring to mind, and I also remind myself that he’ll be in school from September and that these times are precious. Really pleased it resonated with you, thank you for responding.

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