Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold … Cloud with a Rainbow Lining

(If you’re here just for the photos, they’re further down the page. Make sure you click on them so you can see the full effects of the “rainbow”).

I went to Whitby last year. It was just a day-trip on a coach, but it was significant insofar as it was – and still is – the only time I took a trip for myself since Boo left our home. I went on my own, despite a bus full of people with the same destination … all with the intention of a day out by the seaside and perhaps a look around the ruins of the Abbey.

I remember it well, because I spent a large portion of the day in silence, wandering through a small church half way up the hill towards the Abbey and taking photographs of the salt air-worn gravestones. It was peaceful, and quiet, and calming.  It was intended to be a day of solace: a chance for peaceful introspection, a chance to regroup, to regain some balance after six weeks of incessant worries about the place they had initially housed my son.

Two months had passed since the incident occurred that resulted in Boo being arrested and removed from my care. He had initially gone to stay with my brother and his family, but after two weeks, Social Services decided to place him under the care of the local authority. They had promised me that Boo would go to a caring foster family out of our immediate geographic area to give us both some space and reduce the risk of further assaults. Instead, they placed him in a children’s care home in the same town. It was a dreadful decision, for various reasons that I will discuss in future posts, yet they refused to relocate him despite all my protestations. Eventually, I had to go to the Head of Children’s Services and beg her to help my son and relocate him to a place of safety and full support.

I particularly remember my trip to Whitby, because my attempt to relax was interrupted periodically by phone calls from Boo’s Social Worker, evidently raw from having her tail chewed out by the big boss, and “promising” me (once again) that they were now searching the country for specially trained foster carers who would be able to take Boo into their home. (As it happened, that didn’t pan out the way they had promised me either … but that’s not the point of this post).

Following the phone calls from Boo’s Social Worker, I felt positive and spent the rest of the afternoon pottering around Whitby’s tiny “lanes” with all its quirky little shops (I entered another photo into the weekly challenge that I took in the lanes on my other blog site here) and finished with a fish and chip supper by the marina chatting to two elderly gentlemen about the “olden days”. As I waited for the coach, my attention was drawn to a single cloud in an otherwise blue sky. Rainbow cloud I took a few photos of it with a fixed lens, but then, as the coach pulled up, I remembered I had a telephoto lens in my bag and tried to take a closer view. Some people wondered why I was taking so many pictures of what seemed at first glance to just be a normal grey cloud wandering across the sun. But if we looked closely, there was a spectrum of colour around the edges of the cloud. It was difficult to capture through the camera, and I admit I’ve bumped up the saturation to get it looking more like it did to the naked eye. SONY DSC   As the cloud slowly moved across the sun, the colours changed and moved around the edge, as if there was a threshold through which the colours formed. This was the last picture I took before boarding the bus to go home, and by the time I found my seat, the colours were gone.


I’ve never seen this phenomenon before around a cloud, and I’ve not seen it since – so I couldn’t help but feel it was meant for me to see for some reason. It seemed to offer me hope, just as rainbows always give me peace in my heart – however briefly they occur. © Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]


Losing touch with reality …

I know people have, quite rightly, observed that there’s nothing I can do to change the past, but I can’t help it.

I feel I am losing sense of reality whenever I mull over the way things have gone so far. I sit here, even now, at this very moment, with an inkling that this has all been one bad dream. Perhaps if I go back to sleep, I’ll wake up at an earlier time when things were still salvageable and persuade “professionals” to help us – a bit like a “restore point” on the computer. Or that, if I will it hard enough, then I will wake up and find that there really is no Conduct Disorder, or that there never was any violence in the household, or that I am not suffering a mental breakdown, or that I still have my job, my finances are fine, and life is just ordinarily comfortable.

It is incredibly difficult for me to accept the reality of not having my son around.

It’s impossible for me to move on without him.

Today is Mother’s Day.

I decided to give myself a treat anyway, and ventured out to the local cinema on my own to see a screening of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse. I  know I’m running the risk of sounding more than a little insane, but at times I found myself believing he was sitting there next to me. I had one of those big drinks that came with two straws and I only drank out of one because I convinced myself the other straw was “his.” We “shared” popcorn. And I bought mint-flavoured Matchmakers because he prefers them to the orange ones. I watched the show as if he was with me, imagining the questions he’d be asking or the comments he’d make at varying points in the show. I even went to McDonalds after I left the cinema, even though I dislike the place myself, because that’s what we would have done if he’d been with me.

SONY DSCAm I insane?  Possibly.

Do I miss my son?  Terribly.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]