Rather a lack of Sparkle (december REFLECTIONS 2)

Day 2 of December Reflections 2019 and today’s prompt is: Sparkle

What to do? A shot of the sun sparkling on the sea would be prosaic but possibly beautiful and readily achievable if only the promised sun was shining. It isn’t. Nor do we have plans to hit the beach today.

I could have used a shot from here in January of this year. If only I hadn’t wiped my images from the laptop.

The second most obvious plan would have been a shot of some sparkling wine. There have been many shots of Champagne, Cava, Methode Traditionale etc. during the past year. The same applies however. All images wiped. Besides, it might be more appropriate to feature some of the local Vinho Verde, as less obvious and more interesting. It isn’t what you might really classify as a sparkler but it does have a light petillance to it. We have a bottle in the van. It happily revels in the name of Maré Alta (which means High Tide) – it would neatly bring me back around to the sparkling sea.

The sun refuses to play ball and to make anything sparkle at all. Besides, it’s too early to broach the bottle.

I spotted another bottle in the supermarket last night and this is one that I thought might come to the rescue. A local Anise liqueur, it looks beautiful with the plant material in the bottle and the huge sugar crystals that form within it. My plan was to place it in the sun this morning and see if I could make it sparkle. That plan went awry when my dear husband wanted to try it out last night. I took some hasty shots in very low light and the results were predictably disappointing. As was the liqueur.

As the sun continues to hide, despite the good forecast for today, I shoved one of those poor shots through Lightroom and some Nik Suite filters. It filled in some time.

On our walk today I made an attempt to photograph a shrub. I don’t know what the shrub is but it exudes a stickiness (very) from its leaves such that in the right light the leaves do shine and sparkle. As ever, a camera does not capture the highlights as sparkle. So, here is a very dull-looking shrub. I post it in the hope that somebody can identify it, if for no other reason.

You will have to accept my word on the sparkling part of this affair…

Much of our walking around Sagres is on dirt tracks and large parts of these tracks are made up with building rubble. This being Portugal, that rubble contains a lot of tile fragments. A couple of pieces glinting (one might say that the sparkle caught my eye… maybe. I live with a pedant who says Shine is not the same as Sparkle but, hey, I am desperate today) in the sun this morning caught my attention and I am planning now a wee project to make a collage of images of these fragments. Here is one of the first images collected. I share it now to deflect any thoughts wandering towards an absence of sparkle in these here parts. Also because I think it is lovely.

An Open Letter to an Absent Friend

Today’s prompt has been a difficult one for me personally, not just a challenge in finding some actual sparkle. I lack spark myself today after three successive nights of poor sleep. Being at a low ebb makes it all the more difficult to deal with this prompt as the very word Sparkle(s) has special meaning for me.

I am not sure if this part of today’s musings properly belongs in the Left Luggage Office rather than here but hey, ho.

Dear Mr Sparkles

You are never far from my mind but today you are very much in my thoughts.

I hope that life has been good for you.

My own life is very good indeed but I know that it could have been even better had you felt able to remain my friend.

I miss your warmth. I miss your strength. I miss the twinkle in your eye.

I miss you every single day of my life. If you ever have need of me, I will be here.


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