My Happy Place


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”:

I haven’t done the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for a while but this week’s challenge of My Happy Place spoke to me.


I am going through a period of what I call black dog days at the moment.  I have written about it before and amazingly it is one of my popular posts.  Anyway, today has been a challenging day but I managed not to  resort to fleeing home to escape from the strange unknown forces that cause me to feel emotionally at sea.


I am in need of visiting a Happy Place, somewhere quiet where my introvert self can be at peace. It needs to be somewhere outside as fresh air is important to my well-being.  I also find the sound of bird-song soothing so that would need to be factored in and with my love of all things planty there needs to be a good supply of lovely plants.  There are many gardens that I have had the privilege to visit that I have found calming but there is one place that is near enough for me to visit fairly easily and just the drive has the habit of soothing me.  Sadly Stockton Bury is now closed for the autumn/winter period. I know because I checked its opening dates at the weekend;  I obviously sensed that evil black dog nipping at my heels.


So I will have to make do with looking back on photographs from July when it was at its floriferous best.



16 Comments Add yours

  1. Gretiana says:

    It looks like we’re similar. I’m also an introvert and when I feel under pressure I just want to go visit nature and talk to her. I receive healing and regeneration when I commune with nature.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Gretiana
      It is interesting how being outside and connecting with nature is healing isnt it.

  2. My sympathies. We have a code phrase in our family for when black dog days bite – “Muffles is here”. I imagine Muffles as one of those small yappy dogs that sheds all over the carpet and smells odd. Something separate that I’d never keep as a pet, anyway!

    But remember, you do come out, into the light.

    1. MCH says:

      I only know you through your blog .. you feel as I do about a lot of things. I also have a downward spiral from time to time but especially in the Fall when the flowers in my garden are getting tired after blooming themselves silly all summer. As others have commented … this too shall pass. Finding that happy place is the best medicine for it and I have to say that your photos on this day are breathtakingly beautiful. If that is your happy place, you can enter there through your photos and know that you have created a special garden with the power to lift your spirits when that is needed. Just let it be so. Marion

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi MCH
      Im not normally too bad with Autumn I am normally distracted with planning for next Spring but it hasnt been the best of times for our family in recent years so maybe that is impacting. Finding a distraction and an escape is important. I’m glad you like the photos


    3. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Rachel
      My hearing often becomes supersensitive just before it hits and I have learnt to recognise the signs and warn my sons. I think being able to recognise it for what it is really helps in working through it. Now I know the signs I don’t feel quite as overwhelmed.

  3. Diana Studer says:

    periwinkle blue, lime green and white is a happy collection.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Diana
      I have forgotten what a lovely combination it was until I looked back through my pictures

  4. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Lots of spring birds here – a pheasant calling for a mate, tuis swooping and singing their various songs loudly, swallows swooping to have a drink out of the swimming pool and making their little tweets, blackbirds and thrushes after insects in my garden. Lots of chirping in the thick bushes where there must be nests. Kereru (native pigeons) around the corner at my daughters. Not so many on this side of the hill. silver eyes with their high pitched call. The off fantail if I am lucky. Rain bir (forgotten its name) quite haunting. Quail running along the road. Yes a happy place to look and listen!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Yvonne
      It sounds lovely and you have all the enjoyment of spring before you.

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    When I started to read this post I thought I could guess your ‘Happy Place’, I was right and I can understand why, it is a beautiful place to visit. It is good that you have the photos from previous visits. Have you thought about putting the photos together as an auto run slide show, set to music, on to a disk or stick which you can play via your lap top through the TV. I am sure your sons can help with the technology (If you need it!) If I can do it I am sure you can but if you need help you know where we are.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Brian
      Arh you know me too well! Not a bad idea but I think I will squirrel away the photos for when I really need that extra escapism.

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    Hope you feel better soon and find another happy outside place to recover.

  7. Hello, Maybe you’ll like to join my challenge : the SL-WEEK

    This space contains every week every Monday in fact a specific theme or anyone can come and drop a link to its site to meet the challenge of the week … You have one month to file your pictures which you are the author course. The months surfers can vote for the best contribution and for a month … A little challenge as a competition where the key is to participate of course … So join us in the SL-Week!

  8. Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with your blogging friends, Helen – as Brian says, there are people you can lean on when you feel you it would be helpful to share those black dog days… Take care

  9. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Hi Helen again – some birds I forgot about – cheeky sparrows – a few magpies in paddock next door – some doves – squarky native native colourful parakeets and of course roosters and chooks just a couple of properties away and they also keep quacking ducks! That ‘s a lot of birdlife. Near sea so a few seagulls swoop around! Hope you are in your ‘Happy Place’ again. I just picked some lovely droopy dusky pink very sweet smelling racems of macadamia nuts. We don’t get the nuts tho’ very hard to crack and the rats seem to beat us to them!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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