31 May 2012

Around here May edtion

Around here in May. Lots of walking around taking plenty of photos, trying to capture some interesting angles. Waterslide fun with the borders on a scorching weekend. Family time at the cricket. Loving the fields full of beautiful flowers. Enjoying long walks with good friends on our day off. Long sunny evenings. Sunbathing on the crash mats- they are amazing sun traps. Experimenting with lens flare. Sports day all dressed up in our finery! Phew! I wanted May to be busy and it hasn't dissappointed!

What has your May looked like? 

29 May 2012

A blue backdrop

Beautiful colours taken on one of the first warm days of the year so far.
It was glorious to be outside and feel the sun on my back as I took these photos.

A lovely cloudless blue backdrop is what I dream about when taking photos. Everything looks better against a sky like this.

27 May 2012

Photo Stories


When I scrapbooked, the thing I loved most was documenting the story; the story behind the photos.
The little things that a few years down the line I will have totally forgotten.
Every now and again I am going to use my blog to share some photo stories.
If you want to join in please do and let me know so I can hear your story of your photo.

This photo was taken only last weekend and it looks like a typical shot of me and my siblings.
But what I want to remember is that...

-This was the first time all three of us had been at the same place in several weeks.
-My mum was thrilled to have us "back together again."
-We were enjoying watching the boys play cricket.
-The littlest (who isn't really little any more) had been selected to join his brother in the firsts and was so chuffed.
- This was the middle of May but it was so cold.
-It was amazing to have family time.

These little details are the things I want to remember.

25 May 2012

Mamas baking

For as long as I can remember my Mum has been baking. It is normal to come downstairs in the morning and see her rolling dough, moulding cookies or stirring chocolate cake mixture. Even now on some mornings I can lie in bed and catch the wafts of baking coming up the stairs. I lie there trying to guess what is in the oven.

Each member of the family has their favourite cake or brownie or cookie. Every now and again Mum will try new recipes but most of the time we come back to the old favourites. Things she knows off by heart.

Many of our favourite recipes have been passed on by friends or updated over the years. All of them are scrawled in a crinked and stained notebook. Guests in our house are always amazed at how often the tins are always full or how very often a cake is cooling on the side or brownies are cooking in the oven.

I am so blessed to have a Mama who loves baking for us. (The funny thing is she doesn't really like many of the things she bakes and will always choose bought cake over homemade!)

What do you make? Do you have time honoured recipes?

*The cookies in the pictures are our family go to recipe. Full proof and totally delicious and....our own little secret!*

23 May 2012

Lessons learnt from working in a girls boarding house

1. Doing any girls hair in plaits starts off some kind of chain reaction- you can't get away! "Miss Beach, can you do my hair next?"

2. The younger you are the quicker you are out of bed in the mornings. As in nearly out of bed before the light is switched on in some cases.

3. Small girls have NO SHAME. Clothes. What are they?!

4. Girls under the age of thirteen never get bored of writing in notebooks, doodling with coloured pens and collecting stickers. That includes trading the latter!( Incidentally I don't think I ever grew out of this- the notebooks not the trading stickers!)

5. Teddies and soft toys all have names and all have to be lined up on the beds in the morning.

6. If you get post you are the envy of the other girls.

7. A girls pinboard is, from observation, an exact representation of her character. The organised ones have a neat pinboard with carefully selected photos. The scatty ones have notes, photos and sweet wrappers??! stuck haphazardly all over the place!

8. These girls love being read to at night.

9. When reading Matilda try not to take the description of a "loud and booming voice" literally. Or your own voice will have exited by the next morning. This may or may not have happened to me! eep.

10. Small girls gravitate towards the stairs to sit on when they are feeling sad or want a good chat.

11. No matter how many I do, I HATE nit checking for nits.

12. No matter how many play clothes the girls bring back they will always wear the same outfit each evening.

13. Tuck boxes are a very private place. No one but the owner is allowed to go in them and they are all lined up at the ends of the beds.

14. If in doubt have a cuddle.

Thanks for stopping by.

* The pictures are very unrelated but taking pictures of the girls would be sort of wrong!*

21 May 2012

The sheepish Coffee drinker

Hi all

Hope you had a glorious weekend.

So lets get down to it.. I wish I was a good coffee drinker. To me there is something very mature about knowing about coffee, about learning how to make a good fresh mug and more importantlu what type of coffee to choose.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I can never be that person. For one I have no problem with instant coffee.
Number two, I cannot remember the names of all those coffees. I find one I like think "oh lets have that next time it was yummy" next time comes around and lo and behold I have forgotton the name of it.
Number three- and this is the biggy- I don't like strong coffee. I douse my coffee with a liberal helping of milk. I feel this is close to blasphemy for you seasoned coffee drinkers.

So instead I order my regular coffee and sit in the shop enjoying the smell of the beans sheepishly drinking. Pretending to all the world that I know what I am doing.

I don't. This whole coffee thing is just a charade, I love the taste but haven't a clue!

Unfortunately I can never be the girl who strolls through town and casually orders her special drink precisely to her taste without a moments thought.

Give me tea and I am your woman. Doesn't quite have the same feel about it though does it? Less American chic more british woman!

Ah well- there's always cakes!

Thanks for stopping by.

18 May 2012

My favourite mobile camera apps


One of my goals this month was to take more photos on my camera phone. It is a good camera and has the advantage that it is totally portable- unlike my big SLR.
I take a very different approach to camera photography though. If I want a lovely clean, focused photo I will always choose my big camera. With phone photos I feel I can spice them up a bit!
At the end of the day the fact that I captured the picture is important- not what it is captured on.

So without further ado I want to share a few of my favourite camera apps that help create some quirky and fun phone photos.

* These are all android apps. I am sure however that most are available for i-phone users.*


This app is outstandingly good in terms of the range of effects. You can edit on an existing photo or take one striaght away and then edit. There are endless presets and filters to try out. Most give a vintage or cross process type filter. There are some great light leaks as well as a few chemical burns and some rad frames. This app is not subtle in terms of filters so you have to be careful not to go overboard! The app is also available online so if you like to edit on a big screen this is an option.

Retro camera

This app is so sweet. On opening it brings up a selection of "retro cameras". Select one and then take the photo. The corresponding effect is added to the photo dependant on what camera was selected. I used this app a lot on holiday last year. Quick and easy although the picture size is quite small.

Action Snap

What it says on the tin really. It transforms your phone into a quick fire burst camera. You can choose how many frames to shoot, ask someone to move and click the shutter. It will freeze the action into the frames and then allows simple editing. The littlest brother and I have so much fun with this! 

Camera 360

 I have only got this app recently so haven't tested everything on it yet. So far though I find it to be a really neat little package. The beauty of it is that you can choose an effect and then shoot the photo unlike most apps where the editing has to be done after. The app has a great tilt shift filter and beautiful vintage presets too. A HUGE wealth of effects to choose from including some pretty quirky ones.

What apps do you like? Any suggestions?

17 May 2012

Out of the rain

Out of the rain and the drizzle and the droplets falling like hail into puddles.
Out of a long day with children asking countless questions.
Out of an evening spent with sleepy girls wanting nightime cuddles...

Comes this....

This sunset broke through the rain and man was it magical!

I hasten to add, none of these pictures were edited! Glorious with a capital G!

15 May 2012

For the love of instagram

Hi all.

I have an irrational jealousy of i-phone users.
It is irrational because I have an android and pretty much everything I want an iphone for I can already do on my phone.

The exception was instagram.

That was until last week. I stumbled across instagram in the android store quite by chance and did a double take.After squeals of delight and an instant download- it's free what not to love!- I got on with some picture taking.

Let me tell you it lived up to it's high expectations. I love the filters and I love the social networking side to it. I love that it gives me an incentive to capture those every day moments.

As expected I started to tell everybody and anybody about instagram and how exciting it was, that it was on android and wow, I am such a techy but who cares, it's instagram etc etc.

No one. No one was interested.

So because of the lack of enthusiasm on the part of friends colleague and family. You my friends are now treated to my unbridled excitment!

Please tell me someone out there is as excited as I am? Its not just me right?!

 P.S I am in no way affliated with instagram, I am just far too enthusiastic! mwaahh!

13 May 2012

And here are the answers

Thank you, thank you to everyone who commented with their questions about me and the blog last week.

I had so much fun sitting down and writing out some answers. Hope you find them interesting!

What are you going to study next year?

In the Autumn I am going to Durham university to study History and Education. It is a dual honours degree. I am in turn excited about this and terrified. I think (or at least hope) this is normal! I am trying to contain lots of feelings about this big change by pinning lots of inspiring stuff here.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

My immediate future- get a good degree and become a teacher. The big wide future? Have a family, own a sweet little house, line my childrens wellies up outside the front door. Go on a spontaenous holiday with the boy. Run a coffee shop with a craft room attached so people can have their cake and tea and knit and sew at the same time. Bliss I think!

Describe your typical day

My typical day? Who am I trying to kid! At the moment working in a school there is no such thing as typical day. Normally though I will wake up early, roll out of bed and then go wake the girls in the boarding house up. Sort out their hair etc. Then to breakfast, strong cup of coffee and the day officially begins. I do everything from helping in lessons, to going to games sessions to hearing children read.

At home my typical day couldn't be more different. I wake late and start off the day with hot chocolate. I then curl up in the lounge in my PJ's and check out blogs on the i-pad. I then get dressed and decide what crafty projects I want to embark on. The day progresses from there!

What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?

I hope to have my own house and have filled it with beautiful photographs and many soft quilts. I hope to be a teacher and to have a family and to be involved in my church.

How do you and the boy manage without seeing each other daily?

Before I start, let me just say that I am no expert. This is what works for us. It is not a perfect system.

The boy and I knew that this year would be tough due to him being at uni and me working full time. In many ways recognising that was the hardest part. It's funny when you know you can't see someone you learn to get on with it. It would be much harder if one of us was busy and the other wasn't because the possibility to see each other would still be there. As it happens it isn't so we don't stress over it. What is the point in being annoyed at something that you can't change.

Yep, there are days when it is hard but we ring and text a lot and whenever we have a spare weekend we do make the effort to see each other.

The biggest comfort for both of us though is knowing that whatever goes on in our seperate lives God is our constant.

Why do you blog?

I started blogging because I wanted a place to share my scrapbooking. I now blog to connect with like minded people. I blog because it gives me a voice. I blog so I can share my photography. I blog so that in years to come, I can look back and have a comprehensive journal of my young life.

Again thank you for such great questions. I recently updated by "about" page with links to some favourite posts, I would love to know what you think!


11 May 2012

These feet

Pound a million steps every day.
His across the city. To and fro between halls and lectures and back again.
Hers dash here and there, running errands, pacing the classroom.
His wait patiently on a grimy platform
Hers jiggle restlessly, willing the train to move faster.
These feet always find a way back.
In the meeting at the station
they find a place to rest.

9 May 2012

locks, bridges and yellow fields

Over the bank holiday weekend we went for a walk along the devizes locks. This is our adventure documented in tilt shift photography!

Thanks for stopping by