Spring photography day

As a professional photographer, my husband is great at capturing what he sees, in a way that also captures its inherent beauty. He’s also a natural teacher and loves to show others how to get the best out of their cameras. With that in mind, every now and then, he organises a photography day for friends to get together, wander around a town or particular site and make art from what they see. It’s pretty laid-back and people take their time over photographing what is beautiful to them. Everyone usually ends up with a very unique set of images from one another because we all see the world differently.

Our spring photography day last weekend was less than kind with the weather. It appears the April showers skipped their traditional month and made an overdue appearance in May and boy did it rain! The upside was that they were just showers, heavy as they were, and in between, the sun shone beautifully.

Raindrops collage

Collage 2

The incredible looking hot chocolate was ordered by a friend when we were sheltering from a particularly torrential downpour. I opted for a Bailey’s hot chocolate (yum!) but his was pretty awesome – popping candy on top of the cream, jelly babies and candy cane!

We finished the day with about 12 people over at ours watching Eurovision. Madness ensued, unsurprisingly with Eurovision, but it was a really great night with some of my favourite people and the whole day made me realise yet again that we have some very very lovely friends.

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April reflections / May hopes

April reflections - May hopesWhere are these months disappearing to? I can’t quite believe how quickly April flew by or how far through spring we now are. April has been a little calmer, although still pretty full. We’ve seen friends, enjoyed some sunshine, taken photographs and celebrated at a baby shower and our anniversary – the latter in the beautiful city of Paris. For once I’ve even managed to achieve all of my goals!

>Reflections<

Do brunch – more than once would you believe! With friends and with my hubby, brunch has been wonderful. We’ve also discovered that other friends love brunch as much as we do so long may this leisurely meal continue in our weekend priorities!

Clear my laptop and iPhone of photos – yes! My devices actually seem to have responded and are working a little quicker… my hubby also updated the firmware on my Pentax Q camera and it’s as though it is now a brand new phone. So exciting! Nice to have renewed technology around the place without spending any money at all.

Make homemade GF granoladone. So quick and easy to make and you can make so many varieties. I kept it pretty simple this time round, but next time I think I’ll add in some dried fruit, nuts and rice krispies so that all it needs is milk and it’s good to go!

Make popcorn without a microwavethis was really fun. I love hearing the kernels popping in the saucepan! We tried a few flavours but I haven’t settled on one I really like yet. We’ll keep trying I’m sure, it’s a great snack!

Buy some sports clothes – 3/4 length joggers and 2 sports tops bought! Comfy, cute and easy to move in – check!

>Hopes<

May brings an end to my long commute as the office for my new job finally moves close to me, so hopefully I’ll have some time to stop and look around me a little more.

Take a class at the leisure centre – I may need a friend to drag me to this, but in principle I really like the idea of having a set time to go, work out and come home. I like the flexibility (and the free-ness) of doing Tae Bo at home but I need a little sports inspiration. With my new sports gear, I think I’m ready to venture out…

Don’t get sunburned in Turkey – I cannot wait for the last two weeks of May as one of my best friends is flying over from LA. With my hubby and another friend we’re all visiting a mutual friend who is teaching out in Turkey. It should be a really great holiday as I’ll be with four of my favourite people! Although, as my sister put it, this is such a middle-class goal…

Pin down a date to make an item of clothing – it amuses me slightly that my goal is to get the date in, not actually make the skirt. However, the person who will be helping with it is hard to catch so it may take most of this month to find a date we can both commit to!

Wash the car – it’s May, that means it should be sunny right? Well then, hubby and I can make sure we find a couple of hours to hand wash our car in the sunshine! I noticed when we were with my grandparents in Germany last summer, how well people take care of their possessions and I think that’s a really good thing to abide by. Not to have pride in what we own, but to steward it well for as long as we have it. For me, washing the car comes under that category and if I get a little time in the sunshine with my husband, all the better!

Get some more dates in the diary for fun things – some kind of watercolour or baking course, dinner somewhere posh and maybe a mini-break. That’s not too much to take on, right?!

So by the looks of things, May will involve some preparation for future activities, some time in the sunshine, a holiday and getting back in shape. Here goes!

Paris

Our third wedding anniversary happened to fall on Easter Monday this year, so we escaped for a long weekend in Paris. It was so wonderfully relaxing. We stayed with friends and I fell in love with the four-hour meals, aperitifs and slow-moving time. It was perfect. Great food, wonderful company and a magical city.

There is something about the combination of Parisian architecture, food, coffee, wine and even the smell that makes it quite enchanting and four days was an ideal amount of time to forget the rest of the world.

Paris collage - drinks Paris collage - food 1 Paris collage - food 2 Paris collage - places 1 Paris collage - places 2 Paris collage - places 3 Paris collage - places 4

If you’re a chocoholic in Paris, visit the Lindt café. We devoured a hot chocolate and mousse. It was basically melted chocolate in a cup, amazing!

IMGP4546a

I developed a love of night photography when we were on holiday in Malta a few years ago and our hosts willingly played chauffeur for the evening tour of their home city. We set out about 9pm when the sun had set and spent about 3 hours driving around Paris taking photos of the city, alive at night. It was one of my favourite evenings.

Paris collage - night

Such a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary 🙂

Cherry blossoms in Spring

collage1Spring appears finally to have sprung in the UK this weekend and with it, the optimistic populous have donned summer clothes to embrace the fleeting sunshine in case it disappears as unexpectedly as it arrived.

Although our attire wasn’t quite as ambitious as some we saw, hubby and I did walk into town and bask in the unfamiliar warmth. A bit of shopping and a stroll by the river later, we came home for an afternoon that promised rugby, food and relaxation. Perfect.

Taking a photo of a cherry blossom is just one of the many things that makes me feel like a new season has arrived.

Hello Spring – you are so welcome!

Spring things

I adore the seasons, all of them, even if my favourite is Autumn. I love that just as one season is coming to an end, I’m perfectly ready for the new one to arrive. The change is good for me; I am refreshed by the shift in the air, the temperature, the mood and all that they represent.

I always try to make the most of what makes each season unique, so as spring approaches (and to me, spring is March-May), here are a few ways to make sure spring and all that it brings, is enjoyed in the moment.

springthings

  • Food & Drink: Elderflower cordial on a picnic
  • Bake: Mini-egg cupcakes & creme egg brownies
  • Places to visit: Northern Ireland, New York and Paris
  • Decorate the house with tulips and daffodils
  • Go to see some lambs
  • Visit a garden centre and plant something new in a windowsill box
  • Take a photo under a cherry blossom tree
  • Empty your handbag and restock only with what you need, not what you’ve accumulated!
  • Do a spring clear-out (if not a spring clean!)
  • Put on some wellies and splash in puddles