Photography and Walking are habits that go well together

The weather has got so much better down near where I live. So I used the opportunity to get out for a decent walk with a friend. We’re both training for the 10K, so she was also eager to get out for some more long-distance training. Rather than a jog, we took this one at a more leisurely pace. It didn’t stop my legs aching by the end of the day. Not surprising as the total walk was about 12.6 miles (according to Google Maps).

We started out about 9:30am Sunday morning and made it over to the Studland ferry fairly soon afterwards. It’s only £1 for both crossings. So a really cheap day out.

Pedestrian Ferry Ticket from Sandbanks to Studland beach
Pedestrian Ferry Ticket from Sandbanks to Studland beach

Walking along Studland beach was beautiful. It’s down on the south coast of the UK. Part of it is a nudist beach – so a great gage of the relevant temperature of the day. But there is also a national trust cafe – fab food but not fantastic hot chocolate – located at Knoll Beach which is slightly further along.

All the way along the beach we had a fantastic panoramic view from Poole, to Bournemouth to the Purbecks and to Old Harry Rocks.

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These are some of the pictures from our rather amazing views along the beach
These are some of the pictures from our rather amazing views along the beach


In a slightly odd twist on the usual routine – the Studland beach was literally covered in dead jellyfish. The only times I’ve ever seen jellyfish before are in aquariums or when I’ve been on holiday. So this was pretty weird and the jellyfish were pretty huge.

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You did have to make sure you were watching were you were treading. There were many lumps of their remains everywhere. Quite sad really.

Eventually we made our way through the swarms of jelly fish and up to fort William. According to my friends, Churchill had watched the practice D-Day landing exercise from here – after they had cleared some of the mines away. It’s worth a wonder up – the views are amazing.

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Once we left the fort we made the last 1 3/4 mile walk to Old Harry.

We made it to Old Harry.
We made it to Old Harry.

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Distance walked so far 6.3 miles.

While I was there I took the opportunity to practice my makro photography skills on the most beautiful Thistle.

Thistle taken with Macro. Playing with angle
Thistle taken with Macro. Playing with angle

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In addition to having lots of fun taking pictures we also had a fantastic walk. Although I have to admit when I arrived home (after walking 12.6 miles) everything hurt. Thankfully after a hot bath and a long sleep this was slightly better. But I definitely think I will need to get myself a new pair of walking boots before I go on my planned walking holiday at the end of July.

On the bright side I’m definitely getting the feeling  that this walking habit is marrying up perfectly with my photography habit.

Home Decor · MinsGame

How I can use the move to start me living a more minimalist lifestyle

During my lunch break today I stumbled across this article on Huffpost from 2013:


It’s definitely worth having a look through the article in full, but this is what I really took away from it:

“The idea is to pack everything, including the things that you know you will use (e.g., your toothbrush, deodorant, kitchen utensils, etc.) and then unpack only the things you need during the next week. So, if you need your toothbrush later today, you’ll unpack it. Need your shampoo and conditioner and moisturizing bodywash in the morning? Unpack it. Need some clothes to wear tomorrow? Unpack them. After a week, you’ll still see the vast majority of your stuff packed away in boxes. That’s when it’s time to make some interesting decisions: trash,donate, sell.”

The concept is to pack everything and get rid of the stuff that you don’t unpack.

My husband and I are due to move into our first house I August (fingers crossed). We’ve started packing this week and I’m seeing steadily more on my stuff being stored in colourful plastic boxes. Currently most of the ornaments and books have all been packed away. We’re essentially getting removing the stuff that isn’t useful on a day-to-day basis.

What I really like about this is the concept of sorting through the unpacking. With the total change of lifestyle this new house will bring us (I.e. I will be in cycling distance to work!) a sort pre-move isn’t necessarily the best option. The whole process should also make packing a little bit less of a stress too.

However, I do admit that most of my ornaments and all of my book will be swiftly unpacked once the room is ready. With the books I will remove them from the house once I’ve read them.

Can’t believe how much stuff will have to be left to pack until the last minutes thought.


Inspiration from others

Weekly Rec – Online Stitch Libraries

This fantastic blogger points us towards some great resources.

Thank you 🙂

Roving Crafters

A crafter can never have too much yarn, too many patterns, or too many websites on which to waste hours and hours thinking about yarn and patterns. Which is why we have online stitch libraries. These are collections of patterns, motifs really, that have been organized by helpful souls and available for free.

samples from free online stitch libraries

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Blogging · Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101 · Running

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day12 – Talents and Memories

Day Twelve: Increase Your Commenting Confidence

Today’s task: read six posts written in response to the same prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.

The two blogs I really engaged with contained topic I could relate to on a really personal level.

Comment 1: A number of Things.


I totally have the same problem. I can never quite focus on anything. It’s so fun to be able to dabble in stuff. I’m a great believer in just doing something that you enjoy and enables you to jump between all of those things.

What I tend to do is swap between 5 or 6 projects for a year. This stops me getting bored and by the end of the year I’m getting to a point of being to be able to say I’m actually quiet proficient at some of them.
So glad to know I’m not the only one though!

Comment 2: Running with Reality

The Hopelessly Voiceless Starlet

Personally, I love to sing and jokes are made that my voice will break windows. I am in awe that they were able to be in a play of Les Mis – it is one of my favourite musicals. Watching it live a few years ago in Southampton was such a fantastic experience. But the singing is such an essential part of the whole production and plot.

Day Twelve: Architecture & Monochrome

Today’s Tip: As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But let’s not forget black and white, or monochrome, which can be very dramatic! Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in the frame in dynamic ways.

In some very excellent news, my friend (who I am planning on doing the 10K with) actually managed to drag me out for a jog. They’ve added in some of those exercise machines. Thankfully she did exercise science at uni and so could show me how to use them without hurting myself. As a result, I had a lovely jog – and actually managed to keep up with her without killing myself! So definitely starting to feel like this change in lifestyle is paying off.

I took my little point and shoot camera out with me for the jog – a panasonic lumix. So all the pictures today are on that.

Today’s picture was of the old gas works near to where I grew up in Branksome, Poole. This gas structure is now no longer used and was bombed during the second world war. I think it’s kept in memory now of those who died. There is no board or anything there, but I remember a remembrance service at church when I was young.

For me, this structure is a familiar sight that I’ve always been slightly in awe of.

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This is a close up:

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What do you guys think? Personally, I love the way the monochrome reinvents the lines.

Knitting · My WIP Projects · Updates

WIP – knitting magazine square 10

Well I am way behind on these squares. Pretty sure issue 20 came through my door the other day. I havnt had a chance to open the pack yet.

One square 10 now. Port Banff Rub Square. I’ve never done ribs before. I really love the effect and think a scarf in the pattern would look fantastic.


I knit with my notebook next to me. Either i have the colour pattern scribbled in there or i have a check list to keep track of what line i’m on. This is the easiest way to pick up the project is it gets a temp hiatus.

This pattern is just 2 lines alternated. So actually this is a pretty easy knit.

What do you guys think?

Eventually i’ll have 90ish squares I can sew together to make a blanket. Here’s the other squares I’ve already completed:


Blogging · Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day11 – Prompts & Pictures

Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

Why do this?

  • Learning to interpret prompts is an invaluable skill for when writers’ block hits.
  • The best way to become a better blogger is to blog — and prompts force you to do that.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Practice Makes Perfect?.”

This prompt is to write about a skill you want to have but don’t at the moment.

A skill I would love to be able is computer programming. What keeps renewing my interest is the discussion in Artificial Intelligence. I listened to another today on BBC Radio 4 (Artificial Intelligence) about whether we should be scared of the possible implications of creating human intelligence.

This is why I would love to learn how to program. Not that I think I could be good enough to actually program AI, but I would love to have a better ability to understand it. Some of the theory behind it I bet is really fascinating. I feel like a kid who’s been denied a sweetie jar.

I haven’t really got very far at the moment. But I have been writing about my experience of setting up my Raspberry Pi and some very basic programming. I’ll move it over, but for now, check out my progress on my Blogger page here. Once I’m all moved, I hope to have it set up permanently in the spare room (which is to become my den). Then I hope to make some serious progress with the programming ideally. But there is so much else I want to do this year, that I’m not sure home much I’ll actually get done.

Day Eleven: A Pop of Color

Today’s Tip: As you train your eye to look for color, keep it simple:

  • Choose one bold colour against a neutral background, instead of several colors competing for attention in a scene.

There wasn’t a lot of places I could go for pictures at 9pm at night. However, while I was out watering plants I did spot this very yummy, ripe, looking strawberry. Which was very yummy and very also looks fantastic.


Blogging 101 · Flowers · photo101 · photography

Photography & Blogging 101 – #Day10

Day Ten: Build a Better Blogroll

Today’s assignment: create a blogroll to share a few links you love.

I’ve added a ‘Blogs I follow’ widget to the sidebar on the blog 🙂 Seriously, go and have a little look. There has been some really amazing bloggers around.

All these tasks to have a look at other bloggers has been great. I’m really in the habit of looking through my reader read. It’s so exciting to find all the great hints and tips on there.

This will continue to grow as I continue to blog. So don’t forget to keep an eye out.

Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects

Today’s Tip: To stretch yourself, manipulate the light available to you to create a particular effect — use it to cast shadows and highlights to create a moody image. Work with natural light, or find an artificial light source like the stage lights above.

The direction of light has a big impact on your photos. Things lit from the front have few shadows, and are evenly lit. When the light comes from the side, shadows and highlights are introduced, creating more texture and complexity. Lighting from behind throws things into sharp relief, silhouetting your subject.

Not sure where to start?

  • Take your photo during the “Golden Hour”: the time just after sunrise or before sunset when natural light is soft and takes on color tones of its own.
  • Illuminate your subject with a flashlight or candle.
  • Take a street shot, using car headlights or street lamps to light your scene.
  • Try a photo during the day when the bulk of the sun is hidden, revealing patches or bursting rays of light.

Working with light is, at heart, what photography is all about.

This task reminded me of some pictures I took for work about a year ago. I was so pleased with the final result and I still think it’s some of my best work. Personally, I love the effect on the walls.


While I was sat at a dining table putting this together, I caught notice of an orchid flower on the window sill. It’s about 8pm in the evening and the evening light was catching the petals beautifully. To be fair, Orchid are one of my favourite flowers. So it doesn’t take much for one to catch my attention. Definitely thinking an orchid will be the perfect addition to the dining table – once I eventually decide which one I want!

I took a close up of the singular flower and did a group shot. I love the way the light adds definition to the flower. The colours were almost intensified in the evening light.

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What are your thoughts? Do you prefer the singular flower or the group shot?