Thursday, 26 April 2012

It is coming ...

Poppy season is coming!  One of my favourite times of year and it is almost upon us (one of my other favourite times of year is actually here, but more on that in the next few days!).  I have seen my first poppy bud and to be truthful, I can not express just how much I am looking forward to seeing the delightful dots of crimson all over the countryside.  I just wish that there was a poppy field locally.  It is one of my dreams to lie in a field studded with these elegant beauties.  I feel that no matter how many photographs, how many angles I shoot them from, it is never enough.  I can not do their delicacy justice, I can not convey how much I love them.

My lovely friend Sian promised that she would send me the first poppy in her garden last year.  I laughed it off as a sweet thought but unlikely to happen.  Then one day I got an unexpected card, with a lovely pressed poppy inside.  These are the sort of things that keep you going.  The small, delightful pleasures in life.  Knowing that someone cares enough about you to press a flower especially for you, brightening not only your day but a small piece of your heart.  Thank you Sian for the thought and for always being there.  You're wonderful and I miss you being here.

Ps please can you send me another one this year?  Pretty please?


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Adventures from my corner . . . Edition 1

I am the lucky owner of a Nikon FM2 and found some (only just) out of date, really cheap 35mm film.  I am lucky mainly due to two reasons, firstly, the Nikon FM2 is a beauty of a camera and secondly, the way it came into my possession was extremely lucky.  I was chatting to a friend from work and it came out that I love photography (naturally).  He asked what camera I shoot with and said that I have a Nikon D300, which prompted him to ask if I wanted an old film Nikon.  Did I want it?  Oh yes, please!  I couldn't thank him enough when I took hold of the precious gold box, with its' delightful cargo of camera and two lenses.  The back is loose and lets the light leak in but I couldn't love it more (unless perhaps I had a 50mm f1.4 lens to go with it...) and I am having lots of fun experimenting with it.  It doesn't have the instant wonder of polaroid but the anticipation of waiting for prints is a joy that I think everyone should be made to experience.  The familiar, old fashioned feeling of not being able to wait to see how your photographs will turn out, or if indeed they will even turn out at all!  This was my fourth roll from the camera and I think, the most successful to date.  The above photograph being my most favourite one of the roll.  The scanned copy lacks the depth of the print, but it captures the essence of the spot.  The peace and the tranquility as the river gently curves around the trees.

I have decided that I am going to use the FM2 to capture my adventures in the beautiful place that I live and then have a sort of online gallery of them on here.  The more I look around me, the more I love my corner of the world.  Another example of how lucky I am, my parents moved here when I was just 6 months old from a big city.  For that, I can not be more thankful.  I am surrounding by beauty that I can never tire of.

So here is the first roll of film in my logging of my adventures, a kind of online adventure book.  This is one of the most lovely places locally, called Cwm Idwal.  It has lakes, craggy mountains, snow, valleys and marvellous skies.  Maybe I will post some digital ones too at some point, just to prove how beautiful the place is.  I kind of don't want to though, I wouldn't want to compromise the integrity of our heritage, the humble film.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A few birthday things ...

This time the other week it was my birthday and I always get stupidly excited about it.  I really am like a big kid, jumping around and hardly able to sleep.  Almost like Christmas, but usually without the snow.  Not this year though!  I awoke to 8 inches of snow, an arctic blizzard and no electricity.  All plans were cancelled, apart from present opening obviously!  I was very spoilt, every book and DVD on my wish list was there, lovely perfume and such a pretty (reversible!) necklace.  You know that it is going to be a good day when you're allowed chocolate for breakfast!  

If you like my cariad (Welsh for love) enamel necklace, you should definitely have a little look at this website.  It was made by a very talented Welsh lady called Buddug Humphreys.  She is from Snowdonia (my patch of the world) and now living in East London.  She has a pretty little shop with her friend Jessie, where you can buy lovely things or even go to a workshop to learn how to make your own pretty things.  It is definitely on my list of places to go.  You can even follow the blog of this wonderfully kooky pair.

Paris, My Sweet is a delightful book, devoured in less than a day it satisfied both my yearning for chocolate and the city of light itself.  It is written by New Yorker sweet freak, Amy Thomas, who oozes fun and certainly knows about sweets!  She takes us on a beguiling journey around Paris and New York via her naturally easy style, the sights, city bicycles and most importantly, some would argue (ok, I admit it, that would be me), the best bakeries.  Not only was I itching to walk along the Seine, I could almost taste the liquid truffle hot chocolate of quaint tea room Angelina's, which apparently remains the same as the days when Coco Chanel frequented it.  

I already wanted to go for a romantic break to the city of love but now I can go armed with a list of all the things I want to eat from all the lovely places!  One of my must do things in Paris is to have my very first macaroon at Laduree.  I will probably spend a while photographing the window displays and then an age choosing which flavours to put in my little box.  I have never tasted one, which is why I have decided Laduree will provide the first.  It has to be perfect!  

The book is really charming and was a perfect birthday read.  I allowed myself a quick first read and have already planned a second read where I shall have a notebook to hand ready to jot down all the places I will visit one day.  I can almost smell the baguettes ...

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Birthday # 1 ...


Today Kiki has her first birthday!  She had some new squeaky mice, dangly mouse and a big bag of cat treats.  All she seems interested in is running around, playing with her kitty friends and getting big!  Look how much she has grown since we got her.  It is incredible to think that she is now fully grown and no longer a kitten.  

She'll always be a kitten to me.