91- Dreamers

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Gladstone's Land Rover has become somewhat of a character at The Good Life Experience...
OK, this is the fourth fifth time I have re-written this post now. I find myself brimming with sentiment, but unsure how to voice it on this occasion.

I want to write something brilliant and worthy, of both the people who work so very hard to put together a great line-up year on year and pack thought and beauty into tiny details all around to make it such a special time and place, as well as of the lovely bunch of attendees.

I want to write about how the rows of canvas tents give a feel of how I think an old time jamboree or summer camp would look and feel.

I want to write about the campfires and how we are all drawn to them like moths or the historic cave dwellers that we evolved from (and sort of still are).

I want to write about the learning and newness of so many things.

About the food smells drifting around and the tasters of so many dishes on offer from camp fire cookery demo's.

Most definitely about the hundreds (thousands?) of adorable dogs that have caused a petition to be started in our house in favour of becoming dog owners by the time the next GLE rolls around.

I want to write about how it is a meeting ground for old friends and a brilliant place for finding new.

I want to write about the inspirational impact that people like the Meek Family have on others.

I want to write about the joy of packing everyone else off to bed and heading back out on my own to wander the site watching bands with a hot chocolate in hand, meandering between tents and fires and feeling the joy of freedom after a tense day of arguments from over tired children.

I also want to write about Michael from Best Made Co who flew over from NY. Who brought with him a suitcase full of s'mores ingredients for everyone's enjoyment. It would not be The Good Life Experience without the s'mores and fires...

And, of course, I want to write about Ben Fogle's amazing legs...

Most of all I want to write about dreamers and passion. Every person who turned up to perform or talk or teach or show did so with such amazing passion that you can't help but get a little bit "infected" by it.

The four founders drive for putting the whole thing together and daring to dream of a different kind of field based, music infused experience (don't call it a festival - it's more than that...) and seeing it through the tough times (councils unhappy about fires amongst other ridiculous things, I don't want to start on how silly rules and regulations have become...) as well as the fun.

The little girls prancing and dreaming of being ballet dancers whilst The 12 Ensemble warm up.

The crafters who quit their day jobs because they dream of a simpler life where the important things take centre stage who come and inspire everyone else to be quitters too.

The music makers who tell their stories intensely with instruments and lyrics (and in many cases a good ol' knees up of a dance to boot).

The cooks and chefs who take ingredients and turn them into something truly wonderful with gusto and love, teaching people not just how to feed themselves and their families, but to nourish their souls in doing so.

The inspirational people who are passing on their knowledge, not pulling secrets safely to their chest but throwing out their arms and saying "look, this is what I've learnt and know and I want to share it with you...".

So many dreamers and doers with rocket fuel like enthusiasm for what they do and sharing it. I can't help but feel that any words I write will not even begin to give the true flavour of not only what it is to be at The Good Life Experience, but also what you take home with you after the last camp fire has gone out.

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TGLE team did too good of a job at putting on lots of interesting things and making everything look wonderful this year (and the weather was just spectacular too), I started to sort through photos to include in this post and have whittled it down to 90 and will have to work at cutting that down... Photos and highlights coming in the next week or so.

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This was our third year at TGLE and next years date is already planted firmly on the calendar. Join in the fun - as I write, super early bird tickets have been extended - book them now and give yourself something to look forward to as the colder days set in...

90 - Bluedot in Photos

Thursday, September 22, 2016

So, this took quite a lot longer than originally planned to get around to posting, but hey, summer happened. It was one of the best for a long time and honestly I want to flip the calendar over and start back at July and do it all again. This year I'm definitely not quite ready for autumn but that is for another post I suspect.

Here are some of the highlights from Bluedot back in July...



















89 - Bluedot in words

Monday, August 01, 2016



This. This is what I live for. This and (shhhhh, don't tell anyone...) service stations.

There are a multitude of stereotypes I could throw out for the things that ladies like. I will simply say instead that conversely to probably 99% of them, my poison of choice is a sunny festival day. This image pretty much sums up what I'd like to see if there is a heaven and I make it there. A hot and sunny day wound down to a lazy hazy sunset over a field of flags waving in the breeze with a night of dancing, singing and mingling under the stars ahead of me.

We've been looking forward to Bluedot for months now and boy did it deliver.

This time a week ago I was dragging my heels like a sulky teenager as I left the festival site to come "home". After a mere three days it felt like I was leaving home. I can hand on heart say that in a field with a bunch of people I have never met before is my happy place and the one that I imagine feels like curling up on the sofa after a long day at work does to most. There is something strangely energising about the hum of energy created by so many people in the same place all with a common interest. With Bluedot being somewhat niche that feeling felt intensified significantly. I witnessed the most awesome collection of funny and intellectual t-shirts I have ever seen (I don't have any photos sadly). I danced under the stars. I slept next to the world's third largest radio telescope. I learnt things about stuff I'd never even thought of. Met people (some old friends, some new). Spent time in an illuminarium. Taught my daughter the perils of festival toilets. Showed the littles a few things, they showed me a few too. Lost all sense of inhibition dancing to Underworld - after all, no one here knows me, right? (later found out that I was spotted by someone who did know me - oh well...). Stayed up too late (small made it to 1.30am after a nap through Air and a Haribo and glow stick fuelled Jean Michel Jarre set). Discovered new music and generally had the best weekend I think I've had since I can't remember when.

One of the things that I love the most about the new wave of festivals that seem to be surfacing right now is the sharing of information. As a species we have spent since the dawn of humanity collecting information and learning and now, more than we have in the longest of times are gathering to share it. The telling of stories around camp fires (literally quite often - The Good Life Experience has an epic log pile to keep such activities fuelled) and the passing on of knowledge is becoming, dare I say it, a "thing" and I couldn't be happier. It's about time we stopped carrying around trade secrets and tidbits of info close to our chests and started to fall back into true communities. Bluedot was a perfect example, science pros gathering to teach anyone less knowledgable then them a thing or two, musicians super passionate about sharing their stories and everyone listening and learning and soaking it all up like sponges.

Last but by no means least, as well as forming a brilliant receptacle for Brian Eno's installation the Lovell Telescope inspired awe and wonder at the capabilities and tenacity of humankind and the scale of life, on and beyond this world. Bluedot, you were awesome, quite literally. Thank you.

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Up next week - Bluedot in pictures - stay tuned.
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Did you see me dancing like there'd be no tomorrow to Underworld or making like a rock star (albeit with a child on my hip) to Public Service Broadcasting? Do you have any festival recommendations for dates I should have in my calendar for next festival season? How has your first week of summer holidays gone? - Connect with me over on Twitter or Instagram or simply leave a comment...

88 - I Have This Thing With Glass Houses

Friday, July 29, 2016

@bbutterscotch / @littlegreenshed / @alfiesstudio / @thefuturekept
It's been a while since I last posted a round-up of #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses. Alas, I failed miserably at posting a monthly selection (which is what I would have liked to do) but there are some beauties for you to catch up with. I've started a Pinterest board of the images I select for these posts too, be sure to check it out here.

@squarehare / @tinykingdom_uk / @haarkon_ / @hannah.straughan
This (below) by @vesters_workshop is my very favourite today. It isn't traditional and maybe only loosely fits the stereotype of "glass house" but it feels like summer in Italy. With the rain pouring down outside, I think we all need a bit of that.

Join in the glass house goodness on Instagram - I'm looking for guest-post reviews as part of the "outdoors-in" series - know somewhere amazing you'd like to see featured? Tag me in to a picture on Instagram (@alfiesstudio) or get in touch here...

87 - Bluedot

Wednesday, July 20, 2016




The project and design work wind down has begun. Today is my last "proper" day of work for six weeks and we are celebrating in style this weekend by heading off to our first summer holidays adventure at Bluedot festival.

With a stellar (pun intended) lineup (Public Service Broadcasting, Underworld, Air, Beth Orton, Caribou and Mercury Rev all on our must-see list with lots others we're looking forward to being introduced to...) and lots of family fun to be had we can't wait to be dancing under the stars and getting our space and science on.

Big acts aside, I'm quite looking forward to seeing the apparently world famous Nic Harrigan and his Titchy Tiny Science show, centred on Kevin, a little piece of dust with some big ideas. I'm quite sure small will love it as there's talk of rainbows I believe and I'm looking forward to seeing how a fellow South Bromsgrove High survivor is doing (it really is a small world, I was super surprised to see a "Nic Harrigan" mentioned on the press release and even more surprised to learn via the magic of google that it is the very same that I used to sometimes hide out in the library and talk music and CD's with in sixth form).

The best part, we've managed to keep it all a surprise from the littles. They have no idea they are going. As the boy dreams of becoming a spaceman one day and girl loves to dance I think it'll be a super start to six weeks of summer adventures!

We got our tickets the day they went on sale but I believe there are still some Tier 3 left... (click here for the Bluedot site)

Let's hope the dry weather sticks around for a weekend that's bound to be out of this world!

I'm done with puns now, as I write it is hot, my brain has all but melted and there are just so many pun opportunities... Done - I promise...

Photos credit to http://www.discoverthebluedot.com

We bought our own tickets to this event.
I'm not being paid / sponsored / bribed to feature it - I just like sharing good stuff with you!


86 - A Confession...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

... I long for the days that are so hot that I crave the kind of shower temperature that I would curse on a winters day.

Cool water cascading down over me, washing away the sweat and heat of the day. Stepping out into the warm air without a shudder, dither or hurry to get dry and clothed.

The indulgence of lying still on the bed wrapped in a towel and the remains of the warmth of the day, watching the clouds pass by through the open window.

Today was 29 degrees and that kind of day. The kind of day I have longed for. Thank you weather...

85 - ... on Instagram

Friday, July 08, 2016



Things I have learned... On Instagram

I fell out of love with Instagram for a while, around about the time the news of THAT impending algorithm change broke. Now it has happened, I find it is kind of freeing. I'm less bothered now about posting time, likes, popularity or the whole numbers game (tho I'm sure they are still important factors in reach and engagement figures etc. which ultimately lead to a better user experience - if you're talking it's nice if there's someone listening, yes?) and more interested in pulling back to my key ethos, telling a story and telling it well.

I've sought out knowledge and researched how to up my game. Which is what I do when I set something as a goal - research it incessantly... I wanted to improve mostly out of respect for the platform rather than playing the numbers game (but I did find out a few things that would help with that too). I like that it is for sharing great photography and want to stay true to that (+ I always have twitter for pictures of my kids pretending to be rock stars...). Here is what I've found...

1) More visibility across the community (liking and commenting on others posts) means more visibility for you. Likewise, hashtags let people find you by subject matter, don't forget them.

2) The golden section applies. I attended an iPhoneography / styling class with Sara Tasker of Me and Orla last weekend and one of the things she said was that rule of thirds is key for taking great photos, she didn't know why in particular but it seemed to work. It occurred to me, I do know why, albeit by a different name and slightly different principle in practical use. I feel super silly for having forgotten it in the first place, one of the key things I learnt as a designer was about the golden section/ratio. It is fascinating, mesmerising and quite honestly mind blowing - I've gathered a few sources for this (relating more to photography than purely principle based) and theres a whole rule of thirds vs golden section conversation happening which is also quite intriguing - links below...

3) People are fickle. They follow, they unfollow. Minds change, trends come and go. The likes and followers can be somewhat like a tide but as long as I'm telling my story in a way that I'm happy with, the rest is redundant really.

4) Light is everything. More than that, it is magical. On my walk home from taking the littles to school this morning I stood and watched a flower blowing in the wind and was captivated by the light casting over it and changing how it looked at any given moment and how that in turn altered my perception of what I was seeing. Light can help you tell your story and make images appear "on-brand" - use it wisely.

5) I appreciate there's a lot of skill that goes in to crafting the perfect image quite often. Personally, I'm not happy styling and posing images for the sake of having content, and I've finally learnt - that's ok. I might not get so many followers (refusing to be a crowd pleaser for the sake of popularity), but that's ok too (see no. 3).

6) It is a platform to tell my story. Share the things that I see, share why I see them that way. To give other people a look at the world from my perspective. It's my adventures, my work, my story, through my eyes, shared with you.

I'm sure there are numerous other shimmer shiny gems of advice, but those are the things that have stood out for me. If you have any other bits of advice you think I should hear, please do comment, I'd love to hear them!

EDIT:
I had a bit of inspiration whilst working after writing this post so thought I'd add this last thought...

7) It has been said that a cohesive feed is most attractive and will bring greater Instagram happiness (that or higher engagement figures / more followers) and you should plan your feed and how images fit together. Using the VCSO grid seems to be a fairly popular way to do this but I stumbled upon an idea this afternoon that seems too simple for words - set up a "ghost" account, set to private where you can post everything before posting it to your actual feed. Simple huh?

Links:
http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/the-golden-ratio-vs-the-rule-of-thirds-which-is-best/
https://designshack.net/articles/layouts/looking-at-images-phi-grid-vs-rule-of-thirds/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

84 - Botanical Style

Thursday, June 09, 2016

In my last post I mentioned all sorts of exciting things that have been happening, May saw me fulfil a very specific one of my work goals, to have my work featured in a book.



You probably already know that I have a deep love for plants and all things botanical, one look at my product line and Instagram feed will tell you that. When I was approached by Selina Lake about the use of some of my cards and prints in her latest book "Botanical Style" I was overjoyed, and eager to see how the whole thing would look finished up. It's always fascinating to see how people take my work and style it up in their own way, I love seeing how stockists style things up with their existing ranges and how clients integrate goods into their homes.

After months of waiting, it arrived. I sat with a cup of tea and anxiously opened the package that I knew contained the book. What if she hadn't used my cards or prints at all? What if they made a Mike Wazowski appearance and were covered by something? I intended to leaf through quickly to see if and where my work appeared but found myself getting caught by this page, and that page, and ooh-ing and ah-ing and then reaching for the post-it notes to mark the pages I wanted to use an idea from. Which turned out to be many.

Vintage, boho, industrial, natural and tropical botanicals all take their share of the limelight with their own sections. All equally inspiring with enchantingly styled and beautifully photographed scenes full of plenty ideas that will translate easily to your space. I've appropriated a few ideas for the shop already and will be sneaking some in to our home too.

See if you can spot my botanical cards amongst all of the beauty...







There is plenty more inspiration where that came from - Botanical Style by Selina Lake, published by Ryland Peters & Small, photography by Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small is out now.

Disclosure
I was kindly given a copy of the book to review. No monies changed hands for this post and all views are my own.

83 - Two Months Off

As I fire up Blogger to write my first post in a while I'm horrified to see that it has in fact been two months since I last posted.

I'm being quite serious when I ask that age old question of "where did the time go?".

I notice written posts that have never seen the light of a screen and find myself a little panicky about things not posted and having missed talking about some really exciting things (Blue Dot festival for a start...). The thing is, rather than talking about exciting things, I've been doing them. Lots of them.

In the past two months we've had many outdoor (and glass house) adventures, our boy turned seven (S.E.V.E.N!), we've swam in the sea, hiked hills, walked in the woods, eaten the first of our crops for the year (rhubarb crumble - yum!), seen dinosaurs at the zoo (!) had fun in the last snowfall before winter (May - you certainly were an odd weather month...) and a whole host of other adventures. I've worked on some utterly fabulous projects, one of which I've just mailed today, as well as collaborated with other like minded bods on writing and making - which has been awesome. Oh and I'm writing this post from my new shop...

I'll endeavour to catch up on things missed and preview some utterly brilliant stuff coming up... Blue Dot, Tramlines, The Good Life Experience to name but a few. As always you can keep up with goings on over on Instagram and lately I've been giving Twitter a bit of a go too...

First catch up post coming soon...

82 - An open letter to A.L.F

Friday, April 01, 2016



Dearest A.L.F,

This year you would be eight (you are eight? I still struggle knowing what to do with that). I don't think about you every day any longer, but you are always in my heart and in everything I do.

I hope that I am doing you proud with Alfie's Studio - today I saw photos of work being featured in a book, I cried a little. When we used to visit you in the early days I would bring new plants and tell you about them, do you remember? The book is about flowers (sort of). I'm sorry we haven't visited for some time, I stopped needing to so much because I realised you were in my heart rather than at that place and it just made me too sad. It doesn't mean we don't care, it means we care too much.

The sight of daffodils doesn't seem to make me as sad as it used to (I took a picture the other day of some at your grandma's house and thought of you). I have yet to see the first lamb of the season so can't comment on them yet. I still don't like April Fools very much, April 1st is not and probably never will be my friend.

Your brother and sister know of you. I don't think they quite understand or can really comprehend, but they will, one day. They will know that you were courageous and funny, taught me how to love fiercely, how to protect them. You taught me resilience and strength, to never give up hope and to enjoy every little thing and moment, for it really is true that you don't know how many more you will have (the saddest and hardest lesson I've learnt so far).

I still can't quite stand it when they call me "mummy" instead of "mama" (they think it's funny to see me cross at them about it). I am and always will be your mummy and no one else's.

I'm not sure on religion but I often wonder if there is a heaven and you are there. If there is, what is it like? Do you have school? Are the schools taught by walruses in waistcoats and lions in bow ties? Have you met your great nana and great granddad? Great doesn't quite cover them, they were AWESOME and I miss them very much too. Is he Top Ten Angler in the Angling Times up there? Is she still cross about the varnishing of the dining table while she was in hospital? That would never have happened in her heaven...

Another year further from you, my sweet thing. Perhaps another year closer to finally getting to play on the beach with you or chase you through the woods?

I will love you, always.

Mummy x

81 - Social Media and Connectivity

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lately as I fall down the rabbit hole of Twitter and becoming active on Instagram after a bit of a winter lul I have pondered "social media" and what it all actually means to me.

I honestly get the feeling that it has turned quite anti-social and fosters disconnectedness in a lot of cases. I have a friend who in fact quit Facebook for the very reason that he found himself not staying in touch with friends, he'd seen their snippets of news online, why did he need to pick up a phone or write a letter? Consequently I actually hear from him a lot more these days...

It seems that we are increasingly being forced down corridors chosen for us, allowed to peep into the rooms deemed as interesting to us, a funfair curated based on past joys. But here's the thing, I'm human, and what I like, changes frequently. There is no robot or algorithm built that can truly know what I would think important because my mood changes, recent personal events impact, ambience and surroundings - the weather even. On dreary days I need plants and foreign places in my IG feed and so I search for new people to bring me those, other times I want to connect with some new like-minded creatives. How can all of this possibly be factored into an algorithm and more to the point, why would I want it to?

Part of the joys of sharing platforms (like Instagram) are not only in new discovery but the re-kindling of forgotten relationships too. Someone who might not have posted for a while, or posts something so out of the ordinary that it would no doubt never be picked up by an algorithm. I feel that the threatened change on Instagram takes away the unexpected beauty of it all and will dull the very best aspect of it - human interaction and randomness.

A quick google search on "Instagram" to check for news on the impending changes somehow brought up a link to a piece by Hossein Derakhshan on The Guardian website which seemed to sum all of it up wonderfully -

"Maybe this is all a natural evolution of a technology. But I can’t close my eyes to what’s happening: a loss of intellectual power and diversity. In the past, the web was powerful and serious enough to land me in jail. Today it feels like little more than entertainment. So much that even Iran doesn’t take some – Instagram, for instance – serious enough to block.

I miss when people took time to be exposed to opinions other than their own, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. I miss the days when I could write something on my own blog, publish on my own domain, without taking an equal time to promote it on numerous social networks; when nobody cared about likes and reshares, and best time to post."

I shall nervously await the verdict on the Instagram changes. In the meantime, grab yourself a cup of tea and read the whole post. If you are an Instagram user and hate the proposed changes go sign the petition against them and let your feelings be known...

I'd be interested in your thoughts, leave a comment on the recent proposed Instagram changes, social media, the death of the web, miscellaneous musings...

80 - I Have this Thing with Glass Houses

Monday, March 14, 2016

@alfiesstudio / @carenbarry / @haarkon_ / @theroundwindow / @letterloves / @jenlittlebirdie
I have a deep love of the tropical feeling that you get in a "typical" glass house: botany from strange and distant shores, so many new and strange plants to look at, all those textures and hues that are so very different to those of typical British flora. Conversely - albeit generally on a smaller scale - they are also the very epitome of the Great British garden: tomato growing, over wintering plants that need bringing in and protecting from frost, prize marrows for village shows and all that.

A while back I started (what has become) a hash tag project over on Instagram #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses. It began as a way of recording the plant related places we had been (and serve to brighten up the cold or dreary days) and has evolved to become a guide to the very best in botanical glass houses near and far.

Join in for more glass house goodness on Instagram - I'll try to feature a round-up every now and then and guest-post reviews as part of my new "outdoors-in" series - know somewhere amazing you'd like to see featured? Tag me in to a picture on Instagram (@alfiesstudio) or get in touch here...

79 - Ficus Elastica

Thursday, March 10, 2016



It's probably safe to say I'm somewhat obsessive of all things botanical - one look at my product range will tell you that, I'm sure. That having said, it is only recently that I've started to feel brave enough and confident enough to expand beyond the peace lily who just won't die (and has gone from a 10cm window sill pot to something I think we need floor reinforcements for) and fairly forgiving succulents, to something a little more maintenance intensive and requiring, y'know... actual plant knowledge (as well as the time to act on it - which I'm prioritising as one of the perks of working from a home studio).

First up on the list - Ficus Elastica. I drew one of these beauties years ago, it was one of the first botanical cards I ever released and I've been longing for a real one ever since. I finally scratched the itch and bought one. He arrived on Saturday and I am so in love with him now he's here in all his leafy goodness. The architectural qualities of the leaves are just awesome and the colours so intense that I feel like I could lose myself in them like a child in the woods (without bread-crumbs for guidance). He's obviously only a recent acquisition - I'll let you know in due course how easy he is to care for or any particular findings.

Look out for my piece on my "Greener House Dreams" over at The Good Life Experience Megaphone Series (coming this weekend I believe) to hear more about my aspirations to bring the outside in and what kick started my plant buying spree.

This is the first post in a new "outside-in" series where you'll be able to read all about my outside-in adventures, botanical reviews, latest plant obsessions and a new monthly round-up of #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses findings. More on the latter next time, so stay tuned...



Top image by Holly Booth. Detail of Ficus Elastica my own images.

78 - Wild Things

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

We spend some of our best days together on the beach, wild, free spirits.

Wild things at play. Wandering wild things. Watchers of wild things. Wowed by wild things of wonder.






Date: The final day of a busy half term (22nd February 2016)
Place: Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire
Soundtrack song: (feel) In Winter - Siren - Tori Amos probably different in shorts in summer (actual) The Killers - All These Things That I've Done (some spectacular car drumming and sing along from the littles).
Comments: A beautiful and awe inspiring drive through the North Yorkshire Moors to get there and that ever brilliant moment of spotting the sea shimmering in the distance.

Just enough facilities to cover a drink, ice cream and replacement bucket and spade but not overly commercial. Public toilets open - even in winter months.

We played like wild things on the beach for a short time before it was taken by the tide, played chase with the waves on the slip way, wandered the winding roads in search of dry socks after being caught by the tide, watched a swirling mass of angry sea flatten out to slumber and travelled a little way down the coast to Scarborough and ate the obligatory fish and chips in the car looking on to the wondrous full moon.
Nearby: Boggle Hole, Ravenscar, Whitby, Scarborough.

77 - Arrivals

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Five hours late, flight delayed. Late night arrival.

The thick feeling of different air and smells, a new and heavy kind of heat.

Passport control, move on, one by one through a wall with doors to unknown territory.

Watching the luggage carousel, wondering whether our belongings have made other plans. There is a surge forward to make a claim on possessions, we check everything is present and correct, no more, no less.

We wander out in to the middle of the night, the culture shock hits us like a truck sideways on.

The taxi takes us through avenues of palm trees that tower over and above us. We can see someone watching TV, their apartment wall is missing. Many are.

I feel we are not in the proverbial Kansas anymore Toto, our adventure is just beginning...

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February 2006 we travelled to Cuba for our honeymoon. Our first long-haul, a life changer.

Our eyes were opened to the difference in geographic locations in the world which we had not before truly experienced.  The kindness of people (challenging our own suspicions).  We learnt always to travel with hand sanitiser and that if something looks funny, don't eat it.  That you will never truly believe the colour of the sea or the trillions of stars visible at night in certain parts of the world.  The sadness of a sunburnt dog so bitten by fleas it has no fur left to shade it from the scorching sun. The smell of a petrol refinery that turns every scorched hot pavement day back in England in to an early morning in Cuba.  The feel of communism and politics so prolific, it is everywhere - especially in the Russian plane that takes us from an island back to the mainland in the depths of night to a disused airport where we feared we might come to an untimely end...



Those first days as a married pair set the tone for the next ten years... sickness and health. Bitter/sweet. Shocking. Life changing. Sad. Exciting. Tiring. Awesome. Wondrous. Challenging. Inspiring.

The adventures we have had, the things we have seen, the sorrow and joy we have experienced.
It all makes us. Every day.

Here's to the next ten years...

76 - The Daily Lie.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I have done the unthinkable... some time ago now I said no to early starts for vanity's sake and yes to an extra half an hour in bed.

I used to find the pressure to look good on the school run quite panic inducing and crippling, the need to look perfectly put together and like I have all my sh*t together before 8.30am causing an almost daily meltdown. I am a night owl and definitely not a morning person, so getting my kids in to school before the proverbial bell rings is a miracle in itself, let alone doing it in perfectly applied war paint. I asked myself who the make up was for, it certainly wasn't me, so what was the point?

I no longer wear makeup unless I want to (there are times it just feels good to look super pampered and preened and like a team of stylists have been at me) or my face will be recorded in some form other than by memory (wedding photos for example). Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, right? I got sick of what felt like a daily lie, for me, a feeling of having to say "look at me with my perfect skin and no dark circles under my eyes from burning the midnight oil", when underneath the primer, foundation, concealer and powder (and seriously - do you realise you what you are putting on your face - look at and decode your make up's ingredient list for something far more frightening than any horror flick you'll ever see) lay the truth. My skin could be better, so what? Do you really care? I didn't think so...

For more information on the make up thing - http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/ makes for an interesting read.  I don't claim this to be the authority on the matter but it might spark your interest for further research, just because you aren't physically eating your make up, doesn't mean it doesn't wind up in your system - be smart, don't just look it!

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