Holiday vibes and shadow photos

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Having a lovely time here in Portugal. We have found our own routine. Late breakfast, reading, pool, late lunch. A walk here and nap there just the perfect lazy holiday. I’ve also been taking lots of photos some on the ‘big camera’ but most with my iphone. I’ve been particularly enjoying the light and the shadows the light lets you create……

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Even roped Gav into the fun!

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Oh we laugh…….

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Photo a Day – week twenty seven

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Here goes another week. This one ends with our arrival in the Algarve for our holidays.

But we begin back in the UK on a morning walk with Buddy. I spotted these trees and the chimney stacks and liked how they looked together.

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A lovely little bee getting some nectar from an Antirrhinum.

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At the bus stop. I missed one bus so consoled myself by getting a coffee while I waited.

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Have to capture the flowers when I can as the season will be almost done by the time we are home again.

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And had to capture this sweet boy who will be having lots of fun at my sisters while we are away.

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Off we go to the airport.

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Enjoying the light here in Portugal.

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And there we go.

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The quest for 10k a day

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It’s all the iphones fault.

During the earlier part of the year for one of the monthly One Little Word® prompts I had written in my note book that doing more exercise was important but I knew I’d never do it.

Enter the iphone which counts your steps and gives you details of the activity you’ve undertaken each day. It was one Wednesday when my niece was round for tea that we all got our phones out and compared steps. Hers was way up at about 8k, Gavs was about 5k and I was only at about 4k.

You know how the strangest things stick in your brain and trickle down into your thoughts without you noticing? Well that is exactly what happened to me over the course of the next week.

I started to check how many steps a certain morning route with Bud gave me. Then how many steps I got on an average work day from arrival to departure. I started wearing the trousers that had pockets in them so I could carry my phone around at work. The following week I lengthened the morning walk till I was getting 4.5k steps in before 9am.

In short I was on it. I wanted to get to those elusive 10 thousand steps every day. After about fifteen days it became just something I was doing. Yes somedays you find me (and Gav, as he’s doing it too) roaming the house or garden to get those last few steps but so far I have done it every day since 9 July. Two whole months!

I am incredibly proud and happy with this achievement. I think I am getting very, very, very slowly fitter and while I haven’t lost any weight because of the walking I think it has stopped me putting any on. Win, win!

There are two takeaways from this. One – never underestimate yourself. Throughout my adult life I have tried various forms of exercise and not stuck with any. I’m just lazy – HA! But this goal of 10k steps just worked and I am as surprised as everyone who knows me that I am keeping it up. But is goes to show that we shouldn’t write ourselves off. And two – documenting was the key. Having a written record of the steps turned this goal into something to work towards, it was achievable because you knew exactly where you were with it. That’s the thing that makes it work, for me anyway.

Off we go then 10k here I come.

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Photo a Day – week twenty five and twenty six

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Playing catch up again. This series of pictures brings us right up to date though and I thought it would be fun to write more than I usually do for each of the photos like I did back here.

The story of the brick edged path. It looks lovely when the grass is not overgrown and Gav took time last week to tidy it up.

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The story of the sunsets. My love affair with them. When I’m lucky enough to catch one it feeds my soul.

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The story of my nighttime routine. The notebook and laptop and glasses. The cozy bedding and lamplight.

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The story of my walks with Buddy and my habit of collecting conkers.

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The story of these two. One hard at work the other looking on. The story of the ever-changing place that is our garden.

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The story of a rainy trip home from Leeds on the bus.

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The story of a new quilt in the making. How my hobbies appear to change with the seasons.

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The story of a rare trip to the cinema. We went to see Star Trek and it was great.

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The story of an evening walk in very hot temps for a September.

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The story of tea out with her and Gav and Buddy too. We were waiting for the boys to arrive as they walked and we drove.

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The story of fading beauty and light. That I see beauty in decline. It’s good to remember there are layers and layers to see when you look.

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The story of a bumper crop of French beans. This was just the start of my harvest. That I take my best pottery out into the garden and revel in picking crops.

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The story that I think I can still do a cartwheel! I almost fell flat on my face, my poor old wrists couldn’t hold the weight…….

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The story of my joy at this scene. How perfect it was that morning that I am sad to see summer go but happy to grab one more breakfast outside.

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Okay more micro stories told.

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One Little Word® 2016 – Whole – an update

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It had been months, 7 months in fact, since I posted about this project.

Overall this year has been more ‘succesful’ than previous years both in terms of taking part with the monthly prompts for the class and feeling like I have stepped a tiny fraction closer to what my ‘whole’ means.

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At the start of the year there was a lot of thinking about what the word means to us. I’ve just re-read my post from January and still believe that the word you select doesn’t matter 100%. What matters is your willingness to keep the word with you throughout the year, to walk with it as Ali says, to invite it into your life and develop a relationship with it.

I have done that more this year than before. And that is great.

Here is April’s prompt.

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Something that came directly from working on that months prompt is a habit of drinking water every morning before I take Buddy out for a walk. I’ve also continued to enjoy a herb tea instead of coffee at least once a day at work. And amazingly I have been walking 10 thousand steps a day (more on that milestone to come.)

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One of my favourite monthly prompts was May when I felt like I really grasped the idea of my word on a less literal level.

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The idea was to use photography as a ‘lens’ to see your word in your life at that point in time.

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Oh and that picture of me with my eyes closed has to be one of my most favourite selfies! Just something about it.

July saw us creating manifesto/encouragement cards.

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I struggled a little that month and felt like I was repeating myself but I still enjoyed the creative side and getting something in my album.

And that is where I am up to. Looking forward to finishing August and getting into September.

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One Little Word® is an idea developed by Ali Edwards read about it over here.

And read other posts about my words here.

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52 Stories – number thirty seven – Anatomy of a photo

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What with trips to London and ‘double sleep-overs’ I’ve got a little behind with my stories.

Anatomy of a photo

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This photograph has been waiting quite a while for its moment in the story spotlight. It is another one of those odd pictures that hold so much memory and story yet looks nothing special at all.

Here is the story from this page –

Let me tell you what I see. Memories of Dad. Helping, encouraging, spurring us on. A lot of talking between him and me. Memories of the garden back then. The big hedge was still there. The pergola yet to be finished. That walk I used to tale before we owned the house all the way to the end. I seemed like miles. Memories of our desire to grow stuff to fill up that amazing space with flowers. And even now 10+ years later we are still doing it.

The takeaways from this page/would I add anything more?

I don’t think I would add anything here. I like the use of those paragraphs a change from my usual block of text. I keeps your focus moving around the page which in this layout is good. I could have told a dozen more little stories to go with this photograph but overall happy with the ones I selected and very pleased to have this cherished picture of my Dad and I scrapped.

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52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here

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Bloom 2016 – Summer colour

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This is an arrangement from the other week. I spotted the beautiful Anemones at the back of the border and wondered how they’d last as a cut flower. I also found a clump of Oregano that I’d planted flowering away merrily so I picked a few of those stems too.

I definitely pushed my arranging skills well outside my comfort zone with this one and I’m not entirely sure I pulled it off?

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I think that pink Anemone could have been an inch or two shorter. But I tried and loved the bright and cheerful vase.

Also in this arrangement is Alchemilla mollis, Antirrhinum ‘the bride’, and an unknown yellow daisy flower that has crept into our garden from next door. (After a search on the internet I’ve found out that it’s called Inula.)

As for my wondering how long the Anemones would last? Well all of the arrangement held up for over a week so that’s a perfect vase full in my book.

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Photo a Day – week twenty three and twenty four

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Doing a catch up again here.

Growing your own veg never gets old!

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Rain covered sweet peas.

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This is why I love everyday photography. Details, details. I’m trying to get a nice shot of my ice lolly while Gav is making H laugh and Buddy is merrily chewing a stick.

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Spotted a pretty nasturtium plant on my walk. That red is so vibrant, perfect for attracting the bees.

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This little wind chime, bought by my Mum as a reminder of our other pooch, is weathering with each year. It plays such a gentle tune when the wind stirs.

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We were London bound again with our younger niece for our third year in a row and this time we went to see the Lion King. Amazing show.

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H and I took a boat down the Thames.

 

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There she goes running between the fountains at Somerset House.

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The first crop of peas.

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We went for a picnic in the park and even got the bat and ball out.

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Sunset reflected in the new greenhouse roof.

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It was warm enough for a skirt yet leaves are falling……

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Mutual affection.

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We have had the company of this treasure lots during this summer holiday and on Sunday we crossed something off our summer list. Get Dunkin’s. They were delish!

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And another two weeks go by.

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Read 2016 – A Particular Eye for Villany by Ann Granger

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Another book that my Mum lent me and another from a series. I have read this author before but this series is altogether different as its set in Victorian London.

Strangely I found it interesting not just because of the story which was a quirky detective tale but I also found myself wondering how hard it must be to set a story back in time. No DNA tests or forensic evidence for this detective! Overall I liked it and will probably read the other books in this series.

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Photo a Day – week twenty two

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Catching up here….

Still working on my macro lens skills. And bees of course, always bees.

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On her summer list.

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On our summer list!

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On his summer list?! Catch as much sun as possible!

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Me and him in Canal Gardens.

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Making arrows…. don’t ask!

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Perfect breakfast outside.

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And that was the week before last!

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