Recent Posts

Transferring the Blog

Hello again everyone!  You may have noticed some changes to the site today. I am in the process of transferring Mel’s blog over to a new platform.  I am doing the migration of data and images as quickly as I can in the following order:

  • Build new WordPress site (Complete)
  • Transfer the posts (Complete)
  • Transfer the images (Complete)
  • Update DNS (Complete)
  • Connect posts to the images (Complete)
  • Secure the site (Complete)
  • Add CDN (Not started)
  • Improve site performance (Not started)
  • Upgrade look and feel (Not started)

I’ve moved on to improving the site performance now.  I think it’s running a bit slow.

Bloom 2018 – Pink White Pink

Here is another of those found flower photos. Taken in August and is a perfect pick-me-up to it being Monday……..

I remember being very pleased that one of the Dahlias had at last flowered and I tucked that bloom right at the front of this sugar pink vase-ful.

Also in there are Ammi visnaga, Antirrhinum apple blossom, Scabious, Salvia some lovely self-sown white Borage and a little grey foliage from an ornamental pear. Such a sweet little arrangement and a good reminder to me to get my seed ordering planned for next year!

 

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

Layout Share – Remember This

Another one of those photos that I snap and then simply must scrap to capture that moment in time.

Remember This

I used a numbered list for the journalling this time. Just a couple of details about where and who.

  1. We’d been to St Petersburg. Him for the Dali Museum, us for the craft shop.
  2. Every time we went through the barrier back to Caribbean Beach the driver had to remove their MAGIC BAND to open the barrier. 
  3. He loves to drive.
  4. Just love this photo and all that it reminds me of. 

Ages ago I promised an update on this albums progress. I have failed in that so far. But I do hope that I can round up this trip soon even if that means I come back to some stories. There are several pages already made and a few stories that I MUST tell and I’m setting myself the challenge of doing all that by the end of the month!

Wish me luck.

In the Frame – A Journey into Self Portraiture – Part Two

Over the summer I have been continuing to play and experiment with taking selfies. From the point of view of my phone camera I never really stop taking photos often of my feet and sometimes on the timer but I have been using the big camera more to try and hone my self portrait skills.

You can read the beginning of this story here.

Going back and reading that post has me inspired all over again! Anyway here are a few from this summer, some thoughts and revelations!

I bought one of Vivienne’s online classes and have loved reading her tips and positive messages about this form of photography. I’ve been trying out one of the methods she uses for focussing the camera. Simply put she turns off auto focus and uses the feet/metre guide on the lens to work out where the focus point is then stands there.

I don’t always get it right as you can see in a couple of the photos above but I’m still enjoying it and also now deliberately standing out of focus for a different type of shot.

I’m obsessed with the jumping shots and want to get a good one….. I’ll keep practicing.

Something I have got better at is looking for the light. Photos are just better when there is some light and dark, some sunshine basically. And from a technical point of view the more light the faster you can have the shutter and hopefully capture an in motion type of shot.

And even sometimes when you use that sunshine to take a great all be it a technically bad picture.

The light in Tuscany was just amazing. And I have more evidence that I wear skirts!

I say that a little tongue in cheek but this photo journey has made me realise that I dress in jeans all the time. I like to be comfortable and I guess I have a uniform for day to day living.

However, going back to Vivienne’s original idea about ‘cultivating self love through self portraiture’ I have come to the conclusion that although I like being ‘comfy’ what that actually means is that I choose to wear those jeans over skirts and dresses because of the thoughts I have about my body. I should add, the negative thoughts I have about my body. I hide behind what I feel are neutral clothes, nothing that makes me stand out too much.

Yet by looking at the photos from the post in 2016 and some of these here I love to see myself in something other than jeans. I can honestly say that this has been a revelation, a pause for thought, something that I need to be conscious of and work towards changing. Loving myself in whatever clothes truly want to wear.

This self portraiture journey really is turning into an adventure of discovery on so many levels and I am bravely taking these steps, practicing all the things and embracing what I see through the click of that shutter.

Photo a Day -Week Thirty One and Thirty Two

Catching up with more photos.

Autumn is here.

Still trying to eat some healthy food.

Love me a sunset.

And the golden glow of early morning sunshine too.

Still harvesting tomatoes. Best year ever.

We were working he was watching……..

Took a trip with my sis and brother-in-law to a camper and caravan show. We can but dream.

Thought the Amaranthus matched the berries on the plate perfectly!

The Hellebores are coming.

Shadows on a walk during my lunch break.

Garden still life.

Oh these Dahlias. Labyrinth on of my favs. And the light of course.

We had a sudden cold snap which called for our first all day fire of the season. Someone was happy about that.

Delicious breakfast of poached eggs on avocado toast with a side of tomato and sweet potato hash. Yum!

And that was that.

The Click Tick List – See the Leaning Tower of Pisa

You know when you get an idea, maybe it’s something that you have had in your head for ages like seeing one of the amazing sights of the world.

And you get to actually see it one day and it was sort of a disappointment? Well, the day we saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not one of those days! HA!

It was just as wonderfully quirky at I’d imagined.

I mean. Look at it. It’s crazy.

And beautiful.

And even better when the sun shines on that marble and limestone.

I could talk about its history, how they tried to correct the lean while still building it and at several times over the next several hundred years but the internet can fill all those details in for you. I simply want to remember how amazing it was.

Such a great day and I’m happy to have crossed it off the list.

Bloom 2019 – The Minimal One

The last few days have seen me sorting out all my photos and moving the last couple of months over to our external hard drive. When you live with a computer programmer backing up is a necessary action. Plus my little lap top can’t hold all the thousands of photos I snap.

All that to say that I’ve found more flower arrangement photos I’d forgotten about! So here is one from earlier in the summer.

I went for very arty minimal! And I seem to remember not liking it much at the time and I’m still not keen but it is part of my flower arranging story so it’s good to document and learn.

What I do love is the colour combo. Those amazing ‘Sooty’ Dianthus barbatus (sweet williams) mixed with the dark Centaurea cyanus (cornflowers) and the elongated raceme’s of the Amaranthus. The zingy contrast of the orange-red Crocosmia sets off those deeper tones bringing the combinations of colour together well. It’s just the sparce arrangement I’m not happy with.

Really glad I found these photos though as I definitely want to try that colour combo out again next year.

The Gelato

Ice-cream is one of my very favourite things. And gelato is even better. So when we went to Italy we ate all the gelato we could.

I know what you’re thinking….. isn’t gelato just Italian for ice-cream? Simple answer no. The main difference is that gelato has more milk than cream so freezes at a lower temperature and is denser in consistency. It does taste smoother somehow too. I don’t know if I could pick gelato out from ice-cream in a taste test but for research purposes I’m happy to give it a whirl……

Before we went on our holiday I did some research and had about five gelateria’s in mind for us to visit during our stay.

In Lucca we went to Piniko and Grom. I had such delights as mango, coffee and nocciola (hazelnut).

In Venice we wandered to find Fantasy Gelato and I tried pistachio, stracciatella and peach.

In the little town on the coast, Lido di Camaiore, we visited Modo and at Viareggio,  Kremmy. Gav liked Kremmy best as they were very friendly and helpful. Translating the flavours for us and letting us try before we bought.

I loved our first visit to Modo not only because we’d walked and walked to get there so it was a perfect reward but also that just ahead of us into the shop went a large Italian family.  Each member of the family stepped up to the counter, chose their gelato and headed to the seating area on the promenade to tuck into the yummy dessert. And the best bit of that scene was that the Grandad paid for all the family. It was a lovely sight to witness.

I had more pistachio and I tried out chocolate and fig. And at Kremmy more hazelnut strawberry and nutella.

Finally in Florence we went to Grom again and Vivoli. Not sure which flavours I had but they were very good.

If you’ve ever watched the movie City Slickers then you’ll recall the scene where Billy Crystals character is testing another characters knowledge of what ice cream goes with different foods. Pretty sure those ice-cream making pair in the movie were supposed to be Ben and Jerry! Anyway, I felt a bit like that stood in front of all that gelato. I wanted to get a good combination of flavours in my cup. I can honestly admit that I didn’t achieve that goal. But they were all delicious in their own right so I’m not complaining and I think my favourite was the hazelnut.

Now to hunt up so gelato and keep practicing!

Layout Share – Chef Mickey’s

There were so many memorable times from our ten day stay in Disney I can’t count them all. But this one is up there as a favourite.

Breakfast @ Chef Mickey’s

Here’s the story –

One hundred and eighty days in the planning! So glad I booked this character breakfast. You have to throw yourself into the fun, try mot to get nervous, get up and shake hands and strike a pose with these guys. The food was plentiful and hello Mickey shaped waffles… It was full on FUN and a great adventure in the Disney experience. I mean c’mon even Gav got up and joined in the fun. Really loved this so. 

No other words needed!