Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tips from the top...

On Saturday, I headed up to that there fancy London town for a much anticipated day with the wonderful Emily Quinton. Blogging as The Startup Wife, Emily (a wedding photographer by trade) now spins a myriad of creative plates in the entrepreneurial air, including her 'Make Light Photography for Bloggers' course.

I am obsessed with Emily's blog, her Instagram feed and her positive but real approach to life, so it was with great excitement that I set out uncharacteristically early to the village train station. My journey was fraught with difficulty from the start and to cut a long (and expensive) story and journey short, I arrived exactly an hour late. Out-of-breath, embarrassed and more than a little teary, I was soon put at ease by Emily's sincere welcome and the encouraging smiles of my fellow bloggers.

Emily is wonderfully warm, refreshingly down-to-earth and super-talented. She talked us through kit, composition, light, apps and editing. There were many opportunities to get snapping with Emily's constructive and friendly criticism in the background to help us produce half-decent photos.

To be honest, I didn't take that many photos. I was too busy chatting and cooing over Baby Rudi. I also made copious notes to capture Emily's many generous top tips and insider secrets.

We all had a delicious lunch from nearby Pitfields, cake a-plenty and beautiful goodie bags provided by Emily who had literally thought of everything. 

Despite being put back on my train home by the very patient Tamryn and Ruth, it took forever to get home too. I didn't mind one bit though as I left feeling uplifted, inspired and motivated to keep up with this little blog - and privileged to have spent the day with a fabulous bunch of women with whom I'll definitely stay in touch.

We're all crying out for Emily to run a follow-up workshop. Whenever that may be, I'm going to head up the night before...

Thank you, Emily, for an incredible day, and for letting me use the large image in this collage!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Back to school...

Dexter's new (old) desk

A week today, I will have taught my first lessons of the new term. *Whispers*, I quite like the 'back to school' feeling. Don't get me wrong, I love the school holidays and I really love the 6am alarm being turned off for six weeks, but I enjoy the roll of the seasons. I relish the beginnings of Autumn: the beautiful light and the cooler air creeping in, meaning I can legitimately wear sleeves again. To me, the start of September signals a new pencil case, new stationery, choosing winter boots, meeting my new students and getting back into a routine that makes the holidays feel even more special.
I am privileged enough this year to be dropping down to a four day week. I'll be off every Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to more time with my boy and a sense of balance - oh, and one week day with the alarm turned off.
I'm hoping I'll also get some more blogging inspiration and time to document. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Very happy holidays

Our family holiday this summer involved a week in South Wales: three nights in a hotel in Cardiff Bay and three nights with dear friends in Roath.
We had a ball! The sun shone. Dexter spent a lot of time outdoors. We ate out. We went to beautiful parks and beaches. We 'did' proper family time: memory making. And not an airport or passport in sight. Glorious!

Dexter became obsessed with swans ('Rons').

Our hotel: the Welsh National football squad were staying there too!

He also developed a craze for 'run round in circle'.

'Daioni' milkshake (through a straw) was the drink of the holiday.

Inside our hotel. We were on the fifth floor: Dexter LOVED the lift - and has since pretended to be one.

We did proper tourist stuff, like Cardiff Castle.

More 'run round in circle'...

Lovely Lazza, our generous host. I Instagrammed her beautiful home to death! Thank you (and T) for really making our holiday special.