Showing posts with label Diving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diving. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Happy is what we are when we're together

We've had some cracking summer weather here the past few days and as luck would have it Mark had two days off in a row, yay!
After he finished work on Saturday we bundled all our dive gear, along with four borrowed tanks and weights courtesy of awesome Aquatron, into the car and headed north to Ballachulish.
We stayed the night with mum and on Sunday morning we did our first ever completely solo buddy-team dive in Loch Leven.
There are two popular dive sites within a stone's throw of mum's house, the one that we went to with Ben a while back called Manse Point and another one that is even closer to the village called The Slates.
Unfortunately Mark had forgotten to charge his GoPro camera so we've got no pics or film of what we saw under the surface which was a shame cause the visibility was really rather splendid on the day.
We did two dives of about 40 minutes each, the maximum depth that we went to was 20 meters and the dive highlights were spotting a Ling  and having a close encounter (thankfully not too close) with a large Lion's Mane Jellyfish. The water temperature was a cool 10°C but I kept fairly warm in my Scubapro Climatec Undersuit & Everdry 4 Drysuit combo.

On Sunday evening we drove back to Glasgow and celebrated our buddy team milestone by cracking open a few bottles of choice ale, awesome!

When we woke up on Monday morning the sun was blazing though the window and although I had planned to spend the day indoors taking photos for the Etsy shop, it would have been a sin to miss out on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.
So Mark and I decided to grab our snorkeling gear and head to Wemyss Bay for a day by the coast.
Here's Mark all wetsuited and booted running into the Firth of Clyde...
It would have been too cold to go snorkeling for any length of time without wearing a wetsuit but with a protective layer of neoprene we could stay in the water for a good twenty minutes. The water was crystal clear so the visibility was amazing. We spotted lots of crabs and really small jellyfish but I spent most of the time looking for unusual pebbles for my collection.

Here are a few snaps of our lovely day at Wemyss Bay...
We only took a couple of pics at The Slates on Sunday as our minds were pretty preoccupied with getting everything just right..."planning the dive and diving the plan".
The dive site name is spot on. Here I am rocking my fleecy thermal onesie or Monkey Man Suit as I like to call it.
A well deserved cuppa in-between dives.
So that was the tale of our two days of diving and snorkeling fun.

This is the lifestyle Mark and I have been longing for and I can't begin to explain how happy I feel that we finally got our procrastinating act together and made the move up north. I feel tremendously blessed that everything has turned out so good and that we've managed to hook up with such awesome & kindhearted people.
Don't get me wrong, we had a really nice life & lovely friends down in London too but financially we were always chasing our tails. Even if Mark was earning twice as much as he is here in Glasgow we were still always teetering on the brink of being completely broke.
Although the move has not put us in a better place financially at least we are much happier and we get to do loads of fun stuff, which to me is more important than a bulging bank balance anyway.

Last month we were sent a lovely surprise parcel from our friends Kaori, Adam and their cute as a button daughter Maya in Japan. It contained (among other things) two beautiful kimonos and obi belts.
We have been awaiting an opportunity to take some photos of them and on the way up the road last Saturday evening that opportunity presented itself.
We wanted a dramatic backdrop to do these truly stunning garments justice and it doesn't get much more dramatic than the spectacular Buachaille Etive Mor.
It was Mark that choose this spot. I think it's quite Hokusai-esque.
Mark snapped a few solo sans wig ones of me but the midgies were out in force so it had to be a guerrilla style photo session. 
I had some fun with PicMonkey this morning :)
I'll leave you with a cheesetastico tune from the 90s, enjoy  ;)
May this blog post find you happy & healthy.
loads of love,
Jennie
xXx



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Pigs Might Fly Post

Hello again :)
At the beginning of every month I think to myself...
"This month I will start blogging again!"
but so far this year it has all kind of fallen by the wayside.
Stocking my Etsy shop & just generally trying to get into the swing of running Frocktasia as a proper business has been an all consuming pursuit for the past wee while. A painfully slow crawl up a very steep learning curve but I believe things are finally starting to slot into place & even make a bit of sense.

Frocktasia had a fabulous outing at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair at Glasgow Student Union last month and it was by far the busiest market we've ever done. We will definitely attend every Judy's here in Glasgow from now on and hopefully (once we get a car) branch out to the one they do in Edinburgh too. The next one in Glasgow is held at Wasps Artists' Studios on the 17th of May the day before Mark and I are off to Loch Long with Aquatron to do our final day of the Rescue Diver Course and hopefully bag our certificates.
Mark is working at Aquatron Dive Centre now; what started as a Dive Master Internship turned into full-time employment and he couldn't be more thrilled if he tried. 

The move to Glasgow has been a marvelous thing for both of us so far, long may it continue :)
Our wee pitch at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair last month. A wheel came off one of our bags en route to the venue so we were pretty flustered by the time we got there. We had some jolly nice stall neighbours on the day though, Scott and Ross from Breaking Pop Vintage.
Last Sunday we were back at Sloans for another lovely day at Little Birds Market :)
Vintage scarves & ties have turned out to be a big hit with our market and fair customers.
One thing I really miss about London is its awesome car boot sales and markets. I'm running a bit low on scarves at the moment so I thought I'd check out the local car boot sale but it was pretty dreadful in comparison to the ones that I used to frequent down south. Maybe it will get better once the fair-weather sellers come out in force, if not I'll just have to jump on the bus and go for a cheeky wee boot sale buying weekend in London.
 There is an absolute glut of charity shops here in Glasgow but I'm yet to find a real treasure trove.
My shopping lust soon fades when all I'm faced with is rails upon rails of second hand F&F, George & Atmosphere.
Don't get me wrong it is not like I'm running out of stock or anything, I have a storage unit full of fabulous threads to "shop" from for the foreseeable future :)
I made these necklaces to give away to our market customers last Sunday as 'Rock Up Early Rewards'.
To this months Little Birds Market I wore a fabulous 70s frock by Susan Small and a pair of suede pixie boots that my awesome mum-in-law gave me when I went up for a flying visit last weekend.
This was lovely Palma's Blithe Spirit Vintage Jewellery stall at Little Birds, I loved those fabulous cut-outs...
Palma has a well stocked Etsy store where you can peruse and shop her spectacular collection of vintage jewellery.
That pretty much wraps it up for this time and if my past track record is anything to go by my next blog post will happen after I've done Judy's at Wasps Artists' Studio, my Rescue Diver Course and my first ever proper dive in Scottish waters but who knows I might surprise you all and blog more frequently from now on?!
....and then again pigs might fly ;)
Here I am diving (and looking freaky) in Wraysbury lake last year, hopefully the water in Loch Long has slightly better visibility.
Until next time folks, enjoy!
Jennie
xXx


Monday, 12 August 2013

I can see clearly now

Some of us live our lives filled with perpetual longing for something better, sometimes battered by discontentment. Some are lucky enough to have found a place in the sun where they feel truly happy. A place where the dramas simply melt away and the first thing spotted in a cloudy sky is a silver lining. Some people are just swept along with the flow, content with not having to swim too hard.
Who am I? 
I often wonder that myself.
When I was growing up we moved three times before I hit fourteen. First when I was six, then ten and then again at thirteen. Moving was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it probably gave me a more varied base of experiences than staying put in a small backwater village in southern Sweden ever would have been able to but it was also a curse cause it left me feeling quite rootless and like everything was just temporary. My relationships were never allowed to properly cement before it was time to haul the anchor and drift off to another place where I had to fight tooth and nail to be accepted yet again. I suppose I got used to change though cause after five years in the same place I couldn't wait to fly the nest and move away. 
I left Sweden when I was eighteen to work in Spain for a season and then I moved to Scotland where I stayed for three years. I sloped back to Sweden for a year to study English and law but soon realized that living in the old motherland felt akin to wearing a badly boil washed woolly jumper and because of that I made a speedy return to Scotland where I met Mark. In 1997 I  lived and worked in Malmo in Sweden, Onich in The Scottish Highlands, Cambridge, Wisbech, London and then back to The Highlands for a short stint in Fort William before returning to London again. I lived my life out of a 90 liter backpack and anything I couldn't carry when it was time to move again was left behind. It was a liberating feeling not to be locked down by possessions and to be able to just pack up and leave at a drop of a hat.
We spent all of 1998 in London but still managed to move three times within the city that year.
Then in 1999 we moved up to Ballachulish to look after mum's house while she went off to be a Buddhist nun for a year and after she got back home Mark and I hitched to Barcelona for a summer of busking on La Ramblas. In early September we got a bus back to London, worked in a pub in Balham for a few months, saw in the new millennium with my sister in Copenhagen before moving to Glasgow.
We stayed there for one year before yet again returning to London and then out of the blue all the toing and froing came to an end. It happened on a December day in 2001 when we walked passed a estate agents. A rental notice in the window really grabbed my attention cause it said really wonderful things like "spacious rooms, plenty of storage, large balcony and nearby park" all of which really appealed to me, so we arranged a viewing and a week later we had moved in. Twelve years on we are still here but not for much longer cause change is afoot.
I never in a million years thought I'd stay somewhere for twelve years but I guess that I'd finally found a place where I was happy to sprout a root and my normal "ants in her pants" tendencies where replaced by "albatross adoration". Each year every room became a little more cramped with stuff until one day we were no longer able to just up sticks and move. Sure it's nice to come home to a familiar setting sometimes, flick the kettle on and see that well entrenched butt groove on the sofa where I have been perched year in and year out for what now seems like an eternity but equally sometimes the longing for those freewheeling vagabond days of my youth make me want to cry when faced with all this staid familiarity.
The anchor is no longer making me feel safe, it's making me feel chained down and all the stuff that I once regarded so highly is suffocating me.
Don't get me wrong I still love my frocks but over the past few years I've realized that there is something I love even more and that is excitement, adventure and really wild things! Right now living in London with a house full of frocks there is very little of that variety forthcoming. I want to be able to don a backpack, travel the world, work as a divemaster (although I'd have to become one first) & do marine conservation volunteering. I want to feel like my life has got substance and meaning. It has been ho-hum for too frigging long. Change is where I want to be!
Sheer 70s Hippie frock, satin slip,  suede waistcoat, Buffalo clogs, odd earrings, sunnies and Tibetan prayer bangle.
Just in case you've been wondering what I've been up to since I last blogged...
We've started making that change happen by selling off my vast stash of clobber at The Princess May Car Boot Sale. We'll be there every Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future. It will take a little while but we are bashing away at that hoard like nobody's business and making good progress so far.

Here's Jimmy Cliff to sing us out, enjoy :)
Hope you've all been doing well.
Lots of love,
Jennie
xXx



Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Addicted to stuff

Turquoise and red ochre paired together always makes me think of Egypt.
That magical country is never far from my thoughts at the moment, it will be a year next week since we were there and I can't wait to go back.
My dream trip to Egypt would include a train journey from Aswan to Alexandria...
...some time exploring the white desert...
...and to finish off we'd spend a few weeks in wonderful Marsa Alam by the Red Sea coast. 
There we'd hang out with our Facebook friend & diver extraordinaire Ahmed
I got to know about Ahmed when I stumbled across his fabulous blog last year and I would love to go diving with him in real life. 
Both Mark and I are big fans of him and his blog.
Maybe if I cosmically order a big windfall, this dream journey will come to pass ;)

 Anyway I was ecstatically happy to see a small scattering of holes in the thick blanket of cloud yesterday morning. 
The never-ending drizzle had dried up overnight and the temperature was slightly more agreeable so that I could bare arms and wear a low-cut cleavage dress...
...whilst basking in the glory of Ra ;)
It's not just the sun that brightens up my day though, you wonderful peeps spread love and light on to my screen as well. 
I'm humbled by each and every comment left & I love the fact that I can pop over and have a read of what you've been up to as well, it's blooming grand!
To my last post a few of you lovelies commented on how brilliant it would be to find bags of forgotten about clobber. Truthfully, it's a strange mixture of horror and joy. 
I was addicted to hoarding stuff for quite a few years and I am now dealing with the result of that addiction. I would just buy loads of  stuff every week,  wash & dry it, fold it away, stick it in a bag and forget all about it. If I was looking for something, it would often take me days to find it. Like most addicts I was living in denial and if you'd asked me a year ago to stop doing what I was doing, I'd probably come up with some lame-ass spiel about how it was the only thing that made me truly happy (cue the violins). A year ago I still wasn't quite ready to face up to my addiction but the thoughts were certainly forming in my head and shortly after our return from Egypt I decided that enough was enough. I had found something else that made me happy, something that enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. Diving in the Red Sea was like my wake up call. All of a sudden I just wanted to sell & save so that I could go diving again. My Sunday morning trek to the car boot sale, the jostling with knife elbowed bargain hunters and the inevitable bringing home of yet another bag of stuff stopped at last, hallelujah!
In the past six months I've only been to three car boot sales and on all three occasions I've kept to a strict budget and I've only bought stuff that I know with get used or sold.
It feels great to be free of the buying demon and it feels great that the albatross that has been hanging around my neck for years is finally getting lighter.
Yes, of course I love finding forgotten about frocks but at the same time I am looking forward to a day when I don't anymore :)
I'm not sure if my hoarding addiction was about the need to own stuff or just to get that fleeting buzz from the thrill of the chase/purchase, probably a combination of the two.
It doesn't really matter now, what matters is that I've got a hold on the situation and that I'm working towards liberating myself from the result of years of  accumulating stuff.
I also love how getting dressed seems a thousand times more enjoyable now, mainly cause I don't have to spend  hours hunting down garments that I want to incorporate into an outfit.
That makes me very happy indeed :)
Vintage 70s coat by Spinney, 70s maxi dress by Richard Shops, slouchy hat, 70s boots, Frocktasia grumpy suns earrings  & Ankh necklace, a plethora of brass bangles, opera gloves and retro sunnies.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by having to much stuff in your life?
Hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday :)
No tune today but here's the brilliant George Carlin on 'STUFF'...
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Diving into fun

Two posts in one day, how very extravagant of me!
Truth is I'm playing catch-up :)
Yesterday Mark and I went down to Dive Wimbledon to book me in for my Emergency First Response course. 
Mark actually took the EFR instructor course late last year but hasn't actually done any instructing yet so he's going to sit in whilst lovely Jon is doing the instructing to really learn the ropes. 
Completion of the EFR is a prerequisite for the PADI rescue diver course which is next on our diving to-do list.
So now I've got my course material to dive into over the next few weeks, not to mention my very own private, in-house EFR instructor, to help me along should I get that sinking feeling at any time whilst reading the book ;)
After my morning coffee yesterday I popped up to the loft and found yet another bag full of forgotten about frocks.
There are actually still bags up there that I haven't looked inside for yonks, bonkers!
Inside the bag that I brought down was this delightful crimplene creation from St Michael, I believe it's from the sixties...
Vintage 60s floral print crimplene day dress, 20s tail tux jacket, repro Victorian lace-up boots, tights, driving gloves, mohair hat, soapstone & macrame heart earings, Frocktasia horse-brass necklace & Lanta Animal Welfare tote bag.
Although I absolutely love its yummy raspberry colour and ditsy floral print, it is sadly just a little too large for me so it will be joining the cornucopia of fabulous frocks in my market stock, speaking of which...
I'm very pleased to announce that Frocktasia is now booked up to be a part of  the wonderful Dandy Lion family for three more months, yay!
The next market is on Saturday the 6th of April so a preview post is in the pipeline for that, probably just after Easter.
If you are thinking of coming along to peruse my goodies and have any special requests as to what you'd like me to bring on the day, please feel free to e-mail me with any suggestions or requests on frocktasia@yahoo.co.uk
I will of course also be telling you about my fabulous fellow sellers in a pre-market post cause they are BRILLIANT but not all pitches have been confirmed as yet, so that will be done after Easter too :)
Can't wait for this to roll around, it's so much FUN!
Hope you are all having a great week!
Today's tune is by Inner City....BIG FUN, enjoy :)
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx


Friday, 11 January 2013

Excitement and Adventure and Really Wild Things!

Hope you are all doing grand :)
I've just returned from a three week magical mystery tour to Awesome Asia, namely Thailand and Malaysia.
This was my first ever Xmas in the sun but I don't think it will be the last. 
I was mega excited about rolling up my wetsuit and packing the regs knowing that rather than waking up to a bunch of tiresome traditions on Christmas morning, I'd be taking a giant stride into the Andaman Sea;
an unbeatable way to spend Crimbo in my opinion!
Besides scuba diving with Lanta Divers we managed to squeeze in two visits the wonderful Lanta Animal Welfare, several long walks along the many lush beaches of Koh Lanta & loads of dips in the sea...naturally!
We celebrated NYE on the beach together with just about everyone else on the island, dodging fireworks and drinking fresh coconut.
On New Years Day we took a (near death experience) boat trip to Langkawi where we stayed at the brilliantly located Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort for five days.
We hired a car and explored the islands many wonderful waterfalls and beaches and we went jungle trekking, saw loads of macaque & dusky leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, hornbills, eagles and we were even lucky enough to have a close encounter with a flying lemur.
Excitement, adventure and really wild things...
just the way I like it ;)
My holiday wardrobe had to be significantly slimmed down compared to the huge amount that I brought with me to Egypt last year, mainly cause we were travelling with a lot of our own scuba kit this time around and we weren't just staying in one place. 
So I only brought a couple of dressy frocks and some more (for me) "casual" gear.
Surely I am not the only one who goes hiking up a hill dressed in a sequin top ;)
I have an excuse though all my other garb had been drenched in saltwater after the horrid boat trip from Koh Lanta and was absolutely sodden...
needs must and all that jazz!
Here follows a pic-medley of my holiday outfits with a few other photos thrown in...
much more to come :)
After our first dive day hubby made this little greeting/trailer for our chums at Dive Wimbledon...
On our second dive day we went to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang where we saw a Manta ray....
I almost wet my wetsuit, so Frigging AMAZING!
Hubby caught it on camera, so hopefully I'll be able to share it with you soon :)
Lot's of love,
Jennie
xXx