Showing posts with label Photograpy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photograpy. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Meet People, Go Places, Do Things

A few years ago Mark and I were strolling along a beautiful sun soaked beach in Thailand after a wonderful snorkeling excursion. I remember talking excitedly about the amazing things I had seen under the surface as well as bemoaning the fact that my lungs would only let me stay down for about forty seconds at a time before demanding I'd return to the surface for another greedy gulp of air. 
When Mark said "We should learn how to scuba dive" I just kind of laughed it off, as back then I mistakenly thought that scuba diving was the reserve for people with plenty of cash to splash. 
However on our return to the UK Mark phoned a few places to inquire about training and costs and after considerable deliberation we decided to sign-up for the PADI Open Water Course with Dive Wimbledon and so the journey to awesomeness began.

As ridiculous as this may sound to others, learning how to scuba dive totally revolutionized my life and it has had a profound effect on my self-confidence. Sometimes something brilliant comes along that makes you glow and grow and for me that something was scuba diving.

  "Meet People, Go Places, Do Things" is the PADI motto and since becoming Divemaster Trainee with Aquatron Dive Centre that has become my sweet life :)

Yesterday Mark had a day off so we jumped in the car and drove to Loch Long. In the morning we dived a site called The Caves and in the afternoon we moved down the shore to a site called The A-Frames
The Caves - Loch Long
Mark and Jen enjoying a post dive coffee.
We've had a fair bit of rain and blustery winds here in Scotland of late but yesterday we had perfect diving weather. In the morning there was barely a ripple on the loch and we even had some blue sky breaking through in the afternoon. The water temperature was a cool 10°C but even after a 45 minute dive I still didn't feel that cold, in other words there is a very good reason why so many fellow divers opt for the Scubapro Everdry 4, it keeps you nice and toasty.
Pre-dive lunch at A-Frames where we managed to gatecrash an army exercise.
The highlight of the day was having our first ever catshark encounter. Sadly we didn't bring the GoPro camera on these dives which was a real shame because the visibility was really quite good but I was brushing up on my navigating skills and we thought it best not to task load ourselves. There will be another encounter I am sure.

I will wrap up with a little medley of pics from the past couple of months.
Now that Mark and I are both Divemasters in training we will be doing a lot more diving with the school, both as little helpers and as students ourselves.
The first rung on the PADI professional ladder looms in the distance but first there is plenty of studying, practicing, perfecting, working and playing to be done :)
The PADI Master Scuba Diver is the highest non-professional certification level in the PADI system of diver education, it has been so much fun getting to this point and I am very much looking forward to getting on the first rung of the PADI professional ladder.
Mark and I did four pool sessions and three open water days with the school this month. We also did the Enriched Air Diver Course and bagged our certs with flying colours, huzzah!
St. Catherines - Loch Fyne with Aquatron Dive Centre
29 Steps with the Open Water students who all did swimmingly.
Mark also did the first part of the Night Diver course at the A-Frames, I tagged along to serve up a hot drink during the surface interval.
St. Catherines with the school last Sunday. It was a bit of a dreich day but it takes more than a bit of rain and wind to wipe the smile off  a Scottish scuba divers face, we are hardcore ;)
Next month is set to be just as busy, kicking off with the Aquatron Big Sale Weekend and Halloween Charity Dance this Saturday. Mark's costume is all sorted but as per usual I am still pondering what get-up to go for, too many choices is my delightful problem.

Have a funderful Halloween peeps :)
Loads of love,

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Counting Crows

Last night the sky finally ripped open. I was sitting by my computer and when I heard it start a feeling of excitement compelled me to go out and stand on the balcony. I got soaked and it was lovely. The heat is still lingering and the sun is doing its level best to try and burn through the clouds. I'm glad it rained, it was needed.

Yesterday was stiflingly hot. I always feel sorry for black animals & birds not to mention hardcore goths in this kind of weather. The crows in the park looked as if they were about to pass out in the heat. We saved them some grapes and cherries from our picnic.
Ten years ago when I was working at a nursery school nearby Alexandra Place I used to spend my lunch break reading in the park. I usually sat in the shade of a tall tree that also happened to be a favourite hangout for crows. Occasionally a crow would descend to the ground, remain at a safe distance and scope me out. It was summer and I was raw vegan at the time so my lunchbox usually contained a mix of vegetable florets and fruit, not foods that I thought a crow would be much interested in eating. One day however I'd rolled over in the grass a few times reading my book and I was lying far enough away from my lunchbox for the crow to feel brave enough to raid it. I looked over and there he was feasting out on my grapes. He ate his fill and then with a grape carefully held in his beak he ascended back into the tall tree. For the rest of that summer I brought grapes for the crows in my lunchbox.

Curtise mentioned in her last blog post that she's having some issues with deciding what time of day to take outfit pics at the moment. The harsh sunlight is wrecking havoc with most my pics as well and moving into the shade doesn't seem have the desired effect either. Even if the sun is blazing in the sky above and you are sporting more colour than a Rio Carnival float the pics all seem to come out looking a bit like a peeled cucumber, all watery and pale.
I'm sure there is something that can be done to remedy this effect but as it probably involves reading up on some serious photography techniques, I can't be arsed at the moment so watery and pale it is.
Handmade crochet top (pressie from my lovely mum), abstract print 90s cotton trousers, silk scarf, flip-flops, straw hat, aviator sunnies, parrot earrings, three necklaces, Leslie Works button bracelet, loadsa bangles and my POP-swatch from the late 80s.
I was standing against this sun baked yellow brick wall, thinking that it would provide a deliciously intense backdrop that would make the festival of colour I was wearing really pop out, how wrong was I...watery and pale.
You can't even tell that I've actually got the faint beginnings of a tan, I swear I do.

I'll love you and leave you with Counting Crows, enjoy ;)
Take care,

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Peace and Dandy

 Right now I'd love to ride out of town with hubby and a tent, hit the coast of Cornwall and just spend a month walking along the cliffs and feeding off the powerful natural energy that place holds.
 In the summer I loathe living in a big city. I miss the sea, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore, the lovely smell of seaweed & taste of salt in the air. 
This mornings walk to the post office assaulted my nasal passage with a stenchfest of  feculence and decomposing scraps from the butcher. Often the street outside looks as if it's been cluster-bombed with dog turds and I find myself  almost hopscotching in order to avoid all the filth. Retch-inducing mattresses (complete with piss stains and bedbugs) are just dumped in the street and left for days. The only slight refuge from reeking refuse is the park. Thank goodness for the park!
Thank goodness for its beautiful inhabitants that put a smile on my face every day.
This is Baby Grey that I've mentioned before but he's not so Baby anymore. He should be ready to try those pretty wings of his out soon, I'd love to be there to see it when it happens :)

Today I've been busy preparing my stock for this coming Saturday's Dandy Lion Market...
 This month I decided to do something a little bit different and throw a few more separates and some funky 90s clobber into the mix as well. I've been making and revamping stuff for next Sunday's Mini Festival but I'll be bringing a few of the choice bits that I've made along to The Dandy, like this funky PVC leaf necklace/headdress...
 I made an even bigger one for someone who likes to make a bold style statement and like me lacks a soft-pedal when it comes to dressing ;)
I got severe cramp in my fingers whilst hand-sewing all those individual leafs together but watching Black Books on YouTube made almost bearable.
 Needless to say I'll also be bringing the usual medley of vintage & retro frocks. This one is a newbie on the rail...
 Mark isn't working this weekend and has very kindly agreed to assist me on the day, so I'll be able to bring a few more bags and shoes as well.
I'll also be bringing some more of my handmade accessories too.
 As I already mentioned I'm trying out some different stock on the rail this month, it's mostly late 80s/early 90s separates...
I would have killed for some of these pieces back in the day, that dead-stock bikini is amazing but I just wouldn't be able to do it justice...much like Madonna it simply demands a young body to cling on to.
I'm bringing a whole heap more but if you want to see the rest of it you'll just have to poodle along to The Dandy on Saturday ;)

To go with the 90s clobber here's Sabrina Johnston to sing us out with a euphorically happy tune, enjoy!
Happy Friday folks, hope you will have an extraordinarily good one.
Loads of love,

Sunday, 28 April 2013

From Ballachulish to The Boogaloo

When we left London a week ago the sun was blazing and there was not a cloud in the sky as far as the eye could see.
I had hoped that the glorious weather would travel with us up to Scotland but alas that was not to be, pants!
The further north the bus took us the darker the skies turned and we quite literally drove into a whole heap of bad weather.
It would have been nice to have a week of sunshine and blue skies but I'm not one to let a bit of dreich weather spoil my fun.
We stopped off in Greenock with my brother-in-law for a night before continuing the journey up to Ballachulish in The Highlands.
When we visited last September, I brought all my shapeshifter ponchos and we staged a little photo session in the glen and I had hoped to do the same thing this time. My suitcase was full of frocks and photo session paraphernalia and every day I was up with the lark monitoring the weather forecast hoping that there would be a wee break in the thick blanket of cloud. We did get a few pictures done but the conditions were not ideal to say the least but I'll blog about that tomorrow.
As per usual I took loads of pics all week and I thought I'd share some of them with you...
It's grim up north! Not really but it was rather dreich it has to be said.
The River Laroch and the Loch Leven shore. 
Swan in Loch Leven & the St Munda burial island.
The River Laroch in Ballachulish, Scottish heather in mums garden and a cool as a cucumber sheep in Glen Nevis.
Glen Nevis and Scots pine tree.
There was still some snow on the hills. Despite it looking like it never stops raining in the Highlands it has in fact been "unseasonably dry" and at the beginning of this month there was even a wildfire outbreak
Little chirpy bird in Glen Nevis and big chirpy bird at the Lochan Trail in Glencoe.
I was delighted to catch a bunch of Kyloe cows having their breakfast in Glen Nevis. Later on that day we went to Glen Coe to attempt a photo session, we ended up having bemused tourists taking pictures of us taking pictures, och! In the evening we met up with my father-in-law at The Laroch Bar for a few bevvies :)
On Thursday it was my mother-in-laws 70th birthday :)
It did clear up for a few hours in the early evening so we zipped down to the lochside to take a few more pics. Then mums friends came around for a little 70th birthday get-together at the house. Loads of  cake, wine and laughter :)
The morning after mums birthday we left Ballachulish at eight, stopped in Glasgow for a quick pub brunch before hopping on the bus back down to London.
We arrived in London at half ten in the evening and I had my market the following day.
Thankfully I had prepared everything before we left so it was just a case of packing everything up in the morning. I was a wee bit zombified on Saturday but Mark helped me to The Boogaloo and stayed around until I was all set up. Who would have guessed that sitting on your arse for twelve hours could be so physically & mentally exhausting?! 
Despite being a bit of a hazy-daisy I did have a very good day, chatted to some lovely folk & made some people happy with my vintage threads and that's what it's all about after all ;)
Here are some pics from yesterday's Can't Buy Me Love market....
What I wore:
Indian frock, tulle tutu, shaggy cardi with flower brooch, tights, 80s boots, Frocktasia earrings, Tibetan prayer bangle and my trusty market peddlers bumbag ;)
So there you go that was my "dropping off the blog radar" week.
I'm totally behind in my blog reading but as I have already picked out most my stock for next Saturday's Dandy Lion Market I should have a few hours to spare tomorrow to indulge in a little bit of catching up, looking forward to it, I've missed you's!
I'll leave you with one of my favourite Scottish bands, enjoy :)
Loads of love,

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Tapestry of Delights

I bought this fabulous Indian tapestry skirt last year but I haven't worn it until today.
Vintage 60s Indian tapestry wrap maxi skirt, 80s belt, 90s floral lace leotard, African necklace, 70s velvet artists beret & gloves
The pattern is absolutely stunning and when I freed the skirt from the back of my wardrobe this morning it made me think the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur...
Such a magical place, we sat there for ages just gazing up at the ceiling.
I've decided to call this skirt my 'temple skirt' cause I think it's rather magical too.
Other news today ;)
Leslie was kind enough to offer me a spot at next Saturday's market at 'The Oxford' in Kentish Town so I'll be there selling an array of fabulous vintage attire.
I will do a sneak-peek preview on Thursday, so that you can see what I'll be bringing with me on the day :)
The March edition of  The Dandy Lion Market is dedicated to women, girls and mothers.
The event is a get together with Oxfam to celebrate International Women's Day and to help raise funds to support women living in poverty around the world.
Sellers will contribute with a percentage of their takings and there will also be a very special tombola and I will be donating something awesome to that too ;) 
Before I sign off can I just say that I've really enjoyed all the comments that you wonderful peeps have been leaving, it is really exciting to read your stories and personal takes on the questions I pose.
Thank you for taking the time, it really means a lot to me :)
Lot's of love,