Thursday, June 30, 2011

Go go go!

I'm in a really weird mood at the moment. I feel really bogged down & on the verge of being a stress head but instead of letting it panic me I'm motivated & excited to get going. Normally I'd just call up mum&dad & have a moan & be completly mardy but not today, not this week.
Here's some of what's spinning round my head:
~ Each new month brings money to let me pay off a bit more of my visa which is a great feeling & I've not got long to go now till I'm debt free (well apart from my student loan but that doesn't count in my head!). Each time I transfer money I get a jolt of exitement as I see the total going down. I'm hoping it won't be too hard to not pick up my visa again & get into bad ways of spending, though I'll just need to remember how rubbish I felt before & I'm sure the card will go away again! 
~ My to do list is crazily long with little niggly things but it's all good & I'm makin my way through it slowly but surely. Being able to delete each line is brill!
~ We're really busy at work at the moment which is a great feeling & I'm enjoying it all throughly. Long may it continue.
~ Saturday brings another engagement shoot (weather permitting) with the lovely Lou. I'm nowhere near as stressed about what to wear as I was before & we've got some cute little props in mind.
~ The main thing on my mind wedding-wise is bridesmaid dresses! Crazy I know! I've got 429 days to go but it's still nagging me! It's the one thing I've not had a clear idea about at all but I'm sure once I see it I'll know.
~ I have pretty much no free weekend until my birthday at the end of August & so I'm trying to plan meet ups with mates in September! I can't believe how time is flying by.
~ Camping is the biggy. All the old Lufbra crew are getting together at the start of August & going camping. Now I've never camped so it's gonna be interesting that's for sure. Everyone knows what I can be like so I'm bound to have a little diva strop at some point, then when I've tamed Princess P it'll all be ok again! Adam & I are trying to figure out how much stuff we can get away with borrowing cos we have nothing & I'm not even thinking about the shower situation (a cold tap!) till we arrive! Eep!
But on top of all of this I've still had time to put little hearts on my toe nails! No rest for the wicked eh?! Bring it on!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Journal Day - "first"

Danielle at Sometimes Sweet has started a new project called Journal Day & I thought I'd take her up on the challenge & attempt to write a post each time she writes a prompt so here goes....

Describe a "first" (first date, first lie, the first time you experienced something, first time in a particular setting, etc). Include as many details as possible to paint a picture.

After a bit of thought I decided to write about my first day at school. I'm not picking any school in particular but my mum&dad started a tradition right from the start where they'd take a photo of me outside their front door all ready for the challenges ahead. It's something I'd love to carry on when we have a little P of our own & he/she is ready to face the outside world (Argh I'm actually talking about children! When did that happen?!).
There are 2 images I can remember vividly. One is my first day at Infant school where I'm clutching a little yellow & green stitched P.E bag with my name written on it in felt-tip pen that mum had lovingly made for me. I wonder if she still has it? It was ace! The second photo is from High School & I'm in my first uniform - a blue skirt, white shirt, blue striped tie & blazer - all at least one size too big! I can't believe how long my skirt & most importantly my tie was either! By the time I'd been there a year it had gone from about 10 stripes long to only 3. I remember spending time getting it right every morning so it wasn't too long to be geeky or too short to be overly cool. I was a true inbetweener!

The whole 'photo to start a new year at a new place' carried on right until I left home to go to uni & I bet they'd look quite cool if you put them all together to see how I'd grown & changed. The last photo in this series is of me with my worldly goods packed up to live in halls at Lufbra & I'm wearing wide red corduroy trousers, platform trainers, a long black caridgan, a Paul Frank top & my hair in bunches streaked with purple. What a first impression that must have made on everyone as I moved in! I even tried to take one myself when I was living in London about to start my first day at work but it didn't come out right & wasn't the same doing it without a proud mum&dad holding the camera & reassuring me it would all be ok.

If you've got a good 'first' check out Danielle's blog & tell her all about it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday/Retirement!

Had a lovely relaxing time at ma & pa's with Adam this weekend. It was mum's birthday on Friday, followed by her retirement party on the Saturday & glorious sunshine today, so it was busy busy but great fun too.

After a rather hectic week at work I met Adam at Euston. Seeing as I got there a bit early I headed to m&s & got some flowers for mum & a mini bottle of red wine for us on the journey! How civilised! When we arrived dad & uncle Colin picked us up while mum & aunty Sue waited at home for our Indian takeaway to be delivered. When we sat down to eat it took me back to living in Bommasandra where they couldn't ever get the quantities right. We only got 2 of our 4 chapatis & about 15 popadoms to share amongst 6 of us!

Saturday was spent getting ready for mum's retirement party (only 6 more work wakeups to go I think!). Adam & I spent most of our time chopping fruit for the Pimms which was a huge success. I ended up polishing it off with a straw later on that night when we couldn't get any more out to serve, classy bird! It was really nice to see some of my old teachers & catch up with them as we all sat in the garden hoping the rain would stay away. Thankfully it did & the only time we got wet was in the hot tub later on. There were 7 of us in a 6 seater & 2 of them hadn't brought swimsuits so ended up getting in in their clothes! It was such a random but hilarious night. Teachers sure know how to live it up!

This morning we were all woken up earlier than we'd hoped thanks to a leak in the bathroom ceiling. It was a bit annoying at first but when I realized how gorgeous the weather was it didn't matter so much. Adam & I went to the local park to soak up the sun on the swings & had a sherbert fountain which was ace. Not done that in years!

After lunch we went for a walk along the canal & soaked up some more rays (maybe too many looking at my pink back!). We felt very guilty every time a duck spotted us & swam over all excited expecting bread but we'd forgotten to bring any, yoink! Our lovely Sunday walk was followed by a trip to the local pub before heading to the station to get the train home.

Yay for weekends at home with the rents & Adam. Shame it's back to the grindstone tomorrow. Boo!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to chez p

When I visited Michelle in Manchester a while ago we went to a place where you can paint your own pottery. I decided on a tile for our home et voilĂ  here's the finished materpiece:

It's been yonks since I drew or painted anything so I was pretty chuffed with the outcome. Apart from the bratty posh kids & their mums who let them get away with everything it was a really cool little place. We sat & drank tea & nattered away as we painted for a few hours. I've always heard about these cafes but never thought about going before, I'd definately recommend it now though, brats & all!


Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Monday, why are you wearing gold shoes?!

I didn't know the jazziness of your shoes was supposed to progress with the week but apparently it does. Adam looked very confused this morning when he pointed out I was wearig gold shoes on a Monday.

Mental note made & it won't happen again I promise. Maybe the world's not ready for metallic shoes at the start of the working week?!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dancing in the streets!

For Father's Day this year ma & pa came down to London to me rather than me heading up to them. We headed into town for the Marylebone Street Fayre which only meant one thing....a ruddy good afternoon of dancing! Jive Nation dusted off the trusty roll up dancefloor & got ready for a boogie. I was dragged up for my first dance by Lou followed by Teddy. I went over to get something out of my bag & turned around to see mum&dad heading for the dancefloor & I thought "aw sweet they're gonna have a little bop," then they completely wowed me by actually jiving! Apparently they've been to classes in secret & were going to shock me at the wedding but couldn't keep still when they heard the music! It was so cool to see them dancing away & I even got to have a few dances with dad which was a lovely way to spend Father's Day.

The only thing left to say is Happy Dad's Day :-)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wet & wild!

Last night some jive people & I went to a late night opening of London Zoo. When we booked it there were photos of people sitting on the grass & relaxing with glasses of pimms. I'm not sure what city that was supposed to be in but it certainly wasn't London last night! The heavens opened & didn't stop until closing time!

We'd planned to wander round a few animals, sit on the grass chatting & drinking & end up at the silent disco. In actual fact we had to wait an hour for everyone to show up as we got wetter & colder, we ran to the reptile house cos we knew it would be warm & dry, then shot over to the aquairiun & watched the funniest made up musical by a company called musicbox, braved the weather to see the lions & tigers & watched 2 ants biting a leaf to carry back in the bug house (it was more exciting than it sounds thanks to lou & courtney's running commentry!). When it was time to meet everyone at the silent disco we found it on a very soggy patch of grass & I have to say we wimped out! I headed back to meet a very drunk Adam & we went home! All in all it was a fun night, just not how we'd imagined! I was really looking forward to posting about this cos I was expecting some brilliant photos but all I ended up with were these three shots taken before I'd even got there! Haha gotta love the British weather!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

engagement shoot - graffiti goodies

I've been really excited about getting some photos of Adam & I done ever since we got engaged so I spoke to Lou (a.k.a bridesmaid, honorary sister according to most people at jive & un-official photographer!) to see what she could do. We got all excited coming up with ideas, where to go & when so we booked three dates, the first for the shoot, a second for backup & the third in case of the apocalypse, thankfully we've not needed the third one....yet.
Lou came round for tea & a chat last Friday. I got so excited at being able to talk to someone about the wedding that I ended up having verbal diarrhoea, poor girl. Hats off to her though she kept the enthusiam bubbling as I ploghed through my bulging book of ideas for photos, outfits & decorations, some of her facial expressions at some of our more 'individual' ideas were priceless! She then helped me rummage through my wardrobe when I was having an 'I've got nothing suitable to wear for this shoot' moment & found some pieces for me to base my outfits on & calmed me down (this is why she's gonna be such an invaluable bridesmaid - I need someone who can tell me to 'pack it in' & stop being 'mardy' when it starts to get a bit too much!).
We woke up Sunday morning to an overcast sky but decided to risk it seeing as it wasn't pouring with rain. As we left the house it was spitting but not too bad & looked like it might brighten up any minute so we hopped on the tube all excited. The problem was it looked like it was 'going to brighten up any minute' all blimmin day! So we ended up having a rather chilly & damp day for the photos hence the coats but never mind, it gave us more excuses to cuddle together (sorry a bit soppy there I know). I was also pretty chuffed though cos I love the idea of using puddles to reflect images so we got the chance to have a play around with a big one we found at the end of a tunnel. Our first shoot was all based around a graffiti backdrop (in case you hadn't guessed!) cos of all the lovely colours & patterns & we've got more ideas in the pipline for further excusrions on other days.
We started off around Shoreditch & Brick Lane heading to two specific pieces we'd liked & stopped off for a brunch, a bit of warmth & an outfit change at The Book Club where we'd had our engagement party. Lou ended up with the biggest & spongiest pancake I've ever seen - it was just a sponge cake, the size of a baking tin with maple syrup, bananas & strawberrys, Adam & I had the heathier giant jacket potato! After we realised we might be getting a bit too comfy on the sofa & were in danger of never leaving we dragged ourselves up & headed to Waterloo to the tunnel where the Cans Festival had been & is now an authorised graffiti area. It's a shame all the lovely Banksy pieces & other artists work have now long gone & have been covered over & over with other designs (& some very rubbish tags!) but hey that's what it's there for & that's what happens I guess, nothing there is meant to be permanent.
Adam & I had been a bit worried that we weren't going to know what to do for poses but with Lou yelling directions we needn't have panicked. I think we need to practise our 'freestyle posing' when we're told to just play around but we'll get there & we'll soon be working the camera like the best of 'em. I've definately been watching too much America's Next Top Model though cos I kept hearing Tyra Banks telling me to Smize (smile with your eyes!). The shots that were the funniest to take were along Shoreditch High Street where we were on one side of the road & Lou was on the other. We had to keep waiting for breaks in the traffic & when we saw one coming it was a case of - umbrella down, get ready, pose, smile......& umbrella back up again as a lorry drove by spraying us! These still need a bit of editing so will post them another day when we've had time to sort them out but there are some gems in there!
All in all it was a fab day & we can't wait for our next trip out with Lou next month (it better be dry & sunny otherwise we can't do it so fingers crossed). If you want to check out more of her fab photos click here for her Flickr site. You won't be disappointed! Thanks again Lou for such a fun day you rock!
x x x

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thought for the day...

Every time I leave jive on a Tuesday there's a thought for the day in the station. I thought I'd start sharing them with you seeing as someone takes time to write them out to bring a smile to commuter's faces.

Yay for London!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Forfeit 1

The weather's been proper minging today. Normally I love it when it's this blustery & wet at the weekend cos it would mean we wouldn't go anywhere & hibernate in front of the tv, but not today, we had our first engagement shoot! More on that when we've got some pics to share as well, let's just say it was chilly & damp but lots of fun.

When we got back I had to do my forfeit set by mum. The weather was starting to clear up so I set off but just as I was out the door the heavens opened again & I got wetter....

& wetter....

Till I was soaked!

Hopefully I'll think twice next time I go to grab a sweet cos I don't really want to go through that again! Yuck!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

A trip back in time to an ancient flitch town

We took a little trip to Great Dunmow today. It's a place we always pass on the drive to Nick & Lisa's house & always say we'll go but never usually get the chance. We'd popped over to give Brandon his birthday present but didn't stay too long so we could explore The Ancient Flitch Town.
We always keep some sweets for the long journeys (not exactly long, we were only travelling for an hour but we still need refreshments!) & I went to get a Fruit Pastel but was greeted by this gooey mass! I kind of nibbled away at the Tootie Fruities but couldn't bring myself to break my jaw on the rest!
We were heading to the gardens of Eastern Lodge but they were closed so we stopped off on a deserted road & just enjoyed a bit of silence surrounded by greenery.
On our way to the town we passed a village pond. We felt a bit guilty when we walked over & all the ducks zoomed to us expecting bread! Maybe we should always keep some in the car for emergency duck visits?!
The houses & church were so pretty & as we drove around it reminded me of the Lilliput Lane models we used to buy for friends in America. We managed to find one property worth just over a million quid - which I'm sure we could stretch the budget to for our new home once we're married! Any donations would be gratefully accepted though!
When we got to Great Dunmow we parked the car & had a bit of a wander around. The shops all had Ye Olde Worlde fronts & were so pretty. It was nice to see somewhere that still survives with independent shops & no WHSmiths or Wilkos in sight. We found another pond where there were ducklings, local kids fishing & a few people lazing around on benches & on the grass. We found an empty bench & enjoyed the unexpected sunshine (after all the miserable weather we've been having). As we were sitting there a little old man from the village came over with his two dogs & started talking to us about the history of the place. He was really fab & wanted us to know everything about the fetes & carnivals coming up as well as what was happening about the planned bypass! He even pointed out the house where War Of The Worlds was written.
Before leaving we decided we had to have a cream tea at a little (rather fab) cafe. I asked for milkshake & was presented with this diet busting thing! I only got half way through before I was convinced I'd explode so had the leave the rest unfortunately.
On the diet note I'm not a happy bunny, I've put on 2lb in 2 weeks so my first forfeit has been set - I have the walk the block round our house, quickly, twice. It may not seem much but you probably ain't seen the hill we live on! I'm blaming the gain on the sheer amount of snot from my cold (sorry a bit graphic I know!) so hopefully by next week I'll be lighter!

Anyways better be off we've got our first engagement session with Lou in Shoreditch & I really need my beauty sleep, once I've actually got to sleep after worrying about what to wear. I've already planned it all but I bet it'll change completely about 5times before I go back to my original plan. Poor Adam, I don't think he knows whether to agree with what I say or not about the outfits I'm flapping so much! Yoink!

x x x

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Painting with Light - Lomography styleee

A couple of months ago I was comp shopping in Shoreditch & came across the Lomography shop. I couldn't possibly see it & walk on by so took a little detour to drool over all the pretty cameras & endless budget breaking possibilities in there. I was looking around & noticed a flyer of workshops that were planned for the evenings & one caught my eye called Paint with Light. It was only a tenner for a talk & 2hr workshop that included the use of a Lomography camera & a roll of film. I jumped at the chance of giving it a go cos I definately can't afford another camera at the moment but this would give me the chance to try out a different model I wouldn't usually go for.
We used the Coloursplash camera along with external coloured flashes & lazer pens to draw with. I've seen loads of these kind of images online & kept meaning to give it a go & now I had the chance. I wish I'd had a tripod for more of the outdoors shots but you can get the idea that things were starting to work. With the camera you pressed the button to take the picture & expose the film for as long as your finger holds it down. There's also a flash that can go off as you lift up your finger in different colours. The winder wasn't the easiest to turn & I'm not sure I'd actually buy one for myself (I'd rather dust off my manual SLR & get some coloured acetates to cover my flash gun) but it was fun to try it out.
It took me so long to get the film processed cos I've been trying to find somewhere to get the right chemicals to develop my own rolls of film using dad's old dark room equipment. We've not quite got the space for a full on dark room (who knows though, the coal shed could one day be converted?!) so for now I wanted to just do the film & scan it in. I was getting all excited researching it but then I got a bit impatient & ended up getting the films done at Asda cos it was so cheap for just the film & a cd with no prints!
I've not been to any more workshops yet but I keep meaning to try out more of them cos it was so much fun & keeps the new ideas coming. It was like going back to uni, working in groups & brainstorming ideas which I've not done for years. I went on my own to this one so ended up pairing off with another girl but it's summit that would be ace with a gang of you doing it all together. Hmm think I'm going to have to take a detour & see if they've got any July/August leaflets & see what else I can get on with.

x x x