Picture perfect. 

I’ve always loved taking pictures. My first camera was a hand me down when I was very young, since I had that I’ve never stopped taking pictures. Pictures of people, many more of places, capturing everything I wanted to remember and revisit and then some. Last year I did a photo a day challenge, posting a picture on Instagram every day, and this year I’m doing the same.

One of the things I want to do this year is to improve my photography. I’m content enough with the photos that I take but I know there’s so much I can still improve. I’m in the process of finding some blogs to follow (any recommendations will be gratefully received) but want to do more. Facebook’s bizarre algorithm that shows you the activity of your friends led me this evening to discover Emma Davies Photography’s free online course A Year With My Camera so I’ve signed up for that too. Hopefully you’ll see the results over the course of the year!

Baking · Blogging · Craft · Personal · Photography · Writing

New and Improving.

AKA The post where I talk about last year’s not really resolutions and set this year’s not really resolutions.

Last year instead of making specific resolutions I decided I was going instead to try and make a couple of changes in how I thought. I decided I was going to get back to focusing on the positives (for various reasons I’d started to fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives which was really out of character for me) and I was going to be more grateful for all the things in my life that made me happy. I definitely feel like over the course of the year I did quite well with this, my positivity has returned and I often catch myself before I focus on the negative of something. I don’t do it always of course, it’s a work in progress but one I feel content about continuing.

This year I’ve decided to do something different. It’s shaping up to be a year of change in many ways and I thought I would use that as my inspiration. I’ve thought about a lot of the things I love to do and I’ve decided for each area of my interests something I want to try and something I want to get better at. Here’s the list:

New – Sweet treats.
I want to start making sweets and truffles, and anything else little and sweet. I had the Sweets Made Simple recipe book and a sugar thermometer for my birthday so I’m looking forward to a year of experimentation and tasting!

Improve – Making biscuits.
Making biscuits. I bake lots of cakes but always avoid biscuits, I haven’t had great success with gluten free biscuits so always return to cakes which work. This year I’m going to get better at biscuits.

New – Project Life.
This year I’m going to start Project Life, a journalling / memory keeping technique. I have plenty to say about starting this so expect a blog post in the next few days dedicated to it.

Improve – Crochet.
I taught myself how to crochet around 20 years ago but didn’t really keep it up and now barely remember any of it. I’ve been pinning all sorts of cute patterns to my boards on Pinterest so this year I’m going to brush up my skills and start making some of them.

New – Photo editing.
Despite taking loads of photos I’ve never developed any editing skills whatsoever. This year I’m going to start learning how to make the most of my photos once they’re taken.

Improve – People photos.
Taking photos of people, particularly grown ups is something I’m not very good at. The majority of the photos I take are of views, flowers, objects and young children – basically things that don’t talk, or don’t require significant interaction. I always feel very awkward approaching the idea of taking photos of people so end up avoiding doing it, but this year I’m going to try to get much better at it.

New – finishing a novel.
This is probably the one thing on the list that I feel most strongly about. I have started and stepped away from a good number of novels, never having the courage to push through to the end. This will be the year when this changes though, I will finish a novel and put it away and then get it back out and start learning how to edit something creative.

Improve – blogging.
I talked recently about stepping away from reviewing books on my blog (expect news about how and where I will be reviewing them later this month) and returning to a more general blog. I want to improve two things in my blogging that are entirely linked – I want to improve the frequency of my posts and I want to be better at writing longer posts. I don’t feel like I have established my blogging voice – spending so long writing reviews and writing academic things has definitely had an impact so this is what I want to improve over the year.


There we have it. 8 plans for the year, 4 things to try and 4 things to get better at. All of them are things I want to be blogging about so hopefully it should be pretty easy to track my progress over the year.


Friday Photos [3] – Water

Friday Photos is a weekly challenge hosted on Flickr where people submit up to three photos taken that week for the theme. Each week I will blog my entries.

Week 3’s theme is Water.

I chose to use photos of my two favourite ways of drinking water, either mixed with a teabag and milk or put through my beloved filter machine.


Friday Photos [2] – News

Friday Photos is a weekly challenge hosted on Flickr where people submit up to three photos taken that week for the theme. Each week I will blog my entries.

Week 2’s theme is News.

End of the Argus.
End of the Argus.

Just one photo this week, the Sports Argus was a hugely important part of my weekly routine until it sadly closed in May 2006 with this final issue.


Friday Photos [1] – Socks

I’m going to try my hand at the Friday Photos challenge again this year. The group description from Flickr:

A Flickr group posting photos every week but with a bit of a thematic challenge. The theme for the week will be posted here in discussions every Saturday throughout the year. Photos can then be posted up to and including the following Friday. Please encourage people to join, we’re a friendly bunch and all love looking at each other’s photos.

I haven’t had much success completing photo challenges before, I usually end up making it a few weeks in before forgetting for a couple of days and then giving up. I’m hoping that the weekly theme will help to jog my memory and get me through ’til the end of the year.

Week 1’s theme is Socks. I wanted to try and think of something a little imaginative but failed, so here are my 3 pictures for the theme.

Why not think about joining the group and the fun?

Life · Photography · Sports Thoughts

The London 2012 Torch Relay.

The Olympic Torch is in Wales at the moment on its journey around the UK. It arrived in Aberystwyth yesterday evening and this morning headed off on its way to Bangor where it is spending tonight. I live a little north of Aberystwyth so it was wonderful this morning to see the torch taking the route I use every time I go into town. I went to see the torch in Tre-Taliesin, watching its final leg before it was transported by coach to Machynlleth.

This lady was the torch bearer:

According to the website she is Caroline Orrells from Newton, her bio is here. The rest of the photos I took are on my Flickr here.

It was very quiet where I watched it compared with some of the images I’ve seen, but for me it was no less impressive. I’ve been looking forward to the Olympics coming to the UK for ages now, and seeing the torch for real was I think the thing that really brought it home to me that it’s really happening. I loved as well knowing that my parents and some friends have already watched the torch go past, and more family members and friends will see it in the weeks to come – we’re all scattered across England and Wales, but we’re all sharing this experience.