In my last few weeks (maybe a month) of being at the Zoo there were many new arrivals! Of course I just couldn’t resist in taking pictures of them and I’m even planning on going to Whipsnade tomorrow as I hear there’s loads of babies there too!
Last thursday I took a special trip to the rain forest exhibit to take pictures of some adorable baby Emperor Tamarins. These were only just over a week old and absolutely TINY! They’re a small enough species of monkey to fit in the palm of your hand anyway, but the babies really are miniscule.
There were two born as these tamarins usually do give birth to twins. When they are first born they do not have the distinctive white moustache that Emperor Tamarins are well known for, but that begins growing soon after.
After birth the mum gets a nice rest as it is usually the dad that does most of the carrying, just passing them back to mum when they start calling for food. In ZSL London Zoos Rainforest Exhibit the whole family help out with the babysitting duties, including some Golden Lion Headed Tamarins as well!
The two babies are already growing quickly and starting to be more aware of their surroundings, I will have to go back soon and document their progress!
I can’t wait to see the wonders of Whipsnade, nor can I wait to take many photographs!
Yesterday was my last shift at what is definitely the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve been working as a presenter at ZSL London Zoo over the summer and it’s been the best summer ever.
Every day I was surrounded by incredible animals, I was constantly learning new, amazing things (which often meant getting close to the animals) and genuinely looked forward to work everyday. Sure parts of the job we’re hard work and stressful but it was always well worth it.
I’m going to miss seeing all the animals and people i met everyday and being able to share how awesome nature is with everyone but fingers crossed I can go back next summer!
But now it’s time to find a job over the winter, I have a few possibilities which would actually give me a lot more time to focus on The Penguin Theory, hopefully I can ace the interviews!
I’ve been playing with lots of ideas for new products and lines, but nothing has been finalised. I plan to work hard over the next few weeks to make lots of items for my Etsy shop and also for craft fairs! It’s time to get busy so expect lots more updates shortly! Keep an eye out for some brand new photography of some cute baby animals coming up shortly!
I’ve always had real trouble with photography in low light situations and always blamed it on my old camera, plus they always say that light is a photographers best friend! But sometimes good lighting is just not possible, especially when not based in a studio.
I recently took my camera to work with me to take pictures of all the cute baby animals we have running around at the moment. I was getting quite frustrated at my camera not being able to cope with the light levels in the perfectly lit room, no matter how much I changed my shutter speed and aperture I just couldn’t get a clear, well lit photograph of the sloth and its baby (see attempts below). But there was an old gentleman, and regular at the zoo, who then told me about ISO.
Both unfortunately blurry and dark.
I had heard of ISO but had always thought that it would seriously reduce the quality of my photographs, something which is of course true if you’re not using it properly, as I wasn’t. After hearing his brief explanation I decided to change my settings and finally got some good photographs! I just wish i’d played with it earlier on in the day.
I did get a couple of good shots on a low ISO
Well since that day I’ve done a bit of research into ISO so I can learn exactly what it is and how to use it.
So what exactly is ISO?
ISO is the speed of the film, not to be confused with frame rate but instead it’s how sensitive the film would be to light. So a Low ISO would correspond to an insensitive film that would require more light to create a good quality image, whereas a High ISO would be a far more sensitive film needing less light for the same image quality. But even though you may need a higher ISO in certain situations, the higher ISO does also create grainier images and so it is best to keep the ISO as low as possible for the shot.
Of course if using a Tripod for a still subject it would be fine to use the lowest ISO possible, but for handheld camera work and moving objects it’s best to experiment to find the perfect balance between brightness and noise in the photograph.
It really is so important to understand all the workings of your camera, I’ve had mine for nearly 7 years and I’m only just learning how to really get the most out of it! I plan to carry on learning about all aspects of photography and hopefully it will improve my photographs, in fact i think it already is!
But it’s not only understanding your camera, it’s also understanding your subject so I also plan to study the animals i’m wanting to take photographs of as well. There’s not all that much known about sloth babies, as they have about an 80% mortality rate in just the first week of being born, and a lot of that percentage is from the mother dropping them! I believe this is the first sloth baby in our zoo for around 50 years. So not only is the sloth baby proving to be vital research for myself into the animal kingdom, but also for the keepers who are learning new things about how they develop, grow and learn too! It’s all very exciting.
I plan to take my camera to work again very soon and experiment more with the ISO settings, plus i want to get even more adorable photographs of various animals!
I know i know, i’m terrible and haven’t updated my 365 project for nearly a month! But it’s ok, i have been taking photos so here’s a little catch up.
Warning – Going to be very picture heavy (if you hadn’t guessed)
February the 10th saw me driving up to the north with the radio blasting and ash putting in ear plugs to avoid hearing my singing.
On the 11th i saw these amazing blue orchids! My mum didn’t think much to them but I thought they were gorgeous! It’s a shame I can’t help but kill plants. 😦 I am definitely not green thumbed.
I went to go see Frank Turner with my sister and some friends on the 12th. On the way there I was reading a book on photography when a stranger asked me if I was into that sort of thing and told me to visit this gallery. I still haven’t got round to it, but the exhibition is still on so maybe i’ll go soon.
On the 13th I finally fixed one of my favourite earrings. It’s been sat on my desk for so long and I only just got round to gluing it back together. Hopefully I wont break it again!
On valentines day I spent most of the day drawing hobbits and dragons. Not bad in my opinion. I didn’t actually do anything with ash, neither of us are particularly bothered by it in all honesty. It’s a silly holiday really (we did make an excuse for some snuggle/movie time though of course).
On the 15th I moved my penguin statue, a christmas present from my mums boyfriend and just totally awesome, to a spot where he could keep an eye on my working.
My hair went crazy big and curly on the 16th as I left it in a big plait over night. It’s a shame that it’s so long and unmanageable at the moment, it just looked like a massive frizz ball! Definitely time for a hair cut.
On the 17th I really enjoyed the contrast between the moody, british sky and these stunning blossoms.
The 18th saw lots of editing work. Nearly a whole day of editing! My eyes definitely needed a rest by the end, but at least I had been very productive. These photo’s are amongst my favourites i’ve ever taken.
On the 19th I found out that I had an interview with London Zoo! I was so excited that I really couldn’t concentrate at work, not the best when working in a kitchen. I burnt myself so many times I lost count and nearly chopped my finger off! Luckily my nail stopped the cut becoming any deeper but it was still pretty nasty.
On the 20th I was starting to feel like I lived in this uniform. Working 60+ hour weeks, 6 days out of 7 most of the time and just constantly tired. I was starting to want just a day to pamper myself, wear make-up and look pretty but I just don’t have the energy even on my days off.
The 21st I was starting to feel positive. I was super excited (and nervous) about this interview and also knew it wasn’t long until Legoland wanted me back, plus i was about to drive up north for a wedding! Life was definitely about to get fun, I just had to stick it out at the pub for a little longer. This mirror is above our bed and was there when we moved in. We’re far too lazy to take it off and I actually kind of like it. It makes me smile.
The 22nd was the wedding of two very close friends! Unfortunately I forgot my camera (silly me) and my phone was dying so I didn’t take many pictures, but I did snap this cute picture of the first dance. The groom had changed into some more comfortable shoes for the party side of the wedding, as had the bride who was now wearing bright pink converse under her dress. Such a lovely day! I’m so happy for them both!
On the 23rd I went back to the south, but before I did I managed a little switcheroo at home, giggling like a naughty school girl the whole time. Mum has never got round to putting up my graduation picture (the woes of a second child!) and so I put mine in my sisters place. I don’t think she’s noticed yet, until she reads this blog post…*evil cackle*
On the 24th i received this sewing pattern I had won! I can’t wait to get stuck in!
On the 25th was my interview with London Zoo! It ran from 9-5 with lots of group exercises, presentations and other things to really get to know if we were right for the job and was such a fun day! It honestly made me want to work there even more, which I didn’t think was possible. I somehow managed to get a selfie with a penguin as well!
After the long interview and then rushing off to work for a close, I wasn’t feeling very awake on the 26th and drank far too much coffee.
On the 27th I got the news that I got the job!! I was so excited and i’m pretty sure I asked the person on the phone ‘Really?!’ several times. I celebrated with a glass (or two) of Merlyn, it’s like Baileys but so much better! I’m still convinced they’re going to ring up and tell me they made a mistake, but It’s quite honestly a dream come true!
On the 28th I started counting down to my start. I wrote it on my calendar and was still bouncing off walls.
On the 1st of March I received a congratulations card from my mum, complete with penguins of course!. How lovely 🙂 And yes, still bouncing off the walls at this stage.
On the 2nd there was a gorgeous rainbow! I could see the whole thing (I haven’t got round to editing those pictures yet though). If only I could find the pot of gold at the end…*sigh*
So that’s me all caught up to this week! I will be posting these weekly as usual from this sunday.
February was most definitely a very exciting month and I’m sure that March will be just as exciting!
I’m sorry for my absence recently, it has become a little intense on my end! A few people left the pub I work at and, with it all ready being understaffed (especially in the kitchen) i’m suddenly roped into 6 day weeks with over 60 hours. As you can imagine it’s not leaving much time for Penguin Theory-ing.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel as my life is soon to take on a drastic change!
I have somehow managed to bag myself a job and London Zoo! I’m so excited as I seriously love animals (if you hadn’t noticed from reading my blog) and I will be earning more than I do now with a job I just know I’m going to love! Plus I’ll have more time for Penguin Theory as I will be working less hours also. I seriously cannot wait to start! I wish it could be now! It’s shame it’s just a summer job for now, but I plan to work hard and really try to impress.
I am also still owed a lot of holiday from the pub job and so I have next week off (I only found out a couple of days ago!). I will be using that time to catch up with my 365 project posts and making lots of new items for my shop as well as starting some new exciting projects.
A project I really cant wait to start is this gorgeous coat, I won the pattern from an excellent blog: Custom Style . Thank’s Brooke! I can’t wait to get stuck in! I have so many ideas for the fabric choices but just need to buy some fabric large enough. I think this will also be the first project i make a mock-up of first so I need to get some muslin too. Unfortunately I might have to wait for my new job to be able to afford it as the current one (even with all these extra hours) only just covers my rent and other expenses.
By the way brooke, your handwriting is so pretty!
I also have some very big plans for my photography and will be going on lots of adventures with my camera during the next week, and not just taking photo’s of nature but also getting back into longboarding and other sports.
I’ve already entered the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (just before the deadline!) although i wish i’d had more time to really explore and take more photographs, I still think I might have some good contenders entered but I’m just happy that i’ve at least tried. Fingers crossed!
I really can’t wait for this next month, it’s going to be amazing. As cheesy as it sounds, i feel like it’s the start of the life I’ve always wanted and I couldn’t be happier! Bring on the rest of 2014! 😀
Last weekend Ash and I went up north to visit my mum as I had a dentist appointment and I wanted to visit my grandma who is having a pretty rough time in hospital.
Whilst there I took advantage of my mums bird friendly garden. It’s rare that I get a chance to see so many birds (other than pigeons) so close, not having a garden at my flat, and so I grabbed at the opportunity to have so many birds so easy to see!
The first day really showed me how much I had to learn! I took so many pictures but just kept being too slow as I was chasing them around with my camera lens.
I was a little disappointed in myself and was told off by my boyfriend as usual. I always get annoyed with myself when I can’t do something perfectly straight away and he always has to remind me that everything takes practice and motivate me to not give up. This is most definitely one of my biggest flaws so thank goodness I have Ash to kick me into gear every time!
So with Ash’s stern words fresh in my mind I tried again the next day!
This time I actually watched the behaviour of the birds and figured out that the blue and great tits were hanging out on a bush near the back of the garden, watching for danger. They would only fly forwards onto my mums magnolia tree once they had deemed the garden safe and then watch out for danger yet again before flying to the bird feeder and darting back to the bush.
Just watching made it so much easier to predict where they were going to land as I soon figured there was one, very well placed, branch in particular which they loved to land on before feeding.
Unfortunately by the time i’d figured this out it was already getting dark and I am without a tripod for the moment which meant all of the photo’s we’re shaky and dark.
The next day was my last day and I was determined to get some good shots. I positioned myself on the floor next to the sofa, army style, and waited.
It didn’t take long for the birds to appear.
First the blue tits and great tits made their appearance and I managed to get a few good shots of them on that one branch. But then more and more birds started to appear, flying backwards and forwards from the feeder.
There were gold finches, chaffinches, a pigeon (of course, they’re everywhere), and even a few sparrows! Sparrows are unfortunately in trouble in the UK and are at Red status so I feel quite privileged to have seen some. The numbers are now rising in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but unfortunately still in trouble in the UK. They’re such pretty little birds too! They may not have bright colours but their flecked patterns more than make up for it.
I sat there well past the time I was wanting to leave for the long drive back to the south, completely mesmerised by the gorgeous birds that visited the garden, and all for a few simple seeds.
All too soon I really did have to drag myself away, but I have learnt a lot from those short 3 days and hope to improve even more before my next visit.
Have you got any birds visiting your garden?
On the 27th I finally finished this tie I’d had in mind for far too long and I love it! It’s already available on my etsy here
On the 28th I opened the kitchen for the second time ever and first time on my own (5am starts! Ouch!) but as I was lighting the grill I noticed it looked kinda pretty. Obviously being at work I only had my phone on me, but the picture still came out pretty cool…or should I say hot 😉
On the 29th I was playing with this adorable fabric! I think I have to buy more soon!
On the 30th I dressed up all Chinese style for a photoshoot to celebrate the new year! Ok, so I didn’t actually take these photo’s but I did think of the concept, the styling, modelled and directed the shoot so I think it still counts. You can find the post I wrote here
I did actually take a photo myself on this day (sort of, it was after midnight but I was only just leaving work and hadn’t slept yet so I guess it counts). The weather was super foggy and looked awesome so I just couldn’t resist!
The 31st I had finished the adorable-fabric skirt and it really is cute! I took some bad phone photo’s as my camera’s battery had died and I’d lost the charger! Oops! Lots of photo editing later and you can find the skirt in my shop here
On the first (wow February already!) I had my last day of work for two weeks! Yey for being owed holiday! I also went and bought a new charger as I will be needing my Camera on Sunday! This charger not only charges my old styled DSLR battery (my camera is a very old model) but also AA, AAA (etc.), newer camera batteries, phones and has a car adapter! It’s going to be perfect for holidaying!
Today is Sunday and I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the photo as I’m probably out and about taking it! I’m adventuring to the centre of London for the Chinese New Year celebrations and hoping to get a few really good shots! I’ll definitely update with a blog post when i’m back and the photo’s are fully edited so keep your eyes peeled!
What have you been celebrating this week?
I have a new endeavour to go hand in hand with my wildlife photography in progress and so set out to Alexandra Palace to see the fallow deer that will be featuring in it. Unfortunately they had all disappeared! I assume they are inside and away from this bitter, cold weather, but it was quite a disappointment. I do have some ideas for what I can do with some other creatures, though, whilst I wait for their return.
So as not to waste our trip, I got Ash to take a few photographs of me in my newest creation! A sparkly, flowery, cosy infinity scarf! It really was very warm and cosy.
The outer fabric is the same as with my cape, and beautiful black, shimmering fabric I just adore. Hopefully I can buy more of it soon as I’ve more or less run out!
The inner fabric is a gorgeous, silk-like fabric which feels lovely against the skin and features a pretty flower design.
The scarf can be worn in the depths of winter with a thick coat to keep you nice and toasty warm, but it is also a good match with a simple t-shirt in slightly warmer weather.
I wore it with a plain black top, and big black waisted belt finished with this gorgeous blue skirt. I felt that the flower patterns in the skirt and scarf complimented each other well, plus I am just in love with this skirt (a bargain £3 from Primark!)
As it was a rather cold day I also wore tights with knee length socks to keep my legs warm, and these adorable fluffy boots!
Finally I finished the outfit off with some earrings I made for myself ages ago (more like I loved them so much I couldn’t bare to part with them). The blue matched perfectly and the chain drops gave a sense of elegance to the outfit.
My make-up was simple. Just a light pink on my eyes with some winged liner and a hint of pink on the cheeks and lips.
Hopefully the Fallow deer will return soon, but for now you can find this scarf listed in my shop right here
As the title might suggest, this post will be very picture heavy. You’ve been warned!
I always believe that you should make your life an adventure and I often take the time to notice the random things going on around me, making even a trip to the shops an exciting experience. Because of this I usually find I notice things that I would love to photograph but never seem to have my camera on me, such as the time I saw cows crossing a motorway bridge with the words ‘Rural Revolution’ graffitied below.
I have decided that I need to take advantage of these moments and so, not only am I going to make an easy to carry camera bag, i’m setting aside time every now and again to go on a Photography Adventure. Just me, my camera and an adventure!
Ok so maybe Ash can join on a few adventures. 😉
Not only do I believe that this could result in some great fun and photographs, but I am also hoping that it will improve my photography skills as I challenge myself with shooting on Manual settings and in lots of different lighting and situations.
I went on my first official Photography Adventure on monday. I decided just explore my area, we’ve only just moved here (although it’s not that far from our old place) and I thought it would be a good way to learn about where I actually live.
The area we live in is called Muswell Hill in North London. It quite posh and full of crafty and vintage shops. I should’ve taken some photo’s of the highstreet but I forgot to get my camera out until I had passed the high street and saw this amazing view from a car park just 10 minutes from my house!
I had to stand on top of a pretty precarious wall to get this shot and I knew that I could get better elsewhere and so I moved on.
I found some amazingly steep and quiet streets and just had to text Ash as they would be perfect for practicing slides and cornering on when long boarding (with a spotter of course). A lot of the houses I found must have had incredible views from their back windows and balconies. I saw so many houses I would love to live in! There were loads of the old Tudor styled houses, the type of house i’ve always dreamed of!
I wandered along these back streets for a while until I happened upon Alexandra Palace (Ok so I followed the BBC tower as I knew there were good photo’s to be took here). The views from Ally Pally are amazing, it also has an ice rink, a boating pond, Fallow Deer and regular gigs. Plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from my house now!
I sat for a while, eating a breakfast bar, admiring the view and taking a few photo’s
Soon though, my bum became too cold and so I moved on. Wandering down to the paddocks to see Alexandra Palaces Fallow Deer Herd. I only learned they had a deer herd recently despite visiting often, but now I make sure to visit them each time I go.
On the way to the deer I noticed a squirrel sitting in the grass. I love squirrels (yes, even the grey ones) and so I had to take some photos!
For these shots I played around with a very shallow Depth of Field and feel it really adds to the shots making the foreground out of focus and so the squirrel is the main point of interest.
Next I found the Deer. They were quite far away from the fence to begin with but soon started travelling towards the right hand side of the paddock. I ran over (yes I actually ran) so that I could get some good shots of them walking towards me. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot about the manual settings and so a lot of the photos came out too dark, even for editing. I did manage a few good shots once i remembered though.
Whilst taking these images I got talking to a man who was walking his dogs. We both agreed that these deer were just beautiful animals!
Soon my hands we’re feeling frozen and so I had to tear myself away from these beautiful animals. I decided it was time to go home as I already had a pretty bad cold and didn’t want to get any sicker.
On my way back home I passed the boating lake where this coot was hunting for food. I took a few pictures of it diving under the water before finally heading home to see the spoils of my adventure!
I really hope to do another adventure soon and already have a few places in mind!
Anyone else been on an adventure lately?
Last weekend Ash and I went on a trip to cornwall to try a new sport. Cornwall is well known for it’s surf and this has been something we’ve both been wanting to try for a while so we figured why not.
A couple of friends joined us too, they also happen to be the guys we’re looking for a house with once our lease is up in a couple of months and so we decided it would be our first official house holiday (and also a chance to see if we could really live together).
Our campsite was nice, what more do you want other than a field, toilets and a shower really?
As it had been a 4 hour drive it was already afternoon and so once the tent had been set up and food cooked we just chilled out together for the rest of the evening.
The next day we went to Newquay. It was a nice relaxing day playing in the surf, building sand castles and sliding around on our skim board.
Skim boards are designed for very shallow water and literally ‘skim’ the surface. They’re pretty fun and fast but don’t expect to stay on your feet for long.
The next day was far more active as we decided to brave the surf. We had a two hour lesson with a surf school on the beach, there were cheaper ones which did whole day classes but they had all been sold out and actually in hindsight we don’t know what they could have even done with us for a whole day.
Ash was the first of us to manage to catch a wave and stand but I wasn’t far behind.
We found the hardest part was the catching of the wave, the timing and speed were difficult to get right and we were often left behind whilst the wave raced to shore.
We also found that it was extremely tiring, our arms began to ache in the first hour and the constant battling against waves to get out to sea took a lot out of you. But the moment you caught a wave it really felt like you were flying and made all the effort worth it.
We ended up renting our surfboards and wetsuits out for the rest of the day (For only £10! Bargain!) and surfed until we could surf no more! They also had a photographer who took pictures of us surfing and CDs we’re available to buy afterwards for £10, that worked out as £2.50 each as we bought one between the four of us, bargain!
We all slept well that night.
The next day we drove all the way to Wales as my mum was visiting her boyfriend and I hadn’t seen either of them in such a long time.
As soon as Ash saw the first hill he fell in love.
We met with my mum and Andy before going on a nice (steep) walk to see the Welsh countryside and explored and old castle before sitting in a pub for a well deserved pint. Wales really is beautiful country and I’d recommend anyone to go visit, the views are just spectacular.
We finished off the holiday by visiting the Brecon Beacons. We didn’t go far, just found a nice, quiet road for Ash to finally skate on with some amazing views.
All too soon it was time to come back to London. We had a really awesome trip away and we think we want to make Cornwall and Wales a regular thing (although maybe not at the same time)
It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I decided what better way than with Zoo Lates at London Zoo!
I am obsessed with animals (especially Lions and Penguins) and felt that I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
The zoo was filled with exciting things to see and do, we started with the animals, in particular the Africa area. We spent probably far too long laughing at an Okapi’s tongue, watched a graceful giraffe, braved the nocturnal section, searched for the illusive sumatran tiger, partied with the penguins, longed after lions and much more!
My favourites, of course, were the Lions and Penguins. The Lions we’re so close to the glass I could’ve touched them! The penguins unfortunately stayed towards the back of their enclosure, but then again it was right before they closed so maybe they were all tired. I pulled a penguin pose for the camera and then tried to steal one of the cardboard cut outs…Or at least thought about stealing it…
They also had lots of bars, all with a different theme such as the playroom where you could have a wrestling match, hula hoop, play jenga and even twister! There was a silent disco where everyone wears headphones which the music is played through, hilarious to listen too when you take them off and hear everyone singing out of tune. There was also a big international food market with lots of tasty delights to sample.
I wore a bright, high waisted, tribal skirt to to give off an African feel and matched it with a bright orange crop top and sandals. I felt quite…naked. I’m not used to going out in such little clothing, but it was really warm and so i didn’t regret it.
I even painted my nails to match with the animal theme!
The whole event was very well run. There were loads of things to do, not just seeing the animals, the staff were extremely helpful and the atmosphere was electric! The animals started going to bed (or so we were told) at 8:30 and gradually the enclosures were closed off until everyone was in the ‘entertainments’ area for the last half hour.
Afterwards we carried on the party in Camden, always a fun place to go.
The day after was my actual birthday. I decided what better way to celebrate and recover from the night before than by having a bbq! We borrowed a friends garden and bbq and then had a nice, relaxed afternoon chilling in the sun (if you ignore the random downpour that stopped as suddenly as it started!)
For the bbq I decided to dress up a bit still and wore one of my favourite dresses. I bought it at a festival and have always loved the way it poofs out in the skirt. The fabric is also really pretty, I fell in love with it at first sight!
I kept myself warm with a cute, batwing cardigan from warehouse.
I made these earrings ages ago and found they matched perfectly! I really like the little red and blue beads and was experimenting with using suade, i think they turned out really nice.
The bag is from Zatchels and was a suprise birthday gift from my sister! Zatchels are all handmade and just exquisite. I absolutely love it and it even has a little space for one of my business cards to be on display! They come in a wide range of colours and patterns too.
It was a really great birthday! Hopefully next years will be just as good!
Last weekend I went to a festival called ‘Gentlemen of the Road’. This festival is a little different to normal festivals as it has many different ‘stopovers’ rather than being based in one town. This year it went to 5 different places, mainly in the US but they also had one in Lewes which is near Brighton (UK). The whole thing is the brainchild of Mumford and Sons, one of my favourite bands of the moment. Their music is just beautiful and so full of feeling. I absolutely love them.
They designed these ‘stopovers’ to not only enjoy amazing music but also to involve the local people and their culture.
“the spirit of the project remains: a music festival that celebrates local people, food and culture, where everyone pitches in and everybody gets something back.”
Source : http://www.gentlemenoftheroad.com/stopovers/
This really was apparent as soon as you walked into the venue, and what a venue. It helps that the town itself is also gorgeous. We arrived a day early as we had a long(ish) car ride and wanted to make sure we weren’t rushed in putting up our tent. As we drove through the town we noted how quaint and pretty it was, for any Yorkshire people reading this, it reminded us a lot of Beverly.
We weren’t camping at the official campsite but another one called ‘Spring Barn Farm’, a really quaint little farm with lots of animals for kiddies to see and a lovely little farm shop.
As we were a day early we were one of the first to set up and so had the pick of the field (at least of the area we were allowed in)! Obviously we went for a nice flat spot with a good view and not too close to the toilets or bins (you don’t want the smell to waft over now do you!). After we’d set up we relaxed with a few ciders and a bbq. A very nice, quiet relaxed evening.
The next day the main events didn’t start until around 5, we we’re able to spend most of the day under the baking sun, in our bikini’s, watching everyone struggle with their tents in the heat. It was lovely.
We had been informed that the campsites barn had been set up to have a little bar and food area (apparently the bar would be open until 2am!). We didn’t go there for breakfast as we had plenty of bacon and eggs, but we just couldn’t resist the lure of ice cream! I imagine they made a pretty penny with that bar as it always seemed busy, it was definitely a good idea for them and just what the campers wanted!
To get to the festival we had to walk for about a mile through fields, I’m pretty sure i’ve walked longer through a campsite at a festival before and so the fact we we’re walking through some pretty fields rather than in between tents was very welcomed.
Once we got there the queues weren’t that bad at all, although we had got there early (Again) and so missed most of the waiting it seems. Some people said they had to wait around 45minutes just to get their wristbands! I think that was just down to needing more staff and in all honesty I’ve waited longer at V fest. If that was the only problem they had for the whole weekend then they did a pretty damn good job in my opinion. The whole thing was definitely very well run from what I saw.
As soon as we walked in we we’re greeted with rows of waving flags, coats of arms and old style food stalls. It was almost like being whisked back to medieval time, that’s if it wasn’t for the giant glowing letters spelling out ‘Gentlemen of The Road’. It did have a modern feel to an old style and was very in-keeping with the town it was situated in and the grounds (which looked like an old castle or monastery) the event actually took place in. It really set the mood, a great start to a great event.
On the first day we saw bands such as Youth Lagoon, British Sea Power and Vampire Weekend. It was a great line up and great start to the festival. Vampire Weekend are always great and we had a good dance and sing along.
As always at festivals there was a lot of interesting outfits. The usual festival wear; bright flowers, crop tops, dungerees, plaits, hippie-esq outfits etc… There was also a lot of fancy dress including a couple of bananas, home made t-shirts as well as a lot of merch t-shirts bought and then immediately worn. I took a lot of pictures of the festival fashions (which made me feel oh so stalker-ish) and will be doing a blog post on the do’s and don’ts of festivals and festival fashions in the near future.
All too soon it was time to head back to the campsite. The way was nicely lit and they had lots of marshals to make sure you didn’t get lost.
The next day started just as relaxed as the day before. The arena didn’t open until the afternoon leaving us plenty of time to sit around and get ourselves ready.
We bought some posh bread and Brie from the farm shop, we we’re living the dream and felt very middle class. We had the brie with some bacon and rolls we had leftover for breakfast (it was mouthwateringly amazing) and then saved some of the brie and the fancy bread to take into the venue as nibbles.
The line up on the second day was again amazing, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Mystery Jets, The Vaccines (one of my mums favourite bands) and (of course!) Mumford and Sons.
There were also some lesser known bands playing. One of my favourites of these being Bears Den who had some Hauntingly beautiful music.
As the day went on the bands just kept getting better and soon we were on our feet constantly dancing away! The arena was getting packed but still we danced around as if no one was watching and loving it! (although maybe the cider had something to do with our dance moves…)
By the time Mumford and sons came on we could barely see the stage, but we didn’t care. All the performances we’re amazing, everyone really put a lot into it and it was obvious by the crowds reactions that their time and effort was much appreciated.
Usually at a festival you find that there’s at least one or two acts that just aren’t all that great, they don’t seem to want to be there or just aren’t very good live. But every one of them was brilliant. Maybe it’s because it’s quite small compared to others so the acts are more carefully selected, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.
At the end of Mumford and Sons set they invited ALL the other acts onto the stage and they all jammed together! It was incredible.
Then the after party started with ‘The Very Best Sound System’ which was very dancey with an african feel. Definitely a great end to the festival.
The whole thing was just so well put together, Mumford and Sons (and their team) have done such a good job.
We ended up partying well into the night and had a lazy morning whilst watching everyone pack up their tents. All too soon we too had to pack up and leave, I was sad to leave after such an awesome weekend but was most definitely looking forward to a shower!
If one of the Stopovers comes near you then I highly recommend going! (as long as you like the music of course).It was such an amazing weekend and I will most certainly be going next year if they’re around again!
So thank you to all the organisers, Spring barn farm and Mumford and Sons for a really great weekend away! I hope to see you all next year!
‘Till next time
Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a while.
I went skating.
Not Rollerdisco skating, but on inline skates. I haven’t even been to a skate park since school when my boyfriend of the time was an avid skater and we all spent summers eating ice cream at the top of the ramps and learning how to do tricks.
Ok, so the boys did the tricks, I mainly sat at the top of the ramp eating ice cream, but it was fun all the same.
I was surprised how quickly it came back to me, although I guess we have been rollerdisco-ing a lot recently.
Ash, as usual, was doing all his little tricks, spinning, skating backwards and snaking.
I have almost got the hang of snaking but still need a bit more practice.
Both myself and Ash want to become a lot more active and get out of the house more now that the weather is finally becoming warmer, so I should have a lot more chance to hone my skills.
But before that I have lots and lots of sewing to do!
As the weather was rather nice today, Ash and I decided to go for a nice little stroll in a nearby park.
I wore my Alpaca jumper my mother brought me back from Peru as it was still a little nippy and Alpaca wool is amazing at keeping in the heat!
I also wore a pretty little headscarf I bought from either Egypt or Jordan (I can’t remember which) around my neck and some cute animal print converse, although in hindsight maybe I should have worn wellies!
We took lots of pictures of the new buds that were struggling their way out of the earth and the blossoms on the trees.
Ash took this last one, I told him to stop being so good. You should follow him on Instagram as his photo’s are far superior to mine. Just search ‘Ashloids’.
Once we got home we decided it was the perfect day to have a summery lunch. I cooked us some asparagus with egg, toast, salad and a frankfurter. My egg was a double yolker which I probably got a little too excited over…
Hopefully the weather will keep getting warmer now so we can have even more pretty walks!
‘Till next time!
So I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award (ok so it was quite a while ago but I’ve only just decided to actually post about it) by CherryBlossomTears.
I wont lie, I usually don’t like these kinda things, they just remind me of the silly facebook things of ‘like if you agree if cancer is bad’ kinda spam posts. (I mean really, who doesn’t think cancer is bad? It’s just rediculous)
Obviously I know this isn’t exactly the same as that, definitely not as stupid, and when thinking about it I decided this is actually a good way to share facts about yourself for others and to maybe learn a little bit about the blogs your following. So here I am, answering my 5 questions and trying to think up some random questions to ask other blogs!
The Five Questions for Me
1.Where do you find inspiration?
In a variety of places. Sometimes I look at a fabric or bead and think ‘Oh, that would look amazing like this!’. I also love looking at nature and the shapes and feelings it creates (this is a theme I will be working on more in the future once my seamstress skills have improved, I already have designs drawn up!). The final inspiration, I guess, is my boyfriend. I can’t not include him as he was the inspiration behind my best selling item, the Minecraft Creeper tie!
2.How do you beat the blues?
Usually by either keeping myself busy or sitting down with some green tea and a big bar of chocolate! My boyfriend is also great at cheering me up with cuddles and spoiling me with treats.
3.If you could be a magical creature for a day, what would it be and why?
I’m tempted to say Unicorn just because they’re so pretty and prancy! But lets face it, being a dragon would be freakin’ amazing! I’d get to fly around shooting fire out of my nostrils all day!
4.What would be your ideal holiday?
Holidays where I get to explore, go on hikes, meet the people, find little unknown spots. I’ve been on several holidays with Explore and have absolutely loved them! I think the next big place I want to go is Africa, on Safari. Ash is originally from South Africa and still has family there he hasn’t seen in over 10 years and so we were thinking of starting to save up for a trip so we can visit them (although we need to be earning more money first!).
5.What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is exploring your mind and letting it come up with something that is truly your own. I believe it can be found in all aspects of life and in everyone, it just manifests itself in different ways and isn’t always noticed.
So the five blogs I’m going to nominate are:
My Questions for You
1) What is the first thing you do in the Morning?
2) If there’s one craft you would like to try, what would it be?
3) What did you want to be when you were younger?
4) What do you tend to procrastinate over?
5) Where is one place you would like to visit?
For those with blogs chosen for the award– copy and paste the award in your blog. Tell who nominated you with a link to my blog. Share five random things about yourself and then answer my questions. When that is all done, nominate five bloggers that you follow and send them the rules, creating five new questions for them to answer along with their random things. 🙂
I was so excited when I opened up my curtains to see snow billowing down from the sky this morning. I know the white stuff is highly annoying to some as it often coincides with bitter cold winds, icy paths and (at least in the unprepared UK) transport delays, but I still feel the childish sense of joy every time I see a flake whirling it’s way to the ground.
Unfortunately I’m extremely full of cold (thanks mother!) and so just couldn’t muster up the energy to play and make snowmen for today, but I did manage to get outside and crunch around for a little bit before running back inside to the warmth!
Of course for this I needed the perfect warm weather coat and, as luck would have it, I think I own it!
I bought this coat last winter from H&M and have never regretted it. It constantly gets complements and is so warm and snuggly! The fur around the collar makes me feel like a proper lady and is detachable so that it doesn’t get ruined in the wash! The material is super warm, which is just as well because it’s so well fitted around the waist that I can’t wear any thick jumpers under it! Plus the colour is just gorgeous!
I think everyone should own a fantastic winter coat. What is yours like and what makes it so great?
The weather is getting colder now and Autumn is upon us! It’s time to wrap up warm by the fire and be glad you’re not one of those woodland creatures out in the cold. So here’s a few items to celebrate the autumn months and the cute little animals that are frolicking in the forests of england. You can find my treasury with all the items in it here there are also links to all of the items in their titles.
This cute little sun catcher by Lazy Daisy Glass will be perfect for bringing the autumn colours into your room and decorating your windows! A great decoration for this, or any, time of year!
This gorgeous photograph by Shannonpix just shouts of autumn to me. Acorns, rustic wood, greens and browns. I think this would would look amazing above a log fire on a cold night.
Damson Tree Pottery makes some truly wonderful items, some of which I have my eye on for when I actually have some money (and a bigger home). This cute little tile is perfect for welcoming the autumn months into your house with those vibrant colours.
Another item for your home made by VeeDubz. I love the look of trees in winter and these cushion covers catch their intricacies perfectly! I can just picture my self snuggling up on the sofa with these.
This adorable glass sculpture would look amazing on any mantle piece or window sill. The autumn leaves and the running pose really gives the idea of movement to the piece and makes me imagine all the critters in the woods hurriedly foraging for food before winter sets in.
More leaves! And this time they are wearable. I think this cuff would look great with just a simple black dress and some matching accessories. I love the colours, all the detailing, and the fact that it just looks so delicate! Almost like real leaves! It’s the perfect statement piece this autumn.
These bright and colourful decorations are bound to catch the eye of your guests who will just marvel at the details. These come in lots of other designs too so you could even buy a whole forest of them!
I’m sure they’ll be plenty of autumn weddings out there, so why not match the wedding to the season? This adorable cake topper is just perfect for an autumn cake. The bride and groom can be fully customised making this truly yours and then kept as a keepsake to remind you of your special day.
This vintage scarf is just gorgeous. I think it would look great with a nice thick coat. I think it’s something I could imagine both myself AND my grandma wearing! This is definitely a fashionable scarf for all ages.
This abstract print by Caroline Grigg is just gorgeous! The ‘splodgy’ (for lack of a better word) tree effect and then the details of the branches and birds really make this an interesting piece. The colours are just beautiful and make it seem really homely and warm. Again the log fire seems to compliment this item perfectly…
These adorably, simple brooches are perfect for autumn lapels! Personally I think they would look great pinned on a fur (or faux-fur) collar. It’s a simple way to make any outfit just a little cuter.
Who doesn’t love Bears? They look so big and cuddly, as long as you stay away from the claws! This is another print that’s just perfect for a room with a log fire (or maybe I just really want a log fire…) I love the innocent, happy look on the bears face and it’s relaxed way of sitting. It just makes me want to relax myself and watch the world go by.
Another fox brooch for your lapels. Again this one is adorable and again I think It would go well with fur! It’s the perfect way to style up your coat (or what ever else you want to pin it to).
Apparently I can’t get enough of foxes, here’s another foxy item! Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE my novelty hats. In fact when I was younger I had a page on a website completely devoted to my collection of hats! I think the main reason I love autumn is because I get to wear my many many headwarmers. It’s taken everything I have (and my lack of money) to stop me buying this. I honestly don’t need any more hats with ears, but yet I still want them. Someone just please buy this before I do.
Another Item I’ve had my eye on for a while..This absolutely adorable ring. Not only is it a cute little hedgehog, but it has an adorable little crown! It just makes me ‘Squee’ every time I look at it.
The last item is this adorable Coin purse. It’s covered in little critters and is perfect for the young animal lover to carry around their pocket money. It even has a handy ring tab to help keep it safe!
There will be more treasuries coming soon (They’re just so much fun to make!) The next one will be Halloween Themed!
So ’till next time!
Keep working hard!
I made a cute little spring treasury on Etsy and thought i’d share it on here with my reasons for picking each object. 🙂 You can find my treasury here.
I tried to look for pastel colours, flowers, and a bright cheerful feeling, all the things that just shout spring to me! There were so many cute items it was hard to narrow it down, but in the end this is what I came up with:
It’s kind of hard to believe these aren’t real. Who wouldn’t want these to brighten up their living room? They wont die like real flowers and can come in a range of colours to suit your room! Definitely a good choice if you always forget to water or buy new plants like me.
I love how unusual this bracelet is. The branch with the first hint of flower is adorable and reminds me of the trees just starting to blossom.
Want a big bright statement piece that makes winter vanish to memory? Then this is surely the necklace for you. Its bright, fun and cheerful and just makes me smile.
This necklace is cute and fresh, just what you need to chase away the cold british winter. The straw like string adds a touch of the unusual and the flowers add that cute feminine touch. All together a very adorable little necklace.
Spring is a time for new life, eggs are being laid and flowers are blossoming, so why not feel part of it by wearing some ‘eggs’ on your ears? Not only are these adorable, but I think they would go perfectly with the necklace above!
Well we’ve had the eggs so we obviously needed some birds as well! I love the twig and flowers at the top of this mobile and the birds finish it off beautifully. I can just see this in a little girls nursery, but to be honest i’d really want to steal this for myself. It is definitely one to enjoy no matter what your age is.
Want to look like a flowery meadow? Well then this is the necklace for you. Crammed full of cute little flowers this statement necklace is bound to turn heads and make any outfit look fantastic.
This is the kind of dress I can imagine wearing on a warm spring day/evening whilst prancing around a meadow. It’s just stunning. Maybe the weather isn’t quite warm enough for it yet, but it’s getting there. Although I’m not sure if i’d dare wear it out of the house myself for fear of ruining it!
It’s impossible not to think about snowdrops when spring is mentioned and these earrings seem to mimic them beautifully. Bring a touch of classy elegance to your outfit by wearing these, i’d personally wear them with my hair up just to make sure they’re noticed!
I don’t know what to really say about this dress other than just simply ‘Wow’. The delicate lace and pastel colours seem to compliment the freshness of spring and really does make me think of flower fairies dancing in the evening light.
From classic to just plain cute! Everyone loves deers and this necklace is just adorable!
Another animal that reminds me of spring is the little baby ducklings! If I could I’d buy lots of these little figurines and make a line of them that I could imagine were waddling towards a nice little picturesque pond.
Another statement necklace with some bold pink flowers and green beads. A modern, but some how classic, look to really attract the compliments.
Gold, Silver, Diamond. What more does a girl want? This delicate little ring would certainly draw in my attention and leave me completely green in envy! The vein detail on the flower really finishes this piece off and I can imagine I would spend hours tracing them with my eyes.
It may be listed as a wedding Item, but I would wear this despite not even being engaged yet. I love the messy vintage glamour this seems to exude. What better way to feel at one with nature than to be wearing this gorgeous piece.
Another statement necklace for the demure woman in you. A string of pearls with a bunch of flowers, a fresh addition to a smart outfit.
I hope you like these Items as much as I do, I had a lot of fun putting it together.
Till next time!