This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “transportation

First Surf

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).

Men doing Manly Things

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.

The shock of being able to stand is evident on my face

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.

The four housemates and a castle

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)

Slides with a view

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A New Start to An Old Adventure

I have recently been thinking a lot about my old love of photography. I have a big, old DSLR and I’m always taking far too many photographs, but yet I do nothing with them.

So I’ve decided now is time to get back into photography, start seriously editing again and maybe even adding a few to my shop. Of course I will still be sewing (although i am finding it hard to stay motivated with it right now) but I also want to start selling prints.

If anyone knows of anywhere I could get prints done cheaply and easily that would be amazing (for the uk), I have a few places in mind but any help from photographers out there would be greatly appreciated.

I absolutely love messing around on photoshop with an image, it is definitely one of my favourite things to do, and so last night I decided to experiment with a few images I took of Ash longboarding. You can click on the images to see them a bit bigger.

I started off with a more simple edit, just adding texture, adjusting the colours slightly and playing with the levels.

I like how I made this feel slightly grungy but with Ash really popping out of the centre with his bright colours.  I’m glad I managed to catch him as his arms made such a nice line and his board had started to slide. I also really love the concentrated look on his face with his tongue sticking out (although he hates it), it really makes me chuckle. 🙂

The next photograph I decided to be a little more adventurous and play with the background by taking out all the colour. I wanted to really make him stand out as the background is quite busy with all the leaves. I also cropped it slightly to create a better line and draw your eye to him even more.

Again I’m really happy with how this one turned out, I think the contrast between the background and Ash works really well.  The only thing is I still find the background very busy and so I think I might need to play around with it even more, maybe by adjusting the contrast or blurring it slightly. But Ash really likes this one too and has set it too his facebook cover photo. 🙂

The last one I edited I decided to do something a little crazier and this is probably one of my most elaborate photoshops to date! I decided to add this bright orange texture to make ash look as though he was on fire in a way. I wanted to create a really dramatic image that would convey the power and energy used to do the slides Ash was trying.

Again I do really like the image even though its a lot different to my usual photography. I think the meaning I’m trying to convey really does come out and it is definitely not subtle.  I still can’t decide if maybe it’s a little too much though and I think the lighter section in the middle could be more focussed on Ash.

What do you think about my photographs and edits? I would love to hear some constructive criticism!


Hog Hill

Every sunday our Longboarding group has a ‘Hog Roast’.

Walking up the hill.

If only it was a real hog roast! They’re so tasty!

No, the hog roast is a day of skating in a place we call Hog Hill. It takes place in Redbridge Cycle Centre in Essex. It’s only £4 for the whole  track, for the whole day (bargain!) and it’s most definitely worth it. The road is lovely  and smooth, with some very big hills, you can certainly pick up a lot of speed from just a little distance, plus the views over london are amazing!

There are no cars allowed and so no fear of a collision with one in the london traffic (only bikes and people to watch out for). It is a great place to practice skating at high speeds.

Pushing off at the Top

At first I was very nervous, i’m not all that good at stopping and my board is a little too bouncy for really high speeds, but i gained confidence throughout the day, gradually starting higher and higher on the hill. I estimate that I got up to speeds of around 15mph. One of the skaters had a speedometer on his wrist and managed over 30mph!

I also took a video of the day which is available to watch here

I’m actually really proud of this video and am really looking forward to taking more! Although I think I will be taking my tripod next time. 😛

Tucking

Next time I will be borrowing other, more stable, boards (ash has said I can use his) so that I might feel more comfortable going at faster speeds. You never know, I might be going from the top!

I’m also hoping to learn a few slides so that I know how to slow myself down incase I become uncomfortable with the speed I’m travelling at, plus they’re always useful.

‘Till next time!


Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while, life seems to have got in the way as well as some frustrations with my screen printer.But i’ve already had a busy day practising (although I seem to have most of the paint on myself) and now I have a few bags just about ready to be sewn together! So i think it’s finally time to announce the winner of the second competition of May!

It seems like there’s more on my hands than on the fabric…

Congrats to Jennie Evans! I have already sent an email and hope to post the bag to you soon. 🙂

And don’t forget there’ll be more competitions to come!

For now though I have some more screen printing to do (and some new designs to try) before going and practicing some long boarding with Ash.

We both have snazzy new helmets from Octane sports to keep us safe now so there’s no excuse! 🙂

Photo on 2013-05-20 at 16.45

Slightly silly, very safe.


Old Tricks

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.

Comfy and Fierce! See my outfit on Lookbook

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.

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Still a little wobbly…

But before that I have lots and lots of sewing to do!


A Busy Weekend!

Sorry for the brief absence, between long hours at work and being sociable I seem to have neglected my blog. I promise I made the most of my free time whilst I wasn’t updating though.

Wrapped up warm, eating chocolate!

Last weekend I met my sister on the southbank and went to a chocolate festival! There were so many stalls selling all kinds of chocolates! Gifts, snacks, quirky little things, big delicious things, solid things, liquid things. You name it, they had it (in chocolate at least).

I bought an amazing Lion shaped chocolate I just don’t dare eat (i will have to take a photo for you all to see!) and we bought a bag of flavoured chocolate lollypops.

 

Giant Chocolate Nougats

Emma and I then decided to retreat to the warmth of a pub and chat over a bottle of very tasty wine. Ash and my sisters boyfriend then met up with us for some lunch. Ash and Sam were men and had steaks, I had some delicious scampi. It was really nice, and the first time the four of us have done something together. The boys talked gaming and we all had a nice chat about TV shows we watched, soon though we had to leave. My sister had a party to go to and we’d invited some friends to a RollerDisco, the very same place Ash and I went on our first meeting.

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The Rollerdisco was brilliant as usual although we left earlier than I wanted, probably for the best as I had work the next morning. Again we didn’t dress up and again I wished I had! There were some truly awesome outfits, lots of flares, bright colours, super heros. My favourites by far were the group dressed as retro games. My two absolute favourites being Twister and the Rubix Cube.

Twister

This girl had made a very pretty dress out of twister fabric. It was simple but it didn’t need anything else. She also wore a Twister board on her head, very creative although it looked a bit like she had just graduated!

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Rubix Cube

This outfit was just so quirky and brilliant I couldn’t resist a sneaky shot! I wussed out at actually going up to the girl and getting a picture with her though, kinda wish I had now. She wore a Rubix Cube on her head and had a matching handbag. Her dress was a retro, colour block number and was pretty stylish as well is fitting in with her theme! I think I might have to steal this in future, i just loved it! She looked fab!

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Don’t forget to enter my competition here or here!

‘Till next time!


Penguin Wardrobe

Even though Lions have always been my favourite animal my wardrobe seems to be being overtaken by penguins!!

Two of my favourite pyjamas decided to rip and so I knew I needed new ones. In all fairness they were both very old so they have done me well, but i’m still sad to have to chuck them out.

So off we toddled to good ol’ Primarnie in search of some cheap pyjamas. I found a cute plaid short and top set with an adorable little bow and then the most amazing penguin pyjama bottoms ever.

Ok so that may be a bit over dramatic, but they really are awesome. I was debating for a while as just the bottoms cost the same price as the whole set of shorts and top i’d already picked up, but I decided that  I still had tops from my ripped pyjamas which would match nicely.

These pyjamas are so cosy it’s ridiculous. I think I’m going to end up living in them!

I have also been wearing my Penguin hat a lot recently. It’s just too adorable and goes well with my new winter tights (also primarnie)!

This was me on the tube on the way to a juggling group in Camden. Ash said he went years ago (he’s pretty good at juggling to my untrained eye ) and he’s always wanted to go again. Now that we live so close there’s no reason not to go!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures whilst there (I was too busy having fun!) but here’s an old video of Ash juggling!

It was actually a really fun evening, lots of people with various manipulative arts to show off. I really want to try working with Poi as they look so pretty!

By the end of the evening even I could very nearly juggle 3 balls! Just a little more practice I might be able to do more than 4 throws. 🙂

Anyone else who is interested in manipulative arts should definitely come along!

‘Till next time!


Pubbing it up

Last Sunday we met up with a couple of Ash’s friends and decided to go for a nice pub lunch as the weather was reasonably nice. We both ended up having burgers and afterwards were so full that we just made a few pancakes for our tea (or dinner for you non-northerners). He spent the rest of the evening playing xbox with his friend whilst I messed about on my laptop and eventually fell asleep.

On monday one our regulars came into work and decided to give us all easter eggs! He’s such a lovely old man and my egg has already been devoured despite it not being easter yet. Whoops!

Weatherspoons is also bringing out a brand new menu, so obviously the staff need to get acquainted with the new foods and we have to try them all. What a shame. Unfortunately i didn’t go to the meeting where we got to sample all the new things as i’d worked in the morning, but one of the managers did make me an ice cream sundae (which was delicious by the way). We sold our first ice cream sundae yesterday and the little girl I gave it too was so amazed when it came out exclaiming ‘WOW!’ very loudly. It was adorable!

Hopefully we should get the keys for our new flat tomorrow! (I haven’t heard anything to say otherwise as of yet) Very exciting times. I wont be sad to miss the (what’s supposed to be) 40 minute commute on the M25. I’m sure that has to be the worst motorway to commute on, everyone drives like a maniac, under taking, speeding, not indicating, and that’s not mentioning the roadworks that seem to randomly appear and disappear. No wonder there’s so many accidents.

Yesterday the 40minute journey took me 2hours.

At a standstill for around 20mins

Apparently there’d been a car fire on one of the slip roads but then there were several accidents along the way as well and I seemed to get caught behind them all. I’m sure that most of my time on that motorway is spent in first, just riding the clutch.

I think i’d find it too weird to have a trip on that road where i didn’t get held up in all honesty…

Till next time!!

Claire x