Archive | February 2012

2012 Travel Plans

I love travelling. I’m hardly happier than when I’m on the road, seeing new sights and meeting new people. The Germans use the term ‘wanderlust’ to describe a strong desire to travel and see the world, and I’m the first to confess I have it bad.

My parent’s probably instilled this love in me at a young age – we’ve been going on family holidays for as long as I can remember and they were never the ‘beach and pool’ ones, but cultural, filled with new sights and sounds. We’ve spent many wonderful summers in France, Italy, southern Germany, and even ventured as far afield as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Czech Republic, not to mention the obligatory Orlando experience.

On my own, I’ve visited a lot of South East Asia, Oceania, Western USA and various places in Europe and Africa (a fairly complete list of all the countries I’ve been to is here).

So what are my latest plans? Yes, I do have some. I always try and have at least one trip planned because it gives me something to look forward to!

So for 2012 this is what I have coming up: Read More…

Pillow Fort

I have ended up with an absolutely horrific cold which has been making me feel miserable. I confess, I am a real wuss about being sick. I hate that it stops me doing all the fun things, like exercise, but yet it’s not bad enough to stop me doing the important stuff, like work >.< Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t put my life on hold or anything, and it only stops me doing the ‘fun stuff’ because I let it. I’ve learnt the hard way that trying to force myself to keep on exercising and training while sick only makes things far far worse (a Boxing Day trip to hospital a few years back with pneumonia was a lesson learned – trust me!). But I can still grumble about it.

So to cheer myself up today I reverted to being a small child and did something I haven’t done in years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you, my pillow fort!

Read More…

Inspirational Photographers

My attempts at shooting in RAW this weekend failed (due to having to reformat card, and the camera being old and broken) and as I have to hand the dSLR back to my department this week I’m not sure I’m going to get another chance to play with it before then. So instead of sharing with you my work I thought I’d have a quick chat about the photographers that inspire me.

I have four particular favourites which I wanted to show you, but they are by no means exclusive. Photography, like art and beauty, is subjective, so what I like and find inspiring may not appeal to everyone, but I hope some of these appeal to you! If one day my work is half as good as any of these below, I shall be a very happy snapper! I have a long way to go…

Peter Lik

"Eternal Beauty"

I first became aware of Peter Lik whilst travelling. I found a gallery of his in Noosa, Australia (he is Australian by birth but has now relocated to the States) and I liked what I saw. Imagine my surprise then when I hit Vegas and found he has a number of permanent galleries there (Forum Shops, Venetian Shops, Mandalay Bay) and after having a really good look at his work I fell in love with it.

Not only are his landscapes stunning (especially those of the prairies with storms) and his images of the canyons just beautiful (like the one above), the way he displays his work is fairly unique – backlit images that bring out the best in these photos. I confess, as soon as I have enough money I fully intend to purchase at least one of his works.  Read More…

Starbucks and Me

Ok, I will admit I am slightly biased when it comes to Starbucks as I worked in one of their branches for almost two years. I can’t speak for the whole world, but in England I found them to be a fantastic company to work for. As a part-timer using it to pay my bills while studying at Uni, I couldn’t have asked for a better job. The pay was decent, (around the £6.50/hour mark – I’ve worked for much less!), the hours flexible and I also got sick pay AND holiday pay to boot! And free coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. That came in very handy during my finals!

I know big corporations get a lot of flak in this day and age but I always admired Starbucks’ efforts to help the communities they sourced their coffee from. I’m sure it’s not perfect (and don’t get me started on their attitude towards the military), but with a lot of their coffee moving over to FairTrade I think there is some sense of a nicer way to do business.

Even after I left my job, I still always pick a Starbucks coffee over any other when I’m out and about. I can’t help it. Vanilla lattes = a little slice of happiness.

So with all that in mind, I was so happy to read this article in the news this morning: Christian Pastor Calls For Starbucks Boycott Over Gay Marriage Support.

Starbucks has joined more than 100 other firms in supporting Washington State’s same-sex marriage bill. Good for them! Read More…