Mother's Day, the gift of giving

Some of my earliest memories of childhood are of our family garden, picking strawberries, Spring tulips in the garden, my dads greenhouse. So when it comes to picking a Mother's Day gift I usually choose garden related gifts. Not only do they suit her down to the ground but this is just the perfect time of the year to start thinking about getting out into the garden more.

Sunday appreciation

A quick Sunday afternoon shout out to some talented folks who have been getting creative with my free photos on Unsplash. Click on any image to visit the artists Instagram profile.

I've received some lovely emails this week from people using my photos, it's really nice when there's no expectation of thanks but yet they take the time to email. I've had news from a chap in the Netherlands that he's used a photo of Ozzy for the cover of a thesis he's written, an offer of a place to stay should I ever be in a certain wine and food province in Italy and and offer of acupuncture treatment should I ever be back in Sydney from a woman who's used some of my photos for her website design.

It's a lovely feeling to know that you are helping out someone somewhere, and even more special when they let you know that it's appreciated. Happy times x

Riad Dar M'chicha, Marrakesh

Our children's school recently opted to extend the school day, giving them two weeks off at Halloween instead of the usual one week. This second week proved extremely good value to go away on, for both flights and hotels and so we chose to head for a few sun drenched Winter days in Marrakesh.

Christmas progress

As a child our Christmas tree was always a real one, the smell of pine is something that I've always associated with Christmas and having a real tree is a must have for me. My husband would rather go down the less hassle artificial route, but not me. Besides whilst disposing of the tree last year I made a new tradition - making something from part of the trunk. I spent a jolly fine morning with my axe and woodworking knife fashioning a spatula which has been useful in the kitchen ever since!

Autumn in the New Forest

Autumn here in the New Forest is an assault on the senses. Visually there's pretty much every colour in the orange / yellow / brown spectrum. Underfoot, depending on the weather, there's crunchy or slippy leaves (you are either striding with glee or walking carefully with the fear). Cute animals galore mooch about 'doing their thing' as they can do here - pigs and piglets snuffling in the leaves, ponies, cows, deer, sheep.

Photography & Play

The photo above, with the stars in Kitty's hair were the product of a Saturday afternoon playtime. I was feeling rubbish (darned sore throat), Kitty was feeling bored and it was one of those times where it would have been easier to all just stay in our respective bubbles of fug and the afternoon to pass peacefully by.

Blogging, where it all went wrong (and then right)

Firstly I'd like to acknowledge that this blog post contains my personal thoughts on aspects of blogging, commercial blogging and e-courses which are not aways positive. These are simply my feelings and are not any aggressive words directed at any individuals. I've been blogging enough to have seen many post written where people start whispering to each other 'ooo who does she mean?' - this most definitely isn't one of those. 

Dunnet Head, Caithness

I can't quite believe that it's been over a year since we enjoyed a few days away in Caithness with my first husband Iain and his parents - and I wanted to get down my memories on this day before I forget.  One of my favourite places in the country, we managed to get some beach time in, not to mention a climb. 

Porlock Weir

At Porlock Weir you can enjoy lunch overlooking the harbourside at the pub, enjoy a delicious ice cream from the local shop, visit a host of independent makers and businesses, build stone stacks on the pebble beach and walk the coastal path for some beautiful views.