Anyone who knows me will know that photography is one of my passions. If your jewellery and accessories can say something about who you are, then even better. I managed to find some camera charms on eBay and tuned one into a necklace. As well as the camera, the necklace is comprised of a long, antique gold-coloured chain and the camera charm is attached with some old clock cogs, to add an interesting detail.
There's something very therapeutic about playing around with some small parts and seeing if you can make something interesting.
At the weekend I finally had a chance to take a closer look at Reculver towers, near Herne Bay. I've seen the ruins many times when flying past on my way to another part of the coast and I have always promised myself that one day I'd stop and stand in their shadows.
Reculver Towers are the two towers of the ruins of St Mary's church, built by the Romans. The towers which still stand were actually added to the original Roman church in about 650AD.
The Reculver Towers are located in Reculver Country Park, The Saxon Shore way skirts the country park so you can walk or cycle along the coast. There are picnic tables in the park and we sat and had a lovely, albeit windy, picnic.
Afterwards, we drove to Blean Woods where 35 pairs of nightingales return to every spring. The nightingale has one of the most beautiful and distintive songs of any bird and was a great inspiration to the English Romantic poets. Unfortunately we didn't hear any nightingales that evening but I have heard reports of nightingales being heard in Boughton and Appledore as well as Blean. They sing between May and the beginning of June so I'm running out of time but if not this year...next year :)
We came across a group of enthusiastic bird spotters who were standing transfixed by another very strange bird cry. One of the bird spotters, a gentrified elderly lady, whispered to me that it was a nightjar.
Nightingales or not, the woods are a beautiful place to be at dusk. There are plenty of birds species singing and on a summer's evening I can think of nothing better than sitting in the woods with just a picnic and the birds for company. There is a car park which was still open when we left after 10pm, although there is plenty of road parking if you were worried about your car getting locked in the car park.
Estimates suggest that up to 70% of the world's bluebells bloom in the UK. I anticipate their arrival every year and when their particular shade of violet-blue does sweep the woods and flower beds I know summer is on the way. Now we are in the second half of May, some of the bluebells are looking a little tired and I know it is nearly time to say good bye to them until next year.
I found these beauties in Brenchley Gardens in Maidstone whilst waiting for my bus.
Some of the most popular places to find bluebells are here (including the famous Ashridge Estate in Buckinghamshire).
Next year I'm hoping to fulfill a dream and take a trip to Buckinghamshire to photograph the bluebells on the Ashridge estate at sunrise. Fingers crossed.
A while back, I started a 10 questions-10 day challenge. I forgot about it but have now remembered.
Question 6 is to list 5 things I like to do. This is going to be hard as I like doing a lot of things.
1) Listening to the radio whilst crocheting or cross stitching. I don't have a television but I DO have a radio and I would choose a radio over a television any day.I got my first digital radio a couple of Christmasses ago and it has become an indispensible part of my life. If I want to find new bands and songs I listen to BBC Music 6, if I'm feeling nostalgic I'll select Absolute 80/90/00s and be transported to my past. I love the French radio station I can get with its emphasis on electronic music. Occasionally I listen to hard rock stations or else I'll dart over to Radio 4 for the shipping forecast and interesting debates. I've even been known to listen to the hypnotic beats on the Punjabi radio stations. I can sit there for hours, with my hands working and my foot tapping.
2) Talking. Anyone who knows me will know that I love to talk. I will happily debate about anything. I like it when my Dad makes dinner and then we sit at the table and talk afterwards. I love walking and talking. Sometimes customers will tell me a story while I'm serving them and it is always the highlight of my day. I remember the British Diplomat's wife who told me about Rangoon, Mr E, the 71 year old lady who encouraged me to draw. The tree surgeon who outlined his typical work day for me, the Dutch girl who touched my hand because I knew what Flemish was and then chatted to me about languages for 10 minutes, the regular customers who pass by and always have a few words to offer me. I love sitting around a table with friends or family, some food and drink to hand, and talking about anything, telling stories, sharing anecdotes and laughing.
3) Packing a picnic for an adventure in Kent. (ok, so this is arguably 2-in-1 like the first but they do go together). A summer's day, sky bight blue. I get up early and pack a picnic for a day out. All my favourite foods, divided plates and colourful straws. My camera is fully charged. A mix CD has been made. I set off in my car and drive around, over, and through Kent, seeking out castles, beaches, pretty villages, gardens, views and the sea. Yes, if I were to die and the chance to choose how to live my final day I would pack a picnic and head to one of my favourite castle and bays in Kent.
4) Staying up late. I thought it was a leftover form my student days; but no, I'm just a night person. I love the quietness and the stillness. There is a privacy about night. Few people are around so there is no need to socialise if you don't want to. You can be alone and be yourself. I have my best ideas at night, flashes of creativity. Most of all I love night in an empty house. Without being able to see outside it's like living in your own kingdom. I loved my little appartment in Germany, at night. I loved the quietness of being 9 floors up and seeing the stars from my balcony. 1am and I could eat mashed potato if I wanted and write. I love light and sunshine but there is definitely a magic about night.
5) Walking. At dusk best. With my latest Spotify playlist. I'd love a dog and a number of people have said " don't forget you'd have to take it for a walk every day" like it's a bad thing. Having to go for a walk every day is one of the many reasons TO get a dog.
I bought a couple of shell pendants in a sale and knotted some green cord to hang it form.
I've always really liked chokers and now my head is spinning with ideas for other choker ideas. Pay day was a week or so back so I bought a few things on eBay. It's amazing how vast the range of items for sale on eBay is.
I bought some antique gold coloured camera charms which I'm very excited about receiving. I think you can get a charm in just about every imaginable style so I'm tempted to put some themed bracelets together, even if they're already been done.
My camera battery has died on me. I miss it a lot but am grateful for my iPhone which is capable of producing some high quality and very interesting images.
This was taken in some woodland nearby. It doesn't look like it was taken in a heavily residential area, and it's a good reminder that there are photos to be had everywhere if you look closely enough.
A little blurred admittedly. Still, I like the whiteness and how it 'glows' in the grass.
With my camera out of action (hopefully temporarily) I will have lots of opportunities to exploit my iPhone and its potential.