31 December 2014

Some Words For 2015

Whilst I'm not a resolution kind of girl, I do like marking the start of a new year in some small way. I like to think about the year that's passed - what worked and what didn't - and think about my intentions and hopes for the new year ahead. 

It's with this in mind that I've decided to follow the lead of many of my blogging friends and pick a word for 2015. Well actually, it's four words because brevity isn't necessarily my strong suit. 

Do stuff, with intention

The comma is important because, firstly, I want to do stuff. I want to ignore the fear and the "I don't know how / I'm not good enough" voice and just do stuff. I want to have a crack. I want to be productive. 

And then, the intention bit? That's about consciously deciding how I spend my time. That doesn't mean no faffing about on the internet for hours, it means conscious faffing*. I want to decide to spend half a day on Instagram, not get to the end of the day and think 'what just happened there?'. I want to decide to spend a week or two focussed on the family, rather than constantly feeling like I should be doing something else or something more. I want to be present. I want to plan more, to allocate time appropriately, to have clear priorities. 

There's also something about intentionality that has a certain kindness, a compassion to it, because it asks you to consider the consequences and impacts of each decision, each action. That's important, too. 

A disclaimer - last year, or maybe the year before, my word was FOCUS. And that totally didn't help with anything. But I'm feeling positive about this one. I think. 

*Conscious faffing. I feel like this is a term that could take off, yes?

Do you have a word for the new year? Or a phrase? Do you think it helps bring clarity to your year? Is it just something fun to do? Or entirely pointless?

29 December 2014

Three Simple Xmas Day Recipes (For Making Anytime!)

If I had of thought about writing this post before we all tucked in on xmas day there might be some better photos to go along with it. But I didn't and there's not, so you'll just have to settle for my marvellous pavlova, our colourful, eclectic table and Ferdi in a santa costume! 

This was our first xmas in our first proper house and it was ace. We have the step-sons staying with us right now, so their Mum came over for lunch and present opening. We stuffed and roasted a turkey and served it with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, buttery peas, fig salad, gravy and cranberry sauce. For afters we had pavlova with whipped cream, berries and pomegranate. It was a team effort, and it was all quite delicious. 

Here are three super simple yet super tasty recipes we used on the day:

Duck Fat Roast Potatoes 
1. Preheat your oven to about 190˚C or so. Put a biggish metal roasting pan in there to heat it up. 
2. Give your spuds a good scrub. Don't peel them - they're tastier with the skin on, plus it saves a heap of time and mess! 
3. Chop them into cubes; not too small but not too big. 
4. Throw the cubes in some salted, boiling water. Leave them in for about 7-10 minutes.
5. Drain your spuds really well, then put them in the hot metal roasting pan. 
6. Sprinkle liberally with chunky sea salt. Daub liberally with duck fat. 
7. Roast for 45-60 minutes, adjusting the temperature and oven position as required (ie. if they are browning too quickly drop the temp, if they're not crisping up enough give them a blast of heat). 
It's pretty hard to overcook these guys so don't fret too much. On the flip side, if it looks like they're going to be ready early don't be afraid to pull them out of the oven for a rest. 
From my head and years of trial and error. 

Fig + Mint Salad 
1. Halve 8 figs and arrange them in a bowl. 
2. Whisk together the juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lemon and 50ml extra virgin olive oil. 
3. Add 1 loosely packed cup of mint leaves, roughly chopped, and 1.5 thinly sliced golden shallots. 
4. Season to taste then spoon over the figs and eat! 
This was delicious with the roast turkey, I think it'd go well with roast pork as well. Oh, and maybe barbecued prawns. And some kind of chicken. Actually, it'd go with pretty much anything!

Never-Fail Pavlova 
1. Preheat oven to 200˚C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. 
2. Place 4 egg whites in a bowl. 
3. Combine 1 tablespoon cornflour and 1.5 cups of sugar, then add to the bowl with egg whites. Next - add a pinch of salt and 5 tablespoons boiling water. 
4. Beat on high until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture holds its shape well. You'll know it when you see it! 
5. Important! Half way through beating add a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. 
6. Pile the mixture on the oven tray, shaping with a spatula. I made two pavlovas - one was low and wide, the other thick and high. I think the low and wide one turned out better; it had a good ratio of crisp outside to soft, marshmallowy inside.
7. Place in the oven and drop the temperature down to just under 150˚C. Bake for about an hour, until it's dry to the touch. If your meringue starts to tinge drop the temperature down some more.
8. Once cooked, leave the oven door ajar and allow to cool completely before removing.
9. The meringue can be stored for a day or two. Before serving top with your favourite topping. 
I went for a classic whipped cream and berries combo - one with pomegranate and one with passionfruit. Although I adore pomegranate, I do think the passionfruit one was better - a pav really needs the tang of passionfruit to cut through the sweetness of the meringue. 

I was pretty pleased with how my pavlovas turned out. I'm pretty sure they're going to become a new xmas tradition. I'm already looking for inspiration for next year so please tell me - what are your favourite pavlova toppings? 

ps. I hope you had a delicious day too!

25 December 2014

Happy Festive Fun Times!

Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season. May it bring exactly what you need - whether that's days full of food and friends and family, or some quiet space for your soul (I'm aiming for a little of both!). 

Thanks as always for sticking around and checking in, for sharing and commenting and connecting. My life truly is the better for it x

23 December 2014

All wrapped up...

The night before the night before xmas and I'm feeling a strange mix of quiet, organised calm and sheer, panicky terror. Oh, and utter exhaustion too. Limping towards the finish line indeed. I adore this time of year, and I'm loving being back in Australia for it, but I'd forgotten all the pre-xmas drinks and eats and general running around like a headless chook that being home for xmas entails. 

But - pretty much all my shopping is done and almost all my wrapping is done too, so I'm calling that a win. This year I had a hankering for a something shiny and traditional, red with lashings of gold. Like last year I got a lot of stuff from The Wrapping Paper Company (minimum orders mean it's a good chance to stock up on ribbons and belli-bands for the rest of the year). IKEA also had a heap of gorgeous gold xmas stuff in rather pleasing graphic designs. 

Anyhoo, no time to chat. I'm off to wrap the last of the presents, bake some meringues for our xmas day pavlova and check the wine fridge is well stocked. Hope things are merry and bright at your place! x

09 December 2014

Rewind : Handmade Holidays

Despite xmas sneaking up on me like a very sneaky thing, I'm definitely feeling the festive spirit this year. I think a lot of that's to do with having a house, a house that we love. 

Last year around this time we were very much not moving into our house, despite wanting to be in 'before xmas'. (Pro tip - never say those words to a builder, architect or recent renovator, unless you want to trigger some kind of PTSD). I was having regular melt downs over deadlines and contracts and tradies and money. 

We didn't have the dogs with us, or a great kitchen to cook in. We did have suitcases and a storage unit and xmas in a box. But this year the house is finally finished and we've settled in nicely. We have a place to decorate, to entertain in - somewhere to hang the stockings and put the tree. It's pretty ace. 

I know lots of people that are feeling quite a bit bah humbug about it all this year, but just in case you're not here's a round up of xmas craft how tos from the past few years of Good Things* (can you believe I've been blogging for four and a half years now?!!), plus some slightly tongue in cheek tips for stress free entertaining. 

Right now I'm in the midst of making a new pom pom wreath, red and gold are this year's colours. At the rate I'm going I'm pretty sure I'll be done before xmas day. Maybe...

05 December 2014

Death by Doxie : Elfi Loves Laundry

The dogs have had a longstanding love affair with laundry, clean and dirty. When Ferdi was a pup I'd often find him nesting in the laundry basket, and Elfi's favourite days of the week are bed stripping days - when we throw all the sheets and pillow cases and doona covers into a big pile and she clambers on top like a mountain goat. Even better if there's a patch of sun around. Sometimes she looks so content I delay the washing by and hour or so. 

It's fine when it's all going in the wash anyway, but when the hounds decide to cover a freshly laundered, freshly folded pile of washing in dog hair, as happened the other day, well...that's not so fine. But it's my own fault really, leaving the clothes on the floor for all of five minutes as I did. Rookie mistake. 

(But look at those Elfi eyes! How could you be angry? Clearly I wasn't as the first thing I did when I saw her was run and grab my camera. Pretty sure that's not in Dog Training 101.)

03 December 2014

The Kindness of (Almost) Strangers

Seven years ago, maybe more, when Ferdi first came into our life, when he looked like this (ie. freaking adorable), we lived in an apartment in Potts Point. I'd always had dogs, and those dogs had always slept wherever they wanted, even if that meant my bed. But my husband hadn't had a dog since he was a kid, and he was of the view that dogs should sleep on their own. So we put Ferdi to bed in the laundry, then headed upstairs to try and get some sleep. 

He was just a little puppy, so he cried. Oh man, did he cry. All, night, long. But there were two solid doors between us and his cries, so we managed to block it out, mostly. 

He'll learn soon enough, we thought.* 

What we hadn't realised was that there was only a thin wall between Ferdi's night time spot and our poor neighbours, so whilst we could tune the cries out they were pretty much stuck with them. We hadn't been living in the apartment all that long, so we really didn't know our neighbours. But we had kept them awake with puppy howls. For a week. Not good.

They could have written an angry, abusive note. They could have made a complaint to our landlord, or to the council. But instead they came and knocked on our door one day with a big fluffy soft toy. They said they'd heard a puppy crying, and they thought it might provide some comfort. I was horribly apologetic of course, and embarrassed, but I was also incredibly touched. Wasn't it the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful approach ever? 

I've been thinking a lot about this recently - the kindness of almost strangers. I don't know about you but I'm in the midst of a pretty teary fortnight, and not all of it can be blamed on hormones. I adore social media, I really do. It connects me to all kinds of people all over the world. But it also connects me to the tragic, unfair, horrible, nasty, inexplicable and just plain sad things that can happen to those people. 

Lately it seems every time I check Facebook or Twitter I end up shedding tears over the death of someone's dog, or grandma, or dear friend. I hold my breath as a domestic tragedy unfolds, or a health scare freezes a family in their tracks. Not to mention the relentlessly depressing news - the treatment of refugees, the funding cuts, the arrogance of those in power. 

And then I tear up again when I see the online community, this community of almost strangers, band together to offer their love and support, and hope, and passion. (Good lord I am getting sentimental in my old age. Cynical teenager me would be horrified right now. But not activist pre-teen me, she'd be cheering.)

There's so many people doing so many thoughtful things, big and small. There are people making awesome stuff so they can raise money for things they care about, there are people organising donations of gorgeous handmade things for kids who really need them, there are people putting out their batsThere's the friend who gave her postie a bucket of homegrown broad beans (and who got a thank you note scrawled on her mail the next day, complete with recipe). And there's the online community creating a special secret surprise for someone who is going through a pretty tough time right now. There's fellow dachshund obsessed loving people, helping each other out. There's my Mum, banding together with other Grandmas to do this

There is so much kindness out there, it's humbling. And it reminds me - it's a choice we make, to be kind and thoughtful and generous, in whatever way we can. It's a choice to ignore the cynics and do something, however small, even when we are feeling distant and helpless. So, what do you choose? 

*In the end we caved and now both dogs take up more room on the bed than we ever do, but that's another story.

28 November 2014

Styling, Food + Photography at The School

A few Sundays ago I had the pleasure and the privilege of attending a food photography workshop as a guest of Olympus. It was two hours of fun at The School, led by the gorgeously enthusiastic Megan Morton and featuring some serious styling and photographing talent from the drool inducing Delicious magazine. 

This was a workshop in the true sense of the word. No sitting watching endless power points and taking endless notes - after a quick intro outlining some basics it was straight into an hour of styling and then an hour of shooting. I fumbled about looking slightly confused in the first hour. Even given the amazing surrounds and the treasures of The School's prop cupboard I struggled to style anything. Let's just say I have a new found respect for stylists and all of you vignetters out there in Instagram-land. 

I felt a bit more at home in the second half, the photo taking bit. It was heaps of fun playing with backgrounds and lighting; and picking the brains of people who do this each and every day. That's actually my favourite part of these kinds of things - the opportunity to talk to a professional, and to watch how they work. 

I learnt some stuff too. I realised I often get stuck in a rut; I reach too easily for the lighting and colours and angles that are known and comfortable. I need to break out of that. So I'm going to work on taking more vertically oriented (portrait) photos and trying different angles (not everything has to be shot from overhead!).

Here are some of my favourite photos from the day, taken with an OM-D E-M10 which Olympus lent to us all for the two hours...

20 November 2014

Jorpins Vintage on Etsy

Now that the renovation is finished (or as finished as these things ever are), and we're pretty well settled back in Australia, I've been turning my mind and my time to some new projects. One of which is Jorpins Vintage - my new store on Etsy where I sell retro goodness. 

Channelling my love of all things mid-century I'm focussing on the 1950s through to the 1970s. Each piece is selected for its good looks and excellent condition. I won't list anything with chips or cracks. I have a rigorous quality control team on board (ie. me).

Currently I'm selling kitchen and dining ware, plus a vase or two, but I will also be listing some amazing vintage frocks in the coming months. The number of items in stock right now is slowly growing, so make sure you add Jorpins Vintage to your favourites!

18 November 2014

Typography Tuesday : David Walsh on Death

And right here we have Exhibit A on why I'll never win Pinterest, why I'll never make a motivational poster, why I sometimes struggle with Typography Tuesday. Because sometimes the things I find deeply moving, deeply life affirming, kind of might seem like they stem from a slightly dark place. But to me they don't. To me they capture the complexity of life, the confusion and chaos and unfairness, and still say F**K YEAH life is GREAT!

This is a quote from David Walsh - the guy who made a stack of money from gambling and decided to spend it on something amazing. It's thanks to him that we have the beautiful, joyous thing that is MONA. This quote is from the tail end of an interview with Phillip Adams that aired on Radio National last week. 

David was musing on death, and the privilege of being alive. He talked about the ridiculous odds, the "incredibly fortuitous process", that played out to get to the end point of him being alive, now. He went on to say "And that's the great privilege of facing death, it's the privilege of having had the opportunity to contemplate it in the first place. I'll take that any day. I'll take it for as many days as I can take it." 

If you like listening to intriguing, honest, funny people discussing love, death and gambling then you should really listen to the whole thing here.

That lovely clean font is Futura, and the chunky hand drawn one is Monstro.

12 November 2014

14 Things in The Year of the Horse : An Update

Does doing something two years in a row make for a tradition? Yes? In that case - I have a new year tradition of writing a list of things I want to get done in the next twelve months or so, and posting them on the blog. The idea is to start the year off on an optimistic note and focus my mind on the things I really want to achieve.

During the year I like to revisit this list and grade my efforts. Mainly for comedic value. Things generally don't quite pan out the way I think they will, so I often review the list thinking 'how naive! how sweet! how innocent!'. 2014 has been no exception. 

I prepared a little infographic to explain...*

So yeah, my year hasn't quite gone as planned so far. I really underestimated the all consuming nature of the tail end of the renovation. (On the flip side I also really underestimated the awesomeness of completely unexpected things like Voices of 2014 coming my way too.)

I know it's a little late for an update (where has this year gone?!) but my list for 2014 was based on the lunar New Year because I'm a bit slow off the mark with these things. Technically I've still got three whole months before my deadline is up, so a November update it is.

The grades are going to be low this year, very very low. But, plough on we must...(also, channel Yoda we must)...

1. Read more. Specifically, read at least twelve books in twelve months. C+. I'm reading more, but I'm also reading very, very slowly. BUT - focus on the positives - I am making a concerted effort to read at least a few pages every, single day. And my brain is thanking me for it.

I've read six books since January, my favourite by far being Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas. And there were two quick, gulp it down reads I quite liked too -  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy.

Currently I'm ploughing through A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I'm also building a kind of scaffold structure around my 'to read' pile to stop it from falling over. It's pretty out of control.

2. Blog more. Specifically, blog at least six times per month. F. *falls about laughing* *wipes tears of hilarity from eyes* *gasps for breath between guffaws* Up to the end of October I've averaged 3.1 posts per month for 2014. Yep, definitely a fail. For so many good, valid reasons that I won't bore you with right now. But, that's all about to change! (It has been changing a little already - have you noticed?) I'm aiming for a strong finish on this one, yes I am.

3. Make Typography Tuesday a monthly thing. F. See above.

4. Do something with my 500px account. D-. In an effort to not get another F I just uploaded some shots. Yesterday. See - this goal writing thing totally works.

5. Assist on at least two photography shoots. F. I got half way there. I put some wheels in motion, but then the wheels fell off. But that's okay because a) life happens, and b) directions change.

6. Enter more photography competitions. F. I haven't entered any.

(Okay, this is starting to get a little embarrassing. Whose idea was this update thing anyway? Oh, mine? Right. Carry on then.)

7. Make a little book or zine. And sell it. F. No comment.

8. Develop some Instagram projects. B. Finally! A result! My addiction to love for Instagram has grown even more over the past few months. I find it immensely inspiring and strangely rewarding. I'm beyond happy that over 1,000 people are following me (and only a small percentage of them are Russian ladies in skimpy outfits urging me to chat with them).

My favourite project has involved the dogs, of course. I've currently got 42 photos tagged #morningwalkswithferdiandelfi. It's not just an overly long hashtag, it's also something that asks me to slow down; to appreciate and capture those early morning strolls.

9. Send more snail mail. D-. The only reason it's not another F is that we sent a heap of postcards when we were on our great European adventure. Outside of that I haven't really been doing my bit to keep the postie employed.

However, now I finally have my home office vaguely resembling something that looks like a home office I'm aiming for a strong finish on this one too. Stay tuned. (ps. Want me to send you a note in the mail? Let me know! I promise I will!)

10. Send cards to family and friends for every, single birthday. C+. I've only missed one or two. Maybe three. Or four. Let's be honest, I'm probably being a bit generous with the grades here.

11. Corral my clutter. B+. (I think the husband would probably grade me a D-, but he doesn't have a blog so B+ it is). I've reduced my shoe collection by two whole thirds, I've donated bags and bags of clothes, I've culled my ceramics and thrown out pretty much all of my magazines. We've sorted through all our DVDs and CDs and only kept the absolute best of the best. And when I buy something new I have to get rid of something old. I'm by no means a minimalist but my clutter doesn't rule me anymore, and corralling it feels like a habit now.

12. See more movies at the cinema. Specifically, see at least eight movies on the big screen. D-. We've seen quite a few flicks with the step-sons - the Lego Movie, Monty Python's recent live show, the new X-Men one. But that's about it. I keep saying I'm going to sneak off to the cinema when the husband and step-sons are away, but I always end up finding something else to do instead.

13. Proofread more. B+. I'm sure I still make mistakes, when I post and tweet, but I feel like I make less mistakes. I'm definitely more aware of proofing before I post. I think it's become a habit too.

14. Eat better. And yes, there will be blog posts! B (for eating better), F (for blogging about it). This year I've dabbled in grain free and low grain. And although in the end I've decided that grains are my friends, the experiment did help me break out of my pasta rut. I've now got a whole repertoire of quick, easy, low grain, high protein, high veg meals to turn to when I can't be bothered cooking. And I'm feeling better for it too. 

*You may recall that improving my Photoshop skills was on 2013's list? Well, I made this inforgraphic on Photoshop! Pie charts and all! And I've enrolled in a two day basic skills course for December. So I'm giving myself an A for that assignment, even though I've handed it in a just little late.

How has your year been tracking? Are you getting higher grades than me (I bet you are!)? Can you believe it's already November? Are you as freaked out by the speedy passing of time as I am? 

08 November 2014

The Search For The Perfect Spring Frock

Whilst I love a good dress all year round, I become especially obsessed with frocks when there's a sweet scent in the air and the chill of night dissipates. Come Spring I dream not of t-shirt dresses or shifts or shirt dresses, but of proper full skirted, fit and flare frocks. Preferably with pretty patterns and cute detailing.

Here's a few I'm liking right now:

It's so hard to pick a favourite! I am completely and utterly smitten with the ASOS midi dress, but being on the short side I couldn't pull it off. Sob. Boden is a new discovery for me and I'm liking all of their dresses. This colourful confetti print in particular caught my eye. The print on the Maiocchi dress is just wonderful; plus I bought a dress from them last year and it is the most flattering cut of any dress I've ever owned, so this one is very high on my 'must try' list. The ModCloth frock is simple and elegant and classic. Lovely. And I have a longstanding love affair with all things Made590. I actually have the Joanie dress in a different (super limited edition) fabric and I love it. I'm finding the gorgeous green and pink hues of this version hard to resist. 

Which would you pick? 


ps. I have a confession to make, because I know exactly what's going to happen next. I know that I will go out and buy several gorgeous Spring frocks. I will be unable to resist their ladylike prettiness. And then I will spend the entire season wearing one of my fourteen denim shirt dresses from Muji. 

ps. Also - side note to all dress designers - can you please, please stop cutting bits out of perfectly gorgeous frocks (like this one)? Not all of us want to share our back / mid riff / love handles with the world...

01 November 2014

Five Favourite Snaps From The Trip That Was : People

When we travel, sometimes we pretend we do it for history or art or culture, or simply relaxation. But really - if we're honest - we travel for food. And my goodness we had some good food on our European adventure. The greatest bolognaise of my life in Bologna; the best fluffy yet chewy pizza in the dodgiest of Italian port cities; the herby pot of sausages and lentils in Nice; the baguettes in every tiny French town we drove through; the roquefort in - yep - Roquefort; the olives and cured pig in Cadiz; the gelato everywhere... 

But, strangely, I rarely take photos of my food when I'm travelling (or when I'm not travelling, for that matter). This is for three main reasons: 
1) Everything looks so damn tasty and I'm pretty much permanently hungry so half the dish is normally inhaled before I even think about taking a snap.
2) I'm normally travelling with my anti-social media, anti-camera, pro-living in the moment husband who would mock me mercilessly if I pulled out my camera at the start of every meal. 
3) I'd mock myself mercilessly too if I pulled out my camera at the start of every meal. Basically - I'm too self-conscious and too afraid of being a cliche. Sad and somewhat shallow but true.

All of which is a long winded way of explaining why this is five favourite snaps of people, not food. And I'm quite happy that it is about people. Holiday snaps without people - without action and movement and life - can get a bit soulless after awhile, I think.

Lecce, Italy. This one fits with my 'the prettiest places don't always make for the best travel photos' theory. We spent three nights in Lecce, in a grand old hotel, and it was nice. It was a typical Italian city with a lovely centro storico, lots of alleyways and piazzas. And it had it's fair share of grime and graffiti too. Pretty and gritty in equal measure. But, packed with families and holiday makers, it was full of life. (And gelato - oh man! The gelato in Lecce was both plentiful and delicious!). 

I love this shot. I love how the strong afternoon sun brings out the colours and frames the family, the tweety bird balloon providing a focal point. I love the contrast between the extended family out for a stroll and the graffiti covered wall. I love the guy on the bike, so Italian in his polo shirt and sunglasses, about to disappear into the shadow. 

Lecce, Italy. There's the graffiti and the bin and the dirt of the street. But there's also family good times, gelato in the shade, relaxed holiday vibes. And now I want gelato. Damn.

Lisbon, Portugal. There is a lot of snobbery about cruising. Unwarranted, I think. One day I'll write a post about all the reasons we love to cruise, and I swear it'll make you go out and book one right away. But for now I'll just tell you that leaving port on a giant boat is a wonderful thing. The views you get as you slowly pull away- such a different perspective on a city. 

I love all the traditions around leaving port too. It's normally perfectly timed for aperitivo hour, so everyone gathers on deck, drink in one hand, camera in the other. They play Con te PartirĂ³ over the loud speakers, followed by Somewhere Over the Rainbow (the ukele version, of course). It may just be because I'm getting old and sentimental but it always, always brings a little tear to my eye. Which is a bit ridiculous, but also kind of great.

Leaving Lisbon was fantastic, you really got a sense of how impressive the city was, how it stretched down the harbour. You could picture all those explorers sailing out to discover the world, way back when. 

Civitavecchia, Italy. Now this was cool! When we were leaving Civitavecchia there was a maritime pilot who stayed on board the cruise ship, guiding the boat safely out of port. All good, right? But how does he then get off the cruise ship? Apparently, he does it James Bond style! 

Directly beneath our cabin I watched as the pilot inched down a dangling rope ladder, dwarfed by the enormous cruise ship. He clung there, waiting for the right moment, and then leapt on to the speed boat below. Impressive! This shot captures him in mid jump. 

It's one of those times when you think - how lucky that this just happened to take place right here, and how lucky that I just happened to be faffing about on our cabin balcony at the time.

Conques, France. I could tell you all the things that could be better in this shot. I could lament the fact that I rushed it, out of fear and that feeling of intruding (we were in a church!). I could mourn the image that could have been, that should have been.

But I won't. 

Instead I'll just enjoy the gorgeous tones of the old cathedral, the light streaming in from above. The beautiful french woman, the joyous flowers, the pink and the purple and that perfect red jug. Oh! And those glorious gold moccasins! It may not be the perfect image and yet - there is still so much to be happy about here.


Over to you - do you think the prettiest places make for the best pictures? Or do you prefer a bit of grit? Do you go for pristine, people-less shots when you travel? Have you got an 'almost but not quite perfect' image that you just wish you'd got right? Do you take photos of your food? Do you like to cruise? Do you want some gelato?

31 October 2014

Death by Doxie : Hello! Welcome!

One of the bestest of best things about having a dog is the way they enjoy your company so very much. A dog thinks you're the bee's knees, the ant's pants, the grasshopper's pyjamas. (I made that last one up, could you tell?) 

They miss you when you're gone, whether you're gone half an hour or half a day. And when you get home they like to tell you how very much they've missed you. And - if they're like Elfi - they like to do it loudly. Very loudly.

Above is Elfi giving me the stink eye because I'm faffing about with my camera when I should be opening the door and lavishing her with pats. Below is Elfi singing me her song of welcome, her "hello!" song. Loudly. And Ferdi looking adorable and happy, and slightly confused (as he so often does).