Monday, 16 May 2016

That Time I Went To Woburn Safari Park

A couple of Saturdays ago two friends and I travelled to Woburn Safari Park to go hang out in the wild for the day. In all honestly the drive through safari was a bit poop because all the animals were sleeping or had disappeared to some hiding place because it was so hot, 22 degrees to be exact but its ok I forgive them. It really was a beautiful day to be wandering around outdoors looking at the adorable animals and taking photos. We went on a swan pedalo boat I sat in the back and let my friends do all the peddling, I felt like the queen being chauffeured around. I also got into some weird conversation/argument with a guy who I had never met before about what I was going to eat for lunch for some reason he kept persisting that I was vegan and I wouldn't be able to eat here 'I was like dude I'm vegetarian I just don't eat meat'. According to my camera I took 998 photos but obviously il just show you some of the ones that turned out half decent.

Probably the best photo I have ever taken :)

I got told off for taking this photo because I had the window rolled all the way down!

Best looking land rover ever

What you looking at? His so cute.

Gentle giant, so majestic.

He would not share his food with me, how rude!

Just sat here chilling.
I always enjoy hanging out with the animal kingdom there easier to tolerate than humans! I had a lovely day with my friends and Im sure we will go back at some point. 

Whats your favourite day trips to do with your friends ?


LJ
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Monday, 4 April 2016

A Week In Brighton

I took a week trip to Brighton with my mum. I had made plans to see one of my best friends who lives down there and I had lots of ideas of things I wanted to see and do. Unfortunately all my plans went in a tissue,  I had caught the lergy I had a cough, cold etc. It was beyond irritating as I had managed to stay away from colds, viruses and the flu for more than 10 months, but sods law I get a cold on the week I go away. I spent most of the week staring at the walls of my hotel room !

When we arrived at our hotel in Brighton we had a problem we was unable to stay there as the hotel had no lift and our room was on the third floor. With my mums mobility problems and my health problems this was not going to work. What was more annoying is that my mum had sent them a message explaining we needed a ground room floor. We then found out very quickly that the lady who owned the hotel was computer illiterate and didn't know how to scroll down and read the special requirements!  Id like to say this is a one off situation but this kinda of thing happens to us all the time ! We spent the next two hours trying to find another hotel.

The hotel we eventual settled into was called the Royal Albion and it had a lift, only one and you often had to wait five minutes to get in it, but once you were in it took you to the floor you needed so, winning. The room was spacious and it had a jacuzzi bath id never been in one of those before so It was nice to relax init with some tunes blaring out. I have to say if you have a cold and are really congested all the steam from the bath really helps.

Although I did spend the majority of the week in the hotel room I did get out a few times mostly to eat dinner. If your expecting to see photos of lots of food you will be disappointed I pretty much never took any photos of food.

Our hotel was right across from the sea and pier and to my surprise my mum wanted to go on this wheel she doesn't normally like this kind of thing. I on the other hand I love anything that takes me above ground level. The wheel was great for taking photos from a higher level and it was just nice to see Brighton from a different perspective.


This was the only piece of graffiti I managed to see which was a shame I love walking around Brighton finding street art.


My dream travel vehicle although I would like it in blue or multicoloured and I would convert the inside to the ultimate travel experience.


On the only day I managed to see my friend we mostly just wandered the streets going into awesome shops like this sweet shop. I was banned from eating Nerds growing up as apparently they made me too hyper.


Oh look a food photo. This was a rice and curry dish with a portion of wedges it was most delicious and also vegan. Im not actually vegan but my friend is and I'm very aware and conscious about making better food choices for the environment and animals. ( I am vegetarian in case you was wandering)


Theres a lot of cafes and restaurants that cater for vegans in Brighton and I think its wonderful to have that choice and not feel like you cant go out and eat delicious food this was my vegan hot chocolate.



By day 4/5 of being ill I was majorly frustrated at sitting in my hotel room and not being able to see anything so I took a trip out to get medication and stopped of to see the Royal Pavilion.



On the last day of being in Brighton I dragged myself out as my mum and myself wanted to take a trip to Brighton Marina via the electric train. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was making the most of it chilling on the beach.


We caught the train to the marina where we ate at an Italian restaurant, checked out the boats and got rocky horror desserts. To be honest this little outing was a blur for me I was totally not with it and kept dreaming of a bed, but I'm glad I went trains are fun.


On the day of going home I had a craving for pancakes so I turned to my good friend google and found this place an american dinner. It was super awesome I could of spent all day looking and reading the things they had on the walls. Also 'tom and jerry' was playing on the TV who doesn't like watching cartoons whilst eating breakfast.


Oh the goodness deliciousness that was these pancakes I just wish I was able to eat them both but I was defeated.


My friend had kindly given me her free smoothie voucher so I purchased one for the journey home.


That was my week in Brighton it didn't go to plan and I feel a little cheated as I didn't get to have all the fun I wanted to have but I guess thats life. I did get to go on the wheel, take the electric train to the marina, see my friend and eat some yummy food.


Laura
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Monday, 29 February 2016

A Day In London


The great thing about London is there is so much to do and explore you could easily spend a lifetime exploring the city. It was my friends birthday and she had requested to see Thriller Live and spend the day in London with two of her best friends. Before setting out for the day I decided against taking my DSLR and I also decided that I actually wasn't going to be taking many photos with my phone. I just wanted a day where I wasn't snapping away and I just wanted to feel completely present. So this post isn't going to be picture heavy.

My friend picked us up and drove the three of us into London we parked at Westfield shopping centre. This was my first time to Westfield shopping centre which to be honest isn't really that important or significant it has the same shops as every other shopping centre! We walked straight through Westfield into stratford underground station and made our way to the Emirates cable car. The emirates cable car takes you over the river Thames and allows you to see the city from a different perspective. As someone who is not afraid of heights I was looking forward to being high up over the Thames looking out at the view, for my friend though this was a nightmare. But for me the cable car was an enjoyable experience and I loved being able to see for miles around.


I do have a suggestion for who ever is in charge of the emirates cable car, I suggest you allow people to sleep in the cable cars overnight suspended above the Thames. I had a little lie down along the seat and it was super comfortable and the gentle swaying of the car was really soothing. Id definitely pay to spend a night in one of the cable cars, imagine watching the sunset and sunrise from that view.


We then headed to the o2 to have a cheeky Nando's in case anyone is actually interested I ate peri salted chips, I also learnt that you get roughly about 16 chips for a regular portion! After some messing about on motorbikes in the o2 we took the underground to Piccadilly circus. We walked along the street going into a few shops and stopping to watch musicians and dancers. One particular dance troupe caught our eye and we watched from beginning to end they were entertaining. One of my favourite things about London is the street performances theirs so much happening, so much talent and positive happy vibes. We still had a couple of hours to kill until we went to see Thriller Live so we headed into Garfunkel's to chill for a bit.

After sitting for two hours in Garfunkel's and only consuming a hot chocolate it was time to leave and head to the theatre. There were more street performers setting up and I decided id dance along the street, my friends were amused but not up for dancing as well but the guy setting up his mic appreciated my enthusiasm.


We arrived at the lyric theatre I hid my snacks in various pockets as your not allowed to bring your own food inside but I wasn't about to throw them away. I had already seen thriller live when it first come out in 2009 but I can barely remember that so it was good to see it a second time around with my friends. The show takes you through Michael Jackson's music carer from his early days right up till the end. There were multiple people performing as Michael for different songs, along with plenty of dancers so plenty going on and fun to watch. I love it when they get the audience to stand up, sing and dance along at the end everyone was having a good time, id recommend going along to see the show.

The show finished and we began the journey home which saw me doing the moon walk through Westfield's and some other awful dancing much to the joy of other people who couldn't contain their laughter. By the way no alcohol was consumed I was just in a really good mood. Some days I just don't care what I do/look like in public and I love those days. Life is about having fun and if you can make others laugh its even better. I had a great day in London and im sure I will be back soon to explore even more.


Laura
--x--

     

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Day In Cambridge

After much debating with myself as to what I should do and where to go for my first trip of the year I decided to go to Cambridge. Cambridge is only about an hour away from where I live by train and although I have been there a few times it was a very very long time ago. On this trip my brother joined me and as I sat there on the train it brought back memories of how we use to travel as young kids on our own by train every other Friday into London it was the first time I felt free and like I was on an adventure.
Botanic Gardens Pond.  
We arrived in Cambridge with no plans which I don't normally do because a plan is usually needed to work around my chronic illness. I pulled up google maps and saw that the botanic gardens were nearby so that was our first stop, we payed the £5 entrance fee and headed in. In hindsight it was probably a little pointless going in the winter as nothing was blooming but it was still fun to wonder around and see what we would discover. I particular liked the pond as that's where there was the most photo opportunities and the most wildlife, nature and people. I also really appreciated how many benches there were as it allowed me to take lots of breaks.

Pretty much the only time you will see me with a real smile on my face is when Im surrounded by nature.
After the gardens we decided to track down the river cam and follow it up to where all the universities are. Surprisingly we found the river pretty easily and it was nice to walk along seeing what wildlife we could spot and it was also interesting seeing what people were getting up to, people were actually sitting and writing outdoors by the river. I like that I think surrounding yourself with nature and writing is a top idea. Once we reached the universities we wandered until we found an area where there were cafes and shops which I was very pleased to see as I was in pain, hungry and needed a wee! Once all my needs were met we found ourselves sat on a wall trying to figure out what we wanted to do next when we were approached by a man asking if we wanted to go punting down the river and told about the history of the universities. I was well up for that I had seen the boats go up and down the river but I had never been on one and it meant I could rest and sit for an hour and get a tour from a different perspective to what I would see on foot.

What a lovely day to go punting down the river Cam.
We took our places at the back of the boat and I mention this because if you can sit at the front id recommend it, if you sit at the back your likely to get wet from the punt pole. Although this rather amused my brother and I. Our guide was really friendly and liked to get to know us all before telling us about the history of Cambridge. Now id like to say I learnt a lot and give you some information about the universities but I was rather busy snapping away on my camera ! This seems to be a bit of an issue with me I get so wrapped up in taking photos and looking around appreciating the moment that I don't focus on anything that's being said.  The only thing I remember is the guide telling us how much it cost to stay in the dorms and us all being shocked by how cheap it was. That was all I really needed to know before my mind started thinking, hey maybe I should study in Cambridge and I spent a while trying to convince myself that university sounded like a great idea. I enjoyed our little float up and down the river and would recommend it as a must do in Cambridge.

Such Beautiful Architecture. 
We then wandered through some of the charming streets stopping every 20 seconds to look at or read something whilst trying not to get run over by bikes.

What Charming Bikes They Have In Cambridge.
At this point I had started taking photos on my phone instead of my DSLR because I was growing tired of carrying my camera ( I had forgotten my sling strap rookie mistake!). I took a bunch of photos, really cool photos might I add and of course my memory card failed me, I wont go into that to much cause I'm still not over it ! Oh well I have the memories. We found ourselves back at the shops and really hungry. I would like to say we went into some cool hip good vibes cafe and ate but we went to subway and McDonald's! Sometimes you just need food quick, ok.

It was at this point both us seemed to lose all sense of direction and walk in the wrong way of the chapel we was going to go look at. As we were already walking in the direction of the train station we decided that it was time to return home we were pleased with how spent the day. It was fun to spend the day exploring somewhere new and doing something different. It was also nice to spend some time with my brother his not much of a conversationalist and he seems to think I cant cross roads safely but he laughs at my jokes which makes me feel like a cool little sister.

My plan wasn't to keep track and share what I spend on these trips but being the ever conscious spender that I am I just decided that it would be a good idea to keep track and show you how much I spent and on what. Who knows it might be helpful to at least one of you.

Trip Cost 
Return train ticket £11.00
Botanic Gardens   £5.00
Punting Tour        £10.00
Food and Drink    £6.00
Total                     £32.00


Laura
---X---

Friday, 29 January 2016

The History Of My Love Of Photography


I have fond memories of being a small child spending rainy days up in the loft of my house which was were we kept all our photos. I would find one of the floor boards that was safe enough to sit on and spend hours looking through albums. I was fascinated how a moment in time could be captured and last a lifetime on a piece of paper. My first camera was a blue and yellow fisher price film camera which 6 year old me would capture photos of my cats, I remember my thumb was also present in quite a few of those photos.

I was 10 years old when I become fascinated by my Pops video camera and I really enjoyed filming random stuff like interviews and house tours I loved watching them back. When I was a teenager I got a mobile that was capable of filming and I spent many hours making cringeworthy videos with my siblings and friends. At this point I hadn't owned a camera in quite a few years and would buy disposable cameras but I would only take photos of my pets, family and holidays.

Towards the end of secondary school people began bringing in their digital cameras to capture the last few weeks of school. I was like I need to get me one of those except I was teenager I had no money so I had to use my mums digital camera which was cool because that thing hardly ever got used. It was at this point that I finally felt like I had found my thing, disposable cameras and phone cameras in those days just didn't compare to point and shoot cameras.

I bought my own digital point and shoot camera which was great except I wasn't sure what I wanted to capture and in all honesty it wasn't used that much. I felt frustrated because I wanted to take cool photos but something was holding me back. So naturally I went out and bought a bridge camera a slight step up from a point and shoot and for some reason I thought this would solve my photography inspiration issue, it didn't by the way.

Its ok though cause I did something smart and signed up to a photography course. On the first day of class I felt completely intimidated everyone else had a DSLR and I felt completely out of my depth I had no idea photography could be so technical. I think I lasted about 3 lessons before I got freaked out by the mathematics of photography, me and maths are not friends.

Over the next few years I would spend the majority of my time house bound which meant I was unmotivated and uninspired to take photos. Although I did find myself with an obsession of buying cameras. I also found that I was only taking decent photos when I was on holiday or day trips which got me into a thought process that unless Im somewhere exciting I cant take good photos. These thoughts were of course totally wrong and I become aware that for a long time I was looking at things all wrong id been so focused on capturing great unique photos that I was uninspiring myself.

At the end of 2014 I took part in a photography project created by another blogger and this was the first turning point for me. For 30 days I started to think creatively and go out with my camera and take photos of things I wouldn't normally have taken photos of.

Last year I began another photography project and uploaded a photo every day of 2015 with the prompt of the day, this increased my photography creativity to whole new level. Also at the beginning of the year I bought my first DSLR a Canon 100d and signed up to another photography course with the idea that I will learn to use manual mode. To my amazement I was actually understanding what was being taught and it was sticking in my head. Over the next few months I felt inspired and really put my camera to good use. Once I finished the course though I felt lost I wasn't sure how to proceed with my learning. I knew what I really needed to do was just go out and practise practise and practise instead I went out less, less and less. The photo everyday project was keeping me busy so technically I was taking photos but mostly with my phone.

During the last few months of last year I found myself at home a lot because my health had gone down hill again and I felt frustrated that other people were able to get out and capture awesome things. I started to think back to when I was a kid and how photography interested me then and how it felt simpler back then. I spent my time really thinking about what I wanted my photography to be and what inspires me. I started to actually look at other photographers and their photos which up until this point I never really did. I mean I spent ages liking peoples photos on instagram but I never looked at the photo and analysed it why did I like it ? How did it make me feel? How did they capture that ? etc. At first I found this a bit disheartening because I felt like I could never do photography as good. But then I started to come up with ideas and feel good about the photos that I hope to take. Sure they may not be great to begin with or they might not work out but as long as I'm enjoying it then I'm happy.

I love how photography makes me really look at the world around me, I love how holding a camera in my hands makes me feel safe, I love how looking at photos makes me feel inspired.

LJ
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