A weekend of adventures

I want to start this post by saying a huge thank you to all of you for your support in my entry for the loblography challenge.  It's not over yet, so if you feel that way inclined please do click 'like' on my previous post, as it ends at midnight tomorrow night.  It might sound defeatist, but I have accepted that it is unlikely I will win now as a couple of the other bloggers have very much overtaken me, but I have so enjoyed being involved that it's all been worth it.  I have been really touched by how lovely people have been and the support I've had and it's things like this that really make blogging worth it.  It blows my mind that people I have never met can be so lovely to me and so kind and supportive - so - thank you! I got my last film back today and it has my favourite snap so far on it - Pancake hamster peeking over her cage....

I have a lot of other things to tell you about so I hope you're in for the long haul! I'm afraid as well that, if you weren't already all 'photography-ed out' from my previous posts that I have a few more snaps to share as we had a very picturesque weekend.

On Friday we set off for North Wales to go to a wedding in Criccieth.  Although we set off at two o' clock in the afternoon, the traffic on the roads and our need to stop for both lunch and dinner meant that we didn't arrive in Criccieth until nearly 10 o' clock at night.  To make matters worse, for the last stretch of the journey the sat nav took us up a mountain pass in Snowdonia that was a single track road with some pretty dramatic drops on either side; it was a nerve-racking drive (with fog, and lashing down with rain) and in the pitch black I had visions of us going through a fence and never being seen again!

The next morning we had an explore around Criccieth and were chuffed to find out (never having heard anything about the town before) that it was absolutely lovely; we walked along the beach and the sea wall and I took lots of snaps before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.  Here are two I took that morning;

The wedding was absolutely lovely, and, feeling slightly tender from all the wine that flowed the night before, the next day we headed towards Stratford Upon Avon, where we were staying for one night before heading home today.  We went back via the same mountain pass - a lot less hairy in the daylight.  Some of the views were absolutely breathtaking so I stopped off for a few photos.

The hotel we stayed in in Criccieth was pretty dismal and the walls were so thin that I hardly had any sleep for the two night stay so we were keeping our fingers crossed that our hotel in Stratford would be more homely. After the seven hours of driving in two days, a vague hangover and so much lost sleep we decided that our Sunday night would be spent in watching TV and ordering room service. And wow, it didn't disappoint! This is the hotel; surrounded by lakes and beautiful grounds...

Because it was such a grim day and there weren't that many guests they upgraded our room and it was amazing. Our room was absolutely huge, with views over the grounds, a four poster bed, and the most amazing bathroom! The bathroom had heated floor tiles, a huge wet room and a giant bath!

This was the view from our room; 

We headed into Stratford-Upon-Avon the next day, but frustratingly it was raining and absolutely freezing cold, so after a wander around we ducked into an Italian restaurant for lunch and a hot chocolate! Thanks to Maria for recommending the restaurant, and to Sarah for remembering it! 

All in all we had a really lovely weekend - I hope you've enjoyed my photos! Writing about the loblography challenge, and the new followers it has gained me and support I have been given has really inspired me to work harder with my blog, I have lots of new ideas and am really motivated to continue to make my blog what is hopefully a good read!

help me out...

Today is my final post as part of the lomography loblography challenge - the challenge to take photos on a Diana camera, and blog about it. The competition element of the challenge is that whoever gets the most comments and likes on their photo posts wins a lomo lc-a camera - and oh my, have I wanted one of these forever!

I feel pretty embarrassed begging for your help, but if you like any of the photos in this round up, please do help me try and win by either leaving me a comment, or clicking 'like' at the bottom of this post.  I am up against some bloggers with many, many more followers than me so I really have to try hard to be in with a chance! (The guy currently winning has over 100 comments and likes - eep!)

Here are my four favourites of the films I've run through this lovely little camera since I got it... 

[1] double exposure - swing life away
[2] our feet in the forest
[3] the new forest
[4] tom swinging
What do you think? I am hoping to add a couple more to this post later in the week when my final film comes back, but these four I really like.

You can check out the other bloggers involved, including the lovely Charlene, by clicking here.

And please do click my little like button, or leave me a comment and tell me which photos you like (I'd love to know!) to help me win. Thanks guys - I really, really appreciate it :)

Weekend round-up - and loblography part 3

On Saturday we went for a trip to Brighton to try and find some things for the new house.  We had seen a place on Grand Designs called Shabitat which was a community project where they sell cheap second hand furniture and other household items.  In my head I had pictured this utopia of gorgeous vintage and retro gems at bargain prices, but sadly I had let my imagination run away with me, and it was in fact a unit in the middle of a field that was full of old mattresses, board games and ratty old paperbacks.  Don't get me wrong - they do great things for the community, and I'm sure there are some good things to be found in there, but it wasn't for me!

We didn't entirely waste our day however, as I took the opportunity to take a few snaps on my Diana in the park (actually - you can judge for yourself whether I wasted the day when you see the photos at the bottom!) Here are a couple of snaps of me looking for some photo opportunities.  I'm sorry if you didn't come here looking for giant, gratuitous photos of me! (Hey, I don't normally do it!)

We found one on the way home, however, in the shape of this beautiful sunset.

We spent the evening with my parents', toasting our new house with a bottle of champagne and a delicious three course meal of antipasti, Thai prawns and noodles and chocolate cake with cherries.  We obviously hadn't crammed enough in however as we all tucked into a cooked breakfast the next morning!

I got another film processed today from my Diana as part of the loblography challenge.  I will be doing my round up post on Wednesday (my chance to win a camera!) with my favourite snaps, but in the meantime here are two I took on Saturday.  I'm not sure whether my alignment of the film was wrong, or if the photolab developed or scanned the film wonkily but I had some 'interesting' photos - what do you think?


A few days in photos - and the loblography challenge

This week has been an exciting week so far, with some luckiness, some good news, and more of the loblography challenge.  You can see my first pictures at the bottom of this post - every post about the challenge gets monitored for comments and likes to pick the winner of the LC-A -  I'm going to save my main post about it until next week when I'll blog my favourite photos - but please do let me know what you think of the ones I have so far!

So my big exciting news is... we have finally exchanged contracts on our new house! Our move in date is March 15th.  Now we have properly exchanged, and have a date set up I am starting to get really excited, as the house is finally ours and we can really start planning things and not worrying we're going to lose it.  Here are some photos of the rest of my week...

I did a lot of packing this weekend.  You can see from my scrawlings that I like to know everything that's in each box, and I mean everything!
I have been loving my graze boxes turning up at work for the last two weeks. It feels good to be munching on good things rather than naughty chocolate and biccies!
Tom and I had a lovely valentine's meal on Monday that he bought from M&S from their £20 deal. We had steaks, chunky chips, prawn cocktail, raspberry souffles, chocolates and cava which was a good deal.  You can see from the above what my favourite part of the meal was!

This made me chuckle - I love it when people leave notes on people's things in the fridge or tea room at work.  This person felt aggrieved by someone leaving their dirty bowl in the sink!
Tom bought me some lovely roses this weekend - as someone who's never really been bought flowers before it was quite a treat!

I was feeling crafty on Tuesday night so I started making some bunting. What do you think?

Today I got the first of my two rolls of film back from my Diana for the loblography challenge being run by lomography I mentioned in my last post.  I'm saving my favourites for my round up next week, but here are three I also like...

This is so much fun! Can't wait to take more and share them with you all next week!

some exciting news...

I am really excited that today I can share with you some news I have been bursting to tell you about since I first received the email about a week ago.  A little while ago I read about the LoBlography Challenge - a competition where ten lucky bloggers are issued with a Diana F+ camera and three rolls of film, and are given two weeks to snap away and blog about their experiences with the camera.  And to my surprise and excitement, my little blog was chosen as one of the lucky ten!

So, for the next two weeks I will be snapping away on my little beaut of a camera, and posting photos for your viewing pleasure. I intend to do a round up post near the end of the two weeks with my favourite photos, and here's another exciting bit - the person of the ten who gets the most comments or likes on their post wins a lomo lc-a.  I have been lusting after this camera and watching second hand ones on ebay since I bought my first lomo camera about eight years ago so to win one would be just a-mazing! So please, please save all your commenting and liking energy for my round-up post in just over a week as I would love to win! Even if I don't win I am stoked to even be involved, and can't wait to receive my first films back - hopefully in a few days I will be able to show you some from my first rolls.

On Saturday, Tom and I went in to the New Forest to take my first few snaps.  It was a lovely sunny day so I took a few snaps on my digital camera in case none of the film ones come out! I had a bit of a Photoshop play with them too as I was feeling like emulating the dreamy Diana feeling whilst I wait for my real Diana shots to come back...

And here are some un-photoshopped shots including a slushy one of me and the Tom.

Can't wait to show you my first pictures!

Some things about me

I know this is a bit of a lazy post but I wanted the opportunity to tell you a little bit more about me (wow, that sounds so self involved) and I also loved this post by Freckled Nest called six confessions.  I thought I would do the same and then maybe add four more things about me.  It seems like a good thing to do on a sleepy Saturday morning.

Six confessions

1. I am a little bit funny about keeping books all perfect and nice. I read them hardly open so I don't crack the spine. I like them to look like they're still new.

2. Every night I take to bed Frank the cuddly shark, teddy and Doggy - a little dog who I have had for 26 years and doesn't look like a dog anymore.

3. I can while away many hours on Wikipedia. My favourite things to look up are shipwrecks, serial killers and alien sightings.  One of my favourites is this page about a Russian radio station that has been live since 1982, but no-one knows what it's for as it's predominantly a buzz tone but has, on rare occasions, had voice transmissions. I just re-read that, it's weird that I'm interested in that isn't it?

4. I have a huge fear of mushrooms.  They make my skin crawl, and it turns my stomach just having to look at them. I literally cannot be near them.

5. Some evenings I like to go to bed at 8' o clock just so I can lie in bed, and think, and read, and avoid that feeling when you're watching the clock and knowing you have to get up for work in a few hours.  I actually do this maybe a couple of times a week lately.

6. I paid for gym membership at the gym at work at the start of the year.  I have not been yet.

Four more things about me

7. I can't touch raw meat. It freaks me out. I usually cook with Quorn to avoid this. Meat is weird.

8. I have three tattoos - swallows on both my feet, swallows and an anchor on my lower back, and a quote from a film on the back of my calves.  It says "I am prepared for amazing things to happen..." and on the other, "... I can handle it." It's from 'You and me and everyone we know.'

9. I am addicted to buying notebooks. I have more moleskines that you could shake a big stick at and a box full of notebooks I haven't used yet. Mostly because I think they're so lovely I want to save them to write something really good in, and I don't write things that are really good.

10. Until I was 23 I thought a cat burglar stole cats, and until I was 24 I thought a haggis was an animal. Like a small fox.

It is a lovely sunny Saturday here (do you have sun where you are?) so I think I'm going to go out and take some photographs.  Hope y'all have a lovely Saturday too.


Etsy lust list, packages and burgers

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been doing a lot of online window shopping in preparation for getting the keys to our new home.  I thought I would share with you my current etsy lust list - would love to hear what you think.  The last two are actually not from etsy but I wanted to put them in this post anyway as I am currently having a bit of a rob ryan moment and lusting after pretty much everything he designs! If you have any favourite etsy shops you think I would like - or have your own - please let me know!

1. cushion, Robin and Mould
2. print, mae chevrette
3. print, pete k design
4. bunting, MontclairMade
6. vintage crate, lacklusterco
8. his and hers mugs, rob ryan at office dog

Talking of lovely things for my home, this week I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway on the Mengsel blog.  I love all the prints in the Mengsel shop so I was over the moon to win one! Can't wait to put this beautiful print in my new home.

I have still been trying to keep up with my goals for 2011 - sending more packages and parcels...

... and though I haven't managed a three course meal yet I've also been doing lots of cooking over the last couple of weeks, including a very yummy but very naughty burger with roasted onions and carrots!