ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

My little brother got married on Saturday! I have a new sister and she’s lovely. There’s really nothing else that comes close to this as a photo-of-the-week for me. That includes photos of birds and butterflies, I’ll have you know! All of them truly beautiful but THIS is the beautiful moment that I HAVE to share with you all this Monday, the looks of love and happiness as they shared their first dance. What more can I say really! Just that I’m so thrilled for you, Robin and Mo, I’m still buzzing from your wonderful WedFest and very happy that our family has grown once again.


Bouncing Buskers

Bouncing Buskers

Bouncing Buskers

This photo of friends and musicians, Claudia Stark and Lisa Von H, totally encapsulates the atmosphere at The Phoenix Cultural Centre‘s Big Busk in Woking Town centre on Saturday. We had all come together to celebrate music, community and culture in Woking. It was hoped that we would also be celebrating the signing of the lease on Quake nightclub, to be renamed Fiery Bird, as the next phase in the Phoenix project. Sadly the lease deadline passed, once again, without any further word on the completion! Get Surrey posted that “the council said it is looking into the matter”. Neither this latest let-down or the freezing cold could stop us partying though! I’m so proud to be part of this project and to have been part of this brilliant, fun event too.


Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Happiness Is A Pink Balloon

Well, it’s been a truly crazy weekend! It’s always a bit crazy this time of year as we celebrate, first, my sister’s and then both my parent’s birthdays. This year my sister has reached the big four-zero and it’s an even more impressive seventy for my dad! Naturally, we organised a BIG party with family and friends coming, not just from all over the UK but also, from France and Australia. It was a great gathering with possibly the best buffet ever, definitely the best cakes ever (made by Sarah Jane from Flossy Cockles), a number of the very best musicians (from the Famous Five Band) you could hope to gather in one room, and a fantastic group of people to enjoy it all. One important thing was missing though. Dad. Yes, the birthday boy missed his own party! He was greatly missed by all of us there too. A nasty bug and adverse reaction to antibiotics forced our amazing dad to remain at home. It was really hard for us to celebrate without him! He’s the life, soul and comic relief of most gatherings, so we really owed it to him to celebrate in style. Not only that, we still had my sister and lovely mum to toast to! It was great to catch up with so many family members and friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. A few of my cousins brought their kids along and I loved watching them all play together! As always, the best toys to be found were balloons. Such a simple thing, but a child’s delight at knocking a balloon around is a timeless joy that always sucks in a few adults too! My Fotospeed challenge entry is this photo of my cousin’s little girl, Eva, having a wonderful time with one of the large, pink balloons. I think she hugged a few of them too tight and we had a several go bang, it’s all part of the fun though! Eva is the middle of three gorgeous girls and she’s a real pickle. Reminds me so much of my sister at that age! I just love the glint in her eyes and her cheeky smile. I think my dad will enjoy seeing my photos of all the kids playing! Thankfully he seems to be past the worst of it now. Rest, recovery and eventually we’ll be able to have a celebratory toast to his renewed health! Get well soon dad and Birthday Wishes to you and mum xxx


Happy Birthday Brother!

Brockham Village

Happy Birthday Brother!

It’s my brother’s birthday today and I have been wracking my brains over what to get him. Totally failed! The truth is that he’s far too special to me to get him some gimmicky knickknack or whatever. Material possessions become less important to us over the years, unless they’re outrageously expensive things (like camera gear!). Robin never likes us spending lots of money on him anyway! So I decided to dedicate this post to him. These views are more precious to him than just about anything money could buy! This is Viewpoint on Box Hill in Surrey. The view is looking across the village of Brockham where Robin was born, at home, and first met his two older sisters in the early hours of June 15th 1984. We adored him from the moment we met! I still remember the feelings of overwhelming joy we were feeling on our way into school, listening to Billy Joel on the cassette player. This beautiful countryside was our playground growing up. It’s so special to Robin that just over a year ago he took his then girlfriend, Morwenna, up to Viewpoint to propose to her! I’m very much looking forward to her becoming my sister 🙂

Viewpoint on Box Hill


Flowers For Lou


Flowers For Lou

I usually keep Sundays silent but today would have been my dear friend, Lou’s forty fifth birthday. I like to celebrate her life and the time I had with her, as my friend and my housemate, with flowers! This year I have some beautiful peonies to share and a little quote about the etymology of their name:

The Etymological Meaning Of The Peony Flower

The Peony is best known by its scientific name, Paeonia. This is only the name of the genus – individual varieties of Peony feature different individual Latin names. The Peony takes its name from the mythological Greek character Paeon, who studied with the god of medicine known as Asclepius. Zeus had to transform the student into a beautiful flower when he showed more promise than his teacher and incurred his wrath.

Peonies originate from China, as do so many of our favourite blooms. The translation, from the Chinese names this flower “most beautiful”. It really is and so was Lou, especially when she laughed.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Apples & Pear 1960's Window Display

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

It’s been a tough decade for independent retailers in the UK! The recession hit small, local businesses in villages and towns hard, forcing many closures. Even now that we are coming out of the recession and economic growth (GDP) is rising ahead of many other countries, our high-streets are still littered with empty shops and office buildings.

With that in mind it is my absolute pleasure to share with you all a story of success from my own village, West Byfleet! Apples & Pears (formerly Heather Forster) has not only endured the recession but are celebrating 50 years of trading with a 1960’s Party this coming Saturday the 27th September. With fancy dress, a bring-and-buy charity sale, 60’s DJ set and the original owner Heather Forster in attendance, it will be a great way for the community to show their support, not only for this family run gift shop, but also for all our local independent shops!

Christine and John Morrison took over the shop 10 years ago, around the time that I moved into West Byfleet. They’ve kindly allowed me to photograph many items in the shop, mainly to create abstract images for this blog. Last year during my 365 photography challenge I often turned to their eclectic shop for daily inspiration! I do, of course, buy many gifts and cards from them too, and maybe the odd little treat for myself 😉

They always have an interesting and well-crafted window display but I really have to congratulate them on their current 1960’s themed display that is a part of their celebrations! It’s so fascinating and fun that I decided to create some vintage-styled photos with my phone camera and the Google Photos editing app.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Merchandise – Fairtrade

Faitrade at 20 in Woking

Woking Fairtrade team members, Becca Rowland, Margot Craig & Billie Anderson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merchandise – Fairtrade

Last weekend the annual Food Festival was held in Woking Town Centre, providing the perfect backdrop to the local celebrations for Fairtrade at 20! One of my photos of the Fairtrade Big Banana Split taken during Fairtrade Fortnight this year was on display as a part of an exhibition held in WWF’s Living Planet Centre. It was also my pleasure to volunteer a small amount of my time to take some photographs for the Woking Team to use in the local press.

Do you know about the Fairtrade Foundation?

Who we are?

Fairtrade is a global movement with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation.

Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers. The international Fairtrade system represents the world’s largest and most recognised fair trade system.

We are a global organisation working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers.

Becca Rowland, Chair of Woking Fairtrade Action Network writes:

Woking Fairtrade celebrated 20 years of the Fairtrade MARK in the UK last Saturday with a photographic exhibition, food stalls and cake. The celebrations formed part of the Woking Food Festival which, for the first time, included a Fairtrade and Family Quarter centred on The Lightbox and WWF’s Living Planet Centre.

Called “Fairtrade at 20: The Power of You”, the exhibition consisted of images of farmers and producers, campaigners and consumers, and illustrated the history of the Fairtrade movement. The exhibition had been commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation to draw attention to what has been achieved in the UK so that over 20 years Fairtrade has become mainstream. Worldwide Fairtrade is now the world’s leading ethical label and Fairtrade International reported this month that sales of Fairtrade certified products reached US$7.3 billion worldwide in 2013.

People visiting the Food Festival enjoyed the stalls in The Lightbox as well as the photo exhibition at WWF. The support in Woking is an indicator of just how much support there is for Fairtrade nationally. Fairtrade is such an easy way for people to make the world a fairer place and we’ll keep promoting it until all farmers are able to get a fair price for their hard work.

I’m so used to the Fairtrade MARK and purchasing products with this official stamp of approval, that I could hardly believe it had only existed for twenty years! Our local Waitrose Supermarket has many such products that we buy on a regular basis. Have a look for items like these pictured below in your local shops.

Fairtrade Produce

The Food Festival was hugely popular again this year and another local group, The Phoenix Cultural Centre, that I volunteer my photographic skills for, when possible, was on hand to provide music for the masses. It was a great weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these fantastic community projects!


Face The Future

Face The Future

1 year, 365 days, 1 new photo every day, a great experience!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

You bet I’m joyful tonight! Now that I’ve achieved my goal for 2013 what more lies ahead?

Well, first I shall give myself a few days off! I think deserve it 🙂

But before we all embark on whatever adventures await us in 2014 I thought I ought to turn the camera on myself and say “Hello and thank you”!

For every new follower, for each individual like, for the inspiration, for such great comments and encouragement, THIS is my happy face.

I’m really proud of myself for having completed my challenge and I’m looking forward to my second year of blogging, albeit with a slightly different look to my site!

Happy New Year to one and all! May 2014 be a joyful, creative journey for you too.