#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Heavenly Heather

Heather Haze

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Heavenly Heather

So in a difficult time for many people, around the world, I thought I would try to share more of my images that are simply about something beautiful. I hope everyone will find some peace and pleasure in these images. We all need to take good care of our mental wellbeing as well as keeping ourselves as safe as possible throughout the coronavirus outbreak.


  • Wash your hands for at least 20secs, regularly
  • If you have symptoms, including a persistent cough or fever, self isolate at home for 14 days, along with all members of your household
  • Do not contact the NHS unless you have urgent need
  • Work from home if you can
  • Avoid non-essential contact with others. Keep 2m distance between yourself and others if you have to go out
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel at home or abroad
  • Avoid gatherings with friends or family, use other means to keep in touch
  • Be mindful of those in at-risk categories, including the over 70’s and those with underlying health conditions

For at-risk groups this is a very difficult time indeed as we are being asked to stay at home, in isolation, for up to 12 weeks. If, like me, you are in this category please do try to find remote places you can get to by car for exercise and fresh air. This is really important for your mental wellbeing! I will be going to a few nature reserves and parks where I know I can distance myself from other people. Ask family, friends or neighbours if they can pick up shopping or prescriptions for you. If you live with someone who is at-risk, you are advised to self-isolate as far as possible to help protect those you live with.

If you are NOT in the at-risk category, could you perhaps offer some support to anyone local to you who is?

Take care of yourselves and those around you! We will get through this x


The Sound Guy

The Sound Guy

The Sound Guy

When you go out to listen to live music, whether in your local pub, community centre or at a big arena, there’s more than just the musicians at play! This is Bern, he’s one of the volunteer interns who have been trained to play their parts at the Fiery Bird in Woking, as a sound or lighting engineer, stage manager, production crew, front of house for example. Bern isn’t new to sound engineering, running sound for The Loft in Basingstoke, assisting at various local open mics and for his partner, singer-songwriter Celia Barrett, at her performances. My hubby, Simon, has also been training with the new sound desk at Fiery Bird. I’ll stick with my photography, or “magic camera” as Celia refers to it! I just loved Celia’s reaction to a quick edit I did of this image using my phone and Snapseed. She shared the image saying “Bern takes real pride in getting the best sound for musicians and this photo reminded me that we should never forget to thank the Sound Guy. Thanks Bern”. Actually, it was the most liked image from the entire Acoustic Sessions set that I posted to Facebook. The Acoustic Sessions are a new, regular music night, hosted by Claudia Stark, local singer-songwriter and long time member of The Phoenix Cultural Centre (who run Fiery Bird). This and a monochrome from the sequence I shot of Bern were my favourites from the night too. Just something magic about the rim light from the simple desk lamp! I shall post the muted-colour image for this week’s WexMondays as a thank you to all the hard-working sound guys out there at music venues across the country.

The Sound Guy


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.


Singing In The Rain


Singing In The Rain

The rain didn’t dampen our spirits at Phoenix Rising, our free community music festival, in Woking Park yesterday! Young Jessica’s face has such a sunny disposition that says everything about the spirit of the Phoenix Cultural Centre and all the brilliant people involved in organising, performing, volunteering and promoting the project. Jessica was at the side of the bandstand watching her mum, the talented Anna Neale, perform to everyone sheltering under trees and brollies in the park. I love her expression of happiness here and felt that this would make a good image to share for Fotospeed’s weekly photo challenge! I hope she makes everyone smile 🙂


101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Kastri Island viewed from the ruins of Agios Stefanos

101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Pictures speak louder than words, so I have 101 photographs that I believe will speak directly to your hearts on the beauty and appeal of this fascinating Greek island.

My piece of advice to you all this week, as part of the WordPress Discover Challenge, is to believe what your eyes see through my images of Kos and not what the world’s media would have you believe! Visit Kos and other Greek Islands, they are affordable, welcoming, enthralling and perfectly safe. You won’t regret it!

All these photographs were taken between June 21st and July 5th 2016. Most were shot on the Sony a6000 mirrorless camera, NFC transferred to my Sony Xperia Z5 smartphone and edited in Snapseed and Adobe PS Touch Apps.

Part of WPC: Look Up for the wonderful birds of Greece!


Purple Friday


Purple Friday – Part of Worldwide Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

For any of my followers who don’t already know, I have Crohn’s. I was diagnosed nearly twenty years ago and have since undergone four major abdominal operations including having an ileostomy created; developed secondary Fibromyalgia, psoriasis, vulvodynia, ocular disease, dental disease, kidney stones, foliculitis, skin ulcers, allergies, abscesses, strictures, hair thinning and reflux; I’ve had countless colonoscopies, ileoscopies, barium meal x-rays, transfusions and blood tests; I’ve taken pretty much every medication ever used in Crohn’s, plus several more experimental treatments; I am now taking Azathioprine and Humira (adalimumab) injections which reduce my immune system, along with numerous other medications for symptoms of all my conditions and to counteract side-effects. I have a GREAT life; brilliant family and friends, two lovely cats, art and photography, poetry, music, travel, the great outdoors, the RHS, lots of children who aren’t mine but I love them all to bits, oh, AND next year I’m getting married to my wonderful man, Simon 🙂

For #PurpleFriday, patients, their families and friends have all been wearing purple and taking selfies to tell their stories and raise awareness of Crohn’s and Colitis all over the world. Instead of a selfie, I decided that sharing some of my favourite purple floral-photos was a much better way of telling people about myself. After all, Crohn’s is only part of my story! It’s also a great way for me to say thank to Crohn’s & Colitis UK (CCUK) for all they have done for me over the years and to send a big hug out to everyone around the world affected by these illnesses.

This is a gallery of posters shared by CCUK this week to raise awareness, please feel free to share them!


NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

It was wet and horrible outdoors today but I made a quick stop into our local gift shop, Apples & Pears, and was confronted by all the wonderful colours and scents of Christmas! I found one or two ideas for presents but mostly I just enjoyed browsing in such a comforting atmosphere.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement


Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

The Last Post is a mass participation project that has seen communities across the UK playing the Last Post on a variety of different instruments to remember lives of World War One.  In Woking, our event was organised by Andy Mabbutt from The Phoenix Cultural Centre and hosted by Eddie Jones at The Trench Experience shop and Upcycling Centre.

The Trench Experience shop was the ideal setting for our event. The Charity was founded by Eddie Jones in 2005 and has just started work on a permanent base for the educational project, on land beside Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey. The site will be developed in real-time to the events of the First World War, leading up to a Victory Celebration in 2018. The charity has chosen The Artists Rifle Regiment to illustrate trench conditions. The Artists fought as a battalion and were in the thick of the fighting with the Royal Naval Division at Passchendaele and Ypres. I’m really excited about this open-air, living history museum!

Cllr Tony Branagan, the Mayor of Woking, opened the event and welcomed us all. We honoured the memory of the Artist’s Rifles with prose and poetry from Greg Freeman, of the Woking Writers Circle, and also from me. Wilfred Owen is one of the best known members of the Artist’s Rifles and his poetry was a huge inspiration to me from my school days. I felt it was fitting to read a number of his poems including, Beauty and Anthem For Doomed Youth, two of my favourites and incredibly moving pieces. I also read my recently penned homage to Blood Swept Lands.

Vic Cracknell took us on a journey through the music of the era which brought back memories for many of us, young and old. My Great Aunt Jo was always singing with us when we were children and I was probably one of the most vocal members of the audience during the sing-a-long when Vic launched into She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain! Voices rose all around the shop for It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. One of the most moving moments of the event came as Vic read an actual letter from the Grandfather he never met, back home to his family about having been wounded in action and losing an arm. It was full of reassurance to loved ones and gratitude for all the help he was receiving. Such an upbeat letter considering such dire circumstances!

A great achievement bringing several of Woking’s community groups together to put on such a successful and moving event!


NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme – Belonging at The Lovely Music Night

Andy Twyman

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme – Belonging at The Lovely Music Night

Every month a Lovely Music Night is held at The Phoenix Cultural Centre in Woking. Tonight was that night and it was truly lovely! There’s such a feeling of belonging for both audience and musicians at these events. Thank you to Dave Lambert, Ciaron and Alan, Lisa Von H, Dave Salsbury, Dan Shears and The Velveteen Orchestra, Andy Twyman and Cardboard Carousel for the wonderful music!

All photos taken on Sony Xperia Z phone and processed with Google Photos App.