Tag Archives: inspiration

It’s a good life!: Gratitude Diary # 3

So this week I found someone else through twitter that keeps lists too.  Not only does she also have a list of places that she would like to travel to that she is ticking off but she keeps gratitude lists too.  Check out Brooke’s cute purple blog from down under, it warms my cockles as I lived in St Kilda, Melbourne for a while back in 2005.  

It is so good to take the time to look back at a week as you realise how much you pack in. My staycation feels like such a long time ago. So without further ado here are the things I am most grateful for this week: 

1) Have a go heroes

I have lived in the wonderful Peckham for 7 years.  It truly is wonderful and I will contest all those naysayers out there.  I used to live on the Goldsmith’s Estate near the library which is often seen as the wrong side of the tracks.  Chris and I moved into the more Bellenden Village area recently and have been really enjoying it.  

Images from the Peckham messages board following the London riots in 2011  courtesy of Pie and Biscuits blog

Images from the Peckham messages board following the London riots in 2011 courtesy of Pie and Biscuits blog

In the last 7 years, I have had my car broken into on 4 separate occasions but not once have I ever felt unsafe.  Until, Monday evening when someone snatched my phone out of my hand at the end of my road.  I can’t say much as the police are still investigating but I did get my phone back.  All thanks to some have-a-go heroes and the Southwark Police. Two complete strangers pursued the individual for 3 blocks with me desperately following while still in complete shock (at least a block behind).  It’s not every day in London that you speak to a complete stranger let alone help one out in their time of need but I am very grateful to those wonderful people for doing so and the police who were fantastic.  It’s inspired me to try to do more good deeds too.  

2) “Oh, go on then” moments

After my very wet photography course on Saturday, I was due to meet the wonderful Emily for a catch up in town somewhere.  We hadn’t made any firm plans and when Emily put the idea out there that we should treat ourselves to afternoon tea.. at The Wolseley.. I simply replied “Oh, go on then” and I am so pleased that I did.  Its beautifully grand marble interior makes you feel special the minute you walk through the door and that was before we treated ourselves to a glass of champagne at the bar.  

Emily and I are in a group of friends that are notoriously picky with our food but the staff were great on the day and we were able to “customise” our afternoon tea so that it was just perfect for us both.  Poor Emily waited patiently to eat while I snapped away and then I embarked on what was now expert scone eating following my practice in Norfolk.  If you are having a “go on then” moment you would do worse than piling cream on to warm scones at The Wolseley: 


I wish I could tell you that the moment stopped there as I was full to the brim even before I tackled the lemon meringue pie, but… I went on to meet Chris for the Lord Mayor’s Fireworks.  

We missed them.  Disappointed we decided to stay out for a few drinks but not dinner as I was so full and that would just be plain greedy.  After a bottle of Malbec at Gordon’s Wine Bar, Chris told me that he was really hungry and he suggested that we head to Joe Allen for a cocktail and some chips.  ”Oh, go on then!”

Champagne cocktails and chips... I really can't resist

Champagne cocktails and chips… I really can’t resist

Another cocktail and another “oh, go on then” and we were sat at the table ordering dinner. Chris grinning away like the Cheshire cat… until I got my camera out to snap everything before he could eat.  We love Joe Allen it’s a little hidden grotto in Soho.. a little piece of America in Central London and the service is brilliant.  If you get a chance pop in and say hello to Norbert!

The lovely Norbert at Joe Allen bar

The lovely Norbert at Joe Allen bar

Ready to pounce on the garlic bread

Ready to pounce on the garlic bread

Poached eggs my favourite at any time of day

Poached eggs my favourite at any time of day

3) Christmas is coming

Suddenly there is a really festive feeling in London this week.  I love the build up to Christmas.  On our walk home from Joe Allen I crept into Somerset House where you could be forgiven for thinking that it was the middle of December rather than the middle of November.  

Somerset House

Somerset House

I also took these blurry snaps on the bus home which reflected both sides of the river.  I am not sure if I love them or hate them but just an experiment in manual mode: 


4) Laughter

Ages ago I booked Fitzrovia Radio Hour at St James Theatre as a little treat for Chris and I. I am so pleased that I did.  It was a really brilliant comedy, lines of which are still popping into my head and the theatre was really intimate and relaxed.. more like a cabaret lounge bar. So if you get a chance to catch the gang on tour please do (usually comedy rules apply- don’t sit in the front row) and at the same time check out the theatre for what’s coming up as it really is a nice place for a relaxed evening.


Pic Courtesy of St James Theatre website

5) A new baby in the gang

A big shout out to Louis Albert who arrived safely this week and to Lizzie & Sam who will be wonderful parents.  All the luck, love and joy in the world to all 3 of them! 


Inspiration: “Wounded: The Legacy of War”

Today is Remembrance Day and I wanted to share what looks to be an amazing book to anyone that might have missed The Sunday Times feature on it yesterday.  Rock star Bryan Adams has recently turned his hand to photography.  He exhibited a set of portraits of famous names in February including the late journalist Marie Colvin and actor Ben Kingsley stating at the time that he needed to change his scenario in order to be able to get back to what he was doing with a fresh light. His next exhibition has now been published as a book. According to the interview in The Sunday Times, Adams felt that Wounded: The Legacy of War was a way to show “the human side of war”.  The handful of pictures of wounded soldiers and the snippets of their traumas in this feature are so compelling and inspirational that I have already placed my order for the book.

Courtesy of www.amazon.co.uk

It’s a good life!: Gratitude Diary- Week 1

So.. here we go second blog post and the first that actually contains a single word from me. Welcome to my gratitude diary. Oh and welcome to my blog too!  chair and flower in a bare space

Following a little rant the other day about how bad my life was my friend turned to me and said “You really need to take a look at how lucky you are”.  Of course, she was completely right.  In fact, I can’t actually remember what it was that I was so upset about now.  I am sure that is not the last time I will overreact but what she said has inspired me to keep a gratitude diary.  This is not meant to be a deep road to enlightenment.  There are many blogs out there that do this but in so many different ways.  This is for me, I am hoping that this diary makes me take the time to appreciate the little things in life and help spur me to take more pictures to complement each thing I am grateful for.  So here goes,  this week I have been mostly grateful:

1) That I continue to learn

Pile of books

I made this blog… all by myself!  Granted I do work in the marketing world but I have never realised anything like this from beginning to end without help.  As I write this, there is still a long way to go, but that only means that there is more to learn!  I’ve watched YouTube videos and looked at best practice articles to get me this far and I am so pleased with the results and the sense of achievement it has brought.  I can’t wait for this blog to grow with me.

emily quinton workshop 002

A couple of weeks ago I attended Emily Quinton’s photography workshop, which was bought for me by Chris, my boyfriend, as a belated birthday present.  The photos Emily has taken for her blog are just beautiful and as you can see in my about page beautiful photos are one of the main reasons I am an avid follower of blogs.  I met some really inspirational people and was able to make compositions with some great props.  I look back now and am super critical about the shots I took through the day.  For example, the one above why did I not move myself (I had a whole table to work with) so that the papers in the background didn’t show.  It’s all part of the learning process, though, and has truly motivated me to practice!

emily quinton workshop 001

2) For new life

picture of cute lamb

Aaah… cheat alert. I found it difficult for new life inspiration in October so this image is supplied by www.pixabay.com

I cannot tell you how excited I am at the moment.  I have a fantastic friendship group and we have been blessed with some recent new arrivals and more due in the next few months. I have known a lot of these friends  since I was very little and it amazes me that we are now at this stage.  I really am very excited.  I love shopping for presents for the little ones and the growing bumps but I am also going to have a go at transferring images from the Graphics Fairy to some babygrows.  I found a great tutorial on Wolves in London- so watch this space!  Has anyone else tried to have a go? … Any tips most welcome. 

3) For autumnal comfort food

Butternut Squash Risotto

Perfection… I love butternut squash.  I love risotto.  I love time with Chris in the local pub. Oh, and red wine isn’t so bad either!

4) To a boyfriend who constantly surprises me with amazing little gifts

display of white roses

White roses (my favourite) from my super boyfriend

Ok ok so he’s a good guy- you get it! My favourite flowers are white roses.  These as you can see are a little old now but he bought them just when I needed a pick me up (yes, it may have had something to do with the aforementioned rant).  His favourite thing is sugar.. I have never seen anything like it.  He never seems to put any weight on but he is constantly filling our cupboards with sweet things.. biscuits… cakes… fudge.  I am grateful that he also thinks of me when he buys himself something that he loves… but my hips, however, are not so thankful!

peyton and byrne cake

One word- yum! 

5) For a present arriving in the post- to me from me with love!

The homemakery good bag arrived today!

Lovely packaging from www.thehomemakery.co.uk quickly snapped from my iPhone before I tore it open

I have wanted to get back into my creative side for a while.  Reinvigorated by the amazing props at Emily’s workshop and the wonderful things she makes with her children I have purchased some great things from The Homemakery.  I am so excited but hope that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew.  I’d say watch this space but I don’t want to add any more pressure on to the huge tasks I have set myself.

Not a bad week, hey!