Day 2 Gratitude Photo Challenge – Inspiration

Inspiration is so hard to define (and photograph) because for me it changes day-to-day, depending on my mood, depending on what I need inspiration for.

It is clichéd, but also true, to say that my son is my constant source of inspiration.

The other thing that I never fail to find inspirational is nature; particularly trees and woods. They calm me and fill me with a sense of peace and wonder. 

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So here are my photographs. 🙂

What are your inspirations?


Day 1 Gratitude Photo Challenge – Home

So today is the first day of the new photo challenge. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be; I found it very thought provoking. The subject was: Home.

The longer prompt from Positively Present website, where I found the challenge is:


They say home is where the heart is, but what does “home” mean to you? Is it where you rest your head each night? Is it where you grew up? Or is home more of a state of mind? Whatever home means to you, reflect on it and share a photo of it today.

I thought about this for a long time last night. In fact it kept me awake, which almost never happens. I thought about what home is to me, and the first thing that occurred to me was that the idea of home was more a feeling than a place.

It’s the relief I feel when I see my front door after a long shopping trip. It’s the joy I feel when I’ve been away from my son for a morning and he’s waiting to give me a hug when I get in. It’s the security and safety of being in a place where I can do what I want, and feel want I want without fear of judgement (for the most part).

My mind then wandered to my childhood home. I had a fleeting moment of nostalgia; but then what caught my attention was a distinct feeling of sadness and jealousy that someone else was living there now. That they will have changed the décor, maybe even the layout. The idea of this ‘home’ is in my mind and in my memory; but it is no longer a home that exists in reality.

So it was a real challenge of finding something to photograph something that represents home to me. I just couldn’t capture the feeling of home, so had to make do with a representation:


These are things that are the love and comfort of home for me. The slippers are my husband; my son and I. Our happy little family, without which, home could not exist, physically or emotionally. The tea is my primary choice of beverage. Nothing says I’ve arrived home better that sitting down with a hot cuppa. I couldn’t live without my phone (who can?!). When I’m in my ‘house home’ it connects me to my wider community and enhances my home experience no end. All of these objects sit in my ‘spot’ on the settee. Because honestly a home isn’t a home without your own favourite place to relax.

What have you, would you, photograph as your idea of home?


Feeling Lost, But Now I’ve Found You

My son just turned 3 a couple of days ago, and he has this adorable little phrase that he says when he sees me after I’ve been away from him for a few hours – “Mummy, I thought I’d lost you, but I found you again!”

I’ve been feeling ‘lost’ for a little while. Don’t get me wrong I love being a Mum more than anything, it has completely changed me as a person (for the better) and has challenged my views on the way I, and others, live our lives. It’s been a wonderful journey of discovery, but has also left me feeling like I’m floating a bit, I no longer have the concrete sense of self I had a few years ago.

This aimlessness led me back to this blog, and to me reviewing my previous posts. I loved participating in the photography challenge, and I miss having something other than my family to focus on. I started to browse for another photography challenge and I found this Gratitude Photo challenge. I hope that the combination of photography and focus on positivity is just what I need to get myself ‘back on track’.

2015 Gratitude Challenge-page-001

Please join in if you feel so inclined, and please leave comments to let me know what you think of my photographs, and also to let me know how you might have interpreted the daily prompt. 🙂

I’m going to start tomorrow with ‘Home’. I’ll have to have a think.

Am I Well-Read?

Some of my books :)

Some of my books 🙂

Found this list here and thought it would be interesting to see how many I’ve read (the books I’ve read are in bold):

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay  by Michael Chabon
  6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Beowulf
  13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  14. Brave New World by Alduos Huxley
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  16. The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
  17. Candide by Voltaire
  18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  19. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  23. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  24. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  26. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor 
  27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  28. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  33. Dune by Frank Herbert
  34. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  37. Faust by Goethe
  38. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  39. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  40. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  41. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  43. The Gospels
  44. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  53. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  54. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  55. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  57. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  58. The Iliad by Homer
  59. The Inferno by Dante
  60. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  61. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  62. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  63. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  64. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  65. The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury
  66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  67. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  71. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  72. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  73. The Odyssey by Homer
  74. Oedipus, King by Sophocles
  75. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  76. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  77. The Pentateuch
  78. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  79. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  80. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  81. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  83. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  84. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  85. The Stand by Stephen King
  86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  87. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  92. Ulysses by James Joyce
  93. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  95. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  96. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  98. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  99. 1984 by George Orwell
  100. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Only 15 read. I’m quite ashamed. There are quite a few books on this list that I do feel I should read ; but there are also a few that I have no intention of ever picking up (number 100!)

Please let me know which ones off the list, that I haven’t already read, are worth picking up. I have limited reading time with a baby to look after so I need to know it’s going to be good! 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Butterfly World

You may well expect to find this post full of pictures of beautiful butterflies. I fully intended it to be exactly that. Except I when I got to the butterfly house I couldn’t go in.

Was it closed I hear you ask? Did your legs stop working? No, to both.

My husband and baby boy went in while I stood outside, heart beating at twice what it should. You see, I’m scared of butterflies. Well not scared. I love butterflies; I just don’t want them landing on me! So I had to make myself look like a complete idiot by backing out past a queue of people excusing myself for my wimpiness (not a real word?). 😦

Before the embarrassing exit from the butterfly house, the rest of Butterfly World in St Albans is lovely. Lots of different gardens to explore. Lots of giant things that make you feel like a child again. And a rather nice cafe. Here are some of the pics I took:

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I could have posted twice as many; but have just picked my favourites. 🙂

I love the over grown desk and chair. And also the upside down tree against the sky. Which is your favourite?

Thanks for looking.


The End of the Photo Challenge :(

I am genuinely sad that this challenge has finished. I have taken photos of things I never would have thought of (peas!!) and have also learnt a few tricks with my camera.

Thank you Two Everyday Divas for hosting the challenge; and Monkey & Squish for participating as well. It has been lovely to see how each subject was interpreted.

As promised, a collage of all 30 days of photos:

Photo Challenge Collage


And now onto the 30 day Book Challenge. A post about this will appear later. 🙂


Day 30 – Self-Portrait

Well, I thought seeing as it’s the last day, I would take a self-portrait where you can actually see my face(ish).




I took it on my phone because it has a function where it turns the camera inwards so you can see yourself (very useful for touching up make-up).

Tomorrow I’ll post a collage of my 30 pics  as a farewell to the challenge.

Check out Two Everyday Divas and Monkey & Squish for their self-portraits.


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