December 31, 2011

So Long 2011...


Its funny. I am actually optimistic about 2012. This was not the case for 2011, but I'm happy to say its really turned out pretty good. Last New Years I was terrified about not having enough work, money, happy things to keep me going which continued for the first six months of the year. But then I got a full-time job, moved down south, went to the states twice. Not bad.

I was looking at my resolutions from last year and I only kept one of my resolutions. I got to see my Momma in at the end of June and that was well needed. I came back to the UK and moved to England a day later. Lots of change happened at once but it was such a relief to feel like my old self again. Honestly I started this job when I was miserable and it helped me focus on good things. So for that I am thankful blog though I find when things are going smoothly I don't really update as much.

We've got big plans for this year. Yes I am making long term plans and it feels pretty damn good. One of our plans is to finally take a big trip to one of two of our ultimate destinations: either Japan or New Zealand. We always said one of those would be considered our honeymoon as we skipped out on ours in lieu of me moving to the UK and paying tons on a visa. We are planning a smaller trip to Portugal or Morocco. It doesn't take long to get to the continent or Africa from here so I want to take full advantage. Actually Holland is only a six hour ferry ride across the sea from here but we've already been to Amsterdam.

We may also be adding a new member of the family. We are considering getting a dog (we don't want children. at least not any time in the next few years) but I'm still a bit weary after losing my dog Baby. Its a big step and we have to make sure we are both ready for a new doggie.

I am also determined to lose the weight I have gained since living in this bloody country. I find baking really cathartic and when I was miserable at my old job I baked too much. Also my stupid old resolution to not wear trousers and jeans was a bad idea!! When you only wear tights you don't realise your waistband is expanding! So I've joined Weight Watchers online to lose a stone and a half. This is a warning that I may be using this blog to moan about this! The good thing is that we are trying loads of new healthy recipes including Caribbean chicken with Mango salsa that we are having tonight (its a ww recipe believe it or not).

But I unfortunately have to work tonight and tomorrow and the day after that all of which Billy is off. Boo. So Happy Hogmanay!!

PS This is one of my film images from NYC that I scanned the other day for the first time. It was from the Occupy Wall Street movement back in November.

December 27, 2011

Chirstmas is over :(

No that isn't a spelling mistake. I hung up a bunting banner I made last year and it took both Billy and I ages to realize I had mixed up the letters. We left it that way because, well, we couldn't be bothered changing it so now it is Chirstmas!

I am sad everything is over. I spent most of Chirstmas Eve, all of Christmas day and Boxing Day with a miserable sore throat. It literally felt like I was swallowing glass. So yay. It really sucked the big one but at least I could still taste things.

I got loads of amazing gifts this year including a deluxe lomography diana f+ kit! and hunter wellies! and lots of craft books. I feel terribly spoiled. I ended the night feeling very British sipping tea and watching Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.

My holiday wasn't all sickness though. We went into London on Billy's birthday (the 23rd) and went to Borough Market to eat amazing food and drink mulled wine.

All and all it was lovely but I think we are both missing being with family over the holiday. I told my moma that next year were going to be together. Now I have to go back to work tomorrow (boo) and I'll be working over the New Year holidays. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Chirstmas.

PS... I finally got my scanner so I've spent the last several hours finally scanning my NYC photos and a huge stack of Polaroids that have been piling up. I will be uploading them soon!

November 28, 2011

NYC


Phew a lot has happened since the last time I posted. I did finish my crochet project, which was actually a baby blanket for my best friend Jess who is about to ‘pop her sprog’. I took a finished photo quickly on my phone but unfortunately I lost my phone on the plane when Billy and I went to NYC for Jess’ wedding.

EEEKKK!

Well, I’ve gotten a new iPhone since then so all is good, but I’ll need to wait til baby J is born to get a photo with her/him with it.

NYC was INCREDIBLE!! I got to see friends from university that I haven’t seen in six years and my photo professor was there. It was pretty cool to see two of my favorite people marry each other. Jess’ husband is my friend Eric and we’ve all known each other since our London semester abroad. They were in the dance club the night I met my husband and it was Jess who pushed me out on the dance floor because I was too shy to dance with Billy. So yeah Thanks Jess!!

This photo is of Billy, me and our friend Natalia. She works for MSNBC as a photo editor and (score) she works at 30 Rock!! She even rode the lift with Tina Fey. Okay when she offered to give us a tour of the building I did swoon a bit. The SNL set, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Brian Williams and incredibly cool remnants of Jim Henson on the pipes. So good. We also took a sunset trip to the Top of the Rock. Honestly forget the Empire State Building because the view from here you could see all of New York in all its majestic beauty.

I only shot film while abroad which though it’s developed I need to get a scanner to upload it all. I have a Hasselblad that is my baby and since I shoot digital every day I am only too eager to break out my Hassie. I’m too impatient though and I keep holding up my negatives up to the light to check them out.

***
Ps I meant to post this a week and a half ago but I forgot and then I got sick and couldn’t look at my computer for a while as my head was aching. Boo.

October 4, 2011

Indian Summer


This weekend, the south of England had record highs for the month of October. It was crazy hot! It was almost Florida weather minus the humidity and the nasty skeeters. Saturday night Billy and I were disappointed by a Caribbean festival in town (it was a really poor effort) so we came home and whipped up Jamaican Jerk Chicken, steamed cabbage, rice and peas (kidney beans), and some cornbread. MMM! Then we watched Kick Ass with dinner and it was surprisingly good.

Sunday was another gorgeous day. We wanted to go to the sea but we didn't feel like making a day of it so we hit up Mersea Island. Its a tiny little village on the North Sea and it was glorious to wear a Florida dress and flip flops in October! Where we are living is actually the area with the best weather in the whole of the UK. I really can't believe I was in old blighty this weekend.

The weird thing though, all the leaves are changing so I am getting excited about fall (Fall is my favorite season because in Florida it is the only cool time of year). But when it feels like mid-July in October its a bit odd.

September 27, 2011

Happily ever after...


Three years ago today I married the man of my dreams. He is smart, kind, loving, quirky, talented, handsome and I can't imagine my life without him. We were married in Florida, where I was born and raised, and we rented Key West style fisherman cottages, enough for our friends who came from New York, DC, Edinburgh, London and yes even Cleveland!

When we awoke on our wedding day before everyone else, except our mums ofcourse, Billy and I went fishing on the pier outside our window where I caught a Puffer fish! That day was the most perfect day I could of ever imagined and I enjoyed every minute of it. I wasn't nervous at all. On the contrary I was loving the attention and watching everyone else around getting nervous. I loved that day and everyone there had a role in getting ready for the wedding and therefore felt more apart of it.

I wouldn't change one thing about it. Not one tiny thing. It was perfect and so is my husband.

September 11, 2011

Ten years ago...


Ten years ago, I was in my first year at Syracuse University, a few hours away from New York City. I was dreading the next day because it was the anniversary of my dad's death and in those days it was still very fresh and emotional.

I was getting ready for my first class around 9:30 when my mom called and said "Turn on the TV," and that was it. I switched on my set and dropped to the ground. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My mom was concerned for me even though she knew I wasn't in the city. Typical mom.

My roommate, who was in the Air Force ROTC, was usually gone by 5am so I didn't have anyone to talk to. I ended up going onto campus which was usually abuzz with frisbee throwers, picnicking students, and just the general bustle of day to day goings on. Today it was a ghost town. It was quiet and that was eerie.

I went to class because I didn't know what else to do. It was a lab for an anthropology class and I remember about four or five of us showed up and all we did was talk. It was comforting to know others around me were just as scared and stunned. One of my friends in the class was a little asian girl who was from Manhattan and her absence made it feel more real.

Being so close to the city, a very large population of students were from NYC, or had friends and family in NYC so it really affected so many around me. I remember the feeling that night when me, my roommate and her boyfriend sat watching the tv that this was the beginning of something big.

Conspiracy theories were abuzz but it was really to feel the void of actually knowing what was going on. This was terrifying. This didn't happen here. This didn't happen to us. I remember thinking if I was being held on a plane by guys with cardboard cutters, I would take the risk to fight back. How much damage could they do and certainly if one person started to attack others would follow. And besides at that time you could take loads of things on a plane. One well placed knitting needle could really do some damage. These were the things I was thinking at the time.

As a photojournalism student, the pull to go to the city was intense, but I knew I would be in the way and I hadn't gone into the city at that point so it was scary. This was when I knew I could never be a war photographer. The fear overpowered the need to tell the story.

I can believe it's been ten years mainly because it is always in our minds when we travel, when conflicts arise abroad, with constant news from Afghanistan on the news. This is our generations version of "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" but instead instead of one man it was over 3,000. Where were you on 9/11?

(The photo is of me in Central Park when I was in university)

September 6, 2011

East of England


I come from a city in South Florida where the only mountain is the dump and the oldest house is from the 1950's. If you would of told me when I was a wee lass that I'd be living in the English countryside I wouldn't of believed it and really couldn't fathom how I'd get here. But here I am. Its really funny when people around here try to figure out my accent. Naturally it has a bit of a southern twang especially when I say things like bird. It comes out buurd.

I have been asked if I'm Northern Irish, South African, Australian, Scottish (I actually get that the most probably because my husband is Scottish and I just moved from Edinburgh) but the funniest is Canadian. People say to me often: "Well I'm going to say you're Canadian because I don't want to offend you by saying you're American."

Anyways, the reason for my post is to put up some photos from the seaside I took today after an assignment at the Felixstowe Ferry, which is a shipyard for smaller boats. Felixstowe was a mecca for Victorian people to come and holiday made popular by Queen Victoria herself staying there and also because the water was deemed just as healthy as the waters in Bath, England. It's still a popular spot but most people opt for the seaside at Southwold these days. I'm going to put up more photos from these places because there is so much history here.

Back home in Florida, people eager for the old timey values of community that are nurtured naturally in English villages, created a subdivision complete with town hall in the swamps west of town and named it "Tradition." This synthetic history makes me cringe and at the same times makes me happy to live somewhere steeped in history.

September 4, 2011

Crochet Project 1


I have been drooling over the megadoily for months now and I am determined to actually make it for my new flat. One problem though, I don't know how to crochet. I attempted crocheting when I was young but failed miserably. I am dyslexic and I have trouble understanding complex things without working it out my own way. This is why it took me ages to learn to knit, but I think because of years of fairly successful knitting that I was able to pick up the craft.

So last week I dug out my hooks that I use for knitting projects and found some wool and learned some basic stitches. In two days I was making these floral inspired granny squares from this project in the UK magazine Mollie Makes (Issue 2). I am struggling with gauge quite a bit so I've decided to do the first step multiple times and then the next step all at once so hopefully it will stay consistent.

To be honest, I've never really liked crocheting. The results look like less sophisticated knitting and I've never seen a crocheted item that I liked better than a knitted one, but I think that there is a time and place for crochet and this is it. I watched the sitcom Roseanne all the time growing up because my family was just as dysfunctional as theirs and they always had a granny square blanket on the back of their couch. I think that if it looks retro enough it works so here goes.

Once this is done then I'll move on to the rug!!! I'm so excited about it.

August 30, 2011

Sock it to me...



This isn't a post I had planned. I spent today sorting through my clothes and I fear I have inherited my mother's clothe hoarding skills. I moved here with two suitcases and now have enough stuff to fill two huge closets. EEK! I guess its mainly because I have to have a whole different wardrobe just for winter stuff. But anyways, back to the sorting. I noticed I had a few shirts that had turned grey in the wash and I googled a way to get the white back. After watching a video on adding baking soda to the wash, the video continued on teaching how to fold clothing. What!?! Doesn't everyone know how to fold? Duh.

Well let me tell you my sock folding world has been blown away. I learned today how to fold my socks so that they aren't annoying bulging balls that take up loads of space. Instead they are square bundles that can be stacked! Wow. I know this must sound really daft but I have such limited space so I quickly refolded all of my socks and then was enjoying it so much I did some of my husband's too. So if you want to revolutionize your sock drawer here's the video link.

August 26, 2011

The English Countryside


Part of my new job working for regional newspapers and magazines takes me out into the countryside. I went to shoot an event near the sea side today and on my way I found a store that sells "Shabby Chic" furniture. I popped in on my way home and found loads of old farmhouse tables, which I have been looking for to add a touch of old to my modern home. There was also a Victorian school desk for only £60! I really want it but I have to get the okay from my better half ie my half that is actually responsible with money.

A few days ago I went to photograph a fatal train accident and afterwards found two amazing antique shops. The first one had an amazing old police bicycle and a vintage body form in amazing condition. In the second shop there was a beautiful leather bag and a set of 6 chapel chairs.

Now I didn't get any of these amazing things but I hope to find more things once I have some moola!

August 24, 2011

Almost there...

I can't believe it's almost been a month since I’ve posted anything. Tsk tsk me. I finally have the essentials in life:

*a sofa
*a mattress (no bed frame yet because IKEA recalled it for “quality” reasons)
*internet
*Sky (essentially its cable but you can pick different packages- we chose culture and music)
*all of my things from my Edinburgh flat (more on that in a bit)

There is one essential I don’t have though… MY HUSBAND!! Billy got a job! (Yayayaya happy dance) His job is in London and he starts on September 12. So at least I know I will have my husband soon.

On Saturday we went and picked up our moving van and had to upgrade because we underestimated the amount of stuff we own (I moved over here with only two suitcases and that was only 2 ½ years ago). I loved loved loved driving the metal mammoth around which makes me rethink the kind of person I am. I guess it’s the redneck in me coming out.

It took us 3 hours to load all our stuff from our 2nd floor (3rd floor if you’re in the states) Victorian tenement flat (i.e. loads of stairs). We got on the road at 1pm and got into our new place at 9pm. Phew and if that’s not enough we (meaning mostly Billy) unloading half of the truck right then. I really do have a superman husband.

So now our 2nd bedroom has a futon and loads of boxes that I need to sort through in time for our first visitor in October. Now I have to figure out how to decorate my lovely new home. We have tripled the size of our lounge and halfed the size of our bedroom but we also have a balcony which we love. It’s so nice having an outdoor space all to ourselves.

I really desperately want to furnish the rest of our flat in antiques found in this incredible English countryside. I want an old farm table for our dining area to break up the inevitable IKEA furniture so there’s a good mix of old and new. I am however feeling very overwhelmed when I look for ideas online and see such incredible d├ęcor creations. I am crafty but I am also impatient and get bored very quick. So we’ll see how long it takes. Oh and we’re still renting so we have to be delicate with our multitude of frames so I’m trying out the Command adhesive hooks (fingers crossed).

I don’t have any photos yet of the before so instead I put up a random photo of my hero.

July 27, 2011

Me vs. Rupert Murdoch


I am getting settled into my new home sans my husband and I don't like it one. single. bit. I miss my cuddles on the couch and I miss a couch because I am sitting/sleeping on a futon in the living room until Ikea decides to deliver my actual couch/bed. Eek.

The cable guy is due to come any minute now to set up my cable but I'll have to wait another 7-10 days for my Internet!! Oh Internet where Arte thou? My little dongle just isn't cutting it and I'm actually too busy shooting at work that there isn't anytime for looking at blogs.

A quick note: evidently I live in a technological black hole because no one does Internet where I live except, gulp, Sky. If you don't know, Sky is owned by Rupert Murdoch and every inch of me wants to boycott Sky and everything else that's part of his empire, but then if I did I wouldn't have Internet. Oh boy is there a battle in my head. For now I've caved and my need for TV and Internet has own out. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I leave you with a photo from my recent trip to Florida. Yes that's me! and Yep that's an alligator! I'm so brave (note: There was tape around the gator's mouth that magically disappeared in the editing process to make me seem cooler than I am.)

July 4, 2011

Happy independence day!!


Yay it's the Fourth of July and I'm home with my momma (or mo'ma as Billy calls her) and she is in the kitchen as I type making my favorite, fried chicken and potato salad! Yum. It's been a wonderful holiday thus far. I have my yellow nail varnish on my toes, I have sunburned skin and all my freckles are out. I forgot that my face is pretty much covered in freckles.

Life is good. We have beached it up and Billy and I have rode bicycles almost everyday and we both have read about five books each. I finished my last book on the hammock in the backyard sipping on sweet tea. Oh what a life. Its so relaxing here. And I still remember how to drive on the other side of the road.

Tomorrow Billy, Mo'ma, my 16 year-old nephew Dylan and me are heading down to Miami for the night and staying at the art deco Avalon Hotel on South Beach. The next day we are going to Gator Park for an airboat ride in the Everglades and then we're going to stop to see the Coral Castle on our way back.

Its been wonderful and the only bad thing is we have to leave!

June 21, 2011

Holiday in the sun...




I'm away to Florida tomorrow and one of the first things on my list to do is a mani/pedi. I haven't had one since my wedding two and a half years ago and my poor toes are in need of some tlc. My feet have always been my favorite part of my body. Weird eh? But I have cute feet and I always have varnish on them.

But I want something cute and summery so I've been looking online for ideas and yellow keeps coming up and I think that might be my answer. It's not a colour I'd normally use so I think it may be perfect. I never know if I should get the same colour on my toes as on my fingers. Such choices! I'll have to wait and see.

May 31, 2011

Not vermin...




I have packed all my craft supplies except some cross stitch supplies. I attempted to cs once before but it gave me a tremendous headache so I stopped. But I found the cutest patterns from Sewingseed on Etsy.

You can see a lot of the aida cloth through the stitches so I'm not completely happy with it, but its a squirrel so its okay. I had a pet squirrel when I was a wee lass and his name was Baby the Squirrel. His momma was run over by a car so we saved him and he'd would sleep in my momma's shirt because he loved her warmth and the beating of her heart.

So I like squirrels even poorly cross stitched ones.

May 20, 2011

a new home- well kindof


The next 6 months are going to be a odd for Team Sully (yes that is what my husband and I call ourselves Su + Billy = Sully please don't judge us to badly). We get back from Florida in July and the day after I have to move all by myself down south. We're not sure when Billy will be able to move too because it all depends on his job and/or finding a new one.

We are definitely counting on being a part for two months but hopefully it won't be any more than that. So we will both have a flat and our stuff will be separated between the two.

So I am filling my pre-move days looking for stuff to fill our new home with. We have a very limited budget and as we are going from a fully furnished flat to an unfurnished one we will have to rely heavily on charity shops and yes, Ikea.

We are in the market for a new couch! Years of having a narrow two seater has given us a great appreciation for comfy couches. We love love love the Emlyn couch at Habitat but the price tag isn't very loveable. Yikes. So instead we will probably go with an Ikea 3-seater. I think it's really important to have it washable because Billy is very clumsy with his wine glasses (he's broken most of them and spilled loads everywhere).

We also need a bed. We will be going from a queen sized (there isn't a king size in the UK maybe because there isn't a King?) to a double and I'm not that keen. I like my cuddles but then I like my space when I'm sleeping. But we are probably going for one with storage underneath (yay I don't have to be afraid someone is hiding there when I'm all alone!!). But to start off with we will probably get a futon-ish thing while I'm on my own so I have a couch/bed which will later be moved into the second bedroom (yes we'll have two bedrooms!!).

Okay so I should add that I've never really felt like I've had a grown up place because I lived like a college student long after I was out of college (hey photographers aren't paid well in the states). But now it feels like whoa I'm married and we are putting together a home.

Here are some more things I want to make on my lonely nights in England:




(1) http://www.edytaszyszlo.com/blog/2008/10/08/diy-home-decor-with-your-wedding-photos/
(2) http://swelldesigner.blogspot.com/2009/04/colorful-mosaic-wall-on-cheap.html
(3) http://www.ladiesandgentlemenstudio.com/megadoily
(4) http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2010/01/i-am-so-proud-of-my-diy-zig-zag-rug.html
(5) http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/05/diy-project-kates-pretty-paper-coat-rack.html
(6) http://metalandmud.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/how-to-freezer-paper-stencil-pillow-cases/
(7) http://melissawilliamsonphoto.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-ideas-for-wall-displays.html

May 15, 2011

I hate packing!




My sewing machine, knitting needles, and all other craft supplies have been boxed up even though I'm not moving for ages. We had to pack up my box room/ craft room/ photographic gear room first so that we can pack everything else up in there. I don't have a flat to move into and we're not giving up our flat here until August (maybe I'll be able to catch a little bit of the Edinburgh Festival).

Billy's job has decided to be fairly uncooperative in our move, not allowing him to work from their London office. So now we are not sure when he'll be able to move in with me. Grr.

I have been on a lot of sites getting inspiration for my new flat, wherever it may be, and I'd like to get started but alas I must wait until after the move in July. I guess I'll have plenty of time to do crafty stuff when I am sans husband.

ps this is a photo I found of the town we will most likely be moving to. It's Britain's oldest recorded town and was a Roman centre so there is loads of quaint cottages about. It is also a large London commuter mecca so I'll probably be in newish housing which isn't great but we'll see.

May 7, 2011

Big News....




So I’ve been incredibly busy the past month and I spent the better part of last week down in England. A very, very long story short, I have accepted a job as a senior photojournalist. So I will be living 50 minutes outside London where my husband will have to commute (if his job will let him) while I cover a large area of England.

I have been in a constant state of flux for weeks and I am really happy that a decision has been made. I can’t go into details quite yet so I have to be careful not to seriously spill the beans until I get the go ahead.

The sad thing is that my husband and I will be separated for a while until his job gives him the go ahead to work out of their London office. Boo.

And I will really, really miss Edinburgh. I love this city so much and now that I can navigate it so easily I am picking up and leaving. I have moved so many times in the last decade that it’s not a huge deal but this was my first marital home so I will miss it.

(PS The photo is my husband's taken on a recent day out in Edinburgh- see how pretty it is here!)

April 27, 2011

England's Dreaming


I am so sick of the royal wedding. My marital influenza seems to be an epidemic amongst Scottish folk as there are only a few “Street Parties” planned versus the hundreds in England and Wales.

I must confess (though it isn’t much of a confession when you hear me rant about how my money shouldn’t go into funding their lifestyles) I really don’t care for the Windsors. We live in a constitutional monarchy where the Queen does not have any political power. Yes, she can have her opinions and suggest certain tactics but she is, by law, politically neutral.

So what does she really do? Well, she has charities, she visits other countries, she tells Silvio Burlesconi to shut up, but really she doesn’t do anything that a politician or an A-list celebrity doesn’t do (or a D-list underage prostitute in Silvio’s case).

William has a degree from the one of the poshest and elitest universities in Britian (well it’s in Scotland actually) and he is active in the military. Great. Pay your own way then because lord knows you make more money than I do in a year (uh oh here goes my taxation rant). I think he’s fine and great he’s getting married, but honestly I wish people would get over their fascination with this wedding and the royals in general.

I think that a family who practiced endogamy, yes, William’s grandpa is actually his grandmother’s third cousin (they share Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother) is not a very appealing family to want to spawn with. William and Harry are lucky their mum was not conceived by kissing cousins or else I’d be looking for a tail or a third nipple if I were Kate.

I really just want to start singing Sex Pistols songs (yes, I know I am not 14 anymore) every time I see displays in grocery stores hawking Will and Kate undercrackers and tea cups.

I think what makes me so conflicted about this wedding is the fact that it is a major news story and I should be covering it on any scale as a photojournalist. I have an itchy camera shutter finger and I probably will keep my eye out for some festivities on the day. Oh well. God Save The Queen’s Grandson.

April 19, 2011

Northern Wedding...


Billy and I ventured northward last week to Thurso for Billy’s mum’s wedding. Here are some highlights from the trip. (This is a photo of our niece Ava).

I learned to speak Orcadian (the groom and his family are from Orkney): There is a gare-din outside the petty who-us.

I learned that getting your make-up done by a girl who is the color of a tangerine will not end well.

I learned that if there is another American in the vicinity that I will be dragged through a pub by my in-laws to talk awkwardly to him. He was from Hawaii. I am from Florida.

I learned that swallowing a bug on a bike ride is bad and then I learned that I looked silly walking said bike up a hill because I am so unfit.

I learned that in a small town loads of people will know who you are and call you by your name even if you don’t know them.

I learned that surfers will do anything for a good wave.

I learned that people you wrote off can actually surprise you in a good way.

I learned that only children actually like the idea of having siblings. (I’m sure it won’t last long.)

This is a small list and I could go on but I’ll leave it there. It was a nice wedding and we are really happy that his mum is happy.

April 11, 2011

Going home...

Way down upon the Swanee River,
Far, far away,
There's where my heart is turning ever,
There's where the old folks stay.
All up and down the whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for the old plantation,
And for the old folks at home.

Well, if you changed Swanee River (that’s in northern Florida and I’m from South Florida) to the Indian River and the old folks into one sassy momma then this song would depict my desperate need to get home.

Billy and I are already planning what we’ll do during our trip home at the end of June including a game at the Met’s Stadium (it’s minor league baseball except for when the NY Mets come for spring training), loads of seafood restaurant dinners (Billy is obsessed with Grouper where I am solidly a fried shrimp girl), and many, many trips to the beach (it’s a 10 minute ride to the Atlantic Ocean). I am really excited for Billy to experience his first Fourth of July with sweettea, bbq and fireworks because when we do it over here it's just not the same.

It’s funny how excited I am to go to the town where I was born and raised. I was desperate to get out of that town because there isn’t leeway for success if you weren’t born with a silver-spoon (or a citrus-grove) in your mouth. But hey it’s great to visit. I bought some flip-flops yesterday to get my feet used to them because I don’t wear proper shoes when I’m home.
Here’s some photos from my last trip home in December 2009.








April 1, 2011

March 31, 2011

My baby...

Today makes the third year I've been without my best friend. My dog (he was much much more than a dog to me) passed away three years ago today and I still miss him terribly. It's such a hard thing to understand unless you have a "pet." People said "Oh your dog died that sucks" when I was falling to pieces. He was 9 years-old and the vet told me he literally died of a broken heart due to some valve issue.

Baby (I was looking for a cool name to call him and in the meantime kept saying he was a cute baby and it stuck leading to many years of him being called a girl) came into my life on my 19th birthday two months after my dad died. I had been spending most of time in bed not able to really function so my mom surprised me with this precious little creature who didn't let me stay in bed!

I had to be apart from him for four years while I was at university and it was retched and I really regret the time we lost but I couldn't of given him the attention he needed at that time. I went and got him after I graduated and took him to live in Michigan. His first winter I felt terrible because he was a Florida dog. I had to buy him booties because the snow was getting in between the pads on his paws and he had loads of winter jackets. I was working a lot so I got him a friend named Cat. She was a crazy little kitten I got from a crazy old woman in the middle of nowhere and I wasn't a fan of her (hence the lack of even trying to find a cool name).

Baby moved around the country with me and at times he was the only soul I knew in within 1000 miles of the places I lived. He was my constant companion and my best friend.

When he died I was living in Atlanta and I was a mess. I had to take off work and flew first class home to Florida because that was the only ticket I could get. My first time in first class I was sobbing, drinking heavily and carrying Baby's ashes. Luckily the guy next to me took pity on me instead of moving to another seat. I spent a week grieving with my mom (who loved him just as much and considered him a grandson). When I went back two things kept me going... my dear friend Arielle and a few others came to my apartment and totally rearranged it and put away Baby's toys so when I came home it didn't remind me of him too much. And Billy was coming to visit the next week so I just had to make it until then.

Anyways I'm still emotional as this post will show and I miss my Baby everyday. Here are some photos of him. He was blind in one eye and the other eye was getting pretty bad so you'll see it in the flashed photo.

PS Cat and I bonded after Baby passed but now she lives with my sister in Florida and we would like to bring her over here but it's super complicated.

March 28, 2011

Busy Bee



This is Monday but I'm still in last week. I have loads of photos to work up from a tutorial I gave on Friday, a gig on Friday night, family shoots from Saturday, a gig from Sunday and I am going to another gig tonight in Glasgow and I'm totally redesigning my website and I have to put together an audio slideshow for my photostory. Phew.

So this is short but I have added a photo of an ice cream man (what do people think it's warm out?) that I took on Saturday in Lanark.

March 19, 2011

Saturday...




Billy and I live next to Murrayfield rugby stadium in Roseburn. Usually it's a nice and quiet neighborhood and there's a lovely park on the street behind us. But on match day the quiet goes away and is replaced with pipers playing "Flower of Scotland" on repeat, trailers that sell hamburgers and chips, merchants selling scarfs with the team logo made from the lowest quality wool available, and the fans.

Rugby fans are far better than football fans as they don't instigate mayhem. They dress up as smurfs and centaurians and of course there are kilts. We sit in our window seat on the third floor and watch as thousands of people fill our humble street after the game. It starts out slowly and then it picks up and a wall forms. It's amazing to watch and its funny to see them notice us. We always wave.

But today we needed to get out. Usually it's really strategic on game days. We either stay in all day or leave all day and its quite frustrating have to plan our lives around a sport we don't even like. We headed Fife-ward again and went towards Dundee to Tentismuir Nature Reserve where there is a beach and a forest. Its really beautiful and there is a point where seals hang out but it was quite far and we weren't really up for the hike.

Then we headed through St. Andrews towards Anstruther to have fish and chips from a shop voted Best in Britain. So good.

March 18, 2011

What I’ve been doing this week,

I just got back from a job interview for a very cool position so fingers crossed. The rest of this week I have spent time working on a tutorial and working on a few assignments.

Big news!! I get to go pick out a brand new Mac laptop tonight! Yippee! I’ve been using my ancient Powerbook since university, which is a good advertisement for the durability of apple products, however it is not condusive to a busy photography business.

I am also getting my haircut today for the first time in about a year. Ever since the “I want to look like Jean Seberg” incident of May 2010, I have been growing out my locks with occasional usage of a razor in hand to keep away the mullet.

So it’s a big Friday for me.




Photos
Protest against wind farming.
Publication of the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage report.

March 11, 2011

Is it March?

Isn't March supposed to signify the end of winter heralding in Cherry Blossoms, lighter jackets and mitten-less hands? Well here in Scotland we have shifted backwards with a forecast of heavy snow for this weekend. Oh how much longer can I be forced to endure this winter! I have been really excited by the daylight lasting past 3pm and one day I was out sans hat and gloves. But no, spring is just a tease. That’s not very nice spring.

But after watching the earthquake footage from Japan, I think I’ll stop my whinging and gladly take the snow.

This week I have been busy shooting and giving tutorials. I spent a lot of my free time putting together a Power Point Presentation on how to photograph jewelry and I worked on my photostory I am doing with Billy on a Hip-Hopper. Here are some photos of my shoots from the week. Soon I'll add photos from my trek up Arthur’s Seat on Sunday (Yes, I made it!).


(1) Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion up on Calton Hill.
(2) Old Firm Summit on Violence with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (he is Scotland’s Prime Minister).
(3) “Guerilla” lighting of Edinburgh’s buildings with torches (big flash lights)

March 5, 2011

A day out in Fife


Billy and I ventured across the Forth Rail Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife today for a little adventure. It started out hazy and grey but as we were coming back the sun shone beautifully over North Queensferry. See more photos here.

This week has been interesting but I'm glad its the weekend. I had a tutorial this week and shot a few assignments for a new picture agency that launched on Friday.

Tomorrow we are going to do something I've been putting off since I moved to Edinburgh. Billy and I are going to climb Arthur's Seat, which is a big mountain in the middle of town. Tourists of all ages and sizes climb Arthur's Seat on a daily basis yet I've avoided as best I could. But tomorrow I will finally do it- damned be my laziness.