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Friday, 31 May 2013

street photography 1950s style

today i stumbled across the story of how john maloof bought a box of undeveloped film negatives at an auction and found vivian maier, an unknown amateur photographer. and what an amateur. there is a documentary film about his journey from buying the negatives to exhibiting her work slated for release this year. here is just a taster of what i was drawn into at first sight.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

run forest run

this weekend the sun shone. i chopped trees, chopped hedges, mowed grass, pulled weeds, potted plants, potted vegetables, made more than one trip to the garden centre, talked to neighbours over the fence, took gardening advice from neighbours over the fence, shared wine with neighbours my side of the fence, got sunburnt and that was just saturday. sunday saw my sisters debut in the manchester 10k. i went along to cheer her on in the heat. as we waited we saw friends running, batman and robin running, firemen running - something my now three year old nephew was incredibly excited by but we also saw mummy running. there were tears when mummy kept running, her eldest son not understanding why she couldn't stop. it was a great weekend, the sun somehow made it shine brighter.


Monday, 27 May 2013

open and shut case

do you ever have a time when you have something in the back of your mind, something you have been mulling over for a long time, something that every now and then comes to the forefront of your mind, you think about it again, think about how badly you are doing it and put it to the back of your mind again? no? just me then.

over the last year or so i have embraced change. mainly this change has to do with me finding myself again (i got lost on the path of life i thought i was meant to be living) but the thing that i realised i did do was close myself down. i said no to a lot of things i should have said yes to. as a result the thing that nags at the back of my mind every now and again is "have i shut myself down again?" i don't know about you but there are times i struggle with keeping myself open. and that's been the word that i have used - open. it's a simple image in my head - a shop sign open for business. i turned my sign to open and have long since given up trying to work out when exactly i put the closed sign up. just recently i have realised that when i am trying to be open but am worried that i am actually closed, well those times are the times when fear gets in the way. i am fearful about being open. fearful about what it will mean for me, how it might make me look or how i might be let down. 

sometimes when this happens i find i trip across things that make me see it differently. the first thing that made me think differently was this post emily wrote. her words stayed with me, specifically these:

"fear tells me to run away from connection. vulnerability dares me to run towards it."

i read and re-read her words and the more i thought about that, the more i realised how true that was for me. that really my word was open but what i was trying to be was vulnerable. vulnerable to life. 

emily made reference in her post to brene brown and i realised brene's name was one i jotted down to look up later and had never got round to it, i had heard about brene's ted talks so that is where i started. these talks were the second thing that made me think differently. so if you have time put the kettle on, make a cup of your favourite tea and sit back and watch a very entertaining brene brown tell you about vulnerability and how powerful it is and then watch her share what happened next after her first ted talk went viral.

more than making me think differently brene made me realise that being open or vulnerable is nothing to be afraid of, that actually being vulnerable is one of the most powerful things you can do in your life. 

now i'm not telling you that i don't still question myself nor am i telling you that i am no longer fearful but i do realise that the majority of the time i am living my life wholeheartedly vulnerable. it is a change that i have embraced. i can determine what i am happy to say no to and what i emphatically want to say yes to. and the amazing part about this living wholeheartedly is when you get the privilege to read about another persons point of view and find not just their vulnerability but yours is the key to it all. shelly wrote about our meeting beautifully. 

so let me encourage you to be vulnerable in your life, sure fear gets in the way but i will guarantee saying yes will reap rewards you never thought possible. 


Thursday, 23 May 2013

the look of love

i'm lucky enough to have done fairs with nieces and nephews from the northern and southern clans already this year. i love how kids get so excited by treasure hunts, duck races and fairground rides not to mention trampolining attached to bungee ropes. oh but there was so much more; goldfish, inflatable saxaphones and splat the rat. but the thing that really ticked my two year old nephews box? sitting in a real life fire engine and tooting its horn. for a little boy who had just won his first goldfish at hook a duck and had named him fireman sam, that was his wildest dream come true. the look he is giving his mummy up there well, to me that says it all. 


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Sitting on history

The last few weeks I've been sitting in a different room than normal for work meetings. Sitting in a not very inspiring meeting my gaze was distracted by the cabinet at the side of the room.

The imposing books made me want to look some more, my eye was drawn to what was behind the glass door.  At lunch I investigated.

The volumes were entitled 'Student Register' and dated back to the early 1900's.

I pulled one off the shelf, and found individual handwritten entries in beautifully written ink pen, letters curling on the page. Then I realised, these were all the old student records for everyone who had studied with the College where I work since the turn of the century.

I took another volume at random of the shelf, 1944. And then it hit. The address of one of the students was 'Stalag' and there underlined by the students name was the abbreviation 'P.O.W.' I flicked further and found another. My mind reeled, the College had supplied material to prisoners of war in Germany, they in awful conditions had studied our courses. I am responsible for Student Support, I cannot even imagine what student support was like to these students.

All this time I along with many others have sat in this room, and never known the secrets that were behind the glass doors. We were sitting on history, without even realising. I am humbled of the heritage that belongs to the organisation I work for, taken aback by how little I knew of that history, and wondering about all the other stories that our hidden behind the entries in those books.

Some days you just realise how small you are in the overall picture.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

margaret and davey

these last few days i've been running to catch up. you know the kind of days - the to do list is long and no matter how many items you cross off the top you can't keep up with the ones you are adding to the bottom. late last night whilst answering email on my phone a mail arrived that made me stop and then made me go aahh and keep looking. it was a photograph i had never seen before, my sister forwarding it to me from our auntie. it is my grandparents wedding photo.

today i have been in meetings all day not until the end of my working day did i check my mails. this time my mum had forwarded another photo that i had never seen. my grandma (second from the left) with her sisters ina (left), isabel (second right) and her brother bill (right).

on seeing my grandparents wedding photo my first thought last night was "gosh mum looks like grandpa" - something i have always known but this picture seems to highlight it more to me. something that amused me last night as i look very like my dad. tonight i was struck by how much my grandmothers genes are passed on - not just to her daughters but her granddaughters and great granddaughters. i can only marvel at how we are all made and how that happens.

thank you jenny for passing the photos on. now, i must get round to transferring that paper family tree into a digital format, another item for the to do list.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

boo and glo

london. family. hanging with the girls. saturday afternoon - the fair. sunday afternoon - one on one niece, mummy and auntie time. love. grateful to spend time. until next time.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013


last week jane and i experienced our first in real life meet up with a fellow blogger. the fact she had travelled from america and we had travelled to london to meet her, well it blew all of our minds. we drank tea not once but twice, ate lunch, walked the streets of london, travelled the tube, took shelly to her favourite bookshop (one we had never heard of but highly recommend) and talked like we had known each other for years. thats the thing about daring to write online you make connections with people you would otherwise never have met. it was a great day. the sun shone, the wind blew, the conversation flowed and thanks to shelly we now have a new head shot.


Sunday, 12 May 2013