Sunday, 19 October 2014

B&W Photo

I have been finding it really hard to keep up with blogging while juggling family, work and studying so I thought as a photography student the best thing to do is find a linky that I can combine my photos and a simple blog post.

I think some photos need colour to help tell their story but there are certain images that just work as black and white!

I was recently given the prompt 'waiting' by my tutor for a photo to hand in as homework. We were sent outside to practice experimenting with exposure and I took this shot of a woman waiting by the road.

I love how the road looks empty apart from the lady but actually it was a really busy afternoon, I also like the composition of the tree on the opposite side of her. I think the image has more impact in black and white than it would in colour.

This post is linked up with The B&W Photography project over at Podcast.

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Halloween at our house

Halloween is not a massive event at our house, I mean we don't go overboard and decorate the whole house and it's a bit too close to Christmas to spend too much money when we could be using it for gifts. We do however like to dress up and eat loads of candy...well who doesn't?

Yes I have to live with these creatures...

I don't normally buy any expensive outfits for the occasion, I think the vampire outfit is actually from the pound shop! I find when dressing up that its better to improvise with what you have and throw a bit of face paint in.

The kids love to go out trick or treating, they usually go in a group because it can be very frightening when there are werewolves, witches and all sorts roaming the streets!

I like to sit at home with my big bowl of goodies for the scary callers (hoping that nobody will knock so I can eat all the sweets for myself) We usually put some decorations in the window or on the door so that others know we are happy for them to knock because I know some people do not like being pestered all night.

What will you be doing for Halloween, dressing up and partying the night away or closing the curtains and having an early night?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

50 Books 2014 September

This month I have only managed to finish 1 book but all is not lost, I am mid way through another 3 and have downloaded loads more onto my kindle (I know I have to actually read them for it to count) so should be back on track in no time!

The one I did read was pretty long so if I add a few short stories to the mix it should help me out.

Anybody out there is the story of Anna Walsh. Anna is staying with her parents in Dublin but desperate to get back to her life in New York, back to her friends, back to her amazing job and back to her husband Aiden. But what has driven her so far away from her fabulous life and why is her husband not replying to her emails?

I love Marian Keyes books and this one did not disappoint! Very realistic with some real laugh out loud humour, especially Anna's sister Helen who is spying on the criminals of the Dublin underworld. The book is full of emotion and takes some unexpected turns throughout.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Moonlight Movie

I have wanted to go to an outdoor cinema for ages, I even put it on my bucket list, so when I saw that The Luna Cinema were showing a film in my local park I booked 2 tickets straight away. The movie on show was The Wolf of Wall Street and is one that I hadn't previously seen and thought it would be perfect for a date night. Being together for 18 years and having four children means date nights don't come around very often!

We arrived at the park at around 7:30, the time the ticket stated and found a nice spot not to close to the screen. Lots of people came with their picnic baskets but we just stopped off at the local Tesco on the way and got a nice supply of crisps and chocolate although there were staff members who came around while everyone was settling in with free samples of coffee and cheeses!

So everything started off really well, the weather was quite warm as it was a nice August evening but then a guy came on the tannoy to say that the movie wouldn't start until the sun went down, well that wasn't until 2 hours after we arrived by which time my bum was numb. I could tell that a lot of people were already experienced with the whole outdoor cinema concept as they didn't arrive until much later and came with chairs, pillows, blankets...the full works!

I brought my coat with me in case it got cold, who was I kidding? Even with it done up and the hood on it was absolutely freezing. I'm sure if the movie wasn't so loud the people next to me would have heard my teeth chattering!

The park had got really packed and really dark so when the man didn't return from the toilets I checked my phone and saw a text message to say he couldn't find me and was sitting at the side by the gates. Halfway through the film I was dying for a wee but didn't want to leave my stuff in case I couldn't find where we were sitting either so I had no option but to pack all my stuff up (as quietly as possible) and head for the toilet. I found the man and we decided it would be better to just go home and watch a movie in the comfort (and warmth) of our living much for a date night!

It didn't quite work out as planned but I still like the idea of the outdoor cinema, if I do ever go again I will definitely be a bit more prepared but I have at least ticked something else off my bucket list!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

50 books 2014 - August

I have done really well this month, it must be all those lazy summer afternoons relaxing in the garden that has helped me to get through 6 books. I am really going to miss it now it's back to work time!

I have read 30 books in total now and if I can manage one a week from now I will be pretty close to my target however I am starting college and going back to work soon so may have to give up some of my TV time to do it!

So here is what I have been reading over summer...

This is the true story of Jane, an east end gangster. She tells the story of her antics from a young girl to her obsession with guns that saw her end up in prison. With a young son to look after Jane wants to make money in a legitimate way but the life of crime just wont let her go and armed with her samurai sword and shotgun nobody is going to stand in her way!

I found this story of Gypsy Jane a bit exaggerated, some of what happens seems a bit hard to believe and Jane herself seems arrogant and delusional. Just a few words from her can cause a criminal boss to pee his pants in front of a pub full of all his gangster followers? The book itself was quite a good read but more of a fictional one, if you are into modern crime stories I would stick to Martina Cole as they are more believable.

Leila is a bit of a loner, she spends most of her time in front of the computer and has no interest in joining in with the shallow social lives her school friends have gone on to live. When approached to take on  the task of living the virtual life of a fragile woman who wants to kill herself, will she be up to the job?

I really did enjoy this book and towards the middle I couldn't put it down. I was telling my daughter what was happening and each time I read some more she would pester me to give her an update! The character Leila is a bit obsessive and can get annoying at times but you also find yourself feeling sorry for her. Quite a unique story and if you are interested in the dark side of the Internet then this is the book for you.

This is a memoir of Jackie Kay, a mixed race girl that was adopted by white parents, although she had a very loving upbringing with her adopted brother she feels the need to find out about her history and goes in search of her birth parents. Her journey takes her between Scotland, Milton Keynes and across the globe to Nigeria but will she find what she's looking for?

This is a very charming story. Very honest and emotional read and I loved the relationship between Jackie and her new found siblings, how there were so many similarities even though they had never met. I wasn't too keen on the way the story jumped between place and time so often as it was hard to keep up with where and when the story was. A great insight into the thoughts and feelings of an adopted child.

 A small isolated valley known as the sink attracts loneliness and hardship. When some mysterious creature roams the swamp and surrounding forest killing livestock and scaring the life out of the all the inhabitants it brings them unexpectedly into each others company.

The book sounds like a really good read and being a short story I assumed it would be a quick and easy. The story is quite complicated and one that needs a lot of attention to be able to understand what is going on, meaning I couldn't keep up with it during the adverts of coronation street! To be honest I still don't know what the creature that terrorised the town is and I think when I have spare time I may try to re read it.

This is the story of Izzy who is approaching her 41st birthday, the same age her mum was when she killed herself. Izzy's dad and sister are flying out so the family can spend the weekend together but it is sure to be emotionally charged as she reminisces about the good times spent with her eccentric yet tormented mum.

The book was beautifully written and quite lighthearted. While tackling the issue of mental illness and the effect it had and is still having on the family, there were also some humorous parts. It is a lovely recap of the characters life but not really any suspense.

When 15 year old Shep was murdered during an apparent robbery a local boy named Daniel handed himself into the police, sentenced to death the family are left to get on with their life. 19 years later as the lethal injection is ready to do it's job, Shep's mum befriends the boy and finds herself fighting to save him. Does she know a hidden secret that surrounded the murder?

I really enjoyed this book and loved the mystery that kept me turning the pages. I found myself trying to work out what was about to be revealed but never guessed the outcome. The writing reminded me a bit of Jodi Picoult so if you are a fan of hers I'm sure you will enjoy this novel.

So that is my round-up for August! Have you had any blockbuster novels you have read this summer? As I still have 20 books to read this year I would greatly appreciate some recommendations...