Snaps

Strength and safety in numbers

This is one of my favourite streets in London.  Mostly because it has so many museums and it leads straight to Hyde Park.

At the moment, it is the focus of of news reporting because of an incident.  Apparently a car hit a number of pedestrians.  If you want to keep updated on news, you can either google or follow this link to the BBC website.

As bad as it sounds, I’m just hoping this is just a serious road traffic accident instead of an act of terrorism.

Keep safe everyone.  Stay alert.

UPDATE as at 19:00

The Met Police have advised that this was a road traffic accident.  More details on the BBC website link I placed above.

But still…STAY ALERT.  KEEP SAFE.

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Blog

Colchester charm

I used to work in Colchester and I do love the little town.  I think it was when I started working in Chelmsford that Alan and I stopped going to Colchester often enough for it to stop feeling familiar.  I don’t know why, really.  It’s got great shops, both independent and popular chains, really good, small independent restaurants (there’s a Caribbean restaurant that does an absolutely divine goat curry that you can get with peas and rice!  They even have an all-you-can-eat buffet for £8 on Saturdays; drinks are separate of course.  Look for the S&S Restaurant on St. John’s Street) and restaurant names, with more to come as Colchester High Street seems to be making quite the revival (with a Bill’s already established, a Byron’s coming soon and Wagamama opening in the near future as well).  Apart from that, it’s got history in shedloads as it’s got a gorgeous 11th century Norman keep, ruins of an Augustinian priory, and the remains of a Roman chariot race track!

Colchester was known as Camulodunum and was mentioned by Pliny the Elder who died in 79AD (and by this virtue it is called the oldest recorded town in Britain).  It was the Roman capital of Britain (yes, before London!) but was attacked and destroyed by Boadicea’s (Boudica) rebellion.  It was soon after the destruction of Colchester that London became Rome’s provincial capital.  Colchester held such a romantic link to the Romans that some historians postulated that it might have been a possible site for the Arthurian city of Camelot.

What I love about Colchester is the history that is all around the town, quite literally.  The town is still surrounded by Roman walls that were built after the rebellion led by Boadicea.  The Romans wanted to fortify the town and fortify it they certainly did.  Parts of the 3,000 yard-long walls still stand.  One of the biggest and oldest parts is the Balkerne Gate that stands right next to where the Mercury Theatre is.  The history geek in me was excited to find that you could actually touch the Balkerne Gate.  There were no protective walls around it.  It was literally history you could touch!

Colchester is a mixture of old and new but still has that lovely small town feel that makes you smile.  It still has lovely old houses nestled in between relatively new Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses.  During a trip to Colchester to see what Invasion Colchester was all about last Saturday, Alan and I stopped off at North Bridge in Middleborough in Colchester to photograph this small, charming collection of Medieval houses that were sitting along the River Colne.  I’ve seen photographs of it and it has always been biscuit-tin pretty.  These lovely pink houses did not disappoint and I got my Instagram-worthy shot (pity about the shadowban, or I’d post it on IG really…maybe I will (if) when the ban gets lifted!).  Even the River Colne cooperated and made like it was glass.  Pity there was so much coverage on the river or else you’d see perfect reflections of the lovely cottages with their exposed timber frames.

With the fastest train journey from London being an hour and 2 minutes, if you love history, Colchester might just be the place to come and visit.

 

Blog

Immersing myself in inspiration

I have been wanting to revamp the blog and start blogging properly again.  But I needed inspiration – and probably a huge kick in the behind to get me off the proverbial couch and get to it.

I have been fangirling on Sara Tasker ever since I read an article on Stylist about how she quit her job and carved a lucrative career out of Instagram.  I thought, “Oh my gosh!  This girl!  Her photos!  How to be her?”  So it was because of Sara Tasker that I started seeking out women who inspired me, women who were brave to forge careers out of things that they were passionate about.

As with everything, I am easily distracted.  I completely forgot about improving the blog and allowed myself to be completely immersed and obsessed with Instagram.  While it was a creative outlet, it wasn’t what I was good at.  I did get quite a few likes on some of my photos though!  The photo below was actually liked 1,224 times!

Now that is a revelation because I knew it had a lot of likes but I don’t have a lot of photos that go over 200 in the like category, so when something gets 500+ or 700+, it is a major achievement.  It means my photo was interesting enough for people to look and click on that little heart icon.  Thank you to every single person who has liked my photos and posted comments!

Instagram is a lovely distraction, but I’ve always thought my writing was more sound than my photography skills.  So I searched for inspiration.  I read books – lots of books about blogging, writing. food writing, making money from my blog…I’ve read so many articles and was this close to buying an expensive book that “guaranteed” they would get you blogging and making a huge success of yourself and your blog after you read their book.  Nope, I didn’t buy the book – but I was tempted.

A friend of mine wanted to start a blog and helpful soul that I am, I said I’d help them set it up.  But I felt an awful fraud offering to help someone start a blog when my blog was right there, languishing in the corner!  I needed to brush up on inspiration basics, blog inspiration and tips!

Because Sara Tasker was my inspiration, I went back to her website.  I wanted to find inspiration.  I wanted to find social media tips.  I discovered she had a podcast – HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!?  So I quickly made room for the podcasts and started listening to her a few days ago.  The first 2 podcasts were mind-blowing.  It was an inspiration fest.  When I get excited I write – and one thing I’ve learned from working in an office is, if you want to remember things, WRITE IT DOWN.  It’s something to do with your brain remembering things better when there is an action related to the act of remembering (I read that in a magazine in high school, it suggested studying for exams by walking!).

I’m still listening to Sara and the wonderful group of creatives who join her on the podcast episodes.  I’m still writing down what I now call my Hashtag Authentic buzz words.  Because that is what they are – they give you a buzz and inspire you to create!

When her website is back up, I’ll post a link to the podcast and the podcast notes (which I thought was a clever way of making you come back to her website!).   You can also download the podcast on iTunes.

Be prepared though, because you will be inspired into action – action that focuses on authentic engagement.

 

Snaps

Snapshots!

One of my goals in 2016 was to take better pictures.

On Instagram, apparently, I posted 386 photos in 2016.  Those 386 photos garnered an impressive 26,432 likes…apparently!  I must be doing something right!  And thanks to 2016bestnine.com I can present my 9 most liked snapshots of last year on Instagram.

Instayelly

Here’s to better photos in 2017!🎉

Snaps

That face!

If you can, pay a visit to the Colchester Zoo.  I’ve not been to ZLS London Zoo but from the looks of it, Colchester might provide you with more value for money.  I think this opinion is slightly biased because I do love what I call my local zoo!

Sharing with you one of my favourite snapshots of the red ruffed lemurs who love lounging above in the beams of one of the thatched roofs in the Lost Madagascar enclosure.

Red ruffed lemur

Snaps

Wallpaper photos: pink flower

I’m quite pleased with the photos that I’m taking.

This is one of my favourite photos and I’m using it as my Samsung tablet wallpaper.  It’s a close up macro photo (I’m just spewing out photography terms and I don’t even know if I’m using them properly!  Ha!) of a bunch of pink flowers that I saw at Colchester Zoo.

Nothing earth shattering just me giving myself a pat on the back!

pink flower