Risen from the Dead… With Updates

Wow, it’s hard to pick back up writing after TWO MONTHS of silence. I haven’t really had the words – an identity crisis will do that to you. Especially when you’ve put yourself in a box as one type of writer, and then struggle to stay within those parameters because you feel yourself changing. Plus, bearing my heart and soul on the internet week after week got a little straining. You could call the last few months a “vulnerability hangover” of sorts.

Agh, life.

Anyway, the month of June has been busy and fun and crazy and up and down. I will put some of it in here to try and get this ball rolling again. I like this place and I want to stick at it.

Three Peaks Challenge

The three tallest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, in 24 hours, when one has never climbed a mountain before? Yeah – I like to throw myself in the deep end. This was awesome, but also the hardest thing I have ever done. I am fitter than I was a few months ago but there were some FIT people in my group and I struggled to keep up. It was a brilliant experience and I am proud to have completed it. It’s not too late to donate to the cause – a small orphanage in Kenya that a friend of mine visited last year. Having to close the home down was a possibility and we are hoping the proceeds will keep it open and running for another year. Amazingly, we are currently very close to reaching the £10,000 goal. Click HERE to sponsor me and the amazing group I did the trek with!

Krakow, Poland (#girlsontour)

I think I may write an entire post on this weekend with some extra thoughts, but put simply, it was a fantastic three days. The city break came about through a casual conversation about travel over a dinner in February. Thanks to the incredible organisation skills of my friend Emma, it actually happened. There was six of us, all different but all with something to bring to the table. We tried Polish food and after a hilarious sitting that involved eating steamed vegetables as a starter, promised not to again. We did karaoke, visited Auschwitz and had two dips in the fountain (which made me feel like a kid again, and anytime I feel like a kid, I am happy). Krakow was beautiful but I more appreciated the quality time with five wonderful friends.

Northern Ireland adventures

“I’m in heaven”. That was probably the three words I said most over the weekend. My version of heaven? Green fields as far as the eye can see. Sheep. Cliffs. Castles. Tea. Brownies. More good food. Irish hugs (to clarify, this is essentially a hug from an Irish person. They don’t actually hug very differently but they are IRISH). Irish accents. Swimming in the cold sea. Almost getting blown away by gale force winds. It was the loveliest weekend and my friend Leigh-Ann is a spectacular host. It was almost like a retreat weekend and I was sad to leave. I may have invited myself back for Christmas… (awkward)

Well, that’s it folks. Enjoy the gallery of the above mentioned events. Please forgive me for being flakey and I would appreciate a comment or two, just so I know there hasn’t been an apocalypse…

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This is London

Saturday 18th September 2010. Ben and I started out on our date day together; a photo mission so that I could properly use my new Nikon D70 for the first time. But we had forgotten a factor that would make this particular Saturday stand out from the rest: the Pope was in town. From the moment we got off the tube, it was all go, with the marching bands parading along the South Bank.  When I heard drums I instantly had to know where they were coming from and what was going on! It just so happened that we had arrived at the perfect moment because it had all just began. Almost like the whole show was put on just for us.

‘Ben, Ben (apparently pronounced ‘Bin’), can I please have my camera?’. He had the bag and my Esmeralda inside it. I couldn’t wait to have her in my hands and start capturing these men marching through the streets of London. In fact, I was so eager that I put the camera to my eye looking for the right composition, when I realised the lens cap was still on. One word: amateur. One marching man even saw me and laughed! Good start to a good day of photography.

After the excitement of seeing numerous bands march past, it was time to move on. Apparently they were Irish.. Possibly some revolutionary stand since the Pope was in town? I don’t know, politics and religion are two of a kind in my mind; they go in the ‘not-bothered’ category. So we roamed the streets, hungry for beauty and photo-worthy magnificence. And boy, did we get it.

After following our senses to the cheering crowds, we found ourselves amongst crowds of ‘Pope haters’. There were some very interesting and controversial signs being held up, and generally a large atmosphere of anger. There were some men speaking about the Catholic church and how ‘the Pope condones the sexual abuse performed by Priests’. After pushing our way through the crowd and taking some cool shots, we moved on because it wasn’t a very nice environment. We meandered through the horse and guard to Hyde Park. Lo and behold, there were thousands of people setting up camp in preparation for the Pope’s drive past in his ‘Pope-mobile’. Two very different worlds mere streets apart. It was brilliant.

This is London. So many people with conflicting views and beliefs. It makes for a very diverse city. Here are a few of my fav shots from the day:

Crazy/Beautiful London

The city of London alone has approximately 8 million inhabitants. And New Zealand has approx. 4.5 million. In the whole country. So obviously coming to London as a naive and wide eyed 18 year old two years ago, it was a shock to the system. In negative, positive, and life changing ways! After all here I am now at almost 21 years old, drawn back into the excitement.

If you double New Zealand’s population and cram them into a much smaller space, you have London (plus all the glorious architecture and history, of course). The thing is, I hate crowds! Yet I am one of the those ‘black suits’ that travels on the train everyday to work, along with thousands of others. We push, we shove, and we don’t smile. Then I realise I look as grim as the person sitting next to me, and smile. Turns out I can still be a Londoner when I look happy!

London has so much to offer. I may hate crowds but I do love diversity – which this city is full of. And the culture, fashion, opportunities, experiences, adventure and travel… Its all worth enduring the crowds for!

Below are three pictures that I took on my manual film camera, Delilah. It was a rainy & romantic evening in 2009, and my Love was teaching me how to take photos at night on film. I love these photos because there was such beautiful precision in the clicking of the shutter. I had to keep the whole tripod completely still, then gently push down on the button and hold for 8 seconds in order to let enough light in. And look at what that 8 seconds captured. London. Crazy/beautiful, just as these pictures portray.

Big Ben, shot on film

London Eye, shot on film

Embankment steps, shot on film