Day sixteen of the 30 day photography challenge – a good habit

I’ve got lots of habits but trying to think of one which is a good one, and more importantly an interesting one, is bit tricky (I suppose that’s why it’s called the photography ‘challenge’).  Taking a picture of me cleaning my teeth or putting everything in the dishwasher once I’ve used it seems very unexciting.  So I’ve decided to share a picture of something which I intend to make a habit – sitting in the new hammock we bought today while we were at the Duck Pond market.  We had a brilliant day (lovely weather, lovely people and we sold out of everything we’d made), and we treated ourselves to this one from the Well Hung company (see what they did there?).  It’s a double hammock which means that Simon and I can lounge in it at the same time, and even George hopped in and had a go…


Day fourteen of the 30 day photography challenge – eyes

I know that George appears quite frequently in my blog but with today’s challenge ‘eyes’ I couldn’t help but have a picture of him. There’s something very soulful about the big brown eyes of a dog, and the way George is looking at the camera in this picture makes me melt. So, apologies if you’re not really a dog person, but here he is, looking gorgeous:


Day thirteen of the 30 day photography challenge: can’t live without

This was a tough one as there are several things I don’t feel I could live without (tea is fairly high up on the list) but these two, combined in one photo, always make me feel happy no matter what (even tea doesn’t do that every time) so here they are, my husband and my dog:


Day ten of the 30 day photography challenge – childhood memories

Today we took George to the Lido which has always been one of my favourite places – we used to go there when we were little and the Ruislip Lido Railway (miniature) has been there for years and years.  The Lido is a great place to go, with a large reservoir in the middle, a beach and woods all the way around.  It even has a dog beach where George has a swim, although today he sneaked off and dived into a particularly stinky bit of water and even though we hosed him down in the garden and washed him with baby shampoo, he’s still a bit stinky.

I may be a grown up (!) but I still love going on the train and so today we did, and we took George with us:


Day eight of the 30 day photography challenge – routine

I try not to have too much of a routine, but there are a few things which I do every day like feeding George, Molly and Pickle, and taking George for a walk twice a day. Since I’ve been on school holidays, I’ve been getting up early and heading to the park with him for a run and to use the outdoor gym they’ve installed recently. In a week running up to a market, we get into a routine of making fudge and packaging everything, but we always try to take time to do our own thing so the days aren’t too samey.

One thing however that I always start my day with is a cuppa. I mean, I’m British and we all love tea – and for me it’s the best way to start the day and it’s usually me who gets up first and makes us both a cup. A morning without tea? Well, it wouldn’t be right…


Day five of the 30 day photography challenge – after dark

After such a busy weekend, I was quite glad to have a bit of a lazy day today and we didn’t really do much apart from taking Simon’s mum and dad out for lunch for his dad’s birthday.  The meal was delicious but I made the fatal error of having a large chunk of crusty bread with my soup which meant I slept for two hours when we got home (pesky wheat allergy!)  This evening I spent three hours making cranberry dog biscuits for the night market we’re doing in Kingston this Thursday.  George was very helpful in his role as quality control too, and now it’s ten o’clock we’ve downed tools and decided to chill out for what’s left of the evening.  Today’s photo challenge is ‘after dark’ and so here’s a pic of our mantelpiece taken a few moments ago.  The painting was one that we bought in Tanzania on our honeymoon six years ago; I  love it and every time I look at it I’m reminded of what a perfect time we had.  There are also some anniversary cards, a thank-you from our friend Chaps who stayed with us a little while ago and a portrait of the two of us with George which was taken at the Dogs Trust earlier this year.  If you look carefully, you can also see a cog mounted on a base which came from an actual Formula 1 car (this is Simon’s, as you might have guessed).


Three new discoveries

George taking a stroll to the park

George taking a stroll to the park

Now that I’m no longer working on a show in the evenings, I’ve a little more time on my hands. I’ve been spending that time walking in the park with George (which is lovely now that the evenings are warmer and lighter) and discovering all sorts of things via Pinterest and some of the blogs that I follow. There’s something intrinsically communal in reading what other people are up to and sharing ideas with them and here are three things I’ve discovered today which I really like:

Grooveshark – a website where you can create your own playlists (they seem to have pretty much every track ever written) and even embed it into your own website. Tree introduced us to something similar when we stayed over in Vegas last year, but you couldn’t access it from outside the U.S because of copyright laws. Grooveshark is international so visit the site and fill yer boots! Here’s my playlist for today:

I also found a new recipe for an old favourite:
Chocolate brownies with cream cheese icing, strawberries and blueberries on top – I’ve made brownies before and I love the fudgy, gooey inside but I’d never thought of topping them off with cream cheese icing and fruit. You need to make sure that the brownies are slightly thinner than usual to accommodate the thick fruity topping, and a little crispier than usual. I can’t wait to make these! It’s our anniversary in a couple of weeks’ time and we’re having a barbecue to celebrate so these might have to go on the menu…

Berry brownies - with thanks to

Berry brownies – with thanks to

Lastly, I’ve been looking at photo-editing apps to do funky things with.  I normally use Adobe Fireworks and Apple’s Aperture which are fab but I downloaded an app from the App Store called iSplash; it’s simple to use and has one function: to add splashes of colour to monochrome images.  Here are a few other pics which I used iSplash on:

On the dance floor at Tree and Josh's wedding last year

On the dance floor at Tree and Josh’s wedding last year

Gotta have Pimm's at a summer wedding!

Gotta have Pimm’s at a summer wedding!

Simon signing the register at Tree and Josh's wedding

Simon signing the register at Tree and Josh’s wedding

As you can see, it’s quite addictive.  I could spend hours messing around with our pics but there’s baking to be done and fudge to be made so I’d better get back to it…


A barking good day out

We’re feeling shattered but brilliant after our day at the Mayhew’s Hyde Bark yesterday. We decided to have George with us for the whole day in the end and he had a fab time too – as the car was (expertly) jam-packed full of all of our market stall stuff there wasn’t space for all three of us, so George and I went on the tube. This was George’s first time on the Underground and he was brilliant – beautifully behaved and not at all spooked. I also discovered that people are very chatty when you’ve got your dog with you which is really nice and a bit different from travelling in the rush hour!

George travelling on the Central line

George travelling on the Central line

Ready to welcome the customers!

Ready to welcome the customers!

Once we got there, George sat patiently by a tree while we set everything up and then we entered him for a couple of the doggy events: Waggiest Tail and Handsomest Male. He didn’t win (he got distracted by a stick and forgot to wag his tail) but had a great time meeting lots of other puppas and chatting to the judges throughout the day.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve been to Hyde Park and we’d forgotten how beautiful (and how big) it is – it’s the perfect setting for a day full of doggies and market stalls. We had a really successful day, with lots of people complimenting us on our fudge which is always great to hear (“The lemon fudge is sensational”; “Amazing lemon fudge”; “Best lemon fudge ever!” all on Twitter – so lovely). We were also filmed as part of a reality show when Caroline Stanbury bought some of our treats which was unexpected but exciting (we had to sign a waiver afterwards, and then have our photographs taken *holding* the waiver).

We met so many really lovely people, and quite a few of our friends came along to support us which always makes a good market day great. And, to top it all, we were surrounded by puppas of all shapes and sizes – a perfect way to spend a Sunday! We got home just in time to watch the Grand Prix (brilliant!) but fell asleep through the end of it (less brilliant). We’re definitely planning to do the event again next year – we hope you’ll come too :)