Pretending to be pro & the Easter set featuring cozy eggs, yummy Kinder, chirpy chicks and a rabbit called Strawberry

I am just going to come out and say it; I am not a person who is big on religion. I respect those who believe in whatever religion or belief system they hold onto, but it is something that has never really taken me by the hand. I have nothing against it, and will in no way want to belittle anyone of their beliefs.
I have my own simple beliefs of common sense, be nice to people, don’t steal, respect your elders, owning up to your mistakes, no killing stuff or people and just a whole bunch of other things that just make living wise. Christmas was big thing but as the years have gone by, and families have fallen apart, it wasn’t because of baby Jesus being born in an manger, it was the toys and the family fun and because of this, I feel it has lost its true meaning through pushing sales and almost bullying parents into providing the super awesome new toys your children will play with for 5 minuets, nothing to do about the “King” who saved your souls.
Easter on the other hand, is a strange one for me, I love it and yet again it is not necessary all due to religion but more of what it symbolises. It is the session of newness, there old winter can pack his bags while the children of spring return throwing blossoms of fruits and flowers turning a grey country into one of majestic colour. It is also a time of birth, where lambs and chicks scatter about in lush grass, a time of rebirth for the soul. To me, Easter is New Years day, it is a time to dust down all the regrets and hates and lost chances of the pass year and breath anew, to open the eyes a little wider and smile a little brighter as the earth yet again reawakens. It almost seems quite sad that the real year end in so cold and dark and as soon as the clock strikes twelve, bringing in this new year, it is still the same, cold and dark, and will remain so for months to come, why is this something to look forward to?
I rather that this magical clock struck twelve on a frosty eves night with the promise that the next morning, the sun will come out of the mist, the birds will sing in budded tree and the land will be vibrant and hopeful.
As for the chocolate, I do like it, but I don’t get Easter eggs or any other shaped chocolate figures because I do not eat them, there is something sad about having this cute bunny with huge eyes, with the thought that I have to break him or her with this smiling face still staring at me and it watches me eat him or her. I just can’t do it, this is why when I am lucky enough to get hold of Jelly Babies, the head is taken off first, same goes for ginger bread people. Seems funny that my Father actually bought me an egg this year, the first one in many years, because I have not been around, he knows I will not eat it, he know that will only take the wrapper off, take a picture of it, keep the wrapper safe and just watch the egg dry out. It is tradition.
Talking like this makes me feel so wasteful, I am so lucky to have a roof over my head, two parents who think the world of me and yet not even on the other side of this earth, there are children and adults with nothing but a hope of a meal or health, and here I am being awkward over not eating something with big eyes and a smile. It is so sad that no matter what we do, no matter how much money we throw at these countries, there is always the same problem, people are still starving, still have no medical help, still have no houses, no contraception, no rights and yet their government sit on thrones like kings buying weapons and turning a blind eye to their country in need. How could they live like that, knowing that right on their doorsteps are millions who need help?
We give money for mosquito nets, we hand it to the people, but what we don’t see is them selling them it to get money for food. I am not a mother but if I was given the only option of feeding my child or protecting it from a bug, I would 100% feed the child, I would sell the world just to know that my baby will not die in the next few hours.
I am no way saying do not donate, do it, do it and mean it, I am just more angry that we try and help these people when their own country does nothing, so sad.
On the other hand, back to our countries, we have the same problem, the cold has taken over this country but yet the energy providers think it wise to raise the costs, this has in turn left families in more financial struggles with the same problem of do I have a cold house or do let my child go to bed with no dinner. I have heard of some elderly people who do not put on their heating because even their government hand out will not cover it, these are war heroes, shivering in their own homes.
So with this Easter, have your fun, eat your eggs, enjoy the family you have and be blessed for those who are no longer with us, but also spare a thought for those who may not be lucky enough to go on their egg hunt, could you be the hero of their day, to give them a smile?
Happy Easter to all and happy rebirth of your soul.

Day thirty – Myself 30 days later (more like 60 days)

A very, very happy afternoon friends in the void, what a fine sunny day it is today.  Ahhhh, it is so nice to feel the warmth of the sun on the back of my legs as I write to you today.   Oh and yes, the rhino has left the building, at last.

_MG_7448s copySo this is it, the last day, a full circle to where you found me all those 60 day ago, back to me, me and me again.   It seems so odd that this all turned out this way, I wasn’t going to do a blog, I wasn’t going to write anything, I was just going to put pictures on facebook and go tadah that is it, but I personally got so much out of this that I no way regret in any way I went about it.  In fact, in short, I am rather proud of myself for sticking at it.

I have been told by many people out there, I should get my name out in the world, but to be honest I am a lazy bones at wanting to be noticed because I fear drawing in the wrong people.  But here I am, I created my own little page in this world, I’m getting noticed by you kind people, and for the first time, I actually want to make something out of not only this, but me.

I will let you into a little secret, I told no one apart from my mother that I have been doing this exercise, and the reason why is, I want to make a whole new set of friends, that do not know me, or my work as yet.   Without bragging I have quiet a few photographic friends and model friends and friends of their and friends of their dogs and so on, and although I am extremely grateful for knowing them, and having them in my life, I just want to new crowd, people who know me for my work or words and not necessarily knowing me because they feel they have to out of friendship.  Of coarse you may think, oh they could just type my name in and find me, but as I said I have told no one about this, and they know may only know me by my photographic name not my real one, so few people actually know Roubey Hammond, she is not even on facebook as yet.

The other thing that I have got from this amazing personal adventure was that this was just going to be a personal thing, I would put pictures and say a few words and then sign off again, I didn’t really bother me if anyone looked at my page because this was just for me, my feelings, my memories, my ramblings, my way of seeing the world, but when people did find me, it actually felt REALLY good, it actually felt like I was doing what people wanted me to do and get notices, horray ME!!.  It didn’t make me feel self conscious either that people where now watching, because I do know you and you do not know me, this would be something that would normally bother me, but this time it was so much different, I love that there is someone across the other side of the globe saying “hello”.

The biggest thing that has really made me feel fantastic, is how this exercise has re kindled my love of the written word.  I have always loved it, but _MG_7457s copyI find myself so easily frustrated by writers block and terrible grammar.  I have always struggled with the words, ever since I was child, people thought I was slow and they would be right, but I was always a daydreamer and still am, but I do listen and take notice very well.  I could never read out load with other people aorund, the teachers made me read all the simple books, but when it came to going home and writing a report, I would come back with page upon page of details so deep that I had to be taken aside and asked, what does this word mean, and I would tell them, I would describe it and they would still give me the simple books.  I was in no way thick or stupid, I was just shy and unnoticed because of this.

I am a good reader, I love reading, I feel it sad that we are loosing so many libraries and book shops only to be replaced by electric books and computers, there is something charming about turning a real page and sitting there with your mother or father or who ever told you stories as a child, and being so interested in what was on the next page, or would stop just as the story got exciting, “wait till tomorrow to see what happens”.   My fiancé gave me one of these Nook books before I left the US and it took me a long while to get used to it, I still rather have a real book but it is nice not having to put on a night light to read, plus it is so might lighter for flying but I am scared still of breaking the screen, something I do not have to worry with a real book.  Plus I can store some of my pictures on it.

It seems that children no longer get that bed time story, or in some cases a story at all, because there is just not enough time any more.  Children rather relax before bed on a computer or with television instead of roaming a treasure island in a mysterious land of book imagination.  If I could have children, I would read to them ever night because words are powerful, “the pen is mightier than the sword” least I think that is how it goes, but it is true, unless you are in a sword fight.  Then to add insult to injury, we massacre words to text speech, one of my art professor told me that one of his students, a year ago gave in her final paper entirely in text speech, a whole three page concise major final paper at college reduced to nothing more than LOL and OMG.  I am not going to lie, I have LoLed many a time but I do not confuse it with proper language, like everything, there is a time and a place, and writing a final paper is certainly not a grown up thing to do, lets just say she was rather surprised that the professor failed her for that.

_MG_7462s copyThere is one thing I do have trouble with, and that you have already probably noticed, I love to write, and so because of this I write too much.    I know people phase out at a certain point and some only look at the pictures, which is fine with me because that is basically all I am trying to show, but in a business world, it may not be looked on as being proactive.  You see, I do have a very real dream to word in the photographic industry, the ultimate epitome of that dream would be working for the National Geographic, to be able to travel the world and see some of the most amazing sites and take pictures to show the world, oooohh I would quite happily sell my left side of my body to be even let inside their doors.  Who knows, maybe one day.  On the other hand, if Vogue or someone of that ilk came knocking on my door, I certainly would not refuse.  As usual it is about not only knowing people (something I am lucky enough to have a few strings and connections) but getting myself out there and putting effort.

I have so many images hidden on hard drives that never see the light of day, it is about time, they got their 15mins of fame.  Now I am not to be all big headed and say I am the best photographer since sliced bread, I do know a lot of tricks and what makes a picture look good, I am a perfectionist, I have been doing this for quiet a while and now I have a diploma so far to prove it, hoping for my masters one day. I take pictures because I want to take pictures, to enjoy taking pictures of the thing that make my life tick.  The ones you have seen here in this challenge, well they where all just for fun, I did not spend hours over them, I did not put the dedication I usually put into my proper images, it was for a personal thing to do for 30 days, an excuse to get the camera out and the brain working.   This is not the end though, I have caught the blogging bug and certainly will return with more words and more pictures, just you wait world, Roubey Hammond; RouPyks Muse is putting a name and a dirky face on you.

Thank you for the 60 days of adventure, heres to the rest of life.

Day Twenty-nine Clouds


Welcome, welcome, welcome to you my dear void viewers, and to a fresh new month of March.   Does it feel fresh? no, it is as miserable as February so far.   Happy Saint Davids Day Wales.    I am sorry I am not more bouncy today, I spent the night with what feels like syrup streaming out my nose and to wake up this morning with a rhino charging on the inside of my skull with wood peckers stabbing my eyes, yey me, yey migraine.  It is now half past one in the afternoon and although the woodpeckers have nearly flown away, the rhino is still there pounding away like an angry toddler, yay, just fantastic, she says ironically.  Tempted to go back to bed and hope that some kind of medication will kick in and all will be cured by the time the sun maybe makes an appearance today.  Oh this is all too negative today, pack it in Roubs and just drink your tea.

imagesLast night, I lost good friend of mine, or I should rather say a few good friends of mine, and now I have to find new ones on a new adventure.  No nothing tragic in a physical sense, just more or a literally sense.   For the past month I have been reading the Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy series by Douglas Adams and last night, I turned the final page on the final book.   I have followed the most unlikely hero’s and heroines, fought off the monsters in time and space, stolen many a space craft and done a lot of towel waving while trying not to panic, and now like their earth, I has all come to an end and my night time reading friends have gone.  It seems strange that a book that is so easy to read, with the majority of it is made up nonsense, then, when you start looking between the lines and see certain quotes, it does actually make me stand back and say, “hang on, he is really onto something here”.  I like things like that, they make me think.  Give the series a try, it is worth a good laugh, I am now looking forward to watching the film and see if it did the books justice.

Now I am not really into aliens and other beings on other unknown planets but I have to admit last night, I was looking up into the skies and images (1)thinking, what if? What if there was actually another race out there watching us, what would they think of us? And visa versa, if we could see them, what would we think of them? I guess that is just one of those empty pondering questions that the likes of Winnie the Pooh and Dr Who would contemplate while eating jam sandwiches and drinking tea.

_MG_7427s copyCloser to earth, the clouds have obstructed the view of those stars of last night, and has just left this little village in the south west duller and drabber than a greying string vest.   Absolutely no change in how it was the day I took my photos.  I was so frustrated with that, we had actually had some sun a few days before and then the day the photo needs to be taken, the clouds roll in and there is nothing but grey.  Not even a change in colour variations or tone changes as it sores from horizon to the stratosphere, just grey mixed with grey with a hint more grey in there to add some effect, hmmph and if that wasn’t enough, it started to rain, hoo freaking ray!  So this is why I did the project that way on the day, if I can’t get the clouds then I will make them.   With only one more project to go, I was no way going to make let this little hitch lead to giving up on a quest.

In my short life so far, I have seen some of the beautiful skies against some of the most beautiful backdrops, and although the sky outside isn’t saying much today, I know that the sun will come out and everything and everyone will be happy again.

I have seen sunsets that looked like the sky was made of fire, sunrises bursting into life over the horizon like a diamond ring glinting out of the sea, deep blue empty vastness, the yellowing of the storms and the green of the snow, I have followed a sunrise for eight hours straight while crossing the ocean while the moon smiled gently as we flew on by.   I still cannot for the life of me get over the natural beauty of this world when we actually step back and take time to look, it really is quite extraordinary, and it sad that more and more of us are loosing the sky.   Areas are becoming more built up and lit up and children will grow up without seeing the constellations of the stars, we build sky scrapers that do nothing but scrape the sky, we hide ourselves for hours a day in artificially lit offices and never see the natural light of day, how can we really appreciate nature when we never let it in our lives.  Profit, and greed, it is funny how much this interferes with our lives and our skies.

Now as I said, there have been many skies that have taken my breath away but there will always be one that just drops my jaw every time I think about it, and it something only a select few will ever see.

I was once lucky enough to be invited on a trip to the Grand Canyon and when I say a trip there, I don’t mean, go there have a look at the wonder_MG_7426 copy of the world and then leave, no, our trip was to walk all the way down, camp there for two days and then walk all the way back up again.  It was a very, very tiring and extremely hot adventure, but it is something I would happily do again.  At the bottom is the camp site with a river running through it, nothing else, no hotels, no shops, no lights, nothing, just you and nature, and I remember that first night sleeping out of the tent because it was too hot, and I have never seen so many stars in my life.   So, so many and oh, my friends, it was spectacular, there where so many stars that I couldn’t even make out a constellation, it was almost like there was more light than dark in the sky, and for the first time in my life, I really felt like I was part of that sky due to its immensity and power.  Nature, the river, my friend and the never-ending sky.   The second best sight came a day later when we discovered a small shack up the river which sold lemonade, it could have had antifreeze in it for all I cared because at that time, it was pure nectar of heaven.

The sky at the Grand Canyon played tricks with the rock formations as we walked around, depending on what time of day it was, the valley was either red of golden or yellow and as the day wore on, the bluer and more purple it got until eventually they where once again hidden within the sea of the sky.   It is the only place where I have ever cooked dinner on a rock, and eaten off a fig leaf because we left the plates in the car eight miles up on the top.

I still can’t believe I was there smack bang in the middle of one of the eight wonders of the world, there is something magical about even saying it, to be one of the select few to be down the bottom and come back with so many stories and new perspectives on life and where you fit in it.

As for life here, well, it is getting better, the rhino has now let me put up some bubble wrap so the whacks don’t feel so bad now, the lemon and ginger tea is doing it’s bit and although the sky doesn’t look like it is going to change today, life is good and this little bit of grey will not pull me down and this rhino and its friends and the nose of syrup will eventually go away, and I will be once again a hundred percent me again, happy, grateful, artistic me.  So it has been fun talking to you today, it is always nice to feel that even if one person stops by each day, you are noticed, and isn’t that just what we all want, to be known and to liked, so heres to you my one or many viewers, thank you.


Day twenty-eight Incorporating motion


Well, hello, hello there my fine viewers of the void, it is so nice to have you today.   I don’t know why, but I am feeling very positive today, I have my honey do list next to me and throughout the day more and more has been checked off.  The sun is trying to break through the clouds and I have dancing round the house like there is no one watching and it was FANTASTIC, just incase you want to know, the music may or may not have been from any of the Glee albums.

slowwhite I am presently trying to make my mind up on whether I like this nail polish or not, I very, very rarely wear it because quite frankly I hate the smell and I feel funny about putting chemicals onto my body apart from soap and stuff like that.  One hand done so far in just white and I am hoping I can find some inspiration on the She god Pinterest on where to go next with this.  I’m just not very good at being girlie and I have to admit I would love to feel sexy and have the nerve to walk out the house looking smoking, but nothing really goes with a huge tank of a camera that sits on my shoulder most the day.

I’m looking forward to spring, not just for the warmth and the hope in more blue skies but the newness of the land.  In little patches of grass the daisy’s are begin to pop their little positive heads out, trees will soon start to grow buds and there seems to be more chirping birds out in the garden.  It is almost like winter is beginning to be wiped off the black board for another year and new life is to be drawn on the clear surface.  The world is starting another positive turn.  I do love my winters but they also seem to come with such hardship and sorrow, whereas Spring is just like sipping on a cold sparkling water infused with a hint of lime, there is just something so fresh and freeing about it.  I almost feel like I want to run onto a field somewhere with Sister Maria and sing “The Hills are alive with the sound of music” while twirling in a huge tutu dress sprinkling magic glitter everywhere.  Ok, maybe a little bit silly now, but its all a bit of fun.

A couple of years ago, I actually found myself in Salzburg where they shot The Sound of Music and although it was a beautiful city with much to see and do, I could not for the life of me find anything to do with the film, that did disappoint me because I would have loved to write back home telling tales of I went skipping through the country wearing curtains.  To think, my Mother was nearly going to name me after either Lisal, Martha or Bridgetta, which I wouldn’t have minded in the slightest, but I get this one that I cannot find on a keyring.

Austria is a mind-blowing place; I cannot sing its praises loud enough.  I went there when I was in my late teens to Kutzbuhel on a biking week because I am a keen cyclist and wow, there is just so much beauty and charm to that country.  The air is so clean that your lungs feel like they have been cleaned by a Brillo pad, it even tastes clean.  High up on the hills the only sounds you will hear are the breezes in the trees, the birds singing lullabies and the gentle bells of the local cows, no traffic, no planes,  no cars, just you and nature.  This is the only place that I know of where you can get world-winning ice-cream on top of a mountain.  Ice-cream and a view to change your life, I could and would quite happily live my life over there.

When I went it was end of spring, and the big fireworks of natural where just starting to bloom in a rainbow of colours.  Plants I have never seen snowglassbefore where everywhere, in little cracks in the wall, hidden on the edge of railway lines, beside the river and the eves of all the local house and hotels, it quite reminded me of somewhere out of a fairy story book, I was amazed to even see some of the cows elegantly decorated with varying blooms.

I do like my flowers and being busy in the garden, it is a love that was passed on by my dear Granddad who is sadly no longer with us.  He was a brilliant gardener, there was nothing that man couldn’t and wouldn’t grow, and even to this day when he passed on when I was five, I still remember his shed, how it smelt, helping him with a tiny trowel looking for worms and smelling the roses.  He only had a small plot of land, but it was always full of bloom, butterflies and vegetables, this is how I want mine to be like in NJ, but I have so much land to play with I don’t know where to start.

The problem with the house in NJ is the number of rocks in the garden, now, I am not talking about itty bitty rocks, more, huge tomb stone sized oblique.  I am a bit of a weedy build with a determined streak and will dig as much as I can to get my vegetable garden up and running, but have to admit defeat when the digging leads me to the magma of lava in its core.   I do it because I like the thought of not only bringing life into this world but also bringing beauty, there is just something so satisfying stepping back in your garden and seeing all your beautiful flowers and nature around it, and thinking, I did that.  The benefit how calming it is but yet it gets you fit at the same time, but do you think I can ever grow and keep Rosemarie, not on your nelly.  I love it but it hates me.

So this is the last day of February today and the last of the snowdrops, there are still a few in the garden but the snails, the little cuties, are having fun munching them during the night, the daffodils are on the way like little mirrors of the sun swaying in the breeze as if they where listening to a chill out album, and at last the hyacinth on my window sill is waking up and opening up to be a charming pale yellow, which I have to say is a lovely colour to be in my wedding bouquet I plan to make.   I’m making it for three simple reasons, firstly, it is a hell of a lot cheaper, secondly, I love making stuff and thirdly I hate cut flowers, there is just something so sad about taking a beautiful flower and then killing it to sell it and then to watch it slowly die, this is why my mother has always got plants with roots attached.

Ok, so these pictures you see before you today, I had this huge plan that I was going to making this fancy stop animation video with music and glitter and slogans and sponsors and all that kitten kaboodle but then I realised one thing, I use Photoshop CS2 still and I need Lightroom to do all this mess with, hmmm.  Now I could have either cheated and downloaded the trail version and done it this way, but I have to tell you something, I have a set in stone agreement with Lightroom, and that agreement simply put is, we don’t get on with each other.  It is a great program, it is easyish to use but Photoshop is my buddy, it has always been there for when I want to play, I rather stay loyal to that friendship and maybe one day I get a pennie or two, I may even upgrade to 5 or 6 or 8.2 or whatever the version is going to be next.  Oh how I will laugh when I come back in five years justworkand read this and think, wow, they where only on that version, that was like dinosaur stuff, but then maybe cameras will be gone too with the evil-ution of the camera phone, and yes I mean to spell it that way.

Anyho, I basically spent the whole day running backwards and forwards every fifteen minuets with this plant from nine in the morning to just past midnight, every sodding fifteen minuets, I couldn’t anything, couldn’t go anywhere, just in case a sneaky petal went bang without me looking.  On the other hand, snowdrops, wow, if you walk away they will open in no time at all, those ones took at most half an hour, now that was fun.

Well it has come to that time again my dear friends, I can see a small shard of light climbing through my bedroom door, so am off to investigate and then get all dressed warmly to take missy grumpy dog out for a walk somewhere.  It was nice talking with you and I will see you tomorrow.

Day Twenty-seven Natural light


Good after noon all out there on the Cyber void, welcome to my bedroom where the sun light is gently tickling my toes.   I have just come back from the dog walk and my fingers a still a little numb so bare with me my friends.  The dog was much happier today, much bounding and jumping and even smiled, it is not often I take her to the park to throw the ball around, my mother and I usually walk around the village with her every day, and even I think at times it is monotonous.

_MG_7248s copy  Yes there is sunshine, it has just come out for the first time today.  The morning has been spent_MG_7251s copy in a cloak of wet fog draining all delight out of the day.  So hello sunshine, it is nice to see you, where the heck have you been, I was worried, you didn’t call, you didn’t leave a note, what was I meant to think?, anyhow, it is great to see you, even if this is a fleeting visit.

I think it knows I am talking about it because today’s project 30 days ago was natural light, and how could you get more natural that the sun.   The silly thing about this one was, it was the only project that had me stumped, I had not a dickie bird of a clue what to do.  Nearly all the photos I have taken for this where using natural light.

I have studio light in both countries but figured I just wanted to keep this quick and easy.  Since I have been home there have been many a project set up on either my white window sill with a piece of grease proof paper over a small portion of window, or for a darker background, the top of my piano, which is incidentally right next to the window.  So there I was thinking, hmmmm I could take pictures of the sky but found out I couldn’t do that because that project was in the next few days.

I was frustrated, so in the most photographic way I can put it, I just started picking up stuff what light shone through and put the sun behind it.   You know what surprised me out of all this? Snow globes, yes I know that is a random answer but the effect that I got from mine was not something I expected., it made me wish I had an even closer macro lens I could use but alas I am without that lens and the pennies to purchase it with.

Tell you one thing though, I was a painful and stupid project in the sense that everything I was shooting was right into the sun, after half an hour, I could no longer see the camera in front of me and just ended I shooting stuff and hoping for the best, pretty much what I do the majority of the time.

_MG_7266s copyTo be honest I wasn’t all that pleased with the early pictures for this day, they just didn’t sing, so_MG_7282s copy I turned to the trusty Internet and looked up natural light.  I face planted myself so hard that I can still see stars, how could I have been so stupid and not thought of it that way, don’t shoot the light source, shoot stuff lit by it.  Yet again pretty much I have been doing all the way along but by now the light was fading and I had to run around the house looking like I had a rocket up my bum looking for something inspiring.  This you see before you is a oil bottle I got for my Mother off a harbour in Cypress I think.   It was a boat dock for the fishermen who where now currently playing dominos on a rickety old table, it was a very vocal game with much slamming on the table as each piece went down.  The collective age around the table must have been around 300 years old, they where wizened, toothless, wrinkling and crinkling, their skin the colour and texture of old leather in the best photographic way, they where beautiful.   Oh I would love to be there right now, sipping a fresh orange juice on a sandy beach, listening to the waves lapping on the shore, feeling a warm sunshine on the back of my legs as a gentle breeze teases my hair, oooo, even as a fanticy it is still nice to think about it.  I do a lot of that, mind over matter stuff, it really does help, picturing yourself somewhere idyllic and peaceful and you too will feel at peace with the world if you just take the time.

_MG_7293s copy

I’m sorry but I am not 100% today, I still have the plague and I didn’t_MG_7298s copy sleep much last night, I am cold and just want to get into my bed and sleep till summer.  My mind is else where, Cypress to be exact, but I did have a nice piece of Dutch shortcake today, most odd taste and rather nice so I am off to try and find the recipe and bit you adue to a weller and more awake Roubs tomorrow.




Day Twenty-six Playing with shadows


Afternoon all in the Void today, I hope I find you all fit and well.   I have the plague, well, ok maybe not the plague but it feels like the start of it, but I will not milk it for all it’s worth.  I will grim and bare it as the imaginary squirrel chews away at my tonsils, but I will not complain.  I will be a martyr and be as quiet as I can with tiredness and shivers and aches ravishing my poor frail frame of a sickened body.  Oh woe is me, cough, cough, cough, sniff, I better step back from the computer, just in case, you my dear viewers get this sickening bug of eugh.  Gosh I am in a whiney mood today, buck up Roubs, sit up straight and just take it like a woman.

I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR, GRRRRRRR, there, that feels a little better.

Ain’t love great, to know that there is some one out there with your name on, to have a belonging to.   I never realised this until, it found me a few years ago in the strangest of places with the strangest of people.   Now, I am stuck with the chump, and I say chump in the most affectionate of ways.  Anyone who can put up with me, and my way of living is prize chump.

love copy

Now, I am not going to get all lovey dovey with you, because I am just unable to stomach that kind of opening up of the heart and as I told you before, my relationship with my fiancé is something I rather keep to myself, but if he should ever find me here on WordPress, I guess I should say some nice things about him.

Without divulging too much, he is one of the main reasons why I am still here, in short he was one of the extraordinary people out there who have saved my life.

_MG_7225s copyLife is not always sunshine and lollypops, even if Leslie Gore says it so.  For a time there was no sunshine in my life, through an unfortunate number of horrid moments, depression grabbed hold of me and stole my life.  I tried all I could to feel happy or to feel in control and made some life changing errors for which I am still dealing with, but this man took me under his wing and changed everything.  He put me under an umbrella so that depressing rain could hit me no more, then over time I didn’t need the umbrella because ever so slowly the sun started to come out and life did get better, much, much better.  He took me for who I was, faults and all, and that to me is immense.

He is not this shining knight on a noble steed, just as I am not a princess locked in a tower, we are both a pain the neck to each other, but somewhere along the line something made, and still does make a lot of sense.  The sucky part of all this is the huge sea dividing us at the moment, the Visa is not any more done than last month.  Oh well, all in good time.

I wish everyone in this world could find love, to know how happy you would feel and have free to be yourself.  I feel too many of us walk around in this cloud thinking that we have found “the one” but then for some reason it doesn’t feel right and you don’t understand why.  You start questioning, is there something wrong with you because you don’t feel the butterflies in your stomach when he or she calls your name.   I thought I found right the one many years ago because he was the first one who noticed me and wanted to be with me.  He was a very kind person and treated me like a princess, he showed me off to his friends, we went out anywhere and everywhere but there was always that moment in the car ride home that I knew I should kiss him goodbye.  Should, should’ve been replaced by could, could I kiss him? He was a sweet, sweet guy but on those goodbyes I felt awkward and the end I became very difficult to him, I hurt him emotionally and I walked away, something, which I still deeply regret to this day.  He no way deserved that, I was in a dark place and needed more help than he cope with, so I felt he would be better without me.  I know it is a poor excuse to the ending, but at the time, it made horrible sense.

_MG_7226s copyA couple of years later I met my fiancé and then I finally understood, this is what love feels like.  I wanted him to kiss me, and when he did, I felt tingles go through my body.  I wanted him to hold me close, I wanted to be seen out with him, I wanted to mop his tears when he cried, I wanted to bring chicken soup to him when he was ill, and right now, I just want to be with him without this huge sink of ocean between us.

I cannot count enough blessings to know I have him in my life and know that no matter how much I screw up or fall or annoy him, he will always pick me up and dust me down again because he loves me unconditionally.

I feel lucky that I can be with him, and due to this it makes me feel sad for those who cannot be with the ones they love because society shuns their form of love.  I am going to try and be very delicate with this but I am sure I will step on a few peoples toes and I apologize for this.   I am blessed to have the friends I have in this world and it means a huge amount to me that they are happy.  I do not chose my friendships on their sexuality because it makes no sense, you become friends with them because you want to spend time with them.   What gets to me is how this world can still be a little backward toward the whole homosexual community, there is no denying that gays do  live in this world, and so they should because they are perfect people like us.  They deserve to be happy, so why is it that we still torture people for loving the “wrong” person.  I have gay friends, some open, some hiding in fear and it just pains me to think that these wonderful people get bullied most terribly because their body tells them to love the same sex.  Love IS love, it doesn’t matter if it is between man and woman or woman and woman or man and man, love IS love.  Don’t let them be unhappy just to please you and an outdated thought process, let them marry, let them grow old together, let them have children, let them be able to love each other with prejudice.  There, that is my little soapbox moment, as I said, I apologize for any hurt feeling, I’m just annoyed by this world at times.

Wouldn’t it be great is all love was just like it is in the movies, the hero whisking the babe off her feet and spending the rest of their lives blissfully happy with not a care in the world.  This is the real world and sadly there is not always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, sometimes love _MG_7227s copydoesn’t work and falls apart.  I got to see this first hand with my own parents.  I was 16 when they divorced.   Life changed.   I remember that moment, I remember what I was doing, I remember the weather, I remember what I had for dinner, then I was told and everything goes blank for months.  Somewhere in the middle I remember him with the final suitcase and not saying goodbye, mum and I just held each other numbly.   Great timing I have to say on the event, half way through the GCSE’s, although there was no chance in changing in grades, they where terrible to start with.

I just wish I saw more shouting or more smashing of plates or more storming out, but there was nothing, not a thing out of place, the marriage was not even cinders in a cold fire in the end, it was so dead that it got brought back to life just to die a second time in silence.   Looking back I can see it had been like that for years, it had been that way for so long that I couldn’t see it, it was the norm for me.  Two people living two lives in one house.

It broke my mother, it took the last spark she had been holding onto with hope for happiness, it hurt her so bad that she just wanted to hide and never come back.  I nearly lost her in the process.  I think for a long time we both played pretend, lying to each other saying we where “fine” when in fact the jigsaw puzzle mess of life was still just blowing in the wind.   Time heals all wounds and eventually it healed this one.  She still misses him and when he forgot to send her a Christmas card this year, you could see it hurt when she told me.

Dad remarried to the woman he moved out for, I like her, I consider her a friend and I love how she looks after him.  It is nice to see that love does exist to him; I had never seen him so happy.  I had to admit that I do feel in the way to him now, I know I have never been the best daughter in the world, I have screwed up many times, I was not all that interesting, I was too indecisive and now he has his new life and I am now on the side of it, not in it.   I know that going backwards and forwards to the US would change things and my lack of driving in the UK means meeting in other places, but at present I feel very left out as if he has no time for me.  His daughter is now her daughter and her grandchildren, he got the son he wanted with her son, they have time for them, but I almost feel I have to make an appointment to see him.  I know it may just jealousy, but, I’m his daughter, why is it such a mission to come and _MG_7228s copysee me but drop of a hat to look after grandchildren halfway across the country, or go out with the lads for a coffee.   Don’t get me wrong, my Dad, will and always remain to be my hero, I look up to him, he has always been there when I need him and even when I didn’t, I love him like crazy but I suppose I am grown up and strong minded and do not need his time so much.

I’m glad my parents split and I know it is hard for you to understand and I can’t make you understand, but all three of us are stronger for it.   My mother wouldn’t be this amazing, determined, strong, inspiration woman that she is today, Dad got the happy life he wanted, I learned how to lose myself in work and get great grades and most of all, we all learned how to re-love and grow up.

My Mother will be home any minuet now so I better be off to get dressed up in fifteen layers to take the grumpy dog out for a walk.  Say love to those you care for, hold them close, tell them how much they mean to you and what they did that day to make you smile.  Compliments are always nice, no matter how silly, my mother tells me most days what an amazing sandwich I made for her, it may be nothing more than peanut butter and jam but she does it because she loves me doing that for her.  Hugs to you all, I love you who ever you are listening out their in this bold world and I will speak with you tomorrow.

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Day twenty-five Whatever


Brrrrr viewers, it sure is cold, in and out the house, cold fingers, lack of inspiration for the day to match the pictures.   So I delved into my bookshelf and came across one of my favourite poems as a child written by J.A. Lindon from the book Bedtime rhymes from the Ladybird early learning series.

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Sink Song (because my photo project was done on the side of the sink that day)


Scouring out the porridge pot,

Round and round and round!


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Out with all the scraith and scoopery.

Lift the eely ooly droopery,

Chase the glubbery slobbery, gloopery,

Round and round and round!

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Out with all the doleful dithery,

Ladle out the slimy slithery,

Hunt and catch the hithery thithery,

Round and round and round!

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Out with all the obbly gubbly,

On the stove it burns so bubbly,

Use the spoon and use it double,

Round and round and round.


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Day Twenty-four Favourite colour scheme

Evening all, how do I find you this fine chilly night? What colour is your sky? Did you notice it earlier or are you consciously looking now. The sky out side this window is a dark inky blue that only Van Gogh could capture. All this talk reminds me of a wonderful book by Marcus Zusak, called the Book Thief.It is a shortish story told by the perspective of the character Death, and how his journey through the war in Germany led him to a small girl called Liesal three times, he tells her story, how she escaped him each time.  The downside to being Death is the ones left behind, he would call them, and so he would distract himself with colours, particularly the colours of the sky at the moment.  If you ever get a chance to read it, it is a most beautiful easy read and gives you a perspective of the war from the other side of the channel and the innocent people it hit.

_MG_7097sDo you have a favourite colour? Do you know what it says about you and your personality? It is weird that we can look so deeply into something that is nothing more than just a bending of light.   I, however am indecisive and do not really have a favourite colour scheme, I believe in what I like to call moment colours, or in other worlds there is a colour for a time and a colour for a moment, it is all about what you want out of it.   Right now I am going through summer colours, bright yellows, oranges, greens, there is just something that sings newness about it all.  Winter has been so grey and harsh that just seeing a blade of green grass and the blooming of daffodils brings hope that warmer, brighter days are on the way.  On the other hand, during the cold months, reds, browns, okra and other earthy colours I find more favourable for their ability to make the room a little more cosy and comforter like a big swishy sofa and a sofa fleecy blanket.   As I said, a time, a moment and a feeling.

As you know I am also a huge fan of black and white and for all those out there who claim that these are neither a colour, I will ask you to kindly go back and look into the interweb to what colours actually make up both of them.  They are indeed both very real colours.  With this monotone duo, _MG_7108s copythere is no messing around with silly names such as fuchsia, mauve, saffron, beige, they are what they say on the tin, but not the colours of a Oreo cookie, they are brown, just want to clear that one up.  This is what makes this duo so powerful, the colours not, the Oreo, although they have been powerful to me some nights.

I am a great believer in the power of colour and the emotions it can control.  I am not even sure that we even think about it much of the time, but as a photographer I have to be aware of the message it sends out.  Take for an example; I could take a simple picture of a tree on a hill, nothing artsy, just tree, hill and a bit of sky.  Now I will put a blue filter on it, it now feel cold, there is a sadness, a loneliness, tales of sorrow and depressing songs where meant to come from this.  How about if I take blue off and put on a nice yellow filter, now it is nice and warm, you see newness, happy and welcoming.   This is why we unconsciously choose the colours we have around us, not because of the colour but rather the feelings they give us.

We even go as far as giving more emotion and names to colours and once we say certain descriptions we know what you are talking about, for example, Envious, sexy, girlie, depressed and a bunch of others, hopefully you got green, red, pink and blue but why does this make any sense? Although I will say brown nosing makes too much sense.

Then there is the whole sex divide, or should I rather saw the silly battle of the sexes, girls wear pink and boys wear blue, it is a set in stone rule, however when a girl grows she can and wear blue, but a boy can never ever, ever wear pink without being looked as either a very rich toff or a homosexual.  Really? Are we really going to be that immature on just a shade of pink, I just shake my head and think, what the heck is the world thinking?  Boys, go and wear pink and be proud, I don’t care if you are gay or straight, just go out and lets get rid of these shackles.

To be honest it wasn’t really until the 1st world war that a real divide began.  I recently found a article written in 1918 that told us the opposite, and _MG_7083sthis I quote from the paper “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl” then they went to go on with “blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes: or blue was for blue eyed babies, pink for brown eyed babies”
Read more:

All in all it is a rather interesting read, just because of a light bent that way.

On the other hand, purple is not a colour, yes I will say that again just to blow your mind, Purple is NOT a colour.  I hear you shouting, but I can see it, it is real, but I assure you my dear friends, it isn’t.  Just when you thought that was enough to take in one day, I will blow your mind a further time, neither is green.

Check out this website for a interesting, well I thought it was interesting explanation.

For those who don’t want to be bored with science talk, I will put it in a simple terms. There is this thing called the colour spectrum which runs blue at one end to red at the other, being at either end, the colours will never meet.  So as we know purple or the colour we knew as purple is made up of blue and red, but if those colours never meet, we can never make that colour.  It is a trick of the mind; our eyes pick up the hints of blue and red and fill in the gaps it self.  Tricky brain.

At the end of the day, colour is nothing more than a wave of light in a literal sense but for an artist, we follow the sun, we chase that light, we notice that early in the morning the light would be warmer and gets bluer as the day goes on, hence the term Golden light.  I love shooting with a camera first thing in the morning with a model, there is such a wonderful heavenly glow that shines so delicately on the skin, on the other hand, it means getting yourself up and getting a model up, not something as easy as you may think.

Mmmm fancy an Oreo now, in totally the wrong country for it, so I will make do with a fancy chocolate and a calming tea, so night, night lovely peoples, enjoy and embrace those wonderful lights you call colour around you. Sweet dreams.

Day Twenty-three Childhood memories

Good afternoon to all out there in the void.   Another chilly one out there today with a threat of snow, just either hurry with that snow or bring on temps that are at least more than the zero that is currently still blighting Old Blighty.

Just got off the phone with the fiancé for the first time in a week and ooh it where good to hear his voice, even if I had just woken him up.   I use this thing call Magic Jack to call him, which is basically a phone you plug into your lappy top and for something silly like 39 dollars a year you can call someone where ever for nothing, even on the mobile.  Highly recommend it.   Also while doing this I am glued to Pinterest getting ideas for wedding stuff, cheap and homemade is my thing right now, that way we can still have a great time but yet save our pennies or future adventures.

playmobile copyAs a child, I was never one of those typical girls who made scrap books of wedding plans filled with pictures of hideous 80’s dresses and over the top cakes, it was just something that has never really got to me until now.  Even still I am not spending hours glazing over wedding magazines or looking longingly over dresses that I need a mortgage for, I just want it to be simple and inexpensive.  My childhood was spent mulling over things much more important such as banana or prawn sweet, swing or slide, Barbie or Cindy and all those things that should be trivial now but actually have not changed, although I fell out with Cindy in the end.

I am an only child, but do not mistake this as being a spoilt one.  I had a very happy childhood to the point where I never went through the terrible twos, I was just too content, although I think I was just gormless at that age, it looks it in early pictures.   Special treats where not bags of sweets and toys but walks in the “Jungle” wood with my father and Sam the most faithful dog you would have ever known.  Sundays where the best though, Mum would have her alone time so Father and I would go down to the paper shop, he would treat me to a sneaky swizzles lolly pop and we would drive down the road behind the old railway line and feed the ducks with bread that was left over from the week.   Sometimes we would go to the park after that and although it may have seemed like hours in a childs mind, I feel him still pushing me for half the day on a swing “higher highter”.  We would return hours later, the dog would be muddy for unknown reasons, I would be warn out, father would have had some time with me and mother would have had a breather so toaster chicken sandwiches would be made and bath time.  A simple life, a happy life.

playmobile2 copyAs I said, I was a very content child, I didn’t need many people and due to this I would quite happily spend hours just playing on my own, inventing my own races in made up worlds, write stories before I was even able to write.  I seems funny that I was clearing out the attic a while ago and came across one of my tapes I used to record one of my stories when I was maybe about five years old, if that, wow the story was still there.  It is so odd listening to a younger version of myself, even the accent is different, I sounded almost yokelish, where as now I sound very “rather” British without the snootiness.

Toys with batteries freaked me out even at that age so I had things that required imagination, just as it should be in opinion.  My big loves where Barbie (still is in a way, I have some early ones from my childhood still and quite quietly I am going to say I have found a new love for the Fashionista ones for photo purposes of course) anyhow, my other loves apart from her here Lego and Playmobile.  I had a load of Playmobile because I would get the sets with my pocket money, long time saving.  Still have a load of it and haven’t the heart to get rid of it, so many hours of playing with them, lots of love went into their relationships with each other and the trips to the bath and park and picnics they came.

playmobile3 copyThe problem with me as a child and also me now is that I was an fussy player, things had to be set out properly before they could be played with and then put away in either a certain order or set up like it was on the box, oh that was a biggie, the box set up.   If Mr red shirt was standing next to the slide on the box, then they would be put away in that order, him first then slide or back on the shelf as him next to the slide.  I have no idea where that habit comes from.   If you where ever in my house at Christmas time and there where boxes of toys, the day went by very meticulous and neatly, even the wrapping paper was not ripped, I could carefully pull off the tape and then fold it neatly into a draw for art stuff later.

My room was not tidy though, it wasn’t a mess either on some standards I have seen but I have never liked mess, it just crawls under my skin and when it piles up I have a tidy spree and all is good with the world again.

playmobile4 copyI totally forgot to tell you about the other Sunday treat, it may seem small to you but this day was the only day I was aloud to eat sweets.  I had a small jar of dolly mixtures and white chocolate mice, jelly tots and simple things like that, and on that night it was a free for all.  Being a small child who had little appetite, not many left that jar, still have that jar somewhere.  The only other time was when I was ill and had to take “Mooty” as mother would call it or better known as medicine, this was the only moment when mumps was bearable.

I was blessed to have the childhood I had, lucky to have two very loving and caring parents, to have known my grandparents a little while, to be able to be free in the wild but also the lessons that where learned along the way.  Although if I where able to go back in time and meet myself as that child, I would tell myself not to be such a prat as a teenager and take risks but safer risks.

Right I am off to rekindle a childhood memory and start up that sweetie jar again, even if it just something to look at and smile. Wrap up warm my friends, it is going to be another chilly chillsome night.  Lots of love from the child I used to be to the grown up one I am now.

Day Twenty-two Some one I like

Evening all out there this night.

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This is my Mothers and my dog.

Her name is Lucy.

She is almost eleven years old

And she is a Lurcher.

A Lurcher is a cross between a greyhound and something else, in her case a border collie.

She has the speed of a greyhound but not the brains of a collie.

She is a pain in the bum.

_MG_6987s copyIn my opinion, she is a grumpy old nag.

She pretends not to like me but I know she does.

She first stole the piece of floor I sit on, then she stole where I sit, now she tries to steel my bed.

She is afraid of everything in the dictionary that is between A and Z

She hates anything smaller than her.

She barks at the TV.

She leaves her soggy dog treats by my door for me to step on at 2 in the morning.

She leaves her hair everywhere.

She runs off.

She hardly looks happy; if it wasn’t for the sake of her brilliant up bringing we give her she could be a poster child for an animal rescue.

She will own the sofa when she stretches but can fold up into a tiny ball

She gets away with most things when mother is around

She is not cuddly.

She is a pain I the bum.

_MG_6998s copyOn the other hand.

She will be there whether you need her or not.

She keeps the house safe.

She will love you no matter what.

She has not a deliberate bad bone in her skinny body.

She is a constant companion.

She takes you on adventures.

She likes cows.

She looks after my mother when I am away.

She looks after my elderly neighbour.

She can do that tilted head trick to make her look adorable.

She is loyal.

She may not be cuddly but will accept a cuddle

She will keep you warm in winter.

She can make anyone smile.

She will occasionally let you take a picture of her.

She is forever entertaining.

She may be an utter pain in the backside

I like her

But I love her more.