Pretending to be a pro around Batsford Arboretum


Pretending to be a pro and turning back the clock

Being positive is a great thing to do, not only for yourself but for the people around you, it is like a chain reaction, one person laughs and slowly and surely more smiles come from the cracks in the pavement.   Everyone deserves to be happy.   Problems however have a nasty habit of making us grimace instead, they make the pavements uncomfortable to travel on so we either try a little harder to wear a smile or we just give up and throw paper planes into a bleak unknown where it collects with the other planes from other people who missed your smile.   Do you think you will be happy in the future? does this question worry you or do you rather take it day by day or like me, do you hope that one day the hover board will actually come to life.

Although these images are recreations from the resent Gloucester Tall Ships festival, I cannot help but think what changes will happen in our little world in the next 100 years and will the world be a better place or holding on with all it’s might to hope.   I have to admit I am a little scared for the future of our children, i would hate to have them live in a world where the internet has taken over and drained our meanings of life, people are meant to see and interact with people, language isn’t LOL, it is hello my name is…..

I was born to be on this earth, at any moment of time I  fill a actual space in the world, I belong, and although it is a selfish way of thinking about it, there will be no other person in this world who will fill this same space as me at any given time, just like you in your space.  However we now live secret lives in computer boxes, we have this fake awesome world where we are the best at everything, the best drama, the best fake farm, the best profile image, the most friends, but honestly can you say hand on heart that the person you live on line is you? Do all fifteen thousand of your friends know your demons, have they let you sleep off a drunken night on their sofa, have they told you that your boy/girl friend is a cheat, have they held you while you cried you eyes out and kept ever single secret to the grave.   I would hate for people to loose themselves and not a a real friend to be there when the time came.   I am no way condemning any of these social medias but I could really do without the drama, just because we are not face to face it does not make your insults or cruel words any less hurtful, but still you think it is ok to hide behind a empty screen and say those words.  We all have had those days when that happens.   On the other hand, many smiles have been created by a simple Like button, someone agreed with your, someone liked you, they valued your opinion, you are on the right track.

Live each day with purpose, smile to strangers on the bus, complement peoples well doings and guide them when they need your help, discover many new random acts of kindness, but most of you be you, fill that space in the world where you belong.


Pretending to be a pro and meeting the band FolkLaw

Good evening to you fine Ladies and Gentlemen of the void.

Allow me, if you would to brush away some of those depressing doom and gloom cloudy days that have blighted our English Summer with the music to tap toes with, and upturn those frowns, may I introduce to you FolkLaw.

Here stands before you in full momentum for a one hour special at Gloucester Tall Ships weekend (which incidentally turned into two hours after another band pulled out later that day) are two lovely gentlemen by the names of Nick Gibbs on one of the coolest fiddles I have seen in a while, and Bryn Williams with a soft crack in his voice that makes a most heart warming effect.   Boy can these gents play; no I am not just saying this because they took some time to talk to me, but because they really have got a musical talent.

If you haven’t already guessed, the music of FolkLaw is Folk focusing on, excuse me while I quote from the inside of their album Nations Pride “ FolkLaw is about social injustice, war, poverty, love and the problems faced by society”.  Yes I know what you are thinking; it’s depressing as hell, but far from it my friends because as they put it, it is a message that hopefully makes a difference.  Hidden within heart warming guitar and fiddle melodies, lyrics speak of the love of the home country, the problems it faces, where we stand in the world and who we stand with, but the true beauty is they sing as if every word was rare and valuable.

So how to explain their sound? Picture yourself in a traditional Irish pub with a borran in the corner, feet stamping to the beat with a the soft passionate rasp from Nicks vocal chords as his fingers dance the strings of the fiddle, which intertwines so effortlessly with the strong but tender voice from Bryn with a hint of Simon and Garfunkle in the tender notes as he strums his heart away with the most beautiful guitar work.

Now, I have to admit, I have a very varied taste in music to the point of where my ipod would raise a curious eyebrow to most of my taste in albums I have next to each other, Britney to Bach, The Rolling Stones to Welsh male Voice choirs, Daft Punk to Julie London and so on, but folk is something I have rarely invited into my collection due thinking it was all like my mothers music, boring stuff with songs about basket weaving and fish mongers wives, however this weekend after just one hour, my eyes where opened with a new appreciation for this genre, thank you FolkLaw.

Great entertainers, know how to work a crowd, beautiful voices, very good looking and very charming, could quite happily take them home with me.  Don’t just take my word for it, go check them out, go by a CD or two money even goes towards charities, what is not to love? Go embrace your inner folk.

Pretending to be a pro and being artsy with glass

I’m not going to lie, as a photographer there are certain little things in the world that start to annoy you for no reason, one of these little erks is glass for me.  Anyone outside the photographic or visual world would think, “oh taking a picture of shiny glass is easy” to which I face palm myself into a rhino.  Let me just say, fingerprints and dust become your worst enemy EVER, forget about the world falling apart and swallowing you whole as you take splinters out your eye with a lemon juice soaked rusty needle, one little tiny hint of a finger print and that is your image and life screwed for the whole day, oh woe is me and all that melodramatic take that us artists drivel on about.  Aint we a miserable bunch, no wonder we have a bad habit of being know to cut off our own ears and have fantasies of jumping of bridges.  On the other hand, if i do ever become a CSI, bring it on dust and fingers, I will find you and I will, I want to say destroy you as it would sound good as a movie reference but I will store you would be a whole load better to catch these nasty morons in the world.

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.

Pretending to be a pro and accidentally ruining the keys of a 1910 Sohmer Piano

Music is one of my best friends, it does not feel right without some type of rhythm in my life.   I love listening to many genres of music but my biggest pleasure is playing my piano.  I have been playing since I was knee high to a small grass hopper and I have always dreamed of owning a baby grand piano.  A big black shiny Yamaha beautiful piano,  I would spend all day playing everything from Mozart to Chopin to Lady Gaga and back, but that is what always was, a dream.  That was until a few years back when some how my fairy godmother flew by one day and showed me a old relic of a piano that needed a new home, YES was the answer and hence I have my dream, a sadly out of tune, bumped about scratched beauty whom I love to pieces.  It made me realise that I did not want a new one any more, I had one with history, one that had been passed down from parent to child, teacher to student, had heard and played many a good and bad tune.

Then one day a photography professor asked us to produce a few images on colour, so out I went and bough tissue paper, cut it into strips, sprayed some water on my old ivories and decorated the hell out of it.  It all looked very pretty.  Straight after the pictures where taken, the paper was removed and the keys where dried.  A week after that, the ivory started coming off the keys, noooooooo!!! I was gutted.  On the other hand, it actually gave me the boot  I needed to start on the restoration of my beauty, she now has new Ivorines, they called them, so no poor elephants are victims, it has been repainted and varnished, all it needs now it a bit of a retune and she will be as good as not new but a shabby well loved new.