So, a whole month has passed, just like that. *Clicks fingers*
Much as I love participating in projects like the August break, or my monthly garden moodboards, I am often put off by the side effect of an increasing awareness of time passing.
You start out thinking, oh yes, a photo a day for August, how lovely! And before you know it, you’re writing about the very last photo, August 31st, and the month has gone, poof, disappeared in a puff of smoke, and you’re sure you barely had time to get out of bed and brush your teeth.
Perhaps it’s something about marching, inexorably, towards my 40s that makes me rather reluctant to notice the passing of the days / weeks / months, but prefer to just live in them.
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this August break.
I’m fairly proud of a few of my photos. I’m slightly embarrassed I posted a couple of them (two proved to be slightly out of focus when I looked at them on my computer screen rather than my phone). I struggled to think of a decent interpretation for a few of the prompts. And I’m constantly surprised by which ones prove the most popular on instagram.
(Of all the photos I took, the one from the first week, of my feet on my bathroom floor was the most popular. A great photo? Erm, probably not. Just some very lovely tiles. All credit for which surely is due to Fired Earth for making nice tiles and not to me, photographer and feet owner. Ah well…)
And so on, into the first day of September and I am already missing a daily prompt to make me think, take a few minutes to decide on my interpretation and head out there, armed with my little phone, to try and get a snap of something.
It’s all over for this year, but you can read all about it (and get ready to join in next year?) on Susannah Conway’s blog: the August Break 2014
And, of course, I’ll still be sharing pictures on instagram, so do follow me there if you fancy
Well, another week over and another weekend reached. Tick, result, breathe…
It’s started to feel a bit like that as I’ve been battling not only toddler daytime meltdowns but toddler and baby lack-of-nighttime-sleeping this week.
I just keep trying to remind myself that one day I will look back on this time and remember only the cute adorable bits, completely forgetting the sheer exhaustion of sleep deprivation and the frustrations of dealing with someone too little to understand reason who would really like to jump on top of his baby brother right now, irrespective of said baby’s need for a nap. (Cue one hour meltdowns all round…)
Anyway, the phone was about somewhere during it all and I managed to snap a few pics for the August break. Not my finest, for sure, and I missed a day for the first time too (the prompt was “jump” and nobody I spent the day with can do that yet!)
Here’s the montage from the last week. As ever, if you want to see anything larger, just click on the pics and zoom in…
Already feeling more relaxed, half way through the bank holiday weekend. If only every week had three days respite at the end!
So this is it, people, my very last photo of the day. My last contribution to the August break.
This is me. Collapsed in bed, my hand resting on my weary brow. A subtle photographic representation of how absolutely bloody exhausted I am from posting a photo (or sometimes more than one) on the blog every single day for the entire month of August.
(Okay, I missed two days, so in reality it’s been 29 days and not the 31 it should have been.)
To be honest, I’m not sure I’d do this again.
I knew even at the very beginning, that far from being an August “break” for me, this would be much more work than normal. I’m not a great photographer, so it’s not just a question of “snap,” one great photo taken, I’ll stick that up onto the blog and be done in five minutes.
It’s more like, “snap,” look at picture on camera screen, is that nice? I’m not sure. Maybe I should take another one. Is that nice? I’m not sure. Have I got my settings wrong? Maybe the angle’s wrong. I’ll change the exposure. Hmmm, I’ll upload them to the computer. Right, let’s take a look through them. Hmmm, one of those six might be okay. I guess I’ll give them all a quick edit and see which ends up looking best. Oh, drat, this one’s wonky. Right, I’d better open up Pixlr and try and straighten that up. Hmmm, nope, that’s not the best photo. I’ll use another one.
*Four hours pass by*
You get the drift.
It’s not just the time it’s taken that’s proved tricky though.
When I first started this blog, I made a little manifesto to myself that I wanted to make sure every post had a purpose; delivered a specific bit of information that could be useful to someone reading that article. A tutorial of my own would be the ideal post in this scenario, but at the other end of the scale, if I was making some jam, for example, then I wanted to make sure I included a link to the jam recipe, not just photos of the jam I had made.
So, I felt a little uneasy about simply posting a photograph without any chat. Don’t get me wrong, there are trillions of blogs out there that I love where photographs are posted chat-free, or with minimum chat. The difference is, all of those bloggers take amazing photos.
Though my photos have massively improved since I started my blog, I’m still not one of those bloggers who takes amazing photos. So I feel that every photo should be accompanied by some interesting writing as well. And so now, rather than simply posting a photo a day, I’d talked myself into writing a blog post and posting a photo a day. (There were exceptions, of course, but I look back at those posts and really don’t like them…)
So, there you have it, my assessment of the past month: tiring overall and a bit out of step with what I really intend to do most of the time on this blog. On the plus side, a huge reason I did the August Break was to stop myself from agonising for so long over all the photos I include and also because I was hoping my photography would improve by taking part. I think that it possibly has.
But for the rest of the year, we’re going to back to what I’m happier doing. Bucket loads of waffle, interspersed with the odd picture here and there.
I’m so pleased to be saying this for the last time: you can take a look at my photos for every day this month in my August break category.
Do you remember my blogging view, the view I see when I sit here writing my blog?
Well, this morning I was sitting in the chair in front of the window, looking the opposite way for once and this was my view in that direction:
The electricity cables are the only thing that would let you know I’m not in the middle of a desert…
It seems that people round these parts have something of a penchant for tropical plants. Not only did my house sport a giant cactus out front for more than half a century, but my neighbour has this even-more-giant palm tree in front of her house. It’s almost as tall as the house I would say.
Who needs a holiday when that’s what you see out of your front window?!
I wish it would surprise you if I told you that I still have a wedding present to finish making for my sister who got married in May. (I wish it would surprise me too.)
I did give her most of her presents at the time, but I had an idea to pretty up some vintage plates for a really personal present too. Um, it’s still in the offing, but the other day I did get the plates out and take a look at them. That’s a first step right?
Have I mentioned that I’m getting married in a few weeks? Oh yes, I have. About six gazillion times.
In a classic “how hard can it really be?” moment, I decided that it would be a good idea to arrange all my own wedding flowers. Actually, I had originally planned to grow them, transport them and arrange them myself, but the 60 white snap dragon plants that I’d been nurturing since spring all flowered six weeks ago, so that was the end of the grow-it-myself plan. Enter new plan: buy wholesale, drive to Shropshire and then arrange. Simple!
So on Wednesday this week, I set my alarm for 3.30am and cajoled my Mum into driving me to the new Covent Garden flower market in Vauxhall, to do a trial run of the wedding flower plans. My dining room currently resembles a florists shop, as you can see from the photo above…
Some of the stalls at the market will actually deliver if you’re based in London, so I won’t have to brave such a ridiculously early start two days before the wedding which is excellent news. (Huge bags to my cheekbones isn’t quite the fresh faced wedding look I’m after.)
But of course, I need to try out some plans for my bouquets, table flowers and buttonholes in advance. Firstly to make sure they work and secondly to figure out how many of each flower I’m going to need.
I’m a fan of British flowers, or at least flowers which have been grown in this country, so I really wanted to go for some seasonal blooms that look (almost) as if I might have grown them in my own garden.
I thought I’d share my finds with you, in case anyone else is looking for inspiration for flowers from late Summer too…
Poppy seed heads
First up, these absolutely stunning poppy seed heads. Big, bold, architectural and interesting, I think I’m going to put a few in my bouquet and save some for table flowers as well. I’m also going to make sure I hold onto them afterwards and let the seeds ripen so I can hopefully collect them and sow them in my own garden.
What more can you say about flowering mint? It’s mint, it smells beautiful. And the flowers are really delicate and cottage gardeny, which is my favourite sort of look…
I love the spikiness and wildness of the thistles. Along with the gorgeous blue colour too. You may notice, there’s mostly a blue and white theme going on here.
I have to admit, I know little about lisianthus, but I’m hoping that they’ll be able to stay out of water long enough to take a good central place in my bouquet. The colour on these is so vibrant it lifts the more muted blues and whites of the other flowers. But the thing I love even more is the spiralled purple and white of the closed buds. Gorgeous.
Well, I had to have some white snapdragons. I adore these plants. When we were little, we always picked the flowers off and made them “talk”… I’m going to have some of these spiralling out of the bouquet as well as quite a few in the table arrangements as well.
These are not only beautiful, but the piney stems smell heavenly and they last for ages out of water. I’m using some sprays of these as buttonholes (along with lavender from my garden), quite a few will go into the bouquet and they will also go into the table jars. And even then, I’ll probably have armfuls of the stuff left over from the bunch I’m buying as you get a lot for your money!
They’re cabbages. I love that.
A really bright blue colour, these also seem slow to open their buds, which makes them perfect for keeping for a few days before they need to show off.
Best flower name ever? Known as the star of the Bethlehem, this is white and green with dark black centres. I’d never come across it before, but it might be making it onto my list of top flowers ever… I’ll just be using one in the bouquet and probably will dedicate a few to the table arrangements as well.
I spent yesterday afternoon trying out different table arrangements, planning the buttonholes and practicing the bouquet. But this post is already super long, so I’ll save that for tomorrow…
Once again, I’m counting this post as one of my photos of the day, too, since, hey, it does have some photos in. See more of my August break photos.
I’m half way through a big detailed post about all my wedding flowers, which I was planning on publishing today. But sitting down just now to finish it off, I discover I’ve got a fuzzy Friday evening head on, so the words don’t feel like coming out.
Instead, here is a little sneak peek of what’s to come. I apologise in advance for two days of flowers in a row…