Pinch, punch…

I can’t believe today is the 1st of August, and that I’m going back to Stoke in less than six weeks. This Summer has actually been so much nicer than the last, having more time to do things that having no work restraints allows you to. I’m still working of course, probably about half the hours I was last Summer. While I’m earning far less, I’m just trying to learn not to stress out about my money while I’m at this part of my life where I can get away with it. I have no serious financial commitments and my parents have been pretty laid back with me being here over the Summer, so it’s all gravy. I’ve spent the last two years of my life focussing on saving money in a relationship that inevitably fell through, so yeah. Just going with said flow…

I said I’d post a few things on here, and I haven’t. However, I have ticked a few things on my Summer to-do list. Namely:
a) buy a 50mm 1.4 AF-G lens
b) pass my bike theory test
c) pass my CBT
d) cook a lot more
e) spend more time with my friends, my oldest friend and her now 6 and a half week old baby
f) take more photographs
g) subscribe to GoodFood magazine (I am 21, honestly)
h) look more into options (realistic ones) available both during my final year at university and those first few months afterwards.

With earning less money comes not being able to afford as much (obviously). I was clearly aware of this before Summer was here, but I really would have loved to have passed my bike test aswell this Summer. A direct access course can cost up to £600, and with having to pay for inevitable training/lessons beforehand, it’s just not going to happen. It’s a shame, but I’d rather have the money I’ve got to enjoy my Summer and perhaps just pass it later on in the year or, if I can’t do that, next Summer. The DSA are changing the bike test again, and this does mean that after January I won’t be able to pass my test on a 500cc bike without being 23…but, I’ve talked about this with the rents and after 2 years of passing my test I’ll be able to ride whatever I like anyway, even if I pass on a 125cc. My theory and CBT are also valid for two years so I think that’s now the plan of action. I’ve definitely got some of what I wanted to out of the way, so I’m happy enough with that.

With taking photos and baking etc, it’s actually been quite enjoyable. I’ve also installed the magazine design software that we use at university, so I’ve been able to dabble on there and get back up to scratch with design. I really enjoy it, and I think it allows me to use the eye for space and layout that I use in my photographs in a different way. I love organising how things are put on a page, and if I can photograph, write and design all on my tod, then I think that puts me in a pretty good place as far as employability is concerned. That’s the theory, anyway. Let’s hope something comes of it.

I think that’s basically where I stand at the moment. This Summer I’ve earned my money and I’ve spent it, while retaining a few pennies for this final year at uni. I’ve also managed to pull back my overdraft that I’d extended at the end of last semester, so pretty chuffed with myself about that.

I’ll start uploading more things really soon. I’ve updated my portfolio site [ ] but that’s going to be getting better too.



Pimms *hic* o’clock…

so I’ve been at a Jubilee Party today, which was fun. I don’t really know where I stand with the whole patriotic/anti-money-spending thing, so I’ll just say it’s been fun to wave a flag and have a drink. Cheers Liz.
I’ve just bought a helmet for me to take my CBT on…I’m really hoping I get a reply about this jacket I’m looking at very soon so I can get it all done. My Dad took me out around the yard of his shop on a 125cc bike yesterday, and I successfully managed a figure-of-8 manoeuvre without falling off or breaking anything on the bike…that’s a requirement of the CBT, so I’ve already got something off the list. I didn’t risk putting the bike into second or anything…
I’ve also just coughed up £300 for a prime 50mm 1.4 AF-G lens, which is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve used it a lot at uni this year and it just makes me so happy. I’m hoping that with this I’ll be able to start shooting more stuff sooner and getting myself back into enjoying my photography…so, watch this space for more photo work.

Iechyd Da 

long time no type…

It’s been a horrendously long time since I’ve actually committed to creating a blog post, and now I’ve finished my second year of uni I’ve decided to really keep on top it not only to motivate myself, but to give myself a sense of direction with what I’m doing and my plans for the future.

To summarise the last year of university, we put together an exhibition in practice for our degree show next year called REVIVE2012 (work here: Went pretty well. Haven’t had the results for that module yet, but I’m really just focussing towards my last year and really deciding on the direction I want to take my work.

For now, I’m living back in Ludlow. I’m splitting full-time hours between a pub (The Compasses) and Ludlow Castle Tearooms (overly priced food, scones and cream teas for tourists). I’m really enjoying it so much more than the job I had last Summer, which involved 9-5.30 office administration and solicitors; never a good combination. I’ve done neither bar work nor waitressing before, so it’s really refreshing to get out of the monotonous routine of my previous job. With the money I’m earning and some money I’ve saved over the last six months, I’m also very close to taking my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) and also then pass my bike test. As soon as I have a jacket and helmet sorted (which is happening within the next week) I shall be booking up and getting it done so I can ride during the Summer. I’ll then be doing a super-speedy test on a 125cc so I can basically ride anything.
So it’s fair to say this Summer should be a little more exciting than last year’s. 

With regards to my work…
I’m really getting into my cooking again. In the last two years of uni I think it’s clear to me that my real interests lie in page design, cooking, food photography and writing. I know that next year one of my modules requires me to create a blog to attract an audience…this is definitely going to involve my cooking. I’m even thinking specifics, like soups. I’m an absolute soup fiend and adore making it. So, to me that’s also pretty exciting. For the moment I can really picture myself working for a cooking/recipe/food publication…this is, of course, for the moment entirely fictional, but I’m going to push myself and shadow as much as I can and make the right contacts in my final year so that I could hit the ground running not long after I finish my final year. I want and even need work that I’m proud of and won’t be ashamed to show hopeful employers. 

I suppose I should write some more about my photography, but I’ve just lost interest at the moment, as terrible as that sounds. My tutor’s fully aware and she sees me of more of the editor type of character, which I think would suit me down to the ground. I love feeling organised and making sure everything’s under control, which is somewhat ironic considering the last week of last semester…

I will start using my camera much more though, and I’m hoping to start writing about what’s inspired me every week. Like I said earlier, not even to show to everyone, but to force myself to realise what’s got me thinking and the direction I need to start taking as a will-be-22-year-old-Photojournalism-graduate.

I’ve also started using Pinterest:

Much for the same reason as this post really…

BoyzIIMen - Birmingham, May 2010

"Glass @ The Barn" - Angela Thompson’s Handmade Dichroic Glass Jewellery

mid-July skies.

Bonfire Night 2010 - Part Due

Bonfire Night 2010 - Part Uno

bITjAM - 4th Birthday @ The Rigger, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 04/11/2010

bITjAM is an organisation that responds to the needs of a creative community, exploring “digital arts, creative ideas, collaborations and soundscapes”. The night offered a series of interesting unsigned acts. Although small, it was appreciated by many.

One of the event organisers, Carl Plant.

I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.

Pablo Picasso

Fiddling with shutter speeds and apertures.