No posts this week?

Wrong! This is a post so there!

Joking aside, it’s been a busy week compared to last and we’ve just been knuckling down to building our events site for the local area. The local council have taken a keen interest in it too and have been telling us of the family events taking place for Christmas. Lots of classic quirky British stuff, Christmas light switch-ons, Daleks, local pop-stars and Panto Dames. So my apprentice Dan has been busy creating flyers for the events. I think he is now tired of snowmen and Santa. 

We visited one of our clients the other night for an end of year meeting and lasagne. I recommend this combination and all meetings should be conducted this way. Bentley Copse is an activity centre for the outdoors up in the Surrey Hills. It was taken over by a new team about 3 years ago and they are very ambitious. The exciting thing is, it’s paying off and there has been an upturn in their turnover meaning, old buildings can be upgraded and new activities introduced. What’s more the website we built for them is working very well. 

Tina and I left their training center to walk back to our car, in total, absolute darkness, the site is in the middle of a big woodland near Shere. It was slightly spooky and so silent. I could happily live there!

Yesterday I filmed an office team for Tinas colleagues. Our friend Gill acting as presenter, providing a video tour. I was quite proud of my video and would happily do more of that. I used my DJI Osmo for this and edited the video in Adobe Premiere back at my office. I took delivery of a new monitor this week and it’s perfect for video work. 

Today I’m taking time off and plan to get out of town into the countryside somewhere for some decent fresh air.

Kalami awakens

In today’s post, I share another photo from our recent trip to Corfu and this one was taken from where we were staying up on the hillside overlooking the village of Kalami down below.

Kalami was home to the Durrell family and if you cast your eye from left to right, you will see the three yachts moored up in the bay and to the right of them a cluster of buildings down by the water’s edge. One of these buildings is the famous “White House” and was home to the Author and playwright, Lawrence Durrell. It was the time when he invited the rest of his family to come and live with him that inspired the famous novel, “My Family and other Animals” written by his youngest brother Gerald Durrell. It was during the 1930’s that the story was set and if you have read the book, you must visit Kalami. It has grown, for it is said that in Lawrence’s time there, his house was the only one and now there is a procession of small tavernas and holiday homes. It has maintained most of it’s Corfiot charm though.

The White House is now a very good restaurant and there are a suite of apartments there that you can rent on a bed and breakfast basis. The village is adorned with many reminders of the Durrells and indeed people do travel from far and wide just for this connection alone. You will see lots of little animals here and there including rabbits, foxes, otters. Not real ones, just little statuettes of the creatures, some are wearing little jackets and hats, slightly Walt Disney if you ask me and rather overdone.

I can remember the first time we entered the village, after an interesting drive down windy roads and plenty of sudden braking to avoid the local drivers running us into oblivion. Parking was tricky down there too and I grounded the car on a big hump which made a horrible grating noise. I was half expecting the exhaust to fall off. In fact that morning, our first since arriving the previous day we bundled into the car to realise we had a puncture. A farmer appeared from nowhere with his hand outstretched. He was friendly and gestured towards my Dad and I who were sweating over the spare tyre and jack. He helped us repair it and the following day he had fixed the damaged tyre for us. The people there are like that. Nothing is a trouble. Happy to help and very friendly.

I digress….

Back to Kalami – We did something that I can remember seeing the Durrells doing in the recent TV series, the original film and the book. That was to sit on a rickety table right down by the water’s edge and have a coffee. We later returned to have a full meal and I can highly recommend the restaurant there. It is a bit expensive but that may be due to it’s location and that it has a captive audience of people making their pilgrimage there in honour of the Durrells.

The featured photo today was taken fairly early in the morning, as the light was at it’s best. Kalami is on the North Eastern side of the island, so you don’t get to see the sunsets there but if you are an early riser, you sure get to see some fantastic dawn light.

I made use of a 0.6ND grad in this shot and mounted the camera on a Gorillapod that in turn was mounted on a glass panel. The pool area behind the villa is surrounded by glass panels for safety and they also look great because they don’t interrupt the view as much as a fence would!

I shall be back with more photos from Greece next week, have a lovely weekend everyone!

The Church at Kassiopi

Today let’s share some photos from my recent archives and I am going to begin with some Corfiot shots! We fell in love with Corfu, having never been before and were instantly gripped by it’s charm and character. We stayed in Kalami and we would hop in our hire car to take a 10 minute drive down to Kassiopi. I will share more photos of Kassiopi because we really love the little coastal resort. Now I am not normally a fan of these kinds of place but Kassiopi was a really nice place with a good blend of tourism, cuisine and history. Parts of the town are delapidated around the edges, clear signs could be seen of the effects of the economic crash that we all know about. However it had a positive vibe despite the problems of recent failures.

The Churches on Corfu all seem to bear the flags of Greece and Albania (the two-headed eagle) and many of them are not open to the public when compared to countries such as Italy. I suspect this to be due to the Orthodox nature of the religion.

4 day week?

We are forever seeking the finest balance between work and life but what do you do when work is your life? Well perhaps that is the problem? In some cases people (myself included) do stuff for a living that they are passionate about and some people aren’t so lucky and end up lumbered with a job they don’t really ike – either way, being able to push back and say, I need time to take a breather from all of this, is not always easy.

In my case I have been working on a contract based project for 18 months and now that I have walked away from that, I truly realise how much it was stressing me out and that I had lost all control of my creative side. I had become some kind of robot at times, just getting up each day to work on something that I never really saw the benefit of for myself nor anyone else. It had it’s plus sides because I did learn a lot and I did meet some great people, many of whom I shall keep in touch with. Oh and the money was good. Yes, money, we all need that don’t we. Don’t you just love Capitalism?! (Digression alert!)

So now I find myself thinking, “4-day weeks, can I do this? Will I lose money? Will I lose momentum?”

Well for starters momentum is a rythmic pulse of life and work. You can’t find a perfect momentum without focussing on the space in-between. Think of music, if there were no breathing spaces between each note or phrase, the “rest” as it is known, it would become a cacophonic blur. Ok some modern music is THAT but my point is, you need to find those quiet times to pause, reflect and take your next step. You need be in control of your pace of life before you find momentum.

Each alternate week I am taking a Wednesday off and the following week, the Friday. Repeat.

My inttention is to spend these “off days” doing things that aren’t desk based, I switch the computer off for most of the day, emails (unless urgent) can wait till the following working day. I can allow myself time merely to think about work, the plans we have for the future, the projects we are developing. I will permit myself to making notes on Evernote or Trello but that will be it. I hope that I can recharge my batteries this way and find a new momentum once more.

So what am I going to do on these days, starting with today?

  • Take long walks out in the Hampshire/Surrey countryside
  • Do some photography
  • Catch up with other people
  • Gardening – always things to do there
  • Fly the drone and capture some new footage
  • Cycling
  • Gym – not a member of any at the moment
  • Learn to cook
  • Many other things

I will let you know how this goes.

P.S. Can I keep up the daily blog entries? Let’s see, I will certainly aim to write them during the week and take weekends off 😉

Have a lovely day!