The Garden Awakens

It is starting to warm up now here in Hampshire and is now hitting the mid-teens, in fact the other day we did reach 20 degrees around here. The garden is starting to show signs of life in more ways than one.  Our bigger plants are starting to leaf or flower. So we are dusting off the garden tools and it’s also great to see Monty Don and his dogs back on the telly with a new series of Gardeners World.

We are members of the RHS did you know that? We often visit Wisley in Surrey and this year we’ve got tickets to go to the Hampton Court Flower show. So plenty to look forward to right now.

Here are some of the photos I took this morning….

A new bike for new adventures

I’ve been thinking of getting a fold-up bike for some time, as sometimes, especially for work, I like the idea of hopping on the train with a bike. However as you know, especially if you live in the UK like I do, train companies are restricting people from taking bikes on their trains. To an extent I agree with them and on the other hand I curse them, as I like the idea of cycling in other places that aren’t on my doorstep.

So anyway, today, I purchased a really cool bike made by the well known manufacturer Dawes.

I took a quick photo of it whilst it was setup ready for use. In fact it is quite easy once you’ve practiced a couple of times to fold it up and pack it away again. It came with a great big bag for storage in the back of the car and easier carrying. I was quite surprised that it has 6 gears which many bikes of this style don’t have.

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I will be using it for work when I need to commute somewhere but I shall also use it for exploring some places a bit further off. It fits in the boot of my Skoda really easily and we could almost fit two of them in there if we purchased another!

Abstract inspiration 

In the spirit of just trying to write more, I’m going to try and post something as often as I can. So here goes…

Do you Netflix?

You do and if not you should. Very demanding I am. I am currently enjoying the series called “Abstract” which is all about design. It’s especially great because it is really accessible even to people like myself who constantly believe they have no hope in hell of being a designer. 

I’ve come to realise that in fact, we all have some kind of innate skill to arrange things. It could be the composition of a photograph. The layout of a web or mobile app. Do you rearrange stuff in your home or office quite a bit?

I think that even if we don’t have some form of creative degree under our belts, we are interconnected with others and what we believe in. So by nature we are all to some degree – designers. 

Design is something we can all pick up and we do subconsciously engage with the process, quite often without realising it. 

Recently at work we’ve adopted a more tactile way of working things out, yes designing interactive processes, workflows and so on. No fancy tools, just sketching out ideas on paper, post-it notes even. Yes we’ve gone back to pen and paper. What is great though, we are openly collaborating and getting involved. 

It’s exciting…

The Abstract series has made me realise that most of the talented individuals all have first class teams behind them. It is that human interaction which empowers those people. We all benefit from that. 

Have I digressed here? Who cares, I see my blog as a stream of consciousness. 

I am connecting with you guys!

One final question: Have you ever tried keeping a bullet journal? I recommend it and that is a topic for another post 😜

Keeping it local

Why go to J. Lamb & Sons, the butchers when you can go to Tesco? Why go to Tony Brocolli’s the greengrocer when you can go to Sainsbury’s? Why go to that old pub the “Wagon and Dogs” when you can go for a drink at your local Wetherspoons? I often wonder why we just don’t build towns on the factory line?

You get my drift; I am against all of the above. Sure I do often use our local Sainsburys, but many of the independent businesses, trades, shops, pubs and so on are under serious threat here in the UK. I fear that every town is becoming identical, as if built from a giant jelly mould.

Thankfully there is a place that is on our doorstep, it is technically part of our town Farnborough and is just south of here and north of Aldershot. It has an independent spirit that I love. The place I am describing is called North Camp and my office is located there.

Recently Dan (my apprentice) and I have begun working on a project called “Farnborough Guide” which is a smartphone app for both iOS and Android. We will launch the Apple version first. We are also building a website alongside it too.

If anyone is interested I am more than happy to keep you informed and to update you on the project as it rolls 🙂

 

 

Valletta at night #1

One of my favourite lenses is the Sigma 30mm that I have had for years and years and some more. It is starting to look a bit weathered but it can be stopped down to an aperture of f1.2, that I can swear it is capable of seeing in the dark. Naturally when compared with an ISO of 800 or a little bit higher.

We visited Valletta over the Christmas period of 2016. Not all that long ago but having just endured January, it feels like a very long time ago!

Mdina #1

It has been a awhile since we were in Malta visiting my Brother and his family. Finally I have had a little bit of time to go through my photographs and share some with you, including this one of Mdina.

We really love Mdina, it has to be one of the World’s gems, it is an amazing old city, the former capital of Malta before Valletta took it’s place. It is a paradise for photographers, turn every corner and you will find a photogenic street or building. It is packed with charm and no visit to Malta is complete without spending some time there.

I shall share some more soon 🙂