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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Art of Foraging in the Forest

We spent Christmas in the New Forest which was wonderful. It was an active few days either biking, walking. But we did find some time to chill out in the spa. Whilst walking on Boxing day, we came across this pig searching for truffles. She was darting around so quickly so I chose to post the shot with movement. I also learnt yesterday you should keep one eye on the animal your photographing. A very tame wild pony decided to head-butt the end of my lens which resulted in a nice cut across the bridge of my nose! I'm not sure who was more shocked me or the pony!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Joys of Christmas

I can't believe it's Christmas week! I love everything about it. Twinkling lights, Christmas carols and the giving of gifts. It's been a crazy month. I was supposed to have started back working in the corporate world on the 12th December but just before I started my husbands work asked him to transfer to Bangalore in India. So the plan now is to move to India in March. There's lots to think about and organize, but I think we'll just enjoy a traditional Christmas before we start packing up our life here. Me working again just wasn't meant to be I guess!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!! xx

Friday, 2 December 2011

Backseat Driving

Oh the joys of India! You haven't experienced true chaos until you have sat in the back of a tut-tut driving around India's city centres.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Conspiracy at the castle

November 5th is known as Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night here in Britain. This year we visited Leeds Castle in Kent to celebrate and watch the amazing firework display.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Fleeting Journey

The North Downs is stunning this time of year. Although our autumn appears to be late this year, it is well worth waiting for. Our walk this Sunday took us through the village of Boxley in Kent then a steep climb to the ridge of the North Downs and along the ancient Pilgrims Way. We are blessed with such a stunning landscape.

Monday, 24 October 2011

La Derniere Pomme

Picking the last of the apples and tomatoes to turn into warming deserts or spicy chutney were jobs completed yesterday. My garden 'To Do' list is nearly complete!

Kim Klassen Textures

Monday, 17 October 2011

Autumn Days

Hever Castle in Kent celebrated autumn this weekend. The gardens were now beginning to show the signs that winter is on it's way. Migrated geese congregated on the lake and rich coloured leaves carpeted the pathways. Saturday was a perfect crisp and clear autumns day with a sky of brilliant blue.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Playing with Pinhole

It was such a bright and fresh autumns day. I felt the need to bathe myself in the outdoors and try out some pinhole photography. It's challenging and I came to the conclusion the light was too bright. It was certainly fun trying something new!

Westerham church graveyard

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Evil Eye

Today was a incredibly warm sunny day without a cloud in the sky. I spent the day at The Hawking Centre in Kent flying various amazing birds of prey. It was a truly wonderful experience to be handling the birds and even being able to stroke them. I took so many photo's it was hard to choose a favourite.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Procession

Kim Klassen Textures
Linking up to The Creative Exchange. Why not take a look, there are some great images this week!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pretty but Poisonous

I was hoping to find a sample of the fly agaric along our woodland walk today. Just when I had given up hope we spotted a few destroyed mushrooms along the path and then by doing a little 'house keeping' managed to find this one intact if not a little nibbled.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It's a Bugs Life

Although a rather pretty insect the harlequin ladybird is not native to Britain. It is now the most widespread ladybird species on the continent and is potentially threatening our many native ladybirds.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Solus Pear

My new pear tree produced just the one pear. However, it was very tasty!

Kim Klassen texture 'scripted autumn'

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Picnic for Two

A Sunday morning trip to RHS Wisley. The sun shone as we strolled amongst the sculptures and the annual flower show. Lot's of beautiful things to admire, get ideas from and perhaps even purchase!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rich Autumn colours

And so the Horse Chestnut trees have begun distributing their seeds. A sure sign that Autumn is on it's way.

Kim Klassen texture Crackerjack

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Don't get in a Pickle!

It's the time of year when I start to get into action with making chutney's with any excess home grown veg and fruit. Tomorrow's job, is to make chutney with the apples which have fallen off the tree this week. I love the process of chopping, cooking, filling and labelling jars. I find it very satisfying at the end knowing we will be enjoying this summers produce for months to come.

Lime Wood Scullery walls.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hotel Comforts

Don't you just love the bathrooms in boutique hotels! We are staying at Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest for the weekend. It's such a wonderful hotel, in beautiful surroundings. Everything is perfect, from the staff to the decor and food. I never want to leave!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Ours is not to reason why

The weather has been so unpredictable. We've had a lot of rain on and off the last few days. I can't make up my mind to go out or not!

Inspired by Justine's boots photograph

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Garden Delights

Maintaining the garden can feel like a full time job this time of year. So, to make it more enjoyable I break the areas down into sections and tell myself I'll just do a morning or afternoon. I keep my camera to hand just in case. Trying to capture this dragonfly darting around the flowerbed was a welcomed distraction.

Linking into Lisa's Creative Exchange

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Gerbera in Black and White

We generally look into the blooms of flowers but I've realised just how beautiful they can be from behind.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Kent's Highest Village

The pretty village of Goudhurst boasts of superb views over the Weald. A healthy population of oast houses complete the landscape. It is also known for its memorial to a prominent local family the 'Culpepers'.

The most famous member of the family was Nicholas Culpeper  born in 1616. He trained as a herbalist and set up a practice and pharmacy at the halfway house in Spitalfield's, London. At this time medical facilities available to the poor in London was at a breaking point. He provided his services to the poor for free and helped by letting them have their herbal medicines at low prices. Using local herbs in his remedies and even telling people where they could gather the herbs themselves. He argued that 'no man deserved to starve to pay an insulting, insolent physician'. Later he wrote the The English Physician. Which was published in 1653 to ensure his remedies were accessible to as many people as possible. Some of those herbs are still in use today. In January 1954 he died of tuberculosis at the age of 38.

View of the Weald

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Opportunist

Our resident robin was taking full advantage of us digging the garden this morning. He was happy to hop around us only a few feet away. Normally when I raise the camera to get a shot he flies off. However, today he was happily posing for me.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Raw Egg

This weeks Mortal Muses theme is 'negative space' and I was thinking how creative you could be with this. I didn't want the space to be totally negative so I came up with the egg on a plain white background. I thought about cracking the egg on the floor but concluded I'd have to clean the floor afterwards. Thursdays is not a cleaning day!

Monday, 8 August 2011

'Reflections of romance amidst the ruins'

The picturesque grounds of Scotney in Lamberhurst is a place to loose oneself in poetry and romantic novels. It's home to a medieval Castle with a Moat and a beautiful house perched atop a hill. It's certainly a place to be on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Morris Minor Memberships

Today was the annual classic car show at Coolings garden centre. Around 100 enthusiastic car owners from South East England congregate to show off their beloved vehicles. It's such a joy talking to owners and hearing there stories of the years of dedication of restoring and maintaining these wonderful cars.

I had a 1961 convertible Morris Minor called Molly for many years. After two years of being untouched in the garage I made the painful decision to sell her as I didn't have the time to look after her anymore. I still wonder what became of Molly and if I ever see a white convertible with a red roof I check out number plate. It's the only car registration I can remember!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Rain, rain and more rain

What a change in the weather, I guess I'll just sit it out and play on the computer!

Summer Rain

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Cooling Down

As the temperatures soared in London people found a way to enjoy the sunshine whilst cooling down.

Trafalgar Square fountains

Monday, 1 August 2011

Not going to plan

Plan A didn't materialize this morning. So I had to think of plan B. Consulting the National Trust handbook I found Quebec House in Westerham was close by. Half hour later as I walked to the property I realised I hadn't checked the opening times. You guessed it. Closed on Mondays. I walked into the little village of Westerham to see what I could photograph and came upon a wonderful church and old graveyard. Got out my camera, no memory card! I couldn't believe it! Ok not a problem I though, I'll use my iphone Hipstamatic. Good processing for the scene.

Having not had chance to eat my lovingly prepared sandwiches I'd made for my day out, I decided to drive to Chartwell house only 10 minutes away. No joke the place was also closed. So along with a few other family groups who had also made the mistake of not checking the opening times. We ate our lunch in the carpark.

After being fed and watered I was determined to have a proper afternoon out.   Searching for a nearby garden or house which was 'open' I came upon Ightham Mote in Sevenoaks. Just a short drive away was superb medieval moated manor house dating back from the 1320's. An amazing property representing the architectural changes which have occurred over the centuries. It has been the largest conservation project undertaken by the National Trust and took from 1988 to 2004 to complete.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday Challenges

I've set myself a little project for the month of August. Whenever I post a photo I have to process it through my Silver Efex Pro software. At the push of a button you have 38 black and white preset choices. It also gives you different type of film choices. The results would take hours in photoshop. It's so much fun!

Nearly as much fun as cycling around Bewl Water in Kent. Today was my first outdoor ride since twisting my knee. We took it slow but it was great to be out and cycling again.

Bewl Water

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Creative Days

It's a cloudy non-inspiring day. I'm shortly off to my physio but got bored with doing the crossword so decided to have a play around with my new flash. Although reading through the instructions became a little frightening and I lost interest in it. None of it was making any sense. I managed to get it to remotely flash which was a accomplishment.  I think I need to be in a better frame of mind to understand the workings of it. Or perhaps just get someone to explain it all to me!

Linking up to Lisa's Creative Exchange

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

London City Farm

Whilst waiting for my camera sensor to be cleaned and in search of somewhere to have lunch I stumbled across Vauxhall City Farm just off the high street. I was totally surprised by the extraordinary array of animals I was looking at through the wire fence. Rabbits, chickens, alpacas, cows and sheep to name just a few. Just across the road in a small paddock were horses. I had heard about city farms but had never seen one. I think its a wonderful opportunity for inner city residence to get close to animals . Unfortunately it was closed today but I will certainly visit in the future to supported this wonderful project.

I'm feeling a bit woolly headed today!

Cissie and Ada putting the world to right.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Homemade Jam

Today I have been wondering what has happened to our summer! To remind myself it is supposed to be warm, bright and sunny I picked more blackberries and made jam. The smell of those delightful purple-black fruits cooking was enough to take my mind off the dull wet weather outside.

Textures Kim Klassen

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Daily Reflections

Saturday I joined a London street photography walk hosted by David Gibson. It was part of the London Street Photography festival running until the beginning of September. Not a good start to the day with the heavy rain. Once it had stopped the result was darker tones and interesting reflections. More of the groups work is on Flickr/streetphotowalks.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Yorkshire Field of Poppy's

It's taken me a while to get round to looking at these shots. I played around with some of the presets in Lightroom which resulted in a kind of yesterday/punchy feel to the shot. I'd never seem so many poppy's and just by coincident a similar shot had also appeared in the local paper.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Summer Blackberries

We live next door to a empty property. The front garden has become wild and untamed, but there is some benefit. I have been greedily feeding off a large wild blackberry bush right next to my fence each summer. Over the last couple of weeks I have been keenly watching the heavily laden bush change colour and become dotted with purple bulbous jewels. This morning however, I realised I had competition!  I watched Mrs Blackbird sit on top of the bin cupboard jumping up and grabbing the ripened fruit. Lets just say 3 kg later of freshly picked blackberries and I was pretty happy. Now I have to find the time to turn it into jam!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A Conversation with the Churchill's

On the basis that my knee injury from our Mull trip is just badly sprained and nothing torn as first thought. We decided that a short easy walk and time enjoying the good weather was required. Close by is Chartwell, once the home of  Sir Winston Churchill. He spent as much time as he could here right up until his death in 1965. You can certainly understand why. With such interesting sections of different garden areas and magnificent views across the Weald of Kent. Why would you need to go anywhere else? Although this was my third visit, it was the first time I'd come across this Nemon Statue hidden in the furthest corner of the garden. I wonder what else there is to find!!

Taken with a LensBaby

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Know One's Onions

Last winter I planted one of the vegetable patches full with red and white onion sets. Now I'm the very proud owner of an abundance of onions to keep me going throughout the rest of the year. A few of them did flower which resulted in lack of growth but an eye catching display and food for the insects.

Texture by Kim Klassen

Monday, 4 July 2011

Pond Life

I have two ponds in my garden. A new contemporary one built into the decking where the fish are and a very old one which we left for the wildlife. In the summer I can spend ages sitting next to the old pond watching the insects and birds going about their business. If you could have seen me trying to get this shot you would have fallen over with laughter. After persevering I managed to get the frame I wanted. I came to a blank of what type of dragonfly it actually is. I think it looks like a Darter, any help in identification would be warmly welcomed!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Double Take

We have spent the last week exploring the Isle of Mull in Scotland, as part of Nick Garbutt's wildlife tours. Just off the west coast is Lunga one of the Treshnish Isles. It's home to thousands of sea birds. Colonies of Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Shags and Kittiwakes nest along the cliffs of the island. It's a hive of activity this time of year. A small group of us were lucky enough to stay on the island until sunset. It was fascinating watching and listening to these amazing birds, who were totally at ease with our presence.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Pretty in Pink

Wow, it's so hot today in Kent! I'm very much a sun worshiper but even I had to reside to the shade because I couldn't cope with the heat. I took this shot this morning to create a birthday card for a friend. The daisy's were actually more white when I bought the plant, then the second set of flowers it produced were pink! I think there are rather pretty.

It's marco Friday over at Blogging for Boliva. There are some great photos to brighten up your weekend!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Gorgeous Goslings

This morning I got an invite to Laybourne Lakes in Kent. Whilst my friend swam the lake as part of his triathlon training I chose to stroll around the outside and take photo's. It was such a beautiful sunny day and lots of people were enjoying the peace and tranquility of the lake. A number of geese, ducks and a few swans have taken up residence along the side and where amusing to watch. The geese are so aggressive and bowl around as if they own the place.  I tried to get closer to these goslings to get a better shot but the parents were having none of it!

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Life

My garden is the hub of activity with proud parents backwards and forwards from the feeders to their young. I'm going through various bird foods like no tomorrow. The mealworms and berry suet pellets are certainly their favourite. I think the birds are actually getting a better deal than us providers!

Wondering around the garden I noticed this newly hatch damselfly drying off before it's maiden flight. Fortunately it flew away before the sparrows got to it!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Kent County Walk

Today rather than mountain biking I had persuaded my hubby to do a walk. We haven't done one for a couple of months now.  We chose a walk around Sissinghurst. Having had an early and very dry spring I thought it would be interesting to see how the countryside was coping. Although my grass at home is looking yellow and partly dead the Kent countryside is looking beautiful and green. However, the clay ground amongst  the fields was very dry and deep with cracks but it's a haven for wildlife. Herons, skylarks, chaffinches, blackbirds and blue tits are just a few of birds were saw. Our treat today was lots of chirps coming from the side of a foot path. Getting closer we realised the noise was coming from inside a large old fence post. Through a small crack on the side you could just make out three very hungry chicks. No hope of getting a photo we hurried away only to realise we were being watched by a eager parent Blue tit waiting to feed it's recently hatched chicks.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Walking around the garden I am spoilt for choice on what to photograph. The birds are busy and in full song.  Trying to get a shot of the dragonfly sunning itself in my pond was ruined by the sparrows diving in and eating it! A constant stream of garden birds visit the bird table throughout the day. I have to continuously scare off the crows and magpies as they are not welcome. Unfortunately I don't seem to have much luck photography the birds. They are quite tame but as soon as I raise the camera up to take a shot they fly off. Obviously just camera shy.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Pop of Pink

What with processing the thousands of photos from our holiday, family staying, preparing and clearing the garden and generally catching up. I'm just so behind with my daily shoots and catching up on friends blogs. I hope to catch up soon!

With the amazing weather we have been having and the help of my in-laws my garden looks stunning. So many of my flowers are in bloom. Within the masses of poppy buds a couple are in full bloom.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I Wan'na Be Like You ...

It's our last day in Borneo and we are spending it at the Sepilok Nature resort in Sabah. Which is right next door to the orangutan sanctuary. At 10am and 3pm you are able to watch from a feeding platform the orangutans getting their daily bananas and other fruit. Opened in 1964, the rehabilitation centre is for rescued baby orangutans from either logging sites or having been kept as pets. When they are old enough and trained to survive in the wild they are release back.

Jenny - Have a wonderful time. I would love to see your photos when you return. Please forward on your details as I couldn't access your profile.