Tag: photography

A Country Kid’s Post: An Afternoon in Paignton

Summer feels like it happened ages ago and yet every now and then we still get to experience a warm day, reminding us that in reality, it might actually still be hanging around.

We had a good one, even though this year, we stayed put and didn’t go abroad.  I was looking through my photos and was reminded that I haven’t written about the lovely afternoon spent on the beach in Paignton.

We arrived late afternoon.  I think it was way past five and nearer six.  But the air was still warm in spite the breeze, comfortable enough to have a little play on the sand without feeling chilly and that’s what exactly little T did.

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I love beach huts.  Love the idea of having a little beach-hole where you can just retreat to, whether it’s to have a cup of tea or just somewhere to go to escape or at least know that your belongings are safe from the water and sand.

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 Don’t you just love the look of them too?

And while T was happy playing, I was just snapping away – whatever caught my eye, even the pesky seagulls looked beautiful against the lovely blueness of the sea and sky.

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And then I saw the steam-train from afar …

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and a lone sail boat out in the sea.

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After awhile it was time to go … Has summer really gone?  Perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to experience an Indian summer this year.

Would you like that?

July Chat with a Mum: Charly of PODcast

Tell us something about yourself, your little one and your blog (age & sex).

Hi I’m Charly! I’m a business owner, blogger and photographer with 20 years experience in the marketing industry. Having spent many years working in London marketing agencies, largely at Marketing Director or New Business Director level, I set up my own business in 2012. While the focus initially was marketing and new business strategy, these days more of my time is spent helping agencies and brands with their content marketing. It’s a nice position to be in, knowing the industry and being a blogger!

Charly Dove - PODcast photo of Charly

Most people know me as Editor of multi-award nominated parent and lifestyle blog PODcast which has been around for four years now. I’m also Editor of family/adventure travel blog POD Travels, which launched in 2015, and Editor of the BritMums Photo Round-up. The Doves are a family of three living in Surrey – there’s myself, daughter ‘POD’, who was born on Christmas Day 2010, and husband Jonathan (aka ‘the POD Father’).

Charly Dove - PODcast 6 (1) What was your child’s birth story like?

It started well! As a ‘geriatric mother’ (their words not mine!), the consultant insisted POD to be born before her Christmas Day due date. While my contractions started an hour after securing a bed at the hospital, POD had other ideas taking a further 72 hours to arrive amid complications. The Salvation Army, who could be heard singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’ from outside the delivery suite, marked POD’s arrival. Having had regular scans from 5 weeks through to 38 weeks, with a detailed look at her brain and heart cavities in-between, we were relieved she was born healthy. When the midwife asked what we were going to call her, we both said ‘Poppy’ at exactly the same time and without hesitation. So Poppy she became.

What do you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

Oh gosh many things from those hazy days of being a first time parent! I remember having an endless list of questions like why doesn’t she nap, why does she cluster feed and why does she always spill up! Looking back we were pretty much winging it while ‘on the job’ and trying to figure out what makes a good parent. If I had my time again, I’d want someone to sit me down and tell me what brilliant fun kids are. We had POD late in life and I’d change that in an instant if I could turn back the clock.

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How do you manage your “me” time?

Parenting, working and blogging leaves little “me time” per say but I love the great outdoors. Grabbing my camera and blowing away the cobwebs for a couple of hours works wonders. I love breathing in the fresh country air and capturing what’s around me without a care in the world. It’s a great way to gain some headspace although a massage or a facial wouldn’t go amiss either!

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Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little one?

There’s a huge selection to choose from but slamming her bedroom door while shouting “you’re an old man and I don’t like you” at the POD Father has to be up there. She was three so I’m sure we have many more gems like that to come!

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What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

POD’s a little adventurer and adores exploring. I love the expression on her face when she discovers something new, her excitable nature and her limitless imagination. Her enthusiasm and boundless energy are totally infectious. I’m totally biased but she’s one amazing human.

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On the other hand, if there is anything about motherhood you dislike what would it be?

We had a period where POD refused to sleep, coming downstairs umpteen times a night until 10pm, sometimes even later. She’d appear in our bed in the early hours then refuse to get up in the morning because she was so tired. It continued for six months but thankfully we found a solution by changing her routine and putting boundaries in place.

What’s a typical day like for you and your child?

During the week, it’s very much about keeping to a routine before and after school. POD has after school club until 6pm most days with the middle of the week reserved for her swimming lesson. She recently completed the six-week #TennisForKids course with the LTA too which was great. Saturdays mornings are normally fairly busy as she has gymnastics followed by Stagecoach – both of which she loves. POD has bags of energy so a day without activities, outdoor fun or a play date usually results in her going stir crazy! We do have quiet days though too with colouring, arts/crafts or cooking on the agenda. She also loves Netflix and would quite happily watch all day given half a chance!

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Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

Make time for each other every day – chat, laugh and try not to take yourself too seriously.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

Take on board all the advice you’re given but don’t forget what works for one child might not apply to another. Always trust your instincts, you know your child better than anyone else.

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How do you manage your time, blogging/workwise and time with your family and other activities?

Paid work always comes first so the majority of my blog content is written in the evening and occasionally before the working day. Weekends are reserved for family time whether it’s heading somewhere locally or travelling further afield. I’m used to working in a high-pressured environment with many balls in the air – inevitably things don’t always go to plan! Blogging has enabled me to explore my creativity and work on projects that may have otherwise passed me by. I truly value the community spirit and I’m a firm believer that you should always stay true to yourself regardless of what you do.

Thank you so much Charly!

You can find Charly on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Visit PODcast and POD Travels.

Click here if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a Dad.

Us by the Sea in Photos

The weather is lovely today.

Come and have a walk with Doc and I.

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Last time we took you along the coast, this time we’ll take you around another path.

Don’t worry, you will love it too.

Now let’s start our walk by the church.

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But before we go through that gate, let’s stop and see if we can find some flowers.

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Ah, there they are.

Lovely crocuses, aren’t they?

I love its purple colour, looking so vibrant among all that green.

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Now let’s go through that gate and step into the graveyard.

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Lovely blue sky, the bluest of blue.  Now if only the sky stayed that way, all would be lovely.

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Little T loves it here.  She likes to wander around and inspect the different graves and likes to have a little poke around.

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And through that gate, you’ll see the ocean.

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And the wild expanse of headland which Doc loves.

Now you see why we call it doggie heaven.

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And there’s the coast-guard’s hut, its white building against a shade of blue and brown.

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See that bit of rock, I like to sit there and watch the sea when it’s calm like today, or even when it’s raging as if in torment, although the wind can be rough, sometimes it scares me, and I wonder if I’ll get blown away.

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My first sighting of tourists, you always see them up there, especially in a lovely day like this one.

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You’re lucky it’s low-tide and you can see the blow-hole in all its glory.  When the sea is mad, you can see the waves thrashing against the rocks and making a loud bellowing noise in and out that hole, like a dragon puffing out steam.

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And there’s our little village nestled against the valley.

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On this side, you can see the 15th century harbour wall, during peak season, you’ll see the tourists enjoying the sun in all its glory.

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I’ve never seen that small truck in the water before, I’m not sure what it’s doing there.

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The trees are slowly beginning to show some leaves.

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Little T’s school is somewhere there.

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And now we’ve come full circle.

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And Doc is waiting for us by the church.

But before we end this walk, I have one more beautiful sight to show you.

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Yes, the snowdrops are here.

Does it really mean that spring has sprung?

What do you think?

Remembering Summer

It was a lovely windy summer’s day when I took that photo.  The sun was at its best, shinning and making everything look doubly beautiful.  The colours were absolutely stunning.  It’s one of those days where everywhere you look, your breath is stolen away by the sheer delight of witnessing such splendour. I want those days back!

There was a soft breeze blowing against the blades of grass and the lovely wheat stalks were happily swaying along.  Everything about that day was in perfect harmony.  Vibrant colours, warm weather and stunning surroundings, these are what summer days are made of.  A complete contrast to what is outside right now.  From where I sit and as I’m typing this, at the corner of my eye, everything is grey.  Grey, greyer, greyest.  The dullest of grey, can it get any worse than this?  Oh yes it can.  I guess we should be thankful that although it is dim, at least the day is dry.  There’s nothing worse than a gloomy and wet autumn day.

I’ve been staring at the photos I took last summer.  This particular one was taken in June.  A few days ago, I decided to make a VSCO account, so if you also have one, do follow me there and I’ll follow back too.  I haven’t really uploaded much photos yet, but intend to do so.

Now excuse me while re-live my happy summer memories of lovely days like this one.

What about you?

Do you have any favourite summer photo?

What sort is it?

Do share.

Y is for Yuletide

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The Yuletide season is the one of the few reasons why Winter here is bearable.

I absolutely love Christmas,

especially when you have a little one.

As a little family of three (well four, including Boots and Doc),

we have our own Christmas family tradition

which begins on the second week of December.

We go to a tree-farm to pick our own Christmas tree.

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There’s something special about going to a Christmas tree farm and picking your own tree among hundreds and hundreds of beautiful trees.

Lovely!

Y is for Yuletide.

#alphabetphotographyproject.

Do you have a Christmas family tradition too?

Do share.

W is for Wall

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This is Clovelly’s 14th Century Harbour wall.  Apparently they started building it in the 13th century and then extended it in the 16th, and lengthened it again in 1826.

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For those who aren’t familiar with Clovelly, it is a small village in Devon, the county beside Cornwall where we live.  What makes it different from the many sea-side villages here in England?  Well for one, it’s the only village that is privately owned and has been associated with only three families since the 13th century.

So yep, you can’t buy a house here in Clovelly, nor rent.  I think you have to apply to live there (that is, if there are any vacant houses at all!), and be approved by the custodian of the village.

Clovelly is a beautiful village.  It’s as if time has stopped ticking here.  The streets are cobbled and the old cottages still  stand the way they stood hundreds of years ago.  If you’re in the area and haven’t visited, this is one place you simply have to visit!  Though a word of warning, they do charge and admittedly, I found it a bit of a turn-off they way they’ve commercialised the village.  But that’s just me.

W is for Wall.

#alphabetphotographyproject

V is for Valency Valley

I’ve probably said this a dozen times, we are lucky to live in a beautiful place where we have both the sea and a little patch of forest in our little village.

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 This is the Valency Valley, where little T’s cat – Bootsy once had an adventure and got lost and found in the woods.

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 If the photos look a bit familiar, yes, these were taken during that particular incident with our cat.

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Little T throwing stones down the Valency river.

V is for Valency Valley.

#alphabetphotographyproject.

If you were given a choice, would you like to live by the sea, or by a woodland?

U is for Up

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 This is an old photo of little T, probably taken about two Autumns ago.

I absolutely love it.

She may be go to “big-school” now, but she still loves to swing.

She likes to say “Higher mummy, push me higher!”

It scares me a bit, but I do push her as high as I possibly can.

Linking this one up with #alphabetphotographyproject.

S is for Streets

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Little T on her dad’s shoulders, walking the streets of Paris.

Paris has many famous landmarks and tourist spots, but what also struck me were the many interesting streets, especially the side streets, far from the maddening tourist crowds.

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I loved the shadows formed on this lovely building in Trocadero street near the Eiffel tower.  We stopped and had coffee in a lovely cafe in the area there.

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And little T had to have some ice-cream of course, after all, it was a very warm day in Paris.  As you can see, the serving surprised and delighted the little one:

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After the treat, we headed off again, trying to stay away from the chaotic crowds.

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Every where you looked just seemed so poetic.  Reminds me a bit of that Ginsberg poem “Supermarket in California”, only this is Paris in the daylight, but you could easily spot a Whitman or a Lorca pondering the side-streets or furisously scribbling on their tattered notebooks in small Parisian cafes, which are everywhere.

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I also loved stopping and looking into open windows.  If you squint you can actually see the very high ceilings in that apartment in the photo above.

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Parisians probably muttering to themselves “Darn tourists

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This small, cobbled side-street was pleasantly quiet, considering it was not very far from the Notre Dame where all the tourists flocked.

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Don’t be fooled by this seemingly empty(ish) main street.  I think it looked empty because of the  traffic.  The madness happened right after I clicked and then streets were engulfed in feet, cars and buses.

It feels almost more than just a couple of months since our trip to France.  Just last night, little T said to me, “Let’s go back to France mummy!”  I suggested somewhere we’ve never visited before.  She replied, “But France is my favourite place!”  I asked her – what will we do in France?  Half expecting her to say, go to Disneyland.  Instead she said, “I’m going to play in the sand.  Do my exercises with Auntie T, while you talk to Lola (lola means grandmother).  It’s no wonder that those are her happy memories of France, now all I have to do is convince her that we can also make those lovely memories elsewhere too.

S is for streets.

Linking this post up with PODcast’s #alphabetphotographyproject.

What is your favourite holiday memory?