Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trip, trip, trip.

You know what? I love my city. I love the hustle and bustle and people and places. =) Yesterday my grandfather, my 6-year-old-cousin and I went to the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth North [London]. I have been many times before but it's always interesting; and the Holocaust exhibition never ceases to make me cry. It's beautiful there at this time, even though [true to England] it rained most of the day, with roses around the paths and other pretty flowers. Anyways, I'll let the photographs speak for themselves. =) Some taken at the museum, some back at our grandparents' house.
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They aren't really great photographs but I like them for the memories they hold. The happiness of that day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One Year.

Today marks one year from the day I picked up an SLR. And, my what a year it's been! I still remember it vividly. I had purchased a Pentax 35mm SLR with a few lenses for next to nothing on eBay and I had packed it away with three rolls of film at the bottom of my suitcase, ready for our trip to the ocean. For the first few days, I left it where it was...neglected to unpack it. I was frightened I wouldn't be any good, unsure of where I should begin. One day I took it with us to the beach. I loaded some colour film, I set it to aperture priority and I started clicking. I found a lifelong love. Those first pictures hold memories that will never leave me...the waves, the crunch of the sand beneath my feet, my grandfather's silhouette as the sun went down and the harbour in all its glory.
Last summer in film...
Since then I have never stopped clicking, never stopped loving. A digital SLR found me in December and I was instantly in love. I still shoot film and I still shoot digital and I love both dearly. Photography makes me happy. Through my lens every flower, every sunset, every smile, seems more precious and a little brighter...a little more vivid. I doubt I will ever put my camera down.
Photography is just one of the many things that makes me happy. There was a thread over at ILP recently about twenty things that make me happy. Writing mine made me think how blessed I am, how easily my fortunes could change and how I must endeavour to appreciate each moment. I think photography helps me do that. So here's my twenty...

Being blessed...which seems to be every minute of the day. I feel so lucky.
My family who are my best friends in the world.
My two kittens – the loves of my life.
The smell of freshly cut grass.
That summer feeling.
Grilled haloumi cheese.
My hobbies ~ photography, writing, reading, knitting, ballet.
Apple juice with crushed ice!
Speaking to my best friend, Katie.
Learning something new.
Blue skies!
Just relaxing.
Watching Doctor Who (!) and ER.
A hot bubble bath, mmmmm.
Bluebells and green grass...
Writing in my diary.
Homemade Vanilla Milkshakes.
Going to church.

And I sure was happy today, the blue skies finally found us. :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

How's the weather?

BUT, I do NOT want to know if it's sunny...!! Here it has been rainy, rainy, rainy, stormy, stormy, stormy and gloomy, gloomy, gloomy. I miss the sun but hopefully it'll come back soon. I have high hopes. As for now I am blissfully content at the thought of no exams for another 10 days, and blissfully confused about global seems more like global cooling! I do love rain, I really do, but only in moderation. There are only so many angles to the rainy window shot!
Rainy Days @ f/2.2, 1/125, ISO 100
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And, big news, I have been tagged yet again! The fourth in three days...I have two to complete but for now I'll just do the one. Tagging is tiring! [Like my alliteration? I do.] I have to list my five favourite boy/girl names. I love names and their history and etymology. I used to keep a name blog before this one, and so I am rather pleased to have been tagged with this one!
#1 Violet
#2 Mercy
#3 Clara
#4 Lydia
#5 Honora
#1 Jonah
#2 William
#3 Henry
#4 Atticus
#5 Elisha
Now, who to tag? I think this is a relatively new tag but I know some people hate, I am going to tag Mindy, Lottie [because she always completes her tags!], Jeremi, Kris [because she tagged me with my first tag!] and....[insert drumroll of choice]...Frederique. I look forward to hearing your answers!
Five things I love I also have to say...erm, well {1. my family, cats and friends}, {2. my hobbies ~ reading, writing, knitting, cycling and unforgettably photography}, {3. my home}, {4. love..such a beautiful thing!} and {5. life}. Due to the rain and a current uncreative stint I haven't taken many photographs. Actually, that's a complete and utter untruth. I have taken hundreds but none of them very good. I don't have a flash, I don't have steady hands and I work best in full sun so these dull days find me feeling rather uninspired. I admire all of you who do such wonderful indoor photography. I couldn't suck harder at it!! Still, I have been discovering the joys of collages and storyboards. Here's, a la Blue Peter, one I made earlier...I am a stationery junkie and it just has to be matching. In fact, my favourite store is Paperchase! :) Anyways...cheerio. 'Till next time, L. x
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

How do you like your eggs?

I like mine scrambled! Not fried, not poached, not boiled...but scrambled! Yum! If you're a vegan (I'm just vegetarian, not vegan)...erm, how do you like your tofu? =P I just saw the eggs on the table and loved the lines and soft lighting!
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I've been tagged again! This time by Jinksee and Stacey, but it's a different tag so I'll endeavour to play along with what Sheye calls this 'blogly form of chain mail': I couldn't agree more! It's fun though! =) So I have to tell you why I blog in five sentences...
1) For Me.
2) For You.
3) Your wonderful comments truly rock.
4) On a down day, you're the perfect pick-me-up.
5) On an up day, it's fun to share your joy.
Last exam today! For 12 days! I had English Language which went pretty well, I think. =) By the way, how are you liking Tulips Grow Anywhere's new look?! I decided it needed a new header, new music, new font, new links added etc. etc. etc. Isn't that a cool word? Et cetera? I know, I's Latin. But Latin's cool. I had my Latin exam last week. Helen made me laugh when she said she remembered 'O fons Bandusiae' hasn't changed!
So after English Language today I decided to skip the [optional, I didn't really skip it] History 'rev sesh' [aka revision session, my teacher likes to use random phrases to try and relate to the younger generation [!] and come home. Aah, relaxation. Haven't had it in weeks! It was good to just chill out, watch some ER [ohmygollygosh, poor Sarah! Isn't she a great actress though?...or am I the only ER fan here? And I think the UK is way behind the US..but anyways...] and take some pictures. Here's a few I just pulled off the cards. I have a ton more from the last few weeks but have been so busy studying I haven't got round to proofing any.
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My mum made me take the last one! =) I've been teaching her photography here and there and she just got her first prints. Okay, last one for now...
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The End. Love L. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I've been TAGGED! by the oh-so-lovely, talented and admirable Kris Leigh to list the following:

1. Four of my favourite jobs
2. Four of my favourite local places
3. Four of my favourite foods
4. Four of my favourite international places
5. Four name's of people I am tagging
So, of course I am obliged to play along! :) Hopefully, for those of you who don't know me, you'll get to know me a little better. Here goes!
1. Four of my favourite jobs
Well, I have to admit, at 16...I haven't had many paying jobs! Nope, not one! Unless you count blackberry picking in Suffolk. We were paid a ridiculously low amount and it was fun, that is until I fell into the blackberry bush and returned home with a hundred and one prickles in my legs! Apart from that I do voluntary Girl Scouts and Brownie Guides and stuff. So yeah... :)
2. Four of my favourite local places
~ 1 would have to be my garden! Does that count? It's huge and vast and full to brimming of fab places and flowers to photograph.
~ 2 has to be the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Oh my, I used to spend hours as a young child running round the corridors and looking at the photographs hung on the walls.
~ 3...Somerset House! They have the best ice-skating rink there at Christmas and we go every year. It's absolutely beautiful!
~ 4 would be my school. I love my school. The grounds are wonderful, green as anything, and we have a swimming pool and great sports facilities there too. I love school.
3. Four of my favourite foods
~ My favourite food EVER is haloumi cheese! Oh my, it's absolutely really truly is. Sooo yummy, especially when grilled. Mmmm...
~ coool and juicy and totally rich green! How could you not love it?
~ I also admit to being rather partial to Haagen Daaz Pralines & Cream ice cream. I first tried it when I was 6 and have been having an affair with it ever since. :)
~ Green & Black's Organic Chocolate...yum!
~ Apples! I love apples...any kind, any type. As you probably know from the millions of pictures I take of them. Oops that makes 5...oh well! I guess I'm a foodie [yes, I do read the Observer Food Monthly]... :P
4. Four of my favourite international places
~ Germany! I love Germany...Aachen, Heidelberg, Munich, Berlin...everywhere I have been I have loved! The food, the people, the language, the ethos, the atmosphere...what a great place!
~ Amsterdam, capital of Holland. Home to the Anne Frank Museum, Van Gogh Art Museum, the canals, the...Well, it basically rocks!
~ Boston. I have only been once, to America, and we went to Boston. I was 9. I still remember it so vividly as if it were yesterday. I loved it there.
~ Cyprus. In our garden we had a huge walnut tree and we used to pick them under the glare of the hot October sun. We went swimming and cycling and fishing. It's simply beautiful. I love to travel. :)
5. Four names of people I am tagging
Meanwhile, some recent shots....nothing really that interesting but just some snaps I pulled of the card. BTW, English Lit went pretty well! :)
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Have a fab evening. Off to my piano lesson now...Love L. x

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hiatus, sorry!

Apologies for the hiatus! Exams have been crazy...I had Latin Poetry today and have English Literature tomorrow. Much as I love it, I am crazy about it, I am so nervous so can only stop by before getting back to the revision! Thank you all so much for the good luck wishes, I truly appreciate them. And I have been tagged by Kris AND Stacey, will be getting to that in my next post! Thanks girlies!

Sorry if this post is complete ramble and mind is full of A Raisin in the Sun, Lady Macbeth, Atticus Finch and a million worried! :( Anyway, I hope it will be fine. It's closed book so we can't take our books in which is a bit annoying but anyway! Don't give up on me, after Thursday I have 12 days off until the next batch of exams...going to the beach for the day (yay!) and will be blogging to make up for the time Ive missed. Sorry for the all short sentences and ellipsis too! Just a recent shot....see you, hope you have a great L. :)

1.8, ISO 400 and 1/4000 :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lavender & Lulu

f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO 100 :) ~ aren't they pretty?
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Now I am sure you are total erschopft of my talk about exams, exams and, yep you guessed it, exams! But they take over your a good way. They're really kind of fun. Today I had Maths [okay, but I don't want to get my hopes up] and Religious Studies - in two hours, I wrote 24 pages of A4 sheets and my hand does ache! I didn't even know it was possible to write that much! Anyway, enough exam talk...
And apologies that I am not commenting much on blogs...come June 25th (end of ex...I won't say it!) I will be blog comment queen.
Have a great evening. ~ L.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Simply Be.

Simply be. That's what I learnt today. It popped up in the strangest of advert on the bus, a question in an exam, said in passing but meant to mean something different, written on a cake in a shop window. It was like a sign. Simply be. Simply being, I have realised, is what life is all about. Simply being and breathing and living every second and moment as if it is the best ever to grace your life. So that's what I'll be doing from now on, simply being. Simply being me, unapologetically.
Just like this dandelion, I guess.
f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/640
Examinations are going well. German was a little hard to be polite, Latin was fine and English Language today was perfect! :) Tomorrow I have Maths and Religious Studies. It scares me that these are the real things. No more retakes if you don't do well, no more "Oh well. You'll do better next time." But I'll be fine. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

70-210 lens... sister and I found it whilst we were tidying out the attic [revision procrastination drives you to do strange things, I have found]. And it's a Canon one! A 70-210 f/4.0-5.6. It's fun! I have never used anything *that* telephoto. So, since my sister wouldn't let me practise on her, I begrudgingly turned the here's me at 210mm (our attic is big with nice light!), f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 400. We had fun. My sister's pretty good, right? Although the crop's pretty funky. So, yes, introducing me. It's funny how different I look at 210mm than at 50mm. :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Film, blue skies & the good life. :)

At the weekend when I had my completely crazy and utterly liberating experience with the kit lens I also decided to pick up my film camera. This camera is in all of my memories. I can see, if a little fuzzily, my father carrying the big camera round during every family holiday. I can remember begging him and pleading him to be able to hold it, if only for a second, and to be able to click the shutter. The camera was a fantasy to me - a big black giant of a thing that ate cylinder shaped colourful plastic rolls for food. It was noisy too, and whirred...I yearned to own such a machine. Finally my father relented. I remember, we were in France, I lifted it out of his hands, and placed it round my neck feeling quite the grown-up! I pointed it at the sea and clicked. The love for that feeling has never faded since. I still have that photograph, just as we still have the mighty beast...outmoded as he is now. So I picked up the camera, the one from all my childhood memories, and I loaded a roll of black and white film and I manually focused and I metered and I played. It was freedom all over again.

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Hearing the gentle thud of the prints on the doormat is like Christmas. No way will I ever give up digital but I have a newfound love for film again. These were cropped a little but apart from that nothing. I love the raw real life feeling they represent for me.
Today was our first blue sky for a little while. Yesterday I read some words from a friend, about how blue skies are God's gift to us - to help us make it through the day. I never really thought about it that way. But I think this picture portrays that notion perfectly. Such silent soft scenes of nature are empowering in their own way, don't you think?
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Today I also received a present in the post [lotsa post for me!] from a Canadian friend. The t-shirt came with this wonderful card - she said she knew I would love it, and boy she must know me well. Thanks K, for the great shirt! That phrase just sums life up...I mean, what's the point if you don't enjoy yourself? :) Have a great day and, remember, like what you do! ;) {Sincere apologies about the quality of the following image}.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's over!

My German speaking exam that is. My first ever public examination. I was practically shaking but I think it went alright. Well, I did at first but now I am worried I failed. LOL. Hopefully not. I'll just have to do extra well in the writing and reading and listening to be sure. :) I am glad it's over though. I didn't make any major mistakes except once and I made a few minor ones but corrected myself as soon as I said them.
Next week I have six exams - Latin, German listening, English Lang, Maths x2 and Religious Studies. So I really ought to be working break is over in 10 minutes so I'll be quick. The bluebells in are garden are dying - it's the time of year. It still makes me sad though. I collected up a few and put them in a tin can [formally Heinz Spaghetti Hoops, for a little trivia!] and took pictures so I won't forget. Plus, do you like my new header? :)
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I hope you are all having a good day! I very motivated to revise so off I go now! :) Have a fun day!
P.S. ~ All at f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/1250

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


That seems the right word to describe my feelings right now. At least within photography. In other news I have tons of studying to do; my first exam is on Thursday and I feel confident with that one as it is German [my best subject] but I have Maths next week and am also worried about English Language. Anywho, enough boring stuff. Let's talk about freedom. :)

You know, ever since I found photography, I thought I was FREE. I always thought I was following my own artistic expression and I suppose, to an extent, I was. It was just a little stifled. With film, I shot for myself. Nobody else saw the prints...they were just in the family album so I could take as many blurry grainy OOF shots as I wanted and nobody really cared. Then along came digital, which I absolutely adore. I really do. But at the same time it came, for me, with a kind of "Oh, my pictures have to be super clear and super sharp and super smooth and super super bright" to be right. But what is right really? Right is what feels right to you as an individual. The bright colours are definitely my style but often I would think what do OTHER people want to see? And I'd shoot that. Sure, other people liked it and so did I but it wasn't quite the true me.

Then, just this weekend, I picked up my kit lens. Yes, the one talked only about in a dreaded hush in photography circles. That's the one. I found freedom. I could shoot wide, shoot with closed up aps and needed high ISOs, slow shutter speeds....I became a contortionist. Curling up in corners, lying down flat on the ground and jumping in the air to follow my artistic vision. And it was fun. The most fun I've ever had. I didn't think about how other people would perceive my images, or me as a photographer. Not for a moment. I just shot what I loved, before I could even think about anything else. And, ya know, it was SO liberating. It really was. For a while I decided I would just skip outside the circle of convention for a day or two but then I realised that this is what art is all about. It's you, your being and your soul breathed into a photograph. And I think that is what these images are. They are a part of me.

So you might not like them, you might find them too colourful, too fuzzy, too strange...but just know that they are memories and they are me.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Budding Artist~
Thanks for letting me share. As photographers I am sure you'll understand. Whew, that was a long post! BTW, like my Flickr badge on the side now? I do!! BTW, if you ever want any technical exif info or have any questions, don't hesitate to comment and ask. I'd love to answer, especially as my camera has acquired some crazy syndrome where it wipes out EXIF data. Anyways, thanks for reading. Wish me luck in exams! May God be with you, and happiness too.
~ L. x

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oh, happy day!

Why? I don't know. Today was just one of those happy days where I lived life to its fullest blissfully unaware of anything going on around me. :) Yesterday I really got stuck into examination revision, which honestly isn't all that bad when you get right into it. I just wish 'revision' was one of those pretty mellifluous words that rolls off your tongue, seeing as I have to say it so much! Or maybe I'm just weird.
I did some Latin verse, a little Latin grammar, some Maths, some Nature of God and Biblical stuff and my favourite....German. :) I want to be a German teacher when I grow up. I love it so. I love the way all the words are so pretty and the rules are so regular and the culture is so wonderful, and so is the food! Anyway, I just love it. My first examination is next Thursday, my German speaking test, and I am not nervous at all! I can't lovely teacher always make one feel at ease. We also have to learn a lot of quotations from books for English Literature. I went out to the high street and bought a pack of eighty chalks in the colours of the rainbow and wrote quotations from Shakespeare's Macbeth (great book! great guy!) all over the sidewalk. That was fun!
I miss school so badly but I know it won't be long until we can go back. For those that don't know the deal here in England, at sixteen you do national big scary huge exams called GCSEs that go towards your university application and your CV and what sort of job you can do when you are older. I need at least an A in Maths, English and a Science to be a teacher (plus a degree, but that's not for a while yet!) which *should* be okay. I take English Literature, English Language, Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry (all compulsory) and my own options are Religious Studies, Modern World History, German and Latin. I have 21 exams which end on 25th June and start on the 10th May so I'll hope I'll get to blog a little in that time but I'm afraid I'll be a little scarce for a while. But promise not to give up on me, okay?! :)
I hope I haven't bored you so with too many words (and not very nice ones at that) and not enough pictures. It'll be better tomorrow. I have my darling 6-year-old sweetheart of a cousin staying for the weekend and he loves to model for the in between revision (there it is again!) I'll be snapping some of him. I hope you all had a great day!
~ L. x

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Today was a bittersweet day ~ the last day of school for Year 11 (10th Grade?) because we go on study leave to revise for our national exams. I laughed, I tried to stop myself crying but gave in in the end, I must have smiled for a thousand pictures, hugged many friends more than once, ate cake and homemade biscuits and remembered.

In German we gave our absolutely and utterly lovely teacher (words cannot explain how lovely she is) a card signed by all of us. She is leaving and I am going to miss her more than words can say. Of course, she'll keep in touch but it won't be the same. She burst into tears when she read my comment, "When I become a teacher, I hope I can be a nice a one as you." But it's true, she is the sweetest woman in the entire world and I will never forget all that she has taught me. We sat outside in the school grounds eating cakes and strawberries and reminiscing and it was just that; bittersweet. With the birds singing in the background and the sounds of giggles and laughter and chattering all around and our sweet teacher telling us how much she would miss us all, I never ceased smiling. I felt as if I had found a stillness deep inside my soul, a place of happiness and joy. Minutes later as we bade farewell to our teacher and I walked to my next lesson alone I was close to tears; so sad that this would be our last day as a form and a class and our last day with many teachers and students...yet I realised in that very moment that I could draw upon that place of joy within me when feeling blue, and that is why I need to inhale and live to their fullest the best moments in my I can live them through again when I need to.

"Form-time", as it as affectionately called in our class, was another emotional affair. We were meant to write down our memories of the five years as a class (next year at school we are split up and quite a few people leave to go to Sixth Form Colleges - but not me!) and we did so quickly; then went outside and sat on the wall as a form ... just as we had in the very same place exactly four years before. Our teacher took a picture. The picture taken by another professor four years ago hangs on my wall. I am on the left with my head tilted to the side, blowing in the wind, my tights filled with holes as usual and my laces untied and mad. Today, as I sat on the wall, I realised that I have not changed. Nor do I want to. I was filled with an irrepressible happiness that I am ME. Nobody can change that. I am still an optimist, as I was when I was 12. I still walk around school with holes in my tights. I still skip through the corridors. I am still clumsy as ever. I remain scared of needles. I still have blonde curly hair. I still bite my nails. And I still pose in my pictures with my head titled to the side. It was in that second sitting on the wall next to the people I have shared problems and successes and sadness with for five years that it dawned on me: my circumstances, my friends, my place of study/work, my life as a whole may change but I will always be Lulu. I hope I always retain my integrity and love for life. And if I don't, well, tell me...okay?! :)

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