My First Lomography Photos

You may have noticed my white Diana Mini around my neck on a couple of recent outfit posts, I got the Lomography camera for my birthday back in March and it has been accompanying me on most of my adventures of late. When we're out on walks it always seems that we are the only couple without dogs or children so I often joke that we are "getting our camera out of the house", these pictures were mainly taken on some sunny days around Bristol in St Andrews, St Werburgs and Leigh Woods (more of those boats!). Without being able to instantly check the results or immediately edit and upload to Instagram there's some thing quite freeing about snapping away on film although it did feel a little odd at first. 

Beyond pointing and shooting the Diana Mini has lots of features and functions to get to grips with and with my first roll I was experimenting without having a clue of how shots would look. Explaining in my layman's terms - you have control over how far the film rolls on so you can play around with double exposure shots. There is also a half frame mode which lets you split the shot in two although this only seems to have worked properly for me a couple of times.

There were certainly a lot of duds in the pack and large parts of the film roll was blank, not black like I'd left the lens cap on, just entirely unused - any Lomo experts out there know what's up with that?!?  In general however I'm really happy with the results on this roll, particularly with the shots where I achieve a cool effect on purpose - the shot of us jumping on the bridge and the one of Will walking away from me. There are also some great happy accidents - look at giant me sitting on top of Werburgs! I'm actually feeling more pleased with the results since uploading and looking at them on a screen (not sure what that says about my brain and digital mediums!)

For me the beauty of having a camera like this is to have fun with it and not be too worried about the results but I'd definitely like to develop my skills - practice makes perfect so expect too keep seeing that camera around my neck!

All photos taken on Lomography Diana Mini with Lomography Color Negative 100 ISO 35mm film.

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Mad Men : (a few of) My Favourite Moments In Pictures

There is a sense of trepidation when an adored show comes to an end. After audiences have invested years in these characters there's a lot of pressure on those final moments of the last episode to deliver a a sense of closure and a fitting ending - thankfully Mad Men's final episode last week achieved just that. For me the season finale ended on a perfect note, another brilliant moment in a show that has too many amazing scenes for me to make any definitive 'favourites' list. So here are just a few of my favourite (often musical) moments from the TV master piece that was Mad Men  (SPOILERS AHOY)...

//1. Season One, Episode Nine: 'Shoot' - The image of Betty in her nightdress shooting at her neighbour's pigeons will always be a personal favourite. No one else could make acting bat-shit crazy look so good. 

//2. Season Three, Episode Three: 'My Old Kentucky Home' - in this episode we not only see that Joan's talents include playing accordion and singing in French but also...

//3. Season Three, Episode Three: 'My Old Kentucky Home' - ...that Pete can Charleston!

//4. Season Three, Episode Eight: 'Souvenir' - I love everything about the Drapers date night in Rome... The interaction between Don & Betty, her flirting in Italian, that beehive.

//5. Season Five, Episode One: 'A Little Kiss' - one of the shows more cringe worthy musical moments is iconic none the less.

//6. Season Five,  Episode Seven: 'At the Cod Fish Ball' - the moment I realised I will never be as cool as Sally Draper!

//7. Season Six, Episode Thirteen: 'In Care Of' - Don opening up about his childhood to his own kids set to the tune of Joni Mitchell = perfection.

//8. Season Seven, Episode Six: 'The Strategy' - Peggy and Don's dance is maybe the sweetest moment in the entire seven seasons.

//9. Season Seven, Episode Seven: 'Waterloo' - yet another beautiful musical moment for a surreal and poignant farewell to Burt Cooper.

//10. Season Seven, Episode Twelve: 'Lost Horizon' - best. entrance. ever. This had me cheering 'you go girl' at the telly.

//11. Season Seven, Episode Thirteen: 'Person to Person' - Ommmm.

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At-Bristol : After Hours - Food

You may remember that earlier this year I visited At-Bristol for the first time. Back in February on the evening of Valentine's Day we went along to the science centre's After Hours event which was fittingly themed around Love & Luck - read my post here. Being able to wander around and interact with the exhibits drink-in-hand and without any kids about was so much fun that I was very excited to be invited back to check out May's event. Especially as this After Hours was all about FOOD and was being run in conjunction with the week-long Food Connections Festival which was taking place across the city.

The food theme meant that as well as the usual exhibits there were a number of foodie things to explore. This included sniffing our way around different foods as we learnt that some odd food combinations actually smell similar due to having chemicals in common and we discovered a host of interesting spices at the Bart Spice Kitchen, we even got to make our own spice mix to take home. We also found ourselves taking part in an experiment in the psychology of appetite which was particularly amusing. The team behind the experiment, which was effectively a piece of interactive theatre, had put a lot of effort into creating a fun feature which attempted to demonstrate how our brains influence how full-up we feel. 

Another reason I was excited to pay At-Bristol a visit again was that since we last went there has been some major updates to their Planetarium. In what is now the UK's only 3D Planetarium we were able to watch the Summer Star Gazing show in Ultra High Definition 360 Digital 3D! Although I tend to prefer watching my movies in 2D the 3D visuals suit space exploration perfectly and the amazing 3D effects added a really fun, immersive element to the experience - I especially enjoyed flying through the beautiful Milky Way. If you have little ones under six or 3D leaves you feeling giddy (not in a good way) there are still 2D shows available which are equally as engaging but I definitely recommend exploring the stars in 3D if you get a chance.

Once again After Hours proved that the science centre really is a lot of fun for big kids too. Keep your eyes on their Twitter feed for details of the next time you'll be able to explore  At-Bristol child free!

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Wedding // FOUR MONTHS TO GO!!

This Wednesday we had an appointment with Bristol Registry Office to give our notice of marriage. I didn't really know about it before we were engaged but giving notice of marriage is part of the legal stuff we have to do here in the UK - you have to do it at least 28 days before your ceremony and you have to get hitched within one year of doing so. The later certainly won't be a problem for us as this week coincidently marked 4 months to go until our wedding day - it's getting scarily excitingly close! We have a long list of things still to do but on the other hand it kinda feels like it's all starting to come together, well... our ideas are at least. 

It was such lovely weather on Wednesday that I decided to pack a picnic for us to have before our registry office appointment at 7pm. In to my picnic basket I packed some marinated olives, made a roast pepper quinoa salad and grilled a whole mackerel with lime, chilli and coriander. Maybe it sounds a tad over-the-top but the fresh fish needed cooking that day plus it seemed like a nice excuse for a little celebration. I wouldn't always make such elaborate food for a picnic... well maybe I would! I met Will after he finished work, we sat near the river in Castle Park and enjoyed the evening sun with some good food and beer. Randomly the march against austerity was just finishing up in Castle Park at the same time so our romantic date night was set to the sound of the protesters chants. Not that we minded -  it was a very Bristol picnic!

At the registry office we signed the necessities which will let us get legally hitched in a mere few months time and after that we headed home but not before grabbing some ice creams on the way (the new coffee flavour Magnum is completely delicious by the by). We had such a lovely evening and it feels nice to mark these little milestones as we get closer to the big day - not that you really need any excuse for a picnic in the park of course!

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Restaurant Review : Sticks & Broth, Bristol

Dubbed the ‘Rise of Ramen’ the last couple of years has seen a surge in popularity for the hearty Japanese noodle-broth, with Ramen Bars specialising in the dish appearing across the UK. Serving delicious ingredients and exciting flavours by the bowl-full Baldwin Street’s Sticks & Broth is responsible for bringing the trend to the centre of Bristol and is doing so in fabulous fashion.

Alongside the aforementioned Ramen the menu boasts succulent Yakatori ‘sticks’, dumplings, tempura and Donburi rice dishes all of which come out of the open-plan kitchen wonderfully presented. As good looking as the food is however upon tasting you could certainly not accuse the restaurant of producing style over substance. Ramen is a dish of many components which Sticks & Broth bring together beautifully in all senses, perfectly harmonising its elements.

There is a choice of ramen here to suit all pallets and preferences: grilled tofu sits pretty in the veggie option, hot and spicy kimchee ramen is a seafood lover’s dream, the chicken ramen is much milder but equally flavourful and ardent carnivores will have a hard time choosing between options of duck, beef brisket or pulled pork. Teeming with quality ingredients Sticks & Broth’s ramen is incredibly good value for money, I’ve no doubt the seemingly bottomless bowls will satisfy even the largest of appetites.

With oriental inspired street art sprayed onto black walls Sticks & Broth’s d├ęcor wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi film set in the Tokyo of the future, complete with fantastic alienesque lampshades that seems to have a life of their own. However, much like the food they serve, many elements come together perfectly in a seemingly effortlessly cool fashion. Far from feeling like part of a fad Sticks & Broth is one of Bristol’s most exciting new restaurants and I recommend you get yourself along to try a hearty bowl of goodness as soon as you can!

Sticks & Broth, Baldwin Street Bristol

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Outlaw Artisan Craft Fair, Bristol

Inspired by the indie craft fairs they've seen in The States the mother and son team behind Outlaw are on a mission to create exciting crafty events here in the South West providing something a little bit different than your average craft fair. I was kindly invite to go and check out the event for myself, so last Saturday Will and I went along to the beautiful Passenger Shed to see what an Outlaw Artisan Craft Show is all about.

Arriving hungry we of course made our way directly towards the food and although there was only a couple stalls to choose from the option of Vietnamese street food is always going to be a winner for me, especially the deliciously fresh and flavourful dishes served up by Viet Vite. Appetites sated we set about exploring the fair, starting with picking up some dress making tips from Millie Moon's Anna Vickery who was giving a talk in the demo theatre. As well as watching demonstrations from expert artisans I think one thing which made this show particularly unique was all the different opportunities to actually get involved in the crafting too. There was a number of workshops people could book onto over the weekend and a 'Make & Take' theatre with a program of sessions that allowed people to try their hand at a craft and take their creation home.
Probably our favourite part of the day was spending time chatting to 'Maker In Residence' Ben Goodman who alongside exhibiting amazing prints was working on his ridiculously intricate etchings in his pop-up studio. We even got to have a go on his printing press and create our own miniature prints to take home, they are now quite fittingly sat atop our vintage printers block tray.
There were oh so many rows of beautiful stalls, as you can see from my photos there was so much to look at and definitely something for all tastes. Favourite finds included Nelly's Treasures' awesome cushions (I want them all!) and Humble Cottage whose vibrant quirky designs I fell for when I first saw them online and faced with their amazing wooden postcards in person it was a hard task choosing to buy just two I can tell you! Also picked up a couple of treats from Ladybird Likes - the only seller not a new discovery for me - Will treated me to some of their gold sparkly heart-shaped collar pins. Not sure what I did to deserve them... maybe it was taking him along to an awesome craft fair!
In a city brimming with fantastic artisans, independent shops and people who embrace all things hand-made the Outlaw Artisan Craft Show seemed completely at home here and I'm certain their unique brand of fair would be welcome back to Bristol any time!


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