Tuesday, November 27

Leaves, life

These photos were taken on a Sunday walk a couple of weeks ago, before the rain and floods came. Those trees are wading in a big soggy lake now. All the leaves on the ground have turned to mush and any that were left on the trees have been blown away by the filthy weather. So autumn is all but over. I'm trying to resign myself to the prospect of four months of cold toes, chapped lips, uncoordinated knitwear, and stumbling through the short days from one hot cuppa to another. Oh, winter.

But at least there are Christmas festivities to look forward to.

On an unrelated topic, I was reading the blog of photographer and student Helena the other day and found myself enthusiastically nodding along to one of her posts, where she was talking about what to do when you want to do it all. She said:

"I would like to be a writer. But of course I would like to stay a photographer as well. So I would like to do both.
And then I would also like to be a designer, too, please.
Can we have it all? Can we do it all? Can we gain all the skills?"

Like Helena, I would love to be a photographer & writer, as well as venture into art and graphic design (oh and set design, motion and animation, illustration, to name but a few...), but also like Helena I'm worried about spreading myself too thin. I still haven't gone to university, because I have too many interests. I've figured out that the smartest thing to do would be an art foundation year of sorts, then I can make a more informed decision and pick one thing. Helena sums it up well when she says, "I don’t want to end up as a ridiculous do-it-all person, and actually do nothing because it all sucks. I want to be good at one thing. Or maybe two. And then be really good at this."

It's good to have lots of interests but not so good to try and do it all. I want to be able to work really hard at one thing and do well in it, so that it can become the thing that earns me my bread and coffee, and gets me up in the morning. It doesn't mean I can't continue my writing, photography, illustration, on the side  - and if there's anything in them, and anything ever comes of them, then that'll be jolly nice too.  

Tuesday, November 13

Autumn days & Newcastle

I've been trying to make the most of autumn. It's a season that always seems to slip past so quickly and suddenly you're thinking about Christmas before the colours have even turned. I want to slow down and savour everything - the yellows, reds, golds, the constant soft rain of leaves, leaves in the air, leaves underfoot. The scent of crisp blue mornings and misty purple evenings. Autumn feels extra beautiful this year, I'm not sure whether it's because we were deprived of a nice summer, or we've just been lucky, but there've been some absolutely lovely days and the best mix of sunshine and frost.

I've been watching the trees change on sunny morning runs, I've been going for dusky walks, cooking and eating butternut squash, reinstating the evening hot chocolate habit. I've been to parks and gardens, I've found the perfect orange leaves in Kew. I've had coffees and soups and stews. I've walked around parts of London, gone to an art exhibition, taken a lot of photographs.

Below are some photos from a brief trip to Newcastle to visit my friend at uni, where the woolly jumpers came out and a lot of cappuccinos were consumed. The first few are of Jesmond Dene, a pretty area just outside of the city centre with lots of trees, a river and a little petting zoo! The rest are of Newcastle's moody architecture and its huge, impressive bridges.