Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wish You Were Here... Weeks 3 & 4

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A cold, grey day in early January is probably the only time you could hope to get a photograph of the front of the Château de Versailles with no one else around except your own friends. The relatively small number of visitors inside, made for a great tour and certainly made me appreciate being a local.

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Gallettes des Rois are our favourite French tradition. This year we had four - one of them baked by India. Florence was almost able to carry out her role, designated by her status as the youngest in the family, to call out who should get each slice. However, having crowned herself Queen before the cake was even cut into, she lost interest and it was left to Savannah to do the honours.


Don't forget to check out all the other virtual postcards in the Wish You Were Here... project. Each week they get better and better!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A New Arrival

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This week there was a new arrival chez Berries. Juliet the cat. India has been asking for a cat for some time and she finally persuaded us with a convincing power point presentation and a promise to take full charge of the litter box! She used her Christmas money to pay the adoption fees, so Juliet really is India's cat but we have all fallen for this sweet, dainty, affectionate cat.

You may have noticed that it's been more that a week since my last Wish You Were Here... post but there's a good reason for that. My little personal project has exploded into a full grown collaboration with an amazing and talented group of photographers from all around the world!

At the end of last year I took two inspirational photography workshops taught by Deb Schwedhelm, Breaking the Mold and Continuing the Journey. They helped me focus on what I do and what I want to be as a photographer and she encouraged me to identify a personal project that would help me develop my photography. I came up with Wish You Were Here... and in an attempt to keep me motivated for the year, invited alumni from the Continuing the Journey workshop to join me. I expected one or two people to be interested. We are now a group of 23 with a waiting list!

We now have our own website, www.wishyouwerehereinayear.com, which I am curating and each week we will share virtual postcards from our lives. Please visit us and see how the year unfolds from Alaska all the way down to Australia.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A New Start

Bonne Année! I hope you all had a good Holiday Season. Ours was fun and action packed. That on top of the fact that the day after I wrote my last post here, our house was burgled again and my camera and computer were stolen, explains my long absence. My camera gear has now been replaced and improved so I am back in action and looking forward to photographing what will be a year of change for us, although exactly what form that change will take is still unknown!

I don't know how much time I will have for writing blog posts but I do want to keep a record of our life, so I have decided to start a weekly photographic project so that I will be sure to share something at least once a week. I'm calling it Wish You Were Here... and the photographs and message will be a weekly postcard from our life whatever it looks like!


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We started the first week of the New Year skiing and eating cheese in the Alps with good friends from California.
We ended it at the Christmas Fun Fair in the magnificent Grand Palais with our first Paris friends, back for a visit to the City of Light from their new home in the Netherlands.
Such a treat to spend time with both families who we wish were here with us all the time!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A walk in the park

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We spent this Autumn's half term on a much overdue trip to England. We started off in London to celebrate fortieths with our college friends and to take the girls to museums and a show. We made it to the Science Museum and Madame Tussauds but despite promising ourselves that we would make our first ever visit to the Tower of London, we never did get there! Although Keith spent five years in London working in an office right next door to that most famous of London landmarks none of us have ever visited. When you live in a city you mostly don't see it with tourist's eyes and even though it's over a decade since we lived in London, we feel like locals as soon as we return. This also explains why I hardly picked up my camera while we were there. That and the incessant rain!

After a fun few days in London we headed up to the North East to visit Keith's family and celebrate a special birthday for his Mum. The girls were thrilled to spend time at Grandma's and meet her new dog Jake for the first time. After a wet time in London we were pleasantly surprised with some beautiful fall days and made the most of the chance to get outside and enjoy them. These photographs are from a walk from Grandma's house to the park where Daddy used to play. The play structure has been upgraded but the sledging hill is just the same, although at this time of year it was covered with leaves not snow!

Happy memories from our visit to one of the many places we call home!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Climbing Trees

A flashback post for you today - the story of what we did on this day last year whilst we were on holiday in Provence. It has been sitting in my drafts folder ever since and as it was one of our favourite French experiences it doesn't deserve to stay forgotten.

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We spent the 2012 Toussaint school holidays staying in an absolutely charming converted farmhouse just outside Apt which is right in the heart of the Luberon Valley and an easy drive from all the hill top towns that the area is so well known for. While we were there we visited Gordes, Lourmarin, Rousillon and the ultimate hill top town Les Baux de Provence (not actually in the Luberon but close enough).

I think it's safe to say that the enthusiasm for visiting all these hill top towns was mostly mine, the girls tolerated them, but Savannah, in particular, kept asking when we were going to do something fun for kids! Once she found a brochure for Colorado Aventures she was determined that we should go.

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Keith had some work to do that day so he stayed in the house with Florence and I went on my own with the girls. The location wasn't that far from where we were staying but it took some finding. Even after we finally found the car park there was a long trek up through the ochre hills with limited signage to indicate that there would indeed be a fun activity at the end of the hike. Hikes through beautiful national parks, not necessarily being considered fun in themselves by certain members of the family!

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Eventually we turned one more corner and found ourselves in the middle of the activity centre and the girls were kitted out in their gear ready to go tree climbing.

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Although these parcours - forrest obstacle courses - are everywhere in France this was the first time the girls had ever tried it so they took the easy route...

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...and quickly got the hang of it!

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What I hadn't expected when we set out was that I would have to climb the trees too seeing as I was the only responsible adult with them! After a nervous start I actually really loved it and the views were well worth the potential humiliation in front of my children.

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This place is a hidden gem and if you are lucky enough to be visiting the area, I would highly recommend a break from climbing hill towns to go climb these trees!


Friday, October 4, 2013

My Wild Berries. Ten

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Weekly portraits of my children inspired by You Are My Wild


Florence

She was helping me tidy up after the birthday party wearing her sister's ballet leotard.
I spotted the pretty light shining through the trees and asked if I could take her picture.
Unexpectedly, she said yes.
Five minutes later this is what we got!

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Wild Berries. Nine

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Weekly portraits of my children inspired by You Are My Wild


Oldest and Youngest

India has been away for ten days on an Outward Bound school trip in the Lake District. We really missed her. When she got home tonight Florence flew into her arms, overjoyed! This photo was taken last week before she left. India isn't always thrilled to have a baby sister around but she loves her really!
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