Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Halloween hello from Edinburgh

Just a little Halloween hello from my hotel room here in Edinburgh. Today has been a long, long day. But I arrived at this beautiful hotel this evening and I am now ready for a relatively early nights sleep - I need this sleep since my alarm is set for 5.45am and we have a full day of shooting on location (which looks to be an incredibly beautiful Scottish beach and log cabin). I fear that the make up artist is going to be faced with a very sleepy model tomorrow morning who won't come alive until she's had at least three coffees.
So happy Halloween to all. I have enjoyed my chocolates and wine and this incredibly comfortable bed.

To be a snowflake

'A useful analogy here might be that of 'the snowflake'. Each snowflake, it would appear, is entirely unique. No one snowflake's shape or appearance is exactly the same as any other. At the same time, however, all snowflakes come into being through the same specific set of programmed structural invariants  Each unique snowflake is also a universal snowflake in that it contains and exhibits all the necessary invariants required in order 'to be' a snowflake.'

Spinelli, E 'The Philosophical Foundations of Existential Psychotherapy'

The above is just an extract from my reading on existentialism and the topic of discussion for my lecture this afternoon. The essence is, that we are born alone, we die alone, and our existence is an incredibly lonely place to endure. But as individual human beings, we do not 'have' a meaning. Life as it presents itself is not inherently meaningful, but through experiencing the very act of being, and exercising the freedom of choice we create our own meaning.. This freedom of choice is the empowering principle. There are, of course many deeper layers to the idea, but this is a little snippet of my day. In the form of some lovely words about a snowflake, and about being human alone, but together in aloneness. Some find this a deeply depressing thought, but I just find it fascinating and intriguing, and almost comforting in a very strange sort of way.

There is much more that I want to write tonight but seeing that it's 12.30am and I have an alarm set for 7.30, I think bedtime is appropriate. My mum bought me an electric blanket for my bed, which I must say is absolutely appreciated by my cosy warm self right now. Although it is cold and dark and rainy outdoors, and pretty grim to say the least, I am warm in the comfort of my bedroom (which after a month of me living here, is finally becoming 'my' bedroom), and it is just lovely. My brain is still in overdrive from today.. Lectures and two tutorials - one with the clinical psychology lecturer about post graduate study (which was very positive!), and the other with my dissertation supervisor (I have more direction now - good news!). This, combined with lectures, and trying to co-ordinate them with my work and travel plans for the next few days has left me frazzled. So, bon-nuit it is, and hopefully a good day tomorrow is ahead. I have a 9am lecture, a coffee date with a good friend, and then travelling to Edinburgh for a shoot in the land of the Scots.

Embracing the full diary, the existential philosophy, and the good people I am surrounded by.

Monday, 29 October 2012

The sister and I

When it's your only day off for the entire week ahead and your beloved sister is on her half term school holidays, what does one choose to do? Invite the sister over, and spend the day baking gingerbread, catching up on friends and family and life, and drinking mulled wine. When Brys was much younger, we used to call her Bryony bright-eyes due to her natural ability to bring brightness with her and share it with those around. Without even needing to consciously try, this girl is the definition of sunshine, happiness, peace, and love.
So, of course I wouldn't have wanted this afternoon any other way. Here are the products of our Halloween themed home made gingerbread cookies, and a few snaps we took along the way.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Little Miss Poker face

This may mark the first time I share straight product shots, simply because usually they are rather 'up and down and dull', as the label 'product shots' may suggest. However, I am sharing a few of these just because I think the styling and designs are oh-so very 20's, a little nautical, a little tennis-player-esque, and I love them.
I shot these over summer in a little studio raised above street level in Haggerston (if my memory is correct) for the label Colenimo s/s 2013 collection. Take note of the beautiful hats. Anyone who knows me well, knows my love for head-wear.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

5pm, a moment of light

This is the sight I saw at 5pm today. The clocks go back an hour this evening; a sure sign that it is most definitely the season of Autumn/Winter. Darkness falls earlier each evening, the trees look ever so beautiful with their warm tones of oranges and reds, the woolen clothing makes it's way to the front of our wardrobes, boots and scarves are at the forefront of fashion, chunky knits are a seasonal must-have, and our personal winter comforts suddenly feel appealing. 

So, 5pm on the last Saturday of October in the city of York. The city is busy, shoppers are almost finished for the day, yet the streets are still filled with people and noise and overwhelming crowds. I too, contribute to the crowds of the bustling and somewhat lively streets of York and I notice the warmth in the colours that surround me, I notice the cold temperature, and I remember the snow that filled the sky last night. Then I look up. This is what I saw..

I can't have been the only person to acknowledge the beauty of the light, yet I was the only one to stop and breathe it in. Every so often when I see a moment like this, I cannot just walk by. I am compelled to stop, to look, and to think. Some name this as 'mindfulness'.. Others call it observant, others may think that one simply has too much time to spare. I don't particularly label myself as any of the above, I just think that certain moments shouldn't be dismissed or ignored. What is the point in being alive in this world if we don't appreciate our surroundings? If we don't recognize the beautiful and the good. It has been said time and time again that the world is filled with beauty. There's a famous Anne Frank quote:
'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.'
With words as simple as those.. Of course, nothing can erase the pain, but there is one hell of a beautiful world out there too, if we open our eyes.

Friday, 26 October 2012

On the attributes of goodness

While I was in London last week, I spent a day shooting bridal dresses in the most beautiful of hotels in Notting Hill named Beach Blanket Babylon. I adore finding new places like this. Buildings with each room filled with the most stunning and individual pieces, where even the trip to the bathroom is fascinating! This is one of the aspects of my job which I embrace and will always appreciate; the places I am able to visit and people these experiences are shared with.
It was most definitely a day where I felt undoubtedly thankful I am able to work in the industry I work in. When you are booked on a job as a model, it makes the world of a difference when your client is nice. In fact, when the entire team make the atmosphere a positive one to work in, the day flies by and there are happy faces when the day ends.  
As I always say, anyone can be skilled or talented. We can learn and develop skills, we can inherit great goods which come with great responsibility, or perhaps we just are fortunate enough to inherit great genes and a stroke of luck or genius. But not everyone remains respectful and organic with their personal and moral values. I often wonder why this is? What makes some lose faith in the one unspoken humanly great attribute which to me, allows some the pedestal to stand head and shoulders above the rest?  I greatly value the 'good' in others. I think that 'at the top' (a phrase you can interpret as you wish), it is all too easy to lose sight of the importance of authentic graciousness and humbleness. It is ironic, however, that at these times, these deep-rooted traits are more valued than ever before. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

fabric of life

Supposing you were to stand on a sand-filled beach with a 250x microscopic lens and look at the sand beneath your feet through the lens. This is what you would see..
Let us appreciate the beauty around us. There is often far more than meets the eye, and many more layers beneath the depth of 250 times that, I am sure. Too often we go about our every day mundane (or less mundane) activities, failing to notice the small intricate details in the fabric of life. Look at what we are missing out on.. Appreciating the beauty around us can remove barriers from even the most open of minds.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Homemade sweet treats #2

what is the meaning of a birthday?

I began writing this blog post yesterday morning while my friend Ella was still sleeping and I had moved onto my second impressively sized mug (litre) of coffee, gotten bored of Sunday morning television, and decided to write. However, Ella arose from slumber, and the day moved on. We hung out for a while, and I went to meet Kat for a cup of tea in town to catch up, then Franks came to visit the new house and we ate chocolates and drank even more coffee and had a wonderful Beetham sister time. Then, inevitably today follows the day before, and today's activities happened. I had a surprising lie in, wrote letters asking potential participants if they would kindly assist in being my interviewees for my dissertation (EEK!), and I went to work mentoring in the afternoon. Then to the library at uni to do some printing, back home, sort things out, a couple of Skype calls to catch up with people far away, a visit from my housemate's awesome ginger friend, and it's two O'clock in the morning. I don't know how this happened. I should now rest my head and sleep but I wanted to post this blog before the thoughts well and truly disappeared from my mind. It's always best to write while thoughts are still poignant, before they are replaced with new and more thrilling ones, as opposed to reflecting on the moment when it's really just an insightful memory that is appreciated when looking back. It's not quite the same. Writing is almost a similar concept as a photograph, in the sense that both capture a thought or a memory in a single solid format. For some reason, we 'need' to hold onto some selective thoughts in more ways than just an internal memory. The brain forget things over time, or at least the moment is not always remembered as it truly were.. Just fragments and selected sections. This being said, perhaps we will always only remember the things we selectively choose to recall anyway. Regardless of this complicated selective memory and event re-calling business, I sometimes find myself lost for words when writing simply because there is so much I want to say, but it will only be my brain's vocabulary and the way in which I write that interprets the actual thing I intend to write about.

Back to the intent of this blog..

It is the month of October and it seems to be a month filled with birthday celebrations of those very dear to me. I have always thought of birthdays as a 'happy' time and a time dedicated to celebrating the birth of that person. However, recently my thoughts have altered a little. A birthday is not just a day to force happiness and give gifts and smile asif nothing could be possibly wrong in the world. We cannot ignore the heartache and pain people carry through their lives and cover it with a cushioned blanket for the one day of the year because on birthdays we are not allowed to feel any negative emotion. It doesn't quite work that way. Maybe before reaching the age of 10, birthdays are moreso about immediate happiness, but when we become old enough (and wise enough) to appreciate the world as a whole, we begin to understand that it isn't all we wish it to be. Not even on the best of days do the 'bad' things disappear from existence and the cushioned blankets others provide us with; they don't really exist. So now, birthdays are more about letting the person know that they are loved. They are cared for, and they are appreciated human beings. They have a place in this world that is valued so greatly by those nearest and dearest. This is what birthdays are about. This is where the happiness lies - in people.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Hair shows

For a couple of days on my recent stay in London, I worked my red locks for hair shows, with one of my Australian hair stylist friends Joey and his GHD team for salon international. Here are a couple of behind the scenes shots. All the models were red-heads, which kind of made it extra fun. It was nice to work with a stylist who really takes care of her model. Thank you Leah  :)

Homemade sweet treats

Homemade morning (or afternoon!) coffee just got a whole lot more exciting (and delicious).
Look what the postman delivered this morning. My housemate was lucky enough to witness the excitement levels while still in pyjamas this morning :)
All I need now is an incredible coffee machine to ground my beans to perfection. I am happy with my little cafetiere and Betty's house blend coffee for now though!

Frank Warren

'Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world'
- Frank Warren

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Polaroids, friends, the joys of life

It was Saturday morning when Jamie, myself, and Zana met for a (rather delicious) morning coffee before shooting. We had a caffeinated pre-shoot relax before heading to the studio to meet Katie (another beautiful friend of mine in this mad world of modelling), and Emma Cairns with her jewellery collection that we were shooting. It was a good day.. It always is with Jamie shooting. He has a contagious happiness and enthusiasm that can easily be shared with all around.
The job was extra special because working with two wonderful friends is a cherished rarity. Sometimes it feels as though real friends are few and far between, particularly when working and living a life of constant inconsistency. Katie and Zan are amongst those I adore.. Zan and I may as well share the same heart and mind which means that we are lucky enough to have a mutual understanding. Myself and Katie - we have shared some life changing experiences. The first time I visited one of my favourite cities in the world (Paris) was with this girl. I am smiling while remembering :)
Sometimes we must just take the moment and the day for precisely what it is, and enjoy. What do we have, if we cannot allow ourselves the moment we're living in? The joys of life are the very things that make life worthwhile.
Here are a few Polaroids Jamie took. I'm really looking forward to shooting more.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

London in the early evening sun

I am back in London again for a few days, and have to share this shot I took from my iPhone today. I am currently sat in my hotel room at the Docklands and appreciating naturalistic beauty in the most simplest forms nature presents: light, water, trees. I walked out of the Excel centre after the shows today, a sure coldness in the atmosphere, and before getting in my car to the hotel, had to stop a while just to take in this funny little thing we know as life.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Frankie and Durham

Yesterday I finally had an afternoon off which coincided rather nicely with my beautiful sister's afternoon off also. Franks has just moved up to the University of Durham Law school after bagging straight A* A Level grades. Needless to say, I am an incredibly proud big sister. I hopped on the train up to Durham, which is a handy 45 min straight journey, where I was met at the station with a huge hug, I gave Frankie her bag of goodies, which included fruit tea, cupcake, and cookies and we walked back to Frank's new home at University. She is staying in the castle so as the imagine may suggest if you haven't been, it's pretty beautiful and has a rather 'Hogwarts-esque' feel to it, with all the students eating meals together in the hall, and sharing their rooms with another student, and being somewhat well catered for.
We went for lunch, did a spot of shopping, drank some coffee, had lots of chats, and before we knew it, time was up and we both had an evening of plans to get back to.
I really enjoyed yesterday. I am lucky I have a sister that I enjoy spending time with :)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Time travel

When I am travelling and busy, it often feels as though I am time travelling because time seems to vanish into another realm and I successfully transport myself from one location to the next, while time has unknowingly and mysteriously disappeared. The concept of time is one that I shall always struggle to grasp. It fascinates me, yet it is incredibly intriguing how as human beings, we have absolutely no power or control over the speed in which time passes, yet we always (whether we are consciously aware or not) fight an impressive battle: 'Man vs time'. I mean, how many people do you know who set their clocks or watches five minutes ahead of time to avoid ever 'running late'? And how many times have you thought yourself, 'Oh man, if only I was a minute earlier I would have made that train'. Or even the more sincere things such as narrowly avoiding terrible accidents and having that thought 'That could have very easily been me..'

My mind is here getting carried away and oh so very engaged with all the scenarios I have been in where time has been the lead-role in determining fairly large consequences. Is it fate? Or timing? Simply luck, or the laws of probability? I think the most simple (yet somewhat unsatisfying answer) is that it's just life. Incredibly unsatisfactory answer in fact, but this wasn't intended to be the point of this blog post! This is just my mind running away with itself. Maybe this is it. We cannot control time. In fact, maybe much of the life we live is indeed controlled by that powerless, yet oh-so powerful clock on the wall that signifies the deadlines we must meet and the schedules we must stick to. It feels so contrived and restrained that we are constantly using our energy to fight back to win the time that is rightfully ours, when if we would just stop for a minute... Yes. What would happen if we did just stop? Anyway, stop, stop stop mind! Focus.

Back to the focus of this post: Time! In the context of work and life. I had a few more nights back in my new place in York and then I headed back down to London for a really great Annie Haak jewellery campaign that I booked. It was a wonderful shoot. There is so much to be said for the impact of positive people and positive surroundings. I think that happiness is contagious in times like this. The client was happy and the shoot, although was hard work, was very enjoyable. So I spend a couple of nights back in Kent, felt very disorientated when waking up in the mornings as I have been so up and down the country lately that I just didn't have a clue what bed I was in when I woke up. Thankfully I am back home again now and my room is slowing beginning to take shape and feel pretty nice. I travelled back on Saturday, had another shoot on Sunday, and today is Monday. So as you can probably tell, no time to think yet.

I have another intense week ahead. But this is good. Keeping positive and focussed on the things that bring happiness. Afterall, what's the point in not? It seems that positivity only attracts more good things. And equally, negativity attracts the bad and destructive. When given the choice, why would we choose the latter? On that rather happy note, I shall say good night. And leave you with a polaroid picture of the wrap of our shoot yesterday. My first shoot back up north in three months :) This is the wonderful team, minus Jamie who is behind the camera.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Honey, I'm home

Just a very brief post - before that crazy thing called 'life' happens and time moves too quickly to ever write about what's happening. Afterall, isn't that part of the reason a blog is so nice to write? Documenting such moments and sharing times of adventure and change. Ironically, it is these times when time is not on our side, so we only tend to find the time to write not when life is moving onward and upwards, but when it is seemingly standing still.
However, it is October 1st and I have now officially moved into my new house in York. My new housemate and I seem to get along just fine. Also met the landlord this evening who is a police man, seems super kind and friendly, and also bought Ipek (my housemate) and I a bottle of wine (how lovely)
I am mid-way through unpacking and making my room feel homely and comfortable.
So, everything is changing.
Goodbye London, hello York and third year of my degree. This being said, I'm back to London at the end of the week. I have a job on Friday and 2 options at the weekend. So hopefully I get the options and make lots of doller as I am beginning a savings account. Time to get serious about this life.
So; new house, back to studies, back to familiarity, back to my home. I think(??) that my heart belongs here, maybe. Maybe for now.. But London sure has got a piece of my heart also. I will miss the city ever so much. But that can be saved for another blog post, perhaps when it's not 2am and I don't have an 8am alarm set.