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Life Lately – Exploring Birmingham, Walking up Mountains, Wild Swimming…

I haven’t written one of these for an age. Last time I shared my Life Lately I’d just moved to the Midlands and I was happy to be putting down some roots, after a turbulent few years. Since then I’ve moved into my own flat and I decided to make Birmingham my home. This all happened just before lockdown started…

2020 has not been a great year for a lot of people, me included. I’ve talked about my experiences as a small, creative business elsewhere on this blog, so today I’m focussing on some of the lovely things that have happened in among the chaos and confusion. While there have been a lot of challenges, I’ve managed to find joy and there’s a lot to be grateful for.

The way the light falls

When spending a LOT of time in my new flat, due to not being able to leave, it was inevitable that I’d spend some time watching the light move around. Both of these images where shot using available light. Self portraits aren’t really my thing but I did spend a fun hour or so in lockdown setting my camera up to photograph myself. My bedroom is East facing and my living room faces West, so I do get beautiful light moving around my flat as the day progresses. I like watching the light dance across the back wall of my living room, as the sun goes down.

The streets of South Birmingham (and Digbeth), and some hills

During lockdown proper, I spent my government-mandated daily exercise pounding the eerily quiet streets of South Birmingham. From the pristine terraces of Bournville to the streets of Stirchley and Kings Heath, it was actually quite nice not to be able to go far for a while, as it meant I really got to explore my new area. Every day I’d head out and walk around the South suburbs of Birmingham, with the occasional foray into the City centre on my bike.

I felt pretty hemmed in after a while though, so I was ecstatically happy when restrictions lifted a bit and I could venture a little further afield. I actually cried a bit when I stood on top of the Clent Hills looking at an uninterrupted horizon.

Since then I’ve been to The Lake District where I walked up Conniston Old Man (pictured below), I’ve stomped around Waseley, Clent, The Lickey Hills and Kinver Edge. I’ve also had a couple of trips to the Peaks. Being high up makes me very happy indeed.

Ponies in North Norfolk and The Best Bath of My Life

I’ve spent a lot of time in North Norfolk. It’s always one of my favourite places to spend time and I have family there. I was so excited to visit my aunt, uncle and Cousins there in July. I hadn’t seen them for nearly a year, mainly because of 2020 doing its 2020 things. We went to the beach, we went on walks and we found ponies in Holt Country Park.

The Best Bath of My Life happened in Shropshire. I took myself on a little away day, to work on a plan for The Clear Space, my mindfulness and wellness business that I’m just getting going. I got accredited as a Mindfulness Teacher this year and I’ll be starting regular online Mindfulness shortly. If you fancy joining in, you can sign up to my mailing list.

As for the bath, it was magical. I stayed at Ludlow Vintage Airstream and they have a bathroom in a shepherd’s hut. I don’t have a bath at home, so sitting in the roll-top bath watching the sun go down was pretty amazing. I also made a fire and did some stargazing. It made me realise how much I missed being outside this year. I did a whole load of walking but not much sitting and just being still, surrounded by nature.

 

Wild swimming, camping and sunflowers

I spent a wonderful few days camping in Wales with friends. We walked, ate fish and chips on the beach, toasted marshmallows around the campfire and got a boat ride across an estuary. It was wonderful to wake up surrounded by nature, drink my morning coffee outside of my tent and spend some time away from home.

I also managed to wild swim for the first time this year, up in the Peak District. It was very, very cold but I felt so reinvigorated afterwards. I’m hoping to squeeze in a final outdoor swim before Autumn is properly here.

And, finally, I spent an evening photographing sunflowers in beautiful light, just outside of Birmingham. I’ve started a separate Instagram account where I’ll occasionally share my most colourful images. You can follow it here.

What’s next for 2020?

For a year that’s dragged so much, it feels strange that we’re already halfway through September. I start university this month, which is very exciting! I’m training to be a counsellor and I can’t wait to dig into my studies. I’m only studying part-time, so I’m still available for wedding and family photography bookings. And then I guess it will be Christmas… hands up if you’re not ready.

Thanks for checking out my Life Lately. You can find my most recent wedding and family shoots on the blog. If you’d like to work with me, you can get in touch here and sign up below to join my email community.

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