Sunday, 22 November 2009

A beautiful surprise

I was very surprised when a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to me at work on Friday. I was convinced they had been delivered to the wrong person but no, my name was on the card.
My week had been horrible, full of stresses from work and sadness from attending a funeral, that by the time Friday had arrived, I had had enough. Even seeing Ricky Gervais, on Thursday night, who was very funny, failed to lift my spirits.











The flowers were of course from Andy xxx and not only do they smell gorgeous but were an absolute pleasure to photograph....

Sunday, 15 November 2009

River Cottage - What a filthy night

I am of course referring to the weather and not the event itself.
On Friday we headed off to west Dorset to a Chilli and Pumpkin party held at River Cottage. The weather couldn't have been worse, with lashing rain and gale force winds coming off the sea. Luckily we had a big bag of Minstrels to keep our spirits up, as we battled our way across the hills to Axminster.

When we arrived, we changed into our wellies and I donned my hat adorned with chillies. We made our way to the tractor and trailer, which carried us through the storm down to the farm and to the party which awaited us, where we were met by a couple of fire jugglers and a glass of lemon punch with a twist of chilli.

The courtyard was a lovely site with stalls lit with strings of lights but as the night wore on the weather took a turn for the worst (almost impossible I know) and those brave enough or daft enough joined Hugh outside with a TV crew, guessing the weight of an enormous pumpkin.



Pumpkin Hoopla



I think most people had gone into the barn for food and shelter



John Wright and Steve Lamb manning a stall with an extremely hot lamb chilli dish

Although outside was wet and windy, inside the barn was warm and cosy and the river cottage chefs served up absolutely delicious food. I had shin of beef served with soy, ginger and noodles. Topped off with roasted pumpkin, and chilli corn bread, served by Hugh. Andy had a pumpkin stew, which sounded equally lovely.



Hugh with a silly hat


Hugh serving roasted pumpkin to Andy

I have been to River Cottage quite a lot this year. It really is a lovely place to visit and the people that work there, put in a lot of effort into making sure that you enjoy your visit. I have met Hugh a couple of times, been interviewed on his television programme and had my photo taken with him and I can honestly say he really comes across as being a lovely caring person. Not only about the environment but also about the people who visit River Cottage.
If you get a chance, go to one of the open days next year. You can find the details on the river cottage website. I for one will be giving it a rest for a little while and give someone else a turn.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Dahlias, Hydrangea and Nigella - for Graham

I picked a bunch of flowers from the garden even though it was starting to get dark, with a view to photograph them early the next morning before heading off for work. I got up extra early only to be disappointed by the natural light falling in my bedroom, where my vase sat and so was unable to photograph them. And worse than that by the time I get home from work it is dark, so I had to wait a week for the next weekend before I could photograph them! Of course they were rather wilted by then but luckily the garden is still producing blooms, even this late in the year.


The vase looks a bit sparse, and I could have probably picked some more but I went outside inappropriately dressed (shorts and t shirt - well the sun was shining) so I was beginning to shiver and needed to dive for cover back indoors.









Dahlias are so beautiful

There are still a few flowers to photograph in the garden but with the overnight temperature tonight dipping to three degrees, I don't think these will last much longer. The Nigella seed heads and Hydrangea flower heads will of course remain until next spring,




Hydrangea



Nigella


This post is dedicated to my friend Graham who passed away yesterday. A fantastic photographer with an amazing eye for colour, shape and texture. He was a man who lived life for the moment with a brilliant wit and a very dry sense of humour all of which will be sadly missed.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Surprise in Tesco

About a year ago I did some photography for a design company. They asked me to photograph 3 different flavours of chocolate for the House of Dorchester to appear on their packaging. I had to make the chocolate look scrummy which I did with the aid of my hairdryer. I had to heat the chocolate just enough for it to look glossy but not enough so that it melted. There is a fine line between the glossy look and a gloopy mess but I managed it fine and they were pleased with the results.
Whilst shopping in Tesco last week I saw a box of chocolate from the House of Dorchester in amongst the spices and I said to Andy is that my photography on the box? I had done it so long ago and was under the impression that the chocs were being sold in Waitrose. I went to the sweets isle and sure enough there were the three boxes of chocolates with my photography on the front.

I have to say my favourite flavour is fruit and nut. If you have never tasted chocolate by the House of Dorchester do try, it is rather delicious.
With the clocks going back last week, I come home from work in the dark, so only get to see the garden at the weekend. I still have some flowers in bloom but I think the weather is turning a little colder this week, so they will be coming to an end soon. The Cerinthe Major Purpurascens is looking pretty good at the moment; will it still be flowering next weekend, we are now in November after all!


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